Morning Must Reads: March 19

In the news: pension problems, Fannie Mae, Israel, April immigration bill, decline in parties' influence, and the Seven Summits.

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Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

291 comments
La_Randy
La_Randy

Now for a better analysis of the Cyprus problem.

"Island Nightmares"

"In all three, runaway banking was the source of the crisis — although not everyone seems to get this, even now. Joe Weisenthal finds the most clueless remark so far about Cyprus, and it comes, you guessed it, fromGeorge Osborne, who seems to think it has something to do with lack of fiscal discipline. Actually, as theIMF(pdf) points out,

Before the 2008 crisis, Cyprus enjoyed a long period of high growth, low unemployment, and sound public finances.

Oh well. In any case, the question is what to do now."


"Iceland got through the crisis with less damage than Ireland, for two reasons. First, it let the banks default on liabilities to overseas creditors, including deposits in offshore accounts. Second, it had the flexibility that comes from having your own currency.

The own-currency advantage helped the real adjustment of the economy; it also allowed some fairly undisruptive financial repression, because the depreciation of the krona (coupled with temporary capital controls) led to a brief burst of inflation that eroded the real value of deposits. Savers were hurt — but with banks having grown to 10 times GDP, that was going to happen one way or another."

The resident troll erects a strawman then argues against it. There is no way the US economy is comparable or analogous to Cyprus or Greece.

These financial problems were caused by unregulated banks.

The question is who is going to regulate them?

paulejb
paulejb

"First, They Came For The Cypriots..."

"Aside from the fact that no fiscally responsible country should need a bailout and the roots of Cyprus' financial crisis is based on long-term big-spending government and low-information voters, the bank shutdown nevertheless sets an ugly precedent rooted in the growing arrogance of EU power."

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/031813-648417-expropriating-cyprus-private-insured-deposits-is-eu-overreach.htm

Never doubt that it could happen here. Liberals are salivating at the idea of confiscating your savings.

paulejb
paulejb

Revisiting WaPo ‘Fact-Check’ of Obamacare’s Taxes

"The fact is that the “Affordable” Care Act will impose $1 trillion in new taxes on the American people. That isn’t anyone’s opinion — it’s the official conclusion of the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO’s letter to Speaker Boehner last summer verified that there is $1 trillion in new revenue in the law."

Another trillion dollars drained from America's economy to fund Barack Hussein Obama's expansion of government.

paulejb
paulejb

The War Was Right; the Rhetoric Was Wrong

 "To be clear, Iraqis are far, far better off than they were under Saddam, but the soaring rhetoric made Americans believe that “victory” looked something like Nebraska-on-the-Euphrates, with ancient enemies living in democratic harmony. That was never realistic."

paulejb
paulejb

@MementoMori 

Lovely house. Hope Mr Jackson has many years of enjoyment there before the colors fade.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@paulejb

Repeated from below:

"A trillion dollars and 4000 American lives later.  Was that worth it?"

paulejb
paulejb

@outsider2011 

Saddam and his degenerate sons are dead and Iraq and the world are a better place. 

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@paulejb Last I checked, San Bernardino didn't have a banking industry that eclipsed its GDP

paulejb
paulejb

@forgottenlord @paulejb 

4000 brave Americans gave their lives to free the Iraqi people from a genocidal lunatic. They should be celebrated and their sacrifice should not be dismissed simply to promote a leftist political agenda.

paulejb
paulejb

@forgottenlord @paulejb 

Connect the dots, Forgotten. It is the pampering of the nomenklatura that is bankrupting cities, counties and nations.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@paulejb

Just a thought: if Obama really is the worst President ever and 51% still voted for him....what does that say about the other guy?

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@nflfoghorn 

I'm 4-0 and one undecided so far today against him.  His success rate is rather low for someone who's never been topped.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

That won't wash, Topper.  You've been topped today.

Same as every day you post here.

paulejb
paulejb

@nflfoghorn 

51% of voters also thought it was a keen idea to return the worst president ever to the White House to wreak ruin for four more years. 

grape_crush
grape_crush

@paulejb@forgottenlord> 4000 brave Americans gave their lives to free the Iraqi people from a genocidal lunatic.

No, America invaded and occupied Iraq because a (false) case had been made that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was willing to use them or let them be used against the United States.

4000 brave Americans gave their lives for a lie.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@paulejb

I don't really care who approved it - well I do, but it's not relevant to the current discussion. What is relevant is that whenever we sacrifice young men and women, regardless of the objective and regardless of whether that objective was achieved, we should always evaluate both before and after whether the price paid was worth it.  We should always do that process and we should always ask the question for a simple, perfectly clear reason: if it wasn't worth it, if we cannot reasonably look these young men and women in the eye and say it was worth it, we should learn from our mistake and endeavor not to make it again.  We owe it to them to ask the question.  I don't have a problem with you saying that it was worth it in your opinion.  I have a problem with you dodging the question.  I have a problem with you insinuating that I dishonor their memory by asking whether they should've been put into harm's way.  Whether we win or lose a war.  Whether the enemy was Satan incarnate or two drunk guys in a pickup truck, we should always ask the question.

We owe it to the people who gave their lives to save and protect others to ensure they are not joined by others and to make sure that when a soldier is sacrificed, they are sacrificed for something with meaning.

paulejb
paulejb

@forgottenlord 

4000 brave and true Americans gave their lives in a mission approved by the president and both houses of Congress. Democrats who voted to commence the war now have very convenient memories concerning their actions in 2002 and 2003.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

If anything, it is a dishonor to their sacrifice to not ask that question - regardless of which answer you give.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

It is hard to imagine how saying that 4000 lives was not worth the outcome is dismissing their sacrifice.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

Well if you don't raise the bar you'll never be disappointed.  ; )

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

The "they agreed to it too!" defense.  He still didn't answer the question.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

He won't answer.  Then he'll admit that he agrees with you.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@paulejb

Cyprus isn't going bankrupt due to payroll obligations but due to the fact that its banking industry eclipsed its GDP and when it went under, it drug the country with it.  In other words, unfettered capitalism caused a massive imbalance that destroyed the country.  The same thing happened in Ireland and Iceland and in neither of those cases was the problem an excess of salary for their employees.

Now, if you were to say Greece, you might have a case.  After all, Greece had large percentages of its workforce not paying taxes, its IRS equivalent was not enforcing the tax laws, and it was not creating anything that remotely resembled an actual budget.  Now, I would tend to argue that these were the real causes of Greece's problem, you could make a reasonable argument that they lead to the government over committing to their employees and therefore made it impossible to meet the obligations they had created.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@paulejb

We've been over this: Obama suggested it because it was a different path out of the mess that intransigent Republicans had created.  His veto threat was not to prevent the Sequester from being altered but to ensure that Congress didn't back out on its obligation to commit joint suicide - they either raised funds, made better cuts to spending, or just swallowed the pill.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@paulejb

Actually, Congressional Obstruction to raising the debt ceiling and threatening to destroy the faith and credit in the US lead to the Sequester.  All actions regarding how it was executed follow from there.

Or would you rather discuss how the country go to the point where the faith and credit in the US might even need to have been challenged because a particular somebody took a surplus to a deficit and ran it for 8 years before running the country itself into the ground?