For many years the price inflation rate could actually move the labor inflation rate. That era has mostly ended (because of the relative decline of labor union power). Thus, the EPI doesn't really have as much influence on the total economy as it used to have.
Of course people whose income is capped by the meager returns of T instruments, CDs and the like, are obviously going to be way ticked off at large increases in gasoline prices.
Posted by: Lord Garth ||
Real inflation at 8%
It also identifies another agency worthy of cutting from the government if it has been compromised as to provide nothing useful but political cover.
From the web site of the Federal Reserve, under the title of "What is the purpose of the Federal Reserve?" Conducting the nation's monetary policy by influencing money and credit conditions in the economy in pursuit of full employment and stable prices.
The everyday definite of 'stable' is NO CHANGE. Not 8% inflation, but 0% inflation. I won't mention full employment, other than to again point out the Fed is failing at its purpose and continues to get a pass from the MSM and the politicians. At least this could be mentioned in every news article about the Fed.
Never underestimate the brilliance of our federal bureaucracy.
The Department of Health and Human Services has announced that it must delay implementation of new reimbursement codes for Medicare. Those new regulations would have increased the total number of reimbursement codes from the current 18,000 to more than 140,000 separate codes. The delay will undoubtedly come as a relief for physicians who will have additional time to try to understand the bureaucratic complexity of rules that, for example, apply 36 different codes for treating a snake bite, depending on the type of snake, its geographical region, and whether the incident was accidental, intentional self-harm, assault, or undetermined. The new codes also thoroughly differentiate between nine different types of hang-gliding injuries, four different types of alligator attacks, and the important difference between injuries sustained by walking into a wall and those resulting from walking into a lamppost.
And Democrats wonder why Americans still resist having the government control our health care?
Less than a month before the Supreme Court hears arguments on the constitutionality of Obamacare, the American people have already reached their judgment. According to the latest USA Today poll, fully 75 percent of Americans believe the new health-care law's individual mandate is unconstitutional. And if the Court doesn't throw Obamacare out, Americans want Congress to do so: Half of voters want the law repealed, compared to 44 percent who want it retained. Moreover, those who want it repealed feel much more intensely about it. Fully 32 percent "strongly support" repeal, compared to just 18 percent who "strongly oppose" it. This is consistent with other polls -- for example, the latest Rasmussen poll has 53 percent of likely voters supporting repeal, with just 38 percent opposed -- and virtually unchanged since the law passed.
Despite constant predictions by the media and the laws supporters, Obamacare is not becoming more popular.
The public seems to understand that government intervention does not generally make things less expensive. And there are good reasons for the public's skepticism. For example, the Congressional Budget Office reported in December that at least six programs that were supposed to save money under Obamacare not only don't, but some actually are increasing costs. And Jonathan Gruber, one of the architects of both Obamacare and its precursor Romneycare, now says that premiums are likely to rise under the new health-care law. In fact, Gruber warns that, even after receiving government subsidies, some individuals will end up paying more than they would have without the reform. Gee, thanks, Mr. President.
And the public understands that imposing new taxes, mandates, and regulations will do nothing to create jobs in a struggling economy. In fact, a poll released last month by the Chamber of Commerce showed that for 74 percent of small businesses they're "causing an impediment to job creation."
At the same time, the controversy over the administration's contraception mandate has brought home to voters just how coercive the health-care law really is.
Most of all, Americans understand that, from the beginning, the debate over health-care reform has been about control. The Obama administration believes that decisions about health care are simply too important and too complex for the average American and his doctor to make for themselves. Only the experts in Washington can get those decisions right. After all, only Washington can understand the difference between a burn from a hot toaster (Code No. X15.1) and a burn from an electronic-game keyboard (Code No. Y93.C1).
Unfortunately for the Obama administration, the American people just don't believe them.
Obamacare is not helping. Just got notice from my health insurance company that next month my premium is going up $57/month - or 8.7%. Now, $754/month for me (51) and my two teenage sons. The coverage isn't great either.
An obvious solution to the problem of suffocating regulatory burden is to create a Bureau of Regulatory Oversight to monitor and evaluate the various regulatory agencies, and to implement and enforce the edicts of the new Regulatory Czar.
A former co-worker of mine said he wanted to be the Commissioner of Bullsh*t. He would look at a decision like this, declare it bullsh*t, and it would be undone.
Very unlikely in today's climate.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia ||
I think the main non-financial reason people retire is not due to age, but the fact that a person can only take so much BS in life, and when you've reached that quota of BS, you either retire, die, or go postal.
From Congressman Blackburn, a Republican serving Tennessee's 7th district.
Interestingly enough, as TSA officials like to routinely point out, their agency's acronym stands for Transportation Security Administration, not the Airport Security Administration. Not that they do the latter well...
