Doctor Roy wrote: Well I'd say it's just par for the course. I mean just take a look at the shenanigans that took place when Dubya made all his money. I recommend perusing one of Molly Ivins books on the subject. Man, she documented it all. Especially the Texas Rangers deal. - A Vulture Capitalist Cashes in on Failure
Dear Comrade Doctor,
Yes, this is the standard response that you give when anyone points out that your heroes don’t quite live up to the ideals that they supposedly embody: “Everyone does it.”
Spoken like the true union stooge that you are.
Stealing is OK as long as each side gets their cut.
I’m not sure what political point that you are trying to make is, but I’m of the opinion that self-dealing amongst our political class is the worst of all possible crimes. It’s the thing that has done the most to undermine the credibility of our American system in the last two decades.
Take, for example, Obama’s real estate deal with Tony Rezko.
Obama was paid off on a real estate deal by Illinois fundraiser Tony Rezko, even though Rezko was already facing indictment for political corruption.
The deal only happened because Obama was a United States Senator at the time. As Obama told the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board when he threw himself on their mercy saying it was a “bone-head” mistake, he was already having a hard time buying the house without the cash sweetener that Rezko brought to the table.
Obama knew that Rezko was bad news, but he did the deal anyway knowing: 1) the hometown paper would give him a break, slapping him for poor judgment but not veniality; 2) the “party of the people,” the Democrats, instead of holding their own to high standards decided a long time ago that they would hold their leaders to no standards at all, thinking it the same thing.
Morals and ethics and such are just for us little people.
Harry Reid never spent a day working for anyone but the government but yet has an estimated net worth of between $3 million and $6 million.
And that’s not all.
As Senate Majority Leader, Reid dumped his holdings in energy companies in 2008, right before the energy market crashed and bought healthcare stocks with the proceeds. Within 6 months Reid was heavily involved in re-writing healthcare laws.
You want to get the money out of politics? Then get politicians out of the business of regulating everything.
Living under different laws than the rest of us is so ingrained in our national leadership, that it seems they hardly give it a second thought.
“The present era of incredible rottenness is not Democratic,” wrote Mark Twain, “it is not Republican, it is national.”
And that’s the paradox that all of us must grapple with seriously if we wish to preserve both our free markets and our free people.
GWT wrote: Love how the GOP, after bringing the economy to the brink of ruin in 2008, are now acting like someone else farted. Considering what POTUS has done to revive Bush’s lifeless economy in the face of GOP obstruction, he deserves a Nobel Prize in Economics.-The Real Cost of Obama: $19 Trillion
Dear Comrade GWT,
The fiscal and monetary policies followed under the last four administrations are hardly distinguishable from one another except some distinctions around the margins. Obama’s spent money much more rapidly, and wants to pay for it only partially with taxes on the rich. The rest he’ll beg, borrow or steal.
I’m tired of both sides trying to pretend that they are blameless.
The easy availability of credit, which was encouraged by regulators, policy-makers, corporations, politicians and the man on the street, are mostly to blame for the crash in 2008.
We’ve been encouraging asset inflation for 30 years through misguided monetary policy. And it occasionally gets out of hand. When that happens, prices are bound to fall precipitately eventually.
Far from resolving the problem, the Democrats have made the problem worse, through policies like Dodd-Frank, which has destroyed community banking and retained mostly the too-big-to-fail banks. Those banks are bigger, more likely to fail and now have a promise of future bailouts by the federal government.
So, party now and pay later.
At least after previous crashes we had quick recoveries followed by high-employment. Obama by contrast remains, economically, the Lord of the Crap.
Jay P wrote: The cost of Bush: thousands of American lives. -The Real Cost of Obama: $19 Trillion
Dear Comrade Jay,
I think you mean the cost of Bush…AND the 297 Democrats and Republicans in the House that approved the Iraq War resolution, plus the 77 Democrats and Republicans who approved the same in the Senate.
Democrats were for the war before they were against it.
Me? I was always FOR the Iraq War. I question whether the civilians in charge of policy fought the war smartly- civilians including George Bush. But on balance I think it right that we freed Iraq from Saddam.
You either support the Arab Spring or you don’t. It’s almost inconceivable that those uprising would happen without first the liberation of Iraq.
