Open thread August 2, 2022 Dan Crawford | August 2, 2022 6:21 am Tags: open thread Comments (26) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrives in Taiwan, defying Beijing
Boston Globe – August 2
Russia backs China’s stance on Taiwan, calling Pelosi’s visit ‘provocative.’
NY Times – Aug 2
Whereas Russia’s invasion of Ukrain is not “of provocative character?”
Irony is dead.
Chinese military drills circling Taiwan set up a potential standoff
NY Times – August 3
As China Plans Drills Circling Taiwan, US Officials Fear a Squeeze Play
NY Times – Aug 3
China halts climate, military ties over Pelosi Taiwan visit
Boston Globe – Aug 5
Job openings fell in June, suggesting that the labor market is cooling
NY Times – Aug 2
The vibes in the economy are … weird
NY Times – Aug 4
‘A recent study…’
Narrative-Driven Fluctuations in Sentiment: Evidence Linking Traditional and Social Media
It restores my faith, somewhat, in the “Press” that the NYT recognizes the role of journalism in creating the “silliness” that leads to “economic” problems. But the NYT is a leading promoter of silliness itself (particularly in the case of the terrible great big huge “looming multi Trillion Dollar Unfunded Deficit!” in Social Security).
Well, almost no-one is surprised by a lack of consistency in politics. But it does raise some questions about honesty.
Still, it might be a good first step…if it isn’t forgotten in the next 5,4,3,2…seconds.
Social Security isn’t bankrupt: What we know about future benefits based on the latest trustees report
CNBC – June 25
Baby Boomers Will Leave Housing Glut After Their Final Move
CU Times – July 5
… The 2020 Census showed that the baby boomers (born 1946 to 1964 and now ages 58 to 76), accounted for 22% of the U.S. population. By 2036, boomers will be 72 to 90 years old, and if the same age distribution held they would account for 10% of the population. …
This is misinformation. What I call a lie.
The depletion date of the Trust Fund is insignificant. Nor has it materially changed in the last 30 years or longer. The current Trust Fund was increased by raising the paryroll tax on the Boomer generation so they could help pay directly for their own retirement. All generations pay for their own retirement through the Payroll tax and Pay as you go funding. This confuses a lot of people. Even though everyone pays for their own retirement, they do it in advance, so the Liars have sold the false idea that “the young” are paying for “the old.” This is true no more than
the young who buy the old’s stocks when the old need the cash are paying for the old’s retirement, or that the people who put their money in the bank today are paying for the guy who put his money in years ago and is today taking out his money with interest.
When the special Baby Boom Trust Fund runs out of money in about 2035 it will be necessary to increase the payroll tax 2% of payroll for each the worker and the employer in order to pay for the longer life expectancies of the people then paying the tax. (and yes, the lower birth rate as well as the slower rate of increase in real wages does increase the need for the increased tax, but the longer life expectancy is the main reason. People will argue this with different choices of statistics, but they need to not lose sight of the fundamental reality: retired people are going to need more money if they are going to be living longer. The “more money” comes most easily, most directly, and most fairly from a two dollar per week increase in the payroll tax. Or would come most easily. But if we wait until the Trust Fund actually runs out the increase will need to be more abrupt… about 20 dollars per week for each the worker and the employer. But by that time, workers wages will have increased by about 20 real dollars per week, so he won’t be getting less money after paying the tax, but more, if he is smart enough to understand that.
Munnell offers no “immediate action” to manage the “solvency” problem… except to raise the retirement age. This is like adding two years to the sentence of some old people (most of them) who may (or may not) live longer, but are very likely not to be able to work longer. AND, if they are paying for their own benefits…as they are now, but will not be under any of the “liberal” plans, they should be able to retire at any actuarily reasonable age they want, or need, to.
I don’t know if Munnell is not smart enough to understand this, or choses to ignore it for reasons of an undisclosed agenda of her own.
But your children and their children are going to be hurt quite badly if YOU are not smart enough to get Congress to understand this in ways they can’t pretend they don’t know about it.
The “Nuggets of good news”: Social Security will raise benefits to more or less keep up with inflation. Then they will take it all back by raising the Medicare deduction from Social Secuity checks to pay for an unproven Alzheimers “treatment” that will make the drug companies rich.
