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August 20, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Fixing economy must come first

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I am trying to get my mind around Doyle McManus’ column Tuesday, “Do nothing Congress does something.” Is he saying gun control is more important than our nation’s financial situation? I refuse to believe that any sane citizen could possibly believe this. This is alarming in any context, especially when you consider the number of people who depend on the government for their very existence.

What does he believe is going to happen when our government can no longer pay our bills? What are his plans when our fellow citizens, with no other options, are forced to take to the streets and find food wherever they can? The fact that Congress refuses to stop deficit spending by lowering the unemployment rate is what is really worth talking about. Our elected officials are busy wasting time on issues like gun control when the survival of our nation is in doubt.

It might be a good idea for McManus to read the column right under his in the Sun. In “The scary hidden stressor,” Thomas Friedman is again on his global warming soapbox, but in his column he does a great job of pointing out some of what happens when food becomes hard to find.

I would gladly support Congress addressing issues like gun control and global warming if first it took care of the much more important issue. We need action, and if respected political columnists like McManus and Friedman were to add their voices to our cause, we would all have a better chance to overcome our Congress’ inaction.

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  1. McManus is right. We've seen sequestration take effect and no negative side effects. In fact the stock market is at all time highs. A good old fashioned filibuster got the Attorney General to document that the President will not use drones on Americans on American soil, after years of trying. The House has passed a bill to keep the government operating until September 30 after the current Continuing Resolution expires on March 27. It's quite likely that background checks for gun purchases with closing of gun show loopholes will be passed by both Houses of Congress. As well as Immigration Reform and limited Tax Reform. All without any input from President Obama whose approval rating has tanked and disapproval rating soared. Congress is on a comeback and so is the US economy despite all the doom and gloom forecasted by the President and his chief advisors if sequestration happened. The GOP is on a roll.

    CarmineD

  2. Look the President and his keynesians convinced us in 2008 that if we spend $180 Billion the economy would not go into a recession. Then, in 2009 they convinced us if we just spend another $ 900 billion unemployment would drop to 5.5 percent. Dr. Krugman led the charge. Then when sequestration took effect, they convinced us the economy would go into a tsunami. Wrong, wrong, wrong. The economy is on a roll and this President and his keynesian advisors were entirely wrong about if and when.

    CarmineD

  3. In the 5th year of Reagan's presidency, 1986, the Congress passed Grahm-Rudman-Hollings, the first sequestration law. What happened? Growth went from negative, as it was in the last quarter of 2012, to 5 percent. In fact sequestration [Grahm-Rudman-Hollings] was continued in 87-88 and the US economy continued upward on a roll. Reagan was no keynesian. He was a Freidman. Presient Obama could learn a lesson from history and Reagan

    CarmineD

  4. Carmine: The sequester has been in effect for 5 working days, and now we're in Utopia? The cuts will gradually kick in, and extend for 10 years, so nobody knows the impact of them yet. The stock market: what goes up will come down. Expect a "correction" sooner than later. Drivers like consumer demand and jobs reports will be in the forefront, and will drive the market. The Sequester is not going to be good for jobs.

  5. Gary:

    I don't disagree....But the market has been on an upward climb for months as it becomes clear to Mainstreet and Wall Street that the economy, THANKS TO THE GOP for standing on its business convictions [like sequestration], is gaining steam.

    CarmineD

  6. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/07...
    Carmine.. You need to spend less time behind the computer keyboard and more time following the economic data. In the last few years the country has gained back the $16 trillion that was lost during the financial crisis. It's the fastest $16 trillion this country is ever put on the books.

    In addition states like Nevada are growing again. Housing is robust, automobile sales decent, retail sales decent and they're actually building mega-resorts in this town again. I didn't think that would happen for at least 10 to 15 years.

    Unemployment is above trend because were in a worldwide slow growth economy. Global economic growth has slowed to 3% which is recessionary levels. The entire European continent is in recession with unemployment in the 10% range. The unemployment rate will remain high until global growth picks up. 10% of our economy is exports. government spending is also substantial amount of our economy. Non defense related government expenditures relative to GDP are at their lowest levels in 50 years. You can't have government expenditures collapse, the rest of the world nearing recession and 5% unemployment. It doesn't work that way.

  7. http://www.realclearpolicy.com/images/wy...
    If the government doesn't start picking up the pace you will have higher than trend unemployment for decades.

    By some estimates crime in this country is in the trillions of dollars.. It's closing in on medical care in terms of the economic impact. Reducing crime, increasing wages and compensation all have to be part of the healing process going forward. The letter writer may not think gun crime is an important issue. He obviously does not live in a neighborhood where people are getting blown to pieces morning noon and night. More people are getting killed in Chicago that are getting killed in our wars.

