The Government Shutdown, Explained

BaconSays-ObamaCare

 Your news channel of choice has told you there is a government shutdown.

You have no idea what that means, but a lot of jerks,
(mainly on FOX news and wingnut radio shows)
are telling you who to blame. They’re probably lying to you.

IGNORE ALL THAT CRAP.

Here’s what is really happening:

Months ago, the Senate passed a “clean” CR (continuing resolution) Discretionary Budget to keep the government running.

It was a GIGANTIC gift (a huge compromise) to the Republicans
(as you will see from the graph below),
as it keeps the sequester in place and goes even lower than that,
both of which will continue to drag the economic recovery.

This CR bill was a bi-partisan effort in the Senate.
Additionally, the Senate invited the House months ago to come and participate in the budget negotiations, but Boehner said no EIGHTEEN times.
Now, after 40+ times trying to repeal the ACA, the House refuses to pass the Senate’s ‘clean’ CR unless they get the NON-discretionary ACA law de-funded.
It doesn’t belong in a bill for Discretionary funding,
but since the Tea Party is a bunch of cry-babies about Obamacare,
they won’t let any other government business happen unless they get their way.

If the Senate caves to this behavior, it will set a dangerous precedent that will allow a small faction of 1/3 of the government to hold the entire country hostage just so that Eric Cartman can get his new iPad or whatever the hell it is that they want (they don’t even know anymore).

All of the posturing that Republicans are doing right now in front of the cameras and the piece by piece funding bills they’re passing in the House are just a sad attempt of Republicans to seem reasonable while anyone who’s been paying attention knows they’re completely disingenuous (AKA – full of crap).

So the Tea Party Republicans continue to throw a tantrum until they get their way.
Every day or two, Ted Cruz does his best impression of Bizarro Superman (sans super-powers) with a blatant attempt to project his own faults onto the Democrats.
You can’t let bullies get away with that crap. Sometimes you have to hit back.

FundingLevelCharticle-1Image via ThinkProgress
who has a really great article
you should read about
the Republicans’ fake “willingness to compromise”

teapartyshutdown



It’s Not Just About You.

I'm C.P. Bacon and I approve this message. - Bacon4President.com

Hello, concerned wealthy relative (and VCB readers).

I’d just like you to know that I found your enlightening email in my spam folder.

You might want to check your email settings.

I’d like to think that your message being in my junk-mail folder was a coincidence and not because of the misleading content of the email.

Telling people in a ‘kinder gentler way’ that people should vote and that you’d like to get the debt and spending under control is all well and good (despite the questionable graphs you included),

but trying to convince people that rich people like yourself shouldn’t pay a little more in taxes just because it won’t instantly zero out the debt…

seems wrong-headed and dishonest.

Now, I hope you don’t take this personally,

as I assume you’re just passing all this information on from some

“conservative” rich-dude-tax-dodging-think-tank like the American Enterprise Institute or Grover Norquist,

but I think I should set some things straight:

The truth is, and you probably know this, that the wealthy have been gaming the system for decades for lower taxes on their vast amounts of wealth and capital gains.

Somehow, they don’t think they need to support the nation that supported them.

Somewhere along the way, they forgot (or never learned) that IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THEM.

And somewhere along they way, they forgot that this nation works best when it works together,

and they forgot that it’s not some evil communist plot to have a social safety net.

Some people think that because it’s been four whole years and the economy still isn’t that great,

that somehow changing presidents in the middle of a slow, but productive recovery,

will somehow give the new guy a magic button to push that will make the debt disappear

and give everyone a pile of cash, a bacon-of-the-month subscription and a free puppy.

They’re deluding themselves. They’ve been deluding themselves for a while.

That debt didn’t create itself overnight, and behaving like it did isn’t helping anyone.

It’s a little silly to yell at the cleaning crew for not cleaning up in 4 years the giant mess that took 8+ years to make. How long did it take to clean up Ground Zero after 9-11 ?

That’s OK, you don’t have to answer that. I think you get my point.

It takes money and time to restore an economy.

Stop pretending that you can fix it without either.

By all means, please keep encouraging people to VOTE,

but stop spreading this paranoia about the debt and spending.

It’s a red herring.

For those unfamiliar with that term, I encourage you to google it.

For you lazy non-googling bastards out there:

a red herring is a distraction, a diversion, a misleading statement, a misdirection.

In other words… Bull$#!&

 

Now, let me be clear. Calling the debt talk a ‘red herring’ does not mean it isn’t a serious problem.

