Archive for the ‘Senate’ Category

Sen. Bill Nelson on Obama Budget: Need to ‘Rework This Whole Thing’

March 24, 2009

Sen. Bill Nelson, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, said the Obama budget will have to be revised in light of the latest Congressional Budget Office projections.

By Mary Lu Carnevale
The Wall Street Journal

The Florida Democrat said in an interview on Fox News Channel this morning that “we’re going to have to go back and rework this whole thing, and that’s going to be done this week in the Budget Committee.” He later added that “Kent Conrad, our chairman of the Budget Committee, is definitely going to have to be Merlin.” CBO numbers released Friday show federal deficits over the next decade will exceed President Barack Obama’s projections by $2.3 trillion.

Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat, had warned on Friday that cuts would be forthcoming. “The reality is, we are going to have to make adjustments to the president’s budget if we want to keep the deficit on a downward trajectory,” he said.

So where does Nelson say the money is coming from? “You have to finagle with the numbers,” he said. “You want to keep on the three main themes of the president, which is the environment, health and education.”

Pressed for specifics, Nelson said: “Well, you’re going to have to redo health care so that some of its upfront costs are less, so that you bring down the cost over the 10-year period. Likewise, you’re going to have to speed up the revenues coming in from such things as possibly a cigarette tax, possibly — as the cap-and-trade — going into climate control.”

Getting cap-and-trade legislation – opponents call it “cap and tax” — and a higher cigarette tax through Congress, however, might require more than one Merlin.

Senate Dems Back Away From AIG Bonus Tax; Cuomo Says Bonuses Returned “Voluntarily”

March 24, 2009

Rank-and-file Senate Democrats on Monday helped put the brakes on their own congressional leaders’ frenzied dash to enact new taxes to take back executive bonuses at bailed-out Wall Street firms.

By S. A. Miller
The WashingtonTimes

Democratic defectors echoed President Obama‘s and business leaders’ concerns about the tax bill’s legality and chilling effect on struggling financial firms. Critics said the tax penalty could scare banks from participating in the Treasury plan announced Monday to buy toxic assets in order to unfreeze credit markets.

“I think the president is right. We shouldn’t be making decisions here out of anger,” said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, referring to comments Mr. Obama made Sunday on CBS’ “60 Minutes” urging a more deliberate approach.

New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo said Monday evening that some employees at American International Group Inc., the company whose bonuses have drawn the ire of Congress and the public, will voluntarily give back the money. AIG is under fire for paying $165 million in bonuses while being kept afloat with a $170 billion infusion from the government.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/20
09/mar/24/senate-democrats-puts-brake
s-on-fast-track-bonus-t/

***************

Cuomo Says AIG Execs Will Return Bonuses “Voluntarily”

By MARY WILLIAMS WALSH and CARL HULSE
The New York Times

The New York State attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, said on Monday that he had persuaded nine of the top 10 bonus recipients at the American International Group to give the money back, as the Senate retreated on plans to tax such bonuses.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/24/b
usiness/24bonus.html?_r=1&hp

Dodd Caper, House Vote on 90% Tax, Highlights Founders Hopes; Modern Reality

March 21, 2009

When the House voted last week and passed a 90% tax on those rascals who got bonuses after the federal government bailed out their companies, many thoughts went through my mind.

The furor over $165 million in bonuses American International Group Inc. paid some of its employees while receiving billions of dollars in federal bailout money has tarnished Senator Christopher Dodd, certainly.  It seems he was caught in a lie, first saying he added a measure to protect the taxpayer by removing the bonuses, and then saying he protected the bonuses but under pressure from others.

And people in his state are making noise that he should be removed: which I’d be doing if I lived there.

But people forget and Dodd has done a lot for many voters in his state which may decide to retain him in the future.

Unfortunately, a Republican member of the House, Rob Simmons, may have already decided to take on Dodd in the election due to the AIG snafu….

For Dodd, too bad he wasn’t just elected last November…then his reelection would be six years away….