    Address global warming?? The most productive areas of the United States are running dry. The Midwest, Western United States and Texas are suffering severe water shortages. If this isn't remedied in the future and any of these parts of the country run dry the economic dislocations are going to make the financial crisis look like child's play. Getting water to where it is needed should be the number one priority.

    When I was a kid I used to say that it took workers, machines and technological innovation to have strong economic growth. I would add water to the list. Lake Travis supplies water to a substantial part of Texas. We have friends that have a vacation home with a dock on Lake Travis. When you walk to the end of their dock you have to walk an additional several hundred yards before you can stick your toes in the water. Texas will soon be looking at 1950 water levels with millions more people. They better get some water.

  8. "We've seen sequestration take effect and no negative side effects."

    FALSE: Projections show growth will be reduced as a result of the sequester.

    "Fiscal tightening including the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester would cut U.S. growth in half in 2013 if allowed to go into effect, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday in a new budget and economic outlook."

    "In fact the stock market is at all time highs."

    Correlation is not causation.

    "A good old fashioned filibuster got the Attorney General to document that the President will not use drones on Americans on American soil, after years of trying."

    That "good old fashioned [sic] filibuster" was a waste of time. The President, nor the Attorney General, ever asserted that ability. Further, Rand Paul and Eric Holder agree that the U.S. could take action against Americans on American soil if that individual poses an imminent threat.

    "The House has passed a bill to keep the government operating until September 30 after the current Continuing Resolution expires on March 27."

    The House passed a CR which gives flexibility to the Pentagon to allocate the sequester cuts in a manner in which they see fit. Unfortunately, they failed to do for any other sequester cuts to every other department. Why is that?

    "It's quite likely that background checks for gun purchases with closing of gun show loopholes will be passed by both Houses of Congress. "

    This is despite rhetoric from prominent republicans and GOP talking heads.

    "As well as Immigration Reform and limited Tax Reform."

    The House GOP has not set forth a bill or even talking points on immigration reform. In fact, Senator Rubio and Jeb Bush just publicly disagreed on the way forward. Further, "limited Tax Reform [sic]" (aka, closing tax loopholes) was something Obama proposed and talked about endlessly on the campaign trail, so to assert the GOP has ownership on either of these issues is just not the case.

    "Congress is on a comeback and so is the US economy despite all the doom and gloom forecasted by the President and his chief advisors if sequestration happened. The GOP is on a roll."

    Congress is on a comeback? FALSE: Carmine criticizes Obama's approval ratings (currently 49 approve, 42 disapprove according to Gallup, today). But look at the GOP's Congressional approval ratings: 71% of Americans disapprove of republicans in Congress!
    Source: Quinnipiac, 3/7/13

    And the economy is on a comeback? Wasn't it the GOP who keeps whining about how "anemic" our job growth numbers are? The job report today was rosy; based on a period of time BEFORE the sequester. Let's see what happens when the full effects are felt.

    Someone needs to pop Carmine's bubble.

  9. The Dow close up 40 points after 236k jobs were "created" for February. Hardly an "all in" move by the Market. Let's see what the MARCH numbers are. Sequester is a slow rolling doomsday machine for the economy, as we will all see over time.

  10. Carmine: The sequester has little impact on the Dow. That is more a factor of investors' response to the cries that "sky is falling! (Again...)" and the size of undistributed corporate cash net profits. Note that profits are at or near record levels due, in large part, to increases in productivity and a concurrent reduction in work force.

    Then, too, the Dow is only 30 carefully selected companies out of some 2,800 - 3800 (Google it - numbers vary widely) traded on the NYSE, plus who knows how many others traded on a variety of other exchanges. THAT is a representative sample?

    Further - adjust for inflation. Since 1960 the Dow has doubled, or perhaps tripled, the overall inflation rate. Don't look at the straight numbers - look at their rates of change over time.

  11. "Carmine: The sequester has little impact on the Dow."

    Wrong. Psychologically it has a huge impact on investors and businesses.

    CarmineD

  12. "Sequester is a slow rolling doomsday machine for the economy."

    Wrong. Look at Graham-Rudman-Hollings, the first US sequester, in 1986,87,88 with President Reagan. Growth went from negative to positive and stayed there.

    CarmineD

  13. ""We've seen sequestration take effect and no negative side effects."

    FALSE: Projections show growth will be reduced as a result of the sequester."

    Wrong. Economic events don't occur in a vacuum with all things being equal except one variable. All economic events are in flux. Projections are not synonymous with facts. They are best guesses at one point in time for a future point in time based on economic events and circumstances that may/may not ever come to fruition.