The debt IS a serious problem…

but it’s just not the most immediate problem that this country is facing.

You still want to talk spending cuts? OK, let’s talk about spending cuts:

Making irresponsible spending cuts to try to bring down the debt quickly is flawed and dangerous.

The worst thing you can do is cut spending during a recession or slow recovery.

Austerity doesn’t work. It makes things worse (Ask Greece, Great Britain, well… most of Europe).

In a healthy economy, responsible adjustments to the budget can be made that don’t hurt the working class,

and the debt will come down gradually over time.

You cut spending where it makes sense, but

this nation’s priority should be restoring the economic engine.

Millionaires aren’t creating enough jobs to help that engine, so I don’t see why they keep calling themselves ‘job creators’. If wealthy people aren’t going to participate in this society as anything other than metaphorical vacuum cleaners sucking the money out of the system, then the first ‘spending cut’ we need to make is cutting out their enormous tax cuts. They don’t need them.

From your email, it looks like you like graphs. Here’s one:

Personally, I think ALL of the Bush tax cuts should expire, although keeping the middle-class cuts temporarily would be better for the overall recovery. Also, millionaires should pay back the tax cuts they took during the last 12 years. They sure as heck didn’t use them to create jobs. And while we’re at it, increase the capital gains tax. It’s not double-taxation. It’s a tax on NEW INCOME.

 

Also, defense spending needs to come down. It’s out of control.

Here’s another graph:

As you can see, one of the candidates running for president wants to SPEND MONEY WE DON’T HAVE on

more military spending THEY DO NOT NEED AND DID NOT ASK FOR.

So unless you are willing to talk about cutting Defense and loopholes, ending tax breaks to companies outsourcing jobs, ending tax breaks to the oil industry, properly taxing capital gains, and putting a leash on the healthcare, drug, and chemical (Monsanto) industries, and YES, increasing taxes on people making $250,000 or more, when you lose your $#!& and email-blast us all about the debt…

unless you are willing to talk about all of those things too, I cannot take you seriously.

Now that we can agree that debt is bad and spending should probably come down in a responsible way, and that your panic-ridden concerns about the debt are deceptive loads of horse $#!& to disguise the fact that you don’t want to pay taxes on your wealth, let’s talk about what really matters:

IT’S NOT JUST A SPENDING PROBLEM.

The deficit is not just a spending problem. Deny it all you want, but there IS also a revenue problem.

The main problem is all the revenue seems to be going to the top, and if trickle-down ever worked (it doesn’t),

someone patched up the leak on the spigot so none of it would ever come back down.

The other part of the revenue problem is that people who aren’t working or are underemployed, are paying less taxes into the system because of the lack of work and low wages. Raising taxes on these people is not the solution.

You need to create better and more good paying jobs. Better paying jobs means more taxes into the system, but it also means that these people can start putting more $$ back into the economy by paying for goods and services.

You didn’t know this? Did you not take an Economics class in High School?

For some reason people still think supply works without demand.

Greed often clouds people’s judgment about what is the right thing to do for their businesses,

for the economy, and for our country.

Here’s a delightful example using a fruit business

(I don’t really know the ins and outs of apples; just go with it, OK? I just thought it would be better than talking about widgets):

Imagine, if you will, a successful apple business in the United States (the fruit, not the computer).

You began as a mid-level manager at EatMyApple Inc.,

eventually working your way up to becoming the CEO.

You’ve made a good salary for yourself, and are living very well.

The company is very profitable, and running efficiently.

But that’s not enough money for you, so you decided to reduce your workforce,

making people do twice the amount of work for the same pay.

Now, you’re making a little more profit, but some of your apples are getting sent out damaged,

many are returned. You’re wasting more apples.

You’re still making money, but your profits are starting to drop,

so instead of hiring more people to restore the quality and integrity of your apple business,

you let more people go, start growing apples in China, and eventually move your entire operation there.

Maybe you make a profit for a little while because labor costs are much cheaper,

so you see a slight jump in your profits in the first quarter. It’s not enough profit for you.

You increase prices, believing there is increased demand,

but then that demand drops in the second quarter because people can no longer afford to buy your apples at the higher price.

On top of that, there are less people in the US to buy your apples,

because those people who used to buy your apples no longer have jobs,

because the people you used to pay to process your apples in the US are no longer able to spend money at the shops the former apple-buyers used to work at,

because you no longer hire anyone in the US to grow, clean, package and ship those apples,

and since those people don’t have those jobs where you’d pay them to do those things, they can’t afford to buy your apples either – at any price.

