Friday, September 10

E-Bay , Bake Sales and Lemonade Stands

Most of you are aware of remarks our imperious leader "I Cheneius" made in Cincinatti yesterday.
September 09, 2004

Cheney: Economic Stats Miss EBay Sales


CINCINNATI (AP) - Indicators measure the nation's unemployment rate, consumer spending and other economic milestones, but Vice President Dick Cheney says it misses the hundreds of thousands who make money selling on eBay.

"That's a source that didn't even exist 10 years ago," Cheney told an audience in Ohio. "Four hundred thousand people make some money trading on eBay."

We'll look into confirmation, but I have been led to understand the E-Bay's 2 billion yearly is in fact counted as part of the GDP. But in any event that really isn't the point, The responce from Edwards was Priceless.
Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards responded that Cheney’s comments show how “out of touch” he and President Bush are with the economy.“If we only included bake sales and how much money kids make at lemonade stands, this economy would really be cooking,” Edwards said in a statement.

That is some fine comebackinatin' A zinger that will put smiles on many faces today. But ultimately this talk about the economy should remind us how fucking screwed it is now, that george gave china the keys to it. The looting of the treasury to borrow and spend away on optional tax cuts, optional wars, optional Halliburton and Brown and Root contracts, and the permenant damage that may result, are all the fault of the Supreme Court selected, Optional Presidency.

The former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Paul Volcker, believes that there is a 75% chance of a financial crisis in the next 5 years. Ouch. Now in the midst of a close election, I like to try to keep the morale of the troops high, but Volcker has a point and this article in the Economist has some scary numbers in it.
Fred Bergsten explains why policymakers need to act now in order to avert the danger of serious damage to the world economy

FIVE major risks threaten the world economy. Three centre on the United States: renewed sharp increases in the current-account deficit leading to a crash of the dollar; a budget profile that is out of control; and an outbreak of trade protectionism. A fourth relates to China, which faces a possible hard landing from its recent overheating. The fifth is that oil prices could rise to $60-70 per barrel even without a major political or terrorist disruption, and much higher with one.

Most of these risks reinforce each other. A further oil shock, a dollar collapse and a soaring American budget deficit would all generate much higher inflation and interest rates. A sharp dollar decline would increase the likelihood of further oil price rises. Larger budget deficits will produce larger American trade deficits, and thus more protectionism and dollar vulnerability. Realisation of any one of the five risks could substantially reduce world growth. If two or three, let alone all five, were to occur in combination then they would radically reverse the global outlook.

There is still time to head off each of these risks. Decisions made in America immediately after this year's elections will be pivotal. China, the new growth locomotive, is key to resolving the global trade imbalances and must play a central role in future. Action by a number of other countries will be essential to maintain global growth and to avoid deeper oil shocks and new trade restrictions.

Regarding this last graph, It should be clear as a bell to anyone with a couple of brain cells that George and gang are incapable of making the pivitol decisions necessary to turn this mess back into the wind. But that really isn't their goal. The goal is to grab all the cash possible shove it into hidden bank accounts so that they and their posterity will forever, be braced against the worst case scenario of economic collapse. Have you ever wondered how cool it would be to have enormous liquid wealth during a recession, or even a depression, Shit, man, you're looking at a four alarm fire sale.

Krugman has a new column out today that has the Volcker quote within, lets see what the esteemed economist has to say. Paul is all over the budgetary shenanigans played by the bush adminstration, like a cheap suit. He starts with a list of examples that suggest that this administration cannot tell the truth, and then lets us in on the fact that the economic analysts, no longer trust any of the administration numbers and suggest that the books have been cooked, to show an improvement of the deficit numbers at the end of the fiscal year (october, and conveniently before the election).

For example, back in February the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities accused the Bush administration of, in effect, playing three-card monte with budget forecasts. It pointed out that the administration's deficit forecast was far above those of independent analysts, and suggested that this exaggeration was deliberate.

"Overstating the 2004 deficit," the center wrote, "could allow the president to announce significant 'progress' on the deficit in late October - shortly before Election Day - when the Treasury Department announces the final figures."

Was this a wild accusation from a liberal think tank? No, it's conventional wisdom among experts. Two months ago Stanley Collender, a respected nonpartisan analyst, warned: "At some point over the next few weeks, the Office of Management and Budget will release the administration's midsession budget review and try to convince everyone the federal deficit is falling. Don't believe them."

Done and done. Actually it goes without saying that everytime the vicars of the Executive, or any of their spokespersons, open their mouths, lies, vermin, falsehood, the bearing of false witness, mischaracterizations, prevarication, in other words, steaming piles of shit come tumbling out.

As Newsweek's Allan Sloan writes, "The president didn't exactly burden us with details about paying for all this. It's great marketing: show your audience the goodies but not the price tag. It's like going to the supermarket, picking out your stuff and taking it home without stopping at the checkout line to pay. The bill? That will come later."

Longtime readers will remember that that's exactly what I said, shrilly, about Mr. Bush's proposals during the 2000 campaign. Once again, he's running on the claim that 2 - 1 = 4.
Nobody knows what Mr. Bush would really do about taxes and spending in a second term. What we do know is that on this, as on many matters, he won't tell the truth.

Not burdened by the reciept of a paycheck, I am free to say that I know exactly what Bush has planned. He will transfer the remainder of the treasury into the pockets of his family and supporters. He will then loot social security for the same ends, and will hock the rest of the country to china, scoop up that cash, and then when all the cash has been boosted, will skip off into the sunset wistling dixie, and wait for the inevitable
fire sale opportunities that arise when hit by a depression caused by his policies. Put it another way, when George leaves after a second term, Mexicans will no longer have any reason to immigrate to the United States. Scary yes, can we avoid it, absolutely, but we have to send the republicans and neocons packing, come November.