Tuesday, March 2, 2010

One man...Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) to set off next economic spiral down!

The tearing down of "automatic stabilizers."

Houston Chronicle: '27,400 Texans Will Lose Jobless Benefits This Week'
... CBS: 'Nearly 50,000 Unemployed Floridians Will Lose Benefits'
...The Tennessean: 'Bunning's Hold Halts Road Projects'
...Baltimore Sun: '4,700 Marylanders To Bunning: Thanks A Lot'
... Homestate Paper: 'Callous Grandstanding'


Matt Franko said...

this is baaaaad!

No one else has made the onnection to "automatic stabilizers"

In bunnings rant I linked to at your last Bunning post, he implied that the Dems could probably get another vote scheduled for today (tues) and perhaps pick off another Repub. vote to get this thing passed. Ill keep an eye out for news about such a vote, otherwise this could start some form of violent reaction...

mike norman said...

The local papers in Kentucky, apparently, are all over Bunning for this, however, I am not so sure his constituents see it as a bad thing and ironically many of them are struggling terribly. The state has a 10.7% unemployment rate. Today you also had Kyle of Arizona jumping on this bandwagon, saying that unemployment benefits just create incentives to avoid looking for a job. (I alluded to this in my prior post about GOP dishonesty.)

Matt, on another subject, go check out my comment to Warren's, "A response to the Democratic Debate," that he had on his blog. I am starting to see (admit) what the real problem is. Let me know what you think.

googleheim said...

No, don't watch out for violent reaction, more importantly is a complacent reaction.

The Republicans will try to respin this as the fault of Democrats and cause for a tea party reaction.

And the democrats will still hold out their hands with Obama for a bipartisan consensus ?

mike norman said...


The Dems are complete idiots led by a naive, timid, harmony-seeking appeaser in the White House.

Matt Franko said...

First some "nostalgia". Right on then, right on now.

Mike, I think youre basically correct over there. "Reality" is "borrowing", this broken economy, and our disasterous leadership, Warren is really talking about what "could be" or how we could instead choose to look at Treasury issuance or Budget "deficits". But his approach with stating it like "this is how it really works" I must say caught my attention when I first heard him on your show (but then again I am somewhat a "seeker" and the rest of the voters probably aren't).

I get the sense youre implying that you think it may be important for advocating a different view of fiscal policy (politically), but as an investor/market participant one has to retain ones firm sense of the actual reality...?

In this regard I keep waiting (hoping?) for S&P to downgrade the US debt!!!!!,


PS Mike I think that poster JKH over at Warren's is one of the most knowledgable monetary operations/banking/accounting persons on the Internet. JKH and Scott Fullwilers posts over there have really helped me on the monetary side.

Snow White said...

Obama would make a good arbitrator, where his interpersonal skills would be better utilized negotiating settlements better labour and management etc etc. He could use these skills in legal arbitration as well.The point being is that he clearly wants to please both sides and reach some sort of compromise. Or better yet he would make an effective boy scouts leader with his inspiring feel good type rants.

Matt Franko said...

Senate passed the extension...whew!

This is the deal with Bunning IMO: As part of this Bunning was holding out for a vote on an issue related to paper mills receiving a 6B+ tax credit for burning a byproduct called Black Liquor to create electrical power to power their mills. Bunning was trying to get the tax credit killed as an offest to the unemployment extension (PAY GO!)

With this tax credit, many mills are considering upgrading their co-generation boiler systems to new systems that will produce over TWICE their current output. This would either significantly reduce the mills current net electrical power consumption or who knows maybe even allow them to become a net seller on the grid. Either way, I'm sure the Kentucky coal industry and regional power producer AEP (Bunnings 5th largest contributor via opensecrets.com) would have liked to see that tax credit go away.

The paper Industry Association states current yearly output is over 28 million mega watt hours. So this is a multi billion dollar issue for coal and power industries.

So much for the debts of his grandchildren!

Unknown said...

I heard Mr. Bunning on the Radio this evening and it sounded like he just wanted the Dems. to live up to what was promised earlier and vote to pay for this unemployment extention now. He seemed pretty reasonable to me Mike, as a new contrarian:) I'm going to believe Mr. Bunning was correct in making the Dems hold another vote. It's not like Bunning has never voted for an unemployment extention before.

mike norman said...


Thanks for the comment!

What I can say about Bunning is that he is a product of the current belief system. If Congress votes for Pay-Go, which it did, then he finds it dishonest and offensive when Congressional leaders turn right around and appear to ignore it.

In this regard I guess one can give him credit because he is willing to stand up for his beliefs no matter how much criticism he takes. (Would like to see that in the president, frankly.)

On the other hand his beliefs are based on ignorance and that is what is hurting the country.

I read his editorial in USA Today the other day and he talks about his 40 grandchildren (40!) and how he worries about their future in a country that has been piling on so much debt.

Yet the generation just before Bunning ran up the greatest debt in history and a lot of that debt when to create capital that was eventually destroyed on the battlefields of Europe and in the Pacific. Despite that, the debt did not destroy us or impoverish us: it made us rich as a nation because people were employed and it formed part of the great industrial capital stock that we still use today to produce wealth. Hence, the debt created was, itself, a legacy of wealth that was passed along.

Having beliefs is fine, however, when beliefs are based on ignorance and when the believers show little inclination or desire to seek or embrace the truth, i.e. when beliefs become dogma, that is destructive and dangerous.

Bunning typifies this kind of mentality. It's a mentality that clings to ignorance and unfortunately, it has become pervasive and destructive and limits our potential as a nation and a people.

Personally, I detest ignorance. I'm not saying I'm Einstein, but I am willing to expend the effort to try to find out what the truth is. For many people, that's just too much work. They'd rather cling to false ideas because it's easier.

It's great to be a leader and to be able to declare victory. But when the victory is a pyrrhic victory it comes at a devastating cost.