Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 23, 2020

Deficit Hawk Joe Biden Sabotaged Pandemic Relief Efforts

The recent negotiations about a pandemic relief bill are a preview of Joe Biden's presidency.

U.S. President Donald Trump asked for a $2,000 check for every U.S. citizen. 'Moderates' rejected to send checks. Some people on the left and right kept pushing for them.

Washington Post, December 9

Trump has privately indicated a willingness to send another round of stimulus checks of as much as $2,000, according to one person in direct communication with the president. Congress in March approved a round of $1,200 stimulus checks that the Treasury Department disbursed to more than 100 million American families in a matter of weeks.

A second round of stimulus checks was left out of the $908 billion bipartisan framework unveiled last week by a group of moderate lawmakers hoping to break the months-long impasse over stimulus negotiations. Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have been pushing for the checks to be included in the final package, with Sanders going as far as saying he will vote against the relief legislation unless they are approved.

“While the amount is yet to be determined, direct payments to American workers continue to be a high priority of the president’s,” a White House spokesman said in a statement.

Congress compromised on a paltry, means tested $600 check.

USA Today, December 20

The measure contains a $600 direct payment to Americans who earned up to $75,000 in 2019. That is less than the $1,200 checks approved in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act in March.

It provides $600 per child, up from $500 in the spring. The bill also includes $1,200 for couples making up to $150,000 a year.

Some lawmakers on the left and on the right are furious over the meager result.

Newsweek, December 22

Democratic Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard criticized the COVID-19 economic stimulus bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday, calling the amount of direct assistance payments a "slap in the face."
"This bill dished out hundreds of billions of dollars going toward special interests, going toward the military-industrial complex, going towards foreign countries meanwhile saying, 'Here's what's left for you. You get 600 bucks,'" Gabbard said in a video
In a Sunday floor speech, Missouri Senator Josh Hawley said the $600 checks were "hardly adequate and we should not pretend otherwise." Hawley forced a vote on Sunday to raise the amount of the direct assistance to payments to $1,200, the amount of direct payments allocated after the CARES Act passed in March, but that attempt failed.

Turns out that President-elect Joe Biden had sided with the 'moderates' who favored not to send any check. He thereby successfully sabotaged those Democrats who were pressing for a bigger one.

New York Times, December 21

[T]he agreement on a new pandemic aid package showed the ascendance of moderates as a new force in a divided Senate and validated President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s belief that it is still possible to make deals on Capitol Hill.
“I’m glad we forced the issue,” said Senator Susan Collins, the Maine Republican who, along with Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, were leaders of a monthslong effort to break the impasse over pandemic aid even as the virus exacted a growing economic and health toll on the country.
Mr. Biden on Sunday applauded the willingness of lawmakers to “reach across the aisle” and called the effort a “model for the challenging work ahead for our nation.” He was also not an idle bystander in the negotiations.

With Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate far apart on how much they were willing to accept in new pandemic spending, Mr. Biden on Dec. 2 threw his support behind the $900 billion plan being pushed by the centrist group. The total was less than half of the $2 trillion that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, had been insisting on.

Mr. Biden’s move was not without risks. If it had failed to affect the discussions, the president-elect risked looking powerless to move Congress before he had taken the oath of office. But members of both parties said his intervention was constructive and gave Democrats confidence to pull back on their demands.

Biden and the Democratic leadership have now settled for half of what they had been offered three months ago.

Matt Taibbi, December 15

In September, as time wound down toward Election Day, the bipartisan “Problem Solvers” group released a $1.5 trillion aid plan which they pitched as a version of that theoretical compromise between Democratic and Republican positions. Though the group contained some Democrats, it was dismissed by Party leadership.

Trump continues to demand $2,000 checks.

NBC, December 22

President Donald Trump is demanding lawmakers raise the second round of stimulus checks to $2,000 per person, from $600.

"I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000, or $4,000 for a couple," Trump said in a video posted to Twitter Tuesday night.

While the president did not outright threaten a veto of the $900 billion Covid relief bill, he did call it an unsuitable "disgrace."

Three years ago the Republicans enacted a $1.5 trillion tax cut for the rich. Now, pushed from presidential power, they are again becoming deficit hawks.

The 'moderate' Joe Biden and the 'moderate' leadership of the Democratic Party will support them in that.

Posted by b on December 23, 2020 at 11:24 UTC | Permalink

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Joe Biden is just one clever dude. He saved the treasury yet again. Plus he shoved everyface in the dirt. If he maintains this pace every pitchfork in the country will be looking for a target. And it wont be Trump they will be aimed at.

More than ever the Dimratss need to #forcethevote for medicare for all even if its just to save their own necks.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 23 2020 11:44 utc | 1

I guess China and the Russians don't need to worry about any quick societal comeback here.

Although it is nice they thought to throw some crumbs to the children. I suppose starving kiddies in the streets is not the image they are looking for.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 23 2020 11:45 utc | 2

I heard somewhere that the Bolsonaro episode - where his BRL 600,00 checks made his popularity spike +20% in a few days (it really did happen, as Brazilian polls of the time showed) - spooked the Democrats at the time the USD 1.5 trn was proposed by the Republican government. They were afraid Trump would "pull a Bolsonaro" and get a victory in the coming month, hence they blocked it.

Regardless, here's the bigger picture: the USA cannot print money forever. There's a grain of truth in the deficit hawks' point of view - even though they aren't aware of that.

Posted by: vk | Dec 23 2020 12:45 utc | 3

vk rightly posted "Regardless, here's the bigger picture: the USA cannot print money forever."

There is a simple solution, reverse the ridiculous tax cuts for the rich enacted by Trump and W Bush. The Clinton administration left the federal finances in relatively good shape.

Posted by: Mighty Druken | Dec 23 2020 12:50 utc | 4

Ah my sides, a one-time $600 for the privilege of being in a rent-seeking black hole? It's all gonna work out wonderfully I'm sure.

Posted by: J W | Dec 23 2020 12:56 utc | 5

Posted by: vk | Dec 23 2020 12:45 utc | 3

Well I think you are correct that the question of "who gets credit for doing good stuff" becomes very important in these transition periods. So we get something so crappy that nobody wants credit for it.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 23 2020 13:10 utc | 6

"Joe" didn't do a damn thing. Anyone who believes Joe Biden has some decision making capacity in this farce is as delusional as the typical 'woke' American, which is to say in a state of full blown psychosis.

Posted by: Robert Michael Hope | Dec 23 2020 13:11 utc | 7

did anyone read what else was slipped into that extensive bill? israel money (of course) even money for gender studies in pakistan. but lets argue over $600 for people that will never have jobs to go back to

Posted by: pavement life | Dec 23 2020 13:12 utc | 8

@vk | Dec 23 2020 12:45 utc | 3

"The USA cannot print money forever."

That horse left the barn a long, long time ago. Has Zimbabwe stopped printing money? When you go bankrupt does it really make any appreciable difference how much money you owe? They will continue to borrow and print money until no one will accept it and that could be a long time away.

Posted by: LM | Dec 23 2020 13:29 utc | 9

Here in the USA we have perverse need to believe in real people behond the figure heads. A Cult of Personality of sorts. Perhaps better to have a Royal Family we can lavish our attentions on rather than a coven of bought and paid for thieves. Trump did this and Joe did that: a Punch and Judy show for the Great Unwashed. $600 for even HALF a year is not only a cruel joke, but a solid message: You aren't worth it and NeoFeudalism here we come! The War on The Poor has never let up and here we are at the endgame.

Posted by: Chevrus | Dec 23 2020 13:45 utc | 10

I think the present situation in the US proves that there is no left-wing organization in the US. If there were, there would be a full-bloodied revolution going on at the moment and there is not a trace of it.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Dec 23 2020 13:45 utc | 11

But hasn't Pelosi changed her mind?

Posted by: Maracatu | Dec 23 2020 13:49 utc | 12

I don't like Trump, I think he is unqualified to be President, however I truly support this move of threatening a veto over the CoVid bill.
If I was him, I would go a step further and ask Republican leadership

"Why should the American people trust your leadership in the Senate if you can't give them more than $2000 for CoVid?"

It would blow the Georgia election wide open.