Dodger Dodd Dogged By AIG
From CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/03
/21/aig.dodd/index.html?section=cnn_latest

Dodd’s Stock Way Down Even Before AIG
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090
321/ap_on_re_us/aig_outrage_dodd_3

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. ... 
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. listens to witness testimony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 19, 2009, during the committee’s hearing on bank regulation and supervision.(AP photo/Harry Hamburg)

And although my consitituional law and American history lessons are a little vague, here is what we might discuss about the House action on the 90% tax…..

John Marshall believed that the greatest danger to a strong Union would be the state legislatures, which were too likely to be swayed by the people’s fleeting and irrational passions.

I love that notion of fleeting and irrational passions.

This is one of the reasons the Founders wanted a strong federal government and also one of the reasons that Senators serve 6 year terms while House members serve two year terms. 
.
It was understood that members of the House would stand closer to their people, through reelection, at all times.

Thus, members of the House are more subject to the fleeting and irrational passions of their people.Of course, the Founders had no idea how much our modern media including the Internet, You Tube, cable TV, et al could fuel and fan those fleeting and irrational passions…..

 

This explains why the Senate slowed down action on the House’s 90% tax measure in their chambers….

Wkipedia says this about the Senate, which is subject to debate but worth thinking about: “The Senate is a more deliberative body than the House of Representatives because the Senate is smaller and its members serve longer terms, allowing for a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere that is somewhat more insulated from public opinion than the House.”

On the 90% tax itself, I am reminded of these quotes:

“An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy,” said Daniel Webster, in the case of McCulloch v. Maryland.

John Marshall said this just a bit differently: “That the power to tax involves the power to destroy … [is] not to be denied.”

It should also be noted why many commentators have said that the tax, used as a punishment, is illegal.
.
Punishment by tax is unconstitutional becaue that is the kind of trickery pulled to punish our Founders the colonists: by the King of England.

There could be a legal challenge to this bill: telling us again that rushed legislation is often bad legislation….Like the stimulus….

The Senate has to decide next week what it thinks of this 90% tax…..so just taking a ‘time out” over the weekend may be the only modern relief from the fleeting and irrational passions.

Related:

See Michelle Malkin:
Calls For Dodd in Conn.
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/0
3/21/liveblogging-the-lexington-k
y-tea-party/

Experts Say Courts Would Uphold Congress on 90% Tax
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pi
d=20601087&sid=aC_hgTeumc70&ref
er=worldwide

“Dodd The Dodge” — Senator Weasels Away The Truth; And Not Artfully

March 18, 2009

Senator Chris  Dodd was quoted by several news sources including Jim Engle of Fox News Channel today as saying he did not write the specific language in the “stimulus” bill that protected the AIG bonuses.

He said the language he wrote was changed by somebody somewhere, perhaps in the conference committee.

But in a web posting in CNN’s political ticker this afternoon, CNN said Dodd told them he did write the AIG bonus language.

He didn’t before he did?

Related:
 Obama, Congress, Treasury, Fed: Shameful Mismanagement of Your Money, Recovery

“Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd told CNN’s Dana Bash and Wolf Blitzer Wednesday that he was responsible for adding the bonus loophole into the stimulus package that permitted AIG and other companies that received bailout funds to pay bonuses. Officials with the Obama administration pushed to make sure contracts for bonuses at companies receiving federal bailout money stayed in place, a Treasury Department official told CNN.”

“The clause in effect created the loophole that officials at AIG say is requiring them to pay millions of dollars in bonuses after receiving funds. On Tuesday, Dodd denied to CNN that he had anything to do with the adding of that provision. ”

Dodd is a snake and should be punished….

But he also seems to indicate that White House staffers suggested the language that allowed the AIG bonuses….Or Treasury (Geithner) and perhaps Larry Summers….

Did Obama White House Fuel AIG Bonus Mess To Enact Tougher Rules With Public Support, “Outrage”?
(You bet they did)

The stimulus was a rush job caused by a president that proclaimed a national crisis.  The Congress needs to start doing  a much better job — and not allow the procss to be short circuited again…..  This group is disgraceful…

The president railroaded a willing Democratic congress on the stimulus.

