Morning Reads For Monday December 31, 2012

December 31, 2012 7:00 am

by Buzz Brockway · 23 comments

Update: Senator Isakson will be on CNN this morning at 8:30 to discuss the fiscal cliff.

Year In Review Articles
– Coffee and Market’s 2012 “It’s a Major Award” Show
– AJC’s top stories of 2012.
– The White House Year In Review: Office Hours
The Year In Apple news.
– Geek.com: 2012 in science & tech: 10 stories that defined the year.
– PCMag: The Biggest Tech Fights Of 2012.
– Yahoo News: 2012 Year In Review.
– AJC: Photos of the year.
– Huff Post: Photos of the year.
– Wired: Best Space Photos of the year.
– Mashable: Chuckle at the Best News Bloopers of 2012 (language warning).
Georgia Tech Year In Review.

Other items
– Erick Erickson: Hollywood Hypocrisy on Guns.
– Former Rep. Ralph Long is rumored to be considering a challenge to Atlanta City Councilwoman Joyce Sheperd.
– Former President George H.W. Bush spent Christmas in the hospital but is now out of the ICU.
– Secretary of State Clinton was hospitalized last night after Doctors detected a blood clot.
– Courts in France throw out a 75% millionaires tax. Winner: Gerard Depardieu.
– Happy New Year! Obamacare taxes kick in tomorrow.
– We’re speeding toward the fiscal cliff. Will a late deal be reached? It seems to me both sides have come to the conclusion their political hand is strengthened by going over the cliff. I’m not sure who comes out ahead but I’d rather see a good deal (i.e. small or even no tax increases, spending cuts, entitlement reform, and an actual budget.) than a rushed, cobbled together deal.

Most Important Item Of The Day:
– 2012-2013 Bowl Results & Schedule.

John Konop December 31, 2012 at 8:12 am

I was listening to the radio on my drive back from Texas, the republican senator was upset about the cuts in military effecting jobs in her state, especially north Dallas via the fiscal . Latter on I hear how the government should not be supporting infrastructure spending and how it is unconstitutional…..Beyond the fact our country economic plan from the start was based on building roads, rail, airports, electronic grid, Internet……economics 101 tells you this is a better jobs ie economic program verse military spending.

Next I hear how we do not have to make tough cuts to entitlements and how seniors earned them……once again the average senior takes out 3 dollars for every 1 dollar put in for Medicare.

The problem is us! Congress reflects on both sides to many people who would rather support what they feel about an issue rather than reality. The solutions are fairly simple, the problem is in the mirror.

John Konop December 31, 2012 at 8:16 am

Buzz, great article about Georgia Tech, one of the best assets in Georgia for the economy!

NoTeabagging December 31, 2012 at 9:31 am

” the average senior takes out 3 dollars for every 1 dollar put in for Medicare”
Are you including the decades of payroll deductions most seniors paid toward medicare?

mpierce December 31, 2012 at 10:16 am
mpierce December 31, 2012 at 10:18 am

Oops, try this link.

joe December 31, 2012 at 10:48 am

But, like any good Ponzi scheme, as long as there are more and more payers, the payees will be OK for a few more years. :-)

John Konop December 31, 2012 at 11:08 am

NoTea,

Think about it logically, healthcare cost has been growing 2 to 3 times faster than GDP for years. Do you really think people have been contributing at that rate? That is why unless we lower the increase in healthcare cost we can never solve the problem. That is why I have made the point many times we must take a hard look a tough solutions ie letting seniors and government workers buy drugs from the VA, not cover elective and or decrease coverage on procedures, promote dial doc over emergency rooms for non emergency care, use drug stores over emergency rooms for non emergency care, deregulate the use of nurses for non emergency care, trade the amount of liability for free healthcare for life mistakes, end payroll taxes…. and fund via a VAT………….

saltycracker December 31, 2012 at 6:35 pm

The Feds being smart put in Medicare and SS with some actuarian studies and promising reasonable controls, minimum fraud and abuse and the same returns they use for calculating public pensions – 7.5% or more in the pot of money they collected or contributed. Right?

The Feds have decades of mismanaging healthcare and now the answer is not to address the fraud, abuse and incredulous policies but make overall cuts ? It is just too complicated to enforce, they say.

Penalize for voluntary obesity, smoking and bad lifestyle choices ? Nah.

Three Jack December 31, 2012 at 9:48 am

GOPers are the Houston Texans of Congress.

Obama pretty much flipped off GOPers on MTP yesterday. He so won the battle on this self inflicted fiscal cliff non-sense that he can confidently take the position of doing nothing. If GOPers don’t agree with him, then he just lets everything expire tonight with the promise of an Obama tax cut to be introduced on Jan. 3. Boehner, McConnell, et al have zero leverage but yet continue to stonewall the inevitable.

The GOP loses another PR battle, the Texans back into the playoffs losing 3 of their last 4 games. The only difference is at least the Texans will likely be the favorites in their next game, GOPers, ha!

Jackster December 31, 2012 at 11:48 am

The Prez has also said repeadedly that members of congress need to “do their job”. So, does that mean the president is doing his job? I guess it depends on how we’re defining it.

It seems as though Obama defines his job as, “Pass my agenda”, and Congresses’ job as “Pass my (obama’s) agenda”. So if congress isn’t passing his agenda, then they’re not doing their jobs. And vice versa.

