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 bob0colo
Joined: 4/9/2006
Msg: 162
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If George W bush is doing so bad why is the economy doing so good?Page 4 of 25    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25)
Just about all of us are driving nice cars and living in expensive houses so whats all the fuss about our president not doing his part to keep the economy in tac.
_____________


So far about 2 million of those living in those expensive houses have moved into those nice cars to live and drive down and file BK.

The numbers are get if you are the right person

, http://www.cbpp.org/2-1-07tax.htm.


Real after-tax incomes jumped by an average of nearly $180,000 for the top 1 percent of households in 2005, while rising just $400 for middle-income households and $200 for lower-income households, according to new data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).[1]


The top 1 percent of households received 70 times as much in average after-tax income as the bottom one-fifth of households in 2005 — the widest such income gap on record, with data available back to 1979.  The previous record was 63 times as much, set in 2000.  In 1979, by comparison, the richest households made 22 times as much as the poorest households.
• The average income of the top 1 percent of households was 20 times that of the middle one-fifth of households.  This, too, was the widest such ratio on record.

Legislation enacted since 2001 has provided taxpayers with about $1 trillion in tax cuts over the past six years.  These large tax reductions have made the distribution of after-tax income more unequal.  Because high-income households received by far the largest tax cuts, the tax cuts have increased the concentration of after-tax income at the top of the spectrum.

• Households in the bottom fifth of the income spectrum received tax cuts in 2006 that averaged $20 and raised their after-tax incomes by an average of 0.3 percent.
• Households in the middle fifth of the income spectrum received tax cuts averaging $740 that raised their after-tax incomes an average of 2.5 percent.
• But the top 1 percent of households received tax cuts averaging $44,200 in 2006, which increased their after-tax income an average of 5.4 percent.
• And households with incomes exceeding $1 million received an average tax cut of $118,000 in 2006, which represented an increase of 6.0 percent in their after-tax income.  That is more than double the percentage increase received by the middle fifth of households. [7]



Income Category 1979  2005 Percent Change
1979-2005
Top1 Percent 326,400 1,071,500 228%
========

With this much at stake we have to end taxes on Hedge fund managers and estates.

These people have made this country what is today......not what it used to be.
 Kiss_My_Karma~
Joined: 7/4/2005
Msg: 164
If George W bush is doing so bad why is the economy doing so good?
Posted: 1/19/2008 5:56:03 PM

WEll no Dubya is going to give some of our own money back but won't be free ya can bet that will be taxable income just like the last time.It appears to be helping but is only a scam to screw the poor and middle class even more cause most of it will be given to the corporations.
The economists say it is a bad idea in recession to give out money because instead of consumer spending they will most likely save at least some of it.What he really plans on doing is giving it to the corporations so they will purchase equipment for their industry in hopes that they can create a product that will have consumer demand
what it will accomplish is to worsen the recession.
The 1% doctrine again they plan to give out 1% of GDP to the public, it will be too little too late.I will guarantee that it might increase spending to make it look like their is a bump right before the elections it is so telegraphed it's not funny


jetpowered uni, you don't know me so you don't know that my post was total sarchasm, but it is nice to see it explained like that. I try to follow politics, but there are so many nuances to it all that it is just downright headache inducing for me. lol good post.
 bob0colo
Joined: 4/9/2006
Msg: 167
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History
If George W bush is doing so bad why is the economy doing so good?
Posted: 1/19/2008 11:24:59 PM
The Federal economic stimulus plan entails giving 800 dollars to single people and 1600 dollars to married couples.
The smart folks will pay their mortgages with this money , so, inevitably the money ends up in the hands of the banks. I understand why the feds need to bail out the banks for their subprime fiasco, but, don't camoflauge the reality.
...............

Or a utility bill, or a 20% credit card, or a BK lawyer, or some drugs to change reality.......

Its like drawing against the old 401....
OR
like a check cashing place where you never pay back the princple..... Owned by the PRC....

Love that supply side stuff. Keep borrowing....
 rsx11s
Joined: 3/28/2007
Msg: 168
If George W bush is doing so bad why is the economy doing so good?
Posted: 1/20/2008 2:09:48 AM
Speaking of borrowing, Bush, right now, is in Saudi borrowing $100B from the Saudis to prop up the failed US economy.

This will raise the percentage of the US the Saudi's own from 7% to 8% by my back of the envelope calculation.

The cost of his new handout is going to be $100B - $150B. So he's basically borrowing money from the Saudis to give to you and goes out of office on a record of "Hey Dubya gave me money" and it's the problem of the next president who a) cannot do this b) has to pay for it. If that's not a sign the republicans know they're not gonna win the next election I don't know what it.

This attitude does not scale, that is, this is not something a president can do every year, or should even do once.

The only one whose economy is doing well is the Bush family. George Bush Sr. as a principal in the Carlyle group is making a killing because of the war. Eldest son George Jr stands to inherit a fortune because of an invasion that he lied to the world about the reasons for.

Show me a less fiscally responsible American president in history, I dare you.
 bob0colo
Joined: 4/9/2006
Msg: 169
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History
If George W bush is doing so bad why is the economy doing so good?
Posted: 1/20/2008 7:47:50 AM
The only one whose economy is doing well is the Bush family. George Bush Sr. as a principal in the Carlyle group is making a killing because of the war. Eldest son George Jr stands to inherit a fortune because of an invasion that he lied to the world about the reasons for.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

You need to include the "Have Mores " (GWB) in the doing well.

