The Tea Party Dive

The Tea Party traces its roots to some millionaire Wall Street media star whining on the teevee. It is the bastard child of our Galtian overlords. And I guess they thought their creation was cute when it went around yelling that the Gub-a-mint needed to keep its hands off their Medicare. It seemed the Tea Party was just fine as long as the noise they made helped to protect the wealth of the elites. But a funny thing has happened.

It turns out that the Tea Party is bad for business. It seems that a movement rooted in rage–fueled by racism–and acting without any grounding in reality will fuck things up when it gets power. Who knew? Who could have predicted it?

But they did get power and they have Fucked things up Big Time. The Markets and the invisible hand now tremble with fear about what their little monster might do next.

And their reaction should be called The Tea Party Dive.

Wall Street has realized that their astro-turf creation doesn’t give a rats ass about markets, jobs, stability, reality or any of that shit. All the Tea Party wankers care about is the purity of their fantasies–and if the global economy must be destroyed in pursuit of their myths, delusions and talking points, well so be it.

Steve Benen posted a chart today that shows the Tea Party Dive:

110804_dow

And if you look at other economic indicators you’ll see other signs of damage since the Tea Party and their rich fantasy life extremism took over the Conservative movement and the National debate about our economy.

These people are batshit crazy. They will burn it all down in the belief that an Ayn Rand Jesus will look down and bless them with his/her tinkle as they muck about in the ashes.

Their plans for America’s future make less sense than Klaus Kinski’s plan–at the end of Aguirre, the Wrath of God–to use his new monkey army to conquer the world. And yet, Aguirre’s final dreams of conquest were more rooted in reality than the ideas of your average TeaBagger. And now these lunatics have real power to destroy things and so things break.

Our Galtian overlords have lost control of their little monster. They fear the coming waves of TeaBagger harm to the economy and so we have The Tea Party Dive.

I wonder how things will work out when the bell rings on Friday…

And with that how about an open thread.

Cheers

93 replies
  1. 1
    Earl Butz says:

    They have no choice. The president is black, you see.

    At least that’s what the few that I know tell me.

  2. 2
    Martin says:

    Well, NYT poll shows Obama at 48/47. Not great, not horrible, and no better or worse than April. Boehner is at 30/57. That’s pretty horrible, and way down from a few months ago.

    Tea Party is only damaging the GOP at this stage, not hurting Obama.

  3. 3
    BruinKid says:

    So does this mean an uneasy and loathesome partnership between liberals and Wall Street, at least until after the 2012 elections, to kick out the Tea Partiers in Congress?

    What’s Wall Street to do?

  4. 4
    AlphaLiberal says:

    Or
    The Tea Party Sacking the USA.

  5. 5
    robertdsc-PowerBook says:

    I’m curious. Let’s say the Prez were to propose a spending package to combat this Tea Party Dive. How much would or should it be?

  6. 6
    Dekster says:

    Yes, nicely said, “These people are batshit crazy. They will burn it all down in the belief that an Ayn Rand Jesus will look down and bless them with his/her tinkle as they muck about in the ashes.”

    The Randian attitude is that if the human race doesn’t flourish under laisez faire economic policy, that is too bad for the human race. We’ll just have to wait for a better species.

    Other people think economic policy exists to help humans. These people think it’s the other way around. And that is, indeed, batshit crazy.

    Although, actually, I am also tempted by a different, Nietszchean analysis of all of this. On that kind of analysis, it is a mistake to think that the conservatives adopt their economic policies for ideological reasons, and it is just too bad if it ends up hurting people. It would be more correct to say that they want to hurt people, and so they adopt an ideology that provides a rationalization for their sadistic impulses.

    I was reminded of this watching the Reason reporters try to give Matt Damon any random argument they could think for ending tenure. The arguments are secondary. They just want to make other people’s lives miserable. It’s pure, pathetic will to power.

  7. 7
    barath says:

    So as much as I’d like to agree and blame the tea party for the ongoing market downturn, they’re a minor factor.

    The downturn today is a combination of many factors, but the biggest is ongoing problems in Europe. The debt ceiling debate, while it didn’t help anything, will only have effects that show up in official statistics next month, and probably won’t have that big of any impact. Financial contagion in Italy and Spain – which are too big to bail out – is where today’s market drop started.

    As I think I mentioned in another thread this morning, we have to hope that the falling Euro drives up the USD which drives down oil prices, allowing us to actually see some economic recovery during 2012.

    I should add – part of the reason for the downturn is that the charts were indicating that various patterns (rising wedges in some indexes and head-and-shoulders in others) would lead to sizeable declines. While these patterns are much like reading chicken entrails, there are plenty of traders and algorithms that use them.

  8. 8
    Dekster says:

    @Martin: Who said anything about Obama? I didn’t see the word “Obama” in the post, at all. What I saw was the world going to shit.

  9. 9
    Dekster says:

    @barath: Sounds reasonable.

  10. 10
    phillygirl says:

    Looks to me like the ‘baggers have done their job, which is to tank the economy til November 2012. Then the new Repub president and Senate can resume deregulating and spending without paying for any of it. How is this not a Wall Street wet dream?

