I'LL GLADLY PAY YOU TUESDAY...
Re: Philip Klein's Paulson's Instant Gratification:
In the midst of the debate, "Paulson's Instant Gratification" is the best and most accurate explanation of what's going on. Many thanks for the article, and I hope it is read far and wide.
-- Lydia Brownback
I doubt anyone will address this outrage any better than Philip Klein has done in this article. The selfish, self-centered, reckless, irresponsible and hypocritical attitudes and policies of baby-boomer liberals are now manifesting themselves in this particular crisis, the Social Security entitlement mess and others. Ever since these spoiled brats screamed and pouted their way to power starting in the 1960s they have been rigging things so they can take, take, take. Now, those in the next generation(s) who work for a living are going to once again pay for their social experiments while they feel none of the pain because, like Social Security, they will be sure to prop things up with our money just long enough for them to take what's "theirs" while they laugh behind the backs of the rubes like me who don't have the power to stop them.
At one basic level conservatism is about first behaving responsibly as an individual, then taking personal responsibility for your actions and decisions, and dare I say it, having due regard for how your actions and decisions may affect others and our nation/community at large. If I wasn't so angry about this mountain of cash we are about to throw into the money burning furnace that is the federal government I'd be weeping over how selfishness, instant gratification and irresponsibility seem to have become the norm under the "leadership" of these people.
Your Mr. Klein blames the culture of instant gratification, easy money policy of the Federal Government, and the greed of Wall Street for the collapse of the housing boom. He forgot to mention the law, sponsored by Sen. Chris Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank (both of them strong socialists), which under Clinton threatened jail to banks refusing to lend mortgage money to the poor and the welfare recipients under "redlining" practices. So the bank complied -- no more earnings criteria, no more 10-20% down payment, no more "redlining." Shouldn't Dodd and Frank resign in shame for another failed socialist scheme? We want more details about that 1999 law (I think it was 1999) and how exactly was it pushed through Congress. Can you put somebody to task to dig out the details?
-- Marc Jeric
Las Vegas, Nevada
All the pundits, and all the talking heads and politicians from the chattering class, seem to throw this "$700 billion" around with wild abandon. Where did they come up with that figure?
When I crunched the numbers, the par value of all "bad" mortgages (whether sub-prime or not) came in at less than $250 billion. What does Paulson & Co want to do with the other $450 billion?
I agree with those who say "let the free market settle the issue." If that means AIG, Lehman, Goldman, Bear, and Morgan go out of business, so be it. Freddy and Fannie should be tossed into the ash heap of history. So far, the only post-"mess" transaction in the last 2-3 weeks that has met any constitutional muster is when Merrill Lynch was bought out by Bank of America.
By any measure, the Federal Government has overstepped its limited authority, as set in place by the founding fathers in that most famous of all documents. Both the administration and Congress should be ashamed of themselves.
-- Owen H. Carneal, Jr.
Philip Klein's analysis of America's gratification binge is correct until it gets to the bashing of Paulson's bailout. Paulson has no other choice in the short run if we are to avoid complete economic collapse. Does Mr. Klein want 10 new years of Great Depression? Neither does Paulson. But that is what we may get if Congressional Democrats and the Republican Mike Pences continue to throw sand in the gears. Paulson has a world economy to save. We all must soon enough deal with our 50-year binge, but Paulson knows that instant action is first required to save the USA and the world from immediate economic ruin.
As Milton Friedman and Ben Bernanke have stated: The Great Depression could have been averted had the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve sought and Congress had agreed in 1930 and after to fund failed banks or their depositors -- and thereafter had kept the money supply growing at a prudent rate. President Hoover would most likely have served a pleasant second term without anyone ever needing or hearing of a New Deal. Instead, the US Treasury took a tough love approach and closed failed bank after failed bank, leaving their depositors penniless. Even worse, the Fed and Treasury allowed the money supply to contract to the point that its size in 1934 was one-half the size it had in October 1929, insuring five more years of national poverty. We should thank God for Paulson and Bernanke -- rather than second-guess them. It was not they who created the current meltdown.
-- Darrel Hansen
WHAT CURRICULUM IS THAT?
Re: Ralph R. Reiland's Obama World Flunks Economics 101:
Pondering the NYT's "government-is-good-markets-are-bad ideology" prompts me to recall that the NYT thought the Soviet government was good.
-- Reid Bogie
I can't help but wonder if, and how much, George Soros is involved in the current financial crisis. After all, he was the man who "broke the Bank of England" in 1992, forcing the Conservative government of the day to withdraw the pound from the European Exchange Rates Mechanism, which ended up costing the UK some Â£3.4 billion, and dealt the British economy a severe blow. Soros made $1 billion on the deal.
