Monthly Archives: July 2011

The Deal

Some back of the envelope thoughts about this debt deal which you can find here. 


Pete the Banker weighs in with his quick thoughts:

Seems the plan negotiated by Washington DC comes up a little short.  According to the article the credit rating agencies wanted $4 trillion in cuts to maintain the US AAA credit rating and the negoitiated settlement only came up with $2.5 trillion.  None the less the Asian markets are celebrating the deal, as are the pre markets here, as well.  I wonder what will happen when the inital euphoria wears off? (here)

One is a political question: I concede there’s probably plenty of fat in the defense budget, but why do the Democrats always equate national security with welfare programs as they do in this language?

Total reductions would be equally split between defense and non-defense programs. Across-the-board cuts would also apply to Medicare. Other programs, including Social Security, Medicaid, veterans, and civil & military pay, would be exempt.

Why do Dems always think of our national security as optional? Isn’t the beginning of the pursuit of happiness being free to do it? Giving people free money taken from others is not an enumerated power but national security certainly is. Why then equate its importance with food stamps or welfare programs whose budgets, by the way, have EXPLODED since the stimulus bill vaporized the 1996 Welfare Reform Act?
Recently one of the Pentagon big shots was asked what our biggest national security problem is right now. He said, “the debt.”

The President is given a Harry Reid ‘big wet kiss’ by not having to consider the debt limit again before the election.

They claim there will be no tax increases in this deal, but most of the budget cuts take place starting in 2013 after the President is safely re-elected (?) and the BUSH TAX CUTS EXPIRE!! So there will be tax increases.

Across-the-board spending cuts would apply to FYs 2013-2021, and apply to both mandatory & discretionary programs.

Ceding decisions on the federal budget to a super committee is just inane. We send THEM to Congress to make these decisions. If we worked our butts off to elect more republicans than democrats, then why would we exchange their more conservative fiscal values for those of democrats?

Same as House-passed bill, framework creates a 12-member Joint Committee required to report legislation by November 23, 2011 that would produce a proposal to reduce the deficit by at least $1.5T over 10 years.

Besides, haven’t we see these committees before? Shoot, the president pretended to care about the debt problems before and had a blue ribbon committee give him a big fat book of recommendations which he promptly ignored. I know! Lets take the flatter tax rate idea from that plan. Anyone? Anyone?

As in House-passed bill, framework imposes spending caps that
would set clear limits on future spending & serve as barrier
against gov’t expansion while economy grows

Spending caps—remember Nancy Pelosi’s pay-go?–can be ignored by declaring an “emergency.” The feds in 2010 declared the Census an “emergency,” even though it wasn’t, to get around their largely ignored pay go plans. To give you an idea of what an “emergency” constitutes, the City of Portland City Council recently designated the plastic bag ban an 

220;emergency” to get around more hearings in order to ram it through before anyone noticed.

The Balance Budget Amendment (BBA) is given lip service but there’s nothing holding anyone’s feet to the fire:

Same as House-passed bill, framework requires both House & Senate to vote on a BBA after Oct. 1, 2011 but before the end of year

There’s more language on the BBA but I’m waiting to hear what the folks involved say about it tomorrow.  I heard Senator Jeff Sessions I believe say tonight that he wants seven days to read the bill.

This will get more interesting.

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Deal Reached on Debt Limit, But What About the Debt?

Obama just announced a compromise deal has been reached between leaders in D.C. on raising the debt limit for the US Treasury to borrow more.

Politico

So far announced, future spending cuts and no tax increases.

Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver says, “early reports of the new deal appeared to be ‘a sugar-coated Satan sandwich’.” HERE

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus said, “This deal trades people’s livelihoods for the votes of a few unappeasable right-wing radicals, and I will not support it,” before he had even received a briefing on it.

Rep. Kurt Schrader, a member of the Blue Dog Coalition says, “While we’re a very diverse Caucus, at the end of the day, we’re not going to put our ideology ahead of the good of the country,” indicating enough House Democrats will support it.

