Voting to let the country fall off the cliff was an audacious, even precocious, move by the Democratic golden boy and presidential pet - one that, oddly, put him on the side of Marco Rubio and Rand Paul rather than Obama and Joe Biden. "It is an interesting group," he deadpanned about the naysayers.
He also had to go against Majority Leader Harry Reid, who anointed the freshman to be the new leader of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Contrary to the highly successful Patty Murray, and, ummmm voters, who got more Progressives and Women elected last year, Bennet like the comfort of the Old Boys Club-style senate and is strangely trying revive Blue Dog Democrats from their slow-motion extintion.
I'm sure he still wants to banish true progressives, like Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Al Franken, from the Democratic Caucus in the senate. At the least he'll be happy to oppose them:
Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, are part of a self-described centrist group of 15 Democrats meeting regularly "seeking to restrain the influence of party liberals in the White House and on Capitol Hill," according to an account in Roll Call (subscription required).
The group has a "shared commitment to pursue moderate, mainstream and fiscally sustainable policies across a range of issues, such as health care reform, the housing crisis, educational reform, and energy policy."
Not many ideas in those areas coming from Bennet lately.
Bennet, the future of his party, comes from the fertile territory of the Mountain West. Asked if his vote was a way to stake out some centrist and independent territory for a future White House run, he demurred, "No, no, no."
I think the Senate is much more amenable to Bennet's goals, especially now the he's following in Max Baucus' footsteps and joined the highly corrupting Finance Committee.
Appointed in 2009 (By Bill Ritter, whom I will NEVER forgive. -z) and little known in his state, he managed to survive the conservative wave that swept out so many Democrats in 2010 and his coalition of Hispanics and women became the model for the Obama campaign in Colorado in 2012. Democrats are counting on Bennet to recruit a new generation of candidates who will broaden the appeal and geographic reach of the party.
I don't have much hope for Bennet and think Triangulation is a dead strategy and the Blue Dogs are a dead caucus.
Unfortunately, this article virtually guarantees Bennet will continue what he's doing, Colorado's citizens be damned. Getting the blessing from Dowd can only be the beginning of stuff like that.
...cuz they are Screwing their Base - again, and Fucking the Middle Class with Chained CPI, talk of a Grand Bargainhttp://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2013/05/will-michael-bennet-be-as-bad-at-dscc.html, and their never ending quest to find common ground with a bunch of crazy, old, racist, ignernt White Guys.
And all those Gen X-ers who put Obama in office twice may never return to the voting booth after this.
OK, I get that Democratic politicians think triangulation is a good strategy. It worked in the past for Bill Clinton, our last two-term Democratic president and still beloved by many. But it isn't the only political stategy around, and is especially fruitless when the other side, who is controlling the angle of the triangulation, is full of Tea Party, Radicalized, Lying Whackjob Republicans.
Michael Bennet and Mark Udall are still in its thralls.
For those who've been waiting for Barack Obama, unfettered from the constraints of re-election, to emerge from his chrysalis and take wing as the true liberal they have always known he was, well, here we are: a proposal to cut Social Security benefits via a cost-of-living adjustments (candidate Obama in 2008 said John McCain suggests "the best answer for the growing pressures on Social Security might be cost-of-living adjustments or raise the retirement age. Let me be clear: I will not do either.") And now this.
In December of 2008, Obama's choice for Secretary of Commerce, Chicago-based business tycoon Penny Pritzker, withdrew her name from consideration in the face of a triple-barreled onslaught. First, there was her position on the board of Superior Bank, which her family bought with the help of $645 million in tax credits for the federal government. In 2001, Superior collapsed after pioneering the bottom-feeding trade in subprime mortgages. In In These Times, David Moberg called it a "mini-Enron scandal"; 1,406 uninsured depositors lost their savings.
Here was what one of the victims had to say: "The Pritzkers are crooks. They don't care anything about people who spent their whole lives trying to save." And here is how Penny responded: "We had seven years of clean audits and then the auditors said, 'Well, maybe we'll change the way we calculate.' " Exquisite humanity, that. The family coughed up $435 million in settlement money in exchange for not having to admit any wrongdoing. But why, Penny was asked, would they pay half a billion dollars to clean up a mess she said was none of their fault? Because, she answered, "My family is not going to litigate with the federal government at a time like this"-a reference to the September 11 attacks; classy.
