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Touching the 3rd Rail

It was former U.S. House Speaker Thomas “Tip” O’Neill who first called Social Security the “third rail of American politics,” and O’Neill did as much as anyone to make Social Security a deadly political issue.

But what happens if both legacy parties touch that rail together? Has it ever happened?

At Hullabaloo, Digby shared this link & story:

One More Nail In The Social Security Coffin

President Obama and the Republicans will say that the payroll tax holiday is all about stimulating the economy. But don’t be fooled. According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities,extending the Making Work Pay Tax Credit, is a much better, more targeted stimulus. See “Payroll Tax Holiday a Poor Stimulus Idea,” available at this link.

And the Making Work Pay Tax Credit poses no threat to Social Security. The innocent-sounding payroll tax holiday, on the other hand, will lead inexorably to killing Social Security. Let me explain:

Sixty members of the Senate are unwilling to raise taxes by 3 percent on the $250,000 and first dollar (and all those dollars earned above $250.001) of those making over $250,000 and by 1.6 percent more (for a total of 4.6 percent) on the $384,860 and first dollar {and all those dollars earned above $384,861) of those making over $384,860. They are even unwilling to spare everyone making less that one million dollars any increased taxes and simply raise taxes by 4.6 percent on the $1 million and first dollar (and all those dollars earned above $1,000,001 of the nation’s multimillionaires and billionaires. (I say multimillionaires because anyone with a net worth of a few million dollars is not making an annual income of over one million dollars.)

Given that unwillingness to raise taxes by less than a nickel on every dollar earned over $1 million, I find it unfathomable that a more conservative Congress, in two years, in an election year, will increase the payroll tax by 2 percent on the very first dollar, and every other dollar up to the cap, earned by virtually every single worker in the country. Consequently, I think we have to assume that the payroll tax holiday will be extended beyond the two years the president is proposing and quite likely could become permanent.

That means that the federal government will have to continue to transfer $120 billion to the Social Security trust funds each and every year even as it has to transfer more and more interest payments as the trust funds continue to grow and as interest rates return to more normal levels. Unless Congress acts to restore Social Security to solvency, the Treasury bonds held in trust will have to be redeemed, again on top of that new $120 billion transfer from the general fund, starting fifteen years from now, assuming Congress even continues to make the $120 billion every year before that point. These dollars will be competing with dollars for defense, environmental protection, education, school lunches, Food Stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, SSI, Pell grants for low income college students, and every other good and service financed by the federal government. (emphasis mine)

And Digby goes on to say,

“Meanwhile, they will argue that Social Security is now showing a much larger shortfall and they will use it to demand cuts in the program. (I realize that the president said that they will use general revenue to make up the shortfall, but I think we can comfortably predict that he will not be very effective at using what they will call an “accounting gimmick” to do that. Judd Gregg on just said on MSNBC right out that it’s coming from the Trust Fund, full stop. That will be their line whether it’s true or not.)

Now, I don’t know why she couldn’t see this coming.  As people in her own comments point out Obama signaled his willingness to mess with Social Security from pretty early in the primary fight.  Still, I’m happy to hear her publicizing this piece of the issue.  I’ve already been fighting over this with Facebook friends.  And the more links I can send them to the better.

So what do you think?  ARE the Democrats going to join hands with their Republican buddies and change the Social Security formula?  And if they do what’s left?  IS there even the cheapest excuse of a Democratic Party at that point.

And where do we go from there?

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81 Responses

  1. I’ve said this before, but I think it’s worth repeating.

    Hillary looked like the favorite for the Democratic nomination going into 2008.

    The Malefactors Of Great Wealth knew they could not put another Republican in the White House without gaming the election beyond the limits of plausible deniability.

    The MOGW also knew that a corrupt Democratic Prez maybe could do what no GOP Prez could do–kill Social Security.

    So, the MOGW went to Hillary and offered her a greased path to the White House in return for becoming the designated assassin of SS.

    She told them to go directly to Hell, do not pass GO, do not collect $200.

    That’s when Hillary The Inevitable became Hillary The Impossible.

    The MOGW found a sufficiently pliable and corrupt tool and greased his path to the WH. 😡

    • Honk!

    • My take on this scenario is that Hillary would have broadcast that proposition, and whoever proposed it would have been exposed.

      401Ks replaced pensions, which was a boon to corporations and to those who manage money for a fee in spite of no return or losses. Always got that fee.

