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Forget the $700 billion Bush bailout. And forget the additional $700 billion proposed by the Obama team and favored by Congressional Democrats.

That's small talk, folks. Look at this plan and take a deep breath:

Fed Pledges Top $7.4 Trillion to Ease Frozen Credit

By Mark Pittman and Bob Ivry

Nov. 24 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. government is prepared to lend more than $7.4 trillion on behalf of American taxpayers, or half the value of everything produced in the nation last year, to rescue the financial system since the credit markets seized up 15 months ago.

The unprecedented pledge of funds includes $2.8 trillion already tapped by financial institutions in the biggest response to an economic emergency since the New Deal of the 1930s, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The commitment dwarfs the only plan approved by lawmakers, the Treasury Department’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. Federal Reserve lending last week was 1,900 times the weekly average for the three years before the crisis.

When Congress approved the TARP on Oct. 3, Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson acknowledged the need for transparency and oversight. Now, as regulators commit far more money while refusing to disclose loan recipients or reveal the collateral they are taking in return, some Congress members are calling for the Fed to be reined in.

You think that price tag will buy some Congressional oversight?

Me neither.

Meanwhile, Greg Sargent over at TPM is reporting a plan to fast-track legislation so that it's sitting on Obama's desk for signing the day he's sworn in:

Dem Congressional leaders are working with Obama officials to create and pass a massive stimulus package before Obama takes power on January 20th, a senior Dem leadership aide confirms to me.

The timing is significant because it means Obama could sign it the first day he takes office.

"We come in January 6th and Obama is sworn in on January 20th," the leadership aide emails to me, adding that the timing "gives both of us a month and a half to work on a plan that could be taken up in House shortly after we come in and sent to the Senate before January 20th."

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:25 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yikes! (19+ / 0-)

    What's that? 30K per person roughly? We're going to be paying this off for generations

    •  This is one reason why I'm lobbying hard (11+ / 0-)

      for an increase in the gasoline tax, for starters.

      Raise the Gasoline Tax, Immediately/Pronto/Now!

      We simply do NOT have the ability to borrow this kind of money without instituting some fiscal sanity in our budget.

      We haven't even begun discussing our infrastructure needs, funding education, fixing social security and medicare, and so forth and so on, and our national debt is looking at $15 trillion.

      That's up from $5.7 trillion when Bush took office.

      God.

      President Barack Obama - #44

      by Yalin on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:29:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Correction: $17.1 Trillion, not $15 trillion. (13+ / 0-)

        Bush raised our national debt to $9.7 Trillion before these bailouts began.

        With the bailouts, it's $17.1 Trillion by the time he leaves office.

        President Barack Obama - #44

        by Yalin on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:30:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tripled the national debt after inheriting (14+ / 0-)

          a beyond balanced budget...

          If he were a CEO, he'd be getting a golden parachute for such "leadership."

          "The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you." - David Foster Wallace

          by John Shade on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:44:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Justice might be (6+ / 0-)

            gold-plated concrete overshoes for such a display of competence.

            [When] the land... has become private property, the landlords... love to reap where they never sowed, and demand rent even for its natural produce. ~Adam Smith

            by ogre on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:49:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  And yet we can't spare $25 billion for Detroit? (11+ / 0-)

              And yet we can't spare a mere $25 billion for Detroit?

              [sarcasm]Well, you know, those folks on Wall St. are so smart. We can trust them with $7+ trillion in loans and guarantees. They're smart. But $25 billion for Detroit? How could we do that? They'll just waste it![/sarcasm]

              •  regardless of what your position is on the (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                greenearth, bear83, John Shade

                various bailouts we've had, I really wish people wouldn't use the word "mere" in the context of $25,000,000,000 dollars.

                A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -1.75/-4.00

                by Crookshanks on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:02:52 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  it is peanuts in comparison (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Brian Bell, dkmich, greenearth, bear83, sabishi

                  it is likely trying to balance the family food budget by cutting out penny candy and keeping the lobster and expensive steak on the menu every day.

                  (¯`*._(¯`*._(-IMPEACH-)_.*´¯)_.*´¯)

                  by dancewater on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:30:14 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  $25,000,000,000 is not peanuts by any objective (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    greenearth, Yalin, eyesonly

                    measure.  It's real money and it's going to have to come from somewhere -- probably the national credit card.

                    I take no position on the bailout for the big 3 -- I just think the proponents of that bailout need a better argument than "Us too!  It's only 25 billion!  That's peanuts compared to what Wall Street got!"

                    Why don't you talk about the impact it will presumably have on the economy rather than trying to dismiss 25 billion as some small sum?  And if you seriously believe that it's only going to take 25 billion then I have some GM shares you might be interested in taking off my hands.....

                    A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -1.75/-4.00

                    by Crookshanks on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:57:38 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Indeed. $25 billion would do a significant amount (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      greenearth

                      of good with regard to infrastructure projects.

                      President Barack Obama - #44

                      by Yalin on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 01:56:00 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  As I recall, $25B (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        UFOH1

                        would make a huge dent in things like clean water for every person on earth now lacking it.

                        Yeah.  Here it is from WHO:

                        Access for all to improved water and sanitation services would cost around US$22.6 billion per year.

                        Note that includes water AND sanitation services.

                        $25 billion is a hell of a lot of money.  $7 TRILLION is an absurdly large sum.

                        [When] the land... has become private property, the landlords... love to reap where they never sowed, and demand rent even for its natural produce. ~Adam Smith

                        by ogre on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 02:12:25 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  We are being suckered! (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          ogre

                          The banks are insolvent but they don't want us to know that.  

                          So they are pretending that if we empty the USA Treasury into the Bank Vaults that all will be well.

                          It won't.  Banks, AIGs, Pension Funds, Countries, States, Counties, Cities, Towns, and boards, like school boards, gambled on the Triple AAA Rated, Subprime Morgage Bundles AND LOST THE CRAP SHOOT.  Period.

                          Get ready for upheaval.

                          The burning question is:  Who has all that money?  Here is a list of my best guesses.  These are the shareholders who created MERS, the Mortgage Electonic Registration Systems you see as the Trustee on so many foreclosed property listings in your newspapers.  Everyone made money.

                          American Land Title Association

                          CCO Mortgage Corporation

                          Chase Home Mortgage Corporation of the Southeast

                          CitiMortgage, Inc.

                          Commercial Mortgage Securities Association

                          Corinthian Mortgage Corporation

                          Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.

                          EverHome Mortgage Company

                          Fannie Mae

                          First American Title Insurance Corporation

                          Freddie Mac

                          GMAC Residential Funding Corporation

                          Guaranty Bank

                          HSBC Finance Corporation

                          Merrill Lynch Credit Corporation

                          MGIC Investor Services Corporation

                          Mortgage Bankers Association

                          Nationwide Advantage Mortgage Company

                          PMI Mortgage Insurance Company

                          Stewart Title Guaranty Company

                          SunTrust Morgage, Inc.

                          United Guaranty Corporation

                          Washington Mutual Bank

                          Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

                          WMC Mortgage Corporation

                          http://www.mersinc.org/...

                          For the whole story, read this site:

                          http://loanworkout.org/...

                    •  Penny wise and pound foolish... (0+ / 0-)

                      You saved us all with that whopping 25b!
                      Penny wise and pound foolish.  

                      They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20 ~~ Dennis Kucinich

                      by dkmich on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:28:06 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I don't recall saying we shouldn't spend (0+ / 0-)

                        the money.  I haven't decided how I feel about bailing out the big 3.

                        All I recall saying was that it's annoying to hear people talk about what a small sum of money $25,000,000,000 is.  Those billions do tend to add up you know.....

                        A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -1.75/-4.00

                        by Crookshanks on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 03:54:58 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

              •  it's not Detroit, it's Detroit bosses (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                greenearth, fernan47

                and their effin private jets and shitty cars that don't last. they've known for years people their cars don't last and yet they continue to cause them to be made to break down. The bosses are the issue, not the people. The general sentiment is the public is concerned about Detroit bosses and their loser policies. It is not lack of concern for the millions still working in the Big 3 car industry. It is with hope that their jobs will be preserved that we hope that their bosses be ousted and progressive policy be established within the important US car industry.

                •  Yes, the problem is Big Three execs... (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Detlef, dancewater, greenearth, bear83

                  [sarcasm]Yes, the problem is Big Three execs and their wasteful, fat-cat ways, as opposed to Wall St. execs who live modest lives within their means, never to the detriment of their companies bottom line.[/sarcasm]

                  •  ...and some of the union rules (0+ / 0-)

                    The big three are profitable outside the US selling small cars. The execs made a decision to sell SUVs inside the US, which is now backfiring on them. However, union rules do not allow them to bring some of those profitable cars into the US to sell here.

                    The right choice would be to allow some of those cars to come into the US while factories here are re-tooled to build cars that people actually want.

                    •  which union rules? (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Brian Bell, Detlef, greenearth

                      please be specific. are there links?

                      why would unions care or have a say in limiting sales of decent cars within US borders. the assertion is counter-intuitive.

                      •  That's not the point. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        skywriter

                        The rules were designed to protect members of the unions--so they insist that "American" companies make cars for the North American market here, where union members build them.

                        The COMPANIES chose to build SUVs here, and NOT to build small and efficient cars here.  So small and efficient cars are not available here BECAUSE the execs chose not to build them here--and now they can't ship them in because the unions have deals that protect their members.  You want small, efficient cars here?  Great.  Build them here.  That's all the unions deals demand.

                        [When] the land... has become private property, the landlords... love to reap where they never sowed, and demand rent even for its natural produce. ~Adam Smith

                        by ogre on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 02:15:21 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  not defending bank bailouts (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ogre, greenearth

                    there's a big difference between producers (auto workers) and paper shufflers.

                    just saying there's been a whole lot of stupid at the top of the Big 3 for a long, long time and that causes people around the world not to want to buy their shitty wares.

                    In the 1970s, it was the Japanese who made crap, and the whole world knew it and stopped buying their crap. Now, it is the US auto bosses who reign over an empire of crap that doesn't last. They deliberately design cars to break down in order to feed their parts industry. Appliance manufacturers do the same thing. This is not news.

                    I firmly believe the US needs to get back into manufacturing things people want to buy, things that have value because they will last.

                    I oppose shipping agriculture and manufacturing overseas. The cost of shipping the items back and forth is too great and the US loses control over qualiy.

                    Thanks to "free trade." we have a whole lot of toxic crap being shipped from China. In return the U.S. ships the world fraudulent securities.

                •  Unrealistic. (5+ / 0-)

                  The cars they make do, in fact, last.

                  Two of the three Detroit execs have been at their posts less than 24 months - do you know how long it takes to turn around a global company that makes retail products that take three or four years to design?

                  Were the private Jets a mistake?  Absolutely. Should they trim a crapload of fat?  Hell yes.

                  But when we're handing out over a trillion dollars to people who we absolutely know fucked up and REALLY badly, you have to wonder why Detriot's being put through the ringer over a MUCH smaller amount of money.

                  It isn't CDO's and ABS's that are going to bring our economy and country back.

                •  RE: "shitty cars that don't last" (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Brian Bell, WillR, greenearth, bear83

                  Please provide a concrete example of a "shitty car" from the Big Three made sometime after the Reagan Administration and cite your source. Yes, yes the Corvair was dangerous, the Cadillac Cimarron was just a dressed up Sunbird, and the Pinto sucked but I don't see to many people driving around in 1984 Toyota's these days either. The Big Three's recent track record has been very good.

                  As for the "bosses" and their private jets well that was bone-headed but, really, is that private jet the problem? And perhaps if the airline service was halfway as reliable an American car, the Big Three CEO's could have taken a commercial flight confident they'd arrive in Washington on time.

                  And lest we forget we gave (not loaned but gave) the airlines an unwarranted $15,000,000,000 bailout after 9/11 with no strings. Only one senator had the stones to vote against that abomination and the GOP made sure to rune Peter Fitzgerald out of Washington for it.

                  detroitist - chronicling the life and times of the city that God intended.

                  by Woodwards Friend on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:39:16 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  my 1990 camry runs fine, couple of dents (0+ / 0-)

                    here and there but it runs fine.

                    My mechanics tell me to buy no American cars from the 1980s.

                    •  The 1980's are over (0+ / 0-)

                      No one is trying to bail out Roger Smith or Lee Iacocca. Detroit could use a man like Don Peterson again however.

                      detroitist - chronicling the life and times of the city that God intended.

                      by Woodwards Friend on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:31:29 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Small, fuel-efficient (0+ / 0-)

                        When Detroit starts building small, fuel-efficient cars that run on solar or other sustainable energy, Detroit will begin getting decent reviews.

                        At the moment, when you check consumer reviews, neither the critics nor the public is exclaiming how affordable and efficient is what's coming out of Detroit.

                        •  I do love those solar powered Hondas (0+ / 0-)

                          Despite being late to the game with hybrids, the Big Three's overall fuel efficiency is comparable to Toyota and Honda. Toyota, especially, sells a lot of trucks and SUVs but gets a free pass because of the Prius.

                          As for overall quality and affordability, the facts are on the Big Three's side: http://tinyurl.com/... And thanks to Japan's national health care and the only recent domestic production of foreign brands, Toyota/Honda/VW/etc don't have the Big Three's health and pension legacy costs.

                          Look I'm not pretending the Big Three is perfect and I'm glad that Congress is going to put strings on any bailout. Detroit needs to stop fighting emission standards like Phillip-Morris fought tobacco regulations. But that goes for the foreign automakers as well.

                          As a Detroiter who works indirectly in the auto industry I’m personally thrilled Waxman beat Dingell. If you check out my blog (http://detroitist.blogspot.com) you can see I’m no great fan of the Dingell dynasty or the Big Three Uber Alles mindset. Shameless plug, I know.

                          And the UAW can and should give up a lot without sacrificing their members’ middle class wages and health benefits. Streamlining the grievance process so the Big Three can fire employees for chronic absenteeism without a giant process would help for instance. Giving up a paid day off for the first day of hunting season would be good as well.

                          But the Big Three is an essential cog in our economic engine. Their implosion would have a catastrophic affect on nearly every sector of the economy. What they are requesting is, in the current climate, very modest. Compared to the airline bailout or the Government Sachs give away, the Big Three's request is sensible and in our long-term national interest. GM, Ford, and Chrysler have made great strides toward improving quality and business process. This request for $25 billion in loans will help them finish the job. More importantly, it gives all of us leverage to make them re-imagine the domestic auto industry as we want and need it to be.

                          detroitist - chronicling the life and times of the city that God intended.

                          by Woodwards Friend on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 01:26:50 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  The end of the whaling industry was (0+ / 0-)

                            a disaster too.

                            It's not a question of how much worse the financial industry is (it is).  

                            But I'm looking at being able to buy a US-made car, designed and built in the US (not in a low-cost state, either, but in CA) next year for $30k that will get better than 200mpg.

                            Where the fuck have the big three been?  None of this is being done by magic or some stunning breakthrough.

                            So... we should bail them out so that they can ask for breaks on CAFE again and offer us 40 mpg crap and tell us we ought to be grateful and impressed?

                            Note that I'm not against bailing them out, actually.  But the terms ought to be excruciating--the executive positions should bleed, and the government and workers should end up with substantial stock holdings...

                            [When] the land... has become private property, the landlords... love to reap where they never sowed, and demand rent even for its natural produce. ~Adam Smith

                            by ogre on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 02:26:05 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sure (0+ / 0-)

                            But I'm looking at being able to buy a US-made car, designed and built in the US (not in a low-cost state, either, but in CA) next year for $30k that will get better than 200mpg.

