Solstice Open Thread

I’ve got nothing, but like you I’m tired of seeing the Ray/Jenny spat on the front page.

So ponder this: The Solstice is the real reason for the Season.


  1. drjay says:

    hey but the ray v. jenny smackdown got everyone’s machinations about who is or is not fit to lead in he ga house off the front page…

  2. Doug Deal says:

    I looked at the solstice, but since I am 6’3″ tall, I could not fit into the driver’s seat since it was built for 5’6″ pixies. I went with the 350Z instead, but sold that after my son was born.

  3. Rick Day says:

    Worshiping the Sun is like Worshiping The Son™

    Worship anticipating taking your next breath, instead; it’s really all you are guaranteed.

    *eats his gruel*

  4. Jeremy Jones says:

    In my continuing fight to end the impact, control, and expansion of the federal government on our daily lives, I watch for more pork coming from the federal government. Imagine my surprise to see Vice President Joe Biden with Governor Sonny Perdue being thanked by State Senator, and US House Candidate, Lee Hawkins. What was it that brought together these three? The ever important pork of DC.

    Our fight to end this massive spending from DC is hard enough without fellow Republicans doing it as well. Just as I have been saying on the campaign trail, politicians seem to know one thing, “get the money.” Forget principles, forget duty, forget promises, just get the money. The Vice President came to North Georgia to hand the Governor a check to expand the fiber optic network in parts of the 9th district of Georgia. Senator Hawkins thanked the VP, and sent an email to supporters extolling the virtues of this stolen money. “While I do not agree with some of the ways the federal stimulus money is being spent, projects such as the North Georgia Network are good for our local economy,” stated Hawkins. Translation, pork is okay if it is spent in my district.

    I have never called a candidate out by name in my race, but I think it is important, especially in this time of uncontrolled government spending, the voters of North Georgia understand some of the fundamental differences in candidates. I will not say this money will not benefit our district, I am sure it will create some jobs, but since when is it the job of the government to do so? We simply cannot afford all of this spending, especially when it comes to things that are not even permitted by the Constitution of the United States. Instead of praising this money, every conservative in North Georgia should be protesting it. Instead of sending out emails of appreciation of the government taking money from us at gunpoint to give to others to install some fiber optic network, we should demand our government to start cutting, and cutting deep.

    I have been saying since I started this campaign over a year ago, as nice, and well intended as politicians are, they remain victims of their mentality of getting the money, no matter what. Sadly, this is not the only example of another politician praising the government for unconstitutional spending; it is simply the most recent. My fight is uphill, but, no matter the costs, we must stop this out of control spending. The actions today just made the choice for the citizens of the 9th district that much easier.

    Jeremy Jones

    • ByteMe says:

      especially in this time of uncontrolled government spending

      It’s very much in control. Just not in your control. Or my control, for that matter. But someone votes on it or voted on it at one time in the past. So it’s in control.

      Just being semantic. Or pedantic. Don’t tell my parole officer. 🙂

    • provisional says:

      I have to say, I haven’t given you much credit, but I have to say this is very well written and well said and is so true. It’s like being against pork spending, before you are for it as long as you can try to use it for political gain. Politicians who think like Sen. Hawkins and their double standards and disregard for spending, are part what has caused the distrust the American people feel towards their government.

      • Goldwater Conservative says:

        I have said it before and I will say it again: Over the past decade, the average amount of pork spending has only been about $18billion per year.

        The deficit is running $1.7trillion per year.

        At these levels, pork spending doesn’t really matter. Get over it.

        • ByteMe says:

          I know Konop will be along to add more emphasis, but this really is the reality: politicians who talk about “deficit spending” or “pork spending” also don’t want to significantly decrease the size of our military, reduce social security or medicare payments, increase taxes to pay for what we’re doing as a country, or really solve the problem. Instead, they’ll talk about new taxing schemes to replace old taxing schemes, jump all over an outrageous 3 million dollar grant to another state, or just wave their hands and say that it’s “all the Democrats fault.”

          GC is correct: pork ain’t the issue. Nor is attacking it going to really change anything, since one person’s pork is another person’s jobs program for a state that needs the additional jobs. Or it’s a highway to a new factory in southwest Georgia.

          Start figuring out how to pay for our commitments. And forget the idea that you can’t pay for the commitments, because — as a politician — your job will be extinct if you touch those in any serious way.

        • Jeremy Jones says:

          It is not a zero sum game. The pork is used to buy votes to continue to expand the government. For instance, if it was not for a couple of billion dollars of pork, the nearly 1 trillion dollar health care bill would not have been passed. It is the pork, even if “small” amounts, that facilitates the passage of the big spending bills.

