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No Confidence Vote

So, while politicians have been playing games with the budget and pretending that they are appeasing the ‘confidence fairy’, consumer confidence has dropped into a subbasement. The numbers from this Christmas season suck – down from 2011. Congress and its owners seem to forget that more than two-thirds of the GDP are based on consumer spending, and making consumers nervous about the future with the ‘fiscal bluff’ and the ‘debt ceiling’ make people stop spending.

Digby reads Forbes so I don’t have to waste my time. Apparently the IMF is finally admitting that austerity in a recession is a bad idea. It turns out that a $1 cut in government spending causes the loss of $3 in growth when a country is in an economic downturn. This admission won’t change anything because austerity is a ‘religion’ not an economic policy – people must have pain so they can repent of their ‘evil ways’.

Ken Houghton at skippy’s and Mike Konczal at New Deal 2.0 show how Social Security recipients are actually being shorted by the current Consumer Price Index that is now used. The Bureau of Labor Statistic has a CPI-E [Consumer Price Index for the Elderly] but everyone talks about the CPI-W [CPI for Workers in metropolitan areas], and that is what is being used currently.

January 6, 2013   Comments Off

Feast of the Epiphany

Today marks the Feast of the Epiphany, end of the twelve days of Christmas, and Día de los Reyes in Spanish-speaking countries.

This is the customary day for gift exchanges in many Christian cultures because it is the day that the Magi finally arrived in Bethlehem with their totally inappropriate gifts after putzing around for over a week because they didn’t want to ask for directions.

January 6, 2013   2 Comments