                            And I need a blowjob from Christie Turlington.

                            detroitist - chronicling the life and times of the city that God intended.

                            by Woodwards Friend on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 02:36:21 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Good luck with that. (0+ / 0-)

                            But the car I'm referring to is real.  I've got a deposit on it, and the prototypes have been test driven by people outside the company--and the first vehicles being delivered should be in the next few weeks.

                            Here's Popular Mechanics test drive video.

                            [When] the land... has become private property, the landlords... love to reap where they never sowed, and demand rent even for its natural produce. ~Adam Smith

                            by ogre on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:48:22 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Thanks, Woodwards Friend (0+ / 0-)

                            Well-thought out answer. There's wisdom in what you say. I want the manufacturing industries retooled in the U.S. Shipping jobs overseas has got to stop.

                            And, I want the government to stop terrorizing immigrant workers.

                          •  The tinyurl does not work, WF (0+ / 0-)
                          •  problem with honda is air conditioning (0+ / 0-)

                            they don't manufacture decent air conditioning for the South. Friends won't buy them for that reason.

                      •  Here's an explainer on Detroit's troubles (0+ / 0-)

                        Why Detroit Can't Keep Up

                        By Bernard Avishai
                        Sunday, November 23, 2008; B03

                        http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

                  •  Our Dodge Caravan saw the mechanic (0+ / 0-)

                    regularly.

                    Our Hondas don't know the way to the mechanic, we go so infrequently.

                    Brake system on the Caravan sucked like it was designed by the guys who designed some of the notorious British sports cars that spent more hours in the shop than on the road.

                    [When] the land... has become private property, the landlords... love to reap where they never sowed, and demand rent even for its natural produce. ~Adam Smith

                    by ogre on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 02:18:50 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  How about the hedge fund managers (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Brian Bell

                  who made three billion dollars last year and don't want to divulge how?  And they probably paid a mere 15% tax that's not going up as promised.  It didn't take long to convince Obama to change his mind about that.  And now they're putting the people who got us here in charge of finding a solution?  I hope Obama knows what he's doing.  

              •  Bush said no to $35 Billion for SCHIP (0+ / 0-)

                From Bush's SCHIP Veto Statement:

                Finally, Federal revenues relative to the size of the economy are already above their historic
                average level, and the use of tax increases to fund spending increases is undesirable and
                inadvisable.  Yet that is exactly what H.R. 3162 does.  Even worse, it does so by increasing a
                highly-regressive tax on tobacco, in addition to the tax on health insurance.

                PDF file

                "We let the special interests put their thumbs on the economic scales." - Barack Obama

                by Lefty Coaster on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 05:36:46 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  he should be decapitated for what he did. nt (2+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            Geiiga, fernan47
            Hidden by:
            LnGrrrR
            •  Too over-the-top (0+ / 0-)

              Maybe I'm a concern troll, but I feel comments like this are hide-worthy.

              No amnesty for Wall Street.

              by LnGrrrR on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:37:00 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  i don't (0+ / 0-)

                these comments are not literal!!

                When will Americans learn the value of metaphorical language.

                Although, death by any means, would be too good for bushie 2.  He needs to be made to suffer a long, long time.  Longer than anyone on earth could mete out to him.

                "When Obama speaks, Angels orgasm" Jon Stewart, 2008

                by fernan47 on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:43:17 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Won't have an impact. (12+ / 0-)

        Increase the tax on the rich - revert cap gains tax rate to be determined by income level and bring back Eisenhower's 24 tiered tax system.

        The Fed gas tax is about 18 cents now, if you made it $1.80 it would just punish the poor and truckers.  

        I thought like you did before, and I was wrong. Raising the gas tax will not stop the rich from wasting petrol. Taxing them when they make the money is the solution.

        Bring back serious progressive taxation, include cpa gains, dividend and interest income in the mix. Take the cap off SSI, too while we are at it.  

        2008, the Year the Republican Party dissolved into a little pond of goo

        by shpilk on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:35:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I didn't say raise the gas tax to $1.80. I said (0+ / 0-)

          raise it to $1.25.

          That would raise overall gasoline prices to $3 a gallon.

          Where did you get $1.80?

          That said, this would just be the start. We've known for years that in order to do what we need to do, we have to either lower benefits or raise taxes, or both.

          We need to start now, not wait when it'll be even harder for us.

          I liken the current situation to a terminally ill patient. You know how doctors say sometimes "Well if you'd just come in 6 months sooner, we could've saved you."

          I feel that with all our looming budget crises of the future, we are getting to that point within the next few decades. The sooner we start this process, the sooner we can avoid even more massive pain down the line.

          President Barack Obama - #44

          by Yalin on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:38:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  you are taxing (7+ / 0-)

            you will be TAXING the poor, and the truckers, and hence just creating inflation.

            GAS TAX IS STUPID.

            •  Perhaps. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo, Heartcutter, squarewheel

              But the use of fossil fuels is stupid--and so are policies that make it relatively cheap to use it.

              [When] the land... has become private property, the landlords... love to reap where they never sowed, and demand rent even for its natural produce. ~Adam Smith

              by ogre on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:50:25 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  realtively cheap (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Jagger, WillR

                cheap fossil fuel built this nation. Is it time to maybe discover and use another cheap source of energy?  sure.

                But please, to call using cheap sources of energy stupid, is ummm stupid.

                •  You're missing the boat. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Yalin, Go Kid Hugo

                  It's a FALSE economy. It's a false cheap.  The ACTUAL cost of those "cheap" gallons of fuel include something on the order of a trillion (that's a "T," yes) in war in Iraq costs.  Every gallon of fuel comes with it's own drop or two of American blood and a cup or so of Iraqi blood.

                  Then there's the environmental cost of the fuel--all of which has been dumped on the rest of us as indirect costs.  These include huge figures for additional health care and mortality from breathing the burnt fuel, and global climate change.  Those cheap gallons of gas are helping shift the climate so that vast regions of American farmland WILL be desert -- and there won't be water to make the desert bloom, nor cheap fuel to pump water there.

                  The idea that energy ought to be cheap and clean and plentiful is likely a pipe dream.

                  What you're seeing as a good, reasonable idea is like eating the seed corn because you're hungry and it's a long winter.  Mmmm, tastes good right now.

                  [When] the land... has become private property, the landlords... love to reap where they never sowed, and demand rent even for its natural produce. ~Adam Smith

                  by ogre on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 01:52:09 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  There are too many people in the world (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Jagger

                Maybe a large-scale genocide would "solve the problem" -- but we don't advocate such a thing because to do so would be inhuman.  Same goes for "carbon taxes" that would deprive people of the ability to get around.  Try solving the problem by building new infrastructure.

                "If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers" -- Thomas Pynchon

                by Cassiodorus on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:16:24 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  If you believe that the problem will be answered (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Go Kid Hugo

                  comfortably, you're delusional.  People don't want to change.  They don't like change.  Note that what got people to cut back on fuel use was $4/gal gas.  Not pollution or environmental concerns.  Not the mass extinction of species.  Not the likelihood that kids or grandkids will live in a world that's devastated.

                  The opportunity to make a comfy, sane transition to something else... got spent on mall-crawling and speedboats and bigscreens and... bread and circuses, basically.  It's not a happy thought, but the only remaining choice is going to be some variation of suck it up--and the sooner we start, the more likely it is that sucking it up won't be too horrible.

                  Genocide as an answer's hideous.  But what we're doing is permitting it at second hand.  We didnt' do it, we just enjoyed a system and didn't make the sacrifices to help the rest of the world transition to societies where people don't have huge families (modest education and sanitation and health care... have done that in society after society).  So the odds are good that hundreds of millions if not billions WILL die in droughts, famines, floods and from various diseases and epidemics--as well as from the conflicts that will arise from those.  We'll let it happen, as we've let it happen, wring our hands and throw insufficient bandaids at the parts that most horrify us.

                  A SMALL fraction of the cost of the Bush's War would have ensured clean water for every person on earth who's lacking it.  But we didn't come up with it, or even with a meaningful part of it.  

                  Carbon taxes won't deprive people of the ability to get around.  They'll force them to get around differently, or to move--or to exert so much social and political pressure that the mass transit systems will be built.  You'll notice that almost none of those systems have been built during the cheap gas era--gas was cheap, and no one wanted to pay $1.50 a gallon (INCLUDING the taxes) to fund transit systems.

                  What you're imagining is that everything can go on more or less as it is until someone magically helicopters in a fix--and then things will be almost just like they are now.

                  That's a fairy tale.

                  It's going to take some level of misery to motivate us to get off our butts and demand and make the change.  As long as it's not more than just something to gripe and bitch about... not a thing will be done.

                  [When] the land... has become private property, the landlords... love to reap where they never sowed, and demand rent even for its natural produce. ~Adam Smith

                  by ogre on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 02:05:31 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Nattering nabobs of negativism (0+ / 0-)

                    People don't want to change.

                    Depends upon the circumstances.

                    What you're imagining is that everything can go on more or less as it is until someone magically helicopters in a fix--and then things will be almost just like they are now.

                    No, that's not true.  I'm imagining that we could open up the debate a bit, and then maybe some proactive solutions would merit consideration.

                    It's going to take some level of misery to motivate us to get off our butts and demand and make the change.

                    Misery does not motivate people -- not all by itself, that is.

                    "If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers" -- Thomas Pynchon

                    by Cassiodorus on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 10:50:42 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Uhm, Inflation isn't caused by taxation. And (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo

              last I checked, the poor aren't the only ones who drive.

              President Barack Obama - #44

              by Yalin on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:55:29 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  umm (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                shpilk, Jagger, happy camper

                umm when you add billions to the price of moving cargo to and from selling pionts etc. They pass the cost along to the consumer= inflation.

                Last I checked its an unfair tax hitting the poor much harder than the rich =regressionary tax.

                •  And gasoline prices have dropped 52% over the (0+ / 0-)

                  past couple of months. Making it instead a 27% price drop via this tax is still deflationary.

                  That said, any static tax will hit the poor harder than the rich.

                  Take a look at Social Security and the Sales Tax.

                  Regardless, we need this tax to start funding our infrastructure without taking on additional debt as well as fund the ways in which we'll make our economy more efficient.

                  As I've said in my diary, that money will come out of the pockets of the poor regardless when the economy recovers and gas prices rise again. The question is whether or not we want that money working here at home to fund our needs or going overseas to fund the states that don't always share our interests.

                  President Barack Obama - #44

                  by Yalin on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:11:45 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  and the price of gasoline will go up again (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    shpilk, Jagger

                    that you can count on.

                    (¯`*._(¯`*._(-IMPEACH-)_.*´¯)_.*´¯)

                    by dancewater on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:32:01 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Speculation caused the high price of oil. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    dark daze

                    When Morgan Stanley and the other crooks couldn't gamble on oil futures because they were bankrupt, the price suddenly came down.  It's very simple, but don't expect anyone to tell you what really happened.  The financial community knows how to keep secrets and deny realities.  Morgan Stanley and the others were hoping they could recoup their losses by speculating in oil, but they ran out of time and money.  Morgan Stanley was bragging that the price of home heating oil would reach $250.00 a barrel.  They even purchased oil tanks in New Haven, Connecticut, to cover themselves if they had to take delivery.  Now they've converted themselves to ordinary banking and are advertising on tv.  I would rather starve than do business with Morgan Stanley.

                  •  no it doesnt (0+ / 0-)

                    no it doesnt have to go out of the poor that is absurd.

                    And for you to call the stabilization of gasoline prices a defaltionary factor tells me you know nothing about economics. NADDA

                    As I've said in my diary, that money will come out of the pockets of the poor regardless when the economy recovers and gas prices rise again.

                     I am glad I didnt read that diary because that makes no sense.

                    •  If you read my diary then you'd understand the (0+ / 0-)

                      historical underpinnings of what I'm writing about.

                      This isn't something that requires a leap of faith. All it requires is looking at what's already happened during the past 3 decades.

                      Admitting that you didn't even look at the vast information I provided, while trying to argue on this, just provides further evidence of lack of understanding.

                      Here's a hint. If you're going to argue about this at least know the grounds on which you're arguing.

                      President Barack Obama - #44

                      by Yalin on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 01:46:49 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Oil went down because of the election. (0+ / 0-)

                        Take some time and chart the price of oil. Note how four years ago it was at its low per gallon for the ten days or so right around the 2006 election. Oil came down again, quite steeply, for this election. Amazingly just to right about...exactly where it was for the election in 2006! Now it will start back up again.
                        I planned my move across country a year in advance to take advantage of the low price of oil, in 2006. Timed it just one day late for the lowest price. I predicted in blogs a price of $60 a barrel by Nov 4, five months out when the price was much higher.
                        This crap is not rocket science here, folks. Just simple old-fashioned price manipulation.

                        •  Read my diary and look at the long term trends (0+ / 0-)

                          of the price of oil. It's strongly correlated with supply and demand.

                          President Barack Obama - #44

                          by Yalin on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:21:01 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  so tell us (0+ / 0-)

                          what will the price be 3 months after the election?  6 months?  9 months?

                          •  Ok, sure thing. (0+ / 0-)

                            It will be back around $2.40-2.50 three months out, as OPEC cuts production. Six months out back in the $2.75 range. From there it is harder to guess, but I look for the $2.90 to $3.10 range unless a war with Iran happens or the economy drops by 5% or more, that kind of thing. Price in 2010 in early November will be $2.25.
                            Ok, I can be wrong about specifics. But here is one post from 6/19/08 when gas was about $4.00 a gallon "tribalypredisposed:
                            The positive side is that gas prices will drop about 25% between now and early November as the oil companies try to keep us from voting out their lackies by making us a little happier for a short time. I planned my move across country, well in advance, for a few days after the last election in 2006. Because gas prices would be the lowest. They went up from their low of the last four years, $2.09, to $2.11 the day I left. They have been going up ever since. People would leap for joy to see $2.11 now. I predict about $3.10 or so for the election." (Posted at Huffington)

                            Go ahead and find the two other people publicly predicting anything close to even a 25% drop in oil by November if you can...

                          •  so you are sure that (0+ / 0-)

                            the oil companies conspired to drop the price of their product by 50 % in order for Republicans to win?  How would that be possible given that most oil is owned by other countries, many hostile to us?

                            What benefit is it to Russia, the middle East countries, Venezuela etc to see a 50% drop in their lifeblood in a few short months?

                            Who actually controls oil prices and how?  You seem to know so much.  maybe you could enlighten us all?  

                    •  Oh and btw, the drop in price of any item (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Go Kid Hugo

                      is deflationary. Inflation, i.e. prices go up. Deflation, i.e. prices come down.

                      That's simple economics. But whatever.

                      President Barack Obama - #44

                      by Yalin on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 01:47:59 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  The rich (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                shpilk, Jagger, dancewater

                don't give a shit how much gas costs. Look at Europe, where the average guy has to drive a micro-econobox, while the rich tool down the autobahn in Ferraris.

                "All that serves labor serves the nation. All that harms labor is treason. -Abraham Lincoln

                by happy camper on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:10:03 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  That isn't the only point of the gasoline tax. If (0+ / 0-)

                  you read my diary and see what I'm proposing the gas tax be used to fund, you'd see that.

