The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.
Showing posts with label Standard and Poor's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Standard and Poor's. Show all posts

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ted Cruz: Only The GOP Could Yield Such An Opportunist And Charlatan

Only in the GOP and only in America could a complete fraud like Ted Cruz garner attention to the point of defacto leadership.  The GOP has gone through osmosis to the point of attracting voters who appear to have an ax to grind with the American government. The party has an inordinate number of LIVs (low information voters/people), which leads to the potential for hijacking by the likes of Ted Cruz.

Ted Cruz, a member of the Senate who rode into office at the high-tide of the tea party movement, has taken a leaderless party to the level of an embarrassing and counter-productive group of highly paid obstructionist. Consequently, the recent government shutdown was nothing more than an object revolt against the Obama Administration. The revolt has actively dogged President Obama  since well before his inauguration in January 2009. The shutdown was planned with hopes of a crowning party victory and item of party celebration with hope of ultimate humiliation for the president as he cowered to tea party (GOP) bullying once again.

The strategy failed miserably, but only after causing deep strife and potential grief for millions. When coupled with the current sequester and the 2011 credit rating downgrade, the shutdown has effectively tarnished US economic and financial credibility worldwide. The shutdown even dealt a horrible blow to $100,000 death payments to families after the death of their loved ones while fighting US wars. During the lead-up to the shutdown, Secretary Hagel via DOD reports to Congress issued clear warnings of the cessation of death payments and other dire consequences for our military and military families. After the deaths of five Marines in Afghanistan two weeks ago, it was reported private donors donated the death payment to the grieving families.

The shutdown strategy was flawed and doomed to failure. Failure between the Congress and the Executive Branch means grave harm tot he nation and to people who cannot afford financial instability (r.g., the middle class and the poor).

The GOP charged forward (with the shutdown) without regard for the common people. They charged forward as the public received word of Koch brothers and GOP operative plotting anti-ACA initiatives including the repeal of the law in exchange for avoiding the shutdown. Despite claims to the contrary and a related press release, Koch money provided significant impetus for GOP strategies to defund the ACA.

Huffington Post on the New York Times reports of Koch involvement that contributed to the Cruz and GOP shutdown.
Regardless of the non-position the Koch brothers laid out in the letter, they've made their distaste for Obamacare quite clear. 
The letter argues that the Affordable Care Act will lower the standard of health care, and raise taxes. And, "because several of you have asked," Koch Industries provided several recommendations for Congress, calling for a reining-in of "rampant government spending" and a reduction of "cronyism." Yes, the Koch brothers are leery of cronyism. 
As was reported Sunday by The New York Times, the Kochs have helped fund the months-long anti-Obamacare effort that led to the shutdown. 
Read the full letter below:
Koch Industries Letter To Congress