Its not money.........POWER>
 Montreal_Guy
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 170
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History
If George W bush is doing so bad why is the economy doing so good?
Posted: 1/20/2008 8:29:06 AM
The problem is the unbalanced distribution of income across society. There's little doubt that this is worsening, and as it worsens it cripples the economy overall.


The majority of social scientists believe that income inequality currently poses a problem for American society with Alan Greenspan stating it to be a "very disturbing trend."

A 2004 poll of 1,000 economists showed that the majority of economists favor "redistribution."

A study by the Souther Economic Journal found that "71 percent of American economists believe the distribution of income in the US should be more equal, and 81 percent feel that the redistribution of income is a legitimate role for government."[

Data from the United States Department of Commerce and Internal Revenue Service indicate that income inequality has been increasing since the 1970s, whereas it had been declining during the mid 20th century.

As of 2006, the United States had one of the highest levels of income inequality, as measured through the Gini index, among high income countries, comparable to that of some middle income countries such as Russia or Turkey, being one of only few developed countries where inequality has increased since 1980.

“ As I've often said... this [increasing income inequality] is not the type of thing which a democratic society—a capitalist democratic society—can really accept without addressing. - "

Alan Greenspan, June 2005

Despite a decrease in inequality during the 1940s, 50s and 60s, inequality has been increasing since.

While income increased among all demographics, the upper-most earners saw substantially larger increases. According to economist Janet Yellen "the growth [in real income] was heavily concentrated at the very tip of the top, that is, the top 1 percent."

A 2006 analysis of IRS income data by economists Emmanuel Saez at the University of California, Berkeley and Thomas Piketty at the Paris School of Economics showed that the share of income held by the top 1% was as large in 2005 as in 1928. The data revealed that reported income increased by 9% in 2005, with the mean for the top 1% increasing by 14% and that for the bottom 90% dropping slightly by 0.6%.

Between 1979 and 2005, the mean after-tax income for the top 1% increased by 176%, compared to an increased of 69% for the top quintile overall, 20% for the fourth quintile, 21% for the middle quintile, 17% for the second quintile and 6% for the bottom quintile

For the same time span the aggregate share of after-tax income held by the top percentile increased from 7.5% to 14%.

The diminishing political clout of labor unions, resulting from declining union membership rates, and less government redistribution as well as decreased expenditure on social services are commonly cited as the main causes of this trend.

In addition to the top earners receiving a great share of earnings than the rest of society, the emergence of a two-tier labor market has led to larger income differences along the lines of educational attainment.While expertise, productiveness and work experience, inheritance, gender, and race had a strong influence on personal income, household income was largely affected by the number of income earners, contributing to inequality between households based on the number of earners in them. Yet, other causes for income inequality, especially some of those behind its recent rise, remain unknown.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_inequality_in_the_United_States


As this money is siphoned out of the working and middle class , and into this growing aristocracy of America, less money is being spent on common items (the ones that provide jobs).

As inflation increases, the middle and working class start cutting back on purchases. Credit card debt soars, as does mortgage foreclosures. This starts a snowball effect and the economy spirals downwards.

In the meantime, the aristocracy uses it's newfound wealth to increase it's power over politicians. This worsens the overall economy as well, as this effect also snowballs. The money given to them is not going to the basics that create jobs.

Give a millionaire one hundred thousand dollars, and little of it will find it's way into the local economy. Those people have already got the basics, and aren't going to be running down to the local store to buy any more food, American cars, or anything else that provides jobs for Americans.

Give the same amount into X number of working and middle class families, and that will occur. Those people need far more of their money to actually spend, percentage wise. They won't be keeping it in a bank account , and earning interest.

The reason things have worsened recently , and have been for a rather long period of time, is due to two things.

This money grab, and a war that is costing billions and placing the economy under enormous strain.
 jed456
Joined: 4/26/2005
Msg: 173
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History
If George W bush is doing so bad why is the economy doing so good?
Posted: 1/20/2008 4:43:32 PM
But the Ministry of Truth tries to strike again.



I enjoyed that one!
 bob0colo
Joined: 4/9/2006
Msg: 175
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History
If George W bush is doing so bad why is the economy doing so good?
Posted: 1/21/2008 2:33:10 PM
Once againl, I (an under $30,000/year, worked all my life, earned every penny I have, wager earner) have done well under the expanding economy, as reflected by the stock market, from which I benefited by investing small amounts monthy. Only now, with the possibility of a downturn do I sense uneasiness in the stock marker, an indicator of a good economy. If anyone can't make and handle money, keep their pants on for more than 5 minutes, so on, I'd guess they are probably hurting.

__________

Your income is livable in Louisiana not in
NY City Or California.
You don't really pay any taxes
so GWB, and the GOP don't think you should get any of that big rebate....Thats being worked on....


====
Dow is down 2000 points since Oct???
1/21
Britain's benchmark FTSE-100 slumped 5.5 percent to 5,578.20,
France's CAC-40 Index tumbled 6.8 percent to 4,744.15,
Germany's blue-chip DAX 30 plunged 7.2 percent to 6,790.19.
India's benchmark stock index tumbled 7.4 percent,
Hong Kong's blue-chip Hang Seng index plummeted 5.5 percent to 23,818.86, its biggest percentage drop since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Canadian stocks fell as well, with the S&P/TSX composite index on the Toronto Stock Exchange down 4 percent in early afternoon trading.
In Brazil, stocks plunged 6.9 percent on the main index of Sao Paulo's Bovespa exchange.