      Doing in social security would create such a visible underclass on the street, one that votes, that it seems the real advantage is letting the financiers have a go at “managing” that money and putting a percentage in their pockets.

  2. I’m still so upset about this – unreal.

    I’m 4 years from retirement and in my calculations, SS is about 1/3 of my future income.

    Now, I feel like I can’t count on that… at all.

    A VERY slippery slope.

    • Me too — I can’t believe that more people aren’t screaming about this part of the deal.

      • Give it time to sink in. 😈

        This won’t happen, because the same Malefactors Of Great Wealth own both major parties, but I would be ROTFLMAO in 2012 if the GOP nominee attacked Obummer for sabotaging SS and announced that s/he would take steps to strengthen it. 😆

    • *ARE* you four year away? Or are you 9? The Catfood wanted to raise retirement to 70, I bet that will be the next shoe……

  3. I’m one of the commenters posting stuff on Digby’s site. She seems amazingly blind to Obama’s role in all of this…

    If there are still would-be FDRs in that party, now would be a good time for them to stand up. Otherwise it’s good-bye to all that…

    • Sally Quinn Lite (h/t Myiq2xu) will only venture the mildest criticisms of Teh Lightworker because the prospect of being called a r@c!$+ makes her soil her knickers. 😈

    • They are selling him, using the term compromise.

    • Mike–I post on Hullabaloo, also, but I call myself “Monster from the Id” there. 😈

  4. Great topic and absolutely, Obama, some Dems and Repubs are out to gut social security. And they will succeed IMO. This is the man, this is the time.

    And no, there will be absolutely no point in the Democratic party after that. After this not only will they not be for women’s equality and esp. a woman’s right to abortion, and clearly they are not for universal healthcare, but they will be against social security (and medicare/medicaid by extension). There will be no difference between them and the Repubs even at a superficial level. It truly will be the complete destruction of the party.

    And we have Digby and all the screaming Obots to thank.

  5. We gotta get rid of this guy, Obama. It’s truly our only hope. He needs to lose in 2012, even to a Republican. The Dems need to learn their lesson from his loss in how far they can push for their corporate causes. The Congress needs to turn over to the Democrats in 2014, hopefully with a crop containing a few real cause fighters.

    It’s the only hope. I know both parties are sold to their corporate masters, but this is the only straw we’ve got.

  6. I caught a bit of Randy Rhodes on the radio yesterday out of morbid curiosity. And believe it or not, she was going on and on about how great this deal was and what a coup and she was amazed that Obama could actually get away with such a great deal. Mostly of course she was talking about the cut in payroll taxes. And sadly when the other shoe drops and they cut social security because of it, she’ll be angry at the evil Repubs for doing it.

    I assume she’s being paid for all of that. No one is that stupid for free are they?

    • Randi Rhodes might be that stupid.

    • I caught Whoopi Goldberg doing the same thing… it all sounded very paid.

      • I am positive Whoopi makes more than 250K, don’t know about Randi Rhodes – but with a syndicated show…

        Neither of them will need to rely on SS for anything when they retire.

    • I do not like to use the word “hate” but Randy
      Rhodes is an except. She is Anne Coulter’s fat sister .

    • YEP she is! This is the same Rhodes who used Obama’s book to justify his experience. Used to be an avid listener because she provided evidence for what she’d say on her show. Then, when it came to Obama, she said effectively “go read his book.” I stopped listening after that.

    • Is that bimbo still working, people with real education from the best schools are out of work and she is paid to vomit every day what this world coming to

    • Randi Rhodes is Ann Coulter’s sister. She will do and say anything to support the politicians she supports, not the policies, but the politicians.

  7. The first stimulus had a “labor tax” holiday, and nobody seemed concerned abut it. Social Security has become the petty cash for Obama and congress.

  8. But what happens if both legacy parties touch that rail together? Has it ever happened?

    It maybe time to buy stock in a pitchfork company.

  9. Obama couldn’t have done a better job of destroying everything FDR stood for if he were paid to do it.
    Er … wait a minute.

  10. That payroll 2% holiday really is a bad idea just from a practical perspective. It’s so small that employers won’t hardly notice it, so there’s no political payoff, no economic stimulation, no happy small businesses. Any potential savings will likely just be eaten up by increases in state payroll taxes. People will probably feel as if their taxes had actually increased. And in exchange for this empty promise, we will deprive SS of a few billion dollars, not really a significant loss, but a rather pointless one. Small businesses will not be out celebrating their “big” tax break and the gov will have a heck of a time trying to put it back later.