The push to get the bill through was so frantic members of Congress didn’t have a chance to read all 1,071 pages of the document before they could vote.

Don’t forget what a Texas Republican said about the stimulus:

Why The Rush, Really?

“The longer a piece of garbage lays out in the sun the worse it stinks,” said Republican Representative John Culberson (R-TX), refeering to the Obama stimulus.  “That’s why the bill was hidden and  kept off the Internet.”

“This is a crime of deceit put upon the American people,” he said.

“This bill was intentionally hidden from lawmakers and the public.”

“This is one of the largest outrages ever committed,” said.

“Nobody read this bill before it was passed,” he said.

The ticker entry at CNN is marked 6:03 PM March 18:
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/

Shame on Dodd but more importantly shame on President Obama and all the Democrats in congress for running the stimulus through the legislative process with no committee hearings and too little thought.  Every single time we’ve seen such rushed legislation we wind up with very bad law.

For Obama and Democrats to act “outraged” not at the AIG bonuses is pure theater and is no accident: Obama is using the AIG Bonus dust up as an excuse to overhaul rules for all companies accepting “bailout mone” and that smakes of a communist or socialist takeover of our capitalism entirely….

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/18/
chris-dodd-confesses-yes-i-slipped-in-th
e-aig-bonus-protection/

Related:
 Dodd Allowed AIG To Thrive in His State, Approved Bonuses: Now Throws Them Under The Bus

Obama: Look the other way but spend more faster

Stimulus: Way Fewer Jobs Than You Thought

Thowing Money Around Isn’t Always the Cure

From February 14:

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank says he sees a “happy ending” to the nation’s economic woes within several years, has “a lot of confidence” in the Obama administration economic team, and argues that most of the money being spent to revive US banks “is going to be repaid.”

Government policy will change as a result of the nation going through tough economic times, Frank said. There will be “a renewed appreciation for the importance of the government setting rules,” he said. “You will get a new, systemic-risk regulatory regime.”

Despite the market’s reaction, “I have a lot of confidence in Geithner and [Lawrence] Summers,” who heads Obama’s National Economic Council, Frank said.

Read it all:
 Barney Frank: Happy ending possible despite economic mess

Government doesn’t get more distasteful…

On February 13:

Today I voted against the largest spending bill in the history of the United States Congress. This bill violated House rules, was crafted in secret by unelected Democrat staff, and gave the American people only 15 hours to read nearly 1,500 pages. All so Speaker Pelosi could make her trip to Italy.

This bill is also full of pet projects and wasteful spending. How does $300 million for golf carts help stimulate the economy? Economists from around the country have said this bill will do nothing to stimulate the economy and it’s easy to see why.

In just 18 legislative days, this Congress has spent over $1.1 trillion dollars and vastly expanded the federal government. For the rest of the 111th Congress, I will continue fighting to protect the American economy and your hard earned tax dollars from the free-spending Democrat majority.

–John Abney Culberson (R-TX)

Obama Has Failed To Spell Out His Vision

March 14, 2009

President Obama has failed to lay out an integrated, realistic and comprehensive vision for his presidency, despite his inaugural address, a “state of the union” like opportunity before a joint session of Congress, and innumerable major policy speeches on health care, the economy, education et al.

And maybe he likes it that way.

Forget about any vision spelled out by Obama during the campaign for the White House — all those promises have either evaporated, been disarded or swepts aside by Obama himself, by the pratical applications of the presidency or by the economic “catastrophe”  — so named by Obama himself.

Transparency turned out to be opaque, lobbyists did get jobs and on and on.

American foreign policy is already adrift, with inept liaisons between Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, a severe challenge to the freedom of the seas by China and a rattling of sabers by North Korea that only Japan has accepted as a real problem.

Obama has lost a key airbase in Kyrgyzstan that could impair allied efforts in Afghanistan, which could ultimately go down the drain along with its neighbor Pakistan.

And the legal wrangling over Gitmo, the use of terms like “terrorism” and “enemy combatant” is taking us where?

