Everyone knows that an aging population is making Social Security and Medicare more expensive. But besides that, as the above chart shows, there’s just no evidence to suggest that we’re spending more than has been typical over the past fifty years. Indeed, we’re spending considerably less than during Ronald Reagan’s presidency. Granted, he spent a whole lot on defense programs, but still, it’s worth keeping this in mind the next time your granddad sends you a chain email about how Obama’s turning us into a socialist country. If he is, he’s doing a damn poor job of it.
Twitchy will update as news develops.
Via the New York Times:
Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki on Thursday night said he agreed to relinquish power, state television reported, a move that came after days of crisis in which Mr. Maliki’s deployment of extra security forces around the capital raised worries of a military coup.
While the country is not at peace, Mr. Maliki’s decision, nonetheless, appeared to pave the way for the first truly peaceful transition of power, based on democratic elections and without the guiding hand of American military forces, in modern Iraq’s history.
In stepping aside Mr. Maliki agreed to end his legal challenge to the nomination of his replacement, which was made on Monday when Iraq’s president nominated Haider al-Abadi, a member of Mr. Maliki’s own Shiite Islamist Dawa Party.
“Maliki steps down as prime minister in favor of Abadi,” the state television said on its Arabic-language news crawler.
There are reports that Justice Samuel Alito is authoring the majority opinion for the Hobby Lobby decision, which could be a clue as to which way the court will fall on the case.
For about twenty years following the end of the Second World War, incomes rose steadily for the typical American worker. Then, abruptly, like a flower that grows and blooms and then begins to wither, the economy stopped working for the benefit of everyone who contributes to it. President Kennedy’s famous assertion in 1963 (“A rising tide lifts all the boats“) is simply no longer plausible. This has perhaps never been so well illustrated as in the chart above by Eric Portelance, which shows median incomes for male workers in different age groups using Census data, adjusted for inflation. Incomes have not only become more volatile, they’ve also declined for working men of all ages over the last four decades.
At the same time that men’s incomes began to decline, women began entering the workforce in large numbers — fortunately for women, for men and for the economy as a whole. Median household incomes remained flat instead of declining as a result. Looking at men’s incomes as opposed to household incomes more clearly shows the differences between now and before women began working.
Clearly, something happened around the time of the Vietnam War, and what that you think that something was determines your opinions about the economy in general. Some argue that government spending on the war, combined with loose monetary policy, led to a decade of inflation and halted equitable growth. Others blame the decline of the manufacturing unions. Still others attribute the change to increasingly assertive regulation by new bureaus such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, both formed during the Nixon administration. Perhaps not coincidentally, Milton Friedman published an article in 1970 arguing that corporations should elevate shareholders over employees and customers, establishing what remains a crucial theoretical tenet in business schools and on Wall Street. Or perhaps, with women and a new generation of young people born right after the war entering the workforce, there were simply too many people looking for work, and wages declined.
Know More has opinions about all of these questions but will not trouble you with them here. A tip of the hat to Junk Charts.
Michigan Democratic Rep. John Dingell announced that he’ll be retiring at the end of this term after 58 years in Congress. Yes, 58 years. That’s way too much time and nothing to celebrate, according to many:
Dingell’s retirement announcement generated a fresh wave of calls for term limits:
Perspective on the length of time Dingell has been in Congress:
Well today, two days later, he finally broke his silence:
Nice of Obama to “mention” the slain hero.
Hey, it was the least POTUS could do — the very least.
Not to mention sad and incredibly disrespectful. But what else would you expect from him?
As Twitchy reported, still photography will be allowed during today’s Obama-Biden lunch date. Plenty of people thought the timing was suspect, as portions of former SecDef Robert Gates’ new book, which is quite critical of Obama and Biden, made the rounds yesterday. But the White House wants to assure all skeptics that the cameras will purely be around for transparency purposes. Because Obama promised a transparent presidency, and doggone it, he makes good on his promises!
Unfortunately, nobody seems to be buying what the White House is selling. We can’t imagine why that would be.
Yeah, that’s what we thought.
So, this tweet went out Thursday morning:
Way to tease, Drudge! The tweet was likely meant to link this Washington Examiner article about Sen. Cruz’s declaration that he will be proposing legislation to “ban the FCC’s latest adventure in ‘net neutrality’.” But Twitter users had some other ideas.
Say it ain’t so …
The most delightful idea? This one:
“Our country is in the midst of a crisis manufactured by President Obama and his administration’s refusal to enforce our nation’s immigration laws,” wrote Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to John Boehner and Harry Reid today.
“It has become clear that the administration has encouraged this massive influx and intends to continue ignoring the states’ calls to end this policy,” Brewer continued. “Furthermore, it is indisputably evident that our border is not secure and is hardly “more secure than ever.”
That seems pretty likely.
The same group that turned a Martin Luther King Jr. Day march into a protest for a $15 an hour minimum wage was at it again today in Seattle, Wash., calling for a one-day citywide boycott of McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King.
Council member Kshama Sawant, who describes herself as a proud socialist, again marched with the protesters.
Not even President Obama is suggesting a $15 an hour minimum wage, and it wasn’t all solidarity under the #McPoverty hashtag either.