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27 Jul 2011 21:57


Tech: Laptop broken? Enroll in an Owensboro, KY public school

  • FREE Macbooks for kids in Kentucky! source
  • » We were generally supportive of the 2009 stimulus package, but aspects of it are starting to seem a bit questionable, to say the least. Case in point: 2,200 students and staff in the town of Owensboro, Kentucky will soon be enjoying a free Macbook Air, courtesy of the Recovery and Reinvestment Act. While we’re all for providing students with the technical competency needed to compete in the 21st-century global economy, you don’t really need to give everyone a Macbook Air to do that. The cheapest Air is $999; if we assume, for the sake of argument, that Apple gave Owensboro a 50% bulk discount, that’s still over a million dollars of federal money being spent so kids can have free laptops. Opponents of “wasteful government spending,” your Exhibit A is right here.

25 Jul 2011 23:09


Politics: A little perspective on this whole deficit mess

  • This graph, courtesy of the New York Times, has been making the rounds today, and it’s worth examining. Note that health care reform, much-maligned by the right as deficit-killer, cost less than even the most inexpensive of George W. Bush’s policies (that policy being Medicare Part D). Note also that the Bush tax cuts alone added more to the deficit than all of President Obama’s new policies combined — and that’s including projected spending over the course of a theoretical second term.  source

19 Nov 2010 21:45


Biz: Federal Reserve taking it from all sides with stimulus plan

  • On its current economic trajectory, the United States runs the risk of seeing millions of workers unemployed or underemployed for many years. As a society, we should find that outcome unacceptable.
  • Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke • Explaining why the much-maligned stimulus plan (which involves shoving $600 billion into the economy whether it likes it or not) is necessary to save the economy. Republicans and Tea Partiers claim that the plan could raise prices of essentials such as food. Internationally, there’s worries about the stimulus driving down the value of the dollar (thereby making exports to the U.S. more desirable). Republicans in Congress are talking about stripping the Fed of its mandate to promote full employment as a result of this action. We’d like to see Republicans, rather than reacting to things they don’t like, offering up ideas. Is it really that hard, guys? You’ve had two-plus years. Where are your economy-fixing ideas? source

03 Nov 2010 21:32


Biz: The Federal Reserve shoves money into the economy’s flagging corpse

  • $600
    the amount of money headed from the Federal Reserve to the U.S. government
  • $75
    the amount that breaks down to between now and June of next year; will it (finally) help? source

19 Oct 2010 23:53


U.S.: Obama’s tax cuts: Stealthy and unnoticed by most Americans

  • 95% the percentage of people who got an Obama tax cut
  • $400 the size of the maximum tax cut for individuals ($800 for couples)
  • 1:10 the ratio of people that realized they were actually getting a tax cut
  • 8:10 the ratio who thought their taxes went up or stayed the same source
  • » Why nobody noticed: Well, Obama’s method for doling out the tax cuts was a little weird. Most people expect tax cuts on the back end, in the form of giant refund checks. Obama, on the other hand, put the cuts (as part of his $787 billion stimulus plan) directly in paychecks, to be distributed slowly, week to week. In a way, it’s brilliant because nobody thinks about a couple extra bucks in their paycheck and will spend the money like nothing ever happened. But in another way, it means the effects of the stimulus went unnoticed by millions of people. Hmm. For point of comparison, most people are well-aware of Bush’s tax cuts.

06 Sep 2010 10:54


Biz: Housing market: Would a correction help homeowners?

  • Housing needs to go back to reasonable levels. If we keep trying to stimulate the market, that’s the definition of insanity.
  • George Mason University real estate finance professor Anthony B. Sanders • Suggesting we let the housing market go to hell so it can correct itself. It’s a somewhat unique argument, but considering the way that overdevelopment and overbuilding has defined the real estate market of the last decade. So, the debate as it currently stands: Does the Obama administration keep trying to stimulate growth in the housing market, or does it focus less on devlopment and more on ensuring the value of the investments that millions of homeowners have already made? A tough answer, but we think the latter sounds like a good idea. source

05 Sep 2010 22:20


Politics: Max Headroom: Looking ahead to Obama’s jumpstart plans

  • MCcain’s takeHaving saved himself from the brink of a tough primary, John McCain’s now got the economy and his party’s political future on his mind, both of which he talks about at length with Chris Wallace. He says that people have “lost confidence” in Obama’s economy-fixing skills.
  • Lindsey’s takeIn twelve seconds, Lindsey Graham (a far more moderate Republican than McCain, even) says what it take McCain to say in twelve minutes. Obama’s tone-deaf on a number of issues (including the economy), and that’s why Republicans are going to win big in November.
  • Alex Jones’ takeOh, who are we kidding? This is just a hilarious piece on that insane conspiracy theorist radio host whose videos are always on YouTube. Nightline did a piece on him, and it’s pretty effin’ hilarious. Nightline calls his work “paranoia porn.” That’s pretty spot-on.

05 Sep 2010 20:22


Politics: Coming soon: More Obama stimulus efforts on the way

  • $100 billion in tax credits to encourage R&D source
  • » And that’s not all: Get ready for even more stimulus talk later this week; Obama plans to launch another major effort to kick-start the economy on Wednesday. The big question: Will he be able to pull it off given all the crap he’s had to take from the right lately? (In fact, it’s good to note that these efforts are relatively modest because of that.)

03 Aug 2010 10:27


Politics: Monkeys on cocaine? The GOP narrows down bad stimulus projects

  • What a beautiful scene, right? Too bad it’s no longer open to the public. The Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center at Mount St. Helens was closed back in 2007 due to staffing issues – but, as the GOP is quick to remind you, it’s getting new glass windows anyway thanks to the stimulus. It’s just one of the recipients Senators Tom Coburn and John McCain pointed out in their list of the 100 worst stimulus projects. Our personal favorite? Monkeys on cocaine. source

14 Jul 2010 20:53


Politics: Obama’s economic stimulus PR tour not going to be much fun

  • I wish he’d save his money and not come to Western Michigan. They were just swiping a Chinese charge card for it anyway, and my kid’s got to pick up the tab.
  • Holland, Mich. business co-owner Becky DeWind • Throwing up some major criticism of Obama’s stimulus plan, which helped her business, but was fleeting. DeWind’s firm got a $95,000 contract due to the stimulus to clean radioactive waste, but it apparently was the only U.S. contract they got last year. Obama’s polling low at the moment, and although he’s headed to that region tomorrow, he’s unlikely to find many friends. *pat pat* There there, Obama. Just remember that you’re close to Chicago, where your people are. source