Showing posts from 2012

Mr. Merkley Goes to Washington

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Unemployment and the Deficit — Why Job Creation Is the Best Policy

Updated - with a Business Insider post from Dec. 28This is reproduced from an email from the National Jobs For All CoalitionUnemployment creates a significant addition to the deficit because jobless taxpayers and businesses short of customers are poor sources of federal tax revenues. At the same time, government spends more on indispensable unemployment compensation, food stamps and other social programs. Further, in a high unemployment economy, real wages of employed workers stagnate or even fall, so their taxes also stagnate. Unemployment, moreover, afflicts state and local governments with declining tax revenues and rising costs. These state and local governments can't create credit or borrow as easily as the federal government. As a result public services are slashed and public sector workers are laid off. Attempts to cut our way back to prosperity won't work; it will harm our future and create even more suffering in the present. As Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz obs…

Cliff-tossing, coast to coast

From the New York State Department of Labor:Unless the U.S. Congress extends Unemployment Insurance Benefits, all Extended Benefits (EB) and Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) will end on December 30, 2012.From the State of California's Employment Development Department:Regardless of when your regular claim or extension benefits start, December 29, 2012, will be the last week ending date that EDD can pay federal extension (Tiers 1 – 4) benefits to eligible unemployed workers, even if someone is currently unemployed or has a remaining balance on their federal extension.As of December 26, the number of Californians who have run out of benefits is over 928,600.That's in addition to the people in the states mentioned in the Ezra Klein video below:
Tennessee - 30,000
Nevada - 25,000
Michigan - 85,000
Florida - 119,000
Connecticut - 43,000
Oregon - 30,000

Let Them Eat Nothing

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The Ed Show: The Unemployment Cliff

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Christmas Eve


A thought experiment...

A thought experiment: if every school in America displays an "armed security on patrol" sign, will that solve the problem? #p2#tcot— A 99er (@HelpThe99ers) December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas


Today's #NowIsTheTime Must-sees

"gassy clouds of fear" - read the full article about the NRA. The comments, especially from gun owners, are important additions to the conversation.

A Question

What part of the right to keep and bear arms includes the freedom to massacre kids? The Second Amendment is not a hunting license. #p2#tcot— A 99er (@HelpThe99ers) December 15, 2012


Reposting this question originally asked in July:"Can we all, as Americans, agree on a comon goal? No more innocent gun victims."


Do I have your attention?Five billion, nine hundred fifty-nine million, five hundred thousand dollars.Per year.That's what you get when you multiply the number of people currently employed in Michigan (3,973,000), by the amount of money lost in reduced wages ($1,500) per person, in one year, on average, after a state adopts "right to work" laws.Six billion dollars, transferred out of middle- and lower-class paychecks, and transferred into profits.Michigan, that's no way to build and sustain a middle class.It's plutocracy.Worse - it's kleptocracy - government by those who seek chiefly status and personal gain at the expense of the governed.

A moment of objectivity

"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."- President John Adams"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."- Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan"Nate Silver was right, and I was wrong."- Dean Chambers, "Unskewed Polls"

(More) unemployed in danger of being pushed over fiscal cliff

From today's Melissa Harris-Perry show:Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

True in 1961. Still true today. "Right to work" is a right to work for less.

Martin Luther King, speaking about right-to-work laws in 1961:"In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as 'right to work.' It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights. Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone… Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer and there are no civil rights. We do not intend to let them do this to us. We demand this fraud be stopped. Our weapon is our vote."Economists, discussing right to work laws today:When right-to-work laws were first implemented decades ago, those first states benefited with increased employment because companies and jobs migrated there in search of the lower wages, Belman said. But that impact has faded over time, as more states have joined those ranks and as unions have agreed to concessionary demands …

Dear Democrats, Please Stick To These 8 Principles From Robert Reich


Chart of the Day: Overboard

As seen on Daily Kos: Daily Kos writer Meteor Blades published this chart, showing how many people will be affected if Federal unemployment benefits are terminated at the end of this month.Nine million Americans (not counting their dependents) will be left without a lifeline.Corporations are making record levels of after-tax profits, while doing everything they can to cut salaries and full-time positions.We have to fix this problem.

