January 2, 2013

Bits Bucket for January 2, 2013

Post off-topic ideas, links, and Craigslist finds here. And check out Chomp, Chomp, Chomp by a regular poster!

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Comment by ahansen
2013-01-02 01:15:53

A blast from the past to reconsider in the two months before the Congressional can is up for re-kicking:

“If Americans were ever presented with the real bill for the total U.S. national security budget, it would actually add up to more than $1.2 trillion a year….” In truth, the “fiscal crisis” IS our military spending.


Comment by Bluestar
2013-01-02 06:55:06

“The Half-Trillion Dollar Nuclear Budget”
$640 billion on nuclear weapons and related programs over the next ten years.


Comment by oxide
2013-01-02 07:50:53

For those keeping score at home, that’s 1280 Solyndras.

Comment by goon squad
2013-01-02 08:22:04

Shut yer commie talk mouth! Green energy is for sissies. “Real American” rugged individualists drive F-350 with plastic testicles on trailer hitch. Toyota Prius is for socialist and homosexual.

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Comment by Resistor
2013-01-02 09:13:52

“F-350 with plastic testicles on trailer hitch”

F-350 with plastic steel testicles on trailer hitch

Comment by oxide
2013-01-02 09:18:51

“Real American” rugged individualists drive cost overrun F-350 with plastic testicles on trailer hitch government cheesechecks.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-01-02 08:37:42

Or about 10 million/kill.

Maybe if we gave the people we kill each 10 million dollars, we wouldn’t need to kill them.

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Comment by Steve J
2013-01-02 09:55:43

Why do we need more nuclear bombs?

Comment by Lionel
2013-01-02 19:44:41

It would seem to be more cost effective just to claim that we have them.

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Comment by Galyen
2013-01-02 10:26:09

If 10% of that money will be stolen like it happen in Iraq and Afghanistan… it will be…! more than to built mid size country…

Comment by goon squad
2013-01-02 07:21:57

Pentagon sequestration can kicked down the road for two months :)

No defense contractor left behind!

Comment by Steaming pile of human feces
2013-01-02 07:43:01

Think of it as trillions of dollars of free protection to provide a safe environment for your new house in your new gated community. A truly great value… Time to buy.

Comment by scdave
2013-01-02 08:04:35

No military sequester and the estate tax exemption is okayed at 5-mil….Whats not to like…Market up 400 points in two days…

Comment by sfbubblebuyer
2013-01-02 13:55:08

Um, the no military sequestering is what’s not to like. We need to cut the teats off the MIC or the pigs will keep suckling until the taxpayers are bled dry.

Comment by scdave
2013-01-02 14:30:01

You did not sense my sarcasm ??

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Comment by sfbubblebuyer
2013-01-02 15:48:07

Apparently not. My bad. :D

Comment by nickpapageorgio
2013-01-02 17:35:29

Your progressive messiah just gut punched the less fortunate in our country with the payroll tax. Feel better? Got to spread the wealth of the middle class and poor, wouldn’t want them keeping that extra $100 to $200 per month now would we? Bunch of hypocrites.

Comment by localandlord
2013-01-02 17:48:50

” Got to spread the wealth of the middle class and poor, wouldn’t want them keeping that extra $100 to $200 per month now would we?”

What universe do you live in where $5000 a month is poor?

Comment by nickpapageorgio
2013-01-02 18:51:23

I said middle class and poor. Besides, didn’t you and your statist progressive Obama voter friends say we should increase taxes on the rich? What universe do you live in where $5000 a month is rich?

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Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2013-01-02 19:22:48

statist progressive

yada yada yada dude. Face the facts nick. America IS progressive. You are the one who is out of touch. You are the one who’s party’s ideas are being swept into the dustbin of history.

Most Americans want a more progressive tax system.

Most Americans wanted a public health-care option.

Most Americans want their Medicare the way it is.

Most Americans want their Soc/Sec the way it is.

Most Americans want less wealth and income inequality.

Most Americans want a progressive president.

You are the dinosaur Nick. You are swimming against the current of most of America. Your decrepit, infirm and dense GOP party has won only one (1) popular presidential election in the last 6 presidential elections! 92,96,2000,2004,2008,2012 A period that will cover 24 years! Good Lord!

And your party’s leaders are too bitter and downright dumb to see the writing on the wall. Our country, America is now progressive. Snarl “progressive” this and “progressive” that all you want nick.

Your views are now firmly in the minority and are increasingly becoming more irrelevant.

Comment by nickpapageorgio
2013-01-02 21:36:28

Sorry Rio, the progressive’s run is coming to an end.

Also, I don’t have a party, only the religious left pleasures itself on party politics.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-01-02 21:48:31

You see…. the blog communists don’t know they’re communists. They really believe the thieves they anxiously defend are really on their side.

It’s sad. Even the retardicans are communists. Their motto is “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine…… now get to work.”

Comment by nickpapageorgio
2013-01-02 21:50:16

You also appear to be defending statism. Do you get off when thugs from the government violate the liberties of individuals?

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-01-02 22:10:45

‘the blog communists don’t know they’re communists. They really believe the thieves they anxiously defend are really on their side. It’s sad. Even the retardicans are communists’

Read this twice:

‘They really believe the thieves they anxiously defend are really on their side’

Comment by localandlord
2013-01-03 03:57:53

In my part of the universe 5k a month is middle class, 10K a month is rich. It is called fyover country.

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2013-01-03 07:07:57

Do you get off when thugs from the government violate the liberties of individuals?

You must nick. You must get off when thugs from the government violate the liberties of individuals.

“Citizens United” was a Repub only SCOTUS decision that grossly violates American’s liberty.

Most recent SCOTUS decisions that violate Americans liberty come from Republican appointed judges.

Our police-state is mostly a result of Repub “get tough on crime” initiatives.

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2013-01-02 18:50:44

“Bunch of hypocrites.” 2012, Paul Ryan describing his GOP base.

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-01-02 04:56:58

There was no fiscal cliff, just higher taxes, more Central Planning spending and more debt for all.

Comment by SV guy
2013-01-02 05:33:17


Nothing more than a charade.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2013-01-02 06:19:01

Grand Kabuki, Congress-style

Comment by Diogenes (Tampa, Fl)
2013-01-02 09:18:20

In spite of my misgivings about getting the usual democrat betrayal, “give us money now and will fix the spending later”, I am at least comforted by the “short term” specter of this “deal”.
In 18 days, the Enlightened One will go before the American people to be Anointed as the Wise One who will guide us to prosperity and freedom.
What will be his proposal.
We all know that he will point his finger at Congress and say they have failed the American People and “there is much work to be done.”
The question will be: Where are the proposed CUTS that are needed for fiscal salvation of America? We he proposed cuts to entitlements?
Will he provide a “plan”.
Remember last time, he appointed a Commission so he could pass any blame onto the Committee. Then, he decided any spending cuts didn’t suit him, so he passed on the Simpson-Bowles plans. The Committee to save America.
So, let’s see, if for the first time, this president can take any leadership role or will he simply obfuscate about the needs of America, condescend on the Congress as not “doing their job” and work with Harry Reid to make any Proposal to CUT SPENDING……dead on arrival. I expect the fiscal problems will be overshadowed by other programs like making illegal aliens legal, and working on massive “infrastructure” programs (i.e. pork for buddies).
Will America even be looking, or will the brain-dead, media-induced, trance of leadership denial overcome the masses once again?
Maybe the media will finally ask O bama, what is HIS plan to reduce the DEFicit.
I wait. I watch. Will we finally “get it” this time?

Comment by Steve J
2013-01-02 09:57:37

You sound like you are still bitter that Romney lost.

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Comment by sfbubblebuyer
2013-01-02 14:00:47

Hey, some of us who are ecstatic that the Romney chameleon d-bag lost are annoyed that we haven’t seen the cuts materialize as well. I was hoping we’d at LEAST get the military budget frozen, if not outright cut, and Social Security retirement ages reindexed for current demographics. Also, Medicare needs work. Unfortunately, the RIGHT way to fix medicare funding, to make it universal single payer coverage, is apparently unpalatable to America still. Insurance works best when you have a large risk pool filled with high and low risk patients and no profit motive. What we have is publicly funded high-risk patient insurance and private profit driven insurance for low-risk patients (the ones that pay in!)

Comment by Diogenes (Tampa, Fl)
2013-01-02 14:20:19

With me, it’s not an issue that “romney lost”.
It’s about using the SAME metrics when reviewing a person’s position.
The Criticism from the “Media” was that ROMNEY didn’t give “Specifics”. He said he would work with Congress to come up with specific cuts.
Neither did Obama, so the Criticism is just a political ploy to favor Obama.
But, more importantly, O Bumma said, consistently that he favored a “balanced approach”, meaning more taxes AND CUTS in SPENDING.
Well, PUT the CARDS on the TABLE.
What cuts do you propose??
WE all know the answer. He will not propose any. He will criticize Republicans for not “moving forward” with more spending, and His Plan which we have to “pass, so we can know what is in it”>
Where are the CUTS for the “balanced” approach.
Where are the “media” in asking for answers??
Doing what they usually do, diverting embarrassing questions to other topics.
What ever happened in BENGHAZI? HuuuMMM? Oh. Hillary is “sick”. Critical. CAn’t talk. Most of us saw that one coming.

Comment by nickpapageorgio
2013-01-02 16:35:22

“You sound like you are still bitter that Romney lost.”

You sound like a statist progressive who looks at our country as some kind of political game.

Comment by scdave
2013-01-02 10:30:00

so he passed on the Simpson-Bowles plans ??

Yeah, well so did Paul Ryan….

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Comment by Rental Watch
2013-01-02 11:45:42

Yes, but the difference is that Paul Ryan wanted to tweak the plan to make it work, not ignore it altogether.

Ryan’s problem with the plan was that he didn’t think the math worked. Specifically, the plan calls for the elimination of the business deduction for healthcare benefits, and Ryan was concerned that once that deduction was eliminated, the number of businesses offering healthcare benefits would shrink, thus increasing the cost of Obamacare. The Simpson/Bowles projection included all the increased revenue from taking away the deduction, but Ryan believed it underestimated the cost of Obamacare because of this consequence of taking the deduction away. This meant that the plan as-is wouldn’t reduce the deficit as described.

Apparently when Obama’s staff invited all the members of the Simpson Bowles commission to a speech at George Washington U, Ryan’s initial thought was optimism that the S/B plan would be the topic on how they were going to make it, or something like it work…unfortunately, the speech was lambasting Ryan’s Budget (with him in the audience)…further screwing up the relationship between Obama and House Republicans.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-02 11:57:00

the number of businesses offering healthcare benefits would shrink, thus increasing the cost of Obamacare

How would fewer businesses offering health bennies make Obamacare more expensive?

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-01-02 12:13:00

It would add to the number of people who get subsidies from the US government to pay for their health insurance.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-02 13:06:12

It would add to the number of people who get subsidies from the US government to pay for their health insurance.


Comment by scdave
2013-01-02 14:34:29

Yes, but the difference is that Paul Ryan wanted to tweak the plan to make it work, not ignore it altogether ??

Nice but one could say the same about Obama not embracing it…Dio wants to put all the blame on Obama…You want to justify Ryan’s rejection of it…It cuts both ways…

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-01-02 14:37:13

If you don’t get health insurance from your employer (Ryan surmised that without the deduction, more employers would cease this benefit), you are required by law to buy it on the private market.

If your income isn’t high enough, the government gives you assistance in forms of tax credits, tax breaks, etc., so you CAN buy insurance on the private market.

The employer is only required to pay a penalty if you are full-time (officially). Whether that penalty paid to the government is enough to make up for the tax credits, etc. provided BY the government is an open question, and unanswerable until you know how employers are going to try to get around the penalties prescribed in the law.

Since only businesses over a certain size are required to provide health insurance, you can be assured that they would stop providing coverage with the elimination of the deduction at a much higher rate than those who would be hit with penalties otherwise.

You can also assume though that employers will seek to minimize their exposure to the penalties, and that individuals buying health insurance will seek to maximize the kind of insurance they get while minimizing their direct out of pocket expense (implicit in this is maximizing what the government will pay them).

On day one, the way to pay for this was primarily penalties from businesses that don’t offer insurance, but also 3.8% additional tax on investment income for the 1%.

You seem to imply that I’m missing something here (as would Paul Ryan)…if so, what is missing?

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-01-02 14:52:41

Embracing it “as-is” is one thing.

Embracing the overall concepts, but adjusting it to your own liking is another.

Rejecting it for specific reasons, and proposing and fighting for a different solution is something different yet.