    • Oh yeah, and the new unemployment extensions are also going to have to be paid for. Unemployment is billed to employers, so they’re not going to be real happy with a 2% decrease in one payroll tax and a 4% increase in another.

    • They’re not cutting the employer portion, only the employee portion. Employers won’t notice at all because they aren’t getting a cut.

      • You’d think if the Republicans were interested in the job creators, they would have an employee tax cut for employers over a tax cut for rich people who might be business owners.

        • The only thing that will really spur employment is many more customers. Small business will hire if they can sell their products. Otherwise, it’s all a waste.

          • You’ve got that right. My small business is about to get smaller, as I can no longer afford an employee. I may not make it through January — all the retirement savings I worked for over the course of 35 years gone like sand in the wind, replaced with a mountain of debt I will never be able to pay. I am struggling really hard — the people in my community talk a great game about supporting local business, but their cars are parked at Walmart. So the small businesses lay off employees, who now can’t afford to buy anywhere but Walmart, and the businesses close, and entrepreneurs are now fighting their former employees for the few jobs available, and shopping at Walmart. It sucks hard. For everybody but Walmart.

          • Free workers, and the businesses that employ them, can’t compete with lawless firms like Hel-Mart that wield so much political power (cough *bribes* cough) that they can flout labor regulations, and can sell their products extra cheap because they buy them from slave labor factories in China and other such hellholes. 😡

            I do have to shop at Hel-Mart once in a while, as it’s the only place I can get some things, but I try to keep it to a minimum. I probably average 4-6 times per year.

            http://www.hel-mart.com/

  11. When Obama appointed the “bipartisan” catfood commission, he set the stage for this.
    Actually, this is his 3rd bite from that apple (first he tried Senate to do it, then the catfood)
    It’s one of the few things W could’t do – so they needed a Trojan horse for it. Social Security, public eduction, unions, civil rights – the sky is the limit!

  12. This is for myiq if he is up for another PDS post:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/aaron-sorkin/sarah-palin-killing-animals_b_793600.html?ir=Yahoo

    • In other words, he’s just another idiot who thinks that meat comes from the meat fairies, not from actually killing animals. And he just doesn’t want to know otherwise. What a typical PDS arse hat.

      Personally, I think people who can actually kill what they eat are to be more respected than those who don’t (saying that as someone who doesn’t kill what I eat).

      • And yet Sorkin still eats meat, wears leather, etc. What a friggin’ cry baby and hypocrite! I saw no where in the TLC episode that Sarah “tortured” an animal. Her shot was clean, killing the caribou instantly. Can’t say that for most abattoirs in the US where animals are not completely dead before being processed. I wonder if he’d be as upset if he saw a native Eskimo kill an animal for sustenance? Sorkin needs to STFU!!!

        (Btw, I grew up on a small farm where my family raised livestock, etc., for our own consumption. Yes, killing any animal is not pretty, but this was how we were able to feed a family of eleven. I can relate to Sarah on this point. We also milked the cows, made our own cheese, grew our own veggies, and collected eggs from the chickens.)

        • Yeah, I watched the show. Seemed like clean kills. I bet the part Sorkin got wee-weed up about (in fear!) was PS & Dad quartering theanimals to take the meat home. A woman with a gun and a knife makes sexist fauxgressives very very afraid.

          Btw, that woman in “remote outpost” who lives alone by herself in the middle of nowhere – wow — I would be stark crazy after 2 weeks.

          • I suspect Sorkin didn’t even WATCH the show, just saw Sarah with the kill and invented trash.

            He’s an idiot.

          • I wonder if he’s ever even chopped up a whole raw chcken.

          • That woman who lived alone up there was utterly amazing. I can’t imagine the resilience and spirit!

            For Sorkin, what can you say about someone who was bff with MoDo. If ever there was an arbiter of taste, it just threw up.

          • Wow! Still can’t wrap my brain around that one. Imagine living out in the middle of nowhere 9 months out of the year — for 8 years — in some of the harshest weather on the planet! Gotta admire her strength of character, courage, and fortitude.

        • I really like his early work. The West Wing, The American President, etc. But his latest misogynistic hit, The Social Network, as well as the PDS has lowered my respect of him.