If
OIL goes down? Gold down? Copper..ect...Not a good sign...World Wide Recession.


Your share of the National Debt is $30,000 along with every other person in the USA (9 TRILLION DOLLARS). When we add the 2 Trillion that Iraq is going to cost, We are in trouble.

Like Russia and Europe Our banks and financial institution are being nationalized, by other counties (Sovereign Funds). 


2009 Cheverolet Corvette ZR1
'Vette with 620 horses
Sold for: $1 million
The right to purchase the first "retailable" 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 built was auctioned off for an even million at the 2008 Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Ariz. Saturday.

"used tax rebate to pay for this....?"
 Jameslazazzera
Joined: 9/21/2006
Msg: 176
If George W bush is doing so bad why is the economy doing so good?
Posted: 1/21/2008 3:11:55 PM
If the american economy is in good shape, how come my canadian dollar is worth more than a greenback, why is the whole world in fear of recession and why is america trillions of dollars in debt?
 bob0colo
Joined: 4/9/2006
Msg: 177
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History
If George W bush is doing so bad why is the economy doing so good?
Posted: 1/22/2008 4:05:45 PM
Interest rate of 2.25% Credit card rate of 29%. We are in the Dumper.....



Feds may cut key interest rate to 2.25 later this year

URL: http://english.pravda.ru/business/finance/103576-key_interest_rate-0

UBS now sees the United States in a recession in the first half of 2008, as the persistent housing slump and financial market woes have spread into the broader economy, the investment bank said on Tuesday. UBS also revised its forecast on how far the Federal Reserve would slash the key federal funds target rate to 2.25 percent later this year in a bid to revive growth, Reuters reports.
The Federal Reserve announced Tuesday it has cut a key interest rate by three-fourths of a percentage point to steady the economy as Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Congress and the administration need to agree quickly on a package of tax cuts.
"Time is of the essence and the president stands ready to work on a bipartisan basis to enact economic growth legislation as soon as possible," Paulson said in remarks to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The Fed's decision to slash the federal funds rate — the interest that banks charge each other on overnight loans — was the biggest single cut of its kind in recent memory. The Fed cut the rate to 3.5 percent from 4.25 percent — a move that represented the most dramatic signal it could can send of its concern about a recession. It said that "appreciable downside risks to growth remain" and held out the prospect of further rate cuts.
The rush of developments came on the same day that Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress were to meet with President Bush at the White House for talks on economic stimulus legislation. Such a measure presumably would involve tax rebates, business tax cuts and funding for a Democratic-led call for additional food stamp and employment aid.
Paulson said he was optimistic the administration and Congress could find common ground and "get this done long before winter turns to spring." Bush and the congressional leaders are looking for quick agreement on how to pump as much as $150 billion into the ailing economy to stave off a recession. The president last Friday put forward the broad outlines of a stimulus plan that would include tax cuts for individuals and businesses, the AP reports.
Source: agencies
 jed456
Joined: 4/26/2005
Msg: 180
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History
If George W bush is doing so bad why is the economy doing so good?
Posted: 1/24/2008 10:49:39 AM
What we need to stimulate the economy is a war.
A war will put us all back to work.

Hmmm hasn't worked so far except od course kbr and halliburton getting rich!
 pablowenger
Joined: 1/28/2006
Msg: 181
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History
If George W bush is doing so bad why is the economy doing so good?
Posted: 1/24/2008 11:45:52 AM
ok people hopefully aware bush is a puppet as are leaders here in uk.....
things are the way they are from design...

im sure there will be a war very soon , its not gonna help your economy ,,,, you absolute knob topper.....

wars again just get the elite richer, actually there wont be wars 4 money purposes anymore, wars will be for further control of the people and the agendas theyve already set...
 bob0colo
Joined: 4/9/2006
Msg: 184
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History
If George W bush is doing so bad why is the economy doing so good?
Posted: 1/26/2008 7:20:37 AM
Since Bush has been president:

* over 5 million people have slipped into poverty;
* nearly 7 million Americans have lost their health insurance;
* median household income has gone down by nearly $1,300;
* three million manufacturing jobs have been lost;
* three million American workers have lost their pensions;
* home foreclosures are now the highest on record;
* the personal savings rate is below zero - which hasn’t happened since the great depression;
* the real earnings of college graduates have gone down by about 5% in the last few years;
* entry level wages for male and female high school graduates have fallen by over 3%;
* wages and salaries are now at the lowest share of GDP since 1929.
 Montreal_Guy
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 185
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History
If George W bush is doing so bad why is the economy doing so good?
Posted: 1/26/2008 8:53:49 AM
Well, forgot to add a few things to that list .


Today, the Office of Management Budget projected a $296 billion federal deficit for fiscal year 2006. Bush held a press conference arguing that this is a vindication of his economic policies.

Actually, it would be the fourth largest deficit of all time. Here’s the top five:

1. 2004 (George W. Bush) $413 billion
2. 2003 (George W. Bush) $378 billion
3. 2005 (George W. Bush) $318 billion
4. 2006 (George W. Bush) $296 billion (projected)
5. 1992 (George H. W. Bush) $290 billion

When President Bush came into office, he inherited a surplus of $284 Billion. At that time, the Bush administration predicted a $516 billion surplus for 2006.