  11. 11
    burnspbesq says:

    I don’t think the Tea Party had anything to do with Berlusconi being feckless and irresponsible. He’s had those skills for a long time.

  12. 12

    I honestly was under the impression that the market has only the vaguest connection to the rest of the economy. I don’t like to use it to support my memes any more than I trust it when people use it to attack something I support. It’s a giant rich people’s game of that-thing-you-know-that-you-can’t-say-because-of-WP.

  13. 13
    Non-Existent Patricia says:

    @phillygirl: Because of what Martin said @1

  14. 14
    Non-Existent Patricia says:

    Trying to figure why the stock market does anything is like trying to figure out why your meth-addicted cousin Cyndi does anything.

  15. 15
    balconesfault says:

    Our Galtian overlords might see their portfolios decline … but they will not miss one steak dinner because of this.

  16. 16
    Martin says:

    @robertdsc-PowerBook:

    I’m curious. Let’s say the Prez were to propose a spending package to combat this Tea Party Dive. How much would or should it be?

    This dive? Nothing. Government shouldn’t respond to market dives. They should respond to fundamental problems that are causing the market dives, and I don’t think there’s anything the government can do about these particular problems.

    But the real problem is that GDP number and the jobs numbers. I’ve advocated before for this, but I’d propose a stimulus program that would allow businesses to repatriate money to the US to hire. Basically, for every dollar spent on hiring, you can bring a dollar back tax-free. That’s potentially a $750B-$1T stimulus program, and it doesn’t cost the government anything. It needs to be carefully laid out. We did something similar in 2004 and companies just brought money back, issued dividends or bought back stock, and there was no economic benefit at all. That should be a relatively easy sell to Congress (well, under a rational Congress it would be) and if it’s jobs-directed, it’ll have a real economic boost. I’d certainly do that before committing any real taxpayer spending.

    After that, regulation and infrastructure projects. Rail, solar, wind, grid upgrade, etc. Specific projects, funded to completion. There should be plenty from the stimulus database that need finishing or starting.

  17. 17
    OzoneR says:

    After that, regulation and infrastructure projects. Rail, solar, wind, grid upgrade, etc. Specific projects, funded to completion. There should be plenty from the stimulus database that need finishing or starting.

    what happens when governors reject this?

  18. 18
    Martin says:

    Actually, the bigger question on this is how voters view Congress. They’re pissed at Congress, but what will that cause voters to do? Realize that the tea party is fucking the rodeo? Think that more tea party will solve it? Check out entirely? Boy, I don’t know, but Obama’s approvals are high enough that I think he’s going to be fine in 2012. But he might have a much better or a much worse Congress.

  19. 19
    General Stuck says:

    It seems like little baby jeevus has cooked up an unholy stew of about everything at once going wrong and conspiring to create global economic chaos and anarchy. with the eurozone adding to the clusterfuck, as well as the Japan earthquake. But the tea tards more and more are appearing to be the element that is igniting it all with their antics.

    With the world’s only superpower acting like a banana republic, where most of the worlds prospects are hardwired into our economic machine. And of course it isn’t the debt deal that hasn’t taken effect yet, it is the incredibly dangerous rhetoric pumped out by the tea party and channeled through congressional wingnut leaders terrified of being et alive by the monster they created and hoisted up us, endangering the entire fucking world, that doesn’t know what the crazy fuckers will break next. It almost makes me miss George Bush, almost.

  20. 20
    Suffern ACE says:

    Well at least some of the furloughed FAA workers and contractors can come back to work until September 16. What kind of country runs a major sector of its transportation system on a month to month funding basis?

  21. 21
    OzoneR says:

    at leas the New York Times get it

    In any other cycle, the recent spate of poor economic news would have resulted in politicians vying with one another to propose programs to revive growth. President Obama has called for more spending on infrastructure, but there appears to be little chance Congress will take any action. The focus in Washington is now on deciding where to reduce spending, not increase it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08.....=1&hp

    Obots at the Times.

  22. 22
    Brian S says:

    @Martin:

    Actually, the bigger question on this is how voters view Congress. They’re pissed at Congress, but what will that cause voters to do?

    The way these things tend to work, they hate Congress, but are okay with their own Congress-critter if he/she is of the same party they’re in. And that’s partly why we have a frigging 90+% incumbency rate–because it’s always someone else’s dumbass who’s the problem.

  23. 23
    Dollared says:

    @General Stuck: We have to be really careful about our understanding of the Tea Party. They aren’t as out of control as we think.

    If they were a massive threat to the nation’s wealth, FreedomWorks would not be organizing the August rallies. Those decisions, and the money, come from the top.

    We need to keep in mind that the Tea Party may be populated by a bunch if thugggish idiots. But their direction comes from some serious people who have already once taken over this country, under Bush, and want to do it again. The Tea Partiers remain the brown shirts of the Kochs and the Chamber of Commerce, and there is a conscious game at play here: get total control, like 2002-2006, one more time.

    And then take it all. All of it, and then lock down the system so it can’t be turned over. Never mind the damage to the economy. That may hurt Google and Microsoft, but the Kochs know people gotta have toilet paper and gasoline, no matter what the conditions. And if it all goes in the shitter, Exxon Mobil will sell there oil elsewhere.