How much do unemployment benefits cost you? Less than $1.00 per day

This is now a recent conversation on Twitter ended:@helpthe99ers Not my problem I am tried of paying everyone's way. I never collected unemployment when I could have. Good Bye— kathie(@railgirl1952) November 17, 2012And that got me wondering: how much does unemployment insurance cost the average taxpayer?In general, the answer is zero: UI benefits are funded on a state by state level, through taxes paid by employers, not by individuals. But as a result of the Great Recession, the Federal goverment has had to fund the state programs. At the end of 2011, CNN reported that taxpayers spent $184.7 billion for the years 2008-2011.Next question? How many taxpayers have there been over the same four years? Based on the 2012 Statistical Abstract from the Census Bureau, there were a total of 554 million Federal tax returns filed for the tax years 2007-2010, which are the latest numbers available. It's not an exact year-for-year match, but it'll be close enough for this estimate.So: …

NELP: Don't Push Jobless Americans Off The Cliff

NELP's latest report warns that 3 million jobless Americans will lose unemployment insurance in early 2013 if Congress fails to renew federal benefits: 2 million at the end of December, and another 1 million by the end of March."Congress has many important and pressing issues facing it during the lame-duck session. But Members must remember that protecting the unemployed is a non-negotiable responsibility, and to that end, they must ensure the renewal of the EUC program, and authorize a modest but effective investment in reemployment services for unemployed workers. Together, these actions will go a long way to aid the unemployed in returning to work and ensure a strong and broad-based economic recovery."

Two Million Workers to Lose Unemployment Insurance in December Without Action

From the House Ways and Means Committee Democrats:"Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) and Human Resources Subcommittee Ranking Member Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) today released a report (PDF) prepared by the committee's Democratic staff detailing the importance of continuing federal unemployment insurance."The report's conclusion?"While federally-funded extended unemployment benefits have been significantly reduced over the last year, these benefits remain a critical support for Americans struggling to find work in a difficult economy. If Congress fails to act quickly, over two million workers will immediately lose this vital assistance a few days after Christmas. This would deal a devastating blow to already hard-hit families still looking for work as well as undercut the nation's economic recovery. Congress must act promptly to continue this economic lifeline."


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Occupy Sandy: Mutual Aid, Not Charity

"Occupy Sandy is a coordinated relief effort to help distribute resources & volunteers to help neighborhoods and people affected by Hurricane Sandy."We Got This (Occupy Sandy) from Alex Mallis on Vimeo.

Sen. Bernie Sanders: A Progressive Deficit Reduction Plan

Four More Years


Dear Speaker Boehner...

Dear @speakerboehner - America has spoken. Put the American Jobs Act on the calendar. Pass the bill. You know, #4jobs? #p2#tcot— A 99er (@HelpThe99ers) November 7, 2012

Quote of the Day, Election 2012 Edition

"In a democracy, winners can govern only with the consent of the losers. Without that consent, there is gridlock at best and chaos and violence at worst."Paul Glastris, writing in The Washington Monthly, quoting author Scott Farris.We've lived through four years of "gridlock at best," because ofGOP obstructionism. Let's pray that tonight's results can chart a new course, and a new comity, for our nation.

FYI: FEMA Housing Portal

FEMA Housing Portal is intended to helpfamilies, who have been displaced by a disaster, find a place to live— Craig Fugate (@CraigatFEMA) November 5, 2012

Governor Cuomo Announces Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance Now Available to New Yorkers Affected by Hurricane Sandy

Copied from Governor Cuomo's press office websiteGovernor Cuomo Announces Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance Now Available to New Yorkers Affected by Hurricane SandyNew Yorkers Who Work and Live in Bronx, Kings, New York, Richmond, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland and Westchester Counties Can ApplyDepartment of Labor Staff to Deploy to Disaster Areas to Register Impacted New YorkersAlbany, NY (November 2, 2012)Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that federal disaster unemployment assistance is now available to all New Yorkers who lost their jobs as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Disaster unemployment benefits are available to provide financial support to anyone who has lost their job and live or work in the Bronx, Kings, New York, Richmond, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland and Westchester counties.This assistance will supplement New York’s existing unemployment insurance system and will expand eligibility to include individuals who might otherwise not be covered. The Un…

NELP: Disaster Unemployment Assistance: How Workers Can Access the Program After Hurricane Sandy

From the National Employment Law Project: A fact sheet on federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance available in designated counties in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy.