                  President Barack Obama - #44

                  by Yalin on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:12:32 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The purpose is irrelevant. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Jagger

                    In the last thirty years the tax system has been gutted of any pretense of fairness and progressiveness. A gas tax is the most regressive measure imaginable in a nation this size, where even the lower economic classes rely on cars to get to work, buy groceries, and the like. Most of us have no access to mass transit.

                    If you want to fund something, tax the rich. They've been getting a free ride for years. Restore the progressive income tax, tax capital gains at the same rate the individual taxpayer pays on his ordinary income, and restore the estate tax.

                    "All that serves labor serves the nation. All that harms labor is treason. -Abraham Lincoln

                    by happy camper on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:51:53 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Sigh. Idealogical rigidity won't get you anywhere (0+ / 0-)

                      President Barack Obama - #44

                      by Yalin on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:07:09 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Ideological rigidity? (0+ / 0-)

                        Try basic fairness. You are talking about taking money from those who can least afford it.

                        "All that serves labor serves the nation. All that harms labor is treason. -Abraham Lincoln

                        by happy camper on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:06:22 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  It'd be coming out of EVERYONE's pockets. (0+ / 0-)

                          It's not like if you make under $50k a year you'd be the only one paying higher taxes.

                          And again, everyone would still be paying 27% less at the pump than they did just 3 months ago, rather than 52% less.

                          Considering what we could get out of the bargain, if you read my diary, I think that it's well worth it.

                          You can't run an economy on promises and future IOUs. They will come due. It's time that we start making the painful choices we need to make now in order to avert even more pain in the future.

                          President Barack Obama - #44

                          by Yalin on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 01:50:35 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

            •  If you can't afford to pay the gas tax (0+ / 0-)

              then you don't have to drive on roads paid for by the gas tax. Reinvest in America. Raise the gas tax. Rebuild our infrastructure!

              detroitist - chronicling the life and times of the city that God intended.

              by Woodwards Friend on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:43:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Think (0+ / 0-)

                then you don't have to drive on roads paid for by the gas tax.

                This is a stunningly short sighted statement.  THINK!!

                •  I'm thinking... (0+ / 0-)

                  that overhauling our national infrastructure in going to as expensive as it is necessary. Would you prefer we pay for it with credit default swaps?

                  Americans, regardless of race, gender, or economic class, have been very clear that they prefer an individual automobile-based transportation system to mass transit. If that's what people want, fine, but then the people can't cry poverty when it comes to paying for it.

                  You do not have an unalienable right to an affordable 40 mile daily commute.

                  detroitist - chronicling the life and times of the city that God intended.

                  by Woodwards Friend on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:04:05 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Mass transit (0+ / 0-)

                    I won't hold my breath to see that mass transit system built out in Montana or Nevada or even west Texas.  Unfortunately, mass transit only works in high density environments...which means cities.   So does everyone else simply abandon their jobs when they can no longer afford gas and stay at home till they starve?

                    •  Density is key (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Yalin

                      I think the ex-urbs and non-agricultural communities need to be abandoned and the easiest way to do that is to stop subsidizing unsustainable and irresponsible sprawl. Government policy should encourage people to live in cities and the older "urban" suburbs as opposed to abandoning them for a vinyl clump of of a house in a green field 40 miles from work.

                      I live in a city. I take the bus to work even though I own a car and I don't want my income tax to go toward subsidizing the fiscal and environmentally irresponsible sprawl lifestyle. If you want to live in Nowhere, fine it's a free country, but pay for your own roads, sewerage, and schools on your own.

                      Obviously the agricultural economy must take place in rural areas but the states with the least population tend to receive the largest shares of federal road dollars. As it should be. I have no problem with that. But since someone in Wyoming probably gets two dollars reinvested in their state for every dollar they spend in gas taxes, they have no standing to complain.

                      detroitist - chronicling the life and times of the city that God intended.

                      by Woodwards Friend on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:56:38 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Shortcomings (0+ / 0-)

                        I get it.   Since you live in the city, you don't give a damn about anyone living outside the city.  Look up the words narrow minded, parochial, ideology and shortsighted.  Might help you understand the severe shortcomings with your plan

          •  I posted a diary months ago saying (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MindRayge

            gas should be $15 -$20 a gallon because that's the real cost to the environment.

            Forget the economy. Using petroleum based products is killing this planet, period.

            Now, if you argued for an increase in the gas tax as a method to reduce usage of this poison, that would be one thing, but to regressively beat on the poor and working classes by making them disproportionately pay taxes on gas is just an awful idea. At least my proposal included some protections for the poor and certain industries [truckers, transportation].

            Nah .. I was wrong. Even is gas was $15/gallon, the rich would still burn it wastefully.

            The solution is to tax the rich.

            Tax the rich. It's quick, it's easy. Tax capital gains at increasing rates for people who make more. Tax every share of stock traded on the stock market, over a certain dollar limit [protecting the middle class who invest]. Tax every dollar of interest and dividend payments made by the rich to give their future generations.

            Tax the rich, so they are not rich anymore, and they won't be able to afford to waste gas and oil.

            2008, the Year the Republican Party dissolved into a little pond of goo

            by shpilk on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:42:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Hard to think of a more regressive (9+ / 0-)

        tax than a gas tax.

        (-7.0, -6.4) "I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson

        by NearlyNormal on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:41:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Social Security? Sales Tax? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, 0wn, squarewheel

          Either way, it has to be done.

          President Barack Obama - #44

          by Yalin on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:54:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  either way it will never happen in this country (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jdmorg, Jagger

            and you know it.....

            It would be political suicide and I don't think the Dems are that stupid.  Hell, even if they are I don't think they have the votes.  You really think you could keep the blue dogs on board with this idea or gain a single Republican vote?

            A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -1.75/-4.00

            by Crookshanks on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:04:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Didn't people say that not giving a gas tax (0+ / 0-)

              holiday would be political suicide?

              How about those that said that electing a black man with little to no national exposure other than a speech at the 2004 DNC would be political suicide for the dems?

              How about those in 2002 who said that opposing the Iraq war would be political suicide?

              Political suicide is, imo, a cover for the fear of those who are unwilling to speak the truth to the american people and own up.

              I think the american people are smarter than you give them credit for.

              That said, it's not just a matter of taxation. It's a matter of national security. That money will come out of the pockets of the american populace one way or another.

              The question is whether it comes out and goes right back into our own infrastructure, or if it comes out and goes overseas to countries that are sometimes hostile to our own interests.

              The plan could be sold, particularly with gas prices back below $2 a gallon today.

              President Barack Obama - #44

              by Yalin on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:07:48 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  if you think gas prices are going to stay below (0+ / 0-)

                $2/gal then I have some shares of GM you might be interested in......

                I think the american people are smarter than you give them credit for.

                I didn't say they weren't smart.  I just think they will vote anyone out of office whom is stupid enough to try and impose a 694% increase in the gasoline tax.

                if it comes out and goes overseas to countries that are sometimes hostile to our own interests

                How is imposing a gas tax going to stop money from going overseas?  Do you really think the Saudis are going to lower their price for crude because we impose a higher tax on gasoline?  If you want to stop money from going overseas then we need to find an alternative to gasoline -- not look to use it as a revenue source.

                Anyway, you never did answer my questions.  Where are the votes going to come from?  And who are the 60 Senators whom will vote for cloture?

                A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -1.75/-4.00

                by Crookshanks on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:13:23 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I never said that I believe that gasoline prices (0+ / 0-)

                  will stay below $2 a gallon. I'm saying that the pricing in effect now is why we need to start this now.

                  Did you read my diary at all before commenting? The questions you're asking were precisely addressed there. :)

                  President Barack Obama - #44

                  by Yalin on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:15:37 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  no, I hadn't read your diary, because this line (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Jagger, NearlyNormal

                    of discussion wasn't occurring in your diary.  That said.....

                    The Europeans have FAR higher taxes than I'm proposing. If they can do it, why can't we?

                    Because the United States and Europe are two different regions, with different population densities, different mass transit infrastructures and different cultures?  Just because a solution works in the US doesn't mean it will work in Europe -- and vice versa.

                    What if the gov in the 70s decided "Well, you know the economy really sucks right now so let's not raise the gas tax, or CAFE standards, or anything because it'll hurt business and consumers."

                    Increasing CAFE standards is not the same thing as imposing a higher tax.  Those standards will make our businesses more competitive.  An increased gas tax will suck even more money away from consumer spending and drag the economy down.

                    When the economy recovers, that money will come out of the poor and middle class anyway. But it will be heading overseas rather than working here at home for all of us.

                    The money is heading overseas anyway.  The only thing your idea is going to accomplish is to increase the pump cost of gasoline and divert more money into the coffers of the Federal Government.  It isn't going to make any difference what-so-ever in the amount of money that we have to pay Saudi Arabia for oil

                    The rest of your diary (which I'll give you props for being very well researched and written -- even though I disagree with you) is a serious of proposals for how we could spend the money.  I don't have any reason to dispute these proposals -- I only question how you intend to go about getting the money for them.

                    A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -1.75/-4.00

                    by Crookshanks on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:32:40 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  If you haven't read my diary, how can you say (0+ / 0-)

                      what was and was not discussed?

                      C'mon.

                      And as for the bit about CAFE, notice how I mentioned the higher CAFE standards AND the gas tax, and how it would hurt businesses AND consumers?

                      I was speaking about both.

                      And lastly, using the money from the federal government to fund our infrastructure requirements will LOWER the money we send overseas in the long term. How? By lowering the demand we have for fossil fuels.

                      But as I said, you should read my diary in full. I've already discussed this. :)

                      President Barack Obama - #44

                      by Yalin on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:45:25 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  ummm.... I don't think you read my post.... (0+ / 0-)

                        .... I said that I hadn't read your diary in the past-tense.

                        I did read it and quoted several sections from it.  I even commended you on doing a good job with the research and writing even though I disagree with your conclusion......

                        A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -1.75/-4.00

                        by Crookshanks on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:53:39 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

          •  Social Security is MUCH more regressive (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            trinite

            Than a gas tax.  Capital gains aren't subject to it at all, and income over ~$100,000 isn't subject to it.  But your very first dollar in wages is.

            Could anyone design a worse way of taxing?  That's why Gore's idea to replace Social Security taxation ("payroll taxes") with a carbon tax is actually progressive.

            I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

            by tle on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:13:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Agreed. That's why I said Social Security and (0+ / 0-)

              Sales Tax when he asked if there was a more regressive tax than a gas tax. :)

              President Barack Obama - #44

              by Yalin on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:17:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Just throwing in my cheer from the cheap seats (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Yalin

                I find it annoying that people react so intensely to the idea of a higher gas tax, while ignoring the lopsided favoritism to the rich that is expressed in Social Security taxation.  At least sales taxes are consistent.  Or are they?  Don't some states have a maximum, above which the sales tax doesn't apply?

                I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

                by tle on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:40:01 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Okay, so there is one more regressive tax (0+ / 0-)

                Doesn't really support the idea of a huge increase in this method of taxation.

                (-7.0, -6.4) "I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson

                by NearlyNormal on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:55:27 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  We have a work penalty in the United States. (0+ / 0-)

              And nothing is going to be done about it.  We don't have the president's ear and we never will.  I give up.

          •  i want the money back from those who (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jagger, NearlyNormal

            stole it.  Taxing the rest of us to pay for all this is just not going to work.

            We are facing a horror we cannot imagine.  We cannot raise taxes across the board now, absolutely not!!!

            "When Obama speaks, Angels orgasm" Jon Stewart, 2008

            by fernan47 on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:46:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  And the argument will likely be that we can't (0+ / 0-)

              raise taxes during the recovery because it'll throw us back into recession. Or during the boom years, because it'll slow things down.

              If not now, when?

              President Barack Obama - #44

              by Yalin on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 01:52:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Those two taxes are different (0+ / 0-)

            A gasoline tax is a fixed value tax, it is a set amount not a percentage of the price. So in that case each person paying it is effectively paying a different tax rate as a percentage of their income with the lower income paying the highest rate and higher income paying the lowest.

            Sales tax is a fixed rate tax such that the same tax amount is generated for the same good or service regardless of the income of the buyer. It too is regressive. The effective tax rate is higher for the lower income and lower for the higher income buyer.

            Social Security, on the other hand is a fixed percentage on income and up to the maximum limit the tax is flat in that whether you are lower or higher income you pay the same percentage and the it has the same effect on the amount of income left over after the tax is taken - up to the maximum limit.

      •  I'd rather see a return of the 91% income tax (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jagger

        ...for the $$$ and higher CAFE standards for the gas mileage.

        •  91% marginal tax rates were way too (0+ / 0-)

          high. And unfortunately higher CAFE standards won't put money in our coffers now to get the infrastructure building we need done.

          President Barack Obama - #44

          by Yalin on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:27:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  not at all (0+ / 0-)

            It's a marginal rate, and there's no reason it couldn't bet set to start at, say, $10 million.  But aside from having those who can afford it shoulder most the cost of the bailout/stimulus, there's the fact that the lack of a high marginal tax rate is one of the factors that brought us here in the first place.  With no limit on income, there is no limit on greed.

            If you are a CEO and are limited to ten million dollars per year, you'll have more of an incentive to look for the long term health of the company over short term profits.  And I don't see what Larry Ellison wouldn't do for Oracle for $10 million a year that he does do for over $211 million per year.  However, if you make that much, why do you give a rats ass about whether or not your company will end up in Chapter 11 in a couple years?  You just made $211 million!

            Furthermore, I'm wondering why you're all for a 700% increase in the gas tax (if that other poster was correct) but not a high marginal income tax rate.  Drastic times call for drastic measures, no?

            •  I'd support raising marginal rates to 50%, maybe (0+ / 0-)

              even 60%, like european countries have. But not even the european countries have marginal rates as high as 91%.

              President Barack Obama - #44

              by Yalin on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 01:54:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  if $7.4 trillion is on the table... (0+ / 0-)

                ...if we're really talking about economic collapse, then not only should 91% be on the table, it should start at $1 million per year at minimum.  They could always drop it in say, six years, if the economy rebounds and we bring the national debt back to Clinton levels.

    •  The national debt is already $11T, that's about (6+ / 0-)

      $36K for every man woman and child in the country.

      They are proposing nearly doubling it.

      Without injecting at least $3 to 4T into the current economy, there will be no recovery. I think $7T is a bit much, and not needed.

      But the national debt will be well over $15T by this time next year.

      2008, the Year the Republican Party dissolved into a little pond of goo

      by shpilk on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:31:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  some of my family (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jagger, corvo, Uberbah, lgcap, Losty

        some of my family fled Germany in the late 20s because money became worthless.  Money inflated so fast that you had to spend your whole paycheck on the way home because the next day it may have lost 50% or more of its worth.

        Our currency is doomed to fail at this pace.

        We will never pay back this debt.

        You think two generations from now, our kids will just happily pay incredibly high taxes and receive nothing back for it?  yeah right.. leads to revolts, riots, civil war.

      •  a 15 trillion deficit is not overcommable (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Uberbah, Terra Mystica

        It's slightly above the US yearly GDP and a lot of countries have survived larger deficits. These are extraordinary times and it's needed to stabilize the economy. When we are back on the wagon we can see to the deficit. Bush did us in by cutting taxes and spending more while the economy was doing well. When the economy is doing well you need to pay off debt by either cutting spending and/or raising taxes, Bush did the exact opposite.

        •  The problem is that with globalization we don't (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jagger, John Shade

          recover like we did thirty years ago, let alone after WWII.  21. century recovery occurs substantially elsewhere and doesn't present the job or wage recovery in this country to support the tax base needed to pay off the debt.