    Don’t laugh at the Tea Party. They are performing their function beautifully.

  24. 24
    Martin says:

    @OzoneR:

    what happens when governors reject this?

    Let them, and fund projects in California instead. We won’t reject any of them. Honestly, a little illustration to voters for what creates jobs and what doesn’t wouldn’t hurt. I’ll feel bad for the citizens of Wisconsin and Ohio and Florida, but you know – again, elections have consequences.

  25. 25
    OzoneR says:

    Let them, and fund projects in California instead. We won’t reject any of them. Honestly, a little illustration to voters for what creates jobs and what doesn’t wouldn’t hurt. I’ll feel bad for the citizens of Wisconsin and Ohio and Florida, but you know – again, elections have consequences.

    Ok, true, this is happening though. New York did get Florida’s money and its jobs

    but how does that work for the economies of these important swing states? They’re still going to blame Obama for their woes. They do now.

  26. 26
    Martin says:

    @Brian S:

    And that’s partly why we have a frigging 90+% incumbency rate—because it’s always someone else’s dumbass who’s the problem.

    Well, we didn’t send 90% back to the House in 2010.

  27. 27
    Suffern ACE says:

    @OzoneR: Well I’m glad they decided to weigh in now. Seems a bit too late at this time, if you ask me, the debt battle having been lost.

    Although I expected the times to jump on the spending wagon when their stock portfolios started to look risky. Once the market started rising, they couldn’t care less about economic issues. Or at least they figured their readers couldn’t care less.

  28. 28
    General Stuck says:

    Don’t laugh at the Tea Party. They are performing their function beautifully

    I wasn’t laughing at their influence on the GOP in congress, which is scarily powerful. But otherwise, I mock their pig ignorant racist underpinnings, and general nihilistic mindset.

  29. 29

    Regarding congress. While the people will tell the pollsters that they disapprove of congress, no one named ‘congress’ is going to be on the ballot. People often express disgust and anger toward ‘congress’ while at the same time approving or even loving their own congress-creature.

  30. 30
    Another Bob says:

    If the Tea Party could force trillion-dollar budget cuts at a time like this, then why couldn’t progressive Democrats force an end to the Bush tax cuts . . . especially since the tax cuts would have expired on their own. I’m not trying to be arch or snarky, I’m just wondering. Why the lack of symmetry? It’s a little hard to believe that Republicans — who are nothing if not disciplined and unified to an almost zombie-like extent — could get rolled so easily by a bunch of freshman congressmen if they didn’t want it to turn out that way.

  31. 31
    OzoneR says:

    @Suffern ACE: I thought the same thing when I read this. They’re not the only ones. A lot of news outlets suddenly discovered the wonders of Keynesian economics at 4pm this afternoon.

  32. 32
    Non-Existent Patricia says:

    @OzoneR: They’re always going to blame Obama. This is the reason they elected jackasses who reject federal funding.

    As an aside: Why the fuck would a governor reject federal funding? Its not like the state governments have to pay the money back. I know this is a federalist form of government we have but its not like every state has to pony 1/50 of the federal debt. It really makes no sense.

  33. 33

    the world’s only superpower

    China?

  34. 34
    Suffern ACE says:

    @OzoneR: Unfortunately, the way around it is to spend on something that doesn’t require a governor’s approval, and infrastructure isn’t that. It would need to involve federal lands, or heck, the military.

    Doghouse Riley reminded his readers today that the government has ordered 10 new super carriers to be built by 2040 at a cost of $900 billion. Waste if there ever was waste. We could, of course, build them a little more quickly if we wanted to.

    Only half snarking.

  35. 35
    piratedan says:

    well I’ll believe the richies are concerned when they stop writing the paychecks to fund this lunacy. Then all of these threats of being primaried from the right can go up in smoke because they’ll have the financial backing of a corner lemonade stand. So, we can speculate all we want, but I’m inclined to follow the money until it dries up like a fart in the wind as proof positive that the folks funding this ongoing circus train have wised up.

  36. 36
    dead existentialist says:

    I dunno. It’s weird that this present crash and burn is occurring right after the Arab Spring. Maybe the Powers-That-Be aren’t too keen on the spread of democracy in the land of oil. They do have, after all, an agenda far different than the rest of us.

    (Yeah, yeah, I know there are other factors at work. I just find it odd.)

  37. 37
    scav says:

    @Martin, isn’t this more on your poll? via the NYT (article, data pdf) To your question,

    The public’s opinion of the Tea Party movement has soured in the wake of the debt-ceiling debate. The Tea Party is now viewed unfavorably by 40 percent of the public and favorably by just 20 percent, according to the poll. In mid-April 29 percent of those polled viewed the movement unfavorably, while 26 percent viewed it favorably. And 43 percent of Americans now think the Tea Party has too much influence on the Republican Party, up from 27 percent in mid-April.

    Americans said that they trusted Mr. Obama to make the right decisions about the economy more than the Republicans in Congress, by 47 percent to 33 percent. They were evenly divided on the question of whether he showed “strong qualities of leadership” during the negotiations, with 49 percent saying he did and 48 percent saying he did not. And they were still more likely to blame President George W. Bush for the bulk of the nation’s deficit: 44 percent said that the deficit was mostly caused by the Bush administration, 15 percent said it was mostly caused by the Obama administration and 15 percent blamed Congress.