This is not good news. It is flim flam.
Please note, if it were real inflation, the wages of workers would increase in nominal dollars, and these nominal dollars would go to pay the nominal increase in benefits. This is one of the core features of “pay as you go” financing…which will be largely destroyed by the “make the rich pay” bright idea from the Left.
Alex Jones Trial Update: Jurors Award $4.1 Million in Damages
NY Times – Aug 4
Lawyer Says He Intends to Give Alex Jones’s Texts to House Jan. 6 Panel
(But the carried interest tax loophole remains in place, ‘changes the structure of a 15 percent minimum tax on corporations’, and finds some money for Arizona drought relief, which they are in special need of apparently.)
Sinema Agrees to Climate and Tax Deal, Clearing the Way for Votes
NY Times – Aug 4
The Arizona Democrat had been her party’s last remaining holdout on the package, now slated to move forward on Saturday and pass the Senate within days.
Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Democrat of Arizona, announced on Thursday evening that she would support moving forward with her party’s climate, tax and health care package, clearing the way for a major piece of President Biden’s domestic agenda to move through the Senate in the coming days.
To win Ms. Sinema’s support, Democratic leaders agreed to drop a $14 billion tax increase on some wealthy hedge fund managers and private equity executives that she had opposed, change the structure of a 15 percent minimum tax on corporations, and include drought money to benefit Arizona.
Ms. Sinema said she was ready to move forward with the package, provided that the Senate’s top rules official signed off on it. …
Senate Majority Leader Sinema forced the issue of “her” preferences. Already wrote her. She holds the country hostage.
(Agriculture in Arizona has been under threat, evidently. Who knew?)
Leafy greens, cabbage, dates, melons, lemons, oranges, apples, potatoes and tomatoes are just some foods harvested from Arizona’s nourishing soil. The state also boasts a growing nut and date crop industry. Pistachio trees have a small presence in the Grand Canyon State, but the pecan business is developing quickly. … Guide to Arizona Agriculture
Democrats, Sinema say they’ve reached agreement on economic package
Boston Globe – Aug 4
(AP) … Sinema said Democrats had agreed to remove a provision raising taxes on “carried interest,” or profits that go to executives of private equity firms. That’s been a proposal she has long opposed, though it is a favorite of Manchin and many progressives.
The carried interest provision was estimated to produce $13 billion for the government over the coming decade, a small portion of the measure’s $739 billion in total revenue.
It will be replaced by a new excise tax on stock buybacks which will bring in more revenue than that, said one Democrat familiar with the agreement. The official, who was not authorized to discuss the deal publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, provided no other detail. …
Republicans Flail and Fail on Taxes
NY Times – Paul Krugman – Aug 4
I like the way you said this. we can hope.
I didn’t want to spoil you optimism, but I don’t have your faith in the ability of the people to see the good things. And the “weak” Republican argument against it is more of the stupid lies that have been winning them elections as long as i can remember, though perhaps less flagrant than the more recent stupid lies.
the people will never notice good effects on climate change. even the good effects of reducing air pollution in general will not be noticed or forgotten in a week.
we still have a long way to go. Kansas may be a better sign of hope.
Mrs Fred tells me that she’s heard Sen Sanders now has ‘some issues’. As well he might.
Democrats could see a bruising clash with Sanders over economic bill
The Hill – Aug 6
,,, While Sanders voiced satisfaction with certain parts the narrower plan in floor remarks earlier this week, he also made pointed remarks at the bill, which he said “does virtually nothing to address the enormous crises that working families all across this country are facing today.”
The Vermont senator specifically announced he would be introducing an amendment “to make sure that Medicare pays no more for prescription drugs than the [Veterans Affairs]. He also pushed for measures to provide “comprehensive dental vision and hearing benefits,” in addition to lowering “the Medicare eligibility age to at least 60” and to extend the solvency of Medicare.
“Given that this is the last reconciliation bill that we will be considering this year, it is the only opportunity that we have to do something significant to the American people that requires only 50 votes, and that cannot be filibustered,” he stressed from the floor of the upper chamber.
Sanders told The Hill on Thursday that he is still finalizing his amendments, and is looking at areas like “health care, childcare, and some other issues.” …