Koch financial support and political contributions to greedy politicians gave Cruz his opportunity to lead a party that is dissolving like an Alka Seltzer (tm) in a half inch of water. 
After today's Senate Majority Leader Reid and Senate Minority leader McConnell "deal", the House of Oz appears to have seen the light.  Cruz, ever the cavalier one, stood for the ever-present cameras after the votes:
The Congressional Votes
The House voted 285-144
The Senate voted 81 to 18
And, the GOP leader joins the cameras.
Cruz continues his charlatan Donald Trump like carnival barking.
"Unfortunately, once again, it appears the Washington establishment is refusing to listen to the American people," Cruz said. "The deal that has been cut provides no relief to the millions of Americans who are hurting because of Obamacare. The deal that has been cut provides no relief to all the young people coming out of school who can't find a job because of Obamacare. It provides no relief to all the single parents who have been forced into part-time work, struggling to feed their kids on 29 hours a week."
Who is Cruz speaking about?
"Washington establishment is refusing to listen to the American people...."
Yahoo News
Graphic shows AP-GfK opinion poll on government shutdown; 2c x 5 inches; 96.3 mm x 127 mm;
Huffington Post
It seems Cruz is talking to the wind. data simply does not support his rhetoric. More on Cruz
"The deal that has been cut provides no relief to the millions of Americans who are hurting because of Obamacare. 
The deal that has been cut provides no relief to all the young people coming out of school who can't find a job because of Obamacare. It provides no relief to all the single parents who have been forced into part-time work, struggling to feed their kids on 29 hours a week."
Cruz continues to feed red meat to people who refuse to accept that an ailing economy such as that handed to the nation in 2007, 2008 and early 2009. We realize conservatives only want to look back to a life long past, but there comes a time when  charlatans must be called out.
The following graphs show president's Stimulus (Recovery Act) immediate impact on jobs and unemployment. The study period illustrated is January 2008 through July 2012. 
The unemployment rate has continued a slow decline during the last half of 2012 and has continued through the summer of 2013. We chose these illustrations to reflect on Cruz's rhetoric and to also show the fallacy of his rhetoric on high information voters/people. The salient point: the Republicans would never have proposed nor fought for a Stimulus. The GOP would also have allowed the American auto industry to become vulnerable to overseas buyers or complete collapse. Thus, turning their backs on a million direct and related jobs auto industry jobs.  Before we place Cruz's jobs remarks in the trash as spoiled red meat, we should remind the GOP has only sponsored one very flawed jobs bill during the entirety of the 112th and 113th Congress.
Cruz's barks to his throngs of sycophants about young people not being able to find jobs due to Obamacare. It would be great if at least one reporter would ask Cruz to expound on his point. If questioned and after stumbling through a lie, a great follow-up question would be, "Can you provide specific examples of Obamacare robbing the young of jobs?"
Cruz closes his comment with this....
 "It provides no relief to all the single parents who have been forced into part-time work, struggling to feed their kids on 29 hours a week."
GOP, GOP we have a problem. Your junior Senator from Texas is disrespecting people with an IQ over forty-three (43).
Yes, there are companies that have reduced work hours for some employees to avoid providing medical coverage for those employees. There are also a few very visible companies that threatened to adopt the inhumane strategy, and backed-off the threat. In some cases the companies actually reversed the policy and practice. Disney, in fact, provided coverage to a large group of employees who would have been excluded from the ACA coverage based on their value to the entertainment giant.
The ACA mandate on businesses is not the driving force behind corporate staffing strategies involving part-time workers.  addressed the issue via a piece in in early September: "Are Obamacare opponents wrong about its impact on the US labor market — or just early?" A FRED chart for the Pethokoukis piece.
The St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank 2007 through mid 2013.  It seems part-time work spiked during the climax of the Bush recession.
Pethokoukis Excerpt
Let's talk a quick look at another graphic and data from the Aei.Idea Dot Org piece, just in case you deiced not to visit the site. If you made that decision you might just fall for Cruz's and GOP rhetoric about mass strife for millions relegated to part-time work due to the ACA.
4. The economic team Goldman Sachs looked at the data and found that while “it is possible that the trends over the last few months might reflect the approaching onset of the now-delayed employer mandate, it is also important to note that the shift toward part-time labor pre-dates enactment of the health law and is much more clearly associated with the economic downturn.”
I am going to fore go linking the following Open Secrets page. The information and data should be available via a simple purvey vs clicking to another page. Remember, Cruz has been in the Senate for just over nine months. I am reading reports he garnered over one million in contributions over the past month. 
I mentioned Donald Trump in a preceding paragraph.  As you review the data and graphs to follow, I hope you recognize the personal value of taking a position that Cruz knew he could not and would not win.  Yet, he earned one million in contributions since his Senate floor circus act. Thus, my analogy to Donald Trump. The Center for Responsive Progress (Open Secrets Dot Org)
Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz

Select cycle and data to include:
  • Campaign Cmte Only
  • Leadership PAC Profile Only
  • Campaign Cmte & Leadership PAC Combined

Committee Assignments: 

Leadership PAC (1): 

Cycle Fundraising, 2009 - 2014, Campaign Cmte

Raised: $15,672,756 Sparklines Explanation coming soon
Spent: $14,730,777
Cash on Hand: $643,977
Debts: $545,000
Last Report:Sunday, June 30, 2013