          • John Konop says:

            The truth is Medicare, Social Security and military is the lion share of the budget. And Medicare entitlements alone will wipe out the budget in about 10 years. The formula is we are paying 3 dollars of service for every 1 dollar someone paid in. And this only gets worse with the Medicare part D bill based by Bush and company.

            The truth is both sides are extremely irresponsible the Dems want to put more people on a program going broke and the GOP wants to guarantee expansion of coverage (GOP Senior Bill of Rights) on program going broke.

            The debate it between to spoiled kids one (DEMS)saying we have blown money in Iraq and why not spend more money we do not have and the other (GOP) screaming about death panels and cutting Medicare on a GOVERNMENT run program they support.

            The sad part is this something for nothing attitude is destroying the future for our children,

            What we need is a dose of reality. We must require everyone to have mandatory catastrophic insurance. We also should eliminate the co-pay system with a % of pay based on cost. For instance if a person uses a dial a doc or drug store they pay less than a emergency room and or doctor visit for common illness. We could create self insurance large pools private and or public ie Medicare, public workers, vets….

            The key is we must reward behavior at the consumer level for smart choices and create competition at the doctor level as well as insurance companies. Also we must immediately eliminate the anti-trust exemption for insurance companies.

            This would be start in the right direction and not just a political talking point.

          • ByteMe says:

            Won’t happen, John, until the GOP get out of the “must… destroy… Obama…” mode and both parties start acting like they want the votes from the muddy middle instead of the screaming fringes.

          • Mad Dog says:


            When I try to marry the revenue to the expenses, personal income taxes will barely, if at all, pay for defense and debt service, aka interest.

            When the trust funds are subtracted from the budget, I like that picture of our spending and ‘taxing.’ Not in terms of I like being taxed or I approve of all the spending.

            I like the snap shot of revenue and spending.


          • Mad Dog says:


            “Medicare entitlements will wipe out the budget in …. years.”

            So will buying jet fighters in …. given the historical growth rates … costs overruns … custom designs for each branch and specialized combat roles.

            I’ve heard an estimate that it would take the entire budget to buy one jet fighter by 2040.

            But I love a good doomsday story. Just like you.

    • Goldwater Conservative says:

      Your fight? What fight?

      You brought boxing gloves to a shootout.

      You know what I, and every other citizen of the 9th wants come election day? Money for the district.

      This is where your version of conservatism fails. My dear late friend Barry Goldwater believed in fiscal conservatism, but what we meant when we worked to create a political ideology 50 years ago has been usurped by evangelists and other superstitious morons. Fiscal conservativism does not mean low taxes and low spending. It can, but it is not required. All we worked for was a budget in the black…where tax revenues slightly exceeded spending. That is it.

      The reason for this, which is alien to modern conservatives, is progress. The fiscal position of simpletons like you is one preached by the fringe who does not understand public financing and the economic impact. Your version, whether you understand it or not (you obviuosly do not) prohibits progress. It is reactionary and is only designed to deal with problems after a disaster.

      I am a capitalist through and through. A social capitalist in fact. What we have been shown in 230 years of American capitalism is that the private sector will not invest in critical infrastructure. This is exactly why universal broadband has been a goal for the federal government. In only a few small geographic communities has the private sector taken initiative in doing this…and only because they are hubs for the information industry.

      I am not saying that pork makes the world go round. It is easy to create this sense of an authority disorder bias in the media and it is particularly useful for hopeless candidates and hopeless ideologies by saying that spending is out of control. To an extent it is…but not because of “pork.”

      • Ken in Eastman says:

        Goldwater Conservative,

        You know what I, and every other citizen of the 9th wants come election day? Money for the district.

        I don’t believe for a second this is what you want most; if it really is true, then my opinion of you has been lowered. To steal from the taxpayers in other districts more than taxpayers in other districts steal from you is not the most important thing. Is that what you want from a national government: the opportunity to be a more efficient thief?

        This zero sum game is destructive at best. The fact that it is destroying the middle class in this country by discouraging people from working, saving and investing is a travesty .

        The private sector will not invest in “critical infrastructure” because that is not its purpose. If it becomes a necessity, then it might happen but the national government makes sure that they continue to roll out the pork barrel so that is never a necessity.

        The time of the destruction of the middle class is near. Congratulations to you and the other social experimenters who value “safety” and “infrastructure” and “convenience” above the harshness of freedom and personal responsibility.

        When the middle class is a fraction os its former self, the unavoidable social unrest will give you and the remainder of the brown shirts reason to declare martial law. I wonder what will be your kristallnacht?

