From the Wall Street Journal:
“There’s a real question as to whether the massive bond-buying program known as quantitative easing was worth the cost, former Federal Reserve official Andrew Huszar said Tuesday. Huszar, a senior fellow at Rutgers Business School and a former managing director at Morgan Stanley, noted a few of the program’s unintended effects.
Huszar apologized for his role in QE in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Monday.
‘I can only say: I’m sorry, America,” he wrote. “The central bank continues to spin QE as a tool for helping Main Street. But I’ve come to recognize the program for what it really is: the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time.’”
It was also a back door bailout of the Blue State political machine. Quantitative Easing was intended to bail out the insolvent Blue State public pension funds which require high rates of return from Wall Street in order to pay otherwise unsustainable benefits to public union pensioners and Democrat politicians. The stock market as it now exists has absolutely nothing to do with the “real” economy of goods, services and most importantly, jobs and income.”
The AFL-CIO plans to “organize” non-working leftists and invite them to join the AFL-CIO in order to address a crisis in membership. The Center expects that these new associations will be referred to as “leisure unions” and will advocate for higher government assistance payments to those who vote Democrat for a living.
In addition the AFL-CIO will attempt to union-organize the South because “the labor movement needs to follow the workforce, which is moving down south” [to escape the labor movement].
The abysmal showing by New York City Public Schools on the new “Common Core” student (and teacher) proficiency tests has produced a plethora of excuses and rationalizations from the usual suspects. Federal, state and local officials assure us that all is well and the poor test scores are really a good thing, reflecting no lack of competency on the part of teachers and administrators.
Not surprisingly, these usual suspects have no interest in the amazingly successful efforts of Eva Moscowitz’s New York City Charter Schools:
“Of the 1,500 kids in her Harlem and South Bronx schools who took the Common Core exams, 82 percent got a passing score in math, and 58 percent passed English.
Across the city, the pass rates were 26 percent in English and 30 percent in math . . . Her performance makes her the No. 1 leader in New York City schools — and a scary competitor to the rest of the system. In a better world, one where excellence is prized instead of feared, she would be chancellor and all city students would get the benefit of her talent and passion.”
So Detroit, or more likely, the State of Michigan, is paying a “bankruptcy expert” to manage Detroit’s financial mess and the bankruptcy expert Emergency Manager hires his former law firm at $1000 per hour to do the work the Emergency Manager was hired to do. This should go over well with the natives. From CBS Detroit:
“Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr approved the fees totaling about $1.4 million, but what makes this even more controversial is that the law firm getting the money is Jones Day – that’s Orr’s former law firm. Oh, you want some more controversy? That $1.4 million is just for six weeks of work,” Langton said.
The report says the costs were associated with sophisticated restructuring advice, labor and pension analysis, and Chapter 9 planning. Orr has defended the expense, saying top lawyers are needed because of what’s at stake . . .
Orr is a bankruptcy expert hired in March by the state to fix Detroit’s finances . . .
Former New York State Lieutenant Governor Betsy McCaughey reports that taxpayers will spend billions to fund permanent Obamacare implementation and outreach programs which will not only sign up potential Obamacare subscribers but will also register the uninsured to vote (as Democrats of course) and enroll them in any other available welfare programs.
Of course, the outreach will be done by reliable Democrat voter recruiters like the NAACP, SEIU and AFL-CIO, among others.
Who doubts that the Schumer/Rubio Amnesty bill includes similar outreach programs designed to draw illegal immigrants and their friends and families “out of the shadows” and into the taxpayer-funded, Democrat-voting welfare complex?
As most of us know, actions have consequences. The potentates of Detroit have ignored the inevitable consequences of their fiscal and moral profligacy for over forty years. Now the rest of us will pay the bill in one way another, whether through state and federal bailouts or through higher municipal and state borrowing costs. The architects of the disaster will pay no price, rather, most will collect lucrative pensions.
Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s plan to suspend payments on $2 billion of Detroit’s debt threatens a basic tenet of the $3.7 trillion municipal market: that states and cities will raise taxes as high as needed to avoid default . . .
“It definitely sets a precedent, and there’s definitely going to be a penalty going forward for the city and the state,” said Dan Solender, director of munis at Lord Abbett & Co. in Jersey City, New Jersey. The company oversees $19.5 billion of local debt.
DETROIT (WWJ) – . . . Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr . . . sat down in a closed-door meeting with about 150 creditors, bond holders and unions to discuss the city’s fiscal situation, seeking concessions that would save Detroit millions of dollars in payments.
Perhaps the most dramatic aspect of his plan: Orr said, starting now, there will be a moratorium on debt payments for all unsecured funded debt. Creditors are being asked to take about 10 cents on the dollar of what’s owed them. Underfunded pension claims would get less.
This latest comes as Detroit continues to spend more money than it takes in as revenue. The city’s budget deficit could top $380 million by July 1, and Orr now estimates the city’s long-term debt at $20 billion.
As part of the proposal, Orr said he wants to invest $1.25 billion in the city for police and fire; and $500 million to fight blight.
“We’re tapped out,” Orr said.
Governor Cuomo’s latest crony capitalism scheme, called the “Tax-free Communities” bill, adheres to the progressives long-time political strategy.
According to Cuomo’s Bill Memo, it would allow favored entities, primarily public universities under state control, to “bring [business] ventures to these communities by offering new businesses and expanding businesses that create net new jobs the opportunity to operate completely tax-free – including no income tax for employees, no sales, property or business tax while partnering with higher education institutions.”
If tax-free zones are beneficial to communities then why not apply such policies state-wide? It’s really very simple. Legislation and tax policies which provide benefits to all citizens yield fewer votes, political contributions and favors to Democrats than “targeted” proposals. The Democrat guiding principle is to divide us into groups, and then to threaten punishment to certain groups while offering rewards to others.
Despite the Democrats incessant bleating about “fairness,” unequal treatment of both groups and individuals is essential to Democrat electoral success. Envy and anger are the keys to Democrat hope and change.
Detroit Free Press:
Washington — The U.S. Treasury said Wednesday it plans to sell 30 million additional shares of General Motors stock in a new public offering in conjunction with GM’s return to the S&P 500 index on Thursday . . . The Treasury, which initially held 60.8 percent of GM as part of the U.S. $49.5 billion bailout, now owns just 16.4 percent, or 241.7 million shares. In December, the Treasury sold GM 200 million shares of its stake for $5.5 billion to reduce its stake to 300 million shares.
In total, Treasury has recouped $30.6 billion. At current trading prices, Treasury would lose around $10 billion on its GM bailout.
From the Center for the Center:
A national flat tax to replace the hopelessly corrupt current system of federal taxation will never happen. It conflicts with the Democrats long-time political strategy.
It’s really very simple. Legislation and tax policies which provide benefits to all citizens yield fewer votes, political contributions and favors to Democrats than “targeted” proposals. The Democrat guiding principle is to divide us into groups, and then to threaten punishment to certain groups while offering rewards to others.
Despite Obama’s incessant bleating about “fairness,” unequal treatment of both groups and individuals is essential to Democrat electoral success. Envy and anger the key to Obama’s hope and change.