Taxes Are Going Up

Quelle surprise:

The tax this year will increase by two percentage points, to 6.2 percent from 4.2 percent, on all earned income up to $113,700.

Indeed, for most lower- and middle-income households, the payroll tax increase will most likely equal or exceed the value of the income tax savings. A household earning $50,000 in . . . → Read More: Taxes Are Going Up

A Useful Idiot

Paul Krugman:

So minting the [$1 trillion] coin would be undignified, but so what? At the same time, it would be economically harmless — and would both avoid catastrophic economic developments and help head off government by blackmail.

What we all hope, of course, is that the prospect of the coin or some equivalent . . . → Read More: A Useful Idiot

It’s Not The Worst Plan In The World

The Seattle Times:

If President Obama wants to avoid an economic calamity next year, he could always show up at a news conference bearing two shiny platinum coins, each worth … $1 trillion.

That sounds wacky, but some economists and legal scholars have suggested that the “platinum coin option” is one way to defuse . . . → Read More: It’s Not The Worst Plan In The World

Old is new again

So the CP daily blogh points to some recent reporting from PublicSource here in town on the impact of bid rigging in some municipal bonds for local school districts and the Port Authority.  I am unclear what the new news is. Some may recall a few old posts on this here.  August 2011: Monty . . . → Read More: Old is new again

Let’s Hope They Fire the Rest

Here’s something that I would normally call irony if it weren’t so evil:

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage (WFC) has fired a Des Moines worker over a 1963 incident at a Laundromat involving a fake dime in the wake of new employment guidelines. Richard Eggers, 68, was fired in July from his job as a . . . → Read More: Let’s Hope They Fire the Rest

29 is the new zero

So here is an issue a lot of us have been kvetching about for a long time.  Bloomberg has this today on the vast unknown of how all the thousands of municipal pension funds in Pennsylvania spend to administer their pension plans: Pennsylvania Pays Pension Penalty as Bond Costs Climb.   It may be the . . . → Read More: 29 is the new zero

Cosmic Justice

In the realm of inter-generational warfare:

According to government data, compiled by the Treasury Department at the request of, the federal government is withholding money from a rapidly growing number of Social Security recipients who have fallen behind on federal student loans. From January through August 6, the government reduced the size of . . . → Read More: Cosmic Justice

A Welcome Definition

Foseti provides one for “austerity”:

I’ve complained a few times that opponents of austerity refuse to define what they’re opposed to. Naively, I’d assumed that austerity meant that governments were cutting spending. Actually, it turns out governments continue to spend more money during period of austerity and even periods of “crippling austerity.” I’ve done . . . → Read More: A Welcome Definition

Not all pensions are created equal

So here is one of those factoids that may confuse those who read too much news.

So what do we know about the City of Pittsburgh’s pension system? Officially it was funded at around 56%, but that really is an old number. It also is a number that is more than double what it . . . → Read More: Not all pensions are created equal

Random Shots – Above Expectations

The market action of last week repeated a lesson that many a punter appeared to have forgotten. Never run a bearish book into a European summit and especially not one where expectations for a result are as lows as they were going into Friday’s meeting. Risk assets went up like a rocket with . . . → Read More: Random Shots – Above Expectations