Romney Style: How to Destroy Your Campaign's Credibility in Five Easy Steps

And if you haven't been following Steve Benen, who has been chronicling Mitt's mendacities, you owe it to yourself to take a look.When the history of the 2012 elections is written, what is it going to say about a man who started his campaign with a lie, ended with one, and filled up pretty much every day in between with more of them?

Anatomy of a Smear; or, Dear Nan Hayworth: Aren't you Embarrassed to Approve This Message?

Disclaimer: the author has contributed to the Sean Patrick Maloney Congressional campaign.In NY's 18 Congressional District, incumbent Nan Hayworth recently started running an ad against her Democratic opponent, Sean Patrick Maloney, attempting to tie him to Enron, the bankrupted energy company.The connection is thin (two companies cross-marketing their products), but the Hayworth campaign and their supporters can't let facts get in the way of a good story.Here's what you need to know:After serving as White House Staff Secretary in the Clinton Administration from 1999-2000, Maloney joined a financial software company called Kiodex. Here's the Kiodex press release (PDF, accessed via Google Docs) announcing the move:(NEW YORK; June 27, 2000) – Kiodex Inc., an online provider of technology-based risk-management solutions for the commodities markets, has named Sean Maloney as vice president and general counsel. Mr. Maloney will be developing and managing the company’s lega…

Progress Illinois: Freeport Sensata Layoffs Spark National Debate On Outsourcing

From the article, which is well worth a full read:"Employees at the Sensata Technologies manufacturing plant in Freeport have failed to prevent the outsourcing of their jobs to China. But they have succeeded at helping to spark a national election season conversation about outsourcing, one that has dominated Illinois' 17th Congressional district race and emerged in the presidential campaign."

Barack 14 - Trump 0

Which gives us an excellent reason (as if we needed one) to revisit the President's comments at #nerdprom:



Up With Chris Hayes: Bain Capital-owned Sensata Moving Jobs to China

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Why Sensata Matters

Mitt Romney has been criticizing the Obama Administration with the claim that "twenty-three million Americans are out of work, underemployed, or have stopped looking for work."He has also been promising to crack down on China, with the claim that "On Day 1, I will label China a currency manipulator, which will allow me as president to be able to put in place, if necessary, tariffs where I believe that they are taking unfair advantage of our manufacturers."And at the same time that Mitt Romney has been making these claims, the company he co-founded, Bain Capital, has been shutting down Sensata Technologies, a manufacturing plant in Freeport, Illinois, and shipping some 170 manufacturing jobs overseas to… you guessed it: China.I came across an article written by a conservative blogger who tries to debunk, refute and spin some of the claims about the Sensata story, but only ends up making a mess of things. After the jump, let's try to get the facts straight.

EPI: For workers, the consequences of job loss are staggering

The figure below, from The State of Working America, 12th Edition, shows the average weekly earnings loss of workers who were laid off from a full-time job in the prior three years. Workers who lost a full-time job in 2007–2009 but were reemployed in either full– or part-time jobs in 2010 faced weekly wage cuts of 21.8 percent. Some of this drop is due to the large increase in people settling for part-time work because full-time work is not available. But even restricting the analysis to only displaced workers who were able to find another full-time job, the drop is still a staggering 10.5 percent.

Tonight's Presidential Debate


The Romney Tax Plan

Pure genius.Visit the site, and click the button. It's just that simple.


@mittromney, you criticized the President for 23 million out of work. We didn't know you wanted that number to be higher. #Sensata#4jobs— A 99er (@HelpThe99ers) October 14, 2012@mittromney how can you say you believe in America when you ship our jobs to China and your money to the Caymans? #Sensata#4jobs#p2— A 99er (@HelpThe99ers) October 14, 2012@speakerboehner We've asked: where are the jobs? Thanks to @mittromney, we know: they're on their way to China. #Sensata#4jobs#p2#99ers— A 99er (@HelpThe99ers) October 14, 2012