        • ByteMe says:

          The fact that it is destroying the middle class in this country by discouraging people from working, saving and investing is a travesty .

          Coincidence, not causation. Try to relate the two with any level of statistical confidence to see what I mean.

          My theory is that the demise of the “middle class” is related to the overindulgence of the uber-wealthy by corporatists in government on both sides of the aisle in order to win the next election.

          But that’s also just another unproven theory.

          • Ken in Eastman says:


            We really must get together and consume some icy adult beverages sometime soon.

            There are too many other factors to get a statistical correlation. That’s why economists use those damned stupid static econometric models.

            Various pigs of various stripes fighting at the guv’mint trough to see whose snout is longer really is a zero sum game. The standard answer has been to throw more slop in the trough. The fact that it’s taken from the same pigs who are already fighting over it is forgotten because “Farmer Sam” adds water to the slop so it looks like there is more of it.

            The truth is that government policies do discourage productivity and encourage the break-up of poor families. They also encourage dependency on the government and punish self-reliance.

            Come on, ByteMe, you are not dumb. You know this. We could argue about the validity of specific national government programs, but not about the fact that the tax laws and social welfare laws of the country hurt the middle class.

          • ByteMe says:


            When the highest income tax bracket was over 70%, we had a thriving middle class. We’ve run deficits before (noticeably for WW2) and still had a thriving middle class right after, primarily because of government actions.

            Your mantra that government is normally bad is not correct. Some government is bad, some is good, just like us little people.

            Today, they did a good thing (telling airlines that they can’t hold us hostage), although I wonder WTF it took them so long to just do it by executive order. Yet another thing to freak the 1789-ers out, I guess (the founders didn’t say anything about airlines! 🙂 ).

            Anyway, the game of divvying up the spoils has been with us forever. Government policy has yet to make me less productive or encouraged the break-up of my family (just as it didn’t encourage you to have an ex-wife; I’m sure it was the ex-wife who did that for you with no encouragement needed by the government 😆 ).

            If your supposition were true, GDP would have been negative for the past 70 years and we’d have more people in poverty per-capita… and we know that’s not true.

          • Ken in Eastman says:


            Anyway, the game of divvying up the spoils has been with us forever. We used to say that about smallpox, but we fixed that! Saying that something has been around for a long time is not a good answer.

            Also saying that we had a top rate of over 70% and it was a good thing does not mean it would have been better if we had had a lower marginal tax rate.

            Also, deductions were different (ask any real estate investor prior to 1986) and the increase in other taxes taken buy the national government has increased (see the Al Gore tax among others).

            In addition, any date from 1945 – early 1960s is suspect. We were the only industrial economy in the world that wasn’t destroyed in WWII and had no competition and then little competition for that time period.

            Finally, if increased marginal tax rates is the answer, perhaps a flat tax rate of 101% would make the economy perfect. No, somehow I don’t think that would work, just like a flat tax rate of 0% would not work.

          • ByteMe says:

            Ken, you’re twisting what I’m saying into the extreme to try to refute the point instead of just handling it as I wrote it. You’re going overboard, I’m telling you that it’s not as bad as you’re making it out to be based on historic precedent.

            Yes, we’re no longer the only industrialized nation, but all the others are more “socialist” than we are — and many are in bigger debt than we are and have more difficult structural problems — so you’re trying to create your case by ignoring evidence that’s all around you.

            The pendulum in this country swings around from one extreme to another, but the good news is that we get a chance to fire the politicians every few years and start over. I’m encouraged about where we are, just not the politics of destruction that seemed to have gripped some quarters.

            As for the ex-… I totally understand, brother. Been there, done that, got it right the second time.

          • Ken in Eastman says:

            Come on Byte Me, it wasn’t a shot at your beliefs just your current argument.

            I respect your intellect, but taking arguments to the extreme is a perfectly acceptble way of pointing out flaws. Besides, this kind of opens you up for it:

            If your supposition were true, GDP would have been negative for the past 70 years and we’d have more people in poverty per-capita… and we know that’s not true.

            Peace, my friend, and have a good evening.

          • ByteMe says:

            You lost me at it wasn’t a shot at your beliefs . No idea what you’re saying there.

            As to your other statement, “but taking arguments to the extreme is a perfectly acceptable way of pointing out flaws” is just another variant on the Slippery Slope fallacy. You can do it, but you don’t get points for credibility.

            And a very good evening to you as well.

        • Jack Smith says:

          “Is that what you want from a national government: the opportunity to be a more efficient thief?”

          Actually, there’s a word for this. “Kleptocracy” means government by thieves (eg. Robert Mugabe).

