Category Archives: Economy

Greek Credit Swagger

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Greece is in default. On Tuesday the government missed a payment deadline on its IMF debt. On Sunday Greeks will vote in a referendum to accept terms from the IMF for more loans. The terms include tax increases and pension cuts.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says he’ll step down if the referendum passes. Holman Jenkins in the WSJ says Greece has put a gun to its head saying, “Pay us ransom or the idiot gets it.”

The Greek economy is only 1.8 percent of the Eurozone. At 18 trillion in the hole, nobody has a credit swagger like Uncle Sam.

 

Trump

150619trumpDonald Trump threw his combover into the presidential ring this week. Kevin Williamson of National Review didn’t seem impressed. He called him a “witless ape” and an “ass”:

…grunting like a baboon about our country’s “brand” and his own vast wealth…

Trump did point to his wealth as a qualification. Williamson pointed to Trump’s bankruptcies:

The Trump conglomerate is the Argentina of limited-liability companies, having been in bankruptcy as recently as 2009. To be sure, a lot of companies went bankrupt around then. The Trump gang went bankrupt in 2004, too, and in 2001.

Then Williamson brought up another rich guy who financed his own campaign and caused a Bush to lose to a Clinton:

We’ve been to this corner of Crazytown before. If we’re going to have a billionaire dope running for the presidency, I prefer Ross Perot and his cracked tales of Vietnamese hit squads dispatched to take him out while Lee Atwater plotted to crash his daughter’s wedding with phonied-up lesbian sex pictures.

 

Financial Struggles of Rubio and Hastert

150611-hastert-rubioThe NYT is on Marco Rubio’s case. The paper reported he’s had 4 traffic tickets in 17 years! Not only that, he used an $800,000 book advance to pay off $100,000 in student loans and buy an $80,000 fishing boat – or a “luxury speed boat”.  All this packed into not one, but two stories. The second story appeared on Wednesday’s front page under the headline Rubio Career Bedeviled by Financial Struggles

The editors seem unaware that Rubio’s financial struggles are the same struggles bedeviling a lot of normal people. Jon Stewart is on The Times’ case.

Meanwhile a picture directly above the Rubio story, in the print edition, features the financial struggles of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert. Hastert’s struggles aren’t so much like those of normal people. He’s accused of agreeing to pay $3.5 million in blackmail. Paying blackmail isn’t illegal, but using your own cash to do it is, if you withdraw over $10,000. Hastert tried to avoid that by taking out less than 10 grand more often. Apparently that’s illegal too.

Jon Kass of the Chicago Tribune is not happy with Dennis Hastert.

BernieNomics

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I got a lesson in BernieNomics yesterday. In an interview with John Harwood, Bernie Sanders recommended a 90% income tax rate and complained that stores stock too much deodorant. It’s the armpit version of clean your plate because children in India are starving.

His views on kids’ sports on the other hand are laissez faire. He favors unsupervised play.

Government Train Wreck

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A reporter blamed the tragic Amtrak train wreck in Philadelphia on not enough government spending on infrastructure. House Speaker John Boehner said the train wrecked because it was going 106 mph in a 50 mph zone. This may be just the sort of thinking President Obama wants Boehner to change.