House Speaker John Boehner, rounding up votes to pass the deal in the House said, “the agreement isn’t the greatest deal in the world, but it shows how much we’ve changed the terms of the debate in this town.”

News Tribune reports,

“In the first stage under the agreement, the nation’s debt limit would rise immediately by nearly $1 trillion and spending would be cut by a slightly larger amount over a decade.”

“That would be followed by creation of the new congressional committee that would have until the end of November to recommend $1.8 trillion or more in deficit cuts, targeting benefit programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, or overhauling the tax code. Those deficit cuts would allow a second increase in the debt limit.”

We get almost $3 Trillion more in debt this year with promises of lowered spending in the future.

Boehner’s PowerPoint on the deal HERE

Also hearing word on the news that Democrats have already prepared an “Alternate Plan.”

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Compromise?

Breaking news, the House has passed Speaker John Boehner’s debt limit bill and sent it to the Senate, where Harry Reid has said it is DOA.

Where’s the compromise we hear so much about?

Why DOA before it is even debated?

Since when does compromise mean our way or the highway?

Washington Post

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SAM ADAMS NOT RUNNING FOR RE-ELECTION!

Mayor Sam Adams
 

MayorSamAdams Mayor Sam Adams

I have used my time off to reflect on the needs of our city, and how I can best serve Portlanders. My decision: http://bit.ly/n3D9g0
1 minute ago Favorite Retweet Reply
Money shot:

I am under no illusion of how challenging the race for re-election would be. I’ve been in tough elections before; nobody thought I could win my city council race in 2004. But I believe for me to win re-election as mayor, I would need to fundraise and campaign full-time, starting now.

As I have considered the reality of a possible re-election effort, I have come to the conclusion that I have a choice: Move this agenda forward, or campaign full-time for re-election.

With the state of our nation in such flux, and so many local issues needing focused and hands-on mayoral leadership, for me, the choice is clear.

My best service to Portland will be to complete the platform of change and improvement you elected me to deliver: Creating jobs, increasing the high school graduation rate, and making Portland the most sustainable city, with the most equal of opportunities. This work is well underway, and I’m committed to making every day of the next 17 months count. Thus, I will not seek re-election. 

Each day—supported by my partner, Peter, and my family—I wake up feeling blessed to have the opportunity to serve as your mayor. It is, without a doubt, the best job in the world.
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Tea Party: "Hezbollah," "Extremist," "Hostage Taking"

The latest to throw around the rhetorical bombs? Democrat majority “leader,” Harry Reid. Please note the way he begins to stumble over the language about how long the debt ceiling should be extended. He almost says past the election and recovers himself to say after the first of the year.
The Democrats do what they accuse us of doing. Remember it. 
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Pete the Banker: Obama’s Economy–GDP for Q1 Waaaay Down

The revision for Q1 is very large.  Why?  Further indication that Washington DC just has no clue? 

Moderation in inflationary pressure from 3.9 to 3.1%????  Core inflation is over the Fed’s limit!

The report also showed a moderation in inflation pressures, with the personal consumption expenditure price index rising at a 3.1 percent rate after rising 3.9 percent in the first quarter. 

Excluding food and energy, the core PCE index rose 2.1 percent, the fastest since the fourth quarter of 2009, after rising 1.6 percent in the first quarter. It overshot the Federal Reserve’s preferred 2.0 percent level.

The report also showed a moderation in inflation pressures, with the personal consumption expenditure price index rising at a 3.1 percent rate after rising 3.9 percent in the first quarter. 

Excluding food and energy, the core PCE index rose 2.1 percent, the fastest since the fourth quarter of 2009, after rising 1.6 percent in the first quarter. It overshot the Federal Reserve’s preferred 2.0 percent level. More data here.
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Compromise?

Breaking news, the House has passed Speaker John Boehner’s debt limit bill and sent it to the Senate, where Harry Reid has said it is DOA.