Obama should stop negotiating with those who are determined to cause him to fail. He should start standing up for some core Democratic principles, support the Middle Class who put him in office for two terms, set a base level of support for critical Democratic policies, and he should do it post haste.
It's not triangulation, but it'll work. I guarantee it.
The country is broke and our grandchildren will all be beggars in the streets, but there's always millions to spare for bullshit propaganda isn't there?
The Peter G. Peterson Foundation has announced a $1 million grant to the newly established Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership and Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire School of Law.
The grant will support the establishment of a Fiscal Responsibility Institute at the center as well as an annual conference focused on national budgetary issues. The center, which aims to provide scholarship, training, and opportunities for a new generation of leaders who value public service, was formally launched this week by an inaugural conference on the topic of "The Federal Budget and the Law: Finding a Way Forward."
Another think tank on fiscal responsibility is exactly what we need. It's the highest priority for those least affected by the ebbs and flows of our nations' economy.
I expect all of Colorado's Loyal Austerians to be at the first conference...
Polls tell us something about the characteristics of gun rights supporters and gun owners specifically. If we look at these categories, we see that they are disproportionately white, male and old.
"Disproportionately white, male and old" is a description that fits the Senate and, to a lesser degree, most other American political elites quite well.
For example campaign contributors are disproportionately white male, and old too.
Gun rights supporters are also more likely to be registered to vote than gun control advocates. So from this standpoint the cause of gun rights gets more of a hearing because it appeals to the kind of citizens who are already comfortable and used to participating in politics.
There is nothing here to disabuse me of my long-held notion that most economists reach their conclusions by cutting up a sheep on a rock and reading the entrails.
This error is needed to get the results they published, and it would go a long way to explaining why it has been impossible for others to replicate these results. If this error turns out to be an actual mistake Reinhart-Rogoff made, well, all I can hope is that future historians note that one of the core empirical points providing the intellectual foundation for the global move to austerity in the early 2010s was based on someone accidentally not updating a row formula in Excel.
And are we at all surprised that a certain zombie-eyed granny-starver of our casual acquaintance was one of the delivery mechanisms into our politics for what may be one of the great public-intellectual blunders (or worse) of the century?
Why, no, we are not at all.
This has been one of the most cited stats in the public debate during the Great Recession.Paul Ryan's Path to Prosperity budget states their study "found conclusive empirical evidence that [debt] exceeding 90 percent of the economy has a significant negative effect on economic growth." The Washington Post editorial board takes it as an economic consensus view, stating that "debt-to-GDP could keep rising - and stick dangerously near the 90 percent mark that economists regard as a threat to sustainable economic growth."
Only, the technique has lost its sizzle. Blue Dogs have been losing elections in droves.
Republicans have kept tacking starboard, but Dems have mostly given up trying to affect the dialog even though voters have given them every reason to curse the darkness and act as foes to their hyper-ignorant political enemies.
Melissa Harris-Perry had a good panel on recently to question the sanity of Dems who are determined to cut Social Security in a psychotic fit of triangulation:
Melissa HARRIS-PERRY: The budget plan President Obama presented this week makes another push toward a grand bargain with an inclusion of an enticement to Republicans that had so far been off the table in the deficit battle, a proposal to take a scalpel to Social Security. His plan would limit the benefits paid to seniors by charting the calculation for inflation -- changing the calculation for inflation, to cut the growth of monthly Social Security payments in the future. So instead of tying the increases to the consumer price index, the President's budget would change it to a different calculation called chained CPI.
And while his budget exempts the oldest and the poorest of Social Security recipients, it would cause 65 year old retirees to lose more than a thousand dollars a year by the time they reach age 85, which far more of them are now going to reach.
House Republicans for their part, have refused to take the bait.
