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Bill USA

Profile Information

Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 05:25 PM
Number of posts: 4,958

About Me

Quotes I like: "Prediction is very difficult, especially concerning the future." "There are some things so serious that you have to laugh at them.” __ Niels Bohr Given his contribution to the establishment of quantum mechanics, I guess it's not surprising he had such a quirky of sense of humor. ......................."Deliberate misinterpretation and misrepresentation of another's position is a basic technique of (dis)information processing" __ I said that

Journal Archives

What Would A Full-Fledged Manufacturing Policy Look Like?


Why Don’t We Have A National Manufacturing/Economic Strategy?

... Our international competitors have national manufacturing strategies. THEY see themselves as countries, and they compete with us as if we were a country. But we do not respond as a country, so they win.

Here in the U.S. we have succumbed to a corporate/conservative/libertarian ideology that says we have to be separate from each other, on our own. The ideology dictates that it is wrong to act together – “collectively” – to solve our problems. This anti-government, anti-community, anti-country ideology dictates that the last thing we should do is have a national … anything – and, of course, no national strategies for competition with countries that are coming after us as a country.

The result? Our 2012 trade deficit was $540 billion. That is $540 billion drained from our economy.

Imagine what $540 billion of orders for goods and services made and/or done here would do for our economy. Imagine how many jobs would be created, factories opened, suppliers busy, etc. What you are imagining is a way to understand how much that trade deficit actually cost us in 2012.

more than 60% of U.S. CEOs expect to hire more in 2014


In Davos, PricewaterhouseCoopers released a survey of 1,300 chief executive officers worldwide showing 44% expect the world economy to improve over the next 12 months. A year ago, only 18% said that about 2013's outlook.

More than 60% of the U.S. CEOs in the survey said they expect to hire more people this year. That's the highest level of headcount additions in the past five years of PwC's global CEO surveys, the firm said.

In Washington, the International Monetary Fund raised its forecast for both world and U.S. economic growth in 2014.


"The IMF is moving in our direction, and in the direction of the Federal Reserve. They're catching up with everyone," Englund said.

Senate Minority Leader’s Spokesperson Tells The Unemployed He Has ‘No Control’ Over Their Lives


Almost a month has passed since 1.3 million Americans lost their unemployment benefits. The Senate’s attempt to extend benefits fell apart, while any hope for a vote in the House is even more precarious. Last week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) office averted responsibility to help the jobless when labor activists asked for action.

“Did the American dream. Got in college,” one activist named Wessita McKinley told the spokesman. “And I’m sitting here struggling. I’m now ready to take a street sweeper job if they would offer it to me. So I’m asking you the million dollar question. What am I supposed to do right now to keep a roof over my head, food in my stomach, clothes on my back, car insurance paid?”

McConnell’s spokesman Don Stewart’s response, highlighted by MSNBC’s Steve Benen, was, “I can only tell you what we can do here in the Senate. I have no control over your life.”

But McConnell and fellow Republicans have proved that they are controlling the impasse on the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program. First, they filibustered the extension while demanding additional budget cuts to pay for the program. When Democrats conceded and extended specific sequestration cuts in exchange for either a three-month or year-long extension, McConnell wanted to offer additional amendments, like delaying the individual mandate provision of Obamacare. But even after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid allowed a limit of five Republican amendments with a 60-vote threshold the GOP demanded more.

"no control" over the lives of millions?.. oh, my McConnell is being too modest. they created the Trickle Down Deregulation disaster then fought and filibustered every stimulus bill brought up by the Democrats managing to obstruct 4.2 million jobs - and McDick says he has no control over their lives?

The ol' terrorist is too modest for words.... maybe I should translate "no control over lives of millions" ..."Let them eat cake."... or in common parlance..."Fuck you!"

Over 10 Percent Of America’s Largest Companies Pay Zero Percent Tax Rates - ThinkProgress


Among companies listed on the S&P 500, almost one in nine paid an effective tax rate of zero percent — or even lower — over the past year, according to an analysis by USA Today.