Where’s the compromise we hear so much about?

Why DOA before it is even debated?

Since when does compromise mean our way or the highway?

Washington Post

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

SAM ADAMS NOT RUNNING FOR RE-ELECTION!

Mayor Sam Adams
 

MayorSamAdams Mayor Sam Adams

I have used my time off to reflect on the needs of our city, and how I can best serve Portlanders. My decision: http://bit.ly/n3D9g0
1 minute ago Favorite Retweet Reply
Money shot:

I am under no illusion of how challenging the race for re-election would be. I’ve been in tough elections before; nobody thought I could win my city council race in 2004. But I believe for me to win re-election as mayor, I would need to fundraise and campaign full-time, starting now.

As I have considered the reality of a possible re-election effort, I have come to the conclusion that I have a choice: Move this agenda forward, or campaign full-time for re-election.

With the state of our nation in such flux, and so many local issues needing focused and hands-on mayoral leadership, for me, the choice is clear.

My best service to Portland will be to complete the platform of change and improvement you elected me to deliver: Creating jobs, increasing the high school graduation rate, and making Portland the most sustainable city, with the most equal of opportunities. This work is well underway, and I’m committed to making every day of the next 17 months count. Thus, I will not seek re-election. 

Each day—supported by my partner, Peter, and my family—I wake up feeling blessed to have the opportunity to serve as your mayor. It is, without a doubt, the best job in the world.
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Tea Party: "Hezbollah," "Extremist," "Hostage Taking"

The latest to throw around the rhetorical bombs? Democrat majority “leader,” Harry Reid. Please note the way he begins to stumble over the language about how long the debt ceiling should be extended. He almost says past the election and recovers himself to say after the first of the year.
The Democrats do what they accuse us of doing. Remember it. 
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Pete the Banker: Obama’s Economy–GDP for Q1 Waaaay Down

The revision for Q1 is very large.  Why?  Further indication that Washington DC just has no clue? 

Moderation in inflationary pressure from 3.9 to 3.1%????  Core inflation is over the Fed’s limit!

The report also showed a moderation in inflation pressures, with the personal consumption expenditure price index rising at a 3.1 percent rate after rising 3.9 percent in the first quarter. 

Excluding food and energy, the core PCE index rose 2.1 percent, the fastest since the fourth quarter of 2009, after rising 1.6 percent in the first quarter. It overshot the Federal Reserve’s preferred 2.0 percent level.

The report also showed a moderation in inflation pressures, with the personal consumption expenditure price index rising at a 3.1 percent rate after rising 3.9 percent in the first quarter. 

Excluding food and energy, the core PCE index rose 2.1 percent, the fastest since the fourth quarter of 2009, after rising 1.6 percent in the first quarter. It overshot the Federal Reserve’s preferred 2.0 percent level. More data here.
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

*UPDATED!* Ah, Civility…

Find Van Jones here. 

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Van sounds like Paul Krugman in the NYT today. H/T WSJ blog:

Paul Krugman at the New York Times writes that the country is at “the edge of disaster,”  fumes that Republicans “have, in effect, taken America hostage,” blasts Democrats for not fighting back and takes a hard swat at the media for good measure.

America held hostage. What does he call no budget for 800+ days, Democrats spending like a hooker in a crack factory, STARTING A HUGE new entitlement and then disemboweling Medicare to do it?
Apparently that was ok.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

"Free" Movie Screening Brought to You by Multnomah County Taxpayers

Are Multnomah County taxpayers underwriting the showing of this political movie?
The organizer tells us to join “Multnomah County:”

Please join OEC and Multnomah County for a free screening of Deep Green and the winning films from the climate change short film contest on Sunday, July 31, 6:00 PM at the McMenamins Bagdad Theater in Portland. You’ll hear from Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen and filmmaker Matt Briggs. Bring your family and friends!

Inquiring minds want to know. When I find out I’ll give you a head’s up. 
H/T Todd over at Cascade Policy! 

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com