    If anything, they seem a disgruntled but not insane group of people underlying those numbers.

  38. 38
    OzoneR says:

    @Non-Existent Patricia:

    Why the fuck would a governor reject federal funding? Its not like the state governments have to pay the money back. I know this is a federalist form of government we have but its not like every state has to pony 1/50 of the federal debt. It really makes no sense.

    According to Chris Christie’s 2009 campaign commercials, because the state will be forced to pay for the overruns and “we don’t have that kind of money”

    Apparently, we suck at infrastructure projects (insert reference to Big Dig here) and thus shouldn’t waste money on it

    But God Bless America!

  39. 39
    burnspbesq says:

    @Martin:

    Your faith in the power of the Joint Committee staff to draft something that can’t be evaded, in the face of the overwhelming historical evidence of what happened under 965, is misplaced but touching.

    Sides which, the other thing to be learned from the 965 experience is that there is no such thing as a one-time-only tax amnesty.

  40. 40
    General Stuck says:

    Well, I’m going to bed from being too sleepy to think and type.

  41. 41
    Non-Existent Patricia says:

    @OzoneR: So he’s saying the states can’t be trusted to run the projects and the feds should be in charge? (Only kidding, I get it, its optics, “I told the federal government, ‘Thanks, but no thanks!’) But, if I lived in NJ, I’d be pissed because our state pays almost $2 for $1 in federal money we receive.

  42. 42
    piratedan says:

    @Non-Existent Patricia: see Arizona, Brewer, Jan

    Cactus Barbie kicked hundreds of thousands of folks off of the AHCCESS (state program for healthcare for the poor) program because she refused to allocate state funds of 1+million in order to get the 3+Million of matching federal funds. But hey, we invested state tax dollars in the private prison industry, so we got that going for us.

    Republicans don’t give a shit if poor people die, they tend to vote Democratic ticket anyways.

  43. 43
    OzoneR says:

    @Non-Existent Patricia:

    But, if I lived in NJ, I’d be pissed because our state pays almost $2 for $1 in federal money we receive.

    The people of New Jersey seemed very satisified by their governor’s cancelling of a tunnel that would have gotten them to New York faster, where the unemployment rate is far lower, and jobs more readily available to them. At least they didn’t have the face the unlikely chance they have to throw a few dollars at the project.

    If I hear one more time that “We’re only doing this so you don’t get stuck with the bill when you get older” I’m going to scream. I don’t mind getting stuck with the bill, I’d like to have a fucking country first. If we do this right, we’ll be well able to pay it off.

  44. 44
    OzoneR says:

    @piratedan: At to think, she was dead meat before she signed the “Driving while Mexican” bill.

    It’s almost as if wedge issues matter more to people than jobs.

  45. 45
    Martin says:

    @Non-Existent Patricia:

    Why the fuck would a governor reject federal funding?

    Three reasons:

    1) It requires some direct or indirect matching funding. Even if the feds dumped billions in California to pay for all of the construction of our high-speed rail project, we’d need to provide planning commissions, there’d be other planning functions around how rail interacts with roads and other infrastructure, etc.
    2) It requires maintenance in the future. And the feds won’t pay for that. The new rail system might be free to get built, but it won’t be free the next year, or 10 years later.
    3) It carries political costs – either from voters or industry. My local airport is something like 75% regional flights – basically flights that the high-speed rail would be designed to replace. Airlines don’t like that, the airport operators don’t like that. Some of the cities the rail would go through don’t like that project for one reason or another.

    Honestly, they’re all short-sighted reasons, but hey, these are morons we’re talking about here.

  46. 46
    Non-Existent Patricia says:

    @burnspbesq: You don’t even need that experience (the 10 year Bush tax cuts will last 12 years). (Here’s where I pretend I have this right, please excuse me if I don’t) And the even if the money is re-patriated tax-free for hiring the corporation will still have to pay its share of FICA. I would still call this a net gain (for the economy as a whole) but can you sell it to the corporations?

  47. 47
    piratedan says:

    @OzoneR: yup, she played the racism card shrewdly. I have to hand it to the R strategists, they know how to win elections, granted it helps to have no moral scruples and non-existent ethics. It didn’t even matter that the stats all showed that Illegal immigration was down (based on their police stats from AZ DPS) and was trending lower, all it took was the “perception” and a media onslaught to embed it. Nevermind that the state is an economic wasteland at the moment, lil’ Jannie is still in charge, nominally anyways.

  48. 48
    Martin says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Your faith in the power of the Joint Committee staff to draft something that can’t be evaded, in the face of the overwhelming historical evidence of what happened under 965, is misplaced but touching.
    __
    Sides which, the other thing to be learned from the 965 experience is that there is no such thing as a one-time-only tax amnesty.

    Yeah, I can’t argue with any of that. But there’s a LOT of unproductive money out there that we need to find a way to become productive money.