          At least not without higher taxes on the rich.  We haven't been willing to do that (Obama is making noises now that we can't "afford" to roll back the Bush tax cuts!??) so far.  It would take a willingness to tax capital (which does benefit from globalism) extensively almost harshly, and unionize retail (can't be offshored) to put a little more recovery spring-back into the economy.

          World according to TM.  Fingers crossed but breath not held...

          "You may already be a wiener!" Anonymous

          by Terra Mystica on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:06:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Japan (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jagger, Blicero, Terra Mystica

            Good points on recovery.  Without some massive technological innovation and ability to exploit unimagined resources, there's no way we'll see anything like post-WWII growth.

            That said, while we definitely need meaningful and fair progressive taxation for the medium and long term, I'm not convinced that taxing the rich will deal with the immediate crisis.  The problem is that we have to unwind several massive asset bubbles at once: the whole housing value/mortage securities bubble, which is a huge one, plus all of the leveraged deals and debt financing which propped up our economy for a decade while much of our nuts-and-bolts productivity was being offshored.

            When you contemplate that much wealth destruction, we start to look more like a bigger version of 1992 Japan, which makes the bailouts particularly terrifying.  The Japanese propped up their failing banks for 10 years because they couldn't stomach the civic turmoil of restructuring them.  We seem prepared to prop our banks up because of fears about ripple effects and institutions being "too big to fail" (which sure seem to fail and ripple despite the bailouts), but the net result could well be the same - preserving a dysfunctional system at cost of huge sums of money.  

            On the other hand, I sure wouldn't want to be the one that sent the market into a death spiral, even a "short" 18-month one, and even if it resulted in a healthier response in two decades.  The only meaningful solution I can see is to completely nationalize Citibank and others.  That would provide the opportunity to fundamentally reform it.

            Most retail banking activities by rights should be extremely low margin, since non-paper money is essentially information and can be handled at massive scale by automation.  So retail banking services ought to cost roughly what an email account does.  And loans and investment are the exact opposite - functioning loans and investment come from thoughtful interactions and careful oversight rather than mathematically modelled risk-passing.  I don't think you can put the banking genie back in the local bottle, but I do think that some modern equivalent to Glass Steagall needs to exist.

            •  Well said. My take on this story is that $7.4T (0+ / 0-)

              can compensate for a lot of turmoil.  Maybe even all of it, and, if applied to the "green" future, healthcare, and other basic research/retooling/infrastructure would shorten the interregnum, and create a stronger future economic foundation.  

              My predisposition would be to undergo the pain and come out stronger quicker.  The bailout has gone from $1T to $7T in a few months, and nobody seems to know the bottom.  Will it be $30T by the middle of next year?  At some point it becomes a risk of macro unrecoverability with massive turmoil and no way to mitigate it (chaos?).

              I think at $7T we have to seriously consider cutting the cord and apply that money elsewhere.  Healthy money will flow quickly enough, as you suggest, into the vacuum left by Citi, et. al.  But to make this change would take tremendous courage, again as you say.  But these are extraordinary circumstances, so maybe the courage will be forthcoming to match the challenge.

              FWIW.

              "You may already be a wiener!" Anonymous

              by Terra Mystica on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:08:42 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Bailout terms are what matter (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Terra Mystica

                Maybe even all of it, and, if applied to the "green" future, healthcare, and other basic research/retooling/infrastructure would shorten the interregnum, and create a stronger future economic foundation.  

                Very true.  Fortunately, now that the adults are back in charge, we seem to be going that direction again.

                My predisposition would be to undergo the pain and come out stronger quicker.  The bailout has gone from $1T to $7T in a few months, and nobody seems to know the bottom.  Will it be $30T by the middle of next year?  At some point it becomes a risk of macro unrecoverability with massive turmoil and no way to mitigate it (chaos?).

                 Here's where I think we diverge - it's not the cost that matters, it's the terms.  If we have to spend $30T to keep some kind of financial system functioning then that's what we do.  But the bailout has to start addressing the fundamentals: real risk management rules and auditing that can't be gamed by fancy derivatives footwork, limits on leverage, balance sheets that reflect absolutely ever asset and liability banks have, etc.  For example, given the role of the ratings agencies in abetting this nonsense, why has nobody contemplated taking over Moody's?

    •  If it works, it will pay for itself, allegedly. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, hdock0459, Wolf Of Aquarius

      Isn't this Keynesian economics:  massive infusion of capital?  My understanding is that FDR didn't have the courage or the backing to go whole hog so it's never been fully tested.  (I don't know if we will have the courage either).  But the theory is that the economy will bounce back as a result.  

      It's not the way I run my finances, but hey, I don't run a government.

      •  economics of the desperate (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PsychoSavannah, corvo

        the gov is throwing money it doesnt even have. This is desperation at its worst.

      •  Ummm...pay for itself? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, Losty

        The deal is the Fed is printing this money and there is nothing behind it.  Short Term T-Bills are paying a fraction of 1%...and after fees actually cost someone money to buy them.  People buy them because they are "safe."  

        After the Feds put another $8 Trillion into circulation our money will become even more worthless.  

        I absolutely have no idea what will happen, but whatever it is...it ain't gonna be good for most of us.  I personally believe The Big three and some of the banks should be allowed to go Bankrupt and then the Fed could guarantee them a cash flow during re-organization of their debt.   Same for the big banks.  

        The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

        by Persiflage on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:52:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Shut down the financial system (9+ / 0-)

      When are people going to understand -

      the financial system in a net drain on the economy.

      the financial system  is destroying the real economy.

      We need to save the real economy, and the biggest threat to the real economy now is the financial system.

      A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

      by NBBooks on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:34:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's an interesting comment. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kefauver

        Can you expand on this please? I know too little about economics to understand what you're talking about.

        -9.0, -8.3. Sometimes, ya know, I consider myself too a feminist -- whatever that means! -sarah palin

        by SensibleShoes on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:46:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Let the credit markets die, basically (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SensibleShoes, corvo

          I'm not sure I agree completely, but ultimately I do think we'd be better off with them gone, or at least SEVERELY restricted.

          My style is impetuous.
          My defense is impregnable.
          YOU'RE NOT ALEXANDER!

          by samfish on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:52:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  From what I wrote soon after Bare Sterns "rescue" (4+ / 0-)

          Basically, financial derivatives are concentrated in the largest institutions. Let those fail. The remaining 5,000 plus community and regional banks become the base of a new financial system.

          In other words, Wall Street gets wiped out, and the rest of the country carries on.

          Euthanize Wall Street to save the economy

          The "bail out" of Bear Stearns five weeks ago did nothing to solve the underlying causes of the unfolding financial meltdown, so another major crisis is unavoidable. The "bail out" of Bear Stearns has merely bought more time for the big players on Wall Street to try and drag this out past the November election, because what they fear above all else is the rise of a progressive political movement strong enough to pry loose their grasp on the credit mechanism -- the financial system -- of our economy.

          The fundamental problem is the big players on Wall Street have misused the credit mechanism for their own private gains through the bloating of debt and speculation, at the expense of actually allocating and supplying capital to the real economy.

          SNIP

          selling, and trading financial derivatives is entirely the province of the small number of investment and commercial banks that have hundreds of billions of dollars in assets. In other words, the big Wall Street banks. Take a look at this graph from the Third Quarter 2007 Report on Bank Derivatives Activities by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
          DerivativesNotionalsOCC

          Look at that bottom line that stays flat no matter how much derivatives increases. That’s the amount held by end-users. End-users ?! So it’s the banks that are holding most of the derivatives. Now, this is just commercial banks, and does not include derivatives activities of investment banks.

          According to the Federal Reserve Board’s Report on the Condition of the U.S. Banking Industry: Second Quarter, 2006
          derivatives holdings of the 50 largest bank holding companies as of the second quarter of 2006 totaled $ 117,631 billion, or $117.6 trillion.

          Derivatives holdings of all other reporting bank holding companies in the United States was $88 billion.

          In fact, only five commercial mega-banks - J.P. Morgan Chase, HSBC, Citibank, Bank of America, and Wachovia – account for well over 90 percent of derivatives activities by  commercial banks. Here’s a graph from the OCC report:
          DerivativesConcentration

          So, if Bear Stearns had been allowed to collapse, who really would have been hurt?

          According to economics professors and business school finance textbooks, the purpose of derivatives is to make it easier to manage the various risks of debt, making credit easier and safer to provide. The effect, according to this common wisdom, is to make credit more readily available. Why has this not been a central question as we evaluate the situation in the aftermath of the Bear Stearns bailout? Let’s look at the evidence. These numbers come from the above report, the Federal Reserve Board’s Report on the Condition of the U.S. Banking Industry: Second Quarter, 2006
          DerivativesVsLoans2001-06
          Neither assets nor loans increase anywhere near as much as derivatives. In fact, as we are seeing now, the huge growth of derivatives has triggered a financial collapse in which the supply of credit is rapidly diminishing.

          Here’s part of the summary from Credit Derivatives and Bank Credit Supply, Federal Reserve Bank of New York Staff Report No. 276, February 2007

          The results for the volume of lending are more mixed: the volume of large term loans is unaffected by changes in the degree of credit derivatives protection, while the volume of smaller term lending decreases. Overall, the results suggest an increase in the supply of credit to large term borrowers. Since large firms are more likely to be "named credits" in the credit derivatives market, this finding suggests that the benefits of credit derivatives may accrue mainly to these firms, rather than being spread more broadly across the business sector.

          In contrast, there is little to suggest that increased use of credit derivatives leads to an increase in loan supply for commitment lending, to either large or small borrowers. The volume of new commitment lending falls as net credit protection increases, and loans spreads are basically unchanged. The average maturity of loans to small commitment borrowers also falls as credit derivatives protection increases.

          SNIP

          What remains of the big Wall Street players can be sliced and diced, and parceled them out to all the thousands of remaining small banks. For example, a Chase branch or Citi branch in Peoria is offered to 1st National Bank of Peoria for a song.

          The effect then is to excise the big Wall Street C and I banks, just like a tumor is cut out of the body. Yes, I will make the idea explicit here: the goal in the next crisis point of the financial collapse should be to ruthlessly euthanize the biggest institutions on Wall Street. These big commercial and investment banks are NOT providing any net value to the economy – they are actually sucking value out.  A few years ago, John Bogle, founder and retired CEO of The Vanguard Group of mutual funds, estimated that the financial system is actually subtracting $540 billion in value from the economy (See Bogle’s discussion on Bill Moyers Journal.)

          Consider the conclusions of a February 2005 report, by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Consolidation in the U.S. Banking Industry: Is the Long, Strange Trip About to End?, on the effects of the emergence of the mega-banks like J.P. Morgan Chase, HSBC, Citibank, Bank of America, and Wachovia.

          In addition to lacking consensus on cost efficiency gains, empirical work to date has also failed to find substantive evidence of other benefits that one might hope consolidation would yield. For example, there is little evidence that either consumers or shareholders have benefited from consolidation in the industry. In fact, there is growing evidence that increases in market power at the local level may be adversely affecting consumer prices (for both depositors and borrowers). And as we mention above, there is also some evidence that managers might be pursuing mergers and acquisitions for reasons other than maximizing firm value (researchers who have studied the issue have consistently found support for the idea that empire building and increased managerial compensation are often a primary motive behind bank mergers). Finally, findings from several researchers suggest that industry consolidation and the emergence of large complex banking organizations have probably increased systemic risk in the banking system and exacerbated the too-big-to-fail problem in banking.

          SNIP

          Before the next Bear Stearns hits, we need to answer the question: What do we want the financial system to do? When we are facing global crises of food and water shortages, and global climate change, I suggest that we can no longer afford to allow the financial elites to use the economy’s credit mechanism for their own private gain. We need to redirect credit away from speculation and into the building of a new, green economy.

          A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

          by NBBooks on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:16:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Excellent post. Wish I'd seen the original diary. (0+ / 0-)

            I'm becoming more and more convinced that you're explaining the only real way out of this fuck up. Let the monsters die, put the small banks back in the system, and dump public funding into a national bank for loans of last resort.

            I don't care anymore how much fundie capitalists scream "socialism." You broke it; you bought it.

      •  My brother used to say if all $ transactions were (0+ / 0-)

        in real time (not financed, in other words cash or barter), it would bankrupt the country.  Seems like he was wrong about it just being live deals.

        Listen to Ray Taliaferro on KGOradio.com 1am-5am PST M-F

        by SoCaliana on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:36:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Let's parse the article carefully. (4+ / 0-)

      Most of that is not expenditures, but guarantees:

      The bailout includes a Fed program to buy as much as $2.4 trillion in short-term notes, called commercial paper, that companies use to pay bills, begun Oct. 27, and $1.4 trillion from the FDIC to guarantee bank-to-bank loans, started Oct. 14...

      Bernanke’s Fed is responsible for $4.4 trillion of pledges, or 60 percent of the total commitment of $7.4 trillion, based on data compiled by Bloomberg concerning U.S. bailout steps started a year ago...

      The FDIC, chaired by Sheila Bair, is contributing 20 percent of total rescue commitments. The FDIC’s $1.4 trillion in guarantees will amount to a bank subsidy of as much as $54 billion over three years, or $18 billion a year, because borrowers will pay a lower interest rate than they would on the open market, according to Raghu Sundurum and Viral Acharya of New York University and the London Business School.

      The numbers are certainly staggering; but they are only outlays if pretty much everything hits the shitter.  We have a looooong way to go before the entire commercial paper market folds, or before all intra-bank loans default, or before all bank money market funds fail.  

      "What we have here is a failure to communicate."

      by mspicata on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:48:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hitting the shitter is Guaran-f%#king-teed (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        moiv, Blicero, fernan47, marsanges

        because the underlying problem is NOT being addressed: the financial system depends on asset price inflation to mask the effects of a stagnating real economy. To solve the problem, you need to obliterate all the financial games like derivatives, tax speculation nearly to death, shut-down cross-border capital flows, destroy off-shore tax havens, and make sure that capital is only going into manufacturing, mining, agriculture, forestry, transportation, and infrastructure.

        There is NO other way out.

        And we're not yet at the point that Americans are willing to accept the reality that Wall Street and the City of London are the problem.

        A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

        by NBBooks on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:23:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You'd have to know (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HarlanNY, Always Learning

          something about commercial paper and money market funds.  The failure we'd need would make the Great Depression look miniscule in comparison.  Anything can happen, of course; but saying we're going to spend $7.4 trillion is not the same as saying we're guaranteeing UP TO $7.4 trillion, and that's the point I was trying to make.

          "What we have here is a failure to communicate."

          by mspicata on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:31:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Well, if everything hits the shitter, we're in (0+ / 0-)

        well over $7.4 trillion. The CDS market alone is worth something like $50 trillion.

        President Barack Obama - #44

        by Yalin on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 02:14:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Census.gov gives the current U.S. population as (0+ / 0-)

      305, 737, 362 (estimated as of 1:50 est, Nov 24). If we use that number, then every man, woman and child in the country owes $24, 204.18 on the $7.4 trillion. Even scarier, if we use Yalin's corrected figure of $17.1 trillion, then each of us owes $55, 931.27.

      "Yikes!" is right...

      I believe that in every country the people themselves are more peaceably and liberally inclined than their governments. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

      by Blue Knight on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:57:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  MY DEMANDS for bailing out WALLSTREET (0+ / 0-)
      Hundreds of billions of tax dollars are now being used to bail out Businesses like AIG, the BIG 3 Automakers and Citicorp and  it is obviously something we HAVE to do but, so far we, the American tax payers, haven't even gotten a T-Shirt.