Obama did none of the above, and for that I blame him for lack of leadership on his own debt/deficit commission. He did note a desire to do something along the lines of the commission in his acceptance speech at the Dem Convention, but so far, he has had two opportunities to use a moment of fiscal crisis to push forward such a plan (the first debt ceiling debate, and the fiscal cliff), and so far he has progressed the discussion little in the direction of Simpson Bowles (which would reform tax code and entitlements). He will have another opportunity in February/March.

You might say that Obama did propose an alternative plan, his budget, that went 0-414 in the House, and 0-99 in the Senate–either not a serious budget, or he’s unable to get even minor support from Democrats on it.

I hope I’m proven wrong and he can lead on the matter, but so far, he’s 0 for 2 (if not 3–if you count when the report first came out) in my book.

Ryan gave a specific reason for rejecting the plan (which presumably could have been addressed in an amendment to the plan), and proposed something else as well (which, unlike Obama’s plan, which got no Democratic support, got nearly all GOP members of the House voting in favor).

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-02 17:30:30

How many people currently:

A) Work for a small employer of 50 or less. (All larger employers will have to provide health care to their employees, or pay a fine to cover any gov subsidy.)

B) Have employer provided health care insurance.


C) If they lost their coverage, would make so little that they’d be on government subsidies to afford health insurance.

I’m guessing very few, unless I’m overlooking some group?

Comment by polly
2013-01-02 17:34:20

You guys are actually missing the entire thing.

There were procedural requirements in place so that if S-B came out of the committee with 18 (I think) votes from the committee members, it would have to be voted on in the Senate and House, up or down, with no amendments. But Paul Ryan stopped that by making sure it wouldn’t get the 18 votes in the committee. So if Congress had tried to bring S-B up for a vote, it would have been open season on everything.

Deciding not to have that fight at that time was pretty much the same thing as deciding not to come up with a whole brand new package to fight over. Nothing that could have come out of the amendment process would have looked anything like the original S-B. Nothing. And with the election still coming up, there was no way that anyone could have put together something that would have passed both the House and the Senate.

Once everyone knows that neither side is going to win, they usually cancel the game. Guess what happened?

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-01-02 18:43:21


I’m not missing your point. You rightfully note the practical situation for the up/down vote (even if the plan got the votes). I’m simply noting that there was no support rallying at any level for any part of the plan from the White House following the release of the report.

3 GOP voted against, 4 Democrats against. Obama was given the longest runway possible before an election to try to take that plan and do SOMETHING with it (or any elements of it)…which is why the plan was released in December 2010, and not before the 2010 election…in the two years he had, he didn’t move the ball forward at all, on any aspect of the plan…and he ran for re-election on tax policy that was opposite the plan. If the excuse for not fighting for the plan (or any parts of it) is “there is an election coming up”, then Obama is the wrong person for the fight, since there is always an election coming up if your timeframe for worrying about an election is two years.

Don’t know the Democrats’ reason for opposition, but I believe all three GOP gave the healthcare reason (Woodward documents where Simpson, thinking the “no” reason was Norquist based, went to meet Ryan to lambaste him over being an idealogue…until he was given the reason–which he felt was an honest reason).

And according to Woodward’s book, Ryan wrote a statement to append to the final report:

“The Fiscal Commission has been a success,…Although I could not support the plan in its entirety, many of its elements surely are worthy of further pursuit.”

If this isn’t an invitation to Obama to continue working on this as the solution, I don’t know what is…and certainly underscores Ryan’s belief that Obama was going to pick up the ball and tweak the plan to try to get it through when he spoke at George Washington U (Speech was in April 2011…long before the 2012 election).

And Obama said (again re-quoted from Woodward’s book): “The commission’s majority report includes a number of specific proposals that I–along with my economic team–will study closely in the coming weeks as we develop our budget and priorities for the coming year.”

Have any specific proposals come out of that “study”ing? I saw nothing…and I’ve been looking, since the day the S/B report came out, I’ve been a proponent.

Obama himself told Woodward that it was a death sentence to take the plan to a vote (as you suggest), but that the framework was the right one…he’s done nothing with the framework.

And with this most recent “fiscal cliff”…there is NO further elections for Obama, and he again diverted widely from any aspect of the S/B plan…of course I understand there was very little time, but he could have taken steps toward a S/B type solution in a deal with Boehner…but we got more can kicking–led by the Senate, not the White House.

Employers with fewer than 50 employees? 5.8 Million (96% of all businesses).
This representing 34 million workers.

Apparently 4 of the 5.8 million small businesses can get some tax credits to go toward the cost of healthcare, but only if they pay a fair amount of the premiums.

Source: Whitehouse report called “The Affordable Care Act Increases Choice and Saving Money for Small Businesses”

I can’t find the answer to your second two questions quickly, but let’s say of these 34 million workers, many have families that would also be covered under Obamacare if they fell through the cracks. You can see why, based on Woodward’s book, Ryan was concerned with Obamacare needing to support a lot more people than it planned for if the healthcare deduction was eliminated for businesses. $1,000 subsidy per person per year (not an unreasonable amount at less than $100 per month per person) is $10B per extra million people covered per decade. How many more would need to be covered under Obamacare (some part of 34 million PLUS family members) if the deduction was eliminated for all businesses?

5 million? 10 million? 25 million?

Whether you like him or not, you must admit that Ryan had a point.

Large employers can get out of this requirement by cutting hours, making their employees “part time”…see plenty of restaurants playing this game.

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2013-01-02 10:30:01

Will we finally “get it” this time?

Twice isn’t enough for you to “get it” yet?

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Comment by Happy2bHeard
2013-01-02 12:06:15

I thought Simpson-Bowles was DOA in Congress.

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Comment by Rental Watch
2013-01-02 12:19:02

Simpson Bowles never made it to Congress…there was nobody but Simpson, Bowles and a few congressmen to lead on the matter. Apparently Simpson and Bowles have now taken their framework and turned it into legislative language…they are now doing the legwork to try to get enough support to push it through the legislative process.

Notably absent from this effort (other than a few lines here and there in speeches) is Obama.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-02 13:11:15

The problem with Simpson Bowles is that it’s rooted in supply side economic theory. The creators admit it is based on the idea that lower tax rates will spur economic growth. These lower rates are made possible by cutting entitlement programs.

Sound familiar? It’s supply-sider dogma, with a sheen of bipartisan/let’s-get-real BS over it.

“Just a little more wealth disparity will fix everything.”

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-01-02 14:23:58

From what I’ve read, the lower rates are allowed by the elimination of deductions/loopholes, and making capital gain tax rates the same as income tax rates.

The plan is part raising revenue, part cutting spending (through entitlement changes/reform).

Where do you hear that the lower rates are made possible by entitlement programs? Again, from what I read, the plan is rooted in the belief that we need to get spending down to approximately 21% of GDP (down from about 25%), and revenues up to approximately 18-19% of GDP (up from approximately 15%).

The tax and entitlement reforms are meant to cut spending and increase revenues.

I have yet to hear a better plan (Ryan’s is too far right for my taste, and Obama’s so far is some undefined promise of reform, but absolute revenue increases).

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-02 18:00:37

The lower tax rates on individuals and corporations are made possible by:

$785 billion in new revenues from tax reform by lowering income and corporate tax rates and broadening the base by eliminating tax expenditures. An additional $210 billion in revenue is also raised in other revenue by switching to the Chained-CPI and an increase in the federal gasoline tax

$341 billion in federal health care savings by reforming the Sustainable Growth Rate for Medicare, repeals the CLASS Act (which has already happened), increase Medicare cost sharing

$215 billion in other mandatory savings by moving to the Chained CPI for all inflation-indexed programs

$238 billion in Social Security reform…by slowing benefit growth for high and medium-income workers, increase the early and normal retirement age to 68 by 2050 and 69 by 2075 by indexing it to longevity, index cost of living adjustments to the Chained-CPI,

In other words, austerity for the middles and the poors, tax cuts for the rich.

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-01-02 19:01:20

@Alpha, read the report. Tax revenues from individuals go up–there are no tax cuts in the S/B plan.

To shrink the deficit, you need to increase revenues or cut costs, or a combination of both.

If you do the math, you will see that there are not enough rich people to tax (this is not solely a GOP view, but the view of those from the left as well).

They lower income tax rates, increase capital gains rates, cut deductions, and reform corporate taxes…the net effect of this is raising revenues from individuals and corporations by $785 Billion from 2012 to 2020.

Gas tax increase adds $114B.
Chained CPI adds $96B.
Discretionary Spending Caps (not Social Security or Healthcare cuts) yields $1.66 Trillion in savings.
Adding Healthcare Reform and other items adds only about $560 Billion in savings.

On Social Security, they raise $138B by increasing the cap on Wages faster than the current plan (ie. making those who make more, pay more).
Go to Chained CPI, which saves $89B
Other changes are another $11B in savings.

Net of $238B increase in the SS Trust Fund…MORE of this comes from increases in tax than reduction in benefits.

The rest of the $4.1T in savings comes from lowering the amount of interest we pay on the debt.

This is page 65 of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform report, titled “The Moment of Truth”.

The detail is on the prior pages. Read it.

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2013-01-02 19:24:25

If you do the math, you will see that there are not enough rich people to tax

Your point is irrelevant and a smokescreen to take the eye off the ball.

Taxing the rich people will help a lot.

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-01-02 19:49:39

No, my point is not irrelevant.

Alpha is implying that the Simpson Bowles cuts taxes (ie. a handout to the rich), to raise revenue via growth.

The truth is that Simpson Bowles raises revenue through tax reform (ie. taxing the wealthy more–the big one is lumping capital gains in with regular income, so the highest tax brackets pay 28%, not 15%, now 20% on capital gains).

And taxing the rich does help a lot. I agree.

However, my point is that raising this revenue only solves part of the problem…you need to also make real cuts–most of which Simpson-Bowles puts NOT on entitlement, but with caps on discretionary spending.

You think I’m saying that we can cut our way to a deficit solution…I’m not saying that at all, and neither does Simpson/Bowles.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-03 05:53:57

Tax revenues from individuals go up–there are no tax cuts in the S/B plan.

The revenues supposedly go up, because they lower top rates on individuals and corporations, and supposedly this will increase tax revenue- classic supply-sider nonsense.

Why is Simpson Bowles so obsessed with lowering top rates on the wealthy (already at near historic lows) if its goal is reducing the deficit?

Why should entitlements be cut at the same time rates on the richest go down- as they would under Simpson Bowles?

Only explanation? Supply-sider economics.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-03 05:57:49

Simpson Bowles cuts taxes [on the rich] to raise revenue via growth

Supply-sider dogma. Exactly what Reagan et al told us when we started down this path of financial deregulation and wealth disparity.

Comment by Martin
2013-01-02 05:42:16

It is all a rigged game. First they passed a law last year to fix the debt problem. Now they repeal it with whatever makes sense now. No spending cuts yet? I hope there are spending cuts and Rep do not raise the debt ceiling.

Comment by tresho
2013-01-02 05:52:53

I hope there are spending cuts and Rep do not raise the debt ceiling.
There will be no spending cuts. Ever.

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-01-02 06:12:53

The mania will die last at the center.

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Comment by Happy2bHeard
2013-01-02 12:33:57

“I hope there are spending cuts and Rep do not raise the debt ceiling.”

The potential damage caused by the fiscal cliff would have paled in comparison to the potential damage caused by a refusal to raise the debt ceiling. Refusal to raise the debt ceiling will cause a downgrade in our credit rating and an increase in interest costs for debt already incurred. This will require even more spending cuts and/or revenue increases to reduce the deficit.

Any spending cuts the Republicans will approve of are guaranteed to be the ones that will hurt working people the most. They will not approve of any cuts to defense.

If the Republicans had their way, this country would be a military machine and anything not related to military spending would be cut.

Comment by nickpapageorgio
2013-01-02 17:44:32

“If the Republicans had their way, this country would be a military machine and anything not related to military spending would be cut.”

Is that what your progressive professors taught you? Do you realize how juvenile and ridiculous you sound?

The statist machine created by both parties is out of control.

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Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2013-01-02 06:13:41

Did you get a piece of the ‘fiscal cliff’ relief rally?

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2013-01-02 06:17:33

Jan. 2, 2013, 8:11 a.m. EST
U.S. stock futures soar on ‘cliff’ pact; ISM ahead
Zipcar’s shares jump in the premarket on buyout deal with Avis
By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch

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MADRID (MarketWatch) — U.S. stock-market futures moved sharply higher Wednesday, as the first trading day of the year kicked off with welcome news of Washington lawmakers’ last-minute to avert the fiscal cliff.

Comment by Hard Rain
2013-01-02 05:30:46

Of course not, people are stupid and the government is corrupt.