      • GOPGeorgia says:


        “You know what I, and every other citizen of the 9th wants come election day? Money for the district.”

        I think you are wrong. I could stop at your use of the word “every,” because you don’t speak for me. However, I don’t think you realize how conservative this district really is.

        The question is how do we get money for the district? If you are referring to taking it from everyone else, I think you are dead wrong. I don’t think 25% of the district would agree with you.

        Now if you are being creative, and you are saying we want to develop a government and an economic environment that will allow all people to do better, with less government intervention, lower taxes, and government ran on a shoestring budget, then I am thinking well over 75% of the 9th would agree with that.

    • Ken in Eastman says:


      In my continuing fight to end the impact, control, and expansion of the federal government on our daily lives, I watch for more pork coming from the federal government.

      It’s not a federal government anymore.; it’s a national government. Demonstrate that you have thought this through, then be honest and call it what it is: a national government.

      “If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion. Hence there must be no arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything.” – Confucius

        • Ken in Eastman says:


          I’ve made a conscious effort to begin doing so to drive home the fact that we long ago left the concept of federalism. It’s really sad. If we still had a federalist government, then there could be no argument about national socialized medicine because any and every state could opt out.

  5. Life and Liberty says:

    Personally, I feel *best* shopping @ a store which uses my Lord’s name to move their 4th Quarter merchandise.

  6. CommonCauseGA says:

    For any of those who missed it, the call to arms for ethics reform, written by former Minority Leader Bob Irvin, now Chairman of Common Cause Georgia, is definitely worth the read:

    Common Cause Georgia is a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to ensuring ethics and accountability in the government of Georgia. As such, it has been advocating for reforms like the ones listed in the article (which include limits on lobbyist gifts to legislators, the establishment of an independent body to prosecute ethics violations, and limits on campaign-to-campaign contributions) for years. At this time, Common Cause remains ready to assist Georgians and their representatives in their efforts to assure that Georgia governance is conducted in a transparent, accountable, and ethical manner. May the season bring long-needed reform.

    • Life and Liberty says:

      But, while we wait on our legislators to give ethical oversight to outsiders… (insert laugh track here)

      perhaps we could proceed with prosecuting lobbyists and the recipients of their favors under bribery laws.
      Here’s what our State Ethics Commission says about lobbyist expenditures:

      “Expenditure means a purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, or conveyance of money or anything of value made for the purpose of influencing the actions of any public officer or public employee; Includes any other form of payment when such can be reasonably construed as designed to encourage or influence a public officer; Includes any gratuitous transfer, payment, subscription, advance, or deposit of money, services, or anything of value, unless consideration of equal or
      greater value is received; includes food or beverage consumed at a single meal or event by a public officer or public employee or a member of the family of such public officer or public

      juxtapose that position against this ACN document…

      Just because it’s “ethical” doesn’t make it legal 😉

    • AthensRepublican says:

      I have known Bob Irvin for many years and have great respect for him. I agree with much of what he wrote, but the “independent body” described would be difficult to acheive. I would be interested in hearing more about that description. Ultimately, we need our lawmakers to avoid the appearance of impropriety in order for the public to begin gaining some amount of trust in our legislative system.

  7. CommonCauseGA says:

    And I would add that just because reform that ensures real accountability may be difficult- or is seemingly improbable- doesn’t mean that it doesn’t deserve, and need, real support. With enough support, it can and will succeed, so don’t just wait for reform to happen. Use your voice to make it happen if you believe it is good policy. There is no better time than the present.

    • Life and Liberty says:

      or, look the perps up, and call their attorney general demanding an investigation!
      BTW: at 12:43 last night, if you flushed your toilet, it would swirl in the opposite direction.

  8. Lifetime367 says:

    yawn… can’t we bring back the more salacious stuff like lobbyists providing mistresses? Where did that story go?

  9. skellatina says:

    Ring those Solstice bells, brother, ring ’em loud! Ring those Liberty bells, brother, ring ’em proud!

  10. Jack Smith says:

    “I’ve got nothing, but like you I’m tired of seeing the Ray/Jenny spat on the front page.”

    I was too, that’s why I wanted to discuss the Attorney General’s race in light of the recent fixation on ethics. Seemed a more significant issue to me–particularly in view of the Democratic race.

    On the other hand, that’s not to trivialize Jenny as either a topic or as an individual. Like her or not, agree with her or not, I don’t think anyone can deny she’s sincere in her beliefs. At a time when candidates are more like “products” than people (her word, not mine), there is a value to be placed on sincerity and being true to one’s self.

    Merry Christmas to all,

    • Jeff says:

      I was wondering if you would use an open thread to bring that back up. Good job!