Where and how are the questions.  Where is U.S. foreign policy headed and how does Obama propose to get there?

If these questions are not answered, and soon, we can likely expect a reactive rather than a proactive U.S. foreign policy, which we have had for at least eight years and perhaps many more depending upon one’s point of view.  The Bush Administration, despite its trumpeting of the Bush Doctrine, largely reacted to 9-11 and other real world events.

Will Obama do the same?

And on domestic policy, there is a growing sense of discord between those that want the economic ills solved before we dive into overhauling health care, education, the environment and our national energy system and thioose like Obama who say this is exactly the right tme to overhaul everything.

Obama crammed the stimulus through a frightened congress without hearings and followed that with an omnibus packed with pork earmarks that he pledged to eliminate during the campaign and this week promised to eliminate next year.

There is no now in explaining the truth in this Administration so far, only fear and we have to do it all without worry about the cost and the debt.

Where’s the blueprint?  Where’s the roadmap?

The only roadmap so far is to look at the proposed spending.  This is the administration of spending without apparent planning.  And the very fact that commentators are asking about socialism shows the theme one gets from looking at the spending.

Maybe Obama believes this is the ONLY time to move his domestic agenda along — during a period of crisis with a Democratically controlled congress with little analytical effort, a willing public, and an Obama swallowing media….plus a lot of voters who will profit from all this spending.

That’s socialism.

*******************

By Sean Wilentz

The president did an excellent job explaining how the federal government has spurred economic growth in the past, but, historian Sean Wilentz asks, when is he going to lay out a specific vision for America’s future?

It’s been nearly a decade since the country has heard a vibrant, full-throated Democratic speech from a president of the United States. President Obama gave one tonight. In presenting his budget priorities to the Congress and the American people, he provided a clear defense of the federal government’s historic role as a catalyst for economic growth and the nation’s welfare. From the Transcontinental Railroad to the Interstate Highway System, he explained, private wealth has always expanded with the help of the national government. And with that, the president exorcised the political spirit of Ronald Reagan from Capitol Hill.

Energy, health, education—these are at the top of the administration’s agenda. If nothing had happened last September, when Lehman Brothers was allowed to collapse, these policies also would have been at the top. But a great deal has changed since the Democratic convention ratified the party’s platform, with these same priorities. The country and the world have plunged into the greatest economic crisis since the Depression. And that must be the president’s chief preoccupation.

Read the rest:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs
-and-stories/2009-02-24/obamas-
day-of-reckoning/

****************************

By Ted Anthony, AP

“He sees this emergency as a time to reshape the country,” says Theodore Sorensen, one of Kennedy’s top advisers who was instrumental in shaping the famed 1961 inaugural address that defined the mission of the New Frontier.

Sorensen was struck by Obama’s use of the economic crisis to open channels to other issues — from the imperative of education as a patriotic duty to universal health care and a recalibration of environmental issues. Ultimately, each impacts the economy.

Finding the right fit

To frame his goals, Obama invoked the always appealing image of Americans dreaming big and having their biggest achievements ahead of them. Trouble is, his next steps, as outlined, are far too interventionist for Republicans’ comfort.

Princeton University historian Sean Wilentz, whose latest book chronicles the age of Ronald Reagan, says Obama, with Tuesday’s address, “exorcised” Reagan.

Just as Reagan articulated decades-old GOP principles in his own way, so, too, did Obama synthesize varied progressive principles into his plan of action.

“We’re getting an update of Democratic ideals,” Wilentz says. “The age of Reagan is over. Republicans … have nothing. Ideas that once commanded the heights of national politics 30 years ago are now in disarray….

Read the rest:
http://www.tennessean.com/articl
e/20090226/NEWS08/902260341

Related:
Obama Could Lose Afghanistan, Pakistan

Obama Backs Off, Japan Ready To Shoot Down North Korean Missile

 Obama Backs-Off On Human Rights Issues: Economy is That Important

“we still managed to spend more money and pile up more debt, both as individuals and through our government, than ever before.”  Barack Obama said this during his joint session of congress speech but now is adding even more debt…..