But the plan has sparked resistance from within the President's own party as progressives launch an organized campaign against the proposal. So I mean, I mean I know what second term presidents are supposed do. They're supposed to touch the third rail that nobody else can. They're never run for election again. But this one has been tough.
ULRICH: Why are we picking on old people? Why are we nickel and diming our seniors who can't afford this? A thousand dollars a year, that can pay for prescriptions, prescription coverage that's not covered by the government, because in retirement, more than a third of your costs are going to be related to health care. $200,000 on average for seniors in their senior lifetime. It's crazy.
HARRIS-PERRY: And with baby boomers being where they are in their life cycle right now, we've got a lot of seniors, if everybody is going to stop smoking, even more old people, right, and so we know this is a huge population and I think part of the conversation has been, what are we going to do with all of these retirees, and this is one answer.
Dean BAKER: You know, it really is outrageous I think, because the presumption is that somehow seniors have too much money. And you know, Josh actually wrote a nice piece on this a little while back. Our retirement system collapsed.
We don't have defined benefit pensions any longer.
Most people have little by way of savings.
We know that a lot of people took a big hit on their homes with the collapse of the housing bubble. Social Security has been the one pillar of retirement income that's stood up.
If anything we should looking into expanding it. So, I mean, this is just you know, the Washington Post loves this. But apart from the Washington punditry --
You'll never see Mark Udall on a panel like this.
You'll never hear Michael Bennet talk of expanding Social Security.
You'll never hear Jared Polis stand up for the elderly against this plan.
They've Triangulated...as far away as possible from the Democratic base that put them in office.
They did it almost as soon as they were sworn in.
That's what you need to know about those Colorado Democrats who are determined to do the outrageous to Colorado's seniors and vets and disable.
This is a case of political malpractice on the part of state and national Democrats.
Senator Mitch McConnell is a leading symbol of the GOP and of what Democrats loathe about the GOP. And he is, on paper, the most vulnerable Senate incumbent.
In his fifth term now, McConnell has an approval rating in Kentucky of 36 percent. Silent but sullen, most of his own party doesn't really like him. The state's Democrats, who still control the governorship and the lower house, positively despise the man.
Yet out of a toxic mix of fear, self-interest and timidity, no credible candidate has stepped forward to challenge him.
Bennet says he took almost a month to decide whether to take on the role because in part he wanted confirmation, from Republicans in particular, that the job would not imperil relationships he has painstakingly built in four years on Capitol Hill.
"I wanted to make sure it would not interfere with my ability to work in a bipartisan way in the Senate," Bennet said in a short, guarded phone interview. "I talked to people on both sides of the aisle about that and became convinced."
Here's hoping Mitch McConnell gets the challenger he so well deserves. Maybe Michael Bennet and the DSCC will have something to do with it.
The War on Workers has been internalized by the Democratic Party.
Jared Polis and Mark Udall are both "Honorary Co-Chairs" of Third Way, a Pete Peterson front group that intends to cut the social safety net and cripple that pesky Middle Class.
Joining them are Michael Bennet, who actually voted down the sequester deal because it didn't cut enough, and Democratic President Barack Obama, who is the first Democratic President to propose cuts Social Security.
Despite the fact that many millions of elderly, retirees, and disabled rely on those meager funds, that both private and public pensions are less funded than required by law, and that the 401k retirement fund experiment has failed its primary purpose (oh, the banks and fund managers make their money) President Obama's budget also includes cuts to federal worker pensions:
Chained CPI would hit federal workers especially hard-under President Obama's budget, federal pensions as well as Social Security would be subject to the chained CPI cuts. That proposal comes at the same time as Obama's budget calls for increased pension contributions from federal workers:
Under that plan, a repeat of an administration proposal advanced last year, federal employees would pay an additional 1.2 percentage points of their pay, spread out over three years - 0.4 percent annually. Federal retirement payments and Social Security payments, among other benefits, would increase at a slower rate under an alternative inflation index Obama recommended.
So three years into a pay freeze and as furloughs under sequestration are starting, the president's budget has federal workers start paying more into their pensions and getting less out of them-but hey, he's proposing they get a one percent pay raise, so it's all good, right?