    CarmineD

  14. "That "good old fashioned [sic] filibuster" was a waste of time"

    Wrong again. Huge victory for Rand Paul and GOP in the Senate. H-U-G-E. Defeat for President, Holder and Senate Dems.

    CarmineD

  15. "Congress is on a comeback? FALSE: Carmine criticizes Obama's approval ratings (currently 49 approve, 42 disapprove according to Gallup, today)."

    Wrong again! Congress' rating is inversely proposional to President. President's goes down, Congress goes up.

    And President's rating is directly propotional to media ratings. Presient's go down, media goes down. And vice versa. Media has a 7 percent approval rating...worse than Congress.

    CarmineD

  16. "And the economy is on a comeback? Wasn't it the GOP who keeps whining about how "anemic" our job growth numbers are? The job report today was rosy; based on a period of time BEFORE the sequester. Let's see what happens when the full effects are felt."

    The economy is enemic because it is being hampered by poor Presidential leadership. If the President would shut up with panicky forecasts of sequestration doom and gloom, the economy will flourish and consumer confidence and spending rise.

    CarmineD

  17. ""In fact the stock market is at all time highs."

    Correlation is not causation."

    Who cares if its cause and effect. IT'S EFFECT THAT MATTERS! It goes up, 401 K's go up. People and businesses are wealthier. THAT'S A GOOD THING NOT BAD.

    CarmineD

  18. "Carmine.. You need to spend less time behind the computer keyboard and more time following the economic data."

    That's funny. I post the only economic facts here. You and others post opinions based on mainstream media mush. Like the dire economic effects of sequestration. Economic rubbish. Sequestration is the best economic event to happen in the entire Obama Presidency. Thank you GOP!

    CarmineD

  19. "In addition states like Nevada are growing again. Housing is robust, automobile sales decent, retail sales decent and they're actually building mega-resorts in this town again. I didn't think that would happen for at least 10 to 15 years."

    I agree, thank you Governor Brian Sandoval. 20,000 jobs for Echelon. Unemplyment coming down. Short sales leveling. Foreclosures reduced. And one of the learned economic persons here faulted Sandoval recently for not turning the Nevada economy around fast enough in the 2 years he's been governor.

    CarmineD

  20. A few "facts" Carmine can't dispute:

    71% of Americans disapprove of Congressional republicans according to Quinnipiac.

    42% of Americans disapprove of the President according to Quinnipiac.

    Carmine claims "no negative side effects" from the sequester.

    Army suspends tuition assistance program for troops
    http://www.stripes.com/news/army-suspend...

    Marines halt new enrollments in tuition assistance programs; other services could follow
    http://www.stripes.com/marines-halt-new-...

    Rand Paul and Eric Holder agree that the U.S. could take action against Americans on American soil if that individual poses an imminent threat.

    Carmine can't decide whether to believe the CBO or rely on them:

    September 11, 2012: "As soon as the Bush tax rates and payroll tax cuts expire on January 2, 2013. It's a nightmare for workers, and the US economy. Even the CBO says so. CBO, as in the president and Congressional Budget Office."

    March 8, 2013: " Projections are not synonymous with facts. They are best guesses at one point in time for a future point in time based on economic events and circumstances that may/may not ever come to fruition."

    Carmine believes the CBO when it fits his narrative and ignores it when it does not.

    "20,000 jobs for Echelon." Eschelon failed. It had to be sold for scrap to the Malaysians. 20,000 jobs? Not likely. Caesar's only has 7,500.

    "Unemplyment coming down."

    Nevada has the second-highest unemployment rate in the nation. As of December, both Las Vegas AND Carson City had 10% unemployment rates! Great job Governor Sandoval! Carmine, get out your pom-poms!

    "Short sales leveling.

    FALSE: "Nevada foreclosures fall, but short sales spike"

    "Nevada saw the largest non-foreclosure short sales increase in the nation, with an 86 percent jump since 2011. Short sales made up 33 percent of all sales in the state."

    Leveling? Not even close. SPIKING!

    "Foreclosures reduced."

    Foreclosures were artificially reduced when the legislature gave banks another dozen hoops to jump through. Nevada has the third highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes.

    Your bubble has burst, Carmine.

  21. How ironic. The poster who faulted Sandoval recently on not turning the Nevada economy around fast enough in 2 years, although giving President Obama a pass after 5 years for not doing the same, has the most to say. Even more so than having the same name! LOL

    CarmineD

  22. "PRESIDENT OBAMA and the DEMOCRATIC PARTY fixed
    our economy, period!"

    Thanks to alot of reigning in by the Republicans to keep tax hikes on working people down and big government wasteful spending in check.