      In all the negotiating about these bail outs no one has bothered to ask US, the tax payers what we might want in return for the use of our taxes so here are MY demands:

      1) for bailing out CITICORP:  

      as a New Yorker and a lifelong METS FAN I want 2 permanent BOX SEATS at the new CITIFIELD for all METS home games.

      2) for bailing out the big three automakers:

      I want a NEW CAR I can use to drive to CITIFIELD and since there are millions of unsold cars sitting in lots all over the nation this should be easy plus once we taxpayers receive our New Cars in exchange for our tax dollar bail out, the BIG 3 can go back into production to replace their inventories with green cars.

      3) for bailing out AIG (yet again):

       I want FREE INSURANCE on the NEW CAR I will get from bailing out the Big 3 Automakers, the car I plan to use to Drive to the FREE BOX SEATS AT CITIFIELD that I get for bailing Citicorp.

      Since I actually work very hard for my Money, the money being used to bail out Wallstreet, is this really to much to ask?  I don't think so.

      HEY HARRY, has Lieberman recinded his support for Norm Coleman yet?

      by KnotIookin on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:37:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  According to the article... (0+ / 0-)
      "The money that's been pledged is equivalent to $24,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. It's nine times what the U.S. has spent so far on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Congressional Budget Office figures. It could pay off more than half the country's mortgages."

      http://www.bloomberg.com/...

      Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Seneca

      by Maggie Swan on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:17:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  WTF? (17+ / 0-)

    This is ridiculous!  It would be cheaper to let it all fail and start over from scratch!

    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

    by Skeptical Bastard on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:27:48 AM PST

    •  I've got an even better idea (14+ / 0-)

      Let's provide $200 trillion to pay everyone's mortgage off, rescue the financial system, and get everyone a pony. Seriously. No, I'm being serious. At least as serious as they guy who proposed the $7.4 trillion.

      Before Obama, democracy was dead on a federal level. Sadly, it still is. Engage in local politics.

      by atheistben on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:31:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  in fact every mortgage should be cut in half (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, kefauver, fernan47, BlueLeftCoast

        Home prices reached something like double what they should be according to all sane norms.

        So now home prices are coming back to earth.

        But mortgage obligation are not.

        Mortgages should be cut in half to bring home and mortgage values back in line with historical, desirable levels.

        This would be an incredible stimulus to the economy.

        The investment gamblers will fail regardless.  

        •  wait a minute.... you want to cut everyones (0+ / 0-)

          mortgages down just because the home that's backing the mortgage lost value?

          If that happens then where do I apply to get my bailout on all the assets I own (starting with my stock portfolio) that have lost value?

          A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -1.75/-4.00

          by Crookshanks on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:06:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  well, it is not going (0+ / 0-)

            to wash out even.  That's for sure, but we need to do something like this.  

            "When Obama speaks, Angels orgasm" Jon Stewart, 2008

            by fernan47 on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:55:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  why? (0+ / 0-)

              People bought assets that went down in value.  Nobody forced them to do it.

              I don't have a problem with mortgage assistance -- converting bad adjustable-rate mortgages into fixed-rate mortgages for instance -- but I draw the line at wiping out/reducing principal.

              A PBS mind in a Fox News World | -1.75/-4.00

              by Crookshanks on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 03:57:36 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  i bought a beautiful house (0+ / 0-)

                really beautiful, with a standard mortgage.  Now because of this debacle, not of my making at all, I have to pay back a huge debt on a property that is constantly deflating.

                I didn't cause the deflation, quite the contrary.  I understand something like this actually was done during the Great Depression.

                If we don't think out of the box, I don't believe we will get out of this in our lifetimes.

                We need to reset the clock.  All that funny money that all of those bastards stole needs to be redistributed in a creative way.

                I'm willing to think about a creative way to redistribute it.

                It would be the equivalent of putting money in my pocket to spend on stimulating the economy.

                It is worth thinking seriously about.  Most people are infected with the notion of work hard, be frugal, play by the rules and you will do well.

                That is pure bunk.  When the elite run out of money, they don't even bother to print it: they just key it into the computer.  It is just ones and zeros.  I want some of those ones and zeros at the bottom.

                "When Obama speaks, Angels orgasm" Jon Stewart, 2008

                by fernan47 on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 03:37:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  absolutely (0+ / 0-)

          with only half of my mortgage to pay, I could afford escalating food and fuel prices and have money left over to spend on the wheels of commerce.

          "When Obama speaks, Angels orgasm" Jon Stewart, 2008

          by fernan47 on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:54:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Can I trade my pony for a lollipop? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        caps lock on, Wolf Of Aquarius

        I got over my pony fixation when I was about six years old.

        Hope you enjoyed it, Sarah, 'cause we just kicked your silly winking folksy lipsticked ass back to Alaska. For good. Also.

        by Kaili Joy Gray on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:46:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  While families are (4+ / 0-)

      starving, you can enjoy the thrill of breaking eggs to make an omelet.

      The Great Depression lasted a long time.  I don't wish that on anyone for an idological win.

      Barack Obama is right about the impact a complete failure of the financial system would have on ordinary folks.

      "What we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed." -- Barack Obama

      by TomP on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:42:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  When does it start becoming... (7+ / 0-)

    ...real money? They are just playing Monopoly aren't they?

    ~
    ••• CELEBRATE with America's BAraCK Stickers And T-Shirts •••
    ~

    by KingOneEye on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:27:53 AM PST

  •  Entitled "Scenes From The Apocalypse" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mangala, marsanges

    God help us all.

    " ... or a baby's arm holding an apple!"

    by Lavocat on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:27:58 AM PST

  •  Politically speaking (0+ / 0-)

    It's early, so if it fails, people will forget.  It's early, so if it is successful, it has time for its impact to work in full.  

    My brain's decision committee is still out on the wisdom of all these  packages.  

  •  Please, just give everyone 24,000 each (14+ / 0-)

    people could pay off some debt, put a little into the house, and those that have been good will be rewarded with a nice big sum of cash that they can stimulate the economy with.

  •  Lovely (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    modchick65, Hannibal, MKSinSA, Go Kid Hugo

    Thanks current f-ers for making my generation pay for this sh-t...

    "Polls are like crack, political activists know they're bad for them but they read them anyways."-Unknown

    by skywaker9 on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:28:31 AM PST

  •  Better include some tax increases on the top (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberal Thinking, Hannibal

    tiers, and shifts away from petrol based fuels.

    2008, the Year the Republican Party dissolved into a little pond of goo

    by shpilk on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:28:35 AM PST

  •  Shine some light on the shadow economy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Picot verde, universalperson

    and we'll see that the house that Larry Summers and Phil Gramm built is teaming with parasitic roaches.

  •  Actual economic collapse must be a real (6+ / 0-)

    possibility or they would never be doing this.

  •  This is one reason why I am lobbying hard (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Hannibal

    for an increase in the gasoline tax, for starters.

    Raise the Gasoline Tax, Immediately/Pronto/Now!

    We simply do NOT have the ability to borrow this kind of money without instituting some fiscal sanity in our budget.

    We haven't even begun discussing our infrastructure needs, funding education, fixing social security and medicare, and so forth and so on, and our national debt is looking at $15 trillion.

    That's up from $5.7 trillion when Bush took office.

    God.

    President Barack Obama - #44

    by Yalin on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:28:50 AM PST

    •  I thought like you did, a few months back. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Occulus, Jagger, Hannibal

      Then I realized that increasing the tax on petrol is not going to stop the waste by the upper middle class and the rich.

      To them, a $3/gal Federal tax wouldn't even be noticed by them. It would kill the working poor and middle class, and decimate people who had to travel long distances.

      Sure, increase the tax on gas. A little bit, anyway. But the real place where the money needs to come from is speculators, from the rich, from the Estates, from the plutocrats and oligarchs.

      The top 1% owns more than 50% of the wealth in this country; it's time to make them bleed green.

      Eisenhower taxed the top bracket on income at 91%. Eisenhower had 24 tiers to the income tax system.

      Capital gains, dividend and interest income, as well as the value of estates passed on from generation to generation should be taxed the same as earned income, if not at a higher rate.

      2008, the Year the Republican Party dissolved into a little pond of goo

      by shpilk on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:44:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I never said $3 gallon Federal Tax. (0+ / 0-)

        Raise the gas tax from $0.18 to $1.25. That will increase gasoline prices from the current $1.929 to $3/gallon.

        The difference is that this tax would be set aside to fund infrastructure projects as I laid out in my diary.

        Now that said, people in this country didn't change their driving habits when gas was at $3 gallon. They changed when it hit $4 gallon. Given what we saw over the past 2-3 years when gas was $3 gallon, I don't think it'd hurt people at all.

        And considering the price of gas will rise again when the economy recovers, I'd prefer to get that money working for us here at home as opposed to being sent overseas.

        We definitely have to change the tax code to tax wealth as well as income, as you've stated. But it's not either or.

        Everyone has to chip in. And getting all Americans to start with anyone that uses energy in this fashion is one such way.

        President Barack Obama - #44

        by Yalin on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:01:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I want Obama's fiscal stimulus (4+ / 0-)

    to be all but limitless. I don't care - spend trillions.

    I trust his team to make smart allocations of the assets.

    As for the bailouts, I'm actually OK with Citibank -given the alternative. However, I want CONFISCATORY tax rates on the top 1% of earners in this country.

    And I want ways of getting back what traders and top financial executives made over the past few years.

    Truth is what most contradicts itself in time.

    by Blicero on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:29:20 AM PST

  •  Repeating an earlier comment... (8+ / 0-)


    It's recently occurred to me just what the ongoing bailout is all about, or rather what this emptying of the treasury truly represents:

    They're ready and willing to take the rest of us down with them.

    The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. - H.L. Mencken

    by two roads on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:29:32 AM PST

  •  And the Repugs are crying that (12+ / 0-)

    Universal Healthcare is socialism, and will destroy capitalism.

    Republicans : Socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor

    by ctsteve on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:29:55 AM PST

  •  Does this mean we can't afford to bomb Iran? (10+ / 0-)

    Just askin'...

  •  I tried to tell people (18+ / 0-)

    That's what I said at the time all the shoutin' and hollerin' for a bank bailout was going on, that $700 Billion would be the first slice, and that first slice only a thin and miserable crust of the whole loaf that would be demanded.

    I also pointed out why:  the unraveling of the completely unregulated derivatives market, which was rapidly bubbling toward a nominal market value of one quadrillion dollars.  As that bubble deflates, and the derivatives that were leveraged to purchase real assets lose their nominal value, one of two things must happen:  that value must be replaced, or those owning the real assets acquired using their derivatives as collateral would have to lose their shirts.  Since in the New World Order of neoliberal globalization the princes of finance capital truly are the Masters of the Universe, there was no chance that #2 would be the result.  Thus it would fall on us, the taxpayers to replace the value of the deflating derivatives bubble with our tax dollars. Even $7 trillion is just an early cut , we'll be lucky if the final bill isn't 20-50 times that size, and our entire society isn't driven into debt peonage  extricating our hegemonic financial elite from the ditch they drove themselves into.

    This sig line is in foreclosure. For details on acquiring a credit default swap on this sig line, contact H. Paulson, Dept of the Treasury, c/o Goldman, Sachs

    by ActivistGuy on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:31:09 AM PST

  •  If This Keeps Up . . . (7+ / 0-)

    will Iceland try to buy us from China?!

  •  I think that figure is misleading... (11+ / 0-)

    ...in that it includes guarantees rather than actual spending.  It isn't true that the government is spending 7.4 trillion dollars, because the government doesn't have 7.4 trillion dollars.  So far as I can tell, that figure represents the government's liabilities if everything it's guaranteeing were to go under.

    -5.38/-3.74 I've suffered for my country. Now it's your turn! --John McCain with apologies to Monty Python's "Protest Song"

    by Rich in PA on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:31:42 AM PST

    •  I was going to make the same point (3+ / 0-)

      Thanks for saving me the mental effort.  

    •  Give the past performance... (0+ / 0-)

      ...of the managers that are getting these guarantees, is there any doubt at all that the taxpayers will eventually have to come up with that cash?

      •  There are two types of companies (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HarlanNY, grrr, Always Learning

        One type is genuinely insolvent or headed there, and the government's spending on those companies will be lost.  Then there are companies, which we hope are the majority, that are being dragged down by the general crisis of confidence in the economy as a whole, and the idea is that supporting those companies will enable people to draw real distinctions between the two types of companies, so there will be no need for the government to pony up for all of their obligations.  Whether this will work is another thing, but that's the idea at least.

        -5.38/-3.74 I've suffered for my country. Now it's your turn! --John McCain with apologies to Monty Python's "Protest Song"

        by Rich in PA on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:40:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  As the derivatives bubble unwinds (7+ / 0-)

      we'll be lucky to get out of it with just $7 trillion on the taxpayers' shoulders.  Because in our free-market capitalist society, one thing we can be sure of is that taxpayers will eat every dime of the capitalists' losses.

      This sig line is in foreclosure. For details on acquiring a credit default swap on this sig line, contact H. Paulson, Dept of the Treasury, c/o Goldman, Sachs

      by ActivistGuy on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:34:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I haven't worried a bit about CDSs (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ferg, DocGonzo

        They're so far divorced from the real economy that the government will void the contracts by legislation if there's a problem.  I'm pretty sure it's legal for the government to sanction the repudiation of private debts--that's what bankruptcy is, and we'd only have to create some new delimited category there.

        -5.38/-3.74 I've suffered for my country. Now it's your turn! --John McCain with apologies to Monty Python's "Protest Song"

        by Rich in PA on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:36:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  If they werre standing alone (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PsychoSavannah, corvo, Wyote

          it could work that way.  But they aren't, those derivative instruments were used as collateral in  purchases of real assets.  This is why bankers all over the world are filling their BVDs over the word "deleveraging".

          This sig line is in foreclosure. For details on acquiring a credit default swap on this sig line, contact H. Paulson, Dept of the Treasury, c/o Goldman, Sachs

          by ActivistGuy on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:38:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Don't be too sure (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PsychoSavannah

          They would have a tough time voiding foreign owned contracts without prompting war.  Germany reneged on it's debt too didn't they?
           Face it, we're in a major pickle.  

          The reward for conformity was that everyone liked you except yourself. - Rita Mae Brown

          by Wyote on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:40:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ha, who's going to attack us? (0+ / 0-)

            There are legitimate issues but come on, be serious. Argentina repudiated its external debt in 2002 and they got through it...and we're better able to defend ourselves than they were.

            -5.38/-3.74 I've suffered for my country. Now it's your turn! --John McCain with apologies to Monty Python's "Protest Song"

            by Rich in PA on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:42:01 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  How did the Soviet Union collapse? (0+ / 0-)

              If Asian banks pulled the plug on the treasuries or even stopped buying our debt we would collapse.  There are many ways to wage war.

              As for Argentina, their prez just nationalized the country's pension plans in an effort stabilize their financial mess. Link

              That ain't getting through it.

              The reward for conformity was that everyone liked you except yourself. - Rita Mae Brown

              by Wyote on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:55:54 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The USSR collapsed because (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Go Kid Hugo

                it was getting too expensive to hang on to an empire that was destined to fall because of nationalism, so they let it go peacefully.  War is expensive.  Just ask us.  

