Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Does Romney Even Know What the Word “Plan” MEANS?

Romney released a new middle class economic plan [today].  [The] plan is called: “Mitt Romney’s new plan for a stronger middle class.” It contains ideas we’ve heard before: more access to domestic energy resources; cutting taxes and capping spending; repealing Obamacare.

Mark Hopkins at Moody’s Analytics tells me that it is mostly a set of assertions about outcomes Romney wants, rather than a set of policies on how to achieve them.

“There aren’t enough specifics here to evaluate the plan,” Hopkins said. “It’s not clear in most cases what specific policies underlie the assertions of outcomes he wants.”

— Greg Sargent, Washington Post, today

Indeed.  Hopefully Obama and more members of the media will point out the distinction between a stated plan and a mere statement of claimed outcomes of an unspecified plan.  Romney and his wife say that the public has all the information it “needs” about his finances in order to take his word for it that his finances have all been on the up-and-up, and he makes essentially the same claim about his planned economic policies: All the public needs to know is, Romney says so.

Which in a way is true—if you get my point.

Tags: , , , , Comments (4) | |

The Beginning of the End of Corporate Gaming of the Bankruptcy Laws?

It will take a few more months of legal maneuvering before American finally throws in the towel and agrees to a US Airways merger. American executives and directors will no doubt have to be bought off with golden parachutes, while trade creditors such as Hewlett-Packard and Boeing will likely be brought on board with promises of future contracts. That’s how things work in the bankruptcy racket. And all of it will be negotiated behind closed doors by legions of bankruptcy lawyers whose $1,000-an-hour fees make those $250-an-hour pilots look like pikers.

For years now, Corporate America has viewed the bankruptcy court as a blunt instrument by which failed executives and directors can shift the burden of their mistakes onto shareholders, employees and suppliers. The auto industry bailout orchestrated by the Obama administration posed the first challenge to that assumption. Now the unions at American airlines have taken another step in curbing this flagrant corporate abuse and restoring the rule of law.

— “Two can play the airline bankruptcy game,” Steven Pearlstein, Washington Post, Apr. 28 (Boldface mine)

Enough said.  I think. Except for this: I’d love to see Obama mention this and explain it during the campaign, and not fear that it’s too complicated to be explained briefly. It’s not.

Tags: , , , , Comments (13) | |