Posted by: PrinceAfrica | Dec 23 2020 14:31 utc | 13

"Turns out that President-elect Joe Biden had sided with the 'moderates' who favored not to send any check. He thereby successfully sabotaged those Democrats who were pressing for a bigger one."

As a former professional writer and editor, I would have made that the lead paragraph.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Dec 23 2020 14:34 utc | 14

"Turns out that President-elect Joe Biden had sided "

This is a decision that Binden took in an open debate withing democrat party, so why do you need to add the word "Sabotage", implying some dark plot.

Good old Leninist reflex to smear the man. That's just to please B master and keep its pay from FSB. It was amazing to see how B became a Pro-Trump fanatic, but we all know it was b forced choice to keep his pay from FSB.

Posted by: murgen23 | Dec 23 2020 15:11 utc | 15

Christmas theme: vacations in the snow. An article about family vacation near Arctic Circle in New Yorker:

Whoever said, “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing,” has never been north of Winnipeg. Our family undertook this holiday trip to the Arctic Circle in Finland largely because it stood in stark opposition to anything we had ever done. We’d lived in tropical climates for six years; we fantasized about cold, about a honeymoon in Norway’s fjords or Alaska’s islands, about wearing closed-toed shoes.

It reminds me a report from Oymyakon, one of the two coldest villages in Siberia, a video focused on family life. Like dad going to a nearby pond with a chainsaw in the morning to saw off ice blocks (to bring water to the family). The home has no freezer, more precisely, one room is left unheated, the temperature inside probably lower than in the freezer of a refrigerator. The supplies in remote Arctic are not regular in our southern sense (they do get supplies many times in a year), so a room for frozen things is a good idea. But back to clothing. Interview with the mom:

It is important not to have any artificial materials (polyester and rubber get crumbly below -40, and surely at -50 C). Boots only from reindeer hide with hair (this is true even down south on Chinese border).

When it is -50, small children should not play outside more than 5 minutes. At -60 C, no more than a minute.

Then a vignette of the playing time. Small tykes, almost spherical but full of energy play outside, around mothers in proper clothing -- thick cotton fabric with thick cotton lining or furs (the latter are presumably affordable, hunting furry critters and making cloths from fur and reindeer hide are local crafts).

Clearly that does not solve the problem if you want an all day outing with preschool kids. But the family reporting in New Yorker experienced -25 C. Which reminds me another Siberian YouTube. A cold evening in Yakutsk, -45, dark, haze, waiting on a bus stop, few people on the street, you cannot see faces. A sunny day in Yakutsk, -25, throngs of people on the streets, children play happily in play grounds, a grandma walks with a reindeer that has a tiny child on top (2-3 years old?). That is actually much better for small kids than sledding with dogs. One conclusion is that getting winter gear from the travel agency does not mean that you got good stuff.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 23 2020 15:15 utc | 16

It seems to go unmentioned by all you Trump and Putinverstehers here that they could have passed a similar relief bill months ago but did not, and the reason for that delay was not Democratic resistance.

Trump is a dismal President, but he is a past master of manipulating the weak minded into making others look bad.

Posted by: Malchik Ralf | Dec 23 2020 15:15 utc | 17

Where's McConnell in all that disingenuous claptrap you just pulled out of your nether region?

Trump hinted? Trump doesn't have to hint! He's still the only f*cking President at this time! There's one President at a time responsible for this miserly miserable outcome. The buck stops with Trump and him alone on all this. Where was he while McConnell and his own minion Mnuchin were so busy whittling away at the Bill like anti-Santa Trump helpers?

He was busy partying at the WH like it's 1984 in the middle of a pandemic, and litigating a coup attempt with every Court in the land while grifting, bilking his supporters of millions for his coffers to later use any way he pleases. So don't give me your Trump bootlicking spin!

Now, suddenly 2 days before Christmas he pretends he's Santa Claus patron of little people in a self-righteous video tweet knowing full well Mc Connell has the timing on his side to kill this magnanimous last minute Trump $2000 shuckster antic which constitutes fake charity, brainwash bribery and only lip service when all the dust settles in McConnell's Senate.

All Trump is doing is trying to stick a pin in his McConnell doll to satisfy his petty urge to spite betrayal of his hair-brained coup and come out smelling like a rose with the public when he really smells of the slop his snout has been greedily mucking around in in the self-service trough!

I was sure I would count a nanosecond before you pulled out some pathetically misleading wipe to whitewash Trump's self-serving 11th hour STUNT!

Posted by: Circe | Dec 23 2020 15:28 utc | 18

But what about the eviction moratorium? That is killing empty nesters who rent one or two rooms but have not collected anything for almost a year.

MoA, I don't get this love you have for Trump and vendetta against Biden. The difference between the two is so marginal.

To make a real difference in the economy, a stimulus check needs to bridge the gap from now until June. This is when we will vaccinate enough of the U.S. population to fully open up this economy. $600 vs $1,400 might matter to individuals but will not make the difference between recession and recovery.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Dec 23 2020 15:44 utc | 19

US Congress approves $25 million for democracy, gender programmes in Pakistan

Actually a pretty blatant and obvious way for the deepstate pandemocrats to hide the first installment of likely perpetual blackmail payments to Pakistan,

in order to to keep quiet THAT country about all the democrat dirt and kompromat Imran_Awan collected in the 7+ (?) years Awan had the job as the Congressional Dems' IT manager, and pulled down the highest pay level allowed in the federal civil service employee system pay scale.

Posted by: gm | Dec 23 2020 15:56 utc | 20

@15 PrinceAfrica

Oh bruuuuther, so you buy the staged theatrics between shysters Trump and McConnell.

Let me enlighten you: McConnell and Trump are hand in glove. McConnell iron fist pounding Dems into submission until they look like they betrayed their cause followed by Trump velvet glove last minute cover.

McConnell bad cop doing the dirty work and Trump good cop coming out last minute from behind the curtain pretending righteous indignation to get the final standing ovation.

Puhleez, already!

Posted by: Circe | Dec 23 2020 15:56 utc | 21

I am at a loss to understand why any think that $600 or even $2000 is going to save those in need in America.

And b, it makes you look bad to write such a piece when it is obvious that Biden wants the money to go out with his name on the check instead of Trump's. Is that too hard to sus out? Your position that Trump is/has been a better president than those in the past is not supported by evidence.

It is the American shit show and turds are being polished everywhere.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 23 2020 16:02 utc | 22

You know what's playing out right now?: a dance between McConnell Chiseler and Trump Scoundrel.

Just a grand self-serving spectacle. That's all this is, folks! Nothing more to see here.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 23 2020 16:12 utc | 23

Regardless, here's the bigger picture: the USA cannot print money forever. There's a grain of truth in the deficit hawks' point of view - even though they aren't aware of that.

The USA prints paper money. The USA mints metals into coins.

The vast majority of USD$$ in circulation consists of bookkeeping entries in accounts held in computer memories.

Bits and Bytes if you will. The main characteristic of Bytes and Words in computers, is that no physical resources are needed to change their value between zero and infinity.


The only limit on USA $$$ creation is that imposed by the physical resources available for purchase with USD$$. In the existing paradigm, wherein the USD is the currency in which the world's products and raw materials are priced and purchased, USD can literally buy anything the world produces, and the physical resources available for purchase in USD$$ are effectively infinite.

The above quote is for the purpose of hiding the fact that the COVID relief bill was full of political choices. For example, the author of the quote hides his approval of $500 million for Israel, billions for Egypt and Sudan, and further billions for large corporations like airlines. His dis-approval of $600 for each US adult shines through, but is hidden as his concern for the purchasing power of the almighty US Dollar.

Apparently Billions of USD$ given to large corps and foreign countries don't impinge upon the USD's purchasing power, but $600 in the hands of a US citizen impinges big time....

Go figure..


Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Dec 23 2020 16:12 utc | 24

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the House
The halls were as empty as Pelosi’s blouse;
Cuomigula hung his stockings by the chimney with care,
In hopes Sleepy Joe’s stimulus bucks soon would be there;
The antifa kiddies nestled in their Mom’s basement beds,
While visions of Soros-checks danced in their heads;
And mamma with her sawed off, and I with my Sig-Sauer
Had just settled down for a winter's siege-hour,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to waste some dumbass lives matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Shined bright like Hunter Biden’s pile of blow,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But the giant great Trumpkin all full of great cheer,
With little old Giuliani, his somewhat shady sidekick,
I knew in a moment, Sidney Powell had a trick.
Like certiorari petitions denied as they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
To the top of the docket! My back’s to the wall!
Now rule away! Rule away! Rule away all!"