                •  The event that finally forced (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Go Kid Hugo

                  the dissolution of SU was the decline by Deutsche Bank and other larger exterior banks in 1989 to bolster the existing state.  Instead, to get the money, they were forced to make political concessions. Caught between debt and the need to import food, exhausted monetarily from their futile efforts in Afganistan and the arms race, and trumped by the Saudis on oil revenue share, the Soviet finally busted. link

                  There are some similarities there to our situation.

                  The reward for conformity was that everyone liked you except yourself. - Rita Mae Brown

                  by Wyote on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 01:33:06 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  The Saudis own a good chunk of it... (0+ / 0-)

              ...maybe they'll send 20 thugs with boxcutters to send us into another socioeconomic tailspin.

        •  Would or Will (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jagger, PsychoSavannah, corvo

          The "real" economy, to the legislators, is the economy that pays them. If banks continue to bribe legislators as they always have (including throughout the time banks ran up these unsupportable debts), the legislators will prioritize the banks' problems over the general public's, the taxpayers'.

          I see no reason to think they will do otherwise. Our economy has suffered for decades, generations, with periodic catastrophes (CDSes, S&Ls, inflation/stagflation, Great Depression, bank panics, etc) all unchecked by actual accountability for failed risk management at banks. This time around is just the biggest yet.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:48:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Still a staggering figure (0+ / 0-)

      Misleading or not,  $7.4 trillion is still a staggering figure. Unprecedented as far as I know.  It can get worse.  That is the most troubling

    •  Some analysts predict imore like $15-40 trillion (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PsychoSavannah

      If you're looking at the amount of credit default swaps that come due, it could be more like $15-40 trillion, according to some risk analysts.

      The truth is, it's all estimates. No one really knows how much it's all going to cost. Which is another argument for the controlled bankruptcy of these institutions (protecting and insuring key assets like AIG's actual insurance operations, which are still sound), rather than face an endless, inestimable bill.

    •  The government can print as much money as it (0+ / 0-)

      wants to. They can print $100 trillion if they want.

      So, yes .. the government does have $7.4T. With deflation in force as it is, I'd look to the Fed to flood the markets with money.

      That's exactly what is going to happen.

      If they overdo it, people will get dizzy from the rapid ascent. If they do it 'just right', then the economy will rebound gently. Then, there's always the debt holders - the Chinese, Japanese, EU .. they can get real nervous if too much money is printed.

      Geithner is a good choice, as at least he has the language skills and knows the international markets. He'll calm them down, hopefully.

      2008, the Year the Republican Party dissolved into a little pond of goo

      by shpilk on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:55:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  t .. t .. t .. t .. trillion? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Uberbah, Poycer, Go Kid Hugo

    Holy shit.  That's all I can say.

    My dogs think I'm smart and pretty.

    by martydd on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:32:04 AM PST

  •  Watching President-elect Obama's press conference (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hdock0459, Poycer

    Gosh, it's refreshing to have someone who can see and talk in nuance, and who is is so articulate and careful with what he says.

    Proud of our guy!

    Divide and rule, a sound motto. Unite and lead, a better one. ::Goethe::

    by Jeremy10036 on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:32:56 AM PST

    •  Watching it gave me an epiphany. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jagger, Hannibal

      Obama is really, really just a different kinda of kleptocrat. I was under no illusion of his centralism either but with this news conference I cannot honestly kid myself that our involvement is useful.
      We are now on our own folks. The fact that he has appointed Summers is disgusting. I'm committing to local issues that are going to have tangible results which help relieve the assault on my local community. Screw being pissed on and told it's just raining even if it's being whispered melodiously.

  •  Uh..Ummmm. (0+ / 0-)

    Speechless.

    "Barack is actually Swahili for That One!"- President Barack "Steve" Obama

    by DLisa on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:33:00 AM PST

  •  The Bush Failures are now complete (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    otto, pontechango, Yalin

    A complete failure in foreign policy, and now an even worse economic failure.  Yes, are we on the brink of an economic collapse ?  I remembered all the bulls*** that the right wing threw at us for "talking down" the economy.  Now we may still yet to be at the bottom of this.  For lack of a real intellectual term, this has been a major cluster****.

  •  The new 2009 definition for the phrase... (4+ / 0-)

    ..."Chump Change" was announced by the Oxford Dictionary:  $25 billion.

    Coincidentally, $25 billion is the exact same amount of money that has the rabid right hyperventilating, as per helping the Big 3 automakers.  Hmmmmmmm.........

  •  Don't they know (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hannibal

    we don't have the money for this?  We cannot borrow more than the country is worth.  Oh, wait, that is how we got into this mess isn't it?

    ...do the elites...actually believe that society can be destroyed by anyone except those who lead them? - John Ralston Saul -

    by Silverbird on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:33:06 AM PST

  •  no potted plants (0+ / 0-)

    potted questions

  •  Nationalize, Nationalize, Nationalize - (10+ / 0-)

    It's time we the people owned the banking system -
    We've already bought it.

    It's time we the people owned the auto manufacturers -
    We've already bought them.

    There can be public/private partnerships,
    There can be articulation with independent producers,
    But the primary means of production must be public.

  •  Meanwhile... (14+ / 0-)

    Congress continues to okay the writing of hot checks to Wall Street but refuses to offer $25 in LOAN GUARANTEES to the automakers to save more than 3 million jobs.

    Direct Liquidity Injections for fat cats apparently deserve much less scrutiny than guarantees for loans to an industry that is the backbone of the American economy. Wow. I feel like I'm living in a bizzaro universe.

  •  What about fast tracking healthcare too? (4+ / 0-)

    Have H.R. 676 or some other version of Obama's healthcare plan on his desk the fist day he takes office.  Or is that asking too much?

    Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.

    by Futuristic Dreamer on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:36:22 AM PST

  •  wait... WHAT? 7 TRILLION?? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, CocoaLove, grrr, Poycer

    that's, like, some sort of sick joke, right?

    ...right?

    My brain can't even process this...

    Check out The Albany Project for the latest in NY state political news.

    by Team Slacker on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:37:29 AM PST

  •  Paulson makes Dr. Evil look like an amateur (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, grrr, trinite, mmiddle

    Don't be so afraid of dying that you forget to live.

    by LionelEHutz on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:37:48 AM PST

  •  and from David Paul, strategic solutions : (5+ / 0-)

    ...Over the next several days, the Treasury may announce its plans to pour billions more into Citibank. But even if Citibank survives, the Treasury will not have addressed the fear that is gripping the banks. For this, the Treasury and the Fed need to change the rules of the game: They have to tackle head-on the two issues that conspired to lead to AIG's swift collapse.

    First, they should change the mark-to-market rules that have made the balance sheets of financial institutions captive of swings in asset market prices. These rules exaggerate the importance of unrealized gains and losses, and exacerbate economic volatility by undermining stability in the banking sector. Instead, consideration should be given to rules that allow for the smoothing of unrealized gains and losses over time, as is the case in pension fund accounting, to mitigate market volatility by recognizing gains and losses over a multi-year period.

    Second, immediate regulatory action should be implemented, vitiating the linkage between changes in credit ratings and collateralization requirements under outstanding swap agreements. While changes in bond ratings have always had effect on an entity's cost of capital over time, the rating agencies never intended for rating actions to trigger cataclysmic events. In fact, until the collapse of AIG, the collective impact of the collateralization triggers in swap contracts was barely recognized as a material risk factor for financial institutions. Any counterparty who objects to this change should be free to void the agreement to which they are a party.

    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -Thomas Jefferson

    by ezdidit on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:37:48 AM PST

  •  Create Problem + Offer Pre-planned Solution = (4+ / 0-)

    Desired Outcome

  •  How the fuck can be "spend" $7.4 Trillion? (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trevzb, grrr, corvo, MKSinSA, SoCaliana, Go Kid Hugo
    why don't they just buy out everyone's mortgage and free up that spending for the average consumer.  This is fucked in the head.

    Saxby Chambliss wants to privatize YOUR social security, in today's stock market.

    by gaspare on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:38:21 AM PST

  •  And the Saudis profit (10+ / 0-)

    Tell me the Saudi who increased his stake in Citigroup last Friday didn't have insider information from BushCo. about terms of the enormous Citi bailout. I am so fucking sick of these leeches profiting off U.S. misery.

  •  that's a lot of money (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKSinSA, publicv

    Um, what the hell happened to get us into this situation?

    -7.38, -5.23 I voted for Barack Obama at 8:31 a.m. EDT on Oct. 24. What about you? Go Obama/Biden 2008!

    by CocoaLove on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:38:30 AM PST

    •  Here's what... (7+ / 0-)

      Um, what the hell happened to get us into this situation?

      Ronald Reagan.  And then two Bushes.

      Next question...

      "I'm not negative - I'm ANGRY!" -- Howard the Duck

      by Roddy McCorley on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:49:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Clinton didn't help much... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grrr, corvo, trinite

        ...either.

        •  Have to agree, in part. Taxes should have been (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brian Bell, froopyscot

          increased on the top tiers during the boom, and they weren't. Unlimited growth of the economy set up a speculative bubble, and that should have been controlled a bit more; increases in cap gains should have been put into place.

          But he did manage to pay down the deficit a bit, which helped some. He could have put a serious dent in the deficit if top tier and cap gains taxes were increased moderately - it would have lessened the impact today. Republicans fought him at every turn, as he tried to raise taxes, even a little.

          The biggest lie of them all, that reducing taxes increases growth of Federal revenue held sway, and people believed it.  

          2008, the Year the Republican Party dissolved into a little pond of goo

          by shpilk on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:08:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Clinton did taxation right (0+ / 0-)

            Taxes were just fine under Clinton and should have stayed where the were.

            The 2001 Bush tax cuts could have been justified as a stimulus.  However, the larger 2003 tax cuts were foolish. We cut taxes right when the economy was recovering, which deprived the treasury of large amounts of revenue.

            "I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat." - Will Rogers

            by wayward on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:11:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I disagree about Clinton and taxes. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              grrr

              He allowed the capital gains tax to go down to 15% and continued the punishment of people who work for a living.  He also deregulated banking and commodities trading, thus trashing what was left of the New Deal.  The U.S. technology business boom saved him.

        •  Don't be so sure... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          grrr, abraxas

          Clinton cut the deficit and produced  a surplus.  The deficit was - is - a central part of the "conservative" strategy.  David Stockman, Saint Ronald of Reagan's budget director, said out loud that the deficit was being deliberately run up in order to make it politically feasible to cut popular social programs.  You'll recall that once the GOP got back into the White House, they couldn't replace that surplus with a deficit fast enough.  I rather suspect that it was Clinton's success in reducing the deficit that was truly behind the amazing viciousness with which he was attacked. (The culture wars provided wonderful cover for that, though.)  

          So he at least helped enough for the "conservatives" to trivialize the most serious remedy the Founders could envision in order to stop him.

          "I'm not negative - I'm ANGRY!" -- Howard the Duck

          by Roddy McCorley on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:51:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  VooDoo economics, putting too much money (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CocoaLove, Medude24

      into the hands of speculators, and the killer was the Credit Default Swaps .. killed a whole nation, Iceland outright .. they are as dead in the water as one can get.

      "Good news" is, everyone has a piece of the CDS, so we all get to suffer to various degrees, together worldwide.

      2008, the Year the Republican Party dissolved into a little pond of goo

      by shpilk on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:03:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  $80,400 Per Taxpayer (11+ / 0-)

    There are about 138 million US taxpayers. $7.4 TRILLION is about $56,600 per taxpayer. Federal interest rates usually mean about 50% total interest payments, so the cost is about $11.1 TRILLION, or about $80,400 per taxpayer. Probably more, since selling so much debt will lower its value, meaning paying higher interest rates to pay back.

    $80,400 new debt per taxpayer, atop an existing $11 TRILLION Federal debt, atop an existing $10 TRILLION mortgage debt, atop an existing $10 TRILLION credit card (etc) debt. That's $42 TRILLION in debt, with a median personal income of about $32,000 - about $4.4 TRILLION. So taxpayers already have about 8 years of debt to pay, on an economy that doesn't generate any "extra" income to pay down debt - it generates only net debt, at a huge rate.

    The fact is that "the economy" has totally failed, in the most certain terms possible.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:39:14 AM PST

  •  That Will Buy Some Very Nice Resort Spa Retreats (4+ / 0-)

    For every bank and insurance executive in America. Meanwhile, we will pay taxes and get less than ever for them as service on the debt will soon exceed actual expenditures. Why in the world would a bank take any risks right now, given the endless promise of taxpayer bailouts? Who is Paulson deciding should survive and who should fail? He's going to make some of his friends pretty happy is my guess.

    The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by easong on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:39:19 AM PST

  •  Bartering will (13+ / 0-)

    be the new economy.  I'm too old for the "oldest profession" but I can write your college papers for you.

  •  Gee, will they take a check? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grrr, MadMs, MKSinSA, math4barack, publicv

    I don't have that kind of cash on me.  Let me check under my sofa for some spare change.

    Hope you enjoyed it, Sarah, 'cause we just kicked your silly winking folksy lipsticked ass back to Alaska. For good. Also.

    by Kaili Joy Gray on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:40:55 AM PST

  •  We are going bankrupt (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, MKSinSA, publicv, Go Kid Hugo

    and we are going to default on that debt; there's not stopping it now. It's a question of when, not if.

    "People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution. They don't put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible." --J.R.

    by michael1104 on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:41:00 AM PST

  •  Okay, i've done the math with (10) in mind (5+ / 0-)

    that is 23,333,33 per citizen in the US.  Can we have this money and spend it instead?  it'll find it's way to a bank over time.

    42.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot. A Wrightism

    by publicv on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:41:58 AM PST

  •  Wow. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKSinSA, publicv, Go Kid Hugo

    Just, wow.

  •  The corporation have finally (10+ / 0-)

    Privatized the government.

    The reason people don't learn from the past, is because the past was a repetitious lie to begin with. Mike Hastie U.S. Army Medic Vietnam 1970-71

    by BOHICA on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:42:27 AM PST

  •  "Bandied" sounds so casual (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grrr, PsychoSavannah, corvo, publicv

    I guess it's time to dust off some other words, such as sextillion, pentillion, and quadrillion. May start coming in handy from the sounds of things.

  •  It Better Include the Tax Plan (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grrr, corvo, Hannibal

    The most fundamental thing to repairing the economy is to pump money back into workers' pockets. The tax plan--all of it-- would do that. It cuts taxes on the people who need it the most and increases taxes on the very rich, which makes it revenue neutral. The later is as important as the former because if you hike borrowing you are not solving the longer-term problems.

    I know that everyone will scream and stamp their feet at the thought of a tax raise. But the simple truth is that cutting taxes for the rich is what unbalanced federal revenue to begin with and unhinged the economy. If we don't repair that we will push the dollar down.

    The trouble is at the bottom and that's where it has to be fixed. The government needs to buy houses and take the off the market. It needs to buy up mortgages that would otherwise result in foreclosures. It needs to send a strong signal to the markets that the U.S. is going to move wealth-creating jobs back to the U.S. and stop borrowing here to buy there.

    Unlike John McCain we know what the fundamentals of the economy really are. Those fundamentals need fixed. Anything that doesn't do that from Day 1 is a waste of money. Putting unrestrained pressure on wages to keep them down has sucked up all the money in the economy. Unless we put money back there we can forget about the next decade.