Despite clear electoral mandates in the last two elections, a Democratic President is coerced into playing by the Republican game plan: anti-worker, anti-tax-fairness, anti-democratic, anti-transparency.
I can link to all that crap if you'd like, but it's been in the news every day. And every day Democrats will tell you they're doing a great job fighting for their constituents.
But they'll be lying, just like a good Republican does.
It also shows what a bushel of ignorance mixed with a ton of concrete can get for a party that lives in the past yet won't die a normal death.
Republicans have pushed the debate so far to the right for so long that Democrats have now proposed to incrementally ruin Social Security so their Millionaire Donors and Billionaire Buddies can send a message to the riff-raff:
Over the last few years Wall Street has thrown every commission, gang, sequester and supercommitee they could come up with at our earned benefits. Each time, you have risen to the occasion.
Here's a rally of some who disagree with the current batch of Corporatist Dems and their imminent failure. Senator Bernie Sanders delivered over 2 Million signatures to President Obama.
The Republican bargaining habit is well-established -- take Obama's "final" offer as the new starting point and demand further concessions. With this strategy, our president has let them take him to the cleaners for more than four years now, and is still hoping that sweet reasonableness will produce compromise. It never has and never will.
If Democrats stand for anything, it is defense of Social Security and Medicare -- America's two most broadly beneficial and most beloved government programs -- and the president just gave away this last bit of product differentiation. In the past, Republicans have saved Obama from himself by refusing to consider any tax hikes. Now, I'm beginning to think, it's time for Democrats save him from himself. And the Democratic Party. And us.
Congress and the Administration are considering, as a means of deficit reduction, a legislative change to the consumer price index - the so-called "chained CPI." This change would have a particularly negative impact on Social Security benefits - here's why:
1. Chained CPI compounds over time.
As a result of a chained CPI, there will be a 0.3% annual cut in Social Security cost of living adjustments (COLAs). Social Security loses $112 billion over the next 10 years.
(That $112 Billion is probably how much the Koch Brothers will be worth when this is over. -z)
2. The greatest impact will be on the most vulnerable older Americans.
As retirees age, they have less income, fewer financial assets, and are more dependent on Social Security. Specifically, women tend to live longer than men and tend to have lower incomes, so women and poorer households are more at risk of falling into poverty with any cuts to Social Security.
3. Benefits for disabled and retired veterans would be cut.
3.2 million disabled veterans and another 2 million military retirees would see their benefits cut if chained CPI is adopted.
(And here I thought everyone in Washington, DC, loved our veterans and vowed to uphold our nation's promise to them. -z)
4. Chained CPI is a less accurate measure of inflation
(Google it if you don't believe the AARP. -z)
5. Social Security does not drive deficits, and should not be cut as part of a budget deal.
(And has never been part of a budget deal. -z)
So now the questions are:
Can Michael Bennet find enough new and returning senatorial candidates who support these cuts that he can support as chair of the Senate Campaign Committee?
I firmly believe Coloradans didn't vote for this B.S. last November. It's quite obvious who wants to cut Social Security and thinks it's a good idea politically and will somehow fix the budget: The 1%, The Donor Class, The Third Way Co Chairs Jared Polis, Pete Peterson, every elected Republican since FDR, All 3 of the Koch Brothers, Jon Caldara, Mike Rosen, and the list goes on.
Oh, and Barack Obama, Jared Polis, Michael Bennet and Mark Udall.
Those big-time donors and Republican mouthpieces might have the ear of legislators by virtue of their gifts of gab and cash. But, unfortunately for them and fortunately for us, they still only have one vote to cast next time Polis and Udall and Bennet are up for a contract renewal to their cush jobs with killer benefits.
For the first time in history, a Democratic president has officially proposed to cut the Democratic Party's signature New Deal program, Social Security.
How far to the right has Obama gone in Pre-Negotiating for Republicans?
God help us if the Republicans wise up and take this deal. After all, it's a more conservative budget than even their hero Ronald Reagan ever submitted.