          I don’t expect liberals to love Palin. There is a lot about her to dislike… in her policies…if she were actually still a politician. She isn’t. IGNORE HER. Or attack what she says at a political event. But don’t attack her for her way of life which is also the way of life for millions of Americans who like to hunt their food.

          This is typical of the NE elite. I could understand if Sorkin were a vegetarian. But he admits to buying leather and eating meat. Doesn’t he think that some of those products came from animals who were likely tortured or killed in an inhumane way?

          • where I live people don’t “like” to hunt their food but have to from necessity.

          • I agree that there is no need to attack Palin for her ‘way of life’, but attacking “NE elite” is just as bad. Palin does present ‘her America’ as the more legitimate America, just like Sorkin is attacked for doing. I have lived my whole life in East Coast cities. There are a lot more Americans that are like me than there are like Palin. I just don’t see why either life-style choice needs to be ridiculed. It is probably a good thing that all Americans do not want to live in the same place.

          • I have no problems attacking snobbish elite regardless of where they live in this country, especially those who believe their way of life is superior to the rest of the country.

            I attended an Ivy League school so I am more a part of the NE elite than most of the country. The problem is that many of the people who come from my educational background are hypocrites who used the same kind of tactics to attack Palin with Hillary Clinton supporters and “low class” Democrats in 2008. Much of the NE elite are responsible for foisting Obama on the country and destroying the Democratic Party. They are more dangerous than Palin will ever be to the nation as a reality television star.

            I disagree that there are more Americans “like us” than like Palin. At least they identify more with Palin than with someone like Obama. More people enjoy hunting as a sport or as a necessity to survive than people who have the money to shop at Whole Foods in Manhattan on a regular basis. This is even true of some of the elite I’ve met from the Midwest and South, and I’m sure other parts of the country including the Northeast. Sorkin is not doing the Left any favors by attacking Palin’s hunting skillz. His op-ed should be rejected by the Left rather than embraced.

          • Hunting: more humane than a meat packing plant, for both the animals AND the people.

          • I’m urban and educated and left-leaning and all of that stuff and I still think I have a hell of a lot more in common with Palin than Obama.

          • You can believe whatever makes you happy. I just googled ‘percent Americans who hunt’ and the percent seems pretty small. Why you think “NE elite” only includes Manhattan residents that shop in Whole Foods, I do not have a clue. I grew up in Brooklyn and I will put my American values up there with anyone else. Very few of my relatives were crazy enough to vote for Obama– he seemed to have done better in those Western and ‘Heartland’ states with caucuses.

            My point was and is that ‘elites’ are everywhere and to claim that they only live in the East is offensive to those of us that call the East home.

          • Vegetarian: an old indian word for poor hunter.

          • The Dems are losing the culture wars. That doesn’t mean America agrees more with Palin’s beliefs than Clinton’s or even Kucinich’s. It means that the more Dems and elites in particular bash the way of life for so many who either hunt, go to church every Sunday, or has someone in their family who does those things, we will continue to lose more people who should be on our team. When I say NE elite, I’m not calling out the typical person who takes the subway to work every morning. I’m talking about the elites who work and live in the beltway, Wall Street, and big media outlets, mostly in DC and NYC, who bought Bush and Obama’s presidency. These people would never take a subway or even a taxi because they have their own private clubs, jets, and chauffeurs. Just because some of us here went to the ivy league or live on the East Coast does not make us a member of their club.

          • If your net worth is less than $50 million, you aren’t elite.
            A lot of people think they’re part of the elite; they are deluding themselves.

  13. AS was written by me some time ago here, BO is someone who has no ability to realize that he lost an argument or anything for that matter because of his obsessive questioning of racial matters when he was young. This influenced his later decisions in life including the need to win.

    That iswhy he has been such a revengeful person to those who he thinks wronged him such as the middle class who almostvoted him out of office (the public option was discarded by BO because it has been backed by the middleclass andapproved by BO, the financial reform bill that was watered down was approved by BO, too)and now the tax cuts for the wealthy w/c is anathema to the left has been approved by BO as well.

    It would not surprise me if the leftist favorites such as the SS, Medicare would be put under the bus by BO in the coming days.

    BTW, this is my own personal opinion only.

  14. LOL! On the highway & a truck just passed me with a message spray painted In white: “Free Obama bumper sticker removal. Call 1-800-MISTAKE.”