This fact has extended the TSA's reach has far beyond the confines of our nation's airports. Many of my constituents discovered this first hand this past fall as those familiar blue uniforms and badges appeared on Tennessee highways. In October Tennessee became the first state to conduct a statewide Department of Homeland Security Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) team operation which randomly inspected Tennessee truck drivers and cars.
VIPR teams which count TSOs among their ranks, conduct searches and screenings at train stations, subways, ferry terminals and every other mass transit location around the country. In fact, as the Los Angeles Times has detailed, VIPR teams conducted 9,300 unannounced checkpoints and other search operations in the last year alone. The very thought of federal employees with zero law enforcement training roaming across our nation's transportation infrastructure with the hope of randomly thwarting a domestic terrorist attack makes about as much sense as EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson's Environmental Justice tour. Good read on how the TSA is warping to stop us at anytime, anywhere in the name of fighting terrorism. I am reminded of the scene from Red October where the first mate is talking to the captain about he will drive state to state in his RV without papers. Those days are disappearing in America.
A long time ago, I was taught that the purpose of terrorism is not "terror". It's to make the targeted government so repressive that it loses the support of the people. Frankly, at this point, I'd say the terrorists are winning.
Last August, while Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, was in the midst of an intensive round of fundraising for her 2012 reelection bid, a four-year-old civil lawsuit alleging fraud by an education company in which she and her husband are heavily invested became public.
Nationally, most of the coverage of Snowe's decision to drop her reelection bid has focused on the centrist Republican's frustration with the polarized politics on Capitol Hill. But in Maine, a few newspapers have speculated that her husband's legal entanglements had a role in Snowe's sudden and surprising decision, which left her with more than $3 million in her campaign coffers and her party without a Senate candidate less than three weeks before the filing deadline for Maine's June 12 primary.
According to the senator's most recent financial disclosure form, she and her husband, former Maine Gov. John McKernan Jr., have investments worth between $2 million and $10 million in Education Management Corp., a Pittsburgh-based company that operates for-profit higher education institutions. McKernan is chairman of the board of directors of the company, now embroiled in a lawsuit in which the federal goverment, 11 states and the District of Columbia are seeking to recover a portion of the $11 billion in federal student aid that the education firm has received since July 2003.
Originally filed in April 2007 by a pair of whistleblowers, the lawsuit alleges that the company violated a federal law that prohibits schools from paying admissions officers based on the number of students they recruit and enroll. Those numbers can affect a school's revenues because more students mean a school is potentially eligible for more federal aid dollars. The whistleblowers alleged, and provided documents indicating, that they were paid bounties for the number of students they enrolled.
The Justice Department's decision to intervene on Aug. 8 made the lawsuit, which had been under seal, public. In its complaint, Justice alleged that Education Management Corp. submitted "knowingly false, misrepresented, and/or improper certifications" to the Education Department, stating that it did not offer enrollment incentives to its admissions officers. Without those certifications, students enrolling at the the company's schools, which include Argosy University, Brown Mackie College and South University, would not be eligible for federal financial aid. The complaint names Snowe's husband, noting that in December 2006, while he was the company's chief executive officer, McKernan personally signed certifications that Education Management Corp.'s schools complied with the ban on offering compensation to admissions officers based on the number of students they recruit.
Education Management Corp. has asked that the case be dismissed. In a press release issued after the suit was announced, Bonnie Campbell, spokesperson for the company's legal team and a former attorney general of Iowa and Justice Dept. official, described the suit as "flat-out wrong." Campbell stated that the company's compensation policies for admissions officers were based on a number of factors, not solely the number of students they recruited, and had been developed with the aid of outside consultants to ensure they complied with federal law.
According to the company's most recent proxy statement, McKernan, who was briefly named as a defendant in the suit but removed, owns more than 835,000 shares in the company, worth more than $14.9 million at current prices. That was up from the 128,000 shares he owned when he became CEO in 2003. He joined the company in 1999, and stepped down from the CEO position in February 2007.
A report from New America Foundation's Higher Ed Watch noted that Education Management Corp. in the words of its founder, Robert Knutson, was "oriented to the needs of [its] students" until 2006, when a group of private equity investors led by Goldman Sachs acquired the company. A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows that McKernan was involved in the acquisition talks, receiving the first contact about an acquisition and serving on a special committee to advise the board on the progress of talks. Goldman Sachs retained McKernan, but did away with the rest of the management, according to the Higher Ed Watch Report. The new management greatly increased enrollment at Education Management Corporation's schools, doubling it to 160,000 students.
The company's most recent annual report filed with the SEC shows that 74.3 percent of the company's revenues--some $2.6 billion--came from programs under Title IV of the Higher Education Act, which requires recipients to certify that they don't offer incentives to admissions officers based on the number of students they enroll.