Top 5 Contributors, 2009-2014, Campaign Cmte

Club for Growth$705,657$705,602$55
Senate Conservatives Fund$315,991$305,991$10,000
Woodforest National Bank$93,500$93,500$0
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius$67,200$67,200$0
Goldman Sachs$66,850$61,850$5,000

Top 5 Industries, 2009-2014, Campaign Cmte

Lawyers/Law Firms$875,685$816,935$58,750
Oil & Gas$788,818$609,318$179,500
Securities & Investment$608,777$584,277$24,500

Total Raised vs. Average Raised

2009-2010 Fundraising

Cycle Source of Funds, 2009-2014, Campaign Cmte only

Individual Contributions About Size of Contributions
 - Small Individual Contributions
 - Large Individual Contributions
$2,641,297 (17%)
$10,179,239 (65%)
legendPAC Contributions$1,588,615(10%)
legendCandidate self-financing$843,000(5%)
NOTE: All the numbers on this page are for the 2009-2014 election cycle and based on Federal Election Commission data available electronically on October 16, 2013 (for Fundraising totals, Source of Funds and Total Raised vs Average) and on August 18, 2013 for Top Contributors and Industries. In the "Source of Funds" chart, "Large Individual Contributions" refer to all contributions from unique individuals aggregating to more than $200 within a cycle, and "Small Individual Contributions" refer to all contributions from unique individuals totaling $200 or less within a cycle. ("Help! The numbers don't add up...") 
The organizations themselves did not donaterather the money came from the organizations' PACs, their individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals' immediate families. Organization totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.
Finally, The only benefactor of the GOP shutdown (party destroying) strategy: Cruz himself.
Rachel Maddow posted a graphic of the meandering and erratic request (as negotiation items) from the leaderless GOP, and the eventual outcome (What they got).
Standard and Poor's is reporting the shutdown cost the US  $24 billion dollars.
Who votes for these people? ______________________________ 
Thanks to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Boehner Threatens "A Whale Of A Fight." Captain Ahab Said The Exact Same Thing!

John Boehner. ".....Obama is in for a “whale of a fight” over the debt limit."


                                    There is no surprise in the statement above. Since President Obama took office, we have witnessed debt limit battles each fall. Do you remember the battle in 2011?
Standard and Poor's downgraded the US AAA Credit Rating in 2011.
“The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics,” S&P said in a statement late yesterday after markets closed.
The other two Credit Ratings authorities responded to the 2011 kerfuffle as follows:
Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings affirmed their AAA credit ratings on Aug. 2, the day President Barack Obama signed a bill that ended the debt-ceiling impasse that pushed the Treasury to the edge of default. Moody’s and Fitch also said that downgrades were possible if lawmakers fail to enact debt reduction measures and the economy weakens.
Standard and Poor's (August 5, 2011)

We lowered our long-term rating on the U.S. because we believe that the prolonged controversy over raising the statutory debt ceiling and the related fiscal policy debate indicate that further near-term progress containing the growth in public spending, especially on entitlements, or on reaching an agreement on raising revenues is less likely than we previously assumed and will remain a contentious and fitful process. We also believe that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration agreed to this week falls short of the amount that we believe is necessary to stabilize the general government debt burden by the middle of the decade.