The fact that Bush now considers a $296 billion deficit an occasion to celebrate shows how far we’ve fallen.

http://thinkprogress.org/2006/07/11/fourth-largest-deficit/
July 11, 2006



This good news is no accident, it's the result of the hard work of the American people and sound policies in Washington, D.C. The increase in tax revenues is much better than we had projected, and it's helping us cut the budget deficit.Starting in 2001, my administration worked with the United States Congress, and we delivered the largest tax relief since Ronald Reagan was in the White House.

In order to reduce the deficit, you got to set priorities, and in working with Congress we've set clear priorities. And the number-one priority of this administration and this Congress is to make sure men and women who are defending the security of the United States and hoping to spread peace through the spread of liberty get all the help they need from our government... Every year since I took office, we've reduced the growth of discretionary spending that's not related to the military or homeland security.

"Philosophy's clear,every American family has to set priorities and live within its budget, and so does the federal government.

President Bush
Tuesday July 11, 2006


Let's see how that all worked out, shall we ?


WASHINGTON (AFP) — The US budget deficit is expected to rise to 1.5 percent of the economy in the current fiscal year, up from 1.2 percent in 2007, due to economic weakening, the US Congress's budget agency said Wednesday.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office forecast the budget deficit would swell to 219 billion dollars in the year ending September 30, a sharp upward revision to the CBO's August forecast of 155 billion dollars.

The numbers are based on an assumption that current laws and policies do not change in the 2008 fiscal year, the CBO said.

Thus they do not take into account a 140-150 billion dollar economic stimulus plan proposed by President George W. Bush last Friday, a possible extension of tax cuts or additional funding for US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Bush administration is planning on a deficit of 258 billion dollars for the 2008 fiscal year, compared with 163 billion in 2007.

"CBO projects that after three years of declining budget deficits, a slowing economy this year will contribute to an increase in the deficit," CBO director Peter Orszag said in presenting the agency's 2008-2018 forecasts to the House of Representatives Budget Committee.

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hPRS76FjBOPp1iVvSVs9a7yObpLg


At least the President is still very optimistic about how strong the economy is...


Our economy is strong, it is dynamic, and it is resilient. It has led the world for many decades, and with the right policies in place, including the extension of the tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003 that have helped our economy, I firmly believe we're going to continue to lead the world.

Because the country needs this boost to the economy now, I urge the House and the Senate to enact this economic growth agreement into law as soon as possible. We have an opportunity to come together and take the swift, decisive action our economy urgently needs.

President Bush
Jan 24th, 2008

ttp://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iBAo1yCOOLr02NJfYtgrYmyZQKxAD8UCFE7O1


So this strong , dynamic, resilient economy ( one that was created by those Bush tax cuts) is in need of 150 billion dollar shot in the arm, while the deficit grows daily.

I wonder how bad it would really be, if it wasn't actually this good.

It seems he's doing the 2008 revival of Moby****, off Broadway - President Ahab, anyone ?
 fleer9557
Joined: 6/8/2007
Msg: 188
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History
If George W bush is doing so bad why is the economy doing so good?
Posted: 1/26/2008 1:30:42 PM
Yes we can...
HE and he alone is responsible for the Iraq war which has plundered our national treasury and made the dollar the laughing stock of the civilized world.
He has f'd up more than I thought it was humanly possible for one person to F up!

My only wish is that in this last year he has no more F Ups left in him....although that is likely a pipe dream as I'm sure he will manage to make something ELSE worse than it was when he took office.

Keep in mind also --
Over the last 20 years...even when the economy has looked GOOD on paper...it looks good to the top 10% of the population. EVERYONE ELSE has lost ground in the last 20 years. Its a s hell game whereby the economy looks good because it is posting "growth" and "profits" but its meaningless when the end result is that financial wealth is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands.

I always find it amazing when people are anti- union. If it wasn't for the unions that are left in America every decent job that still remains would be gone. Unions are our ONLY protection against the mind boggling greed of American corporations. Instead of a reasonable profit being the cornerstone of a good company that is placed on the stock "buy" list it is now expected that you must make an obscene profit (see Exxonmobil) at the expense of long term growth (see activist hedge funds) and job stability to be considered a good company. How a normal average American can take the side of any corporation over the plight of the average worker.....hard to even comprehend.
 Montreal_Guy
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 189
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History
If George W bush is doing so bad why is the economy doing so good?
Posted: 1/26/2008 2:37:09 PM
Let's look at the last twenty-five years or so....



Term years Start debt/GDP* End debt/GDP* Increase debt($T) Increasedebt/GDP

Ronald Reagan R 1981-1985 32.6% 43.9% 0.65 +11.3%

Reagan2 Ronald Reagan R 1985-1989 43.9% 53.1% 1.04 +9.2%

Bush GHW George H. W. Bush R 1989-1993 53.1% 66.2% 1.40 +15.1%

Clinton1 Bill Clinton D 1993-1997 66.2% 65.6% 1.12 -0.6%

Clinton2 Bill Clinton D 1997-2001 65.6% 57.4% 0.42 -8.2%

Bush GW1 George W. Bush R 2001-2005 57.4% 64.3% 1.15 +6.9%

Bush GW2 George W. Bush R 2005-2009 (projection) 64.3% 68.2% n/a +3.9% (projection)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_debt_by_U.S._presidential_terms


Anyone else see a pattern here ? Every Republican president has increased the debt, the only Democrat in office reduced it.