When news of the lawsuit was released, political opponents of Snowe's raised the issue, the Lewiston (Me.) Sun Journal reported. Scott D'Amboise, a Republican challenging her in the Senate primary, called on her to resign, while Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesperson Shripal Shah charged that Snowe and her husband may have personally profited while defrauding low income students.
At the time, Snowe dismissed the charges, citing the care the company took in developing its compensation policies. Her office did not respond to requests for comment.
Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, a leading Democratic lawyer who takes a hawkish line on Israel, has declared a personal war on the liberal group Media Matters, which has branched out into sharp criticism of Israel.
"Not only will [the Media Matters controversy] be an election matter, I will personally make it an election matter," Dershowitz, a professor at Harvard Law School, told WABC's Aaron Klein today.
Dershowitz has been sharply criticizing Media Matters for weeks, but suggested for the first time today he intends to drive the controversy into the political conversation.
"I don't know whether President Obama has any idea that Media Matters has turned the corner against Israel in this way," he said. "I can tell you this, he will know very shortly because I am beginning a serious campaign on this issue and I will not let it drop until and unless [writer and activist MJ] Rosenberg is fired from Media Matters, or Media Matters changes its policy or the White House disassociates itself from Media Matters."
Mr. Rosenberg is the lovely man who coined the term "Israel Firster"
Dershowitz is a valuable lesson. As a leftist, he was a parody, a joke, just another silly person ranting idealistic inanities. But turning against the left in defense of Israel, he has become a heretic to their herd. Shun any part of the leftist agenda and a person becomes an outcast.
Yet at the same time, his credibility and strength increase notably. He is a tenacious defender when he defends in the here and now.
Ron Paul, who has consistently engaged in anti-Semitic nonsense over the course of the past few decades, has largely attempted to hide his anti-Semitism throughout his campaign. No longer. Ron Paul has issued this Arabic-language flyer outside the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan:
Image at link
The flyer actually has two sides. The English side promotes Paul's "Plan to Restore America" and touts his deficit cutting prowess and dislike of the Federal Reserve. The Arabic side, however -- the side shown above -- is far less subtle. It says that Paul will cut foreign aid, and specifically mentions only foreign aid to Israel as the target of cutting.
And that's the point. Paul's appeal to the Muslim community is strictly and completely based on his opposition to Israel. Paul's anti-Semitism is well-documented; see his section on Zionism in Paul's book Liberty Defined (better titled All The Weird Things Ron Paul Believes). His CYA maneuver, stating that he wants to cut all foreign aid, then determine to whom American should restore aid, is just that -- a CYA maneuver. His real target is and always was Israel. I don't see Ron Paul supporters handing out Hebrew flyers at my synagogue proclaiming his desire to cut off aid to Egypt, Libya, and the Palestinian Authority.
The Islamic Center of America, by the way, is a "moderate" establishment run by Imam Hassan Qazwini, who has refused Saudi funding for his mosque. He's also hosted Louis Farrakhan, who according to Debbie Schlussel, took the time to call Jewish Americans "forces of evil" with a "Satanic mentality," and according to Schlussel, has expressed support for terrorist groups including Hezbollah and Hamas. So it's no surprise that Paul sees his parishioners as rich ground for recruits.
Rep Paul is probably not anti semitic in the 19th and 20th century meaning of the word.
However, he has tried over many years to raise funds and get votes from anti-semites, Israel haters and so on. The flyer noted in the article is just such a case. Although not super successful, there are more of those folks than there are people who believe in Federal Reserve conspiracy theories and the like.
Of course the problem, for Paul, is that the people in the anti-semite and Israel hating political sector is crowded. Paul has to compete with,for example, Louis farakhan, Jeremiah Wright, Daily Kos, Media Matters and several dozen Juan Cole types in academia.
Posted by: Lord Garth ||
how could he be Randian and anti-Semitic at the same time
Rand's attitude was essentially Russian, which is by nature not necessarily condusive to being pro-semitic.
I understand about Russians but my understanding is that Ayn Rand was ethnically Jewish although she did not practice the religion. Does Ron Paul ignore that, does he think it's OK because she did not practice, or does he have some other convoluted way of working around it? Or, maybe it doesn't matter because he's a just a kook? But he's liable to be a kook with some influence at the convention.
I don't understand RuPaul's anti-Jew/Israel stuff either. Libertarians hold (and I agree) that racial/ethnic prejudice is inefficient. Let people behave as they will, and the markets will sort everyone out. How is anti-semitism consistent with that?
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."
Hate and convenience are common enough companions, RandomJD. He may well be as pleasant a man as everyone says, but a good many of his companions most definitely are not. The exact same should be said about our beloved president, whose own boon companions have been antisemites, terrorists and open supporters of terrorists.