Is the Bipartisanship Fetish of Democrats like Obama, Udall, Polis and Bennet a good and smart thing?
This is rotten public policy, and all those political reasons pale in comparison to the damage he is doing here.
With the demise or curtailment of most pensions, the drop in family wealth due to the collapse of the housing sector in 2008, the big unemployment numbers cutting into many families' life savings, the flattening or decrease of wages for most workers, and the inflation in many essentials among those who are working driving down the ability to save for retirement, this is the absolute last time we should be looking at cutting incomes for retirees.
Democrats in the Presidency, the House and the Senate are bailing on their prime constituency, and have once again failed to respond to voters' mandate and are too afraid of their own shadow to lead like true Democrats should:
First, we cannot simply sit back and expect the GOP to do our dirty work for us. After all, the way things are going, the Prsident or could start offering up new tax cuts for all we know. He's either a terrible negotiator or he really, really wants these cuts.
Either way, counting on President Obama holding the line is probably not a good idea.
Call your Senators starting today.
The pattern so far has been that Speaker Boehner will only suspend the Hastert Rule (allowing legislation to the floor without a Republican majority) if it is already passed with a bipartisan Senate vote. Best to try to stop it here first.
Meanwhile prepare for a barrage of savvy, world weary commentary from your fellow liberals telling you that this is no big thing and that Democrats will not suffer even a tiny bit if they vote for a common sense proposal like this one. You will be shushed and told to calm down and take a chill pill. In other words, you will be gaslighted by fellow liberals who are embarrassed that you aren't being coolly accepting of something that is completely unacceptable. This is how this works.
Tell them to Shut The Fuck UP and move out of the way.
All this calls into question just how many votes, how much evidence, how much polling must take place for Democrats to act the part.
Republicans never back off their principles.
Democrats never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity - no matter who one the last election.
Of course, it sank like a bowling ball heaved into a vat of oatmeal. But it did illustrate a fundamental truth about the way economics is lodged in our politics: when Republicans talk about their love for a "pro-growth" economy, and when the Democrats talk about their love for "the middle class," they're both pretty much lying to you.
The entire economic debate right now takes place in a tightly circumscribed universe of options, and there simply is not enough in that universe to rescue a crumbling middle-class from the forces that are taking it apart, piece by piece.
There is nothing being debated that will do fuck-all* about income inequality, or about the geyser of money that has spouted upward during the period Johnston describes.
Instead, we're fighting over how austere we have to be.
Across the country, suburban poverty rose by more than half in the first decade of the new century. Families now find themselves navigating landscapes that were built around wealth: single-family houses that are sold, not rented; too few apartment buildings; and government agencies hidden at the far edge of the suburban ring, more responsive to trash-pickup complaints than rising hunger rates.
The Ramada families became homeless because they could no longer pay rents and mortgages and found little help to slow their fall.
In 2011, Colorado ranked eighth in foreclosures nationwide. When families in Jefferson County, which encompasses Denver's western suburbs, lost their home in the recession, they flooded a market that had the lowest number of rental vacancies in ten years. The Section 8 program in the area dispenses vouchers through a random lottery that typically has about 2,500 applicants; in any given year, only 30 to 40 spots become available. The school system, which keeps the best records of homelessness in the county, says the number of homeless students rose from 59 in 2001 to 2,812 in the current school year.
Unable to find another home and unable to find space in the county's shelters, which hold fewer than 100 beds, the new poor disappeared into the suburban landscape wherever they could find a roof. With nowhere else to go, they turned the Ramada Inn into an impromptu SRO.
Potts is most remarkable in her ability to demonstrate the subtle ways in which people not only become poor, but also how they begin to start thinking of themselves as poor people, including the inherent terror of anyone with any kind of authority over their fragile lives:
The hotel's residents know who Bruce is, though. They've seen him come by on Sundays to collect money from the washers and dryers, and they know he issues commands that affect their daily lives. From the perspective of the Ramada families, he has one rule that he wants observed above all others: no children in the lobby or hallways. If he drives up and one of the nice clerks is on duty, she'll yell, "Bruce!" and whoever is in the lobby runs back to their room.