So those wonderful tax rebates to the rich (who gained the most under them) were supposed to supercharge the economy. Twice. Fool me once, shame on me . Fool me twice, oh...we must be talking about Republican economic policy.

Those tax decreases supercharged it so much, that it went into negative numbers.

As for blaming Bush, the tax reductions were his idea (and he even wants them to be permanent) - as was the Iraq war. He was the flag bearer for both of those acts, their biggest supporter, and that's on the public record over and over again.

Those two things combined were enough to tip the balance of the economy into it's current state.
 Montreal_Guy
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 191
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History
If George W bush is doing so bad why is the economy doing so good?
Posted: 1/26/2008 5:00:49 PM

. Paying tenured autoworkers $40. per hour to read comic books really inflates the value of a vehicle. Industry reported last year that nearly one half of the price of the auto is due to plush retirement and healthcare bennies to ex employees.


How about paying millions to executives that sat around and thought up cars that no one would buy , if gas went up in price ?


To help explain its deep slump, General Motors Corp. often cites “legacy costs,” including pensions for its giant U.S. work force. In its latest annual report, GM wrote: “Our extensive pension and [post-employment] obligations to retirees are a competitive disadvantage for us.” Early this year, GM announced it was ending pensions for 42,000 workers.

But there’s a twist to the auto maker’s pension situation: The pension plans for its rank-and-file U.S. workers are overstuffed with cash, containing about $9 billion more than is needed to meet their obligations for years to come.

Another of GM’s pension programs, however, saddles the company with a liability of $1.4 billion. These pensions are for its executives.

This is the pension squeeze companies aren’t talking about: Even as many reduce, freeze or eliminate pensions for workers—complaining of the costs—their executives are building up ever-bigger pensions, causing the companies’ financial obligations for them to balloon.

Yes, it is shocking that corporate management, with eager support from the investor class, are going to screw over the workers again, breaking promises made to them in order to pass more wealth upward to themselves.

Just how far into peonage must the very wealthy push the people who actually work for a living?

The authors of this Wall Street Journal piece, Ellen E. Schultz and Theo Francis, lay out the scam:

Companies disclose little about any of this. But a Wall Street Journal analysis of corporate filings reveals that executive benefits are playing a large and hidden role in the declining health of America’s pensions. Among the findings:

• Boosted by surging pay and rich formulas, executive pension obligations exceed $1 billion at some companies. Besides GM, they include General Electric Co. (a $3.5 billion liability); AT&T Inc. ($1.8 billion); Exxon Mobil Corp. and International Business Machines Corp. (about $1.3 billion each); and Bank of America Corp. and Pfizer Inc. (about $1.1 billion apiece).

• Benefits for executives now account for a significant share of pension obligations in the U.S., an average of 8% at the companies above. Sometimes a company’s obligation for a single executive’s pension approaches $100 million.

• These liabilities are largely hidden, because corporations don’t distinguish them from overall pension obligations in their federal financial filings.

• As a result, the savings that companies make by curtailing pensions for regular retirees—which have totaled billions of dollars in recent years—can mask a rising cost of benefits for executives.

• Executive pensions, even when they won’t be paid till years from now, drag down earnings today. And they do so in a way that’s disproportionate to their size, because they aren’t funded with dedicated assets.

One reason executive pensions have grown so large is that they are linked to ballooning overall executive compensation. Companies often design retirement payouts to replace a percentage of what a person earns while active.

But for executives, the percentage of pay replaced is itself higher. Compensation committees often aim for a pension that replaces 60% to 100% of a top executive’s compensation. It’s 20% to 35% for lower-level employees.

You should read the rest, full of lots of interesting examples of the various deals that these twenty-first century Lords of the Manor have worked out with their compliant boards and compensation specialists. The authors conclude with this:

When General Motors cites retiree costs, the giant auto maker has a point: It owed nearly 700,000 U.S. workers and retirees pensions that totaled $87.8 billion at the end of last year.

But $95.3 billion had already been set aside to pay those benefits when due.

All of these assets are earning investment returns, which offset the pensions’ expense. GM lost $10.6 billion in 2005. But deep as its losses have been, they would have been far worse without the more than $10 billion per year in investment income that the GM pension plan for the rank and file generates.

The pension plan for GM executives is another matter. Unfunded to the tune of $1.4 billion, it detracts from GM’s bottom line each year.

Just how much is a mystery, because GM doesn’t break out the figure. It said executive pensions are “a very small portion of our overall expense” but declined to give the figure.

Earlier this year, GM announced it would freeze the pensions of its 42,000 salaried workers starting next January, as well as of those 5,200 highly paid employees. The freeze of the executive pensions will cut GM’s pension liability by $60 million, while its freeze of salaried workers will yield a far bigger reduction, $1.6 billion.

A spokeswoman for GM said its concerns about its pension plans have eased, though the company remains concerned about retiree health-care costs. With the pension freeze and improved returns on its pension assets, including billions of dollars GM has contributed to the plans in recent years, “I would say pension really is not a problem any more,” the spokeswoman said. She said that GM has no fixed obligation to pay the executive benefits and could renege at any time, although she called such a move unlikely.

GM has often said its U.S. pension plans added about $800 to the cost of each car made in the U.S. in 2004. It declines to say how much was due to executive pensions.