For some in region, losing a home wasn’t the end

“This is the leading edge you’re seeing right now,” said John Hughes, a broker with Guidant Realty in Rocklin who has helped a number of foreclosed homeowners buy new houses.

Among them is Paresh Patel, a mortgage executive who went through a bankruptcy and foreclosure during the housing crash.

Patel and his wife owed $529,000 on a house they bought during the boom years. But its value fell to less than $399,000 even as Patel’s income dried up.

Major state and federal programs to help homeowners hadn’t kicked in yet, and there was little they could do in terms of refinancing or lowering their payments.

“We had to just walk away,” Patel said.

Then, in the summer of 2011, they closed on a new 2,700-square-foot house in Rocklin for $330,000. It was nearly three years to the day after their foreclosure.

The timing was no accident. Three years is the minimum time it takes for foreclosed homeowners to qualify for a loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration.

With the FHA loan they needed just a 3.5 percent down payment and were able to take advantage of government incentives to buy a newly built home, complete with rooftop solar panels, Patel said.

They used only $3,000 of their own money, and their mortgage payment of $1,400 a month is $300 less than what they had been paying in rent for a smaller home, he said. They even built up equity this year as home prices rose.

“It was actually a really good transaction,” Patel said.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/12/25/5075291/losing-a-home-wasnt-the-end.html#storylink=cpy

Comment by oxide
2013-01-02 06:13:23

Yesterday I learned a new word:

Poors: shortened form of “poor people;” someone who is low income. Used in a sentence: “Lol at sweating bullets over what an alternator costs. That’s for poors who would be better off without a car.”

Thank you, joesmith. I learn something new every day, both about language and about people.

Comment by tresho
2013-01-02 06:25:01

sweating bullets over what an alternator costs.
A car owner who has to sweat bullets over replacing an alternator IS poor.

Comment by joesmith
2013-01-02 07:34:50


Comment by jane
2013-01-02 18:23:36

Joe, there is a concept known as “class”. You were supposed to have been acculturated during your tenure as an undergrad, but I don’t see much of it in yore comments there. Said as a genuine Ivy grad: you’re not doing much for the brand.

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Comment by Diogenes (Tampa, Fl)
2013-01-02 09:26:58

A car owner who has to sweat bullets over replacing an alternator IS poor……..

That is a statement that cannot be supported by facts. I’ve seen lots of people driving around in Lexus luxury cars with 22″ “gangsta” rims ($2000) in add ons, and live on government support.
Are they poor?
Poverty is a widely misused term.
They claim not to have money to “fix” the car, but they had money to put on needless crap and to buy a car that “rich” people should be driving.
And don’t forget the “BOOM” box stereo system.
You need that HIGH POWER amplification to disturb other drivers and disrupt quiet “hoods”.

Comment by tresho
2013-01-02 09:34:58

Those ‘gangsta’ rims were rented.

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Comment by Diogenes (Tampa, Fl)
2013-01-02 09:39:10

So, “renting” is not “spending”?
Oh, I see, it only cost $100/month instead of the $2000 cash. It’s even worse than buying.

Comment by goon squad
2013-01-02 09:36:53

that’s Racist®

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Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-02 10:09:46

I’ve seen lots of people driving around in Lexus luxury cars with 22″ “gangsta” rims ($2000) in add ons, and live on government support.

You can just tell they live on gov support? Or do you assume it? (Let me guess, you were behind one in line, buying t-bones with his SNAP card…yadda yadda.)

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Comment by goon squad
2013-01-02 10:41:02

The meme shall not be challenged!

The only people who pay taxes are white.

The only people on food stamps are black/brown.

It’s true, it was in a Breitbart article linked from the Drudge Report.

Comment by Diogenes (Tampa, Fl)
2013-01-02 14:12:56

No one said anything about “race”. How did you guys come to this conclusion?
Is there something “societal” wherein you can deduce that what I have written applies to particular racial groups?
If so, then you must have “racist” attitudes.
Imagine that.

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-01-02 06:34:39

‘That’s for poors who would be better off without a car’

Ha ha, that crazy joesmith, always putting people down who don’t make much money! LOL! Like when he said a $20,000 raise was chump change. Ha ha! Stupid “poors” should just walk, huh? Or better yet, CRAWL, ha ha! And then (he’s so funny) watch him get on his high horse about capitalism or something. It’s almost like he has no sense or manners, LOL.

Comment by bungabunga
2013-01-02 06:41:45

Another Obama voter who hates poor people. How many are there?

Comment by joesmith
2013-01-02 07:27:28

Poors is more about poverty of mindset/values than anything else. Practically synonymous with “dumbs”.

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Comment by azdude
2013-01-02 08:09:42

can you be rich without federal reserve notes?

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-02 08:16:08

Never been poor have you?

Love your posts and insider information, but you know nothing about being poor.

I know quite a few people with great skills, credentials, work ethic and education who lost their jobs and were poor for several years.

Some never fully recovered.

Their mindset had nothing to do with their company going bankrupt, job being sent overseas, divorce, unexpected tragedy or the serious illness they contracted and the ever shrinking decent paying jobs.

Comment by goon squad
2013-01-02 08:31:05

ecofeco stop being such a buzzkill with the class warfare and politics of envy again. Your looser friends need to get bootstrapping and Horatio Alger themselves out of the gutter and stop being such crybaby loosers!

Comment by joesmith
2013-01-02 08:33:34

Again, this is about the mindset, not financial poverty. There are people who have tough circumstances for sure. This is something that society needs to address, to create a situation where a safety net is in place that leaves incentives for people to work their way up and where infrastructure provides reasonable transportation access to job opportunities. Public education is another important key. I’d argue that national single payer health care is in there as well.

I’ve also repeatedly stated that our tax code is ridiculous in that relatively small tax breaks are dangled to the working poor and lower middle class, yet massive tax breaks go towards rent-seeking businesses which lobby heavily for regulations that freeze out real competition.

Again, for the last time (today, anyway) I’ll say it: If you don’t have $250 for some type of routine car repair, you’d probably be better off without the car. The mindset of a poors is week to week, check to check.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-02 08:35:47

You’re right. I’ll never make the “right” insider connections and find a good patron with that attitude.

Woe is me. :lol:

Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-01-02 08:38:46

I prefer “dulls” to “dumbs”. It also encompasses the complete lack of creativity or individuality.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-02 10:03:59

The mindset of a poors is week to week, check to check.

Possibly because being poor makes it hard to make good long-term financial decisions.

It’s not that the poor don’t think enough about money…it’s that they think about it too much. Shafir likes to cite a survey the researchers did at Boston’s South Station. They asked arriving train passengers what the starting fare is on Boston taxis. Rich travelers take more cabs than poor ones, but low-income respondents were much more likely to know what it costs to take a cab, because in thinking about the decision between taking a cab or a bus, a couple of dollars one way or another really matters. This attentiveness ensures that they have enough cash to finish the day, but all of these immediate distractions—deciding whether to buy a muffin or some other minor indulgences; comparison shopping cereal brands; calculating and recalculating expected expenses against a dwindling bank balance—threatens to leave no mental space to consider the bigger picture of managing finances for the long-term. (The time-scarce similarly expend so much effort dealing with the minutiae of getting through the day that they fail to think about making their lives less harried and more productive in the future.)


Comment by oxide
2013-01-02 11:17:17

Another facet: the “poors” is more like to know his cab fare because he counts out cash money to pay for it. A rich guy just swipes a credit/debit card without looking at the meter.

I guess Shafir run across any staffers from the former Romney campaign. :razz:

Comment by rms
2013-01-02 14:04:13

“I know quite a few people with great skills, credentials, work ethic and education who lost their jobs and were poor for several years.”

FWIW, your friends weren’t poor, they were short of money; there’s a huge difference. A poor person could win the lotto and be broke within a year.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-01-02 07:36:46

I think an amazing number. I grew up lower middle class so I can relate to not having enough for an alternator. After law school, I could have taken a law firm position but I refused since in the natural resource law world it means representing the worse polluters.
I believe in the responsible development of natural resources. So I took the job as a environmental regulator and protected the environment and the jobs of workers. Many of my “liberal” classmates talked about being environmentalists but ended up taking the firm jobs for the higher pay. Only a few worked for environmental organizations. I respect them and pick up a few checks for them since they were true to their expressed beliefs.

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Comment by joesmith
2013-01-02 10:58:54

Why didn’t you become a boot strapping job creator like your boy Mittens?

Comment by ahansen
2013-01-02 12:14:10

“…So I took the job as a environmental regulator….”

Who doesn’t believe in anthropogenic climate change and uses an arbitrary starting point to mask a long-term trend as his primary argument.


Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-01-02 12:52:56

420,000 years is arbitrary? We are colder than any peak during interglacial period during the last 420,000 years. As I pointed out and provided a link, the AGW did not think it was arbitrary to use 1998, that is why the lied about, manipulated data and pressured scientific journals not to publish people that pointed out that the warming stopped contrary to the models.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-01-02 12:56:23

You see I care enough about the working class that I do not want to impose higher energy prices on them for the purpose of an elitist agenda. Must be nice A Hansen to be a trust fund baby where you do not have to worry about such things.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-01-02 13:11:30
Comment by alpha-sloth
Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-01-02 13:22:57

“AGW believers” instead of just AGW above.

Have to go, traveling today but I can’t wait to the hard data comes out about the average global temperature for the 2012. We already know that the December to November average was .53 C (above the 1951-80 totals )compared to .59 in 1998. Funny when people first pointed out that we were cooler than other periods in the last 420,000 years, it was said that the 1979-1998 period was conclusive proof that it was man made and not nature but an over 15 year period is now not considered significant. However, their efforts to hide the data shows otherwise.

Comment by ahansen
2013-01-02 11:58:57

joesmith is not rich; he lives in that nether world between the functionaries and the masters. And as such, he is a valuable translator for those of us stuck on whatever slightly-lower rung we’ve found ourselves stuck upon.

Solidly middle class sprung from the solid middle class, he is the “meritocracy” who epitomizes the upwardly-mobile mindset. I see nothing particularly snotty about his attitudes, a little naive maybe, but not mean-spirited at all, and given the milieu in which he works, I’d say he’s pretty damned egalitarian.

Why the resentment? He’s young, he’s enthusiastic, he’s got some fine ideas and observations. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and see where he goes with this? After all, he’s paying SS benefits for some of us….

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Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-02 12:08:55

I’m not going to forgive him unless he agrees to pay for one year’s worth of repairs on my car. And I get to pick the year.

Comment by ahansen
2013-01-02 12:26:31

LOL. Excellent.

Comment by Northeastener
2013-01-02 13:13:33

joesmith is not rich… I see nothing particularly snotty about his attitudes

He’s stated himself that he’s in the top 2-3% in previous posts. That puts his household income in the $250+ bracket. Seems pretty wealthy to me…

He is constantly talking down to others here and his “superiority complex” comes through in every post… he obviously thinks he’s special because:

1. He is a lawyer.
2. He makes more money than 97% of Americans
3. He attended an ivy league University.

In reality, he’s nothing special.He comes off as a limousine liberal, knocking anyone who eschews conservative values, hard work, etc. His attitudes towards those less well off than him are disturbing. His political stance is inconsistent given he has stated he’s a “conservative”, but agrees with every liberal talking point put forward. As far as I’m concerned, he can take a long walk off a short pier, as there is nothing of value in his posts and his constant knocking of those viewed “inferior” to him get’s tiresome.

You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your f******g khakis. You’re the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-02 13:18:07

He’s stated himself that he’s in the top 2-3% in previous posts. That puts his household income in the $250+ bracket. Seems pretty wealthy to me…

He is constantly talking down to others here and his “superiority complex” comes through in every post

You pretty much just described yourself there, no, Mr. Boot Strapping Job Creator?

Comment by oxide
2013-01-02 14:07:50

knocking anyone who eschews conservative values, hard work, etc.

I don’t think “eschew” means what you think it means. I think you meant “advocate for.”

Comment by joesmith
2013-01-02 14:13:16

Your problem with me is that I’m not conservative in the way you are “conservative”. And it’s amplified because you desparately want to be a “job creating” “boot strapper” but are misguided and think that the way to do that is to write some cra**y app in your spare time. Meanwhile, what the GOP defends as “bootstrapping” is rent-seeking small business owners who pay lawyers and accountants instead of American workers.

A better word for my views would be classical liberal, however there is some progressive mixed in. I don’t much care for your views against same sex marriage, a woman’s right to choose, immigration, etc. Too bad you’re more of a Koch Brothers Conservative. Get over it.