Soros has made no secret of the fact he wants Obama to be elected, and he would do just about anything to see that happens. To that end, he certainly has the wherewithal and the knowledge to have engineered the current financial crisis, knowing that a crash if the US economy would be to Obama's advantage. (I'm not saying he did engineer the current mess, but, then again, such monkeyshines are not totally out of the realm of possibility.)
-- Gretchen L. Chellson
As a former corporate CEO and die-hard capitalist it pains me to see one of ours, and a professor non-the-less, make a stupid statement: "the top 1 percent of taxpayers earned 22 percent of total adjusted gross income and paid 40 percent of all federal income taxes." I know, I know, per the latest release of the IRS data etc., etc. etc.
No argument from me that the upper 1 percent and upper 25 percent of American wage earners pay more, much, much more, than their fair share of taxes. To say that the remaining American's do not pay federal income tax is a lot like denying that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west (the earth rotates around the sun of course, not vice-versa.) In both cases you are technically correct but not in the sense of what either means to normal, human beings.
The bottom 75% of Americans do pay taxes and a very significant amount of the tax burden. For example, while the so called 'social security tax' goes into a 'trust fund' it really is just a federal income tax not much different from the taxes you are talking about. Furthermore, for all practical purposes, corporate taxes flow to the consumer through either prices, or changes in quality and/or quantity of a good or service. If it where otherwise the corporation would eventually go out of business and new corporations would not be formed.
Please for your own sake Prof. Reiland, readjust your numbers and rhetoric to reflect the real picture so you don't come across as a foolish Rush Limbaugh by parsing the meaning of federal taxes.
-- Rick Pragluski
Ralph R. Reiland replies:
You're right, regarding the non-rich paying taxes other than income taxes. Like on cigarettes and alcohol -- the poor smoke more and the tax itself is regressive, i.e., a rich smoker making 100 times more than a poor smoker doesn't smoke 100 times more packs per day. But I focused solely on the income tax because the campaign news is currently focused on raising the marginal income tax rates at the top, not focused on beer taxes, etc..
Thanks for replying.
Re: Jeffrey Lord's When Will Biden Pony Up?:
Jolting Joe is to be congratulated on his generosity. As he said, when he was growing up his Catholic system of values inculcated in him made him believe that "we have to give up some of what we have to help those with less," or words to that effect.
We see from this essay that Bombastic Joe gives the almost incredible sum of $995.00 a year to charity! If you haven't done the math -- that's about .00311% of his income. It is interesting...
Joe says we must have higher taxes so we can give that to the poor. That's patriotic (I see it as an "otic" but idiotic.) says America's last Always Angry Man. I come from Angry Joe's religious denomination and nowhere in my theology is written or spoken so far as I know that we are to give money to the government to distribute to the poor. It says, Oh Vituperative One, that we are to give of ourselves -- time and treasure -- to lift the poor. No middle man, just thee and me. And Jeering Joe, I took in one-third of what you did and gave to charity six times what you did in actual American dollars.
This lack of service and charity is the hallmark of Democrats. They serve the country only in ways that enrich them. Sacrificial service is not something they embrace. I recall Donna Shalala's exultant cry of relief: "Thankfully we did not send our best and brightest to Vietnam."
Sad to think they once again might be running the entire government. Time to start digging: bury your money, guns, and bibles. Democrats are back in town.
-- Jay Molyneaux
Denver, North Carolina
I was appalled to hear Joe Biden, Obama's VP, in Ohio say that he supports clean coal for China, but not for the United States.
"No coal plants here in America," he said. "Build them, if they're going to build them, over there. Make them clean."
"We're not supporting clean coal," he said of himself and Obama.
My father is a coal miner, my grand father was a coal miner, my great grand father was a coal miner. What is wrong with the Democrat party today? I'm voting straight Republican this year. Obama/Biden disgusts me.
Here is the link to the Youtube video.
-- Fred Newbrough
Jeffrey Lord complains that Joe and Jill Biden paid only $66,273 in federal income taxes. The outrage is that Joe Biden has publicly called into question the patriotism of Rep. Charles Rangel, who, apparently, did not pay taxes on all of his income.
Doesn't he know that Rangel is a Korean War veteran?
Doesn't he know that Rangel is an African-American?
How DARE he challenge Rangel's patriotism!