Posted by: Campi the Pasha | Dec 23 2020 16:32 utc | 25

Wow £600. I’ve been off work since March and have been getting paid 80% of my normal wages for the pleasure of staying at home. Long may it continue.

Posted by: Shaun | Dec 23 2020 16:59 utc | 26

"Wow £600. I’ve been off work since March and have been getting paid 80% of my normal wages for the pleasure of staying at home. Long may it continue."

-Shaun | Dec 23 2020 16:59 utc | 28

...Until the starving out-work service sector people notice you still have lights on, heat and food, and come after you... Then you you might just need to change your handle to 'Shaun of the Dead'

Posted by: gm | Dec 23 2020 17:11 utc | 27

Mitch McConnell as a deficit hawk is amusing. The citizens of the state he represents, Kentucky, receive six thousand dollars more from the federal treasury per capita than they contribute to it in tax payments. Mitch wants blue states to renege on their pension obligations before getting federal aid while his state is a welfare queen living off of blue state tax money. The very sight of that vile hypocrite makes me want to puke.

Posted by: David | Dec 23 2020 17:11 utc | 28

US theatrical comedies and musicals have lowered their standards very much since the first showing of the "Clambake" in the first half of the nineteen-sixties. For the followed the "Summer of Love" with the hippies -- and ended with "Dirty Dancing".

Posted by: JoveBove/區司/Áss | Dec 23 2020 17:20 utc | 29

What sabotaged the $ 1200 stimulus check was the Republican congress holding firm on the 900 billion dollar total, their desire for the $330 billion fraud-ridden PPP program, and doubling the income limit for eligibility for the stimulus checks...

Trump doesn't care about the deficit, but the Republican Senate is preparing to block economic measures to try to gain back the House and the Presidency. It is the old playbook for the 90's and 2010's.

Posted by: Les | Dec 23 2020 17:21 utc | 30

The permanent solution to this political mess is for the Fed to stop doing QE except for the emergency spending. They should never have monetized the debt from Trump's tax cuts and spending and made it clear they would not. Everybody, including the rich and the mega corporations, should be in the same boat with regards to stimulus, and QE is another stimulus program.

Posted by: Les | Dec 23 2020 17:24 utc | 31

Correction: "FROM THENCE followed -------- and thus finally HAIR -- in their anti-cultural swamp-soup.

Posted by: JoveBove/區司/Áss | Dec 23 2020 17:29 utc | 32


"The permanent solution to this political mess is for the Fed to stop doing QE except for emergency spending" "Everybody, including the rich and mega-corporations, should be in the same boat."

That is not going to happen because the Fed knows that if it were to even hint of doing that, the boat would sink like a stone.

Posted by: David | Dec 23 2020 17:49 utc | 33

ongoing hundreds of billions to the war machine (or wall st 2008) and a measly 600$ for the plebs... we know whose being stimulated here.. stimulus checks, lol....

Posted by: james | Dec 23 2020 18:21 utc | 34

Another "theft by stimulus propaganda". Another 2008 type give that bastards that control the USA 90% of the benefit and saddle and enslave 100% of the governed with 900 trillion in new debt.. Same thing happened in Greece. Enough is enough.

We don't need no stimulus check, we need a method to identify the virus in open space and to kill it while it is there or to deny the virus live entry into human host cells. We don't need and most people I know are refusing to take an infection fighting vaccination which might mutate the virus again. I posted earlier today a detection method capable to identify not just one virus but any of many viri in large areas rooms, airplanes grocery stores, airplanes and the like.
Artificially produced cell Receptors. on a chip, activated by differential laser specto photo graphic technology (existing technology as long as the day is long) detects SARS-CO2 and can distinguish between the viru types.
detect and Zap the virus then there is the phyto natural product technologies.. such as Ursolic acid derivative molecule TR-10 from the Phytolab..who

Posted by: snake | Dec 23 2020 18:22 utc | 35

The way to pass a stimulus/relief bill through the captive nation's congress is to tie the money to additional' 'aid' to the grotesque statelet of Israel:

That way both sides of the house always agree.

Posted by: Paul | Dec 23 2020 18:24 utc | 36

@ Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Dec 23 2020 16:12 utc | 26

You pulled that $500 million figure from where?

This misrepresents by magnitudes what is in the bill.

In fact, $3.3 billion (plus $500 million) is directed to said apartheid state, USD 3.3 billion to fund apartheid foreign military and USD 500 million for “Israeli Cooperative Programs” which includes weapons procurements.

Posted by: suzan | Dec 23 2020 18:25 utc | 37

Trump Pardon's the Biden4 the Blackwater security guards railroaded by the Obama / Biden Administration for protecting Americans in Iraq. The REAL Story Behind the Biden Four Prosecution
MoA loves Trump because he just corrected an injustice perpetuated by the Biden regime about to take power. Trump has freed four U.S. heroes.

I would love to hear MoA write about the Nisour Square massacre, the information on it that I found is sketchy, U.S. spin. Conclusion: it is impossible for anyone in the U.S. to commit a war crime.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Dec 23 2020 18:59 utc | 38

This is a truly corrupt oligarchy what would one expect to come out of this system a greedy oligarchy that never can be full of sucking to the last drop of this country’s blood. Biden like the rest of federal government is selected by this oligarchy don’t hope you or expect any change

Posted by: Kooshy | Dec 23 2020 19:33 utc | 39

Meanwhile, wasting the entire treasury on military idiocy at home and abroad, the USAi has been overtaken by the momentum of history.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 23 2020 19:40 utc | 40

- Christian J. Chuba | Dec 23 2020 18:59 utc | 40

Thanks for sharing that.

I had never heard that side of the story.

Posted by: gm | Dec 23 2020 19:42 utc | 41

gm #22

Ah yes, the Awan family spy and blackmail team. We don't hear much about Debbie Wasserman Schultz these days. But considering Pakistan, they have drifted away from the Saudi, Sunni admiration society and so the USAi has to buy them back onside while the war drags on or else be defeated.

I guess an idiot government like in the USAi has to do these things to keep the oligarchs laughing.

This obscene legislation distracts from Medicare for All demands but the hour cometh and will there be five brave souls to turn the tide?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 23 2020 19:56 utc | 42

@ Shaun @ 28

"Wow £600. I’ve been off work since March and have been getting paid 80% of my normal wages for the pleasure of staying at home. Long may it continue."

That's not the way unemployment works here in the US. If you were laid off in March, your unemployment checks might or might not have been 80% of your regular pay; in a lot of the states, it isn't 80%. In a lot of the states, it isn't even anywhere near 80%. And your unemployment would have run out lo-o-o-ong before now. Your income would have been reduced to zero by June or July. You might still be staying at home, of course, depending on where you lived, who you lived with and whether or not that other person could support you. But you would have used up the number of weeks for which you are eligible for unemployment benefits.

I'm not sure how they do unemployment in the UK. Can you fill us in on that? Most Americans don't get paid in English pounds whether they are on unemployment OR working at a regular job, so we don't really know how much 600 pounds is or how much rent and food it would cover here in the states. And are you are comparing the one-time $600 stimulus payment to weekly or monthly income, or just suggesting it's an extra little goodie tacked onto all those pounds we are all supposedly getting in unemployment each week?

Posted by: teri | Dec 23 2020 19:57 utc | 43

I take it very few if any watched the Hudson/Escobar discussion. Hudson is well informed and had some rather scary things to relate about Biden and how he plans to proceed once installed. In one term--Acute Austerity--and as Obama did in 2009, no help for the millions of families facing eviction: Past behavior is best predictor of future behavior. Some may want to review this article from 2012 about Obama/Biden and the Catfood Commission. A relevant excerpt:

"The final moments of the convention revealed to what extent the full court press to make endorsement of 'Simpson-Bowles' an objective of the Obama-Biden campaign succeeded.

"In his acceptance speech the Vice-President mentioned it in passing. In his address Obama avoided the term but said, 'Now, I’m still eager to reach an agreement based on the principles of my bipartisan debt commission. No party has a monopoly on wisdom. No democracy works without compromise. I want to get this done, and we can get it done.'