The fix is in, of course. Every move that shareholders have tried to make to rein in runaway executive pay and perks seems to get turned back, and it’s painfully clear that the bought-and-paid for political courtiers in Washington are in no hurry to do anything about it. As David Sirota put it in the piece that led me to this expose:

According to Schultz, these deferred compensation schemes are a key factor in “creating huge and typically unfunded corporate liabilities” - liabilities that are then used to justify more cuts to workers’ pensions. Because of this abuse, at many companies the total obligation to a handful of executives approaches the total obligations to tens of thousands of workers. For instance, “General Electric’s total unfunded liabilities for executives—deferred comp plus pensions—equals more than 15% as much as its total retirement liability for more than 500,000 workers and retirees.” At Countrywide Financial Corp, “executive-retirement liability—pensions plus deferred comp—at the end of last year stood at $340 million - not far from its $373 million obligation for 25,915 ordinary workers and retirees. “ And at Comcast, “an executive-retirement liability of $469 million exceeds the pension obligation for other employees, which is $194 million.”

Faced with all of this, Congress has deliberately done nothing. Bought and paid for by the executives who are running off with billions, lawmakers allow these schemes to expand in secret - largely hidden from the investors, stockholders and employees who are getting screwed. Meanwhile, most reporters give the public a he-said-she-said account of the burgeoning retirement security crisis, leading us to believe that massive pension cutbacks are just a force of nature that cannot be stopped, rather than the unsurprising outcome of specific policy choices by greedy executives and the politicians in their back pocket.

That corruption includes both parties, as Russ Baker demonstrates:

Though they profess a need for campaign finance reform and other policies that prioritize the common good, many key figures in the Democratic pantheon personally earn a living helping corporate interests advance the very causes that their party publicly deplores.

A new study by the Real News Project, a nonprofit noncommercial investigative reporting entity I founded, shows the extent of the problem. Examining 25 key Democratic consultants, advertising and public relations execs and lobbyists, we discovered a veritable witches’ brew of odious agendas.

The question remaining is this ... how long will Americans put up with this broken and inequitable system, how low must the greater majority’s prospects go before people demand change? The prospects aren’t good, as the very people cooking the books own both the political system AND the consolidated media that pushes their false narratives. Will we have to be returned completely to peasanthood before we pick up our torches and pitchforks and demand a fair and equitable system?

http://www.liberalstreetfighter.com/ee/index.php?/weblog/2006/06/


That's right, in all too many large corporations the executives benefits are sizable - sometimes equaling or exceeding the other workers.

It's rather rare any report cites how much that reduces profits , and costs jobs.
 exodusi1
Joined: 8/19/2006
Msg: 196
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History
If George W bush is doing so bad why is the economy doing so good?
Posted: 1/27/2008 10:44:54 AM
Unions aren't the problem, corporate greed and huge tax breaks for the wealthy are the cause, as always. If unions were as strong as they were in the 50s and 60s, and Democrats were in power with the same resolve as men like Kucinich, Biden and Bradley, our economy would be so much stronger today. In fact, if Gore had been elected president, and Democrats had the ability to enable Liberal economic policies, our National debt would almost be gone now, and the DJIA would somewhere around 25,000 points, instead of stuck in Neutral for 7 years.
 bob0colo
Joined: 4/9/2006
Msg: 197
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If George W bush is doing so bad why is the economy doing so good?
Posted: 1/27/2008 10:52:33 AM
unions are a big part of the problem. The auto industry is the prime example. The union pressure has allowed the foriegn auto plants to flourish in the south. Paying tenured autoworkers $40. per hour to read comic books really inflates the value of a vehicle.

Industry reported last year that nearly one half of the price of the auto is due to plush retirement and healthcare bennies to ex employees.
_____________

some proof of 1/2 the cost is UNION???

Union membership lowest since 1929....

Less than 5% of the workforce, union members, are the problem????
800.000 People.

Less than 2 million if you add Gov. and Public Employees.

=======




Largest employer in the 1950's......GM and the auto industry.

Today WALMART, they would close a store to prevent union membership. Nothing wrong here???





=======

mind-boggling wealth has risen among fewer than 20,000 people in America (the top 0.01 percent of wage-earners), but their influence has been tremendous. They finance “conservative” think tanks (think Joseph Coors and the Heritage Foundation), change public opinion (Walton heirs funding a covert effort to change the “estate tax” to the “death tax”), lobby congress and the president (who calls the “haves and the have-more’s” his “base”), and work to strip down public institutions.
http://www.thomhartmann.com/
 exodusi1
Joined: 8/19/2006
Msg: 198
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History
If George W bush is doing so bad why is the economy doing so good?
Posted: 1/27/2008 12:22:56 PM
Thanks for proving my point!

Uion membership is at historically low levels, so they are to blame for the poor economy?

We followed 40 years of continuous economic growth with republicans tearning apart unions. But somehow it is the unions' fault? That is the same kind of logic they use to blame Saddam for 9/11 because Al Queda is there now, even though they WEREN'T there when Saddam was.

This is; POST HOC ERGO PROPTER HOC!

The economy is a mess because republicans only care about the wealthy. When is the last time they did ANYTHING for the poor? Nixon? And yet, poor people still vote for them.. Why do you think they make immigration, guns, gay marriage and abortion issues? It is too keep the poor vote, not to change those issues. If they change those issues, they will lose the ignorant vote they count on.
 exodusi1
Joined: 8/19/2006
Msg: 200
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If George W bush is doing so bad why is the economy doing so good?
Posted: 1/27/2008 1:10:06 PM
The economy isn't that complex, it is just that the general public doesn't understand it.

