Tag Archives: rick newman

Wednesday Morning News Roundup (Update)

US patent office is in bad need of reform.

Bachmann may be down but unfortunately, I don’t think that she should throw in the towel yet.

I think that President Obama needs to think big. He needs to go big. I would push him to go for a $1.5 trillion jobs package. Let the Republicans’ heads explode, to quote Cheney. He should take the package to the American people. He should say that an unemployment rate of 9.1% is criminal. We have to do better. We have to bring unemployment under 5% as quickly as possible. Rick Newman has a more middle of the road suggestion for the president.

I still think that Romney’s job proposal is laughable. There is nothing new. It is a continuation of what Bush started and that didn’t end so well for us. Well, before I completely trash it I should wait for some economists to come out with their thoughts.

We need to prepare for more costly disasters, not less. Eric Cantor, are you listening?

I know that Rick Perry has been bashing RomneyCare but a closer look is illuminating. 27% of Texans don’t have health insurance, whereas 5.3% of Massachusetts residents don’t have health insurance. I’m just saying.


Texas Wildfires. Tons of problems in East Texas

Yesterday, the Texas Forest Service responded to 19 new fires for 1,490 acres, including new large fires in Red River and Rusk counties. In the past seven days, Texas Forest Service has responded to 172 fires for 135,051 acres.

An assessment has been completed on the Bastrop County Complex and 785 homes have been reported destroyed. An additional 238 have been reported lost on other fires in the past three days, for a total of approximately 1,023.

A significant number of aircraft have been mobilized to assist with the heavy fire activity. Six heavy airtankers, three 1,500-gallon scoopers, 15 single-engine airtankers, 12 helicopters, and 12 aerial supervision aircraft are in place. Eight National Guard Blackhawk and three Chinook helicopters have been providing critical aerial support. In addition, a 12,000-gallon DC-10 airtanker will be activated Friday morning at the Austin-Bergstrom Airport. This aircraft was instrumental in helping to contain Wildcat Fire in Coke County last April.

A Type I Incident Management Team is in place in Bastrop this morning and is assisting Texas Forest Service in managing the Bastrop County Complex. Additional Type 1 teams have been requested to assist with the large fires in Northeast and Southeast Texas.

Remember that Rick Perry cut funding for fighting wildfires.

If you are going to invest in government bonds, whose are the safest?

45-year-olds need to plan on retiring at age 70 – Rick Perry. What? Why retire then? Who will have the money? Let’s just retire when we are dead. Is that okay with you, Rick?

Did you catch the London speech of Chicago Fed Chair Charles Evans? Here’s a piece:

Suppose we faced a very different economic environment: Imagine that inflation was running at 5% against our inflation objective of 2%. Is there a doubt that any central banker worth their salt would be reacting strongly to fight this high inflation rate? No, there isn’t any doubt. They would be acting as if their hair was on fire. We should be similarly energized about improving conditions in the labor market.

This has been my point for over 12 months. There are too many Americans out of work. Both parties are acting as if there is something that they need to put up at the Dry Cleaners. It is important but …. Damn it. Millions of Americans are out of work. Let’s get to it. Let’s put Americans back to work. NOW!

Finally, just to prove that we aren’t the only nation that has really crazy people – we have been voted the “coolest nation.” Really? Who votes in that poll? When you look at Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, do you think cool? Will Smith – cool. Lady Gaga – cool or odd? 🙂

Job numbers are good but we need better

Slowly but surely, the economy is heading in the right direction. If the economy were a patient, the patient would still be in the ICU on multiple antibiotics. Though still on a ventilator, the patient looks better and is heading in the right direction. An infusion of 244,000 new jobss is part of the prescription for getting the patient back on his/her feet. Over the last three months, private sector jobs have grown by over 700,000. This is all good news. Yet, as I have said over the previous months, it is not time to do the happy dance. It is time to give our patient an infusion of more jobs (stimulus), which will really jumpstart the economy. This is what is desperately needed. Unfortunately, the political atmosphere in Washington will not get this done. No meaningful legislation will come out of the House over the next 18 months.

We still have 14 million Americans who are unemployed. 14 million Americans! At our current rate of job growth we can get our unemployment level back to prerecession levels by the year 2016. Who can wait that long?

If you look at the numbers more critically and break down unemployment by groups, certain groups are clearly hurting more than others. The unemployment rate among our youth (16-24) is a whopping 17.6%. For those youth with only a high school education the unemployment rate averaged 21.8% last year. The unemployment rate among African-Americans is 16.1% and among Hispanics is 11.8%. The unemployment rate among men is 9.4% and among women 8.4%.

Wages are stagnant. Hourly wages rose a paltry three cents in April. With 14 million Americans unemployed, currently the economic pressure is not there for employers to raise wages. (Great article by Rick Newman about why wages are stuck in neutral.)

So, we need more jobs. We need better paying jobs.

The Errington Thompson Show 7-25-09

My special guests – Brian Katulis from the Center for American Progress, Middle East expert and Rick Newman, Senior Business Correspondent for US News and World Report.

I start the show by discussing healthcare. Since the discussion in Washington has become so confusing, I start at the beginning. I play a clip from Barack Obama’s news conference in which he lays out the facts of what happens if we keep the status quo. I think it is clear that the status quo will more than double our health care over the next 10 years. We know the statistics about bankruptcies and the crushing burden of healthcare on small businesses.

We need to do something different. The question is what? In my mind, in order to organize this process, I think it is important to lay out the goals. The goals that I have laid out for healthcare reform our portability, efficiency and cost effective. Many of the proposals that are currently floating around Washington are rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. The goals that I’ve outlined, in my opinion, are the minimum qualifications for healthcare reform.

Let’s simply look at the numbers. In 2007, we spent $2.2 trillion on health care. This averages out to approximate $7400 per American. Approximately $700 billion was spent on health insurance overhead. If the government takes the $700 billion and spends it on covering the 46 million Americans, we can do this and have money left over. We don’t need to inject any more money into the system. I then mention several ways that we can control costs. Finally, I discussed a few elephants in the room — immigration reform, which I think is intimately associated with health care reform and tort reform. One of the things that I didn’t mention, because of time, was that we should also look at Medicare and Medicaid fraud. How can we reduce the cheating in the system?

I chat with my special guest Brian Katulis, fellow at the Center for American Progress, Middle East expert. We begin the conversation by talking about Pakistan and what’s going on in Pakistan. We talk about this huge refugee crisis that has been caused by the military offensive against the Taliban. We also talk about the internal politics of Iraq and Iran. I appreciate Brian’s knowledge and his time.

I then talk to Rick Newman, Senior business correspondent for U.S. News & World Report. Malls. Rick has a series of columns on the health of our economy by looking at the health of several malls. Currently, malls are dying all across the United States. We talk about how we’ve got way too many retail stores and many of these malls are not going to survive this recession. We also discuss another one of his columns which focuses on several industries that are still don’t have a tough time even after the recession is over. This is a great discussion. I appreciate Rick’s insight into these topics.

This is a fun and informative show. Enjoy!