Comment by joesmith
2013-01-02 15:41:09

Most tea-billies envision themselves as “job creators” and “bootstrappers” when they are neither.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-01-02 15:58:32

Some of the ones I’ve known do manage to create a few of the least desirable jobs that I’m aware of.

Comment by nickpapageorgio
2013-01-02 17:48:58

“Another Obama voter who hates poor people. How many are there?”


They not only hate, but also ridicule.

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Comment by Blue Skye
2013-01-02 06:53:22

Alternators these days are self exciting.

Comment by azdude
2013-01-02 07:15:37

I took apart this generator and it had a portion of the windings dedicated to excitement. unfortunatley the windings hit the armature and melted part of the copper wire. almost impossible to fix. windings cost more than generator was worth so basically sold the motor off of it and moved on.

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Comment by ahansen
2013-01-02 14:39:14

Thanks to the benevolence of inadvertent placement, that’s positively Chauncey Gardiner-esque.

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Comment by Blue Skye
2013-01-02 16:15:47

except that it wasn’t inadvertent…

Comment by polly
2013-01-02 17:40:48

I love that movie.

Comment by joesmith
2013-01-02 07:21:28

Over a lifetime, 20k is chump change*. To alter major life decisions based on 20k is ludicrous. Even for people who don’t make much. It’s a poverty of thinking.

*There are certainly better ways I could’ve expressed this. “Chump change” has a loaded connotation, obviously.

Comment by joesmith
2013-01-02 07:31:40

20k/40 yrs of work = $500/yr.

It’s worth even less when you use a 2 or 3% /yr discount rate.

I’d estimately 20k is worth about $1 a day over the course of an average person’s working life. For reasonably educated people who work hard, save, plan, don’t have an addiction, sorry but that is not a lot of money.

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Comment by tresho
2013-01-02 08:06:49

that is not a lot of money.
$20K in 2013 is like $200 in 1913, when the Fed was hatched.
In 1914 Henry Ford started paying his full-time workers $5 a day in mixed hourly & bonus compensation.

Comment by Overtaxed
2013-01-02 08:16:07

I thought he was talking about 20K/yr? That’s not “chump change” for most people..

“Like when he said a $20,000 raise was chump change”

Comment by joesmith
2013-01-02 08:25:11

No, I was speaking about 20k total. As in a lump sum. I forget the exact context, but I believe it was in regards to whether someone should be fretting about if their house might be worth 20k less when it’s time to sell. Or if they put 20k of work into the house. I was arguing that people should look at the big picture rather than the abstract idea of 20k. 20k put into a house where a person lives for 10, 20, 30 yrs is certainly not a lot of money. People should not be thinking about what a house is worth or will sell for, other than how it fits into the long term picture. The obsession of treating houses as if they were investments is ridiculous. And it’s ridiculous for BOTH housing bulls and bears. Again, it goes to one’s mindset.

Comment by polly
2013-01-02 09:13:04

If you are talking about whether a house has lost $20K of value when it is time to sell, whether that is a lot of money is entirely dependent on circumstances.

If the $20K means that you make a profit of $80K, not $100 K on the sale, then, yeah, it isn’t that meaningful.

If the $20K means that you have to bring a $20K check to the table and your total liquid assets are less than $3k, then, yeah, for a lot of people that is meaningful.

Overgeneralizing is for people who have access to capital. Not everyone does.

Comment by joesmith
2013-01-02 10:49:38

Let’s take your example and someone “pays” (signs a mortgage) for 100k for a house. 10-20 years later they absolutely need to sell the house, for whatever reason. And let’s say they sell for 80k. So they “lost” 20k.

My initial observation is, 20k is worth considerably less in 10-20 years compared to today.

Secondly, if they’re making their mortgage payments, they shouldn’t need to bring money to the table. If they’re smart and they put 10% or 20% down, the balance on their mortgage should be 50 or 60k. So they will walk with some money–not much, but some.

Thirdly and finally, the 20k they “lost” (in your scenario) is really just a sort of rental payment. If you live in a house for 10-20 years and you “pay” 20k at the end, this is nothing to cry over. The reason people cry over things like this is because they just assume “the house will pay for itself” or “the house is an investment”. Or they have magical thinking where you can own an asset, use/consume the asset (floors, bathrooms, kitchen, HVAC) without paying for it in some form at some time.

Comment by polly
2013-01-02 12:04:15

You are still talking like what you are - a person who has access to capital. And you are trying to apply your rational economic thinking to a situation where it doesn’t apply. Who cares if the $20K buys fewer loaves of bread when they have to pay it than it was when they borrowed it? They don’t have the money. They might never have $20K. And they can’t borrow it at a good rate to pay it off over 40 years. The situation I describe means bankruptcy assuming they can even afford to go bankrupt.

And it is only similar to a rental payment if someone tells them about it before the “lease” starts.

You seriously need to do some pro bono work with people who are actually poor. You are a poor excuse for a human being when think it is fine to live your life with no empathy.

Comment by polly
2013-01-02 13:02:27


You are a miserable excuse for a human being when you think it is fine to live your life with no empathy.

Comment by joesmith
2013-01-02 13:17:42

I do have empathy, but I became sickened over the past 18-24 months by the rah-rah-Romneying, Ryan-ing, and Rand-ing I’ve seen from an alarming percentage of the population.

Second off, where do you get off saying I don’t have empathy? As an HBB’er, my primary m.o. is to criticize the assumptions the Right has about who *really* benefits from our tax code, our government’s spending, etc. Hint: It is most certainly not the most needy among us. I am fairly progressive, although not across the board. I’d like the see the government change its focus from fighting “wars” abroad and against (most) drugs. In place of these wars, I’d rather see the country develop some incentives so work will really make job creation and work will make sense again. Let’s be honest–right now what makes sense is only doing work in the US that needs to be in the US.

As for empathy more broadly, I’m not really sentimental or overly emotional. But this has nothing to do with not feeling for truly down and out people. Or marginalized groups (homosexuals, minorities). Which, I will note that numerous HBBers regularly question whether these groups are equal.

Also overlooked is the reason I have “access to capital” is because my parents actually did bootstrap. And I can tell you that what “boot strapping” means in 2012, with this tax code, doesn’t mean what it used to mean. They’d tell you the same thing–the best investment a “small business” can make in 2012 is to pay workers very little but pay accountants and lawyers lavishly. As lavishly as 2banana thinks Linda the Lunchlady lives.

Comment by joesmith
2013-01-02 13:41:38

I’m criticizing the policies that favor screwing over the working people in favor of the asset/capital class. How exactly does this lack empathy? My views are pretty progressive, so I’m missing where the lack of empathy is? This country should be waging wars for education, infrastructure, and real tax fairness but instead we wage them against “terrrrrism”, marijuana, and immigrants.

And before people get carried away defining progressive, I’ll definite it how I’m using it. I favor people’s right to do anything that doesn’t harm others or the property of others. And the government should be quite a bit smaller, but the reductions should largely be in the realm of the military. The primary difference between someone like BiLA and myself is that I’d say that a lot of the regulation done by governments is valuable. I do want a government that looks at power plant emissions, mining practices, water polution, food safety, etc.

I’m really not seeing how I lack empathy. If I was more syrupy and emotional, you’d like me more?

Comment by oxide
2013-01-02 14:10:21

“Also overlooked is the reason I have access to capital is because my parents actually did bootstrap.”

Proceeding nicely, joe.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-02 14:26:03

I’m not knocking you, I just wanted you know that your view of being poor wasn’t very accurate.

But the rest of your observations are generally dead on. I know because I’ve also worked with and for the very wealthy and they’ve often mistaken me for “one of them” and spoken very candidly in my presence.

And yes, among the poor there is a prevalence of poor attitudes. But most people can’t take the kind of beat down that being poor brings. Most of the family murder suicides you hear about are directly money related. Specifically, the lack of and the terrifying realization that it’s out of their control after years of blaming other poor people.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-01-02 15:06:56

STFU with your partisan BS

Comment by polly
2013-01-02 15:27:47

Talking about a hypothetical poor person as if they should be grateful for owing $20K of money that they have no chance of paying at a given moment because it was just money that they didn’t have to pay before (and didn’t know about) and because that $20K can purchase few goods than it might have during the previous 10 years isn’t empathy. It is shows a profound lack of understanding of how other people live.

And I didn’t say sympathy. I’m not overly emotional myself. But if you have never looked into the eyes of another person and seen the terror they have of maybe not being able to pay a tax bill, then your dismissal of the notion that $20K is a lot of money is pathetic. Economics and psychology have finally gotten together to realize that poor people think differently than well off or middle class people for several perfectly valid reasons. Risks are much higher for the poor. Making a mistake costs them more. And they are obliged to make high risk decisions constantly because even very small economic decisions can be life turning for them. They are emotionally exhausted. And you have no recognition of that at all. Saying they should just be living on less income is your favorite catch all. Nice idea if it is possible. It isn’t always. And even if it were, they are often making that high risk decision to live in a place with a higher cost of living to protect their kids.

And, honestly, I became a better person after my action became the reason a mother, watching her son die of AIDs over several miserable weeks, was able to make medical decisions for him once he slipped into a coma and the doctor was willing to tell anyone involved that he was never going to wake up again. You need that sort of experience very badly. Hating Mitt Romney and the tax system is no excuse for blaming the poor for their misery as if fixing it were just a matter of trying a little harder. You sound just like the people you claim to despise and have decided to emulate.

Comment by nickpapageorgio
2013-01-02 17:51:04

Bot Fight!!! :)

Comment by Northeastener
2013-01-02 13:16:11

Over a lifetime, 20k is chump change

Says the rich lawyer. Tell me smart guy, how much of the world’s population will even make $20k in a lifetime?

Your singular lack of empathy and your distorted views of self-worth and wealth are disgusting…

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Comment by joesmith
2013-01-02 13:23:04

My advice to the US would be to kill all the lawyers and accountants. (Maybe not all–that was hyperbole).

But you know why it will never happen? Because “small business” “job creator” “invisible hand of the free market” types are the ones who need lawyers and accountants and bankers.

Meanwhile, you enthusiastically support the “pro business” GOP party, such as your boys Romney & Ryan. You realize Romney and Ryan are both “rich lawyers” who actually hate American workers, right?

Your problem is that I tell you how your beloved Koch Brother “creators” and “bootstrappers” think. This bothers you, to see it laid out. LOL that you want your kids to grow up in a country like this is becoming. Luckily, it can’t continue like this because so many of your age retiring is going to force military cuts, tax hikes, and reprioritizing towards education and infrastructure. Meanwhile you’ll be pining for the “good old days” when Bush 43 worried about the capital gains tax burdens of his real key demographic (hint: not teabillies who supported him at the polls).

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-02 13:29:43

Meanwhile, you enthusiastically support the “pro business” GOP party, such as your boys Romney & Ryan. You realize Romney and Ryan are both “rich lawyers” who actually hate American workers, right?

I forgive you, joesmith!

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-01-02 21:43:20

‘I forgive you, joesmith”

So says the supporter of war criminals, Occupy movement destroyers and 1% backer.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-03 06:06:49

I supported the Occupy movement and its attacks against the 1% back when many here were attacking them. And I support them still.

Let’s not rewrite history.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-01-02 09:49:35

Our friend “Joe” is a typical snob attempting to twist fantasy into reality.

Comment by joesmith
2013-01-02 10:16:25

Keep sweating bullets over $250, cupcake.


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Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-01-02 10:26:04

Keep pimping inflation.


Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-02 10:31:09

Heck, if any repair on my VW had cost $250, I would have turned a cartwheel in the store. Everything was $600, or more. Everything.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-01-02 10:41:40


Comment by joesmith
2013-01-02 10:57:18

The reason this discussion over alternators started last night was my saying that I’m going to buy my wife a Honda CRV for her b-day, becuase in my experience Hondas are reliable, the parts are relatively cheap, and Hondas generally make good beater/high mileage cars.

So basically the fruitcake is complaining about $250 routine maintenance/repairs and saying I’d be throwing away money buying a Honda that will “CRATER!!!!”

In reality, I’d be super happy getting her the Honda CRV because it’s nice enough and presentable enough for my wife to drive it, yet not super expensive to fix like the alternatives she’d accept. A Honda will save a lot of money compared to an Audi or Lexus, for example.

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-01-02 10:57:48

A little jug of the special purple antifreeze is only $60.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-01-02 11:12:57

Heck, if any repair on my VW had cost $250, I would have turned a cartwheel in the store. Everything was $600, or more. Everything.

The engine thermostat on our MINI died a premature death (out of warranty). The cost just for the part was over $200.

Just for kicks, I priced a thermostat for the Buick: $14.

Comment by oxide
2013-01-02 11:20:53

Yesterday I learned a new meaning for an old word:

beater: A car that is six years old.