To make things worse, some of your apple shipments are contaminated and unsafe to sell in the US because of substandard food safety laws in China.

If the low demand weren’t bad enough, now bad press about the contaminated shipments makes your business take a nosedive.

Then your apples sit in your warehouse in China and rot, and eventually you can’t even afford to pay the lease on the warehouse or pennies-on-the-dollar Chinese workers, so you go out of business.

Now you are also unemployed. But IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT YOU.

It was never just about you.

It’s about US. It’s about US in the United States. The United States should be united, don’t you think?

So do US a favor, put the debt aside for a moment and deal with what matters right now.

What really matters right now is JOBS.

We need to make more of them… in America.

We need to stop farming out our jobs to China and other countries with cheap labor and poor labor practices.

Want to help America?

STOP WHINING ABOUT THE DEBT AND HIRE SOME PEOPLE.

Loan some capital to a startup business.

Give money to education: grants, scholarships and training programs so people can learn new skills to get jobs in this new economy.

Spend some damn money somewhere (or everywhere!) so those businesses you visit can continue to operate.

Open a business or factory in America. Hell, open TWO!

Pressure your congressmen to pass jobs legislation and infrastructure repair bills, and to stop blocking progress and purposely tanking the economy just to make the President look bad (borderline treasonous, btw).

It’s not just one of these things. It’s ALL OF THE ABOVE.

In summary: (If you read my rant on Obamacare, you’ll start to see a pattern to my summarizations)

1) Pay your taxes. If you’re rich, pay MORE taxes.

2) Not everything is a damn emergency, but you should really think about hiring more people.

3) Stop being such a selfish greedy prick.

And the next time you want to mass-email something important that voters should REALLY be aware of before they vote on election day…

Pass around THIS LINK showing just how much obstruction Republicans in Congress have done over the last 4 years to intentionally block economic recovery.



A Quick Note to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke

UPDATE 9-13-2012:

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke just announced QE3
(Quantitative Easing – You can get an explanation of QE3 from Ezra Klein of the Washington Post)
.

While I’m sure that it will be better than doing nothing, especially since there’s no jobs legislation coming out of the House of Representatives (Shut up and pass the Jobs Bill, Boehner!), I have a better idea.
This is something that I’ve brought up before, so I’m revising this article with some additional info and a new suggestion for the Chairman of the Federal Reserve (or anyone capable of implementing it).

First, here’s some negative equity mortgage information about the 2nd quarter of 2012:

The housing market is finally showing signs of life, with many metropolitan areas having hit the elusive bottom and seeing home value appreciation, however negative equity remains a drag on the housing market. According to the second quarter Zillow Negative Equity Report, 30.9 percent of U.S. homeowners with a mortgage are underwater (see Figure 1) – 15.3 million people – in the second quarter of 2012. Recent home value appreciation in many markets across the US has pushed negative equity levels down from 31.4 percent last quarter. However, negative equity is still slightly elevated from the 2011 Q2 percentage of 30. In total, underwater homeowners owe $1.15 trillion more than their homes’ worth. Over 40 percent of underwater homeowners (12.5 percent of all homeowners with a mortgage), owe between 1 and 20 percent more than their home is worth. On the other end of the spectrum, about 2.2 million underwater homeowners (4.5 percent of all homeowners with mortgages) owe more than double what their home is worth (see Figure 2). On average, U.S. homeowners in negative equity owe $75,235 more than what their house is worth, or 43.9 percent more (see Table 1). While roughly one out of every three homeowners with mortgages is underwater, 90.8 percent of these homeowners are current on their mortgage and continue to make payments.
– Zillow.com

$1.15 TRILLION DOLLARS!
Yes, that’s a lot of money for your average American, but for the Federal Reserve (or the Big Banks or many SuperPACs) , it’s a DROP IN THE BUCKET.

With QE3, you’re buying up treasury bonds and mortage backed securities and other stuff like that.
This doesn’t fix the housing market and only puts a minor dent in that $1.15 Trillion.
30.9% of all U.S. homeowners are still underwater in their mortgages and banks have little to no incentive to help those homeowners.
Stop giving these jerks money if they’re not going to help us! Instead, try one of these ideas:

 
Establish a National Mortgage Bank to lend people the negative equity difference at zero percent interest so they can pay down and/or refinance their current mortgage.

 or…

Split the negative equity difference with the Banks and Wall Street and mark the mortgages to their current value
What would that do?

It gives more people the opportunity to refinance their mortgages, lower their payments, and have more money to put back into the economy.
Consider it an investment in the restoration of the housing market and the economy, which both of those entities benefit from.