  49. 49
    Non-Existent Patricia says:

    @Martin: Right, I get that, but no one is making that argument. The argument is, “OMG, the debt is going to crush us!” And they’re talking about the federal debt – which is why I come down to your #3 – this was always about politics and fuck it, if I could have actually provided jobs for people in the here and now.

  50. 50
    Martin says:

    @Non-Existent Patricia:

    So he’s saying the states can’t be trusted to run the projects and the feds should be in charge?

    Well, it is New Jersey. If they tried to build high speed rail, the curves would only turn right and nobody would be allowed to buy their own ticket – you’d need to have some minimum wage former felon take it out of the dispenser and hand it to you.

  51. 51
    Xenos says:

    @piratedan:

    well I’ll believe the richies are concerned when they stop writing the paychecks to fund this lunacy.

    A lot of this lunacy is bankrolled by third-generation high-wealth individuals, ie trustafarians. I grew up knowing these people as kids, ones with last names like Mellon, Forbes, Bancroft, Weyerhauser, and such. These are often pretty well-educated people, but raised on the principle that only similarly wealthy people matter for much, and raised to be dependent on a team of bankers, lawyers, gurus and other advisors to get through life. They see themselves as a Galtian elite, but one that needs and demands regular affirmation from everyone around them – peers or employees.

    As a result, these people are astonishingly credulous while being very tied to the orthodoxies of elite conservative opinion. The Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation are like churches, filtering the news for them in light of the dogmas on which their social and moral worlds rely. The whole edifice of elite support is designed to validate and affirm these orthodoxies, and these fools will drive their fortunes right off a cliff before they admit their social circles and ethical principles are wrong, much less evil.

    They will never stop funding this idiocy. Because they are as tied up in it just as much as the typical teapartier. And because they were the first victims and greatest beneficiaries of the moral ponzi scheme that is the right-wing wurlitzer.

  52. 52
    burnspbesq says:

    @OzoneR:

    The people of New Jersey seemed very satisified by their governor’s cancelling of a tunnel that would have gotten them to New York faster, where the unemployment rate is far lower, and jobs more readily available to them.

    I think your memory is playing tricks on you.

    http://publicpolicypolling.blo.....cline.html

  53. 53
    hhex65 says:

    Tip: put all your money in meth futures

  54. 54
    Non-Existent Patricia says:

    @Martin: In some parts, we call that a jobs program!

  55. 55
    OzoneR says:

    @burnspbesq: The tunnel isn’t the reason for his decline seeing as he did that over a year ago

  56. 56
    Non-Existent Patricia says:

    @hhex65: If only Jim Cramer was giving this advice in 2008, he might have some credibility!

  57. 57
    Martin says:

    @Non-Existent Patricia:

    I would still call this a net gain (for the economy as a whole) but can you sell it to the corporations?

    Why wouldn’t they go for it? Worst case they repatriate no money, nothing changes, and we move on to plan B. Best case, US companies that are seeing huge growth overseas (record profits, after all, mostly due to growth overseas) can bring those dollars back home. We cannot possibly reverse our trade deficits if profits earned overseas don’t flow back into the US to build things to export. Instead, we’re encouraging companies to export overseas, take profits there, use those profits to build overseas and replace domestic production. That’s counterproductive.

  58. 58
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Martin: My guess is that the reason states have to pay for cost overruns is that states like New Jersey would have them in spades. Half the money would be gone before someone found a bulldozer, and then someone would steal the bulldozer.

    The governor, of course, would be powerless to stop that.

  59. 59
    piratedan says:

    @Xenos: I suspected as much (i.e. the Koch brothers, et al) and that’s why all of this “hoping Wall street” will save us talk is meaningless. This is Old Money lunacy we’re talking about and until the peasants set fire to the Hamptons and put the torch to the other bastions of the rich and famous, its unlikely to end anytime soon. Good time to be a poltical ad creator tho, good money to be had these days.

  60. 60
    Dagon says:

    @Non-Existent Patricia: @Martin:

    Honestly, they’re all short-sighted reasons, but hey, these are morons we’re talking about here.

    Short-sighted is correct. But this is the exact point that needs to be made. At this juncture in our ‘Great Experiment” Short-sighted is the LAST thing that we can afford to be.

    All of the reasons you expressed above are very true as to why a Governor might reject federal funding, but it also shows what pussies they are.

    There needs to be some sort of coalition of Governors to get together and push for infrastructure plan that will benefit all of their states.

    Because even short-sighted doesn’t cut it with the scenario that is currently laid before us. I’m talking 1, 2 years. If we start tackling this stuff now we are going to be royally fucked in short measure.

    Because jobs aren’t going to created in the private sector; not unless undiscovered Sherman languishing in his Sophomore physics class discovers cold fusion in the near future thus creating a brand new industry, the jobs are going to have to come from public works.

    Not to mention that we won’t even be remotely competitive in 10 years time without substantial infrastructure investment across the board.

    peace

  61. 61
    Martin says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Half the money would be gone before someone found a bulldozer, and then someone would steal the bulldozer.

    You mean the mafia isn’t an efficient contractor? I’m shocked!

  62. 62
    Non-Existent Patricia says:

    @Martin: I think the more effective approach is to just eliminate the tax dodge, but that’s probably less politically possible. Given the political constraints, your approach sounds reasonable, but can it make them more money than whatever they’re doing with it now?