Romney's Bain Selling Out American Workers to China




Paul Ryan, Malarkey and Zombie Lies

From last night's debate transcript:RYAN: Let's not forget that they came in with one-party control. When Barack Obama was elected, his party controlled everything. They had the ability to do everything of their choosing. And look at where we are right now.As the Vice President might have said, with all due respect, that's a bunch of malarkey.We've refuted the 'one-party' talking point before: Democrats had a filibuster-proof Senate majority for all of 14 weeks. Perhaps it's fitting that the zombie-eyed granny starver (thank you, Mr. Pierce) resurrected a zombie lie.There's one other thing that Congressman Ryan seems to have neglected to mention:During a lengthy discussion, the senior GOP members worked out a plan to repeatedly block Obama over the coming four years to try to ensure he would not be re-elected.…Attending the dinner were House members Eric Cantor, Jeb Hensarling, Pete Hoekstra, Dan Lungren, Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan and Pete Sessions. Fro…

Businessweek: The Plight of the Long-Term Unemployed

Another reminder of why we fight for the 99ers, from Drake Bennett at Bloomberg Businessweek:Unemployment is a setback; long-term unemployment is a sentence. There are 6.7 million Americans not officially counted as part of the labor force who say they’d like a job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Bringing these lost and largely invisible people back into the economy will be a long and expensive undertaking.

First-hand experiences of the unemployed

From the October 3rd edition of Huffpost Hill:DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Sadness from the unemployment mailbag: "I have zero self esteem. I have let down my family and everyone I love. I'm a lousy role model for my son. I don't wish to be a burden for the government, my parents or my family. I just want a job."And from the September 24th edition:DOUBLE DOWNER - People do not appreciate food stamp shaming. Cindy Nerger, a dialysis patient who gets by with a little help from food stamps, did not appreciate getting hassled by a supermarket cashier last week. "I was upset, so, I was like, you know, I told you that it was covered under food stamps, you know, so, there was no need for all of this, you know, and he said, 'Well excuse me that I work for a living and don't rely on food stamps like you,'" Nerger told local station WMAZ. "I was angry at first, but it turned into tears because when I turned around and I saw the people there I was like, oh …

Mitt Romney Is Not Telling The Truth


Mitt Romney: Those People

A cookie to the first person who can point out the mistake in the video.

Double Taxation? Another Romney Myth, Busted.

Mitt Romney said this during his interview on 60 Minutes:Scott Pelley: Now, you made on your investments, personally, about $20 million last year. And you paid 14 percent in federal taxes. That's the capital gains rate. Is that fair to the guy who makes $50,000 and paid a higher rate than you did?Mitt Romney: It is a low rate. And one of the reasons why the capital gains tax rate is lower is because capital has already been taxed once at the corporate level, as high as 35 percent.Pelley: So you think it is fair?Romney: Yeah, I think it’s the right way to encourage economic growth, to get people to invest, to start businesses, to put people to work.As a successful businessman, he should know better than echoing a myth that's been busted time and time again:There is no factual evidence that dividends are double-taxed. To claim they are is a complete falsification indulged in by many who would know better if they examined the facts.Dividends are taxed only once to stockholders.…

President Obama's Weekly Address: Congress Must Act to Create Jobs and Grow the Economy

It's been over a year since the President's American Jobs Act was introduced. The very least Congress can do is put it up for a vote.

Governor Cuomo Announces Initiative to Help Long-Term Unemployed Individuals Find Jobs

Quoting from Governor Cuomo's press release in its entirety:Albany, NY (September 18, 2012)Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a new initiative to combat long-term unemployment in New York State.To help New Yorkers seeking jobs, the state will distribute $6 million in federal grants to companies that hire long-term unemployed individuals, as well as deploy a mobile response team to assist individuals seeking work in high unemployment areas."New York State's efforts to help long-term, unemployed individuals find jobs have been recognized across the nation, and this additional $6 million will be a shot in the arm as we continue to put New Yorkers back to work and get our economy back on track," Governor Cuomo said. "With NY Works projects creating new jobs and supporting economic development all across the state, this initiative will help train workers and connect the unemployed with opportunities to launch a successful career."The $6 million in federal …


Dear @mittromney - "you people" just got a peek behind the curtain. Oops. #edshow— A 99er (@HelpThe99ers) September 18, 2012

The iPhone 5 and the 99ers

From Paul Krugman in today's NY Times - The iPhone Stimulus"We don’t have high unemployment because Americans don’t want to work, and we don’t have high unemployment because workers lack the right skills. Instead, willing and able workers can’t find jobs because employers can’t sell enough to justify hiring them. And the solution is to find some way to increase overall spending so that the nation can get back to work."It's why we want the American Jobs Act. It's why we want infrastructure bills. It's why we want businesses to use the trillions of dollars of cash they're hoarding. We want - we need - to get back to work.

