Thursday, August 30, 2012

Zero Honor Between Thieves:   Rmoney OutLies Lyan (About His Very Own Taxpayer Bailout), AARP Benefits From and Spreads Right-Wing Social Security Thieves' Ruse, and Vast Wealth of Congress Critters (Making Money Off Your Losses)

I have to admit sheepishly that after last night I though Lyan was the most egregious liar between the two Rethug candidates.

Not any more.

The Federal Bailout That Saved Bain Capital & Mitt Romney

Government documents prove the candidate's mythology is just that

by: Tim Dickinson
Mitt Romney likes to say he won't "apologize" for his success in business. But what he never says is "thank you" – to the American people – for the federal bailout of Bain