Avalanche Danger

11Feb14
Mid Term Election Material

What Do Benghazi, the IRS and Obamacare Have in Common?

And so it begins. Congressional mid-term elections are coming and there is no way that we will be able to avoid the absolute crap that will come out of candidates mouths and press releases. Like most avalanches it starts small:

“The U.S. federal government has “way, way, way too much debt,” Brown told The Stratford Star in an interview Jan. 31.” http://www.stratfordstar.com/17137/bunnell-coach-aims-to-take-on-delauro-and-national-debt/

James E. Brown has declared that he is “standing up” to Rosa DeLauro (D, 3rd District) to challenge her for the right to represent us in the House of Representatives. Like most GOP candidates, Mr. Brown believes that repealing or not passing legislation is effective government. But, like most Republicans, he is shocked at the amount of the national debt the Republicans created. (Remember the massive tax cuts for the wealthy and conducting two wars? We won’t even mention the deregulation of the financial industry.)

“He believes that overspending in Congress and the national debt result in part because there are no term limits in Congress.”
Which would only take a Constitutional Amendment to change. That would require 38 State Legislatures to approve. So, moving on….

But Mr. Brown is an educator so maybe his position on education is relevant?
“Discussion about education at the federal level is not about education in the classroom, he said. It is about money and measuring rates of so-called success.”

Sigh….

There are no Federal teachers or principals. Not even a superintendent. There are about 14,000 separate and independent School Districts in the U.S. The federal government provides limited funding to each. From time to time the Federal Government sets criteria to receive this funding. If you do not like the criteria the choice is always to stop accepting the funds.
“All need the basics to sixth grade or so, but does Stratford need the same education as Alaska, Idaho and Texas?”
We must admit that we have no idea what this means. We certainly hope Mr. Brown means that Stratford students receive at least as much education as students in Alaska, Idaho and Texas. And we certainly hope he does not mean we should stop educating Stratford students after grade 6.

Sadly, these are the milder issues Mr. Brown puts forward. The rest of his agenda is much more radical and extreme. http://jamesbrownforcongress.org/James_Brown_For_Congress/The_Issues.html

We were kind of hoping for some actual discussion rather than the boulders that roll down Bullshit Mountain.

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14 Responses to “Avalanche Danger”

  1. 1 jezebel282

    Update:

    Fannie Mae profits push taxpayers into black on housing bailout
    February 22, 2014

    Fannie Mae said on Friday it would soon send the US Treasury $7.2 billion, a profit-related dividend that makes taxpayers whole for the 2008 bailout of the mortgage-financing giant and its sibling company Freddie Mac. Unlike other companies rescued by taxpayers during the financial crisis, however, the firms will remain under government control until Congress winds them down or replaces them.
    The bailout terms for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac force them to turn over their profits to the Treasury in the form of dividends on the controlling stake the government took when it bailed them out. They cannot repurchase the government’s share. In announcing the payment, Fannie Mae said it posted net income of $6.5 billion for the three-month period that ended December 31. It was the company’s eighth straight quarterly profit. http://www.brecorder.com/money-a-banking/198/1155994/

    For a long time the boulders rolling down the mountain called for the dissolution of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Actually it was incessant. As if all the evil resided in these two government created entities instead of private firms who bundled crap on Wall Street. As it turns out, Fannie and Freddie are not so bad after all. The TARP worked. Surprised?

  2. 2 jezebel282

    Update:

    “Continuing his quest for a rematch with U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-4th) in the fall, congressional candidate Dan Debicella told Hersam Acorn Radio Monday that he’s the “independent thinking” Republican Fairfield County is looking for.” http://www.stratfordstar.com/17941/debicella-says-hes-the-independent-thinker-the-county-wants/

    “because of Obamacare and those of us that have insurance our rates are up an average of 35%”

    I supposed as marketing executive for a very large insurance company, Mr. Debicella would know all about raising rates. Of course on Mr. Debicella’s website it clearly states that, “Dan supports repeal of ObamaCare.” You can’t climb Bullshit Mountain unless you are in the right position. Repealing the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act is obviously required.

  3. 3 appalledandamused

    Both Republicans running for Congress want to continue spinning the repeal wheel once they get there, as if 50 failed attempts aren’t enough? I suppose they live on the fairy dust of winning the Senate, but then what? Throw a bunch of kids with pre-existing conditions back to the wolf pack of for-profit ONLY insurance opportunists that Debicella works for. And nothing gets done outside of oppressing minority groups further while hiding behind ‘religious liberty’ BS.

  4. 4 jezebel282

    Appalled,

    I think it goes this way: When you have one instrument to play, your only choice is to keep banging the same drum.

    There is no Republican healthcare plan. Well, I take that back. There is one…The Affordable Healthcare and Patient Protection Act. It is exactly what the GOP proposed (and implemented in Massachusetts) before Obama’s election.

  5. 5 jezebel282

    Update:

    “State-run retirement plan slammed by business owners
    Bill Cummings
    Updated 12:45 am, Wednesday, March 12, 2014 http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/State-run-retirement-plan-slammed-by-business-5308335.php

    HARTFORD — A bill to create a state-run retirement plan for workers who don’t have one is facing stiff opposition from a business community concerned about higher costs.
    “This increases already burdensome administrative tasks as well as adds a financial burden,” said Marissa Woodworth, comptroller and shareholder with the Frank Roth Co. in Stratford.
    The General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee held a public hearing Tuesday on a bill that would establish a retirement plan for private sector employees, similar to a 401(k) or IRA.
    The plan would be run by a newly created Connecticut Retirement Security Trust Fund.
    Companies with five or more employees and without a retirement plan would be required to offer the state program and set up direct-deposit and payroll-contribution systems. Employers would not have to match employee contributions or pay a fee to the state.”