"Digby at the Campaign for America’s Future wrote after the President’s speech, 'There’s a lot of wriggle room in there, and quite a few straw men, but if you read it literally, he specifically promised not to slash those programs in exchange for tax cuts. What he didn’t do was promise not to cut those programs in exchange for tax hikes — which is what the Democrats are seeking. He won’t agree to tax cuts for millionaires. That’s a good thing. But will he agree to cuts if the Republicans agree to raise some taxes? We don’t know.'

"'Mitt Romney must not become president,' Adam Green, head of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, tweeted right after Obama concluded his speech. 'But it’s unacceptable for a Democratic president to pull the wool over supporters’ eyes by talking blandly about a ‘bipartisan commission’ that actually proposed extreme cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits — and lowering corporate tax rates.'"

It's important to recall the extreme liar that Obama is and was as POTUS, with Biden endorsing every lie. A further look back into Biden's past shows he's very much a Republican wearing a D-skin. I currently have nothing positive to say about Biden/Harris since Congressional Ds have given away the future direction.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 23 2020 20:03 utc | 44

David #30

Agreed, and the biggest problem for the USAi is the huge number of low life scoudrels and scumbags that inhabit both major parties. They have built exclusive societies of thieves and shysters and they get away with it time after time.

It is disgusting to see how the citizens of such a magnificent country have every chance of a great destiny stolen from them by these two political parties.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 23 2020 20:17 utc | 45

@ 46 karlof1

I downloaded and watched. It was excellent. Thank you for the link.

As Hudson outlined the US govt is totally incapable of doing anything positive within a fully financialized economy. Industry is not coming back to the USA because the social and physical infrastructure is in tatters and the costs associated with rent seeking and unearned income are massive. The economy can never be competitive without slave labour wages. Maybe that's the objective.

As usual it's all about getting the incentives right and thinking systemically. Rewarding productive labour and building public infrastructure while punishing rent seeking and unearned income. This creates a dynamic competitive economy. Societies that do this will progress (Asian societies currently come closest) while those that enable the rent-seeking parasites flounder (the west in general). The fact that America's best and brightest are funneled toward unproductive work on Wall Street instead of industry is the crux of the problem.

If some society can blend classic economics, marxism and surplus energy economics into a comprehensive plan, they will be on to something that has a future. The west is very very very far away from any of that which means neo-feudalism and poverty are most likely what's on the agenda for most in the foreseeable future. Asia might have a chance if they can fend off the western parasites.

Posted by: sad canuck | Dec 23 2020 20:53 utc | 46

uncle tungsten @47 said:

"It is disgusting to see how the citizens of such a magnificent country have every chance of a great destiny stolen from them by these two political parties."

ut, we are very close to being in the same pod...There is no such thing as a "magnificent country," above any other collection of "citizens" though, as I feel sure you would agree. It is what they do, which consists of awareness as a whole. Those of us whose awareness consists of simple commodity value get just commodity value. In the U.S., you must "educate" yourself, for otherwise the rentiers will "educate" you as to your position in the slave hierarchy.

Again, nothing you are not aware of ( ͡~ ͜ʖ ͡°)

Posted by: donten | Dec 23 2020 21:21 utc | 47

Joe Biden is a shit stain on the US!
I dont know why any sane person could see this piece of crap as a savior!
I hope before I close my eyes finally, I will see this pig dangling from a lamppost

Posted by: Den lille abe | Dec 23 2020 21:50 utc | 48

Good story at The Intercept today. It concerns the involvement of the DNC in the chaotic outcome of the Iowa caucuses- the first chance they got to cheat Bernie Sanders.

"THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE refused to cooperate with investigators and was “directly involved in the development process” of the infamous Shadow app ahead of the 2020 Iowa caucuses. That’s the conclusion of the former U.S. attorney leading the investigation into what went wrong during the first-in-the-nation caucuses, as relayed to the Iowa State Democratic Party in a closed-session meeting last week, according to a transcript of the meeting obtained by The Intercept.

“The DNC was directly involved in the development process,” Nicholas Klinefeldt, a former federal attorney appointed by President Barack Obama, told the Iowa Democratic Party state steering committee in the December 12 meeting about the findings of an investigation he led alongside former Iowa Attorney General Bonnie Campbell.

"Klinefeldt’s revelation about the committee’s involvement counters the DNC’s claim it made immediately after the Iowa caucuses. Back then, the DNC claimed it had “absolutely no involvement” in the development or coding of the Shadow app, which was supposed to record and report caucus results.

"When Third District state party member Kim Callahan asked investigators to expand on the DNC’s involvement, they failed to elaborate, simply confirming that the DNC wouldn’t cooperate with its investigation..."

Joe Biden owes the Democrat rank and file nothing. He became President entirely thanks to the oligarchs and the political criminals who work for them. Every vote was bought and paid for.
Bernhard is absolutely right in guessing that Biden was behind the derisory pay that the hoi poloi got from the latest Corona Bill. Cheating the people is what Joe does, he did it with the Bankruptcy 'reforms' just as he did it with the Crime Bill.
Americans really ought to read the writing on the wall: the guy who presided over the Nazification of Ukraine, who actually made money from it, is no friend of working folk anywhere. They just don't have enough money to interest the guy whose picture is in the Dictionary under "Politician on the make."
Is Trump better? He couldn't be worse and sometimes he talks as if he wanted to do something constructive. He never does, of course. He never did but at least he showed signs of knowing what the people wanted- an end to foreign wars- and what the poor needed-more than $300.
The DNC made Biden and he will serve the DNC which is the oligarchy's preferred servant.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 23 2020 22:51 utc | 49

Hat tip to Karlof1 et al for the links...

re Hudson/Escobar discussion

This excerpt is most noteworthy. In re China's Hi Speed Rail network and other nationwide basic infrastructure...

Escobar: Do you see any realistic bypass mechanism in terms of improving American infrastructure, especially in the big cities?

Hudson: No.

IMO, this severely undercuts all short term and long term planning in USA, as only local/patchwork solutions are workable. Grandiose, nationwide quick-fixes are not viable. This is where we are.

I can think of 1 exception...It is not too late to build national water-resource network [pipes integrating existing lakes including, of necessity, Canada]. That alone can gainfully employ hundred of thousands.

Note: Any pandemic threats can be can be handled by education in precautionary techniques.

Posted by: chu teh | Dec 23 2020 22:53 utc | 50

The plural of "virus" is not "viri". In Latin, "virus" (slime) is an exceptional 2nd declension neuter noun in -us that has no plural. So in English the plural is the normal English plural "viruses".

Posted by: lysias | Dec 23 2020 22:57 utc | 51

in above, the quote ends with Hudson's "No."
Rest is mt commentary.
That quote begins at 37:15 in link.

Posted by: chu teh | Dec 23 2020 22:58 utc | 52

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.
Frederick Douglass

Posted by: V | Dec 23 2020 23:47 utc | 53

Posted by: vk | Dec 23 2020 12:45 utc | 3

Regardless, here's the bigger picture: the USA cannot print money forever.

They can print money till the end of your, mine and everyone in the current administration's lifetime while the US military 'underwrites' the petrodollar.

That is effectively "forever".

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Dec 23 2020 23:49 utc | 54

So sad to see an increase in the number of dembots at MOA. It is foul enough when they spout their neolib tosh peppered with blatant lies (eg #12, the dems obstructionist attacks on any covid stimulus pre the prez beauty contest is well documented and irrefutable), which has made a constant backdown drone at Moa in the two years leading up to every prez beauty contest since MOA's inception, but if these stupid lackeys of the DNC insist on spouting nonsense without break from now on we shall have to develop an organised response.

The hysteric circe creature's looney behaviour is more than any blog should have to deal with. That is especially true of one which values critical thinking.
As we saw when he/she began bloviating for bernie despite all the arguments from more objective observers that sanders was a sheepdog who the dnc wouldn't permit to win a chook raffle. When that inevitable fix occurred, after a coupla days of "bernie was robbed" we then got swamped with the creature's nonsense about creepy joe biden being 'The One' and the laughable contention that orangeutan was 'a fascist' but creepy joe wasn't, despite the pair of them having the same established history of racism, disgust for the impoverished and deep love for assisting mega-corporations, i.e. the definition of fascism.