The destruction of our economy began with the Reagan Administration. The attack on the middle class and poor has resulted in the current instability. This isn't an opinion, it is a fact. Unfortunately, there is so much misinformation out there, that the truth is often lost.
 exodusi1
Joined: 8/19/2006
Msg: 202
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If George W bush is doing so bad why is the economy doing so good?
Posted: 1/27/2008 3:55:18 PM
There were two, OPEC induced minor recessions during the 70s. One during Nixon's administration, the other during Carter's. Both were over prior to the 80s. The US was in an inflationary period entering the 80s, not a recession. They are polar opposites. The recessions and depressions are caused by falling prices and falling wages. Wages and prices were increasing during Carter's administration. They have fallen during Reagan and Bush Junior's administrations.

Bush Sr wasn't too bad, nor was Clinton. However, Clinton made a huge mistake capitulating to the Republicans on GATT, NAFTA & Welfare reform. So Clinton is NOT blamless in the current mess. Howevr, it was from cooperating with a republican congress, so there is enough blame to go around for both parties.

The reason economists don't agree is simple; many economists are blinded by their ideology. It is this ideology blindness that even causes some to conclude that raising the minimum wage causes unemployment or inflation, even though EVERY study proves the oppisite is true. Yet, the media allows the debate to continue. Increasing minimum wage, for example, ALWAYS lowers unemployment, without any appreciable increase in inflation. Google the increase in Minimum wage in Santa Fe, NM. if you want to know for yourself. They have the largest minimum wage in the country, over $10/hr, and their economy outpaces most others in the nation per capita.

Misinformation is prevalent in the economics field, embarassingly so.
 bob0colo
Joined: 4/9/2006
Msg: 203
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History
If George W bush is doing so bad why is the economy doing so good?
Posted: 1/27/2008 4:06:56 PM
recessions during the 70s.
__________

Viet Nam helped a little to screw up the economy... Buy Bombs and blow them up.....
Not a lot to show other than holes and bodies...

Stagnation was the term for the Carter economy... Solution get off of oil and balance budget.
Which was the course he laid out..... Remember Solar panels, oil shale, Lower speed limit, higher mileage cars, Coal gasification plants in the midwest.....


Roll Back the Reagan Tax Cuts

Written by Thom Hartmann
Monday, 06 August 2007

Published on Monday, August 6, 2007 by CommonDreams.org

Our bridges are falling apart (among other things), and its Ronald Reagan’s fault.

A few hours before the bridge collapsed in Minnesota, a news release landed (among hundreds) in my email inbox. It was from the right-wing “Heartland Institute” and a Minnesota conservative group calling itself the “Taxpayers League of Minnesota.” It read:

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) issued 20 full or partial vetoes of tax hikes and spending increases in May, giving taxpayers reason to smile. …

May 1, Pawlenty, in a move that took everyone by surprise, vetoed an entire $334 million “emergency” capital investment bill. Pawlenty said in his veto message the bill authorized “more than four times more spending on projects than I requested and is simply too large.”

Two weeks later Pawlenty announced another important veto, this one to block a transportation bill containing more than $5 billion in tax and fee increases…

“Buying down property taxes through local government aid programs has never proven to be a long-term solution to property tax pressures,” Pawlenty said in a May 30 veto message.

Phil Krinkie, president of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota, agreed.

“Relying on the benevolence of local units of government to restrain their spending and lower property taxes when the state drops sacks of money in their lap is simply foolish,” Krinkie said. “Thankfully, Minnesota has a governor that recognizes this.”

The transportation bill veto is the only one the DFL [the Democratic Farm and Labor party which controls the Minnesota legislature] tried to override. The attempt came with less than 20 minutes remaining in the session and was defeated by House Republicans, led by Minority Leader Marty Seifert (R-Marshall).

“Democrats made too many campaign promises to win their seats and are now learning they can’t pay for them,” Marshall [Seifert] said after the failed override attempt.

Ultimately, it was the DFL’s inability to override any of Pawlenty’s vetoes–particularly of the transportation bill–that resulted in a comparatively small $3 billion increase in state spending with no new taxes.

Said Krinkie of the 2007 session, “Minnesotans really need to thank Gov. Pawlenty and Rep. Seifert’s House Republicans. These guys stood strong in the face of overwhelming pressure and came through for taxpayers when they really needed them.”

If by “taxpayers” one means “millionaires, billionaires, and corporations,” the news release was accurate. And now its authors have blood on their hands.

After the Republican Great Depression, FDR put this nation back to work, in part by raising taxes on income above $3 to $4 million a year (in today’s dollars) to 91 percent, and corporate taxes to over 50% of profits. The revenue from those income taxes built dams, roads, bridges, sewers, water systems, schools, hospitals, train stations, railways, an interstate highway system, and airports. It educated a generation returning from World War II. It acted as a cap on the rare but occasional obsessively greedy person taking so much out of the economy that it impoverished the rest of us.

Through the 1950s, though, more and more loopholes for the rich were built into the tax code, so much so that JFK observed in his second debate with Richard Nixon that dropping the top tax rate to 70% but tightening up the loopholes would actually be a tax increase.

JFK pushed through that tax increase to take us back toward FDR/Truman/Eisenhower revenue levels, and we continued to build infrastructure in the US, and even put men on the moon. Health care and college were cheap and widely available. Working people could raise a family and have security in their old age. Every billion dollars (a half-week in Iraq) invested in infrastructure in America created 47,000 good-paying jobs as Americans built America.