  •  Most of this money will come (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, publicv

    From T-Bill auctions, which means the American tax-payer is not really coming up with all this cash, for one there simply is not that much cash here in the United States.

    So the auctions are bringing in foreign money to further finance our debt.

    I truly believe these are the seeds that are sowing the next world war because I fail to see how the credit rating of the United States can weather this crisis, and when those bonds come due in the next 2-10 years I don't see how we can meet the obligations, hence my new feeling that we are heading down a dark dark road.

    China just eclipsed Japan as the number one holder of US treasury notes...

    •  auctions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grrr

      So the auctions are bringing in foreign money to further finance our debt.

      When foreign money refuses to attend our auctions that is when taxes go up or the printing presses start.

    •  no, there's no money, just a guarantee (0+ / 0-)

      The FDIC doesn't have cash on hand to cover all $4T or whatever FDIC-insured bank deposits either. This $7T obligation is only if, basically, every single business in the US fails.

      car wreck : car insurance :: climate wreck : climate insurance

      by HarlanNY on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:01:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Additional monies for stimulus would come (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Hannibal

    from China?  No thank you.  I thought that we don't support communism.  How ironic would it be that communist China has to bail out free-market capitalism?  What would that do to our standing in the world?  So sad.

    The future is what we decide it is going to be.

    by Ann T Bush on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:43:44 AM PST

  •  Gaahh!!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Hannibal, Go Kid Hugo

    I don't think I can afford $7.4 trillion worth of executive Lear jets and CEO retreats to world-class spas this month.

    -9.0, -8.3. Sometimes, ya know, I consider myself too a feminist -- whatever that means! -sarah palin

    by SensibleShoes on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:44:56 AM PST

  •  Tom Paxton updates (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Losty

    I'm Changing My Name to Chrysler

    The reason people don't learn from the past, is because the past was a repetitious lie to begin with. Mike Hastie U.S. Army Medic Vietnam 1970-71

    by BOHICA on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:45:00 AM PST

  •  If we were in a family situation, and the (3+ / 0-)

    Fed were an immediate family member, we would exercise our power of attorney and authority and we would do the equivalent of commit that family member to either a rehab center, or a tough-love bootcamp improvement program, or a psych ward.  

    And all we learn are "some members of congress are calling for the Fed to be reined in."

    What are the others calling for?  For Joe or Jane Taxpayer's head on a platter?  Oh wait a minute-- I get it-- it's not just about calling for a taxpayer head.  It's about calling for killing of the financial futures of the first, second, and third-borns in every American family, for generations.

    I truly feel as though we were in a rapidly-growing concentration camp situation, or like the East Berliners who saw a wall rise in the space of days to cut them off from whatever they'd thought reality was, and leave them to wonder what the hell they could do to try to get out of there, for decades.

  •  Bailouts instead of health care? (6+ / 0-)

    What kind of country are we?  If we're so morally bankrupt to allow this to happen, we won't survive.

    Over the weekend, Obama announced he was backtracking on his pledge to roll back Bush's tax cuts to the wealthy for "economic stimulus".  Unfortunately, those are the revenues he planned to use to pay for his somewhat skimpy health care reform plan.

    So now we're not going to have health care reform?  Now we're just going to keep pouring money into the money pit that is Wall Street?

    Someone had better demand mucho accountability, transparency, and control over this fiasco or voters will throw them all out of office in 2010.

  •  a bailout of Zimbabwean proportions!!! n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, MKSinSA, abraxas
  •  Of all the nightmare economic scenarios... (4+ / 0-)

    ... we're currently threatened with, I consider hyperinflation far-and-away the most bowel-chilling. [See: Zimbabwe]

    How President Paulson plans to avoid this while virtually doubling the already-crippling national debt in just a few months is not clear to me.

  •  I'm moving to Canada within 10 years (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheMagicJew, Go Kid Hugo

    Sorry, America.  I just know I won't be able to handle that kind of tax increase in about 2020 or so.

    Way to go, Republicans.

    My style is impetuous.
    My defense is impregnable.
    YOU'RE NOT ALEXANDER!

    by samfish on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:50:21 AM PST

  •  Inndict Pelosi (7+ / 0-)

    She has abandoned her Constitutional duty to control the purse strings.  She is now an accessory to torture and now theft from the American taxpayer.

    "It stinks." - Jay Sherman

    by angry liberaltarian on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:51:04 AM PST

  •  They will throw whatever money they can at it now (5+ / 0-)

    And when the final analysis is done AFTER THE FACT, we will all be talking about how the very rich raped and pillaged us yet again.

    I'm convinced that the last couple decades can all be explained--politically--in terms of demographics and class warfare.

    The very rich can see America's future (low wages, labor because of global competition, the balance of political power shifting far to the left because of demographics) and they are now making one last money grab as they abandon the country and stash their money in the Caymans, etc.

    Look at these people! They suck each other! They eat each other's saliva and dirt! -- Tsonga people of southern Africa on Europeans kissing.

    by upstate NY on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:51:19 AM PST

  •  Let's all calm down just a bit, okay? (0+ / 0-)

    I think a lot of use are just running around like the sky is falling. I'm seeing way too many exploding heads here.

    Let's wait and see what the rest of the story is on this before we start cursing the Obama administration. I don't think this means the end to Universal Healthcare in America. In fact, I still see UH as a very good possibility there.

    I'll admit this... 7 trillion whatever it is is disturbing, but I have a lot more faith in the Obama administration than anything the Bush administration would want to sign off on. So let's wait a few seconds before we twirl our heads off.

    President-Elect Barack Obama: is he, perhaps, too awesome?

    by Rockpopple on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:51:31 AM PST

    •  The end of universal healthcare? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hannibal, MKSinSA

      Obama's plan was hardly a beginning.

      •  Sure it was. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MKSinSA

        Let's be serious. Sure it was. It was more of a beginning than you were going to get in a Republican administration.

        Just calm down.

        President-Elect Barack Obama: is he, perhaps, too awesome?

        by Rockpopple on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:05:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hardly, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hannibal, MKSinSA, Go Kid Hugo

          because it wasn't as though this Congress or any other would let him do it.

          •  That's silly (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MKSinSA

            You insult Obama if when you paint him as a weakling who can't get health care legislation through Congress.

            You also underestimate how much voters are counting on real reform and how angry they'll be when DC fails to get the job done again.

            •  Yeah? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              grrr

              What are those voters going to do about it?

              Oh, yeah, that's right.  Choose between another safely centrist Democrat and a knuckledragging Rethug protofascist.

              Where have I heard that one before?

          •  Let's find out how powerful President Obama (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MKSinSA

            is when it comes to getting congress to vote how he wants them to when he's actually President before we start criticizing him, eh?

            Anyhow... I hope people aren't getting it twisted... or maybe I am... this 7+ trillian dollar plan isn't Obama's, and it isn't the one they trying to push to his desk as soon as he's President. That's the 700 billion dollar stimulus package that they're talking about in the second TPM quote.

            I think people are freaking out over the wrong guy.

            President-Elect Barack Obama: is he, perhaps, too awesome?

            by Rockpopple on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:14:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Obama gave away the money for it (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        moiv, grrr, Hannibal, Go Kid Hugo

        Recall, he planned to pay for his health care reform plan (its not universal), with money generated by ending the Bush tax cuts for those with incomes over $250,000 yr.

        Well someone must have had a "come to Jesus" moment with Obama this weekend, because he's backtracked on ending those Bush tax cuts.  That means there's no money to pay for health care reform.

        •  Come on. The rich were never gonna bankroll (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MKSinSA

          the entire plan. That's silly. Besides, a smart guy would have a contingency plan. Hedging all your bets on one source is something say... McCain would do.

          Let's settle down a bit. He looked at the situation and thought that repleaing the Bush tax cuts might not be the best idea at the moment (and he still might, who knows?) He still plans on his tax cuts to 95% of workers, that hasn't changed. I'm sure they're looking at alternative means to fund a health care reform.

          Geez guys, we're looking kind of silly here. Let's calm down, calm down.

          President-Elect Barack Obama: is he, perhaps, too awesome?

          by Rockpopple on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:17:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  No Additional Gov Money Needed for Health Care (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          grrr

          The actual numbers are that the US government ALREADY pays more for health care per American than the British, French, Canadian...etc governments pay. All of the rest is just waste on paper shuffling plus profits for the Insurance companies and payoffs for the politicians. If the government simply declares that all Americans are covered, you all are already paying more than enough to cover the bills.

  •  $7T (4+ / 0-)

    The U.S. government is prepared to lend more than $7.4 trillion on behalf of American taxpayers, or half the value of everything produced in the nation last year, to rescue the financial system since the credit markets seized up 15 months ago.

    Just so we're clear, the proposal here is to invent money with the value of slightly more than one-half of the US GDP. This isn't the kind of thing that you can do without facing any economic repercussions.

    AT&T offers exciting work for recent graduates in computer science. Pick up the phone, call your mom, and ask for an application.

    by Scipio on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:52:19 AM PST

  •  this is a bust out (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MackInTheBox, whenwego, moiv, corvo, High Tide

    that Tony Soprano would be proud of.

  •  50% of the economy. There is no way in hell that (7+ / 0-)

    we need to bail out anyone with that much money.  This number means that letting the banks fail is worse than half the people and businesses in the country getting a check from the government to not work.  It makes no sense.  

    I didn't vote for someone to say yes to this blackmail, whether that's Obama or my Rep or my Senators.  I voted for someone that would stand up to the money interests.

    $2-4T and Obama could slide some portions of the "change" agenda through.  If this number bears out, that is not true anymore.  He's/the country is going to have to make a choice on this.  Mushing through is not an option.  We're going to have to have clear options presented (a la Nixon on the wage and price freeze), and we're going to have to vote on this in some way, shape, or form.  Experts have had their chance, and have been found wanting (at least by me).

    The corrupting influence of money in politics has gotten too big to ignore. (/grabs pitchfork)

    "You may already be a wiener!" Anonymous

    by Terra Mystica on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:52:37 AM PST

  •  Biggest Piracy in History (4+ / 0-)

    and a mandated Democratic Congress sits by idly as they loot and pillage the Treasury. Sheesh!

    Well? Shall we go? Yes, let's go - a new dawn rises.

    by whenwego on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:52:50 AM PST

  •  US paid back on Chrysler "bailout". Same here. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jagger, gfab
    1.  It is good to provide some historical perspective. The US actually made money on the Chrysler bailout. AIG noted US should make money on it's transaction with AIG.  So much of the bailout are loans and historically government has gotten them back so translating the numbers into "DEBT" is misleading.
    1.  Also, the $7.4 Trillion is a nice headline but it is only an on-the-napkin calculation by a couple reporters (who get paid to write snappy headlines by corporate media that gets paid if it posts snappy headlines). For example $2.4 trillion is the bank deposit guarantees which is not debt.
    1.  Only fraction of the original $700B allocated has needed to be used so even if a $7.4 trillion plan emerges, how much of the allocated funds will even get used is problematic.
  •  the government (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grrr, PsychoSavannah, corvo, Hannibal

    the government would of been better off , starting their own bank, and lending, then bailing these losers out.  Fuck them, and fuck their credit default swap paper.

    The goal is to keep the country's credit fluid, why do we need bankrupt banks to do that?

    Pick ONE, nationalize it and fund it. This is a national emergency the gov can do whatever it pleases in an emergency.

    Fuck citi group, fuck AIG, fuck em, let em fail, and let the smaller better run corps take their place.

  •  Well, as Walldoor Sockbat so famously said: (0+ / 0-)

    "WhEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeee!"

    Hyperinflation, here we come!!!

  •  The Real Problem and the Real Fix (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Blutodog

    The real problem with our economy isn't the credit markets or the housing markets. The real problem is that all the supply chains are now computerized and everything is on a JIT system. The moment that demand softens, the computers tell all the downstream suppliers to cut back on their supplies. This makes any downturn worse because it amplifies the signal by however many suppliers there are. So, if a car manufacturer makes one less car, there are hundreds of suppliers that make one less widget to go in that car and it causes endless people to be thrown out of work.

    To fix this, the government should just step in and buy 10 of everything from every company. This would send a signal to all the supply chains that demand is going up. They would all demand more from suppliers, multiplying the effect. Workers would be hired back, money would flow, the credit markets would notice that the underlying investments were doing better and would thaw out. While that was happening, we could do some structural changes to fix the major problems.

    Put a trillion dollars into buying things. Problem solved.

  •  Where the FUCK is this money coming from? (5+ / 0-)

    ...or do I not want to know...

    Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others.

    by Aqualad08 on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:56:35 AM PST

    •  Out of thin air (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moiv, grrr, Hannibal, math4barack

      The Fed just prints it.  That's their job.  A job that constitutionally belongs to Congress, but Congress abdicated this power in 1913.  

      BTW, the Fed is not a government agency, but a banking cartel owned/controlled by private bankers.  They have been earning interest on the money that they create and loan to the Federal government for nearly 100 years now.  

      Gee, I wish I had the power to print money then loan it to the government at interest.

      That government is best which governs least. Henry Thoreau

      by rockhead on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:09:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  does the phrase "license to print money" ring (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Go Kid Hugo, rockhead

      any bells?

      the only problem is, as zimbabwe and many many other unfortunate countries have shown... Ya can't just print more paper fiat money to solve the problem.

      apparently they've been kiting checks for years, maybe decades. Eventually the piper has to be paid.

      it's time to start figuring out what we propose to do once this whole thing collapses.

      color me not very optimistic.

      People talking about calm down? PANIC is not helpful, true. But there is every reason in the world to be hopping mad.

      Sadly I am not a mother. But they are stealing right now just from you and me, but from all our children, and many generations to come.

      off with their mother fucking heads, I'm thinking. (relatively metaphorically speaking...) :)

      Not that I advocate for violence, NSA watchers. But there are surely a lot of bad guys in this scenario.

      I'm off to the bonddad blog to see what he has to say about this shit...

      <sigh> where's my fucking pitchfork...

      To be, rather than to seem.--NC State Motto

      by make a difference on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:57:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  same place as FDIC guarantee of $4 billion (0+ / 0-)

      There's no need to actually supply any money unless banks fail. Same with this new guarantee. If no institutions fail, the taxpayer won't have to pay a dime.

      car wreck : car insurance :: climate wreck : climate insurance

      by HarlanNY on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:59:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's a pretty big goddamn "if" (0+ / 0-)

        Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others.

        by Aqualad08 on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 01:29:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  if all $7T fails, then you have no job (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Go Kid Hugo

          There's just no way that all of those loans fail in such a way that the rest of the economy hasn't collapsed. If that guarantee becomes a federal debt, we'll all have much bigger problems. Like, having to learn Chinese, as the USA has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the PRC.

          Now, is some portion of that guarantee likely to be called in? Sure. But the likely consequence if the government did nothing about this ongoing credit squeeze is that you won't have a job. Which will cost you a lot more in terms of lifetime earnings than any bailout due to failed companies.

          car wreck : car insurance :: climate wreck : climate insurance

          by HarlanNY on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 01:35:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Why not go after. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hannibal, gfab

    The tens of billion stolen during the Larceny decade. Why not offer a 15% reward for information leading to the conviction of government fraud.
    Can't Pelosi pretend likes she cares?

    Bent but not broken. Atta boy Ben Franklin and esteemed.

    by ghett on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:56:54 AM PST

  •  Oh for God's sake, why not $74 trillion? Why not (10+ / 0-)

    $740 trillion? Why not a Google Dollars? A Googleplex? A Bazillian?