These types who come here and spout the latest nonsense that the never honest dnc tells them to, only ever succeed in disrupting dialog, so if the dingbats at dim hq insist on foisting them upon us & given b's reluctance to show them the door, I guess all we can do is drag out the big ignore button and hit them all with it.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Dec 24 2020 0:00 utc | 55

@ Posted by: Arch Bungle | Dec 23 2020 23:49 utc | 55

But is loses efficacy over time. Even the famous Keynesian Multiplier is not as high as it was in the 1970s (it is now at 3% of debt to 1% of GDP growth; it was 1:1 in the 1970s). See also the Triffin Paradox.

Posted by: vk | Dec 24 2020 0:19 utc | 56

Austerity is a sadistic weapon that will be used against the already dispossessed. Biden serves the oligarchy and will simply describe the crime as bipartisan cooperation. It's not that either party possesses a moral compass, since their immediate concern is the election results in Georgia, and which party will control the Senate.

Posted by: Copeland | Dec 24 2020 0:22 utc | 57

deaths/million =966
these are very interesting death/nation/in descending order..
where is the virus..?

Posted by: snake | Dec 24 2020 0:29 utc | 58

Arch Bungle.

Not sure how the combo of the US military and the Petro dollar combine to maintain its worth.

Please enlighten me.

Posted by: arby | Dec 24 2020 0:39 utc | 59

chu teh @51--

According to engineers, the #1 goal ought to be bringing all current infrastructure up to standards, which is an estimated $7 Trillion repair job. NY City's subway system alone might run as much as $500 Billion. The system of water mains in every city East of St. Louis needs extensive work. And so it goes. IMO, American citizens will soon get to experience what living during the Great Depression would have been like with a non-humanistic administration in charge.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 24 2020 0:41 utc | 60

A sample on the USA's diminishing returns on the USD:

US has only empty awards to offer other three QUAD countries

US President Donald Trump presented the Legion of Merit (LOM) awards to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday. On behalf of them, ambassadors of the three countries in Washington accepted the medals from US National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien at the White House. Quite a few Indian media have called it "a top US honor."

Give it a little more time and those awards will also lose value. They will become as symbolic and as empty as the Late Roman Empire's sinecures.

Posted by: vk | Dec 24 2020 0:58 utc | 61

Posted by: Les | Dec 23 2020 17:24 utc | 33

“The permanent solution to this political mess is for the Fed to stop doing QE “

No, a permanent solution, to this pollution is only a revolution

Posted by: kooshy | Dec 24 2020 1:07 utc | 62

Posted by: vk | Dec 24 2020 0:19 utc | 57

But is loses efficacy over time. Even the famous Keynesian Multiplier is not as high as it was in the 1970s (it is now at 3% of debt to 1% of GDP growth; it was 1:1 in the 1970s). See also the Triffin Paradox.

That it loses efficacy over time may be true but that won't make much of a difference in the bigger picture because of three factors:

a) Relative Efficacy #1: All currencies tend to lose efficacy over time, they fluctuate relative to the global reserve currency, it's not likely that any other widely used currency will become dominant even if it outperforms the USD for "efficacy" (because efficacy alone is not enough, petro-dollar status is required ...)
b) Relative efficacy #2: It's efficacy relative to other currencies will always be what matters, even if efficacy of the global reserve is being lost over time
c) Time scale: Loss of efficacy over a long enough time scale increases the chances that the US could act to "reset the balance" using one means or another (historically, taking advantage of military or political intervention)

Bear in mind that the US earns a percentage of every single dollar transaction that occurs globally by virtue of the fact that it has petrodollar status. This is one of the major reasons why the Fed can just keep on printing fiat currency for what is, for all intents and purposes 'forever'.

While the USD remains the global reserve currency, backed by military, political power and the "default convenience" of being the incumbent global transaction currency of choice, this situation is unlikely to change.

Moreover, even countries not on good terms with the US (e.g China) have a vested interest in ensuring the dollar retains it's efficacy to a large degree.

Essentially, the USD does not have to be the most "efficacious" it can be, all it needs to be is more efficacious than the rest ...

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Dec 24 2020 1:10 utc | 63

Posted by: arby | Dec 24 2020 0:39 utc | 60

Arch Bungle.

Not sure how the combo of the US military and the Petro dollar combine to maintain its worth.

Please enlighten me.

1) Petrodollar status ensures the US profits from every transaction conducted using the USD in petroleum sales specifically and international USD transactions in general.
2) The US military ensures that the House of Saud and Gul Opec countries continue to sell oil in USD only ... or else, Iraq

Seems pretty straightforward.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Dec 24 2020 1:13 utc | 64

Perhaps the most crucial thing Hudson said was something he's repeated several times every year for over a decade: Within the Outlaw US Empire, the Fed and Wall Street effectively do the planning for the nation, not Congress or the Executive, which differs from almost every other nation on the planet, excepting the EU. China just spent much time and energy putting its newest 5-Year Plan together. Here, Putin's chairs a "Joint meeting of the State Council and the Council for Strategic Development and National Projects" that "focused on implementing the Executive Order On the National Development Goals of the Russian Federation until 2030:"

"We all understand that this year has been difficult both for Russia and the entire world. The coronavirus epidemic has been a challenge for national economies and for social welfare in almost every country, and a serious ordeal for people.

"These issues have been and still are our primary focus. We have been concentrating and mobilising our efforts and resources in this area. We are doing this because it is extremely important today. As I said, it is a major challenge. But it should not undermine our development agenda. We have repeatedly discussed this as well. Qualitative and continuous progress is of absolute strategic, crucial and vital importance for our country. Considering the entire scope of demographic, geopolitical, economic and technological factors, we cannot afford to stop. We have been saying this in different formats but, regardless of the current circumstances, we cannot afford to pause our development even for a minute." [My Emphasis]

I hope barflies take a few minutes to read the intensity with which this meeting is held. I imagine it mirrors the intensity with which China does its planning. The point ought to be clear: The Outlaw US Empire aside from some military planning, doesn't do squat regarding development planning. Planning Departments are usually found at the state and local levels, not federal, so there's almost no coordination. China is leaving the Empire behind in its dust because of its ability to plan AND carry out its plans. Russia was able to rebound as quickly as it did because of its ability to plan, and you can see where its status lies with Putin and the Russian government at all levels; as with China, they're all working together.

And as we've already seen via the vetoed bill, the D's priorities will continue to allow the USA's rust to grow deeper. In 1937, FDR gave his One-Third on The Nation Speech that formed the basis for program planning to uplift the living standards of 50 million people grossly needing "development." Currently, there are at least that many people unemployed. There's no vision therefore there's no plan.

All Russia and China need do is continue to plan and execute to bury the Outlaw US Empire in the dust from its crumbling buildings and infrastructure. The only historical parallels I can think of are the Hapsburg Empire and USSR's demises.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 24 2020 1:28 utc | 65

@ Posted by: Arch Bungle | Dec 24 2020 1:10 utc | 64

You're making two different categories as if they were the same:

1) the fiat currency standard is inflationary. I'm not contesting that. What I'm speaking is in absolute terms: the USD will absolutely lose power to move value over time because of the Triffin Paradox;

2) the USD relative to other currencies is not relevant to the discussion here. The USD is not the standard fiat currency because it is the strongest fiat currency: it is the standard fiat currency because it is the standard fiat currency. Surely, military supremacy over the seas and ownership of the financial system are the material base of that. There are fiat currencies that trade favorably to the USD, it doesn't make their correspondent nations stronger than the USA.

Wrapping things up, you're talking about two completely different things: yes, all the fiat currencies weaken over time because the fiat currency system is inherently inflationary; but the USD will weaken over time because there's a limit the rest of the world can keep sustaining the USD in real terms, i.e. there's a limit to which the USA can keep draining capital from the rest of the world by printing USDs. We can speculate about what this limit is, but it is self-evident: the natural (physical) limit being the literal capacity of the rest of the world to keep existing materially; of course, the social limit is well before that. We can debate about which it will be.