    CarmineD

  23. "September 11, 2012: "As soon as the Bush tax rates and payroll tax cuts expire on January 2, 2013. It's a nightmare for workers, and the US economy. Even the CBO says so. CBO, as in the president and Congressional Budget Office."

    Take note. Nothing NEGATIVE said about Sequestration.

    By all accounts and measures consumer confidence and spending has fallen as a result of the tax holiday suspension. All economists and business leaders agree on that fact. ALL!

    The CBO is right on occasion but that doesn't mean it is right all the time. That's why some do well in business in bad times and good and others don't.

    CarmineD

  24. Eliminate deficit and the debt BEFORE adopting 15-20 million illegal invaders and their babies. We cannot afford more of this. We're still working on the 5 million adopted in 1986 by then-Pres Reagan.

  25. The reason the market is booming is because of the financial disparity created some 35 years ago.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/26/opinio...

    "In 2010, as the nation continued to recover from the recession, a dizzying 93 percent of the additional income created in the country that year, compared to 2009 -- $288 billion -- went to the top 1 percent of taxpayers, those with at least $352,000 in income. That delivered an average single-year pay increase of 11.6 percent to each of these households."

    "The bottom 99 percent received a microscopic $80 increase in pay per person in 2010, after adjusting for inflation. The top 1 percent, whose average income is $1,019,089, had an 11.6 percent increase in income."

  26. "You're wasting your time trying to convince Carmine that the Republicans are on the out side looking in and have done NOTHING to help the economy recover."

    El Lobo:

    You are a one-trick pony. Every topic here elicits the same response from you. Rather than bore us with redundancy, and in the interest of time and space, you should categorize all your comments into A B and C. Then just type the appropriate letter and or letters. If you need assistance dissecting your post above into these 3 letter breaks, I'll be happy to do so. Just ask.

    CarmineD

  27. "The reason the market is booming is because of the financial disparity created some 35 years ago."

    If Ben Bernanke, Fed Reserve Chief, is going to continue to print $3 BILLION dollars a day [MONETARY POLICY read the latest FED Beige Report], the US markets have more upside.

    CarmineD

  28. El Lobo, Teamster:

    Thinking people with many ideas need lots of words to express them all. Those like you two, one trick ponies, just use the same words over and over again to say the same thing.

    CarmineD

  29. We cannot afford to adopt 15-20 million illegals and their babies. Time to export the illegals--bus tickets south, confiscate assets to defray expenses. LET our economy fight its way back.

  30. Bernanke is done in January--not sure even O. would re-appoint. Others on the Federal Reserve Board have been questioning the zero interest rates forever and ever. Let's start going towards normalcy NOW. Investors SHOULD get some return, including seniors who saved. Instead, we give away everything for free to those who did NOT save and put our currency on suicide watch.

  31. The economy is NOT booming. We've had more than 10% inflation so even the stock market has NOT recovered. Sure, businesses are holding cash--no point in investing since there is no chance of a return--with zero interest rates. Unemployment and underemployment too high. Millions more on welfare. Thousands more homeless. But we keep feeding, medicating, housing illegals as they arrive to open arms of Obama.

  32. "Bernanke is done in January--not sure even O. would re-appoint."

    Not so sure Roslenda. Bernanke is a hard worker, probably the hardest in the Obama Administration. If not for his monetary policy, the economy would be alot worse than on the jobs front. He'll stay and the President will extend him, IF the Chief wants to hang in. Fed Chair is in the company of many others. Some with sterling reputations like Paul Volcker, others not so much like Alan Greenspan. Bernanke wants to firm up his legacy and stand along side those like Paul Volcker. Then he'll command huge fees for guest appearances and speeches with a sweet professorial deal at Harvard or Yale.

    CarmineD

  33. Carmine, I realize there might be a reappointment--past Chairs have been all-but aged. But I doubt that with 30-some years in government that Bernanke wants it. He could "teach" or be highly paid mouthpiece of a think tank. Bernanke might not want to work our way out of the corner he's backed us into. We just have to pretend we have an economy and get interest rates off ground zero--so investors will invest, seniors can subsist, savers can have some modest reward while non-savers feel a little pressure for NOT saving.

  34. So far we've dumped $70 Billion on Egypt and are still paying for "friends." Friends like this, we need enemies? How about ENDING THE GIVEAWAYS TO COUNTRIES? Oh, but we "want" to encourage democracy. How's that working for us? If a people is ready for a republic or democracy, such will evolve WITHOUT OUR MONEY.

  35. Roslenda:

    Workaholics, like Bernanke, have something to prove. You might be right and he may go. My hunch is he'll stay.

    CarmineD