Obama speech, Feb 24, 2009:
http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/200
9/02/obamas_speech_before_joint_ses.html

“In other words, we have lived through an era where too often short-term gains were prized over long-term prosperity”

What is the stimulus and the omnibus spells long-term prosperity?

Obama: Crisis is time of ‘great opportunity’

March 7, 2009

President Barack Obama on Saturday challenged his country to see its hard times as a chance to “discover great opportunity in the midst of great crisis.”

By Ben Feller, AP

“That is what we can do and must do today. And I am absolutely confident that is what we will do,” Obama said in his weekly radio and video address, taped a day earlier at the White House.

The work week ended on more down news, with the report of 651,000 more American jobs slashed and an unemployment rate climbing to 8.1 percent. That is the highest rate of people out of work in more than 25 years, as the recession continued to put enormous pressures on families and industries.

Obama recapped the work of the latest hectic week in his young presidency. His goal was to reassure the country that he and his team are taking specific steps to create jobs in the short term and begin to address huge issues such as health care.

Read the rest:
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20
090307/D96P7GG00.html

http://www.cheatseekingmissiles.com/
2009/03/07/the-taxinator/

Democratic Attacks On Limbaugh Boost His Ratings — But He’s Not The Problem

March 7, 2009

Democrats already control the White House, House of Representatives and the Senate.  But to make sure the Democrat dominance continues for the forseeable future, Democrats have alredy nominated and elected their next opponent from the Republican Party: Rush Limbaugh.

As Jonathan Mann writes for CNN:

As Republicans adapt to the role of an opposition party and search for a new opposition leader, Limbaugh may be emerging as their champion.

“The Democrats would love it,” writes Mann.  “They think that Limbaugh, 58, is the very personification of an ugly Republican stereotype: he’s a small-town college drop-out, an angry white man, who they believe offends the ethnic, urban and educated Americans the Democrats want to attract.”

But it is not that easy.  And what many Democrats seem to be missing by demonizing Limbaugh is this: more than 45% of Americans did not vote for Barack Obama and already Limbaugh has energized a very vocal and angry Obama opposition — which is probably not going to make Limbaugh a candidate but will spread his ideas and opinions.

As Howard Kurtz wrote in the Washington Post on Friday, “By one measure, Rush Limbaugh is a clear winner this week: His ratings have nearly doubled since his feud with the White House burst into the media limelight.”

What seems to make perfect sense just now to Democrats, pummeling Limbaugh, seems to me and other conservatives like the childish beating administered by a baseball team upon a member of the other team’s cheering section.  Limbaugh isn’t an elected politician or really a member of the media: he is a voice on radio now given even more listeners who just want to find out what all this ruckus is about.

Democrats are, in fact, enouraging people that never, ever listened to Limbaugh to give him a chance.  The fact that CNN and the Fox News Channel both broadcast Limbaugh’s remarks before the CPAC last week was in part fueled by the Democratic attacks.

It seems to me that the Obama Administration, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are already busily juggling hand grenades including the economy, health care, ecucation, the envoronment and energy — and don’t gain a lot from going on the offensive and creating an uproar.

Unless Democrats just want voters to look the other way.  After all, real legislation and governing really is a lot like making sausage….

CNN:
Rush Limbaugh is the anti-Obama?
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITI
CS/03/06/anti.obama/index.html

Kurtz, Washington Post:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/
content/article/2009/03/05/AR2009030
503770.html?wprss=rss_politics/congress

Rush Limbaugh: Whether or not you agree with him he's something to hear.

Rush Limbaugh: Whether or not you agree with him he’s something to hear.

Related:
 Limbaugh: Meaningless Clown, “Entertainer” or de facto Republican Leader?

Harry Reid: Good News, Bad News

March 7, 2009
One of the most powerful men in the United States, Harry Reid is also a frequent subject for debate.  His rail project to protitution and vice is a case in point.  The Republicans’ biggest nightmare is also sometimes the Democrats’ biggest nightmare….

