Showing posts from January, 2013

Great Mortgage Scandal Cover Up

There are now two layers to the sub-prime mortgage scandal that brought down our economy; those who committed the act and those who are covering it up. Why are the culprits not being required to pay compensation to those whose net worth was drastically reduced as a result of the reckless profiteering by Wall Street and large commercial banks? It is disturbing there was no significant investigation and criminal or civil action against individuals and organizations that contributed to the housing crisis and thus our economic collapse. The fines assessed against some entities are looked at as "a cost of doing business". Some of the individuals who have been looking the other way held, and presently hold, senior positions in our government. Is there a conspiracy to cover up any wrong doing on the part major banks, wall street firms and their employees? The individuals needing to supply answers include:

Wall Street Raped Main Street

Let us hope the President's appointment of a federal prosecutor, Mary Jo White, to run the Securities and Exchange Commission signals a significant change from the past. Over his first four years as president the culpability of wall street and large banks was barely given lip service. This is the black spot on Obama's tenor. He caved in to large contributors. Unfortunately, what the S.E.C. will do has little positive direct impact for the homeowner who was bludgeoned. Any victories that Ms. White may have will accrue to the U.S. Treasury in the form of fines levied against these culprits with little going back to those who were hurt, the homeowner. The banks and wall street look at these fines as the cost of doing business and probably have budgeted for them. No one will end up in prison; however, during the same time period some poor person will be convicted of  stealing $10 in order to feed his family.

Obama and Justice Roberts

President Obama and Chief Justice Roberts are not so different. Their jobs are different. The President sees things as they are and wants to improve them for the individual. The Chief Justice sees the Constitution as it is written, along with its amendments, and strives to enforce it fairly. He does not make judgments about whether it is "right" or "just". I am baffled by how we treat the Constitution. It is a document created over 200 years ago; the writers were smart enough to know that it was impossible to comprehend what the world and country would be like centuries later and so they provided a provision to amend it when the country deemed it necessary. As a nation, we treat the Constitution as if it s the bible; its contents are the word of God and no human dare change it. We need to be more comfortable amending the constitution as we deem fit. There is no reason why the document should not be amended to reverse Citizens United and other rulings that may s

Obama: Lead and Communicate

Obama is our leader and it is up to him to address and solve our many problems including our long-term debt problem and our sputtering current economy. To do this he must communicate; communicate with congress and the citizens. The Republican congress will resist and this is where "The People" come into play. While interacting with Congress he needs to have an ongoing honest conversation with the people of this country concerning our future. The voter will bring congress around. The discussion needed is not one or two speeches from the White House or some runway tarmac. He needs to compile a professional team to help with this communications campaign to the public so they can grasp the complexities and the long term importance of the economic issues we face. The good news is he has worked with such a team. This includes David Plouffe, Jim Messina, Dan Axelrod and the many others who are responsible for Obama's reelection. Without them he would not be President. Put them

Economy And Global Warming

While reading a recent article by Tom Friedman in the New York Times titled The Market And Mother Nature  I concluded our leadership is doing a poor job communicating to the American people. In a democracy, doing what is right will not occur unless the people believe it is the correct thing to do. Therefore, it is the responsibility of those elected to educate the populace as to what is best for the country  given the circumstances of the country and the world and then make it happen. The science exist to substantiate much of global warming is caused by human behavior that can be reversed. Our financial problems are man made and therefore can be corrected. Our leaders must explain these problems and consequences and we are running out of time. The outcome of global warming is catastrophic. This is easy to comprehend. It is the responsibility of the President to make sure the population understands that much of the warming problem is man made and there are solutions to reverse th

President's Economic Plan

The President is doing a poor job of explaining our economic problems, and the solution, to others in Washington and the public. Those who disagree with him that we need further government stimulus now, when private spending has declined, say these are not ordinary times. These economists and politicians say an error was made when the country continued to run up deficits in times when the private sector was doing well.  The last decade was a good example. While the boom in the housing bubble was growing the government continued to run deficits and refused to pay down any debt. Two wars were draining our treasury while our President encouraged us to continue buying ice cream at Cold Stone. As a result, when this near depression hit we had very little to spend. The proponents of austerity point out that we have put ourselves in a corner where increasing our debt further could result in a total collapse of the economy. I am convinced we are not there yet. However, there is a large po

Income Fairness or Tax Fairness

There is much debate about whether the tax rates should be kept low or raised. This is the wrong debate. Instead we should be deliberating whether we need to reform our economic system. If our markets were free of oligopolistic control we would have a wider distribution of income and income taxes with the result of more tax revenue going to the government with lower rates. The republicans speak with pride how the free market system is the best economic model for increasing the living standards of the nation and the citizens of the country. They resolutely  proclaim that government needs to cut back on regulation and allow the free market to work. This is hard to argue against. Below is a chart comparing tax rates and percent of taxes collected in 1979 to what Congress passed during the "Fiscal Cliff" crisis. As a result of these changes 99.3% of households will not experience any changes in their income taxes. The top 20% will be paying 68% of the federal taxes

Debt Ceiling And Extortion

When Republicans raise the possibility of not increasing the debt ceiling Obama needs to be consistent from day one.  Every time the threat is raised state that this is not an option and end  further discussions for the day. Immediately release a statement to the press referring to the threat and stating the discussions were halted until the Republicans agree to take extortion of the American people off the table. The President must then do his part to educate the public about the debt problems that are looming and stress we need a plan now that will solve this problem over a 15 to 20 year time horizon. The problem is to big to solve over night. We do not have unlimited resources and we must find the right balance...

Obama The Great

Update: January 2, 2012 This is in response to the comment below from Lori Filipek . First of all I am flattered by the beginning of your comment where you say, "I agree with most of your posts and believe you are an extremely thoughtful and reasonable person." I did review the slide presentation and I encourage all readers to do the same. I try to be reasonable and to remove my personal biases when addressing an issue and I admit sometimes I fail in this quest. Your comment made my day. I disagree with you that the government must sometimes run a deficit to offset a downturn in the private sector; however, I do agree that many times it makes sense to do so and this is one of those times. You are right that "We are wasting our most valuable resource—people!". The problem is that in the last half century we have run deficits in good times and bad and this is not prudent. According to the Congressional Budget office Public debt as a percentage of gros