-- Dan Martin
Re: The Prowler's Democratic Delay Game:
So the Prowler reveals that Democrat legislative aides have conceded a delay in passing a $700 billion or more bailout will help the Obama campaign. That begs the question, why delay only until Tuesday or Thursday? Why not delay by whatever means possible its passing until November 4th. That will simply destroy McCain/Palin and the Republicans. Such delay would effect an unambiguous ambush of the election, assuring an Obama win.
The Dems know -- as it was dramatically demonstrated by Monday's 300+ point dive -- that the stock market abhors uncertainty. An impasse of this magnitude and consequence will have a consequent effect on McCain's poll numbers. The incumbent party will always be linked with the economy into an election. We are watching the October surprise unfold in slow motion. The Dems merely need to delay passage of the bailout until Nov 4th! The market will have crashed by then and Obama's election will be a certainty. Even some Republicans like Richard Shelby are playing into this suicidal scheme, clueless to what's really going on here.
Sunday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, "Democrats will act responsibly to insulate Main Street from Wall Street." What she REALLY is saying is, "Democrats will act in any way necessary to insulate Obama from defeat." She has crafted the perfect storm to achieve this end. She and her cabal like Bernie Frank, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer and Richard Durbin and their Democrat predecessors with their compliant media lapdogs, are bringing off the supreme hat trick: in one fell swoop covering their role in creating this crisis by having passed the Community Reinvestment Act in 1977, abolishing redlining and coercing banks to make loans to people incapable of repaying them. Instead of reaping blame and shame for this sham legislation, they are turning it to their candidate's favor, using the CRA's destruction of prudent lending practices by banks to create the crisis whose solution is the socialization of banking in the US on their opponent's watch. Easy then to link the crisis to McCain. Ergo, Obama wins the election.
This is their strategy, and -- because they control Congress -- there isn't a damn thing the Republicans nor McCain can do about it. Unless, that is, this shameful scheme is exposed for what it is NOW! There still is time to reveal this monstrous coup d'etat in the making.
-- Robert Deutsch
Robert McCain repeatedly makes the claim that the media has attacked Sarah Palin unfairly, yet doesn't provide any specific examples of this. As far as I can tell, the media has accurately reported numerous facts about her political career, such as her support for millions of dollars of earmarks including the Bridge to Nowhere, her commitment to taking away a woman's right to choose an abortion even in the case of rape and incest, and various political intrigues including Troopergate.
Reporting factual information about all the candidates is what I expect from the media. And the media cannot be blamed if these facts cast some candidates in a more favorable light than others. Mr. McCain needs to quit whining.
-- Kenneth Utting
From the Ranarian Republic, Gabriel Sabbagh croaked this query -- "Who traded an unattractive wife against a rodeo beauty with a lot of money?" -- then mused: "Presumably "the other" McCain is not the right man to author a book on these flaws of the Republican Party."
Perhaps he could do one on Union pour Mouvement Populaire? Let's see, now...Nicolas Sarkozy traded an unattractive wife against a statuesque Schiaparelli model, dumped her (after being publicly cuckolded), and ushered into Palais d'Elysee a sultry singer/songwriter whose background includes being a peek-a-boo model and having serial affairs with sundry celebrities, some of whom were married.
There's a delightful French phrase maisons de verre. It seems appropriate, no?
-- David Gonzalez
I SAY, MY DEAR FELLOW
Re: Rob Johnston's letter (under "Finding Scotland") in Reader Mail's Panic City:
I lived in London for four years and traveled often to Scotland for business and pleasure. The English were out of joint about the results of devolution that resulted in Members of Parliament from Scotland voting on internal matters in England. One of the most controversial issues was Scottish votes regarding the English National Health System while not having any political accountability for these votes as Scotland had a separate National Health System that provided much better coverage than the English NHS. It was so much better that Brits who lived in England near the Scottish border would register for NHS in Scotland rather than in England. While these complaints were certainly made in England, they were occasional. I heard much more vitriol in England against the United States (and France) than against Scotland.
When I drove to Scotland, once I changed the radio station from BBC 2 to BBC Scotland, the Anti-English vitriol seemed to dominate the radio waves. England was the source of all the Scottish ills. I was surprised by sectarianism in Glasgow, but you certainly never heard anyone on radio or in the newspapers promoting it, while you did hear talk of Scottish succession in polite society. I have Catholic and Protestant friends in Scotland who have a common hatred of England.
-- Don Parnell
HILLYER'S RYDER RECORD
Re: Quin Hillyer's Easy Ryder:
When I first read your piece on Friday, I thought you delusional if not insane. This Sunday evening I think you insightful if not prescient. Please tell me McCain and the White Sox will take it all this autumn.
-- Spike Herbert