  63. 63
    fuckwit says:

    It was a wrestling move. They were trying to take him– and the whole global economy– down, and Obama said, OK, you wanna go down, let’s go, and they did, and they went down lower than he did, and stayed there.

    Sometimes, the brittle things break, but the flexible things can dive down and roll and get back up, or just bend enough to not have to even hit the ground. Flexibility is actually a very powerful tool for dealing with terrorists.

    Look, if someone comes at you with a knife, you’re going to get cut, you’re going to get bloodied, but if you know what you are doing you can cut them worse or even disarm them. It’s dangerous and I wouldn’t do it for fun. But it seems they tried to destroy Obama and the United States and indeed they cut us all badly, but they did not take any of us down, and ended up just looking like fools instead.

    And them’s my mixed metfers and I’m-a stickin to ’em.

  64. 64
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Non-Existent Patricia: It would probably be easier to close the countries than the shelter. How much would it cost to fund a coup by the Cayman People’s Soc1a1ist Front?

  65. 65
    fuckwit says:

    I think we need a new plan, a new approach, something exciting and changey that nobody has ever thought of trying before. Here’s how I think it should go:

    We’re all in this together. Everyone wants the economy to succeed. The economy does well, everyone does well, and Wall Street gets filthy fucking rich, so in that sense they want what we want. So, we do it like this.

    We give lots of money to the poor and middle class! And, we get it by taxing the fuck out of the rich elite and corporations. Indeed, they may not like that, but think of it as an investment. Their taxes get distributed by the government to regular people, who are really CONSUMERS to their mind anyway, and those consumers consume, and bring the economy back up for everyone. Everyone does well, and the Wall Street fuckers get their tax investment back in huge bushel-loads called profits (and dividends, and equity). Big win. Everyone goes home happy.

    I know that absolutely nobody in Washington or Wall Street has ever heard of or thought of anything this new and creative before. It needs a name, so I’ll call this “trickle-up” economics. I’m confident it’ll work. We sure have tried everything else, and it hasn’t worked, so I think trickle-up economics is a great new idea and it’s worth a try.

  66. 66
    Non-Existent Patricia says:

    @Suffern ACE: But I prefer we fund the People’s Front of the Cayman’s!

  67. 67
    Martin says:

    Given the political constraints, your approach sounds reasonable, but can it make them more money than whatever they’re doing with it now?

    In some cases, yeah, I think so. Every dollar repatriated turns into $.65 because of taxation, so every dollar repatriated needs to provide a 50% return simply to do better than keeping it as cash. I don’t think this historically has been a problem because it’s not common for the US market to languish while markets as large as China are booming, but that’s what’s been happening the last 3 years. So domestic profits are fairly low, which is money already taxed and free to spend domestically, while foreign profits are untaxed but require a high rate of return to justify repatriating – and those profits are booming. Against that 50% needed return, it’s a lot cheaper and easier to simply move your spending overseas. Now, even without the tax penalty, that may still happen simply due to labor costs, etc. but at least we stand a chance this way.

    My biggest holding is earning 2/3 of profits overseas and dumping nearly 100% of it into Treasuries. Domestic profits are being kept liquid and going into expansion – quite a lot of it, in fact, including quite a lot of domestic hiring. Now, they aren’t starved for domestic profits, so repatriating may not be an issue, but I know other companies that appear would clearly benefit from being able to repatriate.

  68. 68
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Non-Existent Patricia: People’s Front of the Cayman’s?! Good lord, woman. I’m only trying to scare a few tax directors at Fortune 500 companies into closing some shell companies, pass through entites and maybe a few leasing companies, not blow up half the island!

  69. 69
    buermann says:

    Luckily our Galtian overlords also own everybody else. I’m sure they’ll see fit to fix it once they’ve cleared their shorts, or induced another financial crisis and collected on their bailout checks.

  70. 70
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Another Bob:

    If the Tea Party could force trillion-dollar budget cuts at a time like this, then why couldn’t progressive Democrats force an end to the Bush tax cuts

    Well, the Tea party likes trillion-dollar budget cuts, the mainstream GOP likes trillion-dollar budget cuts, the conservative-to-moderate side of the Democratic party likes trillion-dollar budget cuts, and some portion of the left of the Democratic party is willing to tolerate trillion-dollar budget cuts as long as they’re structured in such a way that the poor, the ill, and the elderly are shielded.

    By contrast, only progressive Democrats want an end to the Bush tax cuts. And some of them don’t want to risk their reelection on it, either, as was reportedly the case last time around for even liberal stalwarts Boxer and Feingold among senators.

    IOW, when it comes to topics of taxation and budgeting (and probably more), progressive Democrats are unique. Everyone else shares the same impulses and instincts, definitely fiscally. And even when it’s not a fiscal issue, progressive Democrats get rolled when the center-right Democrats league with the Republicans against them. Which is often.

    That’s why the sausage-making of the bygone years of Democratic majorities (2008-10) involved a series of spectacles — appalling to progressives — of the right and left of the Democratic party wrestling each other into grudging submission. And, compared to what’s happened lately, those were the halcyon days of Democratic progressivism.