    “Everyone deserves a secure retirement,” said Jerry Sawyer, of Stratford. “I’m 62, have worked hard all my life, but have never been in a company that offered any retirement benefits. It’s too late for me; I’ll have to work until I die. But wouldn’t it be lovely if others didn’t have to do that?”

    “This bill is simply unnecessary,” said Carolyn Hafner, treasurer for I.T. Dealers Supply Inc. in Franklin. It will add administration burdens and costs,” she said. “Our employees already have access to a wide variety of retirement planning products and it could create a vast new liability for state taxpayers.”

    “Burden”? Really? This bill is intended to provide some retirement savings to employees of companies with five (Count ’em. 5!) or more employees. There is no contribution requirement to employers, no fees and no taxes. It is intended for employees that work for companies that have no retirement plan of any kind for its employees.

    I’m actually kind of glad that I don’t work for I.T. Dealers Supply Inc or Frank Roth Company. Adding an item in their payroll software seems to be an impossible burden for them.

  6. 6 stfdprofessor1

    Bullshit mountain my eye, this guy is closer to the mark than anyone I’ve heard locally in quite some time. Forget congress- as long as he’s not a member of the Stratford RTC, I say put Mr. Brown in the White House…

    “Burden”? Really? This bill is intended to provide some retirement savings to employees of companies with five (Count ‘em. 5!) or more employees. ”

    Jez, due to senility you’ve probably forgetten that the State cant run anything well, not to mention how quick it would be for the politicians to spend all that saved retirement money once it is in their grasp (can you say Social Security or any government controlled retirement system). How about we get back to just a smidgen of personal responsibility in this country?

  7. 7 jezebel282

    Prof,

    “smidgen of personal responsibility”

    You mean how the government would let you put $20/week or so away in a retirement account without taxing it? That kind of personal responsibility?

    Let’s try to keep on point here, Prof. This particular bill is for those employees whose companies are too cheap to set up an 401K for them. The claim from these employers about an extra box to check in Quickbooks or an email to their payroll company is well, just lame.

    As for the rest of the boulders that roll down Bullshit Mountain, I would be glad to discuss each one with you.

  8. 8 mikereynolds

    While I agree that the excuse that its a burden is far fetched why can’t people be responsible for their own retirement account? You mean people can’t take some money and put it into an IRA? How hard can that be? You want the state of CT to administer this? I wouldn’t trust the state of CT with my retirement funds.

  9. 9 appalledandamused

    These 401Ks are what we once hoped for in lieu of pensions from business owners. Now the business owners are doing what they can to back away from even that. This is what happens when you effectively end employee protections. Business owners, and their shareholders like Frank Roth’s bottom line concern troll, know they can get away with screwing over their employees with little or no push back. And sadly, guys like the prof and Mike Reynolds continue to cheer these shameless employers on.

  10. 10 jezebel282

    Mike,

    If you are working full time and making $348/week before taxes it becomes very, very difficult. This is a simple plan to make retirement savings easier for employees of companies who have no plan.

    After all, it is obvious that the companies who are objecting to this have no sense of responsibility to their own employees and simply call their banks to set up 401K’s. After years and years of layoffs, converting full-time jobs to part-time jobs, refusing to raise wages and increasing employee contributions to healthcare plans it becomes almost impossible to work up any sympathy at all for, what do you Republicans call them? Oh yeah, “Job Creators”. Especially when they object to an employee plan that essentially costs them nothing.

    “I wouldn’t trust the state of CT with my retirement funds.”
    Let me guess…you would trust Goldman Sachs? Citibank? Bank of America? Your local hedge fund manager if he’s not in jail?

  11. 11 jezebel282

    Update:

    And so while James Brown, the GOP challenger for CT 3rd Congressional District, continues to state that his first job as Representative will be to repeal Obamacare we have this:

    “The United States health care system is the most expensive in the world, but this report and prior editions consistently show the U.S. underperforms relative to other countries on most dimensions of performance. Among the 11 nations studied in this report—Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States—the U.S. ranks last, as it did in the 2010, 2007, 2006, and 2004 editions of Mirror, Mirror.” http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/fund-reports/2014/jun/mirror-mirror?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=

    It continues, “There is a frequent misperception that trade-offs between universal coverage and timely access to specialized services are inevitable; however, the Netherlands, U.K., and Germany provide universal coverage with low out-of-pocket costs while maintaining quick access to specialty services.” And, “The U.S. ranks a clear last on measures of equity. Americans with below-average incomes were much more likely than their counterparts in other countries to report not visiting a physician when sick; not getting a recommended test, treatment, or follow-up care; or not filling a prescription or skipping doses when needed because of costs. On each of these indicators, one-third or more lower-income adults in the U.S. said they went without needed care because of costs in the past year.”

    “The most notable way the U.S. differs from other industrialized countries is the absence of universal health insurance coverage.5 Other nations ensure the accessibility of care through universal health systems and through better ties between patients and the physician practices that serve as their medical homes.”

    And the solution according to Mr. Brown and other Republicans is to scrap the whole thing and pretend the problem doesn’t exist despite reams of evidence stating otherwise. You know, like climate change?

  12. 12 appalledandamused

    Yes, but through an actively malicious misinformation campaign, the GOP and its tea party candidates have created fully half a country of voters who STILL harbor unfavorable sentiments regarding the ACA based on lies and distortion. How can the party of “family values” pride themselves on the fact that the only way they win is to lie, cheat and fear monger? From all I’ve heard about Mr. Brown, he’s a nice enough guy.

  13. 13 appalledandamused

    That said, he’s either bought into the GOP talking points or fine with lying to his district.

  14. 14 jezebel282

    Until you go to his website and read the crazy stuff on there.


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