  15. When the two parties agree to do the dumbest thing possible, which makes nobody (except the MOGW mentioned earlier) happy and makes big problems bigger, it is not BI-PARTISAN! It is NON-SMARTISAN!

    I always thought that W2 was W light, a slice of arrogance hold the stupid. Turns out W2 has all the stupid, hold the backbone!

  16. My first inclination when hearing about Obama’s special plan to use SS/Medicare for his Payroll Tax Holiday … yep, he’s gutting SS just like he said he wanted in the primaries.

    Once people are accustomed to getting that 2% reduction in whatever form on their paychecks, they will not be very willing to give it up past the due date mark. I can see Republicans arguing (and Obama) how punitive reinstituting the 2% cut onto working Americans will be. Besides what young person is gonna want to do that? Their money will be going to old people, and they see themselves as never getting old.

    The plan has always been to gut SS by any means possible, and Obama is the willing pawn in this!

  17. Funny how none of them ever mentions the $.2.2 Trillion they took out of the social security pot, replacing it all with IOUs they don’t want to pay back. I wonder what the interest would be on all that money?

    If you or I tried this on a miniscule fraction of this scale, you would spend life in prison and your assets would be seized. Instead, the criminals are sentencing their victims. And not one of them ever mentions that there would hardly be a “shortfall” if those IOUs weren’t there. Every member of congress who ever voted to take money out of an account that was not theirs should be indicted without delay for embezzlement. And I’ll bet Alan Simpson was one of them too.

    • The government issues Social Security special U.S. Treasuries that pay interest to the fund. It’s part of the debt the government holds. You can call it I.O.U.s, but all U.S. Treasuries are I.O.U.s, It’s not a good idea to call SS funds I.O.U.s because that’s what Republicans use to pretend that it’s worthless piece of paper. If the Japanese and investors lend to the U.S. government, where else would you invest that money?
      The U.S. Government pays interest to Social Security fund

      During FY2008, the government also accrued a non-cash interest expense of $212 billion for intra-governmental debt, primarily the Social Security Trust Fund, for a total interest expense of $454 billion.

      • You are so right. Even those who defend SS use the IOU language and, if anything kills it with the young, that will do it.

      • IOUs are exactly what they are because the “special” US Treasuries are actually Non Marketable bonds. In other words they have no value in the market. They are a nice way of saying IOU. A “Placeholder” if you will. This is not a Republican argument, It’s the reason the word “Lockbox” came to be.

        They removed money from social security and used it in the general fund when the two were not to be mingled, since SS was never intended to be used to operate government.

        Imagine if I were trustee of your personal bank account and did this without your permission and then decided to tell you years later that you have no money and I can’t pay you back because I am running a deficit in every other area of my life and the money I owe you is part of the reason. It’s your fault. How may years would I spend in prison?

        In 2008, the gig wasn’t up yet. Now they can’t afford to pay any interest and since the bonds are of no value on the market, they are now pretending that the social security pot is part of the public debt and seniors are breaking government. This is disingenuous at best and a lie at worst.

        Congress was a very bad steward of our money, and the bad stewards came from both parties. Every person who ever put a penny into Social Security should be calling in that debt right now. And now we know why a Lockbox really IS needed. Gore was right in this case. Too bad nobody could understand anything he was saying, ever.

  18. It’s almost like he’s a Republican AGENT….. naaaaah, can’t be.

    • Even simpler than that because the parties themselves are just empty shells, he’s bought and paid for by the same people that gave us Bush and Iraq.

      The two parties are just an illusion to make you think you have a choice.

      • We’ve had one party rule and theatrics to make it look like they are different. The Democrats will disappear and we’ll have just the GOP ruling in Washington, but that’s going to be their demise.

  19. OT and completely unsurprising but I’ll bet this doesn’t go over well in the Kingdom.

    WikiLeaks cables: Saudi princes throw parties boasting drink, drugs and sex

    Royals flout puritanical laws to throw parties for young elite while religious police are forced to turn a blind eye

    In what may prove a particularly incendiary cable, US diplomats describe a world of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll behind the official pieties of Saudi Arabian royalty.

    Jeddah consulate officials described an underground Halloween party, thrown last year by a member of the royal family, which broke all the country’s Islamic taboos. Liquor and prostitutes were present in abundance, according to leaked dispatches, behind the heavily-guarded villa gates.