Posted by: vk | Dec 24 2020 1:29 utc | 66

I eagerly await an article about how Trump's many pardons demonstrate that he was truly a populist outsider bent on "draining the swamp." Jared's father? The Blackwater mercenaries? That one corrupt California congresscritter's wife? I mean, c'mon. A few pardons by any president leaving office might be aimed at friends, supporters and family, but never this many, and I was kind of hoping that some of Trump's supporters were right and that he'd pardon Assange and Snowden.

So far, no dice. If he doesn't pardon one or both of those people by the end of his term, I will have to believe in the part of jackrabbit's theory that Trump was merely another choice of the ruling elite and fully supported at the highest levels (while the lower levels, including the media ran interference by doing and saying all sorts of negative stuff that ultimately meant absolutely nothing). Hell, I've always thought this. Trump wouldn't have been ALLOWED to take the Republican nomination if they truly didn't want him. Makes no difference if they had the same mindset that Hillary did and thought Trump would provide some entertainment value but ultimately lose (which he did in the popular vote, unless that election was plagued by the massive fraud Camp Trump claims happened this time around).

Either way, so far all he's done is pardon loyalists and family. In case it wasn't known to all who don't live in the USA, the Blackwater merc goons he pardoned worked for that company when it was still around and owned by Eric Prince, Betsy DeVoss' brother.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Dec 24 2020 2:09 utc | 67

Posted by: vk | Dec 24 2020 1:29 utc | 67

You're making two different categories as if they were the same:

1) the fiat currency standard is inflationary. I'm not contesting that. What I'm speaking is in absolute terms: the USD will absolutely lose power to move value over time because of the Triffin Paradox;

You're missing my point completely. Whatever categories I may or may not be conflating are secondary to my core argument, the crux of my argument relates to the timescale over which the loss of USD power occurs: I am saying that:

- it will take place over such a long period that we will not see much of a change in our lifetimes
- during that period there will be ample opportunities for the US to attempt to reset the loss of US dollar power by every dirty trick in the book (and rest assured they will).

Essentially, the loss of US dollar power (in whatever sense) is a minor factor in the loss of overall US dominance in the geo-political sense.

The control of the global finance system is what really matters, not the strength of the dollar - so yes, they can continue printing funny money forever with little or no consequence, especially since the rest of the globe will continue to drink the fiat cool aid while it's still available. The material limits as to how long this ponzi scheme can be kept up are centuries away - a lot can happen between now and then to ensure the dollar shell game keeps running.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Dec 24 2020 2:29 utc | 68

@65 Arch Bungle
Pretty straight-forward and good explanation of the PetroDollar, but I'd add the following caveat...

It isn't so much that every oil transaction benefits the US directly. By requiring oil purchases be made with the US Dollar, an unnatural demand for the dollar is created, keeping the value artificially high, and helping to stave off inflation.

It is the strength of the dollar, and the ability to spend it without constraint that forms the bedrock for American geopolitical dominance, and the control of the global financial system will fade quickly if the Petrodollar arrangement comes to an end.

One can feel the exasperation from the political elite, as their dirty tricks become less effective, and rather rapidly at that. The one dirty trick they still have left, that could turn the situation around, is war, and that is why we are in such dangerous times.

Posted by: Jason | Dec 24 2020 3:17 utc | 69

@Karlof 46
I'm in the middle of the Hudson/Escobar discussion that is posted on The Saker far very informative and really a pleasure to watch.

Posted by: Jason | Dec 24 2020 3:30 utc | 70

All Russia and China need do is continue to plan and execute to bury the Outlaw US Empire in the dust from its crumbling buildings and infrastructure. The only historical parallels I can think of are the Hapsburg Empire and USSR's demises.

And this is exactly what they are doing!

This past month Russia..........

Delivered their first ever AfraMax Tanker.

Flew their Il-114 - 300 twin turboprop with Russian Avionics and Russian Engines, built in Russia

Flew their MC-21 -310 narrow body airliner with Russian Avionics and Russian Engines, built in Russia.

Began their mass immunization program against COVID-19


Completed drilling the last tunnels and erecting the last bridges on the Kunming - Vietnane Railway.

Found a super giant gas field in their western region.

Completed concrete work on the stations in the Laotian section of the Kunming - Vietnana Railway.

Operate the world's largest radio telescope the FAST...

Started their mass immunization program for COVID-19

Currency hegemony comes and goes.... Witness the British Pound... German Mark..... Swiss Franc... French Franc....

The USD will follow a similar fate...


Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Dec 24 2020 4:00 utc | 71


Not sure it was Trump / Bush the Younger's tax cuts that has created the enormous US Federal Government debt.

You are right, Slick Willy left the US government finances in relatively good shape, deficit around $Us3trillion. After Bush the Younger's two terms, that had grown to $US6trillion, largely caused by the illegal was on Iraq.

When Obama left his Presidency, the US Federal deficit had sky-rocketed to $US19trillion. One of the most useless POTUS in history, but he had the gift of the gab and the MSM behind him, unlike the Donald.

Trump was doing relatively well, on course for a government deficit of some $US23 trillion, and then this nonsense flu stuff happened and governments world-wide panicked. Dog knows what the deficit will be after all this emergency relief, a problem which in my opinion has been self-inflicted

Posted by: Ant. | Dec 24 2020 5:04 utc | 72

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 24 2020 0:41 utc | 61

Geez, $500B just to repair subways in ONE American city? What a sick joke, when China is able to double their existing 36000 KM HSR network at only a *mere* $750B.

Now that's one damning evidence proving why GeeDeePee is nonsensical economic indicator, since it doesn't take into account America's jaw-dropping astronomical levels of rent seeking.

Posted by: J W | Dec 24 2020 6:01 utc | 73

@46 karlof1

Just finished watching the Escobar-Hudson discussion. Brilliant - everyone loved it, and everyone wants everyone to do it again, so let's hope...

Hudson pretty clear that an austerity program is coming from the Biden administration - I guess the US is the only western country that has so far escaped that by name - well now the name is coming. It will be massive privatization and budget-cutting, and the orgy of the carpetbaggers, as another 5-20 million people are kicked to the curb - quite literally, as happened on the Obama watch from the 2008 market manipulation.

2021 will make 2020 seem like the last of the good years.

Some wonderful information on China from that webinar - and also Russia, in a worrying kind of way - wish Russia had put political systems in place to endure after Putin, but that's a discussion for another thread.

Fascinating to learn how the ghost cities came about - it's a deferred relocation/retirement/rentier plan - if you see a ghost city, you looked too soon. And actually we know from Godfree Roberts that the vacancy rate of these places is amazingly short, considering the Chinese scale of what's being done. Bottom line: it's not a boondoggle, not a white elephant, it's actually a thoroughly thought-out demographic investment plan, that has also been working very well so far.


Much more could be said and probably will be - but, in sum, what a wonderful face-to-face between these two guys. They loved it too - just when we thought both people had explained everything in all their written words, they both discovered there was more to say, and not enough time to say even a fraction of it.

They are in an email continuum always, and including Prof. Marandi from Iran, as we know, but they don't do Zoom as often as they should, it now becomes clear.

Note to Escobar + Hudson + Marandi: do more Zoom, give us the link, and let's rock!

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 24 2020 6:17 utc | 74

@ J W | Dec 24 2020 6:01 utc | 76 who wrote about comparative China/US transport infrastructure cost
Now that's one damning evidence proving why GeeDeePee is nonsensical economic indicator, since it doesn't take into account America's jaw-dropping astronomical levels of rent seeking.

Thanks for that clarification of the economic obfuscation going on by the financialization folk.

The US financial economy has been feeding at the trough of the Fed since September 2109 and in June of this year the Fed stopped reporting the REPO market and didn't tell folks. It is only in the last few days that I have read at Wall Street on Parade about the continued bailout of the private banking system with no/little transparency.

This shit show continues until countries stop buying US Treasuries and I would have thought it would have happened but it has not. That said, I think a market/economy crash in the West is coming the Biden/Harris shit show time frame. Part of me says the elite patriarchs want to pin a Depression on a woman....a "liberal" woman.

But then Trump is not gone yet, is he? Bull in a China closet comes to mind but instead of Bull in a China closet, Bull in an exceptionalist loser shit show seems more appropriate.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 24 2020 6:31 utc | 75

@46 karlof1 with the Saker link to Hudson/Escobar....thanks except it is past midnight now having watched it all in one sitting

It should be required watching for all "citizens" of the West.....something needs to break the spell of ignorance that exists about how finance works for few or all.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 24 2020 8:27 utc | 76

_K_C_ #69

and I was kind of hoping that some of Trump's supporters were right and that he'd pardon Assange and Snowden.