The debt limit is kind of a financial weapon of mass destruction chained to the United States government by the United States government.
Confused? Then it's time for The United States debt limit Explained.  
To understand the debt limit you need to know the US splits financial responsibility between the president and congress.  
The president has two jobs when it comes to money:
1. Collect taxes and... 2. Spend those taxes to run the government. 
This might give you the impression that the president, with regards to money, is all-powerful. Especially when you hear news reports on 'the president's new budget' or his plan to 'raise taxes on haberdashers' or 'lower taxes on apiarists'. 
But reality is just the opposite and the president is the one who takes orders.
From whom? 
Congress has the jobs of setting the tax level and determining how much the government will spend by writing a budget.  
So while the president does get to submit budgets to congress, and asks for changes in the tax level, these are just requests that congress doesn't have to pay attention to. 
Congress can add or subtract anything they want from the president's budget or throw it out entirely and write a new one.  The same goes for the level of taxes.
So congress decides what it wants: bridges, tanks, buildings, courts, robots on Mars, robots on Earth, National Parks, whatever and approves a budget with that stuff in it.
Once approved the president's is required by law to spend the money Congress listed in the budget and pay for it using the taxes that congress set.* 
As long as more taxes come in than spending goes out everything is fine.
But, almost always, Congress puts more stuff in the budget than they cover with taxes which means the president must borrow money to cover the difference. 
In most countries the story ends here because if their legislatures approved more spending than they have income, they've also implicitly approved the necessary borrowing -- but not in America. Here Congress also limits the total amount of debt the United States can have.  
A debt limit sounds like a good idea until you see the real-world consequences of these two branches of government interacting. 
As the total amount borrowed gets closer to the limit, Congress usually points to the president and acts shocked, shocked that his reckless spending has brought us so close to the debt limit that they, reasonable, prudent Congress have set.  
And while it's technically correct that the president has borrowed this money, congress has forced him to do it, by approving a budget that the president is legally obligated to spend without also approving the necessary taxes to cover that spending. 
So the debt limit fight is essentially the government version of the playground favorite: 'stop hitting yourself' except with added terror for everyone watching. 
For, it's important to note, the debt limit is not about future spending -- it's not a credit card on which the limit will be raised so a crazy government party can be thrown -- the debt limit is about paying bills already incurred.  
For example, the government hires a company to repave a federal highway. But if the US is at the debt limit, when the company asks to be paid after the work has been done, the government can't. This shakes trust in the US and since large parts of the global economy depend on the dollar being trust worthy, messing with that trust is a big deal. 
But there is a way out: Congress can raise the debt limit and, because of the aforementioned terror, they always have.  
So… if not raising the debt ceiling is potentially disastrous and the solution is simple and always taken in the end: why does this debate last months‽ 
Because: politics.
The debt limit isn't in the constitution, congress created it themselves and from their point of view, the debt limit is awesome because: 
1. It creates a problem that...2. Congress can (technically) blame on the president who... 3. Needs the solution that only they can provide
Congress gets to use the threat of mutual financial self destruction as leverage in negations that they benefit from extending until the last… possible… second.  
Special Thanks:
Neil H. Buchanan & Kyle McMahon.Credits:
Music: David Rees. 
Images: The Noun Project, Jonathan Keating, Luis Prado, Andrew Forrester, Juan Sebastian Rickenmann & Anuar Zhumaev.
Let's be clear: 
"For, it's important to note, the debt limit is not about future spending -- it's not a credit card on which the limit will be raised so a crazy government party can be thrown -- the debt limit is about paying bills already incurred. " 
It has been reported Boehner has "gone specific" in stating the prescient must consider reductions (Or some sort of spending intervention) in Medicare and Social Security. Boehner and all in the GOP as well as their uber wealthy plutocrat handlers, know the debt limit relates to 'expended borrowed' funds.  Thus, the debt limit is about the business of repaying debt to facilitate additional borrowing.  Unfortunately, borrowing is a reality. GOP threatening Medicare and Social Security (with no interest in increasing revenue) is effectively holding the US and foreign investors 'hostage" to GOP economic malfeasance.

In 2011, we also experienced a serious 'blip' on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.  You should pay specific attention to the chart trend line between the end of 2008 and March 2009 (just after the Obama Stimulus was enacted). Also notice the significant 2011 dip (blip) in DIJA growth as the GOP pushed the nation to a Credit Rating downgrade. 
Chart forDow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI)
Yahoo Finance 
While there is no "look-back" guarantee, DIJA history has shows a steady trend increase since the Credit Rating downgrade  If we take-away the  GOP induced blip in 2011, investor portfolios would appear much more favorable.  For non-investors the blip might have influenced the cost of loans, the cost of food, the cost of other critical services. Additionally, the blip generated another affect. The DIJA (and the market) might have reached performance levels even beyond the historic levels of the past year.  How about a DIJA over 16,000 if the GOP had not induced the Credit Rating downgrade?  Of course, that is pure speculation, but a case can be made that existing market performance could have been even more historic. Do you think the GOP relishes the current record markets?  [Hint]
Boehner knows Democrats will not give on Medicare and Social Security.  We all know the GOP will not increase taxes on the nation's wealthy. So, as a liberal my heart and mind tells me to follow the path with recent evidence of success. On other hand, that means avoiding the 'trickle-down' 
garbage from people who care little about middle and low income America.