The Ramada families rate an article in the Prospect.
Homeless students are counted, but do they count?
Do they rate the concern of Colorado's representatives in Washington, DC?
Like the Koch Brothers, Peterson has funded many "independent" organizations specifically tasked to work against Social Security and put undo attention on our nation's debt -- which is definitely not the problem Peterson, his front groups and his other flacks argue that it is.
Fix the Debt took only $5 Million to get rolling. Here's some of what he got for that miniscule investment:
Fix the Debt is the most hypocritical corporate PR campaign in decades, an ambitious attempt to convince the country that another cataclysmic economic crisis is around the corner and that urgent action is needed. Its strategy is pure astroturf: assemble power players in business and government under an activist banner, then take the message outside the Beltway and give it the appearance of grassroots activism by manufacturing an emergency to infuse a sense of imminent crisis.
Behind this strategy are no fewer than 127 CEOs and even more "statesmen" pushing for a "grand bargain" to draw up an austerity budget by July 4. With many firms kicking in $1 Million each on top of Peterson's $5 million in seed money, this latest incarnation of the Peterson message machine must be taken seriously.
Fix the Debt has hired such powerful PR firms and lobby shops as the DCI Group, the Glover Park Group, the Dewey Square Group and Proof Integrated Communications, a unit of the PR firm Burson-Marsteller, which was the go-to firm for Big Tobacco. In the run-up to the "fiscal cliff," these firms launched a flashy $3 million media campaign, blanketing Capitol Hill with TV, Internet, Metro and newspaper ads featuring slogans like "Got Debt?" and "Just Fix It."
Fix the Debt's stable of CEOs are a PR flack's dream. Not only are they able to get meetings with everyone from John Boehner to President Obama; they can flood cable news with laughable messages of "shared sacrifice" and be treated with fawning respect.
Fix the Debt's David Cote, CEO of Honeywell, "brings serious financial muscle to the table" when he pushes "market credible solutions," chirps The Wall Street Journal. There is no mention that Cote is a tax-dodging, pension-skimping hypocrite: Honeywell has a negative average tax rate of 0.7 percent and underfunds its employee pensions by $2.8 billion, making Cote's workers even more reliant on Social Security.
Creating a crisis is key.
"America is more than $16 trillion in debt," Fix the Debt's website warns, calling it "a catastrophic threat to our security and economy." The CEOs echo this warning, writing to Congress of the "serious threat to the economic well-being and security of the United States."
To foster the illusion of a grassroots uprising, Peterson has nursed what the National Journal calls a "loose network of deficit-hawk organizations that seem independent but that all spout the Peterson-sanctioned message of the need for a 'Grand Bargain.'"
Sound Familiar? High power deficit hawks spread the lie that our nation's debt is causing an economic crisis that can only be fixed by implementing the shared sacrifice of cutting Social Security.
Udall and Polis, you can throw Michael Bennet in there too, fit the bill. They are playing the Oligarchs' game that will harm the Middle Class that they tell themselves they are helping.
Last year The Washington Post quoted Jim Drinkard, who oversees fact-checking at The Associated Press, as saying, "We had to have a self-imposed Michele Bachmann quota in some of those debates."
It's sad when you are so fact-challenged that you burn out the fact-checkers.
People like Bachmann represent everything that is wrong with the Republican Party.
She and her colleagues are hyperbolic, reactionary, ill-informed and ill-intentioned, and they have become synonymous with the Republican brand.
We don't need all politicians to be Mensa-worthy, but we do expect them to be cogent and competent.
When all the dust settles from the current dustup within the party over who holds the mantle and which direction to take, Republicans will still be left with the problem of what to do with people like Bachmann.
And as long as the party has Bachmanns, it has a problem.
Yes, the Republican Tea Party has a serious credibility problem. And Democrats should have a problem being bipartisan with them until they start showing signs of sanity.
Polls showed 90% of Americans support the provision:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will introduce gun control legislation Thursday night that includes a proposal for universal background checks.
