Warren vs. Wall Street CEOs

There is an astounding disconnect between Elizabeth Warren and the man for whom she gave her excellent speech at last night’s pep rally:

“People feel like the system is rigged against them,” Warren said. “And here’s the painful part: they’re right. The system is rigged. Look around. Oil companies guzzle down billions in subsidies. Billionaires pay lower tax rates than their secretaries. Wall Street CEOs — the same ones who wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs — still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them.

“Anyone here have a problem with that?”

Warren sounds like a Democrat. Expect the big chief to totally muffle her themes when he speaks tonight. I’m picturing Obama buddy Tim Geithner’s reaction as she spoke… He is not applauding.

Economic inequality = political inequality

Worth repeating from Joseph Stiglitz’s recent piece about Mitt Romney, tax cheat:

Those at the top include a disproportionate number of monopolists who increase their income by restricting production and engaging in anti-competitive practices; CEOs who exploit deficiencies in corporate-governance laws to grab a larger share of corporate revenues for themselves (leaving less for workers); and bankers who have engaged in predatory lending and abusive credit-card practices (often targeting poor and middle-class households). It is perhaps no accident that rent-seeking and inequality have increased as top tax rates have fallen, regulations have been eviscerated, and enforcement of existing rules has been weakened: the opportunity and returns from rent-seeking have increased.

Today, a deficiency of aggregate demand afflicts almost all advanced countries, leading to high unemployment, lower wages, greater inequality, and – coming full, vicious circle – constrained consumption. There is now a growing recognition of the link between inequality and economic instability and weakness.

There is another vicious circle: economic inequality translates into political inequality, which in turn reinforces the former, including through a tax system that allows people like Romney – who insists that he has been subject to an income-tax rate of “at least 13%” for the last 10 years – not to pay their fair share. The resulting economic inequality – a result of politics as much as market forces – contributes to today’s overall economic weakness.

Big Dawg

Bill Clinton talked for maybe an hour without a teleprompter – and the crowd loved it. Here’s the transcript.

Mistakes? He plugged Simpson-Bowles. No, I don’t think so.
Also pushed the fairy tale that people are out of work because they’re not retrained for high-tech jobs.
But really, other than that, a tour de force!


Gov. Rick Perry proved he is dumber than a fencepost in his bid to be the Republican presidential nominee. Unfortunately for women in Texas, he is as mean as he is dumb:

The State of Texas plans to move forward with a wholly remade women’s health program on November 1 that excludes Planned Parenthood’s clinics from receiving state funds, prohibits doctors from discussing abortion with patients and refuses health services entirely if the patient happens to be pregnant.

In doing so, Gov. Rick Perry and the Republican-controlled Texas legislature will forgo nearly $40 million in federal assistance, placing the program’s financial burden upon Texas taxpayers instead, all because federal law that requires states not discriminate against health providers when distributing federal funds…

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