Comment by oxide
2013-01-02 11:27:30

presentable enough for my wife to drive

Please proceed, joe.

Comment by joesmith
2013-01-02 11:45:45

I said 6-8 years it will probably become the mileage-eating car. And I said 100k miles.

You probably don’t realize this, but a lot of people (foolish, I think) keep trading in cars every few years. I’m basically saying I would *not* trade in a Honda, I’d keep it around.

The other thing you fail to mention is that my wife and I are a 1 car couple. The CRV will be car two. It’s a very modest buy compared to the alternatives and when it hits 100k miles, it will probably replace my current car (’05 Honda) as my daily driver/mileage eater.

Either way, we’ll need a new car around that time. And I’m the one that will drive the beater. I fail to see how this is super uppity… seriously, we’re arguing about overspending or frivolousness of Hondas?

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-01-02 11:48:20

Yeah but $200 thermostats are cheap!

That’s what InflationPimpJoe is saying. What a freak.

Comment by MiddleCoaster
2013-01-02 12:27:10

beater: A car that is six years old.

OMG. My precious 2004 RX330 is a beater? Who knew.

Comment by eastcoaster
2013-01-02 12:58:39

Proud owner of a 2006 Pontiac Vibe here. Remember when they built Pontiacs? Seems like just yesterday ;-)

Paid cash for it in 2007 (had 18,000 miles on it). I hope she’s still running 8 years from now so I can give to my son when he starts driving.

Guess I’m ghetto.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-01-02 13:08:30

OMG. My precious 2004 RX330 is a beater? Who knew.

The salesman at the Lexus dealer? :-)

I wonder what percentage of Lexi are leased? I wouldn’t be surprised if more than half of new Lexus vehicles are leased.

But yeah, if you take care of your car, even if it’s 10 years old it can still be reliable and a “non-beater”.

Comment by oxide
2013-01-02 13:11:26

we’re arguing about overspending or frivolousness of Hondas?

Given that the new threshold for being allowed to own even a beater car is a $250 alternator, yes I guess we are.

Comment by oxide
2013-01-02 13:15:55

Ask, and ye shall receive from Teh Goog, if a little outdated.

“The German brands are also benefiting from a higher rate of leasing among U.S. customers than Lexus, Truecar.com’s Toprak said. More than 60 percent of Mercedes-Benz vehicles are leased, compared with less than 30 percent of Lexus vehicles, he said. ”


Comment by X-GSfixr
2013-01-02 13:16:04

Beater = A car that you have to give a “briefing” on, before other people can drive it.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-01-02 13:18:50

“But yeah, if you take care of your car, even if it’s 10 years old it can still be reliable and a “non-beater”.”

That’s right.

And doing so is like money in the bank, generally speaking. Auto loans are the bane of the middle class.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-01-02 13:22:01

So modified fast cars are a subclass of beaters…kind of makes sense I guess :-).

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-01-02 13:24:22

To me a beater is anything that I can loan out and I won’t care a whole lot if it doesn’t make it back. If they total it I’ll genuinely be happy for them that they didn’t ruin their good car. It only gets sticky when my beater is better than their good car.

Comment by MiddleCoaster
2013-01-02 14:18:09

My 2004 car has 55,000 miles on it, and even to my critical eye still looks pretty good. Think I’ll keep it a while longer. Say, another 8 years or so.

Comment by Rancher
2013-01-02 15:08:37

My Tahoe 2000 has 140k and runs perfectly, while my 1976 Chevy 3/4 ton truck with 68k
miles runs just as well. Maintenance is your friend and will save you thousands.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-01-02 15:13:38

Well… after all… it is a Chevy and it’s 3/4. HUGH difference between it and all half’s.

Comment by polly
2013-01-02 15:32:10

” It only gets sticky when my beater is better than their good car.”

Brilliant. I consider my car a beater (97 Taurus) and it is definitely better than the “good car” of one of my friends. They rely on that thing for their business. Not only that, but I could live indefinitely without mine entirely. They couldn’t.

Comment by tresho
2013-01-02 17:29:24

I consider my car a beater (97 Taurus)
I wore out an 87 Sable Wagon and then a 90 Taurus wagon, both of which I bought new. Both of them had the fan in the cab heating system die when the cars racked 88,000 miles (+/-2,000 miles). The replacement part cost $80 at the dealer, labor would have been 4-5 hours at $70/hour due to all the parts that had to be removed & then re-installed. I did all the work myself & so saved $700 or so. That 2nd repair really went fast. Hate to think what the same repair would cost in your 97 Taurus.

Comment by polly
2013-01-02 17:49:26

Less than a year and a half left until my dad has promised to sell me the 2007 Civic. It has actually been a pretty good car for me. Still feels too big, though.

Comment by localandlord
2013-01-02 21:21:58

““But yeah, if you take care of your car, even if it’s 10 years old it can still be reliable and a “non-beater”.”

That’s right.

And doing so is like money in the bank, generally speaking. ”

But yeah, if you take care of your HOUSE, even if it’s 100 years old it can still be reliable and a “non-beater”.”

That’s right.

And doing so is like money in the bank, generally speaking.

Consider my 93 Saturn - once its hydraulic clutch goes out the value will CRATER.

I should probably take your advice:

“Get what you can get for your car today because it’s going to be much less tomorrow for many many years to come.”

Fortunately a converted Victorian (100 yr old McMansion) in a trendy neighborhood will throw off enough money each year for a good used car.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-01-02 21:28:08

And the difference that you are clearly misrepresenting to the public?

The 10 year car still depreciated.

And the 10 year old house depreciated.

And both will continue to depreciate ALWAYS.

Comment by inchbyinch
2013-01-02 21:49:47

17 yr old Volvo 310K miles (I bought it new.) She’s on her decline but no breakdowns. No car payments in 13 yrs.

Cars are such a waste of $ imho.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-01-02 21:52:41

At least it’s a real Vulva instead of a Ford or now chinese Vulva.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-01-02 09:55:44

Grab your popcorn, sit back and watch housing crater….. then buy later for 65% less.

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-01-02 06:40:07

Many high income people are poors, because they spend more money than they have. Mortgage poors. Debt hampsters.

Comment by joesmith
2013-01-02 07:25:11

Exactly this. Living paycheck to paycheck or month to month… even year to year, that is crazy. There has to be an appreciation of the time value of resources.

The alternator comment breaks down like this: 1) If you can’t afford a $250 repair here and there, the problem isn’t the cost of the car part, the problem is your other spending… or 2) if you’re going to whine about $250, you have some mental issues and need to grow up, plan better, etc.

People who can’t budget for a $250 repair every so often shouldn’t own a car. There are alternatives that require a little planning but no little or no maintenance. Walking, biking, public transit… but no, this is America, God forbid anyone exert themselves.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-02 08:21:38

Half the working population makes $500 a week or less and most do not live where there is any kind of reliable public transportation… if any at all, and a car is REQUIRED for everyday life.

Required. If you’ve never lived in an area like that, you are in for a shock.

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Comment by joesmith
2013-01-02 08:39:00

I lived in Charlottesville VA in grad school, I hated it. Absolutely hated it. Nice campus, good nature, but no I would not live there. Partly because of the absolute dependence on cars due to the far-flung, sprawl-like nature of the place.

Comment by whirlyite
2013-01-02 10:11:06

There are all kinds of situations. I can relate to eco’s comment as I believe we live in the same area. If you don’t live where public transportation is available then you must have a car if you want to get to work. I’ve been in both situations mentioned. When I was married, a $250 repair bill to the car was devastating. That was due to, shall we say, the poor financial management skills practiced by my ex. Now that I’ve been back on my own for quite some time, $250 seems like, yes, “chump change” to me. On the other hand, my brother and sister (who both work retail) would be in serious trouble should a car repair bill of even $250 come their way. I am thankful that I am now able to help them when they need it. So again, there are many, many situations and viewpoints here.

Comment by goon squad
2013-01-02 10:33:16

Half the working population makes $500 a week or less

And half of the HBB makes $5,000 a week or more. And the other half of HBB makes $10,000 a week or more.

Instead of being such a bellyaching looser, ecofeco, maybe you should have been born to rich parents. And gone to Princeton for undergrad. And gone to U of Virginia for grad school. Everybody else here on HBB did, why didn’t you?

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-01-02 10:36:39

The Big Lie our friend “Joe” put out there was that he’s going to buy a Honda CRV because “parts for them are cheap”. To which I said, “$250 for an alternator is not cheap.”……. And it’s not considering a new/reman alternator for a domestic model is a fraction of that amount.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-01-02 11:07:06

Partly because of the absolute dependence on cars due to the far-flung, sprawl-like nature of the place.

But real Americans drive 10 mpg pickups, preferably with a pair of stainless steel truck nutz dangling from the trailer hitch!

Comment by joesmith
2013-01-02 11:50:11

Cville is pretty “crunchy”, kind of like I imagine Boulder to be. Not a lot of pick ups, but this was during the housing bubble and the informal town boundaries moved out at least a mile in each direction during my time there. This made student housing very cheap but made having a car a must.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-02 14:29:23

Then you do get it.

See, there often isn’t a choice. Poor people don’t get choices. All they get is lesser of 2 evils and you had better be right every, single, time.

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-01-02 20:49:17

Poor people make lots of wrong choices, most of which are not game enders. Friends help. Concessions are made. Next week is a new ball game. There is a limit to what they can lose. Do you really have poor friends?

Comment by goon squad
2013-01-02 07:24:57

Typing on smart phones is hard. It’s easier to type “poors” than to spell out Lucky Duckies.

Comment by joesmith
2013-01-02 07:26:23

Swype probably would’ve recognized “Lucky Ducky”. It didn’t recognize poors with the ’s’. I had to put that in to my phone.

Comment by Steaming pile of human feces
2013-01-02 07:39:06

Alternators are for closers.

Comment by azdude
2013-01-02 08:11:42

u have to have brass b@lls to sell alternators?

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-02 08:23:19

WHAT’S MY NAME?! :lol:

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2013-01-02 06:21:59

Now that round one of the budget battle is over, how many more rounds are left?

Bloomberg News
House Backs Tax Deal as Next Fight Looms
By Richard Rubin, Roxana Tiron and James Rowley on January 02, 2013

The U.S. House passed a bill undoing income tax increases for more than 99 percent of households, giving a victory to President Barack Obama even as Republicans vowed to fight him in coming weeks for spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.

The 257-167 vote just after 11 p.m. yesterday capped a tension-filled final push as Republicans balked at a bipartisan Senate bill. House Speaker John Boehner ordered a vote even though 151 of 236 Republicans, including Majority Leader Eric Cantor, ultimately voted no. Obama said he’d sign it into law.

“The deficit needs to be reduced in a way that’s balanced,” Obama said at the White House. He said top earners and corporations should pay even more and that Congress must raise the debt ceiling. “Everyone pays their fair share. Everyone does their part,” he said.

The final days of drama surrounding the so-called fiscal cliff of scheduled tax increases and spending cuts illustrated the partisan struggle that has made U.S. budget policy unpredictable and prone to crises as deadlines approach. Obama wielded the leverage he gained in his Nov. 6 re-election. Still, he fell short of reaching with Republicans a larger deficit- reduction grand bargain.
Debt Ceiling

Republicans immediately turned to their next battle — a bid to use the need to raise the nation’s $16.4 trillion debt ceiling to force Obama to accept cuts in entitlement programs such as Medicare. Congress must act as early as mid-February to prevent a default and the dispute may reprise a similar 2011 episode that led to a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating.

“Without meaningful reform of entitlements, real spending controls, and a fairer, cleaner tax code, our debt will continue to grow, and our economy will continue to stumble,” Boehner said in a statement after the vote.

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-01-02 06:47:21

Hey I’ve got an idea! Instead of balancing the budget, they could agree to raise the debt ceiling on the condition that mandatory spending cuts be implemented sometime later.

Comment by Diogenes (Tampa, Fl)
2013-01-02 09:36:54

Yes, but we were hoping for a “new” idea. Like, spending cuts, without additional spending additions. That would be new.

I expect that Obummer will, once again, push the “debt limit” issue to the CLIFF, and point to Congress as the culprit for not making more money available, and threating the “recovery”.
We will see another replay.
The “balance approach” is always to spend more.
That is what political hacks do.

Comment by goon squad
2013-01-02 10:25:23


Haw haw haw haw!

Drudge has a link saying he’s flying back to Hawaii at a cost of $7 million to the taxpayers. It isn’t cheap “community organizing” on a tropical beach.

And above the link he has a pic of him winking at the camera. Haw haw haw haw!