That to me is what is so damn frustrating. So, I will continue to pay down my debt to the point where I have options for my family when MY agenda doesn’t line up with congress’.

atlanta_advocate December 31, 2012 at 12:23 pm

So what, the GOP is supposed to pass Obama’s agenda? Or Obama is supposed to accept a “compromise” that allows the GOP to claim victory? Obama won the last election, and the Democrats have won 2 of the last 3 elections going back to 2008. 2010 was an outlier due to the economy bottoming out. Elections have consequences. Just like the 2000 election did when Bush got to pass these tax cuts that are about to expire in the first place.

joe December 31, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Elections do have consequences, but in 2012, Obama did NOT receive a mandate. The GOP held on to the majority in the House. We are still a divided country, and the D.C. attitude of ‘my way or the highway’ is unrealistic and not very helpful.

DavidTC January 1, 2013 at 5:49 pm

The GOP held on to their majority of the House _solely_ due to the gerrymandering they did at the state level in 2010. There were more votes, nation-wide, for House Democrats (59,645,387) , than House Republicans (58,283,036).

Moveover, pretending that ‘Who is currently in office’ reflects the will of the American people is idiotic. There is such thing as an incumbency advantage, and the House is not some magical reflection of what people. It’s about half want people want, and about half of whatever it was last time. (Which is what makes wild swings there so startling.)

But even with gerrymandering, voters _removed_ 16 incumbent Republicans from the House and replaced them with Democrats, while only removing 6 incumbent Democrats and replacing them with Republicans. (And two of those six lost to _incumbent_ Republicans, having been redistricted into that Republican district. If both candidates are incumbents, neither really have the incumbent advantage.)

Americans do not appear to want ‘Republicans in charge of the House’. They, in fact, appear to slightly want _Democrats_ in charge of the House. They do not want to enough to overcome gerrymandering and incumbency inertia, so they didn’t get it this election, but they do want it.

This is not to say that the Republicans do not legitimately control the House. They do. But it does not automatically follow that’s what Americans _want_ to be true.

And, incidentally, as the right stated that Bush had a mandate in 2000, they are not allowed to claim that any Democrat does not unless that winning Democrat does worse than Bush.

Jackster December 31, 2012 at 2:03 pm

I think if Obama wants any political capital for any of his initatives coming up in the next year, he’s going to need some IOUs from the R’s… seems like this self inflicted disaster of the “fiscal cliff” is a good place to start.

Jackster December 31, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Do you disagree with Grover Norquist that the only way congress will actually come to a deal is if the negotiations were televised?

Harry December 31, 2012 at 6:31 pm

No matter how this plays out, I predict inflation.

The Last Democrat in Georgia December 31, 2012 at 8:18 pm

“No matter how this plays out, I predict inflation.”

…You know that you’re really stepping out on a limb with such a bold prediction, don’t you? :)

Harry December 31, 2012 at 9:33 pm

I don’t understand why the sheeple aren’t b******* about it already.

Dave Bearse January 1, 2013 at 12:32 am

Yeah, its’ bold, given it’s been a over two decades since inflation has been a real problem, and there’s no inflation in sight.

Harry January 1, 2013 at 12:41 am

Even Keynes said government spending would result in inflation.

The Last Democrat in Georgia January 1, 2013 at 1:01 am

Inflation won’t be such a non-concern when we wake up one day and it costs like $300 to buy a loaf of bread…Hence, the stockpiling of weapons for the day that our already bankrupt government can no longer pay the cops to keep the peace.

Scott65 January 1, 2013 at 4:47 pm

The US is broke. Government deficits are de facto evidence of a government gone wild. We’re careening toward Greece. Entitlements are the root cause of our fiscal woes, and the Chinese are coming for our grandchildren. How many Americans believe this garbage? My guess? Most of them.

Pete Peterson has won and the American people have lost. There is no effective counter narrative, not even from the left. Nearly all “progressives” have accepted the fundamental premise that the federal government is like a great big household. That it faces the same kinds of constraints that you and I face. That it should spend only what it takes in and that deficits are morally and/or fiscally irresponsible. President Obama told the nation, “We’re out of money.” All of this is utter nonsense, as readers of this blog know, and it leaves progressives in the weak position of pointing at the 1% and yelling, “Get ‘em! They’ve got all the money!” Want to care for seniors? Tax the 1%. Want safe roads, good schools, investment in alternative energy? Tax the 1%. The problem, of course, is that the 1% tend to fight back …. and win!

The truth is, we’re not broke. The US dollar comes from the US government (not from China, as we’re led to believe). The US government is not revenue constrained. It is the Issuer of the currency, not the User of the currency like you and I. It plays by a completely different set of rules, yet it behaves as if it is still bound by the shackles of a gold standard. It behaves irresponsibly when it proposes policies to reduce the deficit when unemployment is high and inflation is low. We’re letting millions of Americans suffer because Pete Peterson and his ilk have convinced virtually everyone that we face a fiscal crisis in this country. We live in fear of the Chinese, the Ratings Agencies, the Bond Vigilantes, Indentured Grandchildren, and so on. And this fear is used by politicians on both sides of the political aisle to sell “sacrifice” to the rest of us. And we keep buying.

And here’s the really sad part. It will never be enough.

Scott65 January 1, 2013 at 4:50 pm

The preceding was an excerpt from
I hit the button before I attached the link. I think you guys should check it out. They advocate lower taxes too
http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2012/10/pete-peterson-has-won.html#more-3556

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