      (No comment on the particulars of the debate, just glad you used an open thread to write about it rather than a thread about an unrelated topic.)

      • Jack Smith says:

        Someone needs to bring it up. I think you know just how bad it is. If these guys are shocked by Richardson’s ethics issues…..

        • drjay says:

          i however don’t know how bad it is–i know you don’t like the guy, and there is some documentary, and i know his response is it’s an oveblown bunch of hooey, and considering “documentaries” i’ve seen by folks like micheal moore, i guess i’d say i’m initially skeptical to buy it all w/out other info…not saying it’s not true, or that i am even voting in that primary, much less for him, just that your diatribe and a link to a documentary is really just an opening salvo, not a closing argument…

  11. IndyInjun says:

    What the people and the politicians wish to ignore is going to squash both flat.

    The math for what they want – infinite public spending without infinite taxes to pay for it – is impossible.

    Math is going to teach a quite brutal lesson either in the form of a sudden default or in inflation that wipes out 95% of $USD assets within 5 years. Naturally, the pols have opted for the later.

    At some point, the math of $1.3 million federal debt alone on an average family making less than $55,000, before tax, is going to become undeniable.

    * SS was not supposed to do into deficit until 2040, but this year the fund turned negative.

    * States are running up $10’s of billions in UI claim losses

    * To fund just one $60,000 pension for 25 years under the current 3.5% rate requires $1,000,000 at net present value. The longer the Fed continues ZIRP, the worst this position becomes. There is a move afoot to bail out PBGC and fund pensions without limit

    * Most of the fixed income funds available to 401k participants contain mortgage backed securities. The Fed took these toxic assets back from the banks, but not pensions and retirement funds. They remain out there. Under Mark-to-Fantasy accounting, plans report them at face, when they are worth 10% of face.

    * Average maturity of existing US debt is less than 3 years, meaning rollover of debt is at least $250 Billion a month and Obama deficits are adding new debt requirements of $150 billion a month. This cannot possibly be funded by trade, as the surplus of other nations with the USA is only $400 billion for an entire year.

    Nobody wants to give an inch. Nobody wants to pay for what they get from government.

    This is going to utterly and totally collapse.

    The Fed is creating money from electrons in some computer – one-legged accounting to fund all of this insanity. This time wages are not going to remotely keep up with the inflation they are creating.

    When it falls, who is going to pick up the pieces?

    Hint: It won’t be sane, thinking people. They have been shunted aside and don’t want anywhere near this disaster.

    • Goldwater Conservative says:

      Well, as David Walker has so famously stated: “You can not have guns, butter and low taxes. The numbers just don’t add up.”

      You all know David Walker. He was the comptroller from 1998-2008 but he is better known by “conservatives” by proxy. All the radio pundits pretended to have come up with the $50trillion figure for the US governments “technical deficit” which is calculated by adding all the outstanding liabilities through 2050.

      Him, like most every other qualified discussant of the American fiscal situation has summed it up quite nicely. “Taxes have been too low for too long.”

      There is a reason the deficit doubled under W. Actually there are many and I am certain most of you can figure them out, but the big problem for “supply-side” taxation theories is that drop in revenue after the 2001 and 2003 Bush Tax Cuts did not exist. In fact, revenue dropped by about the exact total of tax “relief.” You can not have guns, butter and low taxes.

      We’ve all heard of the Laffer curve by now. The optimal tax rate was that rate which had been fixed, roughly, since 1962.

      Things are in the works right now, but watch the news. Bernanke, Greenspan, Buffet, Walker and possibly even Hank Paulson are going to being start telling the American people that their taxes are too low. Actually, they will only be talking to between 30 an 40 million people in the top tax brackets. Those of you earning less that $150k per year (for small businesses making a profit of of that much per year depending on your tax classification) will see a tax increase. Everybody else will be the same, although, politically, the democrats (and I know for a fact they are working on this) are going to try to lower taxes for the “middle” class a little bit (mostly because if they submit a bill raising taxes on the wealthy the GOP will vote against it…thereby voting against targeted middle class tax relief before a midterm election).

      I encourage you all to read Matt Miller’s book The Tyranny of Dead Ideas. It is something of a social capitalist road map to solving the big problems we are facing (ie education, social security, healthcare, trade, taxes, and meritocracy).

    • BubbaRich says:

      Good loard, y’all don’t know math.