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Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-02 10:40:38

Bush just drove his ol’ pickup back and forth between the White House and his play ranch in Texas. Or Daddy’s compound on the beach. (While taking more vacation days than any president since Hoover, possibly more than any ever. Even far more than three-term FDR.)

Comment by Steve J
2013-01-02 10:50:58

Wake me when Boenher flies commercial.

Comment by Hi-Z
2013-01-02 12:32:43

“Wake me when Boenher flies commercial.”

Where do you get info that he is not flying commercial? News reports are they find no evidence indicating use of military or government owned aircraft. Do you have special insight?

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-02 13:27:45

Boner makes a big deal of his flying commercial. Of course, he walks right by all the security check points and right on to the plane with no waiting.

Comment by Lip
2013-01-02 07:15:28

Without spending cuts, these types of charades will continue into infinity, until our debt rating affects our ability to pay off (or print money) for the interest payments. Obama has no intention of balancing the budget and neither does most of Congress.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-01-02 07:24:14

Exactly. The .02% will make their money by essentially shorting America and government will make sure it is a profitable trade.

Comment by joesmith
2013-01-02 08:41:15

“The .02% will make their money by essentially shorting America and government will make sure it is a profitable trade.”
You mean people like Mittens, right?

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Comment by Lip
2013-01-02 12:03:17

Mitt fixes sick businesses and he could have fixed the USA.

What does your savior propose? Essentially nothing, just more blather about making everyone pay their fair share.

We don’t have a taxing problem, we have a spending problem.

Comment by bungabunga
2013-01-02 12:15:45

And people like you who help Mittens achieve their “goals.” Let’s not forget you also happily take a good cut of the loot.

Comment by MiddleCoaster
2013-01-02 12:51:50

Did I miss something? What sick business did Mittens ever fix? I know of a couple of good businesses that his company bought, gutted, and then sold off the remnants to China. Seriously, I would like to hear about a good turnaround achieved by Bain Capital.

Comment by Steve J
2013-01-02 13:10:51

Romney brought government mandated health insurance to Mass.

That’s a pretty big win.

Comment by nickpapageorgio
2013-01-02 20:44:45

You statists love mandates no matter what party creates the legislation.

Comment by joesmith
2013-01-02 13:52:05

My savior would be Bill Bradley, he wasn’t given a chance. This year I would’ve voted for Gary J but I was so disgusted by Mittens and the misguided enable-y types that I made it a point to vote for Obama illegally in 4 different precincts.

OK I really didn’t vote 4x, but I wish I could’ve.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Obama was the only Dem I voted for in ‘12 (e.g. I voted for Sobhani for Senate and didn’t vote for Senator Cardin or Congressman Sarbanes). So I’m hardly uber-partisan. The fact working people like yourself voted for Mittens is utterly LOL-able. Mittens hates American workers.

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Comment by ahansen
2013-01-02 15:20:02

How can you say Uncle Mitty hates the American worker? Look how much of his personal fortune he’s paid them trying to get elected over the last eight years.

I’ll bet his Cayman/Bermudan/Swiss/Luxembourg accounts, er, SuperPacs are seriously diminished after this last fiasco.

Comment by nickpapageorgio
2013-01-02 20:48:30

You only like when global progressives have the wealth of Mitt. Let’s audit the Hollywood, Education, Banking and Government elitist progressives, I bet some of them would make Mitt look like a choir boy. I bet Mitt would win the Pepsi Challenge when it comes to charitable donations as well.

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2013-01-03 07:11:21

(For his 2 cherry-picked released tax returns) “I bet Mitt would win the Pepsi Challenge when it comes to charitable donations as well.”

Comment by tresho
2013-01-02 06:22:52

Opinion (12/27): FHA is a true home wrecker

Imagine that a federal agency wanted to hurt America’s working-class families on purpose. How would it inflict maximum damage?

It might start by aggressively marketing homeownership to marginal borrowers. It would tell them that bad credit scores aren’t a problem. It would push them into homes they can’t afford, saddle them with loans that barely build equity and provide no incentives for fiscal discipline. And when many of these homes go underwater and into foreclosure, it would leave families in financial ruin.

In short, such an agency would follow the Federal Housing Administration playbook.

Today, the FHA’s risky underwriting policies are backfiring in dramatic fashion in cities across America. Even in 2012, 40 percent of the FHA’s loans are subprime — having a credit score below 660 or a debt-to-income ratio of 50 percent or more. To put this in perspective, the median FICO score for all individuals in the United States is 720, and the foreclosure risk on FHA loans increases substantially once the debt ratio exceeds 35 percent. When combined with minimal down payments and a 30-year term that builds equity slowly, the result is mortgage malpractice.

The first step is ending the practice of knowingly lending to people who cannot afford to repay their loans. The FHA uses its pricing advantages and lending policies to entice many low- and moderate-income families to take out irresponsible loans. Congress and the FHA refuse to stop this financing of failure because of special-interest groups. Start with the National Association of Realtors, which always supports looser standards…

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2013-01-02 06:25:19

One of my New Year’s predictions has already come true.

Senate ‘Cliff’ Bill Retains Mortgage Cancellation Relief
On January 1, 2013, in Breaking News, Politics & Government, by Robert Freedman

Tax rates would remain the same for most households and mortgage cancellation relief is extended in a budget package passed by the U.S. Senate early this morning to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. The House today could take up the bill, which NAR has been monitoring closely because the fiscal cliff’s automatic tax increases and federal spending cuts involve programs important to real estate and impact household wealth. Based on what the House does, the provisions in the Senate bill could change in the final bill.

Comment by azdude
2013-01-02 06:34:31

how many houses should I buy this time around?

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-01-02 07:39:57

And NO relief for those utterly low class losers called Renters

Comment by Steaming pile of human feces
2013-01-02 07:52:40

Oh, you mean the poors?

Comment by In Colorado
2013-01-02 08:47:19

They should have bought a house back when all you had to do was fog a mirror to get a loan. They would be on easy street now, as NO ONE ever gets foreclosed.

Comment by Bad Andy
2013-01-02 10:49:46

I’m probably biased here but why penalize someone who bought a primary residence with the intention on living there long term for a gain they never actually see? Foreclosure is nasty and it destroys lives. Taxing the forgiven portion of the debt would assume there was no collateral in the first place.

Comment by oxide
2013-01-02 11:41:12

Almost never, until the past 5 years or so, have houses been underwater. Between 10-20% down and the slow rise in the cost of housing, a bank could always get the mortgage money back when the house was sold, even on the courthouse steps. There was no debt to forgive. It only seems like a meanie punishment now because it happens so often.

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Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-01-02 20:39:26

Don’t be silly. Houses have ALWAYS been underwater until the bubble years of 1998-2008. You just not honest enough to account for all the costs associated with a house.

You will eventually…… whether you agree with it or not.

Comment by nickpapageorgio
2013-01-02 20:50:35

Let no dollar escape taxation.

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-01-02 10:56:04

Is anyone surprised that they extended this?

I think the best way that it is justified by those in Congress is that it is a “victimless” tax break–in that these folks don’t pay tax if there is a gain on their house, why should they pay tax if there is a loss?

Except for the minor detail of banks being able to take the losses on the other side of the trade, they would be right.

Now, if in conjuction with extending this, they disallowed such losses by lenders…I’d be all for it…but that would happen just before the devil put on ice skates.

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-01-02 11:27:28

Ok rental then extend this to Credit Card write-offs, personal loans when you dont declare Bankruptcy.

Thats my problem with this….instead of forgiveness you should pay the tax or file for BK and no tax……that would be Fair!

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-01-02 11:48:38

I didn’t say it was fair, or that I agreed with it.

I just said that I’m not surprised, and lawmakers see it as a painless giveaway with little opposition–there is no political benefit to opposing the extension of this giveaway.

At least if this giveaway was done in conjunction with banks not taking the losses, the rough net result to the US Treasury would be $0, or close to $0.

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Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2013-01-02 23:28:28

I suspect a hell of a lot of highly distortionary and destructive taxpayer-funded giveaways are passed on the basis that ‘there is no political benefit to opposing it.’

No wonder Congress enjoys an approval rating of 13%.

Comment by tresho
2013-01-02 06:32:11

Detroit — It’s the first trash week

in Detroit after Christmas — prime time for crooks seeking easy marks.

Police warn residents who received Xboxes, television sets, DVD players and other high-priced presents to avoid leaving empty boxes in plain view, lest criminals see them.

“You have to be careful how you expose your trash,” Detroit Police Sgt. Eren Stephens said. “You don’t want to advertise what you’ve got in your house.”

Statistics weren’t readily available this week on whether burglaries spike after Christmas, but residents said obscuring used gift boxes is one of the costs of living in the city.

“You don’t flaunt what you’ve got in Detroit,” said Charles Rumpa, 60.

Comment by vinceinwaukesha
2013-01-02 07:17:30

“Police warn residents who received … television sets”

My neighbor across the street has one of those giant TVs that cost as much as a cheap car and are far bigger than a picture window in his front living room so anyone can see what he’s watching, primarily to show off his wealth, err, I mean his ability to put himself in debt. I think he’s relatively safe from theft as my experience with a mere 42 inch TV shows its rather unwieldy to move. Its possibly the largest “thing” in his entire house, with the possible exception of kitchen counters. The other problem with his public display of debt is when he’s not watching pro sports, he likes watching soft pr0n, which I can watch thru my window, across the street, thru his window, on his TV, nearly as well as I can see my own TV… Probably just some R rated HBO show not X or NC17 stuff, but its still weird to look out the window and see a much larger than life size topless woman in his house, “hey check out the neighbor wife” and then realize he’s just watching HBO instead. I happen to enjoy that kind of thing so I’m not complaining, but I’m sure some stick in the mud could complain and cause him trouble. Ahh the joys of home ownership, its not like either of us could switch apartments like mere renters.

The selection of retail consumer goods in the story was really weird. DVD players haven’t been fence able since the early 90s, now that walmart sells them for $20 and everyone who wants one, has one. A more realistic list would be firearms boxes, ammo boxes, jewelry store bags, “record store” bags, Gamestop and other video game store bags, easily fenced stuff like that. I am willing to guess that in that hood, bags from a book store, “christian store”, or educational store would leave the house pretty safe from theft.

Comment by azdude
2013-01-02 07:23:49

I put my trash out in the morning so people dont have the opportunity to snoop through my trash all night.

Comment by oxide
2013-01-02 08:10:18

Even big TVs are losing the cost-benefit analysis. Small stuff is where it’s at. Metro’s newest crime is smartphone snatching. When the train stops and the doors open, the perpetrator would grab an iPhone out of someone’s hand and run out the doors and be gone. It’s become such a problem that Metro had to put up ads to alert riders not to hold their smartphone too loosely and to pay attention when the train stops especially if you’re sitting in the seats by the door.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-02 08:27:05

People who talk on the phone while performing complicated or potentially dangerous actions SHOULD learn the lesson the hard way.

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Comment by bungabunga
2013-01-02 08:41:35

Boring….just rob the aapl store.

Paris Apple store robbed on New Year’ s Eve - The Guardian

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Comment by polly
2013-01-02 09:23:44

Those signs have been up for 3 or 4 years.

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Comment by tresho
2013-01-02 09:38:56

Those signs have been up for 3 or 4 years.
In 1987 I went to a movie in a Detroit suburb. They had those magnetic loop weapons detectors that the customers had to walk through to see a movie. At that point I vowed never to set foot in Detroit again.

Comment by oxide
2013-01-02 11:24:55

+1 tresho.

I wouldn’t set foot in some trash theatre which wouldn’t allow me to protect myself with my personal Bushmaster either.

Comment by Steve J
2013-01-02 10:07:14

There were no DVDs or DVD players in the early 90s…they were invented in 1995. The first movie released was Twister.

VHS was where it was at in the early 90s.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-01-02 10:32:07

And DVD players were $750 in 1996.

There’s some deflation.

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Comment by localandlord
2013-01-02 21:26:27

“its still weird to look out the window and see a much larger than life size topless woman in his house, “hey check out the neighbor wife” and then realize he’s just watching HBO instead.”


Vince, thanks for the laugh.

Comment by tresho
2013-01-02 06:37:39

Detroit edges closer to a ‘Mad Max’ scenario:
Some pizzerias halt trips to Detroit

When Mike Andros delivers pizza to a home with a fence, he protects himself by swinging the gate toward the street before entering the front yard.

“That way, if you have to make a dash for it, you can just push the gate open, rather than having to pull it toward you,” said the 49-year-old driver for Sicily’s Pizza in Southwest Detroit. “Those few seconds might make the difference between getting killed or not. These are the kinds of things you always have to think about if you deliver pizzas in Detroit.”