  71. 71
    Xenos says:

    The main thing just over the horizon is FATCA. The banks in the various tax havens are in a state of quiet panic about it.

    Forbes and the WSJ are running weekly articles and opinion pieces about how it would be the end of the world, so FATCA definitely has people worried. If you had tens of millions of dollars hidden away, how much would you be willing to contribute to a political movement that promised to stop FATCA at any cost?

  72. 72
    bkny says:

    rick santelli is the cnbc host who helped kickstart this movement. i wonder if his teevee pals have asked him what he thinks of his little monster now…

    foreign markets are freaking…

  73. 73
    TenguPhule says:

    Trying to figure why the stock market does anything is like trying to figure out why your meth-addicted cousin Cyndi does anything.

    Easy, for the meth/money.

    Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?

  74. 74
    TenguPhule says:

    Look, if someone comes at you with a knife, you’re going to get cut, you’re going to get bloodied, but if you know what you are doing you can cut them worse or even disarm them.

    The trick to taking out a knife-wielder is

    1)Attack

    2)Hope like hell they’re not really trained to use it

    3)Don’t stop until they’re dead and you’re not

    This also applies to dealing with Republicans.

  75. 75
    Xenos says:

    @TenguPhule: The best trick for that I have heard is:

    1, Run like hell;

    2, Hope attacker trips and falls on the knife.

    This sounds a bit more like the Obama plan.

  76. 76
    scav says:

    TenguPhule & Xenos. Sounds like a variant of the Grizzly v. Black Bear attack problem. For one, the best action is to drop and play dead; for the other you’ve got to fight back like hell. The trick is distinguishing the Black bear from the Grizzly while in a panic and then remembering which approach worked with which bear while in the same panic. Oh, and act quickly. Speaking of bears, by the by . . .

  77. 77

    i love what you’ve done here, but there ain’t any chance the elite gop turns against the tea party now,their grand mission of weakening obama hasn’t yet been accomplished. the elites know they can make it all back with pres romney.

  78. 78
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @fuckwit:

    How can you be named fuckwit with stuff like this?

    Seriously, IMO the proper role of our government would be to protect the rich from themselves. That would only be possible if we were able to cut off the flow of money from rich and corporate donors. As it now stands, there is little chance of getting honest enough politicians in office to do otherwise.

    Without restraint and left to their own devices, the rich and powerful would lay waste to this nation to enrich themselves. They don’t think long-term, they are in this to make money NOW. That is not good for any nation that strives to survive and thrive, the two are at odds with each other. Unfortunately for us, our laws allow the rich and powerful to game the system in their favor. The problem is that this isn’t a game of Monopoly, there’s no starting over on even terms (hell, we never started on even terms!) once someone ‘wins’.

    Our government should serve as a control, as a way to restrain the rich and powerful and keep them from killing the golden goose in the name of profit. All we have seen over the last thirty-plus years is an endless flow of cash into the coffers of the rich and powerful, leaving everyone else at the bottom with little to split amongst themselves. Our government has been bought off by the rich and powerful and nothing is going to change until something is done about that.

  79. 79
    sashal says:

    @piratedan:
    German aristocracy and old money deeply regret their behavior and support of we know who in the late 20th early 30th of the last century-but a decade- two later and millions lives after.
    Will American wealthy have to experience the same catarsis, should we all be the victims of that and let it happen?

  80. 80
    Karen says:

    At this rate, we’re going to turn into Greece.

    My folks are going to the Canadian Rockies on vacation and since I work with foreign exchange of currency data every day for my job, I took a look at what the Canadian dollar is worth compared to the US dollar.

    $1.03 as of yesterday. The Canadian dollar is worth more than a US dollar.

    That is fucking incredible and not in a good way.

    I think that while Wall Street and the Chamber of Commerce has their ties to the Tea Party, they’re freaking out because of their Tea Party Frankenstein. They want to make money. They realize that the Tea Party wants to destroy America to remake it into THEIR America and that means destroying the economy and it scares the crap out of them.

    And I’ve reached a point where I will only DVR Fallon and Ferguson so I can zip past those “American Crossroads” ads. The next thing I may do is sent a letter to CBS and NBC and tell them that the ads are incredibly offensive and if they continue to not only show them but show them at every commercial break, I will stop watching those TV shows and if need be, stop watching those networks and boycott the people who advertise during those two shows.

    People don’t have jobs and those who do have jobs are terrified we’ll lose them (like me.)

    Eventually, people will revolt but it may not just be at the election.

    Eventually, at least in Greece and other countries, the underclass gets desperate and fed up and goes after the ones who have money when they don’t.

    I just hope it doesn’t get violent.

  81. 81
    Skippy-san says:

    The problem is that the baggers have created some pretty clever ways to balme Obama for it all-and worse yet a substantial group of people believe it.

    The next few years are going to suck.

  82. 82
    priscianusjr says:

    @Martin:

    Actually, the bigger question on this is how voters view Congress.

    Why is it always “Congress”? That’s the way the media and polls frame it. You would never know there were two parties.
    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. The way the media talks about public approval/disapproval of “Congress” is just another incentive for the republicans to make congress unworkable. If the Democrats can’t do much about it, they look just as bad, if not (as e.g. to the emoprogs), worse.