      Using the BEA’s revised way of tracking, for consistency:

      Q3 2008: -2.7%
      Q4 2008: -5.4%
      Q1 2009: -6.4%
      Q2 2009: -0.7%
      Q3 2009: +2.2% (BEA not available, using Final Report)

      If 70% of Q3’s growth was Cash for Clunkers, then we’re still improving. In fact, if 100% of the growth was due to Cash for Clunkers, we’re STILL improving EVEN WITHOUT COUNTING THAT. But in the real world, that money was actually spent and paid to families and paid to car dealerships. Who will be better off and buy more things than they would have without it, which money will continue to run through the economy. That’s the point the administration made repeatedly, which some people missed.

      Of course, the long-term economic policies of US governments the last 50 years have been…questionable and lucky. I think the string of taking advantage of better-than-expected results has to end, soon, but I don’t think it will be a crash.

      • ByteMe says:

        It’s easier to just keep yelling “The sky is falling!” than to actually work through the math and figure out whether the sky is indeed falling.

      • Goldwater Conservative says:

        All that really matters is that things are headed, for now atleast, in the positive direction.

        Who cares why? It worked, get over it. What is left now is for the capitalists to do their job and not game critical infrastucture for their personal profit.

        How I wish business schools required their students to take ethics classes in Philosophy departments.

        • Ken in Eastman says:

          How I wish liberal arts schools required students to take logic classes and business economics classes. 🙂

          And GC, I also agree with you about the ethics classes. (Wow, must be the Season)

  12. IndyInjun says:

    Government spending was up 8%…yeah if you print $trillions and inject it into the economy, you would expect to see some improvement.

    Is this economy on a sustainable footing without stimulus and bail-outs.

    Almost certainly no.

    Funny thing, BEA first reported for 3.5% Q3, then revised it downward to 2.2%. 2.2% with a combined $24trillion in bailouts and various liquidity programs and all you can get is 2.2%.

    Danged, now I really am worried.

    • Goldwater Conservative says:

      Where did the $24trillion come from, Indy?

      Last I looked there was under $800 in TARP and about the same in stimulus money. That is hardly $24 trillion.

      This is not much different than what happend in the late 80s, it is just on a larger magnitude. I know many of you do not want the economy to recover and will listen to any twisted information about how the economy is not getting any better, but it is. Face it.

      2.2% is huge right now, Indy. Technically that means we had what, 3.1% growth over last quarter and possibly a shift of about 7% over the year. When a nation’s GDP is $14trillion and growing you will start to see that growth percentage shrink a little.

      Never forget the robustness of the american economy. Our GDP is nearly 4times as great as our nearest “competitor.” Of course China’s GDP will grow at 10% per year, they are coming from nothing and their government is investing hundreds of billions of dollars into their economy annually and the have not hit that point of dimishing returns that we hit about a decade ago. Think of this as good news, that China is growing. I know you right wingers (not necessarily you Indy) want to think China is an enemy, but their economic growth is only stimulating democratic tensions amongst their population.

      The democratization, if it happens, will probably be the greatest event of the 21century.

      • ByteMe says:

        He’s talking about the “troubled” asset guarantees that the Fed has put in place and in the ridiculous possibility that every assets’ value becomes $0.00 someday. While at the same time, he’s also complaining that there’s the possibility of systemic hyperinflation. It defies logic.

        • Goldwater Conservative says:

          Also, if that did happen there is only one type of entity that could save America. The federal government.

      • IndyInjun says:

        Byte got the source right, but nothing else.

        Government spending is counted within GDP. GDP is finally growing because borrowing and spending $1 trillion a year more than Bush is nominally creating “growth”

        The GDP boost that government spending used to achieve was a multiplier. Now it is more like 1:1.

        Not even the federal government can trump math and the math says if they continue to bail-out the states, the PBGC, FDIC, military retirement, Medicare deficit, reversal of SS into deficits, and another $3 or $4 trillion in bank bailouts, and $trillion national health care we will default irrespective if hyperinflation takes root.

        A federal government big enough to run every aspect of your life and indebt you to more than you earn in a lifetime is worst than Stalin and Lenin’s communism.

        • ByteMe says:

          You and I will likely have grown old and died long before that ever comes to pass.

          The best part about trying to predict the distant future is not having to be around when you find out how wrong you were.

          Science fiction writers are better at it than any political commentator anyway.

          • IndyInjun says:

            There WAS a science fiction show that aptly described where we are right now – the Twilight Zone.

            Orwell had it pegged, too.

        • Ken in Eastman says:

          China is spreading its risk; just following portfolio theory.

          We are standing on the corner with out hand out and like a former celebrity we are living off of our name.

          We cannot spend our way out of a recession.

          • ByteMe says:

            Then you’re misreading what China has been doing.