*******

The majority leader may be the most powerful Democrat in the U.S. Senate and in Nevada history. But his clout has made him a top target for Republicans nationwide.

By Mark Z. Barabak
Los Angeles Times
March 7, 2009
Reporting from Carson City, Nev. — When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid came home recently to address the Nevada Legislature, a small but vocal band of Republican protesters gathered at the state Capitol. They waved signs, razzed Democrats and marched outside.

But the group fell silent when asked the chances of ousting Reid at the polls next year. “It’s going to be tough,” demonstrator Carol Howell, 65, finally said.

Reid the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld
/nation/la-na-reid7-2009mar07,0,41403
96.story?track=rss

Harry Reid
.
Harry Reid of Nevada, the top Senate Democrat, often talks of his clout in D.C. But across the country, conservative groups have formed with the express purpose of denying the Senate leader a fifth term. Photo: AP Lauren Burke

Households, Businesses Have Stopped Spending; Now It’s Congressional Responsibility Time

March 6, 2009

Here is the top economic news today:

–Unemployment reached a level not seen since 1983.

–The stock market hasn’t been this low since 1997.

–The Senate refused the president’s $410 billion omnibus spending bill last night, necessitating a continuing resolution at last year’s spending levels, at least until the omnibus can be reconsidered next week.

–The Republican Leader in the House, John Boehner, has called for a government spending freeze.

–The head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has warned that the fund insuring Americans’ bank deposits could be wiped out this year without the money the agency is seeking in new fees from U.S. banks and thrifts.

–The Treasury Secretary’s pick as his number one deputy withdrew her name from consideration last night.  The top 17 senior posts at Treasury are vacant with no names announced to fill those posts.  A Senate hearing was cancelled yesterday because Treasury could not cough up a reporesentative for the hearing.  And as for Mr. Geithner himself, Warren E. Buffett has said: “Beware of geeks bearing formulas.”

–A Record 31.8 million Americans now get food stamps.

http://money.cnn.com/2009/03/05/ne
ws/economy/foodstamps.reut/index.ht
m?section=money_latest

Worried now?  I am.  especially since President Barack Obama wants to spend untold trillions still: on health care, bank bailouts, foreclosure and mortagage subsidies, a conversion of the nation’s energy system from oil, gas and coal to wind and magic, and still more.

The president already has said mean things about the engine drivers of the American economy, and made it clear he intends to raise their taxes and cut their perks and pay.  Consequently they have decided to invest less and hire fewer worker.  You would have done the same.

All homeowners will lose some of their mortgage interest tax deduction under the Obama plan: a strange idea during a housing crisis.

And we can all expect to pay more for everything when this huge debt we are developing turns into the likely ugly dragon of inflation.  Add to that oil and gas prices which will likely rise with OPECs help and the president’s “cap and trade” idea for energy and carbon limits and PRESTO: we could have a real economic meltdown.

I’m with Republicans in the House and Senate: this is a good time to kill the 9,000 earmarks contained in the omnimbus and settle for a continuing resolution to finish out this year.

Related:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top Republican in the House is seizing on the latest spike in unemployment to call for a freeze on government spending and to urge President Barack Obama to veto a $410 billion spending bill.

Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the jump in unemployment to 8.1 percent and the loss of 651,000 jobs in February is a sign of a worsening recession that demands better solutions from both parties.

Boehner criticized the spending bill as chocked full of wasteful, pork-barrel projects. The Senate postponed a vote on the bill until Monday amid the criticism.

Boehner said he hoped Obama would veto the bill. He urged the president to work with House Republicans to impose a spending freeze until the end of this fiscal year.

More Related:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/06/hou
se-republicans-push-for-spending-freeze/

******
WASHINGTON – The head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has warned that the fund insuring Americans’ bank deposits could be wiped out this year without the money the agency is seeking in new fees from U.S. banks and thrifts.

FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair acknowledged, in a letter to bank CEOs, that the new increased fees and hefty emergency premium the agency voted to levy last week will bring a “significant expense” to banks, especially amid a recession and financial crisis when their earnings are under pressure.