Up with Chris Hayes: President Obama and the House of obstructionism

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy Chris' conclusion is vitally important:"What President Obama did not say in Charlotte was that the best way to stop Republicans from holding (the nation) hostage is to strip them of the power to do so in November."

As Seen On Twitter

Dems & GOP BOTH claim they can create 12M jobs in 4yrs. I'll wear a dress for a week if that happens Sat 1pET— Ali Velshi (@AliVelshi) September 8, 2012Mark your calendars.This, at least, is where one of the claims for 12 million jobs comes from:"The current Moody's Analytics baseline forecast is for payroll employment to increase by 12 million jobs from the start of 2013 to the end of 2016 (134 million to 146)."However, the economic assumptions embedded in our forecast include only an extension of Bush-era tax rates for those under 250K, which is more closely aligned with the Obama administration's position. We also assume a bipartisan deal to scale back sequestration and achieve a long-run fiscally sustainable path, with Democrats accepting reforms to Social Security and Medicare in exchange for the increase in top tax rates."In effect, therefore, Romney is essentially promising no more jobs than we currently expect to gain under proposals …

Image of the Day


Clip and Save


The Raw Story: Remember the 99ers? Long-term unemployed workers’ invisible struggle

Kay Steiger at The Raw Story interviewed a number of 99ers (including me) for a series of stories on unemployment. Excerpts follow:(Pam) Sexton wrote she feels like she interviewed at nearly every company in the Kansas City area, where she's from, before renting out her house and moving to Minnesota in search of work."We do not want handouts. We want to feel valued and that we are contributing. We are too young to quit the working world," she wrote.…"Employer discrimination against the unemployed — and especially the long-term unemployed — has been well documented. A 60 Minutes story aired last month highlighted the 'silent no' of job listings that stipulate applicants must be currently employed."…"'While we were in between the resumes and the interviews, we were trying to tell people please don't forget about us,' he said. 'It’s tough to be in the position to be an (unemployed and actively-looking) advocate.'He also saw how the…

Labor Day, 2012

Harold Meyerson, writing in today's Washington Post:"The primary plight of U.S. workers isn’t their lack of skills. It’s their lack of power. With the collapse of unions, which represented a third of the private-sector workforce in the mid-20th century but just 7 percent today, workers simply have no capacity to bargain for their share of the revenue they produce."This is not to say that there is no skills gap or that U.S. schools don’t need improvement. But the decline of unions has both weakened workers’ bargaining power and diminished the kind of apprenticeship programs that the building trades unions have long (and ably) provided. Under increasing right-wing pressure to justify their very existence, however, some unions in other sectors are embarking on skills training or professional development programs."See also: Corporate Profits Up, Wages And Salaries DownWorking Americans Get Smaller Slice Of The Pie

We Have A Choice

We have a choice this election: vote for a Democratic majority in Congress, or vote for the GOP. Staying home = a vote for the GOP. #uppers— A 99er (@HelpThe99ers) September 1, 2012

Melissa Harris-Perry: Nothing Is Riskier Than Being Poor In America

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It's Like He Thinks We're Not Paying Attention

This post has been updated - see belowFour days before Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States, Rush Limbaugh said:"I disagree fervently with the people on our side of the aisle who have caved and who say, 'Well, I hope he succeeds. We've got to give him a chance.'…"I've been listening to Barack Obama for a year-and-a-half. I know what his politics are. I know what his plans are, as he has stated them. I don't want them to succeed.…"Okay, I'll send you a response, but I don't need 400 words, I need four: I hope he fails."On the night of Inauguration Day, Congressional Republicans from the House and Senate met over dinner. Robert Draper, in his book "Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the US House of Representatives," described the dinner meeting:During a lengthy discussion, the senior GOP members worked out a plan to repeatedly block Obama over the coming four years to try to ensure he would not …

Chris Christie: More Rhetoric Than Truth

"All right… all right… but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order… what have the Romans done for us?" - Monty Python's Life of BrianAt the beginning of his speech, when recounting his family's background, Governor Christie may have slipped up a bit: on "We Built That" night at the Republican National Convention, he allowed as to how his father benefited from the GI Bill, and how his grandmother relied heavily on public transportation:They both lived hard lives. Dad grew up in poverty. After returning from Army service, he worked at the Breyers Ice Cream plant in the 1950s. With that job and the G.I. bill he put himself through Rutgers University at night to become the first in his family to earn a college degree. Our first family picture was on his graduation day, with Mom beaming next to him, six months pregnant with me.Mom also came from nothing.…

