ITEM: Y’all remember the “United Breaks Guitars” music video? Well, here’s a Downfall mashup (above) — possibly one of the best I’ve seen in a while.
ITEM: Coming out of the Bryon White Courthouse in downtown Denver this afternoon, I saw this protest going on in front of the Federal Building across the street:
In case you can’t read the signs, they are calling for Bush and Cheney to be tried for war crimes and treason. Note that there are fewer people at this entire protest than there were lined up in front of each and every one of the 80 or so PortaPotties at the 9/12 March in Washington DC. Just sayin’ . . .
ITEM: You know that cost estimate the Congressional Budget Office released yesterday for the Senate health plan? Well, it turns out there is no actual legislation — the estimate was done on some basic ideas:
The CBO scored the concepts described by the Baucus Committee. There is no legislative text. None. Baucus and his Democratic colleagues refused to reduce their concepts to actual legislation prior to a vote. Here is the CBO’s disclaimer:
CBO and JCT’s analysis is preliminary in large part because the Chairman’s mark, as amended, has not yet been embodied in legislative language.
The Baucus Concepts are disasterous, but that’s for another post. For this post, let me get across a simple concept: THERE IS NO BAUCUS BILL.
Your esteemed Senators on the Senate Finance Committee will not be voting on legislation because THERE IS NO BAUCUS BILL.
Your esteemed Senators have so little respect for you that some of them are willing to vote in favor of legislation which does not exist because THERE IS NO BAUCUS BILL.
The actual legislation will be drafted in secret by Harry Reid and a few other people, including staffers whose names and political connections you never will know, and the resulting legislation will be rammed through the Senate and House before anyone gets to read and analyze it.
Can you say “end run”, boys and girls? I knew you could. And it’s not like the mythical bill is that great a deal. Plus, Megan McArdle has her own analysis.
The trick the Administration must pull off is reigniting the revenue stream. The numbers could hardly be more stark: tax receipts fell off nearly 17 percent making FY 2009 the biggest single-year decline since 1932. Individual income tax receipts are down 22 percent from a year ago. Corporate income taxes are down 57 percent. Social Security tax receipts could drop for only the second time since 1940, and Medicare taxes are on pace to drop for only the third time ever. The sheer magnitude of the tax decline points to a lingering and deep recession that is reducing incomes and eroding corporate profits.
So . . . do you still think raising taxes is a good idea? Think that will increase those plummeting tax revenues? ..bruce w..