Sunday, January 27, 2013

Chambliss Leaving

I am disappointed that Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss is leaving the Senate because he has been too liberal and cooperative.  I will never respect him because of the campaign he ran against Max Cleland, a disabled Vietnam veteran, questioning Cleland's patriotism.  Chambliss did not serve in the military and received draft deferments during the Vietnam war.  He is a Republican chicken hawk.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Need for Seriousness on Debt

Paul Krugman has been campaigning against taking action on the US debt until the recession is over.  I would be more supportive if there were some plan to address the debt in the future, but I don't see any plan.  Krugman seems to claim that addressing the debt is and will be painless.  We shouldn't do it now while we are in a recession, and when the recession ends, growth in the economy and tax receipts will automatically take care of the problem.  But this is not the government of the 1970s,  Medicare is huge, and tax rates have been slashed.  The recession was imposed on a country that was already badly out of whack.

It looks like Krugman's plan is to wait for inflation.  It is relatively painless to run up debt now, while interest rates are low.  When interest rates go up, or when we decide that our debt is unsustainable, we will just allow (or encourage) inflation to take off.  Then we can pay off our huge debt with dollars worth much less than they are today.  However, that does not  bode well for whoever is living in the US when that time comes.

We need a plan now to address the budget deficit and the national debt, even if it doesn't go into effect immediately.  Obama's decision to accept the Republican definition of $450,000 income annually as middle class does not help.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Schumer Supports Hegel

The NYT reports that Sen. Schumer said after a White House meeting, "I am currently prepared to vote for his [Hegel's] confirmation" as Secretary of Defense.  Although the implication is that this says something good about Hegel, to me it says something good about Schumer -- that he is not as much of a racist as I thought.  I am pleased that the fact that Hegel used the word "Jew" does not appear to have totally disqualified him to be Defense Secretary. 

The idea that there is not a "Jewish lobby" is ridiculous.  There is a liberal Jewish lobby, J-Street, but it has almost no influence compared to the conservative, militaristic AIPAC, which competes with the NRA to see who is the most powerful lobby in Washington.  Because of its power and visibility, AIPAC speaks for all Jews, even if some Jews may not agree with it. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

India, Iran and Nonproliferation

With all the outcry over Iran's attempts to get a bomb, no one mentions that George W. Bush's Republican administration undermined the legal case to limit Iran's nuclear efforts, as I said in a previous post.  India seriously undermined the nuclear non-proliferation regime by developing nuclear weapons.  It did not join the NPT and thus did not violate the treaty; however, it was one of the pariah states like Pakistan, Israel, North Korea, and now Iran.  Pakistan still has its nuclear devices, but at least we continue to oppose its possessing them.  Israel flouts the non-proliferation regime, but at least it refuses to admit that it has atomic bombs, thus allowing the international community publicly to preserve the illusion that it does not have them.  At the end of the Bush administration, however, we basically welcomed India into the community of nations that have nuclear weapons.  India's refusal to adhere to the international treaty regime paid off.  Iran has clearly seen that the regime is toothless.  If you stand up to international pressure, as Pakistan, Israel, North Korea, and India have done, you will get to have nuclear weapons, and if you are like India, you even get to keep them with the international community's blessing. 

So the US has no legal regime to support its objections to Iran's nuclear program.  Is Iran less responsible than North Korea or Pakistan?  No, it's simply that the Jews hate the Persians, and the Jews have tremendous political influence in the US.  American politicians are willing to engage in race hatred for Jew money. 

The Chuck Hagel nomination for Defense Secretary has brought this issue to the forefront again.  It is sad that Jews who are usually decent and responsible, like Sen. Chuck Schumer are now resorting to race hatred.  The Jews object to Hegel referring to the "Jewish lobby" rather than the "Israeli Lobby," but is Schumer acting as an Israeli or an American?  If we didn't have enough animosity in Washington between Republicans and Democrats, Jews are now creating racial animosity between Jews and gentiles, joined in some cases by gentiles like John McCain and Lindsey Graham.  They, like Judas, are happy to crucify the Christ for money.  The US is not threatened by Iran, anymore than it is by Pakistan, but Israel is threatened, and for Jew money Republicans are happy to send American soldiers to die protecing Israel. 

Friday, January 04, 2013

Emanuel Wants His Money

I was very disappointed in Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel's (Rahm's brother's) op-ed in the NYT.  He says there is no way to reduce the expense of end-of-life care, or any other type of care, for that matter.  His basic message is that doctors deserve to be rich.  Give me my money now!  You taxpayers owe me and my colleagues big time.  Pay up!  And pay us extra if we talk to you about end-of-life care. 

He has no solution at all, except to get his money before the US goes broke. 

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Avoiding Fiscal Cliff Not Great

There seems to be almost universal agreement that the decision to avoid the fiscal cliff by raising taxes a little bit on the very rich was not significant.  It merely showed that Congress could do something, not that it could do something serious.  It did the absolute minimum.  It kept taxes from going up on everybody, but it socked it to the poor as well as the rich, by raising payroll taxes.  So, working people will see their Social Security and Medicare taxes go up from 4.2% to 6.2%.  Arguably, that's only 2%, but as a percentage increase, it's an increase of almost 50%.  For rich people, the tax will go from about 35% to 39%, i.e. 4%, but as a percentage increase it's just an increase of about 12%. 

So Obama and the Congress raised taxes on poor, working people by 50%, and taxes on rich people by 12%.  We can see who pays off a corrupt Congress.  Obama seems less corrupt, but so weak and cowardly that he is virtually useless. 

Howard Dean is right that it would be better to go over the fiscal cliff than to have some half-hearted package to avoid it that just makes the long term debt situation worse.  That's what Congress and Obama did.  The debt will continue to escalate as they kick the can down the road.