    The party was thrown by a wealthy prince from the large Al-Thunayan family. The diplomats said his identity should be kept secret. A US energy drinks company also put up some of the finance.

    “Alcohol, though strictly prohibited by Saudi law and custom, was plentiful at the party’s well-stocked bar. The hired Filipino bartenders served a cocktail punch using sadiqi, a locally-made moonshine,” the cable said. “It was also learned through word-of-mouth that a number of the guests were in fact ‘working girls’, not uncommon for such parties.”

    This kind of leak could get Assange killed.

  20. McClatchy:
    Under Obama’s deal, taxes will rise for some low-income workers

    WASHINGTON — The tax deal struck this week between the White House and congressional leaders has a little bit for most taxpayers in the country. But some of the nation’s poorest workers will actually end up worse off.
    The president’s proposal, struck in a deal with congressional Republicans, would lower the Social Security taxes on all workers in the nation by 2 percentage points.
    At the same time, the proposal eliminates the “Making Work Pay” tax credit that was originally part of President Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus package and reduced Americans’ taxes by up to $400 for an individual or $800 for a couple.
    When comparing the Social Security reduction versus the current tax credit, middle- and upper-income Americans will fare far better under the new proposal. But some lower-income workers won’t.
    he break-even point is $20,000 for an individual and $40,000 for a couple. All other things being equal, make less than those figures in a year, and your taxes will go up come Jan. 1, 2011. Make more and they’ll go down.
    “It’s disappointing,” said Michael Linden, the associate director for tax and budget policy at the liberal Center for American Progress. “These are people working really hard … We’re asking minimum wage workers to pay slightly more in taxes.”

    More at link

    • Unbelievable! BO is now officially worse than GWB on that account.

    • Just wow. That’s even worse than I thought.

      I assumed the cut in SS/MC was a clever mechanism to say, look, it’s going to be insolvent even sooner, time to slash, slash, slash. Obviously the plan all along. But that bit is pretty low, even for Obama.

      Unless it’s there as a ruse, as a thing to be removed as “fix” to make the Democrats look like they’re doing something positive. That could be the little game there. But knowing these congressional Democrats, they’ll probably pass it without removing it. Unless there’s big press about it.

  21. The Obama jock straps, er supporters, are now trying to say that cutting Social Security taxes is okay because it’s one big slush fund anyway. Ezra Klein made the claim that the trust fund is a myth and that all revenue and revenue and Social Security payments are just governemnt obligations like every other program.

    In other words, it’s step 1 into turning a retirement program for working people into a welfare program.

    • Yep, making something that we pay into, our money, into an entitlement. Into a welfare program of sorts. Which of course makes it easier to cut later. The plan all along.

      Just like it took Nixon to open up China, it took Obama to dismantle Social Security and Medicare. I think I like Nixon’s legacy better.

    • Have I mentioned lately that I detest Ezra Klein? Well, if not, I do.

    • Mr. Klein’s mother should wash his mouth out with soap!

      djmm

  22. It is pretty disgusting. I am just waiting for quantitative easing to lower long term interest rates so the state pension funds will look insolvent also. That will be the excuse to make state pensions into 401K’s. Ohio state employees do not pay into social security so that safety net isn’t there for them. Ohio has that new asshat governor who worked for Lehman Brothers. He is planning a 4 day coronation and has his republican minions are ready with legislation to privatize just about everything in the state.

    • Is that Kasich? He was a real douchebag as a congressman. He and his partner in crime “democrat” Tim Penny were so in the tank for Pete Peterson, I’m surprised they didn’t drown.

  23. Big Banks are Worse Than You Think by William Black

    Our largest banks in the U.S. can have trillions of dollars in liabilities. A single fraudulent bank would be large enough to hyper-inflate a bubble, cause “echo” epidemics of control fraud (e.g., appraisal fraud), lead to hundreds of billions of dollars in losses and result in a cascade of failures among other financial firms. It is inevitable that one of these banks would use its political power to fend off closure, so its collapse would also produce political scandals.

    Control Fraud is still nor discussed very much.

  24. It occured to me that if Bill Clinton has been called the first Black (Democrat) President, is Barack Obama the first republican Black President?

  25. This morning sneeze comes from a Mother Jones tweet where they try to delete Obama’s Jane Crow from history
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2010/12/09/the-morning-sneeze-2/

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