I never held out hope for that pardon. I assume Trump would see both of them as commie loving losers. That is what his upbringing was all about and his adult socialising never brought him close to anything or anyone from the left. He is a McCarthyist from what I have read and observed. He adores capitalism and its scope for theft and capacity to rig the legal system so why would he have compassion for 'do-gooders'?

Right now he will get all the pleasure in the world by forcing Pelosi to see his bet of $2000 and at the same time crap on Mitch and his re-election bid. He knows Mitch can't get unity among the Republicans to oppose $2000. For someone who has absolutely no comprehension of compassion - that is a fun ploy that he could likely win. Would he care if he was stymied by the Senate? Probably he would flog Mitch harder for 'having no compassion'!

Trump was never going to drain the swamp, it was a great campaign promise and he did hire and fire a few but I sense he filled the swamp. Trump was entirely owned by the Lobby and always has been IMO, its just that as President he was able to inflate the price. Tragedy dressed as farce and the audience had to pay on the way in and will likely have to pay again on the way out of the Trump sh!tshow.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 24 2020 9:16 utc | 77

karlof1 and others re the Hudson Escobar session;

BIG thanks and I am still grabbing sections between frenetic activities here. I will watch this twice and am so pleased with their effort to give us this solstice gift.

Stay well all.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 24 2020 9:23 utc | 78

Thank you b for an extraordinary year.

You are a magnificent host and may your holiday season be fun and good health.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 24 2020 9:27 utc | 79

The fact Trump hasn't Executive Order that check shows he gives no fucking shit.

Posted by: Smith | Dec 24 2020 10:31 utc | 80

Also, kudos to the Hudson/Escobar link, been reading their articles, feel weird to actually watch them in person.

It's weird that they are actually praising industrial capitalism and saying present China is actually more capitalist than USA which is centrally planned economy by the banks/financial class.

Posted by: Smith | Dec 24 2020 10:34 utc | 81

Micheal Hudson bases his rent/seeking thesis on his Dec 17th 2020 Youtube video shown numbers, but they don't support it:
.American income spending on housing 33%, food 13%, health 7%, transport 17% = 70%.
Chinese income spending on housing 24%, food 28%, health 9%, transport 13%= 74%.
He is lost in his own idealistic Marxist world, but advising the Chinese government through a Beijing university: good luck to them.

US economy with all its twists and errors still gives average Joe a better life than an average Zhang San according to Hudson's own numbers.

Chinese greed is good, as it is for "our" greater good.

Posted by: Antonym | Dec 24 2020 14:11 utc | 82

IMO the best description of Trump I have read to date, in every which way, he was is and will be a part and parcel (shit) of this swear (shithole)

Everyone Was Wrong About Trump

By Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by: kooshy | Dec 24 2020 14:13 utc | 83

So Trump flew South to play golf during the Holidays after threatening to veto the Relief Bill and doing nothing else to convince his Republican cohorts to increase the stimulus payments. Why didn't he step up sooner??? Why didn't he do more sooner with the power he wields over Republicans??? This could have gotten done before all benefits expire next week! This is Trump creating drama and chaos to hog the spotlight for himself acting like a smart ass who invented the wheel. He wants all the credit with zero effort.

It was as I wrote earlier, just posturing and lip service at the 11th hour to make himself look good while people die every 30 seconds and everyone stands in line for food at Christmas and he parties at his Florida mansion and plays golf every day washing his hands of the outcome.

Meanwhile unemployment benefits, family leave, eviction protection and the pause in student loan payments all expire next week.

So Nancy Pelosi is bringing the Bill with the $2000 stimulus payment amendment to the floor for unanimous consent and the government will shut down if the Bill doesn't pass causing massive disruption everywhere. Nancy is urging McCarthy and McConnell to vote for the $2000 stimulus so it can get done by today noon.

The ball is in the Republican court. Let's see what those bastards do.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 24 2020 14:17 utc | 84

Posted by: Smith | Dec 24 2020 10:34 utc | 81

Nobody runs a modern economy well without lots of planning. China does it out in the open. We do in dark rooms with only "players" allowed. We run the economy as a private casino. Neither is a "free market" if there is any such thing.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 24 2020 14:57 utc | 85

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 24 2020 0:41 utc | 60

Posted by: J W | Dec 24 2020 6:01 utc | 73

Optimists: it would take .5 trillion to repair NYC subway

Pessimists: we would sooner relocate NYC to the moon. From the numbers I gleaned, for 100 billion dollars, Russian would build an equivalent of Moscow Metropoliten which is much larger than NYC system, much more pleasant to use, faster and and running strictly on time. That would include a cut for the alleged Russian corruption. Americans are capable to manufacture excuses why they they are not able to do anything, hence fantastic numbers like 500 billion to repair the system. In USA, there is no corruption, the costs bloat to galactic proportions in some mysterious but perfectly legal fashion.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 24 2020 15:03 utc | 86

Arch @ 64.

First off it appears that another Iraq is not going to happen because it is now too dangerous.

The fed's balance sheet has exploded because of buying all these treasuries that there are not enough buyers for.

Some central banks have been lowering their reserves of the US buck, like Russia who has purchased massive amounts of gold as a replacement. Also China has been lowering their dollar reserves.

Large swathes of the ROW are getting tired of the dollar being used as a weapon.

The only thing the dollar has is faith.. That can dissipate slowly at first and then vanish in a flash.

Posted by: arby | Dec 24 2020 15:06 utc | 87

@83 kooshy

Everyone Was Wrong About Trump

By Caitlin Johnstone

And so was she!!! Why is she preaching to everyone else when she's so obviously bitter from a sense of betrayal which means she delusionally expected better herself?! Therefore SHE should include herself in the groups she's looking down her nose at.

Instead, she now scolds everyone else from her usual high and mighty perch.

If Trump had pardoned even just Assange, but not Snowden; she'd be singing a different tune right now about the scoundrel!

She was wrong about Trump many, many times and still is today not admitting it!

She writes: Trump was a US president of fairly average depravity...

Say whuuut?! He's playing golf and partying while millions of Americans are suffering and that's the tip of the iceberg on his depraved nature!

And here's another doosie:

To this day, even after four years of evidence to the contrary, many on the left still continue their frequent claims that Trump is a uniquely fascistic…

He had protesters gassed and beaten to have a photo with a Bible in front of a Church! He sent Federal Forces into a State; had protesters in Portland kidnapped and summarily held extra-judicially! He shut down press briefings for months. He had children separated from their parents and put in cages. He ordered border patrol to shoot refugees from violent gang-run Central American countries in the legs. He pardoned Arpaio who ran a refugee tent city gulag in Arizona and pardoned two patrol agents who committed murder! He spent weeks litigating an overturn of the election in an attempted coup! I'm leaving a ton of fascist shit he's pulled domestically out for the sake of brevity, but I could go on and on! And don't let me get started on the international tyranny he's pulled. She mentioned only some of it and excluded stuff like the murder of Soleimani and totally excluded his unprecedented policies to hurt and rob Palestinians, not to mention escalating the proxy war on Yemen 180 degrees!

Sometimes her articles on Trump were downright defensive of him; and does she admit that she too was wrong??? Does she include herself in all the groups she's condescending too? Nooooh! She's the smartest one in the room now, right? She gets to judge and still downplays the threat Trump represents to the truth, decency and humanity. Even with days left in his Presidency Trump threatened Iran before he left for Florida! He wants war with Iran and is fuming over not getting it done and regime change in Iran.

Ms Johnstone was as infatuated with Trump as b here and is the end of the line to preach to others.

And by the tone of her article--boy, she sure acts like a jilted admirer who was expecting more! Therefore missy J, YOU were just as wrong on Trump, if not more, kind of like b here.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 24 2020 15:53 utc | 88

When I receive the check, I’m going to send it right back to the treasury and tell them to shove it right up the arses.

Posted by: Jose Garcia | Dec 24 2020 17:48 utc | 89

Bipartisan action coming on Venezuela!!