John Tully spent four years delivering pizzas in the city until deciding a few years ago it was too dangerous. He said the holiday season is the worst for attempted robberies “because people are hard up.”

“Every year, they tell you that at the pizza place: That this is the worst time,” said Tully, 48, of Detroit. “They tried to rob me a bunch of times, but they couldn’t catch me — I saw them coming a mile away.”

Andros said has never been robbed — but he said that’s because he knows the tricks of the trade.

“It’s how you carry yourself,” he said. “This can be an extremely dangerous job if you don’t watch out.”

Tully said he was delivering a pizza on a one-way street when he saw three cars converge in an attempt to block his way.

“I went to back around (the cars) and they started to block me off,” he said. “I went around them; they started chasing me like the Dukes of Hazzard. I took a right turn — the car went up on two wheels — and I was gone.

“I wouldn’t do that job again in a million years,” Tully said. “It just got too crazy.”

Comment by vinceinwaukesha
2013-01-02 07:00:14

Ever read “Snow Crash” by Neal Stephenson published in 1992? Our world becomes more like the snow crash world every year in many ways. It had a solution to the “rob the pizza delivery guy” problem, simply have organized crime take over the biz and enforce payment. Its probably safer to retail illegal pharmaceuticals than to deliver pizza in Detroit.

Snow Crash got a few things wrong in the details, like our military drones are planes instead of doggie robots, but over all mostly right.

Comment by tresho
2013-01-02 07:10:30

simply have organized crime take over the biz
Wall Street & the big banks have become organized crime.

Comment by vinceinwaukesha
2013-01-02 07:22:27

Agreed, but they don’t deliver pizza. If they did, then they would have at least some minimal redeeming social value.

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Comment by oxide
2013-01-02 08:21:01

Terry Pratchett got to it much earlier in the semi-spoof Discworld series. The brilliant mayor of Ankh-Morpork instituted a guild system, including one for Thieves. Each citizen was reasonably expected to be mugged twice annually, with certified muggers handing out receipts to make sure you were only mugged twice, and giving a cut to the Guild. If you were held up by a non-certified mugger, you could report it to the Thieves Guild. They would reimburse you and take care of the rogue mugger, usually by employing certified members of the Assassins’ Guild.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-02 08:32:09

That was great a series. Not my usual genre, but I enjoyed it.

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Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-02 08:30:25

“…like our military drones are planes instead of doggie robots, but over all mostly right.”

I guess you haven’t seen this: google “robo mule”

DARPA and Boston Dynmaics

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-02 08:38:47

I have another good series for you vince: Beggars in Spain, by Nancy Kress.

Comment by jane
2013-01-02 19:23:44

Wow! What a great memory! I found this book on a deep discount counter at some chain in 2003 for about $1. Being a sci fi fan, I thought “sure, I can be had”.

Didn’t open it till the following weekend. And then could not put it down.

Comment by Steve J
2013-01-02 10:13:43

If more people in Detroit were armed with guns it would be safe to deliver pizzas -NRA.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-02 11:03:25

The delivery drivers just need someone literally riding shotgun with them.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-01-02 12:26:55

Transporting valuable cargo and passengers in a dangerous environment requires it. Some things never change.

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Comment by MiddleCoaster
2013-01-02 12:53:53

Mad Max: Pizza Delivery Guy

A great movie concept!

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-02 14:30:59

Love it!

Comment by tresho
2013-01-02 17:32:59

Might make a good reality TV show.

Comment by nickpapageorgio
2013-01-02 21:11:02

“If more people in Detroit were armed with guns it would be safe to deliver pizzas -NRA.”

Using your logic, gun shows should be the most dangerous places in America.

Comment by nickpapageorgio
2013-01-02 21:05:06

“Detroit edges closer to a ‘Mad Max’ scenario:”

That’s what happens to a perfectly good city when the progressives get their hands on it.

Comment by frankie
2013-01-02 07:22:38

I see the financial cliff has been avoided at the last minute, as my old Uncle Charlie would have said “who’d have thought it”, but then he was a master of sarcasm.

Comment by azdude
2013-01-02 07:26:59

all it did was ensure more can kicking. good for reality tv folks.

Comment by Steaming pile of human feces
2013-01-02 07:50:55

Nothing goes with a bailout better than another bailout. The Titanic was also equipped with the worlds most advanced bilge pumps.

Comment by tresho
2013-01-02 08:11:53

Today’s media have the worlds most advanced bilge pumps. And do they ever pump it!

Comment by goon squad
Comment by Steve W
2013-01-02 08:49:14

I am currently finding it easier just to refer to any of our recent presidents as “Zaphod Beeblebrox”. A completely powerless position, and our country is probably being run by 6 dudes from Goldman Sachs.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-01-02 14:26:56

I’ll bet Hitler really scared the cr@p out of the banking clan. He and the commies.

Heck, they were so scared of the Reds that they were nice to the middle class, until we won the cold war.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-02 18:11:21

I can’t remember who it was, but some writer made that exact point. That the worldwide 1% only allowed the creation of the upwardly mobile, financially secure middle class of the post-WW2 Cold War period, because they were so fearful of the Communist alternative being offered the world.

But others have pointed out that it was often an advance in weaponry or the like that let the ‘masses’ demand a legitimate piece of the action. (The hoplite phalanx, the English longbow, the rifle, the repeating rifle, a couple million seasoned WW2 combat veterans returning home after a hard-fought victory, etc.)

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Comment by nickpapageorgio
2013-01-02 21:13:49

Communists have killed over 100 million souls during peace times. Communism should never be considered a viable alternative system under any circumstances.

Comment by Steve J
2013-01-02 10:14:57

So what “Allie” are we using now for torture?

Egypt and Syria?

Comment by bungabunga
2013-01-02 08:36:13

Bullish for car manufacturers?

~1200 cars torched in French New Year “celebration”

Comment by rms
2013-01-02 08:37:45

I’m beginning to get the idea that Senate minority leader Nancy Pelosi colors her hair and enhances her breasts. Could it be true?

Comment by polly
2013-01-02 09:27:16

There’s a senator named Nancy Pelosi?

Comment by rms
2013-01-02 14:22:37

Sorry love, was still doing my oatmeal—coffee hadn’t cooled yet.

Comment by goon squad
2013-01-02 09:30:11

She is the House, not the Senate, minority leader.

And her breasts are real, don’t ask how we know this…

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-02 10:22:15

And the rug matches the drapes. (Again, don’t ask…)

Comment by goon squad
2013-01-02 10:50:41

After a few drinks, she is almost as sexy as Michele Bachmann :)

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Comment by frankie
2013-01-02 13:57:04

Bad goon, bad bad goon.

Comment by rms
2013-01-02 14:20:54

Dunno, I watched a clip this morning of Nancy strutting her stuff like Cathy Lee except that she’s in her seventies now. John Boehner is another one, fake from head to toe.

Comment by goon squad
Comment by Rental Watch
2013-01-02 12:11:00

“In the mid-90s before the bubble began to distort the market, sales averaged about 3.5 million a year. A simple adjustment for the 15 percent population growth over this period would imply an annual sales rate of 4 million existing homes. That is somewhat below the current 4.5 million sales rate.” (“Housing Sales Are Back to Trend”, CEPR)”

The problem with this statement is that the mid-90’s was following the prior housing/real estate bust, not representative of “normal”. If you look at the most recent LPS Mortgage Monitor, page 8 shows the total number of sales going back to 1990.

What it shows is annual sales at about 6 million annually, which is pretty flat from 1999 until about 2002, at which time the sales rate climbs to 8.2MM annualized by the peak in November 2005. Sales then fell during the crash to about 4MM.

The other problem with the analysis is that Shiller’s presumption that we have hit “normal” is based on using the reported CPI as calculated over many, many decades, when the method on which the CPI calculation is done has changed considerably over the past roughly 30 years. He hasn’t adjusted for these changes in how CPI is calculated…if he did, his graph would look at lot different.

Also, speculation can be seen two ways…one, frenzied investment, hoping prices that are rising quickly continue to rise, or two, buyers who believe so strongly that we have hit bottom that they are willing to pay cash and rent the homes.

A friend of mine put together a graph showing projected rental yields for the market in which he was active (inland in So Cal), going back to the 80’s. For most of the time, the rental yields vacillated between 4% and 5%. During the peak, the rental yields dropped to 2%. “Investors” buying then were absolutely speculators. Post crash, rental yields rose to 7%. Investors buying at those yields might actually be called investors–they are currently crowding out people who want to buy to live in the homes…artificially (and temporarily) suppressing any increase in homeownership rate.

The discussion of homeownership rates are interesting, but you need to ask yourself, is the decrease in homeownership rate a cyclical trend? Or secular? I’ve heard the argument for secular (that young people are no longer looking to own, more transient society, etc.). However, IMHO those trends take a LONG time to become established, not over a period of a few years. Based on some recent surveys of renters (where a large percentage wish to buy in the coming years), I believe the lower homeownership rate to be a cyclical fluctuation, not a long-term secular trend. See the below article from Trulia:


Comment by Rental Watch
2013-01-02 12:23:45

Sorry, the most recent LPS Mortgage Monitor only shows data going back to 1999…mistype (I said 1990).

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-01-02 20:27:15

The problem with this statement is that the mid-90’s was following the prior housing/real estate bust, not representative of “normal”.

And the problem with your is the fact that is a gross misrepresentation of the truth. Do we need to remind you that this is what a liar does? You’re lying.

The mid-90’s perfectly characterizes normal housing demand. It IS the trend.

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-01-02 21:27:05

The trough in values following the 90’s recession according to Case Shiller was February 1994.

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Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-01-02 21:29:12

“Trough in values”??

You have a trough in values. In moral values.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-01-02 12:58:28

The only way that prices can continue to rise is if the banks start issuing loans to unqualified mortgage applicants en masse like they did back in 2005-2006. Otherwise, the market’s going to stay right where it is today, in the dumps.

What’s scary is that they (PTB) know that and might very well reopen the EZ Loan spigot.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-01-02 13:05:27

Which part? I thought they already did, except for really low credit scores?

Comment by In Colorado
2013-01-02 14:24:29

I don’t think that the “NINJA” loans have made a comeback yet.

And from what I’m hearing from those who are trying to buy a house, it isn’t all that easy to get a loan these days.

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Comment by Rental Watch
2013-01-02 15:29:07

My understanding is that it is easier to qualify only in the respect that your income doesn’t need to be as high given how low rates are, but like CO said, you need to prove income, employment, etc.

No NINJA loans yet.

I even know of some people who don’t NEED the mortgage, but want the mortgage because it is cheap money, and ran into problems. One such person came armed with a bank statement with cash in the bank equal to a multiple of the requested loan, but since he isn’t working, had no W-2. It took him 3 tries to find a lender to lend to him.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-01-02 09:53:24

I saw a homeless guy walking down the road this morning as I was coming back from a doctor’s visit. He had a bunch of raggy blankets/sleeping bags draped over himself. It was 10 degrees outside. You know what, I am a few paychecks away from that. I know it. There is no prosperity left.

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2013-01-02 10:44:05

There is no prosperity left.

There is plenty of prosperity left. It has just been re-distributed to the rich.

Re-distributed prosperity to the rich is not in keeping with promoting the general welfare, establishing justice or insuring domestic tranquility.

Comment by mathguy
2013-01-02 13:28:08

Exactly the reason that income taxes on wage earners should be eliminated and moved to business taxes paid on wages.

Comment by mathguy
2013-01-02 13:39:02

Further… those businesses paying a low wages should be taxed extra for the extra burden their low wages add to society… In other words, as the pay for the position goes down, the tax on it goes up.. say on all wages below the poverty line.. and at an increasing rate relative to how the wage falls. The “minimum wage” should effectively be the rate at which lowering the pay further increases the tax cost more than savings in worker pay rate. Unpaid internships should cost a company more than paying the “intern” minimum wage.

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Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-02 14:34:14

I don’t often agree with you and can see the flaws in this plan… but I LIKE IT anyway!!


Comment by oxide
2013-01-02 14:03:09

One could argue that the “prosperity” has been transferred from transforiming a working class American into a middle class American into transforming a dirt-poor Asian/Indian into a working class Asian/Indian.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-01-02 15:23:20

Isn’t it more like transforming working class Indians into middle class Indians? It all just looks a class lower to you due to perspective?

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Comment by oxide
2013-01-02 16:41:41

I guess it depends on what the Indian is doing. If the daughter of a poor farmer gets a job in a call center, I’d call that poor to working class. If the call-center girl’s son could afford school and now does IT in Mumbai, that’s working class to middle class.