Robert Reich: The Romney-Ryan Economic Plan


Why It's Hard To Take The Right Wing Seriously

Part 1:#InObamasAmerica The unemployed are rewarded more than those who work everyday.— RightWingGirls (@RightWingGirls) August 21, 2012Part 2:#IAmNotADemocratBecause I am an informed citizen.— RightWingGirls (@RightWingGirls) August 26, 2012

Up With Chris Hayes: Paul Ryan Defended Stimulus in 2002, When George W. Bush Wanted It

This morning's Up With Chris Hayes has an amazing segment featuring Rep. Paul Ryan defending the stimulus... in 2002, when George W. Bush was advocating for it:Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy The full writeup is a must-read piece.

MoveOn: Revealed: The GOP Strategy


World War II Veteran Ralph Maxwell says 4 More Years!


Voting is a right, not a privilege

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How Caterpillar Is Helping to Destroy the Middle Class

"The strikers often insisted that it was wrong for Caterpillar to call for a six-year wage freeze when the company, the world’s leading producer of earth-moving equipment, had record profits of $4.9 billion last year and forecasts stronger earnings this year. Moreover, many strikers bristle at a pay freeze because compensation for Caterpillar’s chief executive, Douglas R. Oberhelman, jumped by 60 percent in 2011, to $16.9 million." (source)On one hand, a six-year wage freeze for its employees. On the other hand, record profits for the company, and a 60 percent raise for its chief executive.Greed is not an American value, but it does seem to be a Caterpillar corporate policy.Update: Caterpillar and the striking workers have agreed to a deal, and it's a horrible one. Under the new deal:Caterpillar breaks the link between profits and pay;Health care premiums will be doubled;Pensions are eliminated.Why did Caterpillar do this? Because they could. Remember that, the next time…

Nan Hayworth - The Millionaires


Timothy Noah: Paul Ryan Hearts Unemployment

Timothy Noah, writing in The New Republic:"Ryan's opposition to Fed stimulus is so pronounced that he's been accused of trying to sabotage the economy to help the GOP win back the presidency. That's a hard case to make, considering that he was pushing to repeal Humphrey-Hawkins before Obama was even elected. The more mundane truth is that he's an ideologue who thinks the government shouldn't lift a finger to reduce unemployment."He's not alone - we've chronicled the numerous examples of callousRepublicanindifferencetowardsthe unemployed.

Romney-Ryan 2012: Grifting on Jobs

From Greg Sargent's Plum Line:"The current Moody's Analytics baseline forecast is for payroll employment to increase by 12 million jobs from the start of 2013 to the end of 2016 (134 million to 146)."However, the economic assumptions embedded in our forecast include only an extension of Bush-era tax rates for those under 250K, which is more closely aligned with the Obama administration's position. We also assume a bipartisan deal to scale back sequestration and achieve a long-run fiscally sustainable path, with Democrats accepting reforms to Social Security and Medicare in exchange for the increase in top tax rates."In effect, therefore, Romney is essentially promising no more jobs than we currently expect to gain under proposals similar to those advanced by the Obama administration. There's not enough in Romney's plan to estimate how many jobs it would create. If he's saying the net change will be 12 million jobs, that's exactly what we'…

David Frum: The Coming Democratic Attack Barrage

David Frum, writing in The Daily Beast:"The likely script of the next attack ad. A woman in her later 40s, looking worried at a kitchen table. She's probably vaguely Latino; the photos on her refrigerator (kids, no dad) suggest a single mom."A woman's voice over. 'You've worked hard all your life. You've paid Medicare taxes for almost 30 years. But under the Republican plan, Medicare won't be there for you. Instead of Medicare as it exists now, under the Republican plan you'll get a voucher that will pay as little as half your Medicare costs when you turn 65—and as little as a quarter in your 80s. And all so that millionaires and billionaires can have a huge tax cut.'"That ad will draw blood and will — as Henry Kissinger used to say — have the additional merit of being true."