There are 57 separate companies listed on the index that paid a zero percent rate from the past year. Those companies include both household names like Verizon and News Corp. and lesser-known corporate giants like the data storage manufacturer Seagate (market value $15.9 billion) and Public Storage (market value $29.5 billion). Many of the companies USA Today identified in its analysis as paying negative rates make the list because they lost money, but several were profitable. Previous analyses have shown that the typical corporation pays a lower effective tax rate than most middle-class families, and a far lower one than the statutory corporate tax rate against which business interests disingenuously rail.

Getting to a zero percent tax rate despite turning a profit requires creative accounting, but not lawbreaking. The corporate tax code allows companies to avoid tax liability even in years when they turn a profit. Some of the profitable companies on the newspaper’s list, such as General Motors, achieved a zero percent rate by banking tax credits from previous years when business was bad. But the more common gambit involves moving revenues from parent companies to offshore subsidiaries based in tax haven countries in the Caribbean, Europe, and elsewhere.

Such offshoring of profits has caught the attention of policymakers in the United States and Europe this year, with the focus predominantly on Apple Inc. The U.S. tech giant not only avoided the American tax system, but managed to shelter about $100 billion in revenues from any taxes at all. That scheme relied upon a loophole in Irish law which that country’s government says it intends to fix, but the narrow change proposed by Ireland’s finance minister will not address the larger problem of corporate tax avoidance.

Large Companies find ways to Zero Tax Rate

Despite widespread groans about the recent disclosure that Apple is finding ways to cut its federal tax bill, an analysis shows the computer giant is one of scores of corporations largely dodging the taxman.

A surprising number of companies in the Standard & Poor's 500, 57, have found ways to pay effective tax rates of zero, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data from S&P Capital IQ.

The effective tax rate is a popular measure used by investors to compare how much companies pay in tax relative to profit.

CEO PAY: Executive compensation skyrockets on soaring stock market

The news comes months after after the Government Accountability Office released a report showing that companies in 2010 reported an average effective tax rate of 12.6%, well below the 35% federal corporate tax rate.

Ten Examples of Welfare for Corporations and the Ultra-Rich

this article originally appeared on HuffPo ... but if you don't want to wait for HuffPo to load, Moyers site is quicker....


There are thousands of tax breaks and subsidies for the rich and corporations provided by federal, state and local governments, but these 10 will give a taste.

1. State and local subsidies to corporations: An excellent New York Times study by Louise Story calculated that state and local government provide at least $80 billion in subsidies to corporations. Over 48 big corporations received over $100 million each. GM was the biggest, at a total of $1.7 billion extracted from 16 different states, but Shell, Ford and Chrysler all received over $1 billion each. Amazon, Microsoft, Prudential, Boeing and casino companies in Colorado and New Jersey received well over $200 million each.

2. Direct federal subsidies to corporations: The Cato Institute estimates that federal subsidies to corporations cost taxpayers almost $100 billion every year.

3. Federal tax breaks for corporations: The tax code gives corporations special tax breaks that have reduced what is supposed to be a 35-percent tax rate to an actual tax rate of 13 percent, saving these corporations an additional $200 billion annually, according to the US Government Accountability Office.

Up to 48,000 Afghan, Iraq vets at risk for homelessness

.. I wish the people who were so ready to send people into harms way, would be just as ready to help out vets when they come home and need our help in any way. .... "Is there anybody out there??".... ready and willing to help.


Nearly 50,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans were either homeless or in a federal program aimed at keeping them off the streets during 2013, almost triple the number in 2011, according to numbers released Thursday by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The number among this generation falling on hard times is rising sharply even as homelessness among veterans of all ages and conflicts has been on the decline, according to the VA.

Advocates for the homeless say many of the estimated 2.5 million Americans who served in the two wars went into combat zones on multiple deployments, something many veterans of previous conflicts never had to endure.

"They're coming home to a bad economy. The country is different. Their families are different. They are different. Plus they are dealing with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and other issues around mental health," says Gregory Scott, president of New Directions For Veterans, a non-profit assistance group in Los Angeles.

U.S. Industrial Production Rises for a Fifth Month - why GOP have to kill UI Benefits Extension

....it looks like the recovery is finally starting to get underway despite the GOP's efforts to kill it with a Government shutdown, threat of Government default and obstruction of 4.3 million jobs.