Viagra00 wrote: We would not have such a debt if your Bush had not invaded Iraq. What a waste of money and lives. Hussain did not hit the towers. That was a feud between two oil men. How come you never blame him. -The Real Cost of Obama: $19 Trillion
Dear Comrade Viagra,
I always blame Bush when he is wrong. You should try doing that with Obama…or Hillary…or anyone not a Republican. They’d be better leaders for it.
It’s hard to quantify the exact cost of a war, but in terms of contributions to the budget deficit as it stands today, uh, nope, you are wrong.
The best estimate that I can come up with is that so far the Iraq war has cost about $1.7 trillion, or only about 10 percent of the total deficit.
Nice try though.
Mama Jones wrote: John Ransom -- LOVE, just LOVE reading your column! However, I'm not as smart as you are, so I have a couple of questions... At one time I worked for Piper-Jaffray (in IT) - and I was under the impression that Sarbanes-Oxley, while a pain in the butt, was a good thing??? Are you saying we should get rid of it altogether or can we fix it??? Also -- Why do people feel that government should be dictating morality for us? Shouldn't the Federal Govt just be dealing with general commerce issues and not getting into the details? My son (one of them at least) tells me that a pure capitalistic system of supply and demand cannot work and is doomed to failure -- but I don't understand that either. Ideas? -The Real Cost of Obama: $19 Trillion
Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) is a terrible, terrible piece of legislation, written in haste when adequate remedies were available.
From the Cato Institue:
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act is a result of a political demand to ‘‘do something’’ about a problem of shared concern. The act was unnecessary, in that the SEC had the authority and had already implemented most of the prescribed actions. The act is expensive, in that the huge increase in the SEC budget is not likely to improve accounting and auditing very much.
More disturbing, the major potential problem is an awesome threat that senior corporate managers may be held liable for an illegal action by some subordinate that the senior manager did not direct, condone, or even know about.
While some would claim that SOX has a deterrent effect on those who would cooks the books, I think that the 45 years Ken Lay from Enron got at sentencing under EXISTING laws was the very best deterrent.
Interestingly, Cato notes that Congress exempts the government from the same type of management liability that that SOX requires of senior corporate managers.
To give you some perspective, Worldcom, one of the companies that used questionable account standards and got killed for it, was hit for $11 billion in misstatements. Bernie Ebbers 25 years for that.
Compare that to say, the DOE’s own energy loan program. “Of that $80 billion in clean energy loans, grants, and tax credits,” writes Heritage, “at least 10 percent has gone to companies that have since either gone bankrupt or are circling the drain.” That’s $8 billion just in a relatively small crony capitalism scheme.
How about we do something about the $50-$100 billion Medicaid and Medicare abuse every year?
When is someone from the government going to jail for that?
But equally harmful is the chilling effect that SOX has had on investment markets.
The result has been that in dollar volume, the number of initial public offerings in 2011 was around $27 billion versus $31 billion in 1993, for example. In 1993, there were 509 offerings. In 2011 there were 81 offerings according to Professor Jay Ritter of the University of Florida.
What these numbers mean, is that over a period of time when world wealth was growing from $25 trillion to $64 trillion, the number of initial offerings on what are supposed to be the greatest financial markets in the world, fell by 84 percent. And 1993 was not one of the go-go 1990s years in the stock market either. Instead it was a stock market coming out of recession at 3,435 on the Dow Jones.
What’s particularly worrying about the numbers is that they tend to confirm that smaller companies no longer have access to the type of capital that only the Street can raise to help companies grow and prosper
Suido wrote: Only in America could you make money dispensing this crap!
I know. Isn't America great?
Proud to be an American.
Harold206wrote: John, is "Accidental College" your invention for Obama's questionable credentials, or was that your funny spell checker again? Either way, I kind of like the name change and it certainly fits. -Dear Uncle Sam: Get Well Soon, the End is Near
It is a deliberate distortion of the name to better fit a guy who never should have been president, if only because there is something in his college transcripts, he doesn’t want us to see.
In life, like in art, there are times when distortion better explains reality than the pretty stories they want you to believe.
PhillipSpace2 wrote: And, John, did I hear someone say the Fed would start to withdraw the QE liquidity at a rate of 40 Billion a month about 2014? -Dear Uncle Sam: Get Well Soon, the End is Near
Technically, they could stop at any time. But Bernanke has said that he is committed to QE until he breaks something or employment improves.