We will close with two graphics....
Well, one more chart.....
01a Bush vs Obama Deficit

Don't follow a party that has proven in fiscal policy and economic performance to a place of no return. We almost went there with Bus/Cheney. The Speaker stated in 2011 "he got 98% of what he wanted.'  I wonder what per cent he assigned to the S & P downgrade and the blip in our markets? Do you see my point with the "HINT" above?
Boehner should know, "Sometimes the whale wins."

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Emotionalism and Lies

A few days have passed and the soliloquy continues from the RIGHT regarding President Obama's alleged lies about catastrophe if a debt ceiling/deficit deal is not reached. 

Sarah Palin  Twits about 'lies'. What a sad state of affairs that one who collects millions from her minions, resorts to such a mediocre media for delivering messages.  When she is not Twitting she sits with Mr. 'facilitation' interviewer Hannity for rambling diatribes that only she and her minions can understand. I suppose that Hannity understands but I suspect he uses his air-time with Palin counting his millions in the background of his brain.
I often wonder why people like Hannity do not ask Palin on what basis does she base her drivel. What economist does she consult?  Who on the HILL does she call for inside perspective?  Ultimately it would be nice if someone just asked if she makes up stuff.

Michelle Bachmann, the Rambling Wreck.  "Obama is trying to frighten you".  On what basis can she layout how the nation can pay debts 'off the interest', and 'they can use the taxes that we pay, pay-check to paycheck."

Joe Walsh, The Mouthpiece with a twist of racist, calls the President a liar but offers no real solutions or quotes any credible authority regarding his reason for labeling Obama a "Liar". But, of course, if one can declare the Obama's win in 2008 the fault of 'white guilt', I suppose one can redord any sort of cheap video and You Tube the work.

While the RIGHT is full of talking heads who claim failing to raise the debt ceiling is mere fantasy vs catastrophe, I have listed the most ridiculous and, sorry to go here, the least mental of the bunch.  Those who know better have shut-off the rhetoric and appear to be working on a solution.  Of course, I have little regard for their contribution to the solution as I am certain it will  benefit the nation's wealthy.  They are, however, working vs. continuing to spew ignorance in the form of financial collapse denial.  They offer such denials as consistently as they offer denials of Evolution.  Also, note that each of the mouthy-three are "Tea Party" People!!!!!

OK, so much for the inane and the babbling of the mouthy fools.  I have listed below exerts form an article posted on the HufftingPost website. You will notice that I have also posted the link for a more detailed review of the information.


U.S. Default Would Likely Cause Stocks, Bonds, Dollar To Collapse 

 A few exerts to contemplate while RIGHT-WING ignorance and obstructionist exudes.

Exerts start now.
NEW YORK -- Time is running out for Washington to raise the country's borrowing limit and avoid a default. Wall Street isn't panicking yet. But if the unthinkable happens, a default could strike financial markets like an earthquake......
What might markets look like after a default?
There's wide agreement among economists that a default would drive up borrowing costs for everybody. U.S. Treasury yields act like a floor for other lending rates, so raising them makes it more expensive for Americans to take out mortgages, for corporations to finance new spending and for local governments to borrow......
"If I were to draw a flow chart, it becomes so complex it's impossible to analyze the impact of a default," said Guy LaBas, chief fixed income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott.....

When pressed, investors say the immediate aftermath could look like the financial crisis in September 2008. Stocks would lead the way down. In the month following Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy, for instance, the Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 28 percent......
A deeper fear is that a default could freeze the short-term lending markets that keep money moving throughout the global financial system. Treasury's and other government-backed debt are widely as used collateral for loans in these markets......
But the fallout from a U.S. default could be much worse.

"I don't even want to think of the ripple effects," Briggs said.
Indeed, most analysts agree that if the world's largest economy reneges on its debts, the consequences would be catastrophic....... 

 COMMENT: So who are you going to believe?