            They spent $1.2 TRILLION of their reserves to get out of this recession and they used it to provide loans to create new factories that are producing products for no one in particular (since domestic consumption is still not growing fast enough and Westerners are not buying just now). This will become lots of bad loans in a few years, so it’s not like they got much of a bang for their portfolio theory.

            Weird factoid to put away for later: India’s biggest trading partner is now China.

          • IndyInjun says:

            China has also been using its $USD reserves to lock up commodities markets in Africa and South America under long term contracts.

            Just last week it was reported that China has stockpiled 300,000 tons of copper and 20,000 tons of nickle, both critical to power generation and transmission. Even Chinese pig farmers know that fiat currencies are doomed and are burying copper and nickle in the hog pens.

            Ken says a borrowing binge to get out of a borrowing problem won’t work.

            Neither will ongoing competitive currency devaluations.

            The Smoot Hawley tariff supposedly was a causation of the great depression, but isn’t Asia’s currency manipulation doing the same thing.

          • ByteMe says:

            They tried to lock up a Brazilian mining company, but got blocked by the government.

            With a billion people, you’d think they would think ahead about the resources they’re going to need.

            They’re also buying Volvo. Oh, heavens!! They’ll find out how crappy the car market is! And gosh, every time someone has tried to corner the market on some commodity, the commodity price tanks. Let ’em try. Japan used to buy real estate here, and some doom-sayers freaked over that and look at how well that worked for them.

            The sky is falling!!

  13. seenbetrdayz says:

    I think it was Ben Franklin who once said, “When the people find that they can vote themselves money, it will herald the end of the Republic.”

    So, uh, it’s been fun while it lasted.

  14. Goldwater Conservative says:

    For one, Aristotle cited that first. It just so happens that the Federalists actually read Politics as part of their political education.

    Secondly, the country is fine. Things will be fine. I know that conservatives want it to fail. That would mean Obama was wrong and it is all his fault. Liberals did the same last year, it was the conservatives fault the economy went in the dumps (see Phil Graham’s deregulation bills and the Bush Ownership Society that fueled it). We can not fail, we must not fail. Ideology is not the answer. It is time to be realistic. Realism is the only -ism that we should be looking to. Government bailouts have worked. We are getting the TARP funds paid back with interest and lending is resuming.

    We are not out of the woods yet. The fact of the matter is this: capitalism does not explain everything. Capitalists can not, and will not, save us from every problem. When the federal government began the TARP program did they knock on your door and tell you how you are to live your life? No. Nobody, except the GOP, is interested in telling you what you can not do (with ethical exceptions such as murder, theft, etc.). Sure, naked short-selling was banned and securities have been reregulated…guess what, none of you are wealthy enough to use those financial tools.

    Of course the federal government is powerful enough to control several aspects of your life. Name one negative thing they have done to you as an individual in the past 50 years (except the draft). There aren’t any. the only people trying to do anything of the sort are evangelical fascists.

    Ken is right about something, but it isn’t the whole truth. You can not spend your way out of a recession. You can invest your way out though. That is exactly what we did with Resolution Trust, it is exactly what TARP is doing.

    Listen, you people aren’t executives and senior traders at investment firms. The things being reregulated do not effect your lives. What does effect your life is when groups of wealthy individuals and traders do take advantage of deregulated industries and game them until the infrastructure breaks down. This last time it was housing mostly. What has happened to your property values? There down, many of you by half. Is it your fault? No. An industry was deregulated, then investors overspeculated, a bubble burst and your out of luck because of someone else and their hyper-capitalist ambitions.

    Industries are regulated to protect you, not control you. It is to your benefit that the federal government regulated leather tanning products. It is to your benefit that motor vehical companies must meet safety standards. It is to your benefit that credit card companies must inform you of rate hikes 45 days before they take place. I can go on, but certainly you get my point.

    • Ken in Eastman says:

      Industries are regulated to protect you, not control you. It is to your benefit that the federal government regulated leather tanning products.

      How many regulations are necessary? Are there any unnecessary regulations? Is there any way to tell? Large companies like additional regulations to create a barrier to entry for new or smaller businesses.

    • seenbetrdayz says:

      Bush already had the failure underway, so for Obama to get all the credit would be rather unfair, in my opinion.

      As for the credit cards, I rarely use them. When I do, I pay it off as soon as I get my next paycheck. I could give a *%#& about the rates. It’s not anyone else’s responsibility to bail me out if I get in debt up to my eyeballs, so I try not to let things get that bad. Weird, right?

      So, no. doesn’t benefit me to have a rate cap.

      I could see how it might benefit people who don’t know how to read contracts or feel like they’re being taken advantage of when it was they themselves who signed the dotted line. I mean, if a credit card company held a gun to your head and told you to go into debt to buy that big screen T.V. you’ve always wanted, I’d say you were on to something.