    This is sheer insanity. These numbers are utterly meaningless now. They're literally pulling numbers out of their asses at this point.

    •  Exactly the point. (0+ / 0-)

      They have bankrupted the U.S. and totally devalued the dollar.  

      The dollar, which the governments of the world has used as it's reserve currency, is meaningless now.  This is what the big pow wow in D.C. for the last week or so has been about -- how to transition from the worthless dollar to a one world currency.

      That government is best which governs least. Henry Thoreau

      by rockhead on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:17:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually the spelling is googol... (0+ / 0-)

      but your point is well taken. Look at it this way. If we created one googol dollars bailuot there would be more dollars than atoms in the known universe so no chance of ever running out ever again.

  •  What is that? Like a million bucks per voter?? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    flumptytail, Go Kid Hugo

    "when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro..."--HST

    by moondancing on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:59:57 AM PST

    •  Nah. "ONLY" 40K. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moondancing

      My back-of-the-cuff calculation gives 7.4 x 10xx12 / 1.84 x 10xx8 = 4.02 x 10xx4;  $40,000.

      Of course, as the dollar collapses, the damage will be far worse.  Which brings up another point;  what the hell do I do with the (for me) sizable sum I have in dollars in an IRA?  Convert it to gold and silver and bury it in my back yard?  'Cause it damned sure isn't going to be worth much as dollars.

      I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

      by tle on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:51:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Privatizing the Bank of Ireland (7+ / 0-)

    I read in the Irish Times yesterday that their biggest banks are being bought by private capitalists:

    The Mallabraca consortium, which comprises US private equity giants JC Flowers, the Carlyle Group and a number of Middle Eastern sovereign wealth (state-controlled) funds, is willing to invest up to €5 billion buying into BoI, though its preference is for a stake in a married entity comprising BoI and ILP, two of the State's top-three mortgage lenders.

    The Carlyle Group is the world's biggest capitalist (holds the largest value of private equity of any holder), where Bush dynasty players go to cash in on empire. They are of course tightly connected with Mideast sovereign wealth funds, which is where US oil money goes, as multiplied by Bush regime players.

    I expect these players are doing the same thing in the US, just with the names flipped. The government gets the money to bail out US banks by borrowing it from banks, a purely circular scheme that simply pays interest to a fluid banking community for the privilege of giving them the money to lend. The pile of money that these loans start with is in the hands of the Carlyle Group, the Mideast sovereign wealth funds and China. That pile just gets bigger with these circular loans paid at interest, with control of our borrowing/relending government surrendered along the way.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:00:06 AM PST

  •  Tax the Robber Banks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grrr, Hannibal

    The banks that are lending this money got that money by doing all kinds of unregulated business the past decade or so that is now causing our economy to collapse.

    We should tax those banks to get the money to pay to bail out the economy. They are after all the main beneficiaries of the economy functioning, and the only source of money to fix it.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:01:42 AM PST

  •  The interesting thing is where it will go (0+ / 0-)

    The usual suspects.

    Trickle down economics.

    "The military industrial complex not only controls our government, lock, stock and barrel, but they control our culture." - Mike Gravel

    by Wilberforce on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:03:53 AM PST

  •  This is INSANE. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grrr, tle, Go Kid Hugo

    Nationalize the banks.
    We need socialist policies like Sweden.
    Free markets? In this economy? No such thing.

    Think of the picture of blindness as a darkness in the soul or in the head of the blind man. LW/PI/424

    by LRLine on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:06:35 AM PST

  •  I don't know how to spell (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Go Kid Hugo

    uberinflation.  Weimar republic here we come....wheee

    After 8 years of darkness, a great nation chose to reapply power to the beacon of light America stands for.

    by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:10:59 AM PST

  •  And folks wondered why the old CBOT kept (0+ / 0-)

    the futures contract on the 30-year Bond still active.  I think everyone here on LaSalle knew that we would go back to that.  This further proves that we aren't ever going to pay off this debt any time soon.

    corporations interpret "loyalty" the way a prisoner might interpret "dropping the soap"

    by Johnny Venom on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:12:07 AM PST

  •  The ultimate bailout won't be $7 trillion -- (0+ / 0-)

    not by a long shot.  Try $70 trillion.  Remember, the credit default swaps "economy" is bigger than the world-society's annual GDP.

    "If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers" -- Thomas Pynchon

    by Cassiodorus on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:18:12 AM PST

  •  Ah screw it. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trevzb, MackInTheBox, moiv, Hannibal, High Tide

    Why not eight? Nine? Ten? Ten Trillion Dollars! Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah. (thunder claps)

    In related news, I've decided I don't owe anybody anything, and won't pay anyone anything. And I expect to live in a 5-bedroom house by next monday. Why the fuck not? I will drive home from work today in a Toyota land-cruiser remake, just because I'm going to take my 12-year-old truck and leave it there. They'll give me the Toyota because I said I wanted it, and the economy's crashing, so why the fuck not?

    This is a great, great country.

    "Half of the American people never read a newspaper. Half never vote for President. One hopes it is the same half." - Gore Vidal

    by sapper on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:18:29 AM PST

  •  Obama and team need only make one decision (0+ / 0-)
    Seeing the Fed has pledged approximately $7.5 trillion to cover this financial mess, and as all outstanding first mortgages in the US amount to approximately $9.5 trillion, the Obama team need only come up with $2 trillion more and simply pay off all outstanding first mortgages. This would resolve most of the subprime problem, create a whole new group of people who can start spending their new-found excess monthly income to help jump start the economy, help both wall street and main street, and allow many folks to start the credit chase all over again, further boosting the economy.
    •  Craziness squared (0+ / 0-)

      I don't know whether you're serious but in case you are, paying off everybody's mortgages is totally unfair to those who did not have the foresight to buy a house before the financial crisis!

      •  Unfair? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grrr, Go Kid Hugo

        We chose to invest in the future of this country during the worst presidency in American history, and it's unfair to you?

        I say throw in an extra $0.01 Trillion and pay off outstanding federal student loans. Take those two bills off my monthly burden, and I'm an economic dynamo working to make this country great again. Promise. You'd have your money back by the end of Obama's second term.

      •  Half and half (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grrr
        Half toungue in cheek, but half...not. Are the current actions and planned actions "fair"? Effective? At least this money would actually go to benefit a large number of actual individual taxpayers (not corporate handouts that will not trickle down to us common folk in any way, including those who did not have the foresight to get a mortgage, not even reduced bank fees or elimination of ATM fees), including taxpayers who have always done the right thing and not over extended themselves, played by the rules, yada yada yada. True, many who did not have the foresight to buy a house will not get a mortgage paid off, but the economy sure would improve and help them out in other ways----more than what it appears they would get under all other current options on the table.
    •  Nice idea but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jagger

      this would deprive the bankers of all that money they get in interest.  For example, on a 30 year $100K loan at an interest rate of 6.25% you'll pay the bank about $122K in interest.

      You know that "military/industrial" complex that Eisenhower warned the American people about.  Well if it really exists their influence in D.C. must be pretty great.  How much more than is the influence of the financers of this complex?.  They run D.C. (even Obama, who BTW, got twice as much from the finance, insurance and real estate sector as McCain).

      Do you really think the people that control these mortgages would give up this money?  Not a chance.  Better to just take the homes from those that can't pay back, then after a few years dream up a new "program" that will allow them to reenter debt slavery.

      Woohoo, yeah for the Fed, they've made slaves of us all.

      That government is best which governs least. Henry Thoreau

      by rockhead on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:34:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  but you miss part of the point (0+ / 0-)
        As noted in my last sentence, it allows the great credit chase to begin anew. The vast majority of those whose mortgages get bought will no doubt seek to enslave themselves once again by taking on all sorts of new debt to buy all sorts of new toys, and generally doing this with their newly debt-relieved homes as collateral. This is America damnit! We don't learn lessons. Its a win-win for the banks/big finance.
        •  Sorry (0+ / 0-)

          I did miss your point.  I'm so worked up about this my reading comprehension is lower than usual.

          You are quite right, though there is one lesson that is well learned because it is banged into our heads from the time emerge from the womb -- "Buy, buy, buy.  Gotta have, gotta have, gotta have.  Your life sucks if you don't have this."

          One opportunity the coming disaster might create is a chance for a vast swath of the American public to wake up from their mind-numbed, TV induced stupor to the reality that being free doesn't not mean the ability to buy whatever you want.

          That government is best which governs least. Henry Thoreau

          by rockhead on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:07:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Calling my senator and Congressperson, saying NO (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moiv, grrr, Hannibal, Medude24, Losty, SoCaliana

    and telling them I DON'T want any more "fast-track" legislation for these over-hyped bailouts.

    Hold hearings

    Have GAO do an assessment

    The last bailout failed, so what do we have to lose by taking a closer look at this one?

  •  $7.4 trillion? Try $50-60 trillion (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Blutodog, Rabbithead

    because that is how far those a**holes are leveraged, and if we don't let them fail, with horrible consequences, that is how much we will have to bail them out.

    By the way, $60 trillion debt comes out to $200,000 per every American man, women and child - based on a population of 300 million.

    (¯`*._(¯`*._(-IMPEACH-)_.*´¯)_.*´¯)

    by dancewater on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:28:00 AM PST

  •  Our government (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Medude24

    is playing a game of Monopoly but they are forgetting that it is real money, our money, that they are playing with. If Economists focused on the real people impacted by their financial bailouts it might change the game board.
    Paulson and co. should draw a Go Directly to Jail card.
    It is so sad for we the people to watch this go down, knowing that we are all being mortgaged for the rest of our lives.

    •  Cancel Your Mortgage, Become a Canadian! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grrr

      If you are well educated, or attractive enough to woo a Canadian and marry them, you can become a Canadian and skip out on all this debt! In two and a half years, I will be a Canadian and then just let them try to make me pay for the party I was never invited to!
      Added bonuses are; universal health care, a government that has been paying down its debt for a decade, lots of land that will be like Atlanta in terms of weather fifty years from now (thanks Global Warming), a tons of people running around saying cute Canadian things like "'eh" and abooot.

  •  Destruction of the Gov't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Go Kid Hugo

    This all fits in the hard rights plan to destroy the Gov't's ability to do anything more then finance they're buddies forever. They caused this mess and now they plan on profitting hugely from it by putting the rest of us in debt forever. This is all being done before Emperor Dumbfuck flies away to his ranchero.

    "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

    by Blutodog on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:41:53 AM PST

  •  Yo... this fast-track mentioned... (0+ / 0-)

    Isn't that for Obama's 700b stimulus package, not this 7t bailout?

    President-Elect Barack Obama: is he, perhaps, too awesome?

    by Rockpopple on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:48:20 AM PST

  •  Invalidate All Credit Swaps (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jagger, Data Pimp

    When credit swaps are greater than the whole nation's assets, then there is no possible bailout that will work in any way. Duh! So think of this as a government mandated bankruptcy for the whole financial system. In bankruptcy, what debtors are paid what portion is determined, so this is a precedent.

  •  Interesting article from reuters (5+ / 0-)

    The world is actually betting that the US will default on the 10-year T-bill

    NEW YORK, Nov 24 (Reuters) - The spread or risk premium on 10-year U.S. Treasury credit default swaps hit record wide levels on Monday, prompted by worries about how the cost of rescuing banks and carmakers would affect U.S. creditworthiness, CMA DataVision said.

    Ten-year U.S. Treasury CDS edged out to 49.8 basis points from 49.3 basis points at Friday's close, according to the credit data company.

    Prior to the financial crisis, default risk premiums on U.S. government debt had been running in the low-to-mid single digits.

    ruh roh...

  •  cREDIT (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JRandomPoster

    WHY ARE WE ALL LIVING ON CREDIT ANYWAY. WHAT HAPPENED TO CASH ON THE BARRELHEAD?

    there was a time when the US dollar meant somthing and people put it in the bank than when they wanted to buy somrething onthe spot they had to go to the bank to get the money and thought it over they didnt make as many folly purchases that they didnt know what they would do with anyway> It also gave teh bank money to keep locked up int ehr vaults they dodnt have to borrow from mr potter.
    the debit card is nice as you have cash on hand but every day I see that crowd at the fast foods spending 3.50 for lunch and out comes the card to pay for it??> at 21 plus interest thats a mark up of a few bucks a day for food.Than they go to the grocery store and again out comes the card not the check book which charges nada but the 21 percent credit card not the debit which charges nada than at the end of the month they wonder why they cant quite make the morgage!!
    so dont blame the bilkers ony and the scam artist they do need  suckers coming by . jd

  •  Here's the thing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rockhead

    As a nation and as a society, we've been spending future generation's wealth on credit for decades.  Both in our personal lives and as a nation, we've been far exceeding our buying power for far too long.

    Now, one way or another, the piper is going to have to be paid.  The only question is in what manner; different economic philosphies will dictate different methods.  But we need to get past the sticker shock of getting ourselves back into the black.  No matter the approach, that debt is not going to go away.

    Quick to judge, Quick to anger, Slow to understand; Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand. -- Neil Peart

    by JRandomPoster on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:59:30 AM PST

  •  And if China does not or cannot buy this debt (0+ / 0-)

    then the world as we know it will end.  Are these guys kidding?

    There is a word for those who try to suppress the vote: TRAITORS.

    by hcc in VA on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:04:34 AM PST

  •  Where does this money come from? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Losty

    Are we talking double digit inflation to fuel our debt habit?

    The rest of the world is in net deficit.  China is investing in it's own economy.  Where is the pool of cash that will support half the US economy for a year? (Assuming this $7.4T is pure debt.)

    Either someone knows something none of us here know, or we've stepped off the cliff, economically.

    "You may already be a wiener!" Anonymous

    by Terra Mystica on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:20:58 AM PST

  •  But will capitalism welcome us as liberators? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Go Kid Hugo

    What of the Shia capitalists led by Imam Greenspan and the Sunni Capitalists who worship Imam Galbraith? Do we have an exit strategy?

    I am against this invasion. Against against against.

  •  This is not all borrowed money. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grrr

    Beginning with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the US Treasury started borrowing money (issuing treasuries) at the rate of 8 trillion dollars per year for a period of 10 weeks. I was tracking this and wondered how long they would be able to keep it up. All of a sudden, it stopped. But the crisis wasn't over and the need for money was as high as ever. At that point, quite suddenly, the Fed's balance sheet started to explode in value. So they went from borrowing to the more mundane activity of printing and lending. But the cost hasn't changed. In fact, the rate of change to the Fed's balance sheet over the past few weeks has been faster than the borrowing during October.

    My guess is that the future of Fed and Treasury interventions will look more like a mix of the two processes.  That way the interventions and impact are less obvious. Besides which, tracking the expansion of the Fed's balance sheet is not as easy as tracking the issue of treasuries, but it's all public information.

    What is truly amazing to me, is the extent to which the Fed and the Treasury can operate without taxpayer input. In this monetary crisis, Congress has been shown to be irrelevant, and to the extent it is needed, functions principally as the legislative arm of Wall Street (e.g. Bailout Bill). The whole system operates much more like a superficially benign dictatorship controlled by the monied elite than a democracy. The crisis has revealed the extent to which the US capitalist democracy has morphed into a plutocracy, with all of the imagery of a democratic society, but few of the benefits.

  •  Let's All form a Bank and get in the Queue! (0+ / 0-)

    First National dKOS Bank.

    Make them OWN their failures. Yeah, we pinned an "L" on them. Now, we move forward together.

    by Misterpuff on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:58:35 PM PST

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