At this point, I’m not sure about the comparison of Indian middle class to American middle class. There is definite lacking in American features like roads and transport, reliable electricity, and probably no SFH or suburbs. I don’t know about health care and basic sanitation.

Comment by goon squad
2013-01-02 10:49:10

Exactly the future the 1% (and especially the 0.1%) want!

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-01-02 11:17:38

Bill in LA has kinda the right ideas….live very light…own only what is essential, and buy new only when it can make you money off of it…

Sounds like a game plan for 2013…already sold 250 cd’s with 500 to go……still leaves me with over 1500…and these are available freely on CL:

200,000 mp3s includes hard drive (pocket size)


Sold a few books i knew were rare….tossed out most of the paperbacks. Stuff has to go in 2013… but…..Never going to give up my mint 1950’s style kitchen table and chairs…its so cool..

Comment by rms
2013-01-02 14:27:09

“Bill in LA has kinda the right ideas….live very light…own only what is essential, and buy new only when it can make you money off of it…”

Toss in a wife and a couple of kids, and it would change things. Can’t tell ‘ya how many years I had to “charge” for the Christmas tree as well as the chit under it. You can understand unless you’ve been there, and I have the tee-shirt.

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-01-02 21:27:00

Thank you. Yes, you are doing well. My opinion is that if you have not referenced it in the last year, it’s a candidate for selling. Otherwise if it’s worth nothing to you, to give it away, or to throw it away. That was my method in 1996 going from 30-something home moaner to renting cheap.

My take on the last two trading days in stocks is that it was irrational exuberance. But I’ll accept it, for my stake in equities is around 58% of my assets. I’m focused this year into putting new money into other assets than stocks. Of course that includes silver and gold. Cash too.

Comment by X-GSfixr
2013-01-02 10:20:29

House Republicans tell NJ and NY residents to quit whining and grab their bootstraps


Comment by Steve J
2013-01-02 10:46:18

Please, NYC thinks they need money because they are the masters of the universe while the Gulf Coast gets squat from hurricanes.

Comment by Bad Andy
2013-01-02 10:55:53

What makes NY and NJ special?

Comment by X-GSfixr
2013-01-02 11:05:42

That’s where the “Masters of the Universe” live. So it must be the “Center of the Universe”.

Comment by scdave
2013-01-02 11:12:32

What makes NY and NJ special ??

43 electoral votes ??

Comment by joesmith
2013-01-02 13:57:13

Electoral votes

Media concentration

Manhattan and Hamptons fundraising circuit

Hot Governorship race in NJ in ‘13 (’09 was a precursor to ‘09 with a US Attorney defeating the richest politician in the US/former CEO of Goldman Sachs)

Chris Christie has to be considered a GOP front runner in ‘16

Cory Booker could be the next Obama in 4 or (more likely) 8 yrs

NYC’s mayor and governor not presidential contenders but very high profile (Bloomberg, Cuomo)

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Comment by X-GSfixr
2013-01-02 10:58:26

Contrast this with the Galtians in Greensburg, Kansas, a nothing-special, no particular reason to rebuild it, one stoplight town that “isn’t at the end of the Earth, but you can see it from there….”

Who in a typical Republican manner, bootstrapped themselves into becoming a “green” community, with the help of 82 million bucks in George W. Bush FEMA aid ($57K per resident).

Comment by In Colorado
2013-01-02 11:02:19

It’s only cheese/welfare when someone else gets it.

Comment by X-GSfixr
2013-01-02 11:11:05

After the New Orleans hurricane fiasco, Dubya had to demonstrate that he “cared”. The fact that it happened in the reddest of Red States was just a bonus.

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Comment by bungabunga
2013-01-02 12:12:06

They will cave just like before. Democrats and media are good at playing victims and republicans will have no choice but to cave.

On the other hand, if it was remotely terrist related, repubs would have wrapped themselves in flags and open the spigot.

Comment by joesmith
2013-01-02 13:59:38

Actually, if you want to be all fiscally “conservative” about it, it makes a *lot* more sense to help NY/NJ rebuild than it did to help New Orleans. The bang for the buck is much better to fix NY/NJ infrastructure. Money spent in New Orleans might as well be burned, it will never provide much of a productivity or revenue increase.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-02 14:48:10

While NO is a pit, it does have one thing that is very important, its ports.

Ranked nationally number one in volume, and top ten in the world.

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Comment by Avocado
2013-01-02 17:49:38

NO is like Las Vegas, 5% of it is really fun.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-02 14:52:30

Money spent in New Orleans might as well be burned, it will never provide much of a productivity or revenue increase.

Oh yeah? Tell that to the strippers and bartenders!

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Comment by sleepless_near_seattle
2013-01-02 11:21:31

Put it in your Outlook calendars now folks:

The Untouchables
Coming January 22, 2013
FRONTLINE investigates why Wall Street’s leaders have escaped prosecution for any fraud related to the sale of bad mortgages.


Comment by aNYCdj
2013-01-02 11:31:16

Now do you understand why putting clueless airhead chicky-poos and gamer guys up front was the key to this fraud.

Comment by polly
2013-01-02 12:19:55

The fact that you are too set in your ways and/or stupid to learn new job search techniques is not the fault of the people sitting at the front desk.

Comment by X-GSfixr
2013-01-02 12:59:44

Since most companies have required people to apply for jobs thru their HR sites, I haven’t been able to get an interview ONCE.

I’ve basically given up on the process. I guess it’s a good thing that I “know people who know people” or I’d be totally screwed.

IMO, HR people are hired to eliminate candidates. Then they become consultants, who want money to help people game/navigate the system that they set up.

Sorta like the professional consultants who are lobbying for the FAA to mandate Safety Management Systems. Knowing full well that most “lean” companies don’t have the extra manpower/expertise to sit down 2-3-4 months and develop a new manual from scratch.

So, they hire “consultants”…….who also happen to be the same guys who conned the FAA into making the mandate/reg.

Which is where my Republican friends and I can agree. In this country, we end up spending a lot of time on Circle J##ks, where the end result is zero. The only thing that saves us, is that other countries are worse.

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Comment by In Colorado
2013-01-02 14:05:07

Since most companies have required people to apply for jobs thru their HR sites, I haven’t been able to get an interview ONCE.

It’s a weird game, where resumes are filtered by a computers using strange logic. And they don’t always play by the same rules. I’ve submitted resumes for position for which I thought I was a perfect fit and never heard back from them. I’ve also applied for jobs for which I thought I was only a “so-so” fit and heard back from the recruiter the next day.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-01-02 14:21:45

The only thing that saves us, is that other countries are worse.

And that’s what’s really scary, if you ask me.

Here is a story that will warm your heart X-GS:

Back in the 80’s and 90’s, AeroMexico used to fly DC-10’s on its Tijuana/Mexico City route.

One day, the DC-10 takes off from TJ International and one of the landing gear units fails to retract. So the plane turns around and lands. The local mechanics take a looksie, do something and send the jet on its way.

So it takes off again and … the same unit fails to retract. So the jet once again turns around to land.

And when it does, the offending landing gear unit collapses when a tire explodes and the engine nacelle on that wing scrapes on the tarmac. I’m sure that more than a few passengers soiled their undies when that happened.

Apparently AeroMexico’s mechanics weren’t up to snuff.

I later heard that McDonnell Douglas sent some mechanics down to TJ to reattach the landing gear to the wing and that a factory pilot flew it out of TJ to Long Beach with only two of the three engines (which a pilot friend told me was a really big deal).

And check this out, I found the story on google. It doesn’t match how I heard it 100%, but it was close.


Comment by polly
2013-01-02 15:44:49

Knowing people who know people is the new job search technique. Not that it wasn’t always a very good way to go - it was always the preferred way. But, way back when, a good resume and being willing to pound the pavement wasn’t an impossible way to get a job. It doesn’t work anymore.

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-01-02 13:16:25

Polly you still dont get it….they put the dumbest ones up front to cover up the dirt in the back….

Maybe you should take advice from someone who sees the red flags first.

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Comment by In Colorado
2013-01-02 13:59:35

Polly you still dont get it….they put the dumbest ones up front to cover up the dirt in the back

Don’t be absurd. They hire pretty things to greet customers because they are pretty. The same reason why the bank lobby is shiny and impeccable. It’s called “image”.

It’s the same reason why high end hotel lobbies are nice and the people working at the reception desk are young and good looking. It has absolutely nothing to do with corporate malfeasance.

Comment by joesmith
2013-01-02 14:01:41

It also has to do with the pretty young things will most likely leave before they’re no longer young & pretty. They’ll either get married or have kids. They won’t age in place and need to be moved to another job and/or fired.

Comment by polly
2013-01-02 15:51:50

The people at the front desk don’t refuse to take your resume because they are dumb, dj. They refuse to take your resume because that is part of their JOB. They are told not to take resumes that way and to tell you to apply on line.

That is why networking is the only way to get a good job, though being extremely qualified for a position in which few people have the qualifications and your skills and experience match exactly will work on occasion.

Complaining that you can’t just drop off your resume with the front desk like you used to do and have it magically get elevated to a hiring manager who will love what he/she sees and call you back for a pro forma interview followed by an offer on the spot is as absurd as whining that Congress doesn’t pass a law to give you $3000 just because you want it.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-01-02 16:04:06

I think you’re right, but basically you’re saying that people who can’t/won’t/don’t network are screwed. Which is kinda what dj is complaining about if I’m understanding correctly. And I do sympathize that it doesn’t seem right that a competent person is screwed just because they can’t network.

Comment by polly
2013-01-02 17:19:37

He is screwed. The last time I was out of work, my previous employer gave me a few months with a very good outplacement firm. They said that in the old days, 60% of jobs were found by networking. They also said that they strongly suspected the real numbers for that time were north of 70%. And that was quite a while ago. Depending on dropping off resumes is or posting your resume on Monster is pretty much the equivalent of not looking at all.

When you add in the circumstances that oxide pointed out below (his skills are hopelessly out of date), djs only hope is starting a small business or trying to network. Given his time out of work, I’d say even the networking is a long shot for him. But the stuff that he currently says he is doing? We are getting into “if wishes were horses, beggars would ride” territory. Wishing on a star and looking for a fairy godmother would be more effective.

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-01-02 15:22:52

Personal insult of the year! So far…

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Comment by oxide
2013-01-02 17:06:48

Polly, it’s beyond job searching at this point. DJ has been unemployed for something like 4-5(?) years now. Any skills are totally out of date. No amount of networking is going to get him a job.

From what I recall (might be out of date), his source of income is a GF with the NYC equiv of a lucky ducky job. It’s paycheck-to-paycheck, and now they have to sell possessions to make the rent and the CC payment, it seems. DJ, you can’t hang on for long under those circumstances. I still think your best bet is to move to a southern Oil City. There’s probably enough lucky ducky work to support cheapie rent, and you can hang around the zydeco scene. Even bad networkers network well when it’s something they love.

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Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-02 18:20:59

I still think your best bet is to move to a southern Oil City.

My guess:

His GF won’t/can’t leave because she’s a ‘New Yahkah’ and can’t drive a car or function anywhere else on the planet (he’s said as much). Dj probably uses that as his excuse- “I can’t find work around here, and you can’t leave…so you have to support me while I (pretend to) look for work”.

It’s all very predictable and tiresome. Sounds like it’s hitting endgame, though.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-01-02 13:54:54

And what do the pretty faces hired to sit at the reception desk have to do with Banksters getting away with murder?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-01-02 13:10:44

“Get what you can get for your house today because it’s going to be much less tomorrow for many many years to come.”

Comment by X-GSfixr
2013-01-02 13:17:05

Who needs drones?

Wiki: “Acoustic Kitty”

Comment by Resistor
2013-01-02 14:05:32

Coming up with this nonsense would be my dream job.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-02 14:50:35

Well, well.

Comment by Little Al
2013-01-02 16:03:16

Is Spanish investment interesting anybody right now?

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-02 18:21:59


Comment by Rental Watch
2013-01-02 16:04:18

My vote for the stupidest piece of the “fiscal cliff” bill:

Continuing the “NASCAR loophole”, which allows NASCAR to accelerate depreciation of their tracks…current cost, approximatly $20MM per year…


Comment by X-GSfixr
2013-01-02 18:11:02

It’s not a handout/government cheese.

It’s an “incentive” to invest in US America.

Instead of building a NASCAR track in China.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-02 18:23:27

Continuing the “NASCAR loophole”, which allows NASCAR to accelerate depreciation of their tracks

Well that’s not a blue state handout.

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-01-02 18:44:32

I don’t care who it’s handed to, it’s stupid, and it costs all of us money (except NASCAR).

Comment by Little Al
2013-01-02 16:09:17

Was SPXU a valid hit today? I thought so.
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