Alternately, you could go with my previous suggestion:

(Content Below Originally Posted on 10/17/2011)

TO: Mr. Bernanke

SUBJECT: HOW TO FIX THE U.S. HOUSING MARKET

1) Estimate the total amount in $ of negative equity in “underwater” mortgages
(aka the amount of $ it would take to bring all of the underwater mortgages down to their current value).

2) Divide that number by 2

3) Make Congress (and their 501c4 / SuperPAC money) pay for half and make the big banks pay the other half.

I call this plan: Operation TWIST-AND-SHOUT

You’re welcome.

Please feel free to contact me for any further advice on repairing our failing economy.

Sincerely,
Me

(debt solutions provided for free)



C.P. Bacon Addresses The Elephant In The Room

Yesterday, news broke that presidential candidate and crispy meat slab, C.P. Bacon of Bacon4President.com

confirmed that he had sent out a support letter in favor of newly formed Bacon SuperPAC aka Americans For More Bacon Tomorrow. After much criticism over his support of a SuperPAC after having publicly denounced the Citizens United ruling on Corporate “Personhood”, he released a followup statement on his Facebook page and simultaneously on his Twitter account, @Bacon4Pres , explaining his rationale:

WHY I SUPPORT BACON SUPERPAC

OK, let me address the elephant in the room. (No, not you, Dumbo, I’m speaking metaphorically).

Citizens United is what I’m talking about.  I’m pretty sure there’s a ton of corporate interests out there using Citizens United as a way to use tons of $$$$ to mislead the masses, and I’m not entirely sure if I agree with the Supreme Court on Corporations having the same rights to free speech as people (and half-people like me). But as a patriotic Bacon-American, I can see that the Citizens United ruling hurts the American Dream more than it helps. So I would be in favor of a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United, but as most of us realize, passing one could take years.

In the meantime, corporate interests will continue to undermine the efforts of honest hardworking Americans just trying to #BringHomeTheBacon . So I’m doing the only thing I can to stem the tide. While the ability to make independent expenditures to promote a better food industry and a better economy for everyone is still perfectly legal under the law, I’ll do what I have to in order for you to have a better tomorrow.

This is why I support BaconSuperPAC.com and why I wrote that letter of support.
Americans For More Bacon Tomorrow shares a lot of the same hopes and dreams for a better future for America, and they want to help you have every opportunity to #BringHomeTheBacon.
So I hope you can see that this is not just any SuperPAC. It’s a BACON SuperPAC.

Thanks for reading, and Lard Bless America!

C.P. Bacon – Bacon4President.com
@Bacon4Pres on twitter

p.s. – I know you’re not supposed to start sentences with “so” and “but” , but I do not care. The message is what’s important. I’ll hire a speech-writer for next election,

Bacon SuperPAC Support Letter From C.P. Bacon:



Bacon Super PAC – Let's Make This Happen!

Hi, Bacon , Cheeseburger and Bacon Cheeseburger Fans
and followers of Bacon4President!

I’m starting up a Bacon Super PAC (www.baconsuperpac.com).
I’m not kidding. This is real.

Besides supporting an imaginary strip of Bacon wearing a suit who’s running for President (you can still write him in),
I want to use this PAC to support real solutions for economic recovery and local food-related causes and other things that we care about, such as:

helping people get jobs and training,
helping small businesses that create or support a better food industry,
giving people better access to fresh produce,
working with cities to create more reasonable food truck regulations (like preparing/cooking food on the truck, etc.),
and supporting those who support progress.

In order to get the Super PAC and 501 non-profit set up properly, I need some seed-money to set up accounts and do the initial paperwork, etc. I’m trying to do as much of this on my own as possible, but I may need legal or financial consultation to make sure I put your donations to their best use. Any amount not used for the setup will go toward funding of the SuperPAC and/or 501 non-profit.
Once Bacon Super PAC is up and running, I may soon be able to hire people to support the Super PAC and 501 non-profit organizations. I want to be a REAL job creator, so others can bring home the bacon, too!

Let’s get started!
Go to www.gofundme.com/BaconSuperPAC
and make a Pre-Funding Donation (any amount)
so we can get this thing “out of the frying pan”!


Together, we can make a future where
ALL Americans can have more bacon tomorrow!

Thanks for your support, and LARD BLESS AMERICA!

Edward Heller
Founder – Bacon SuperPAC
Americans For More Bacon Tomorrow
www.baconsuperpac.com