"Later tonight, I will start the process of bringing a bill to reduce gun violence to the Senate floor," Reid said in a statement. "This bill will include the provisions on background checks, school safety and gun trafficking reported by the Judiciary Committee. I hope negotiations will continue over the upcoming break to reach a bipartisan compromise on background checks, and I am hopeful that they will succeed. If a compromise is reached, I am open to including it in the base bill. But I want to be clear: in order to be effective, any bill that passes the Senate must include background checks."
The news will cheer up gun control advocates who were left despondent when Reid announced the baseline bill would not include a ban on assault weapons.
Thank goodness they are listening...slightly, but this begs the question: What the hell are Senate Democrats thinking when they hesitate to bring up a bill supported by 90% of Americans?
Oh, maybe they aren't thinking, after all. But, maybe Senate Democrats will also look at all the polls showing how significantly Americans support Social Security and come out for that, too!
Mike Ruffer, a Five Guys franchise owner who operates eight of the chain restaurants in the Durham, North Carolina area, has decided to join the restaurant industry's war on health care reform, claiming that the additional costs of providing his workers with health care coverage will raise the prices of hot dogs and burgers for customers who patronize his establishments.
"Any added costs are going to have to be passed on," Ruffer told the Examiner:
Ruffer was the star witness at a Monday Heritage Foundation seminar on the impact Obamacare will have on small businesses. He is typical of many: Because he has enough full time employees to activate the law, he faces either coughing up the money to provide health insurance or paying a fine of up to $3,000 per worker.
Ruffer initially thought he would escape the law because he created each restaurant as its own company. But the law doesn't recognize that distinction, so now he's trying to determine if he can fire enough workers, or cut enough hours, to slide out of the grasp of Obamacare.
How do these anti-tax, anti-government, anti-worker, anti-Middle-Class Activists think they got their wealth and power - from their unique and superior business genius or from the workers, the infrastructure, and the markets and customers that a stable society supports?
Within one week Republicans are going to grab the national spotlight on two huge issues that should be the realm of the party who stands up for the little guy. That party used to be the Democratic party. How can they let this happen?
They are letting this happen because campaign cash is still more important than any policy decision. Most campaign cash comes from those who can afford it (duh), who then get more face time to ply their representatives. And if a policy threatens those with face time, you know who wins that battle: the Big Donors.
On Friday, at the CPAC convention, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher is going to call for breaking up the big banks in the wake of a failed Dodd-Frank bill.
This is mind blowing. First a Republican, Rand Paul, filibusters to get answers about the targeted killing program and now at CPAC, a speech calling for breaking up the TBTF banks. Where are the Democrats?? The last thing we heard from the party was that the executives can't be held criminally liable, via Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer.
Can you imagine Jared Polis or Michael Bennet or Mark Udall saying this?
End "Too Big to Fail" Once and for All
[...]"Third, we recommend that the largest financial holding companies be restructured so that every one of their corporate entities is subject to a speedy bankruptcy process, and in the case of banking entities themselves, that they be of a size that is 'too small to save.'"
Here's a fun secret: Tax reform (in this case referring to eliminating or scaling back "tax expenditures") is technically a conservative policy priority, even if elected Republicans refuse to ever support it for real.
This is a compromise in which conservative policy is being offered in exchange for conservative support for a conservative policy.
The sequester and Obama's Bargain quest mean that Republicans can choose between allowing a Democrat to "take credit" for cutting the two most popular programs in the country or they can just live with the already-passed government spending cut that they are also able to blame on the president.
They will say it is inevitable, as Digby summarizes:
Obama said that he has made clear to his advisers that some of the difficult choices -- particularly in regards to entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare - should be made on his watch. "We've kicked this can down the road and now we are at the end of the road," he said.
To now say that they have no choice but to cut entitlements because of the sequester (which they agreed to) is just too clever by half.
Mark Udall has said he's willing to lose his job over it. I wish he would.
And if Senator Mark Udall had even one gut, let alone the "guts" to push what he thinks is the only solution to Social Security's incredibly small budgeting issue, he'd write that law and submit it to the Senate...and put his fate as a legislator in the hands of Colorado's voters next year.