This from portfolio manager Jeff Gundlach via the Street.com:
While he wouldn't say when it would happen, Gundlach does think that eventually something will go wrong with quantitative easing, comparing it to a high school chemistry experiment that eventually goes wrong. Fiscal policies such as the recent tax hikes and sequestration could add up causing problems down the road, and when that happens it's going to be very bad for the U.S. economy.
"When you try to push problems into future, you increase the severity of problem," Gundlach said, noting that is exactly what the Fed is doing with quantitative easing.
Robert1824 wrote: Thank God for the Koch brothers? Sheesh! Is this so-called expert Ranson either out of his friggin' mind or just lying through his teeth? I would thank God if someone bombed the residences of these slimy, greedy, unscrupulous and power -hungry bastards and blew them down to hell! -Then Thank God for the Koch Brothers
Dear Comrade Robert,
Your IP address has been noted and the authorities have been notified.
Thank goodness you are part of the tolerant Left that only wants everyone to “get along.” I can’t imagine how frightening you’d be if you were intolerant.
Jsullivan154wrote: John I think there is an Indian reservation who may disagree w/you of thanking God? The knock bros Stole Their oil and plead guilty to a slap on the wrist not even comperable to what they stole. I guess that's ok w/you? Maybe also the third Koch brother who has disowned them for their criminal behaviour. -Then Thank God for the Koch Brothers
Dear Comrade J,
We’ve assembled our crack team of fact checkers and have determined that your claim falls under our Fact-Check category “Mostly Stupid.”
First, the Koch Brothers were never subject to any criminal charges. There was a civil suit regarding how the Koch calculated oil extracted, but they settled for around $25 million. Second, the brother you are referring to fully reconciled with his family and even participated as best man at one his brother’s weddings.
Betty wrote: People that agree with the Koch Brothers are liers and thieves that want to sit on a thrown like the devils they are and watch people work by the sweat of their brows and they cheat them into paying taxes so they can get the taxes for the rich. -Then Thank God for the Koch Brothers
Dear Comrade Betty,
Are you speaking about “people” when you say “people that agree…” or are you speaking about conservatives?
I don’t think of liberals as “people.”
They are more like the Stepford Wives of the political class, only a bit more ignorant.
And by the way, you smell of beef and cheese and you sit on a throne of lies.
Yachtsmanwrote: "I think you have the wrong Paul. Rand Paul? Certainly. Ron Paul? Ha! " It's the Bush principle. Reject the father, elect the idiot son. -Then Thank God for the Koch Brothers
Dear Comrade Admiral Kuznetsov, Fleet Admiral of the Soviet Boat Boys Everywhere,
Still blaming Bush?
Sbemis wrote: WHEN mc CAINE RAN,IT WAS THE FIRST TIME THE rEPUBLICAN pARTY HAD A WOMAN THAT HIGH ON THE TICKET. - Obama Keeps it Real: Fake Plant for Fake Products for Fake Cars
Dear Comrade S,
I don’t think John McCain would appreciate you calling him a woman. I know I don’t appreciate it. I think it’s much better to call him either: 1) a Hobbit; or 2) a Wacko Bird.
Afroggy wrote: I read your column almost every day solely for the purpose of knowing what idiocy you might be espousing. Keep up the "good" work. -- Obama Keeps it Real: Fake Plant for Fake Products for Fake Cars
Dear Comrade Frog,
Mission accomplished: You read me every day.
MS wrote: You are just full of sh@t. I own two Volts and could not be more far to the right. I don't agree with our government and did not support ball out but the Volt has made a large impact on how much gas our family buys. I have saved 1,110 gallons of gas. -- Obama Keeps it Real: Fake Plant for Fake Products for Fake Cars
You also have been busy running a Chevy Volt fan site and charging up you car at work- a state university by the way- so you don’t have to pay for electricity.
I know who you are.
Look, you can take the Space Shuttle to work and you’d save even more gasoline than you can with the Volt. But the cost would be way higher. Isn’t the point about saving money? I mean besides charging the cost to the taxpayers?
The cost to operate a Chevy Volt, when including cost of electric storage, is way more expensive than a gasoline engine.
That’s why they can’t sell enough of them to make money. That’s why Consumer Reports says it’s just an expensive toy. I’ve always looked at it as just an amenity purchase for the metro-testicled.
It’s gotten so bad that I understand that in the underside of the driver’s side wheel well, workers are affixing a small aluminum plate with the VIN and the word “gullible” stamped under it. They know the car will never work.
That's it for this week,