But the rich fought back, and won big-time in 1980 when Reagan, until then the fringe “Voodoo economics” candidate who was heading into the election trailing far behind Jimmy Carter, was swept into the White House on a wave of public concern of the Iranians taking US hostages. Reagan promptly cut income taxes on the very rich from 70% down to 27%. Corporate tax rates were also cut so severely that they went from representing over 33% of total federal tax receipts in 1951 to less than 9% in 1983 (they’re still in that neighborhood, the lowest in the industrialized world).

The result was devastating. Our government was suddenly so badly awash in red ink that Reagan doubled the tax paid only by people earning less than $40,000/year (FICA), and then began borrowing from the huge surplus this new tax was accumulating in the Social Security Trust Fund. Even with that, Reagan had to borrow more money in his 8 years than the sum total of all presidents from George Washington to Jimmy Carter combined.

In addition to badly throwing the nation into debt, Reagan’s tax cut blew out the ceiling on the accumulation of wealth, leading to a new Gilded Age and the rise of a generation of super-wealthy that hadn’t been seen since the Robber Baron era of the 1890s or the Roaring 20s.

And, most tragically, Reagan’s tax cuts caused America to stop investing in infrastructure. As a nation, we’ve been coasting since the early 1980s, living on borrowed money while we burn through (in some cases literally) the hospitals, roads, bridges, steam tunnels, and other infrastructure we built in the Golden Age of the Middle Class between the 1940s and the 1980s.

We even stopped investing in the intellectual infrastructure of this nation: college education. A degree that a student in the 1970s could have paid for by working as a waitress at a Howard Johnson’s restaurant (what my wife did in the late 60s - I did so working as a near-minimum-wage DJ) now means incurring massive and life-altering debt for all but the very wealthy. Reagan, who as governor ended free tuition at the University of California, put into place the foundations for the explosion in college tuition we see today.

The Associated Press reported on August 4, 2007, that the president of Nike, Mark Parker, “raked in $3.6 million [in compensation] in ‘07.” That’s $13,846 per weekday, $69,230 a week. And yet it would still keep him just below the top 70% tax rate if this were the pre-Reagan era. We had a social consensus that somebody earning around $3 million a year was fine, but above that was really more than anybody needs to live in America.

In the worldview Americans held in the 1930-1980 era, Parker’s compensation was reasonable. But William McGuire (aka in the business press as “Dollar Bill“) taking over $1.6 billion - $1,600,000,000.00 - from the nation’s second largest health insurance company (you wonder where your health care dollars are going?) would have been considered excessive before the “Reagan Revolution.”

There is much discussion of what the floor on earnings should be - the minimum wage - but none about the ceiling. That’s largely because effectively there is no ceiling, and those who control vast wealth in America are happy to have Americans fight over “How poor is too poor?” just so long as nobody asks “How rich is too rich?”

When Reagan dropped the top income tax rate from over 70% down to under 30%, all hell broke loose. With the legal and social restraint to unlimited selfishness removed, “the good of the nation” was replaced by “greed is good” as the primary paradigm.

In the years since then, mind-boggling wealth has risen among fewer than 20,000 people in America (the top 0.01 percent of wage-earners), but their influence has been tremendous. They finance “conservative” think tanks (think Joseph Coors and the Heritage Foundation), change public opinion (Walton heirs funding a covert effort to change the “estate tax” to the “death tax”), lobby congress and the president (who calls the “haves and the have-more’s” his “base”), and work to strip down public institutions.

The middle class is being replaced by the working poor. American infrastructure built with tax revenues during the 1934-1981 is now crumbling and disintegrating. Hospitals and highways and power and water systems have been corporatized. People are dying.

And Bush, following closely in Reagan’s footsteps, is making things worse. As Senator Bernie Sanders pointed out at recent hearings for the confirmation of Bush’s new nominee for the Office of Management and Budget:

Since Bush has been president:

* over 5 million people have slipped into poverty;
* nearly 7 million Americans have lost their health insurance;
* median household income has gone down by nearly $1,300;
* three million manufacturing jobs have been lost;
* three million American workers have lost their pensions;
* home foreclosures are now the highest on record;
* the personal savings rate is below zero - which hasn’t happened since the great depression;
* the real earnings of college graduates have gone down by about 5% in the last few years;
* entry level wages for male and female high school graduates have fallen by over 3%;
* wages and salaries are now at the lowest share of GDP since 1929.

The debate about whether or not to roll Bush’s tax cuts back to Clinton’s modest mid-30% rates is absurd. It’s time to roll back the horribly failed experiment of the Reagan tax cuts. And use that money to pay down Reagan’s debt and rebuild this nation.
 exodusi1
Joined: 8/19/2006
Msg: 204
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History
If George W bush is doing so bad why is the economy doing so good?
Posted: 1/27/2008 4:21:42 PM
I absolutely couldn't have said it better. Mr. Hartmann is a brilliant man, I concur with each of his assertions.
 fleer9557
Joined: 6/8/2007
Msg: 205
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If George W bush is doing so bad why is the economy doing so good?
Posted: 1/28/2008 3:35:01 PM

cause I judge it on how I do, not anyone else. And each year, I make more money and save more.


That is one of the most retarded things I've ever heard. You are going to judge the ENTIRE U.S. ECONOMY on how YOU do!!!??? To hell with the several hundred million other people that don't have it as good as you. Give me a break...
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