“We also recognize that assessments reduce the funds that banks can lend in their communities to help revitalize the economy,” Bair wrote.

But given the accelerating bank failures that have been depleting the deposit insurance fund, she said, it “could become insolvent this year.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/200903
04/ap_on_bi_ge/fdic_bank_fund_w
arning

*****

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd is moving to allow the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to temporarily borrow as much as $500 billion from the Treasury Department.

The Connecticut Democrat’s effort — which comes in response to urging from FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner — would give the FDIC access to more money to rebuild its fund that insures consumers’ deposits, which have been hard hit by a string of bank failures.

Read the rest from The Wall Street Journal:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1236
30125365247061.html

Related:
Unemployment Highest Since 1983; Business Leaders Have No Confidence in Obama Economic Plan, Team

American Workers, Businesses Cut Back; Obama Launches Spending Spree
.
Presidency of Fear

Obama’s Brazen Deception: Why The Stock Market Won’t Recover Soon

 Senate Halts Obama Spending; At Least For The Week End

 Obama plan to prevent foreclosures won’t help many California homeowners

“People that create American wealth are going on strike”

Obama’s Economic Strategy Akin To LBJ’s Vietnam Fiasco: “Pour In More”

Stimulus: “Buy American” Retained; Sure To Anger International Partners

February 14, 2009

Congress approved protectionist measures in a $789 billion stimulus bill Friday that U.S. trading partners have warned could spark a trade war.

Associated Press

The bill, however, left the Obama administration some room to maneuver to appease other countries who say it will benefit U.S. companies unfairly.

The stimulus bill was approved by the House Friday afternoon and by the Senate later in the evening. It now goes to President Barack Obama who is expected to sign into law quickly.

Major partners, including the European Union and Canada, say the legislation favoring U.S. steel, iron and manufactured goods for government projects could undermine pledges by the leaders of major economies not to resort to perfectionism during the world economic downturn.

Requirements known as “Buy American” were softened as the bill progressed through Congress and after strong criticism from abroad. Senate and House negotiators agreed to a version that would require the government not to violate trade agreements when implementing the law.

The bill also allows the Obama administration and state governments to waive requirements to favor U.S. companies if they deem it in the U.S. public interest and if they publish a justification.

The dispute has put Obama in a difficult position. While campaigning last year, he raised questions whether U.S. trade agreements contained sufficient protection for labor and environmental standards. He has warned recently, however, about antagonizing trading partners and has made clear that passage of the overall stimulus bill is needed urgently to mend the U.S. economy.

In several television interviews last week, he said the stimulus package should not include protectionist language that could trigger a trade war. But now that it does, he is likely to sign it anyway. The measures appear, however, to give the administration discretion about how to implement spending decisions, given the requirement of meeting trade obligations.

Read the rest:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/elections/2009/
02/13/congress-approves-protectionist-measure-
spark-trade-war/

*****************

President Obama visited the Caterpillar factory in East Peoria, Illinois this last week.

Caterpillar says it pays $100,000 in tariffs on each piece of heavy equipment it exports to Columbia, because the U.S. Congresss has failed to pass the free trade agreement….

Now with this “buy American” provision in the stimulus it is likely the U.S. will find trouble with other trading partners…

Related:
 Pastor Obama Continues With Holy Stimulus, But The Congregation Isn’t Buying

Why Europe No Longer In Obama Camp Over Stimulus
.
China’s leader Hu Jintao cautioned President Obama about the “buy American” provision in the economic stimulus plan during a phone conversation.

Related:
CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITIC
S/02/05/senate.buy.american/index.html

 “Buy American” Sounds Good; Carries An Unbearable Down Side

Obama Caught Between World Leaders, Congress, U.S. Voters on “Buy American”

 Dallas Federal Reserve Chief, China, Germany All Call Protectionism “Death”

China announced that President Hu Jintao, seen here in 2008, ...
President Hu Jintao of China (AFP/File/Louisa Gouliamaki)

Made in china.jpg