A round-up of news items, articles, columns and blog posts that caught our eye this past week.
Thank Gaia, Obama and the Democrats retained the Oval Office and the Senate from those wascallwy WePublicans and all the crazy shtuff they were saying about abortion and everything. Now, at least, we have some adults with some adult ideas regarding our spending habits and the debt ceiling*.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler has an admittedly "out of the ordinary" solution to the coming fight over the debt ceiling.
"There is specific statutory authority that says that the Federal Reserve can mint any non-gold or -silver coin in any denomination, so all you do is you tell the Federal Reserve to make a platinum coin for one trillion dollars, and then you deposit it in the Treasury account, and you pay your bills," Nadler said in a telephone interview this afternoon.
I asked whether he was serious.
"I'm being absolutely serious," he said. "It sounds silly but it's absolutely legal. And it would normally not be proper to consider such a thing, except when you're faced with blackmail to destroy the country's economy, you have to consider things."
Silly? It’s absolutely and positively unserious and unmoored from logic. And even that does not make it exclusive from legal.
Hey, if a trillion dollar coin is good then why not a $100 trillion coin? That’d be much better, right? And totally legal also.
Yep, as we were saying, it’s good to know the adults are back in charge in Washington.
*You know the idea absolutely sucks when the article declines to state holder of sucky idea's party affiliation. Nadler is a Democrat.
A little less in the paycheck there on Friday, huh?
The temporary payroll tax holiday may not have been such a hot idea to begin with as it defunded an already cash-strapped Social Security program but that $1,000-$2,000/year hit to your income due to the expiration of that tax doesn’t seem like such a hot idea either in these recession-like times.
Technically, the payroll/Social Security tax just went back to its original rate, so one can debate whether or not this was an actual “tax hike”. However, the bottom line is that Americans look at their take-home pay in aggregate, so if there is less in that paycheck than was in the previous paycheck, the natural and rational reaction is, whiskey-tango-foxtrot?
The good news is that Friday’s lackluster jobs report indicates that there are still tens of millions of Americans out there that won’t feel the pinch of that payroll, ahem, tax hike.
Hey, it's the new normal.
Guns for me but not for thee...
The New York state newspaper that took it upon itself to publish the names and addresses of pistol permit holders in 3 downstate counties has seen fit to go guns-up at their headquarters.
A Clarkstown police report issued on December 28, 2012, confirmed that The Journal News has hired armed security guards from New City-based RGA Investigations and that they are manning the newspaper’s Rockland County headquarters at 1 Crosfield Ave., West Nyack, through at least tomorrow, Wednesday, January 2, 2013.
[Update 1/4/13-the guards will now be present indefinitely]
According to police reports on public record, Journal News Rockland Editor Caryn A. McBride was alarmed by the volume of “negative correspondence,” namely an avalanche of phone calls and emails to the Journal News office, following the newspaper’s publishing of a map of all pistol permit holders in Rockland and Westchester.
Due to apparent safety concerns, the newspaper then decided to hire RGA Investigations to provide armed personnel to man the location.
You see, gun control laws are for the little people, the unwashed masses, if you will and the 2nd amendment should only be applied so as to not infringe upon the rights of those vanguards of the 1st amendment.
And getting away from the hypothetical absurdity of this, if you are asking what could possibly go wrong... well, this.
Law enforcement officials from a New York region where a local paper published a map identifying gun owners say prisoners are using the information to intimidate guards.
Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco, who spoke at a news conference flanked by other county officials, said the Journal News' decision to post an online map of names and addresses of handgun owners Dec. 23 has put law enforcement officers in danger.
"They have inmates coming up to them and telling them exactly where they live. That's not acceptable to me," Falco said, according to Newsday.
Robert Riley, an officer with the White Plains Police Department and president of its Patrolman’s Benevolent Association, agreed.
"You have guys who work in New York City who live up here. Now their names and addresses are out there, too," he said adding that there are 8,000 active and retired NYPD officers currently living in Rockland County.
Got a beef with a guard on the inside? No problem. If that particular guard is on that newspaper's list maybe one of your buddies on the outside can take care of that problem for you.
It's been a long time since we've seen such an egregious abuse of the freedom of the press and of sunshine laws for the stated purpose of "public safety".
And that tax hike we Californians voted for back in November working out pretty much how those of us who voted against it expected it to.
On Tuesday, California released a report that revealed state tax revenues have plummeted even further below Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D) estimates, even after residents voted to increase taxes via Proposition 30 in November’s elections.
At the end of November, “taxes were 3% short in the fiscal year that started in July,” which is “a gap of $936 million.” The state was 0.7% short a month before.
H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for the state’s Department of Finance, spun the poor numbers by saying Facebook’s stock vested earlier than expected, and “boosted October taxes higher, while decreasing November revenue.”
But the report found that tax revenues were below estimates nearly across the board, as total “year-to-date revenues are $936 million below the initial forecast.”
According to the report, personal income tax revenues were “$827 million below the month’s forecast of $4.387 billion.” Sales and use tax receipts “were $9 million below the month’s forecast of $1.601 billion” and the year-to-date sales tax revenue was $8 million below forecast.
Not surprisingly, corporate tax revenues were also down, $175 million below the month’s estimate and year-to-date corporate tax revenues were $441 below estimate.
As more of California’s taxpaying residents and businesses flee the state due to its burdensome taxes and regulations, California’s government loses out on their tax dollars. Meanwhile, the state government continues to spend more on various programs even as the state has fewer taxpayers to pick up its tab.
All the class warfare aside, you simply cannot tax your way to prosperity.
And a news item that needs no commentary:
Enviro-guru, Al Gore, sells Current TV to Al-Jazeera of crude oil-besotted Gulf state, Qatar; nets himself a cool $100 million.
B-Daddy of the Liberator Today is in a reflective mood and ponders some re-branding of the tea party:
I started this blog to champion the principles upon which our nation was founded, as informed by my Christian belief. I intend to champion free markets, free trade, and freedom of speech, equal justice for all human beings and a constitutional republic with powers of the government strictly limited. I will propose paths forward for those who believe that expanding government is the chief threat to the freedom and wealth of the world today.
Again, we've never capitalized "tea party" as we've always felt the movement to be about ideas rather than any sort of corporate entity much less a wing or a subset of the Republican Party. Go to the link as B-Daddy fleshes our shared opinion of the matter.
OK, gang, that's it for today. We'll see you all tomorrow.