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan: Back to the Failed Top-Down Policies


Quote of the Day, Ayn Ryan Edition

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."
John Rogers

Daily Intel: Why Washington Accepts Mass Unemployment

Jonathan Chait, writing in New York magazine:"In the years since the collapse of 2008, the existence of mass unemployment has stopped being something the economic powers that be even pretend to regard as a crisis. To those directly impacted, the economic crisis is an emergency, a life-altering disaster the damage from which will endure for years. But most of those in a position to address it simply have not seen it in such terms. History will record that the economic elite has viewed the economic crisis from a perspective of detached complacency."…"For millions and millions of Americans, the economic crisis is the worst event of their lives. They have lost jobs, homes, health insurance, opportunities for their children, seen their skills deteriorate, and lost their sense of self-worth. But from the perspective of those in a position to alleviate their suffering, the crisis is merely a sad and distant tragedy."

Your Daily Mr. Pierce

From Charlie Pierce, on today's jobs report:"...the numbers are moving, and the president is committed, for good or ill, to creating measured progress back from a precipitous crisis. His is the slow and steady pace."It's Willard Romney who is the get-rich-quick huckster now. He is making the fundamentally radical proposal — a radicalism limned precisely by the analysis of his tax plan — that we return to the policies that created the debacle in the first place, that we abandon patience for the quick-fix nostrums of supply-side theory and for the even more profound poisons being peddled by Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny-starver from the state of Wisconsin, that we abandon the ant for the grasshopper. Rommey is the candidate of the unlimited credit card, of the magic asterisk, of the underpants gnome. He's the candidate of crazy risk and unlikely reward. You want to look at a radical, don’t look at the Tax Policy Center. Look at the guy with the dancing horse.&q…

BLS Measures of Labor Underutilization since the start of the Great Recession

This chart illustrates the six measures of labor underutilization that the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes every month in their Employment Situation report.Everyone is familiar with the highlighted row: UNRATE is the official unemployment rate. The other five are defined as follows:MeasureDefinitionU-1Persons unemployed 15 weeks or longer, as a percent of the civilian labor forceU-2Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs, as a percent of the civilian labor forceU-4Total unemployed plus discouraged workers, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus discouraged workersU-5Total unemployed, plus discouraged workers, plus all other persons marginally attached to the labor force, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor forceU-6Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally …

Obama for America: Stretch


Elizabeth Warren for MA: Rebuild


It's got a good beat, and I can dance to it.

I just met you. And this is crazy. But if all sides agree on need for middle class tax cuts, House should pass it, maybe?— Hoyer Press Shop (@HoyerPress) July 25, 2012

London 2012 Opening Ceremonies: The Queen's Entrance

Dana Perino Can’t Explain How the Bush Tax Cuts Created Jobs

Source: Veracity Stew The gentleman speaking before Dana Perino cites job creation statistics for Presidents Clinton and Bush (who created three million jobs, not one million). Here's the full list.Interestingly, it almost sounds as though Perino's defense of Bush is that Clinton's economic policies created the Internet bubble, and the job of cleaning up, after the bubble burst, was left to Clinton's successor, Bush.That sounds oddly familiar.

Will 27 Republicans Say Yes to the Middle Class?

In his weekly address, President Obama said this: If 218 Members of the House vote the right way, 98% of American families and 97% of small business owners will have the certainty of knowing that that their income taxes will not go up next year.If the Democrats can keep their members in line, all it would take is 27 Republican Representatives to pass this bill.

The Ed Show: The Right's Weak Argument

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My take on statistics, guns and the Constitution

Gene, you wrote that "There were a total of 9,900 gun deaths in 2009 - out of over 270 MILLION guns owned in U.S. That's 0.00004%."(Your stat was off: it's not 0.00004% - it's 100 times greater: 0.004%. It's still a pretty small number, so your point is taken.)Here's where statistics can mislead. If (and that's a big "if") the reason for citing the statistic was to show that guns are specifically obtained with the intent of killing people, a very, very low percentage like that would serve to disprove the point.I'm not aware of anyone, pro or con, who's making the argument that one gun automatically equals one gun death.What might be more illustrative is comparing the total number of murders with the number of gun murders.If we look at 2010 (source), there were 12,996 murders in the US. At least 8,775 of those murders were caused by firearms: the number could be higher because Florida doesn't track this statistic, and Illinois'…