    • IndyInjun says:

      Naked short selling was not banned… was temporarily suspended for the Too Big To Fail banks.

      This was yet another travesty. It was OK for the manipulators to continue to short mining stocks, but prohibited to those who wished to attack the bank fraudsters’ weakness.

      The primary-broker dealers – our present day robber-barons – naked shorted $2 trillion in $UST’s, in essence counterfeiting them. Where is the investigation?

    • Ken in Eastman says:


      Ken is right about something, but it isn’t the whole truth. You can not spend your way out of a recession. You can invest your way out though.

      Thanks, I think, but . . .

      An “investment” occurs when a person takes capital and puts it at risk in order to secure a positive return on investment. I’m not sure that TARP is an investment; OK, I’m being coy. TARP is not an investment. It grunts, has beady eyes and a sensitive snout – it’s pork. Mmmm, tasty! But it’s not an investment unless you were in the Clinton cabinet when the actual meaning of the word “investment” was twisted and tortured like a bad scene out of a movie about demented yet creative serial killers.

    • GOPGeorgia says:

      “Nobody, except the GOP, is interested in telling you what you can not do (with ethical exceptions such as murder, theft, etc.). ”

      I thought the Dems in DC just told us that a business cannot have employees unless we provide insurance for them?

      (maybe you consider that murder and theft? lol)

        • GOPGeorgia says:

          The senate version 2,733 pages long? or the house version? I will wait for the horror story, I mean the compromised version. (compromised as between both houses, not as payoffs to Mary Landrou, Ben Nelson and others.)

  15. Ken in Eastman says:

    Secondly, the country is fine. Things will be fine. I know that conservatives want it to fail.


    I question if you even know any actual conservatives. We weren’t happy with George Bush, either.

    We don’t want the country to fail, but Obama’s “policies” are destroying freedom. We want the policies to be rejected by the American people.

  16. Ken in Eastman says:

    What does effect your life is when groups of wealthy individuals and traders do take advantage of deregulated industries and game them until the infrastructure breaks down.

    And of course, GC, no one ever manipulated government regulations or government relations to benefit a single company or industry. To quote Steven Tyler, “Dream on.”

    The most insidious theft is theft by the government, because it is normally legal or as Bastiat refers to it, “legalized plunder.”

  17. IndyInjun says:

    Folks like Gold and Byte are why gold and silver investments have more than quintupled since 2002.

    Thanks guys….how’s that stock market doing over 10 years?

    Gold and Byte make the looniest of gold bugs prescient.

    They probably even believe the financials of public corps after makr to market was stopped.

    Reading them indicates buying gold, silver, copper, ag, and oil continues to be a very valid investment strategy because they believe that the Fed can monetize without limit.

    Go back and read what Greenspan said when asked whether people will get their entire SS check, think about the Bytes and Golds of the world and invest accordingly.

    Since ’02 it hasn’t failed and the excesses that make it so are progressing geometrically.

    • ByteMe says:

      After an 18 year bull-run, a bear run — characterized by high volatility and dropping P/E ratios — is expected and should last anywhere from 13-20 years on average. Typical business cycle. So what?

      As for the price of commodities mined elsewhere, what would you expect after we kept the dollar strong for so long and now it’s weak so our exports are stronger than our imports. Means our local industries get to recover by doing more exporting and we can screw with China for fixing their currency valuation to ours. It also means that pretty shiny things from other countries are expensive to us. Again, so what? It’s part of the business cycle.

      I guess it’s more fun to keep yelling, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”, but it’s not more accurate.

      • Ken in Eastman says:

        I think Indy’s point maybe that we shouldn’t be “keeping” it anywhere. Let the FED stop trying to outfox the markets.

      • IndyInjun says:

        How do you measure “earnings” when fraudulent accounting methods have been legalized?

        Free Andy Fastow!!! Resurrect Enron! There are more fools ripe for the taking.

        I note that Oppenheimer funds continues to hype its fixed income fund as being in the black, when it was proven in court that the fund had lost $70 million because it was in toxic mortgage backed securities. Oh, I get it, its OK to lie in ads now under Mark to Fantasy accounting, but when the pay-outs are due, you just shrug your shoulders and show empty pockets.

        All of the fools Isakson and Fox News had protesting mark to market accounting did not realize that they were BEGGING for fictitious fund statements. Now they will be begging on the streets when they go to cash out.

        The Fed/ Treasury bought the toxic assets of BANKS but not mutual funds and 401k funds.

        Thanks to mark-to-fantasy, corporations can report whatever they wish as ‘earnings.’

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