From the bill (BILLS-116HR133SA-RCP-116-68.pdf)

(1) Of the funds appropriated by this Act under
the heading ‘‘Economic Support Fund’’, not less
than $33,000,000 shall be made available for democ-
racy programs for Venezuela.

The US will spend $33 Billion on "democracy programs" - not a dime of medical aid or reduction on sanctions.

Posted by: daffyDuct | Dec 24 2020 17:57 utc | 90

Thanks to all who replied, even the one troll. One additional item discussed by Hudson was the complete farce the concept of GDP is as compiled by the Outlaw US Empire. As most know, I've used Shadowstats GDP chart since it's the closest to reality, but even it overstates the actual numbers, which is to say that the USA's decline has lasted longer and is steeper than most imagine. In Real Dollar terms, IMO we were wealthier in 1970 than today after close to 50 steady years of decline and Neoliberal Parasitical Feasting--asset inflation has masked the decline well. In other words, the USA has been undergoing austerity for decades but it went unnoticed except by those on the receiving end. I was going to post this Global Times article on the new Open Thread, but it has info relevant to this:

"We should draw a lesson from what the US is undergoing and why US society is so divided. The US benefited from hyper-globalization, but it simultaneously began to have problems in governance and see its society more and more split. The middle class has shrunk sharply in the US along with unbalanced income and wealth distribution. At the same time, US society has become much more unfair. Over 70 percent of Americans were middle class in 1969. This percentage has been shrinking since the 1980s, from nearly 60 percent of households in the late 1970s to a bit more than 51 percent by 2013. This is the root cause of real divisions in the US." [My Emphasis]

Needless to say, China doesn't want to end up like the drowning Outlaw US Empire, and there's much more in the article about that. Note the last date being 2013. IMO, that number is closer to 40% today. We know why; we know who; and we know where they live and work.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 24 2020 18:22 utc | 91

Circe @Dec24 15:53 #88

Lots of people swallowed - and passed on - the media-hyped false narrative that Trump is a populist outsider.

Just as they swallowed the media hype about Obama. And Sanders.

Divide and rule. It's. Just. So. Damn. Easy.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 24 2020 18:25 utc | 92

"Regardless, here's the bigger picture: the USA cannot print money forever."

You people here should really read the book 'The deficit myth' by Stephanie Kelton. She's an MMT-economist (Modern Money Theory). As MMT argues, for starters there's no printing money going on. All goverment spending is just typing numbers into bank accounts at the FED. There is no financial limit to typing in these numbers (as they say it: the government can always afford to buy anything that is avalibale for sale in its currency). The only real limit on spending is inflation. If total spending (government plus private spending) is too high relative to avaliable real resources there will be inflationary pressure. O, and governemnt spending is not financed by taxes at all! All of this may sound a bit wild, I realise, but Kelton's and MMT's position is very well argued. Her book is a must-read if your aim to understand how the system actually works. MMT is very much on the rise right now. In fact I'm surprised to not see any of the commenters here refer to it (maybe somebody has, I haven't checked very thoroughly). Cheers, Paul

Posted by: Paul J | Dec 24 2020 19:48 utc | 93

MMT has a lot very good stuff available on the internet in which they explain their ideas. Really superb stuff, really eye-opening. Michael Hudson is mentioned in one of the comments above. He is a sort fellow traveller of MMT (MMT makes use of Hudson's research into financial history). Again do yourself a favour and read Kelton's book. It's excellent as a comprehensive introduction into how the financial system actually works.

Posted by: Paul J | Dec 24 2020 19:56 utc | 94

@92 Jackrabbit

You always insist on putting Sanders in the same sack of shit as Trump, and you've been dead wrong on some stuff, as you are on this. So, I disagree completely and can't respect your pov. Trump is a dangerous Ziofascist obsessed with power and his reflection who is trying to erase the will of 81,000,000 people. Imagine if Trump were already bombing Iran and pulling this scam to hold on to power??? He would trigger civil war. He's that crazy!

That puts him in another, unprecedented category of scumbag altogether than Obama, whom I can't stand on many issues.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 24 2020 19:57 utc | 95

Paul J @ 93

"and governemnt spending is not financed by taxes at all! "

"In 2019, these interest payments claimed $375 billion, or about 8 percent of the budget."

Posted by: arby | Dec 24 2020 20:06 utc | 96

Posted by: Circe | Dec 24 2020 15:53 utc | 88

Ok let say you are correct and all along she was wrong about Trump but this time she presents a correct and fair opinion on Trump with your suggestion we should dismiss her and any good opinions she may have in future ? That’s dumb. Secondly if Trump the shit head even pardon one of the two meaning Snowden is better than nothing since I am sure the dumb head Biden will do none except WS banksters. Third you like Trump have no idea about US policy on Iran who ever says US is seeking regime change on Iran is either not honest is have no idea of US’ geo-strategic desire. For last forty years US through multiple regimes in DC only wants and is seeking a disintegration of Iran and not regime change necessarily. A disintegration will eliminate a single country control of north south connection between Europe and Indian Ocean/ south east Asia.
And indeed will have the benefit of more security for US small little shit holes likes of Israel, KSA etc. Lastly b like
Johnston’s also has made wrong, bad judgments in the past, one wonders why are still hanging here ?

Posted by: Kooshy | Dec 24 2020 20:37 utc | 97

Paul J @ 93

Peter Schiff the one note dude says

"Peter reminded us that every American is on the hook for their share of all of the money that was borrowed in their name."

Posted by: arby | Dec 24 2020 21:00 utc | 98

karlof1 | Dec 24 2020 18:22 utc | 91
re your excellent aim... Neoliberal Parasitic Feasting

The eco-social anomaly of inheritance is vital to understanding the "good times".

From the late 1800;s, a plot of land, could be had far more affordable than nearly any other place on inhabited Earth. After all, the entire 13 colonies were had merely for the cost of taking, often by bringing bullets to a spear fight. And afterward, there was a very slow climb in available land values [affordability] until post-WW2...say, 250 years! Just consider developed Europe, where there was little land available for sale at any price...families were loathe to ever give up their property unless by war-like disasters.Just consider trying to start a small business ...either pay breakass rent or crushing mortgage for your location aka land.

By the 1960s, USA real estate had soared and, because new generations were being born into non-war and non-starvation and jobs were plentiful.
The, like BOOM!, the young were inheriting instant wealth...namely fabulous land about "good times"!.

We are now into the 3rd or 4th generation of inherited wealth babies...DJTrump being a famous example...never had to seek work in order to eat or sleep in a bed or pay the doctor.

Do not miss the corollary effects on corporate insider dealings. That 1890-established corporation had land worth 10-50 millions in the 1970s, and carried quietly on its books for a tenth or 20th of realizable value [including side-deals and use of "intermediary" screens not on any statements] .

I was born in the 30' and by the 60's knew or knew of many ne'er-do-wells, many who devoted their lives to philanthropy or siting on Boards-of Directors or held cold seats at "charities" or collected art or..if you will, were merely dabbling in something, just for something to do or put on a "business" card...all to justify their existence to others and have faux admiration and faux self-respect.

What remains is a piss-pot as the pool of besotted "leadership" for all national and local positions, at all levels of the hierarchy from judges right down to the voters.

It will take spirits of 3-dimensional-chess quality to guide us out of this craziness to our benefit, and it probably is also to their benefit.

To the best there is in Man and the Goddesses and Gods who have preceded us...I toast to all.

Posted by: chu teh | Dec 24 2020 21:21 utc | 99

chu teh @99--

Yes, several excellent books exist telling the tale of how Capitalism got its start with the "discovery" of the Western Hemisphere. Three fundamental forms of Capital were expropriated to make that occur--Gold & Silver, Land, and Human Capital--as close to freely as one can get. In North America after 1783, two of the three were pursued. Newly included in that mix were the minerals that exited under the land that took the place of the gold & silver, until new sources of those were found. In 1862, the Homestead Act was enacted allowing ordinary folks to profit from the land seizure. Then in 1890, the Frontier was announced as closed, although there still existed Alaska as the soon to develop Gold Rush there reminded many. Yes, and many profited from the asset price inflation policy enacted after WW2 but is now out-of-control and causing an "Austerity Effect" instead of the intended Wealth Effect.

When the Outlaw US Empire's public finally becomes mostly Purple, then change will finally occur.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 24 2020 22:34 utc | 100

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