    “He said/she said” framing in the media means that no matter what, each side has an equally valid argument.
    Opinion of “Congress” framing means that no matter what, both sides equally suck.
    The similar result is that the public is diverted from any actual issues or from caring who stands for what or who is trying to do what. They are encouraged to despise their own system of representation. The effect is to reduce enthusiasm and depress turnout.

  83. 83
    priscianusjr says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    Our government should serve as a control, as a way to restrain the rich and powerful and keep them from killing the golden goose in the name of profit. All we have seen over the last thirty-plus years is an endless flow of cash into the coffers of the rich and powerful, leaving everyone else at the bottom with little to split amongst themselves. Our government has been bought off by the rich and powerful and nothing is going to change until something is done about that.

    Maybe it’s about time for the president to hold a summit conference with American business leaders. Where is LIFE magazine when we need it?

  84. 84
    chopper says:

    @Dagon:

    turns out the jobs report today is pretty good. of course, it’ll probably get revised downward later, and all the other indicators are shit and europe is a hot mess, but the eternal optimists on wall street will act like this is the next great bull market in the making. huzzah, we’re saved!

  85. 85
    Upper West says:

    Extra credit and kudos for the Aguirre reference (especially apt as to the “Monkey Army” on opening day of “Rise of Planet of the Apes).

  86. 86
    Emma says:

    @OzoneR: If politicians weren’t so mealymouthed, they would run commercials telling the people of those states: we tried to give you some money but your governor turned it down. Talk to him about it. No graphics, no visual appeal, no dum-dum-de-dum music: just the President or his designate hammering that home over and over and over again.

  87. 87

    @Dollared:
    Actually, I want to make a correction here, and it’s important.

    The Tea Party are not the dupes of the Kochs and the Chamber of Commerce. They are the dupes of the Kochs. The Kochs are crazy. They’re loons fighting the sokkilist anarchists of the 1900-1920s who were their father’s enemy. They are true believers who would fit in at any tea party rally, especially the ones where people are raving about social security numbers and the Elders of Zion.

    For while the Chamber of Commerce and other rich people were on board with this. After all, the Kochs were fighting against regulation and for lower taxes. Now with the debt fiasco it has finally come out that the Tea Party is not following the interests of big business either, and wants to slash and burn the entire economy. The Kochs LOVE this, and want another heaping helping of Tea Party. They’re happy to throw their money at it. The Chamber of Commerce and other rich people don’t.

    Quite where this goes, I don’t know.

  88. 88
    Judas Escargot says:

    @Dekster:

    Although, actually, I am also tempted by a different, Nietszchean analysis of all of this. […] it is a mistake to think that the conservatives adopt their economic policies for ideological reasons, and it is just too bad if it ends up hurting people. It would be more correct to say that they want to hurt people, and so they adopt an ideology that provides a rationalization for their sadistic impulses.

    I think that viewpoint is more Jungian than Nietzschean, but it’s a fair point that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, myself.

    The Tea Party is all about inflicting pain, withholding comfort and aid, bullying and making it impossible for the weaker to band together or to stand up for themselves in any way. And not much else.

    I realize that it’s bad form to ‘psychologize’ one’s political rivals, but in this case I can’t really help it. There’s a palpable sickness in their souls that I can’t quite put my finger on…

  89. 89

    @Judas Escargot:
    It’s called ‘narcissistic personality disorder’. Everything is about me, and life is a zero sum game where your happiness must mean I’m less happy. I am right, always. Politeness is giving me what I want. My personal rights are sacred, and yours do not exist because they infringe upon my right to get my own way.

    Narcissists have a strong tendency to be alcoholics, domestic abusers, and conspiracy theorists.

  90. 90
    Bender says:

    Ohhhh, so now the market tells you WHY it’s dropped? I must’ve missed that feature!

    No, of course not, children, the market does what it does and leaves a blank canvas for pundits to project their own personal political biases onto the “whys” and “wherefores.” And after all, doesn’t correlation = causation? Of course it does, Prof. Benin assures you.

    Of course, on the other side of Teh Intertrons, blogs are quoting the ratings agencies and other economic pundits as saying that the recent drop is due to a lack of seriousness about the debt as displayed by both sides during the ceiling debate.

    Neither the Tea Party Hostage Taking Terrorists nor the Pedophile Democrat Cowardly Hippies really “took any money out of the economy” (a lie by Mr. Benin, because he lies if he figures his idiotic readers won’t know the difference and he can get a few column-inches out of it), so Congress again displayed the “kick the can” attitude that experts warned would no doubt lead to a drop in our rating.

  91. 91
    piratedan says:

    @sashal: sashal, not sure how you cure their myopia. If you got any ideas, feel free to share but as they say around here, the beatings will continue until morale improves.

    @Skippy-san – and you can thank your liberal loving media that enables them to float all that crap as if it was a valid “political” position.

  92. 92
    Maude says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:
    And they tend to be parasites.

  93. 93
    HyperIon says:

    Bad chart.
    No label on the y axis.
    Also y axis does not start at 0.
    Edward Tufte would not be amused.

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