'victimization' of young invincibles by Obamacare largely exaggerated

Jimmy Kimmel had a bit on his show about "young invincibles" paying for penis - pumps presumably for elderly policy holders. Actually, this comic piece wasn't that much more ridiculous than most of the news coverage insinuating the victimizartion of the young 'invincibles'. Mark Twain once said: "the rumors as to my death have been exaggerated." ... I would point out that the narrative of the victimization of the young 'invincibles' is exaggerated.

All these 'plot-lines' presume as if all the medical expenses paid out by insurers for policy holders is covered by current revenues (premium payments by policy-holders). That is not close to being true. The insurance companies make a profit every year which is on top of additions to an investment account from current revenues. The insurance companies make every effort to make this pool of assets grow over time and it is from these accumulated investment assets that payments for medical claims are made.

Now, it's true that young people have a considerably lower medical expenses claims rate compared to people of advanced age. But it's also true that those 50 to 60 year olds who have had insurance for 25 to 35 years and have been paying in premiums over that period have contributed 25 to 35 years to that asset pool the insurance company maintains (and tries very hard to grow) from which medical expense claims are paid. And how much have the typical young person paid into that asset pool? Well, about 1/20th to 1/30th as much as the more mature policy holders - and that's on a cash basis. If you allow for a present value calculation of the older policy holders 25 to 35 years of payments it would be an much larger disparity.

While the older policy holders have a higher rate of claims, they have paid in a great deal more than the young 'invincibles' to that invested assets pool. The young policy-holders - if they should have the misfortune to make a sizeable claim (unexpected serious illness, or injury) even though they have not paid in very much to that invested assets pool they will have the entire amount of the approved claim paid. That's actually a pretty good deal... despite the narrative of young invincibles being 'victimized' by Obamacare - oh, and it's not Obamacare that's responsible it's the reality of running an insurance business model. (the way in which Obamacare changes the equation is by eliminating the "pre-existing conditions" clause in private insurance company policies. The private insurance model has to have the Pre-existing condition clause in there because most people think just like the young 'invincibles' are currently thinking regarding they purchase of insurance - "What ME ....buy insurance??? ... I think I'll just wait until I need it" (!?).


Republican anti-Obama fanatics not letting up on anti-Obamacare propaganda campaign. Confident that

there are enough idiots out there who they can tell what they think of ObamaCare.

"HEY, it worked for me didn't it? Heh, heh."

Ads Attacking Health Law Stagger Outspent Democrats


WASHINGTON — Democrats are increasingly anxious about an onslaught of television ads hitting vulnerable Senate and House candidates for their support of the new health law, since many lack the resources to fight back in the early stages of the midterm campaign.

Since September, Americans for Prosperity, a group financed in part by the billionaire Koch brothers, has spent an estimated $20 million on television advertising that calls out House and Senate Democrats by name for their support of the Affordable Care Act.

The unusually aggressive early run of television ads, which has been supplemented by other conservative initiatives, has gone largely unanswered, and strategists in both parties agree it is taking a toll on its targets.

Building on the success, the deep-pocketed organization disclosed on Tuesday that it was expanding its Senate efforts with $1.8 million in airtime to attack Democratic House members running for the Senate in Iowa and Michigan, where Democrats are viewed as holding an early advantage. The group was also moving into Montana, a state where Democrats may struggle to defend a seat, on behalf of a Republican House member running for the Senate.

Don’t believe the hype: Health insurers think Obamacare is going to be fine

(emphasis my own)

SAN FRANCISCO -- Obamacare's troubled rollout hasn't scared insurers out of the marketplace. Instead, speaking to thousands of health-care investors gathered in San Francisco, plan executives describe the Affordable Care Act as, at worst, a fixable mess and, at best, a major growth opportunity.

The executives' commentary was a reminder that the health-care industry doesn't set its watch by the election cycles which dominate Washington. They expected Obamacare to be a bit of a mess in 2014 -- but they're in it for the long haul.

"We believe that over time, a lot of these bumps will work themselves out," Joe Swedish, president of Wellpoint, the country’s second-largest health plan, said in an interview with The Washington Post."We have always expected it to have a sort of lumpiness to it, the rollout. It's certainly become more lumpy than one would have predicted over time, this will work out."

“Our view is we’re still in the early innings,” Cigna chief executive David Cordani told a standing-room only crowd of investors at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. “The first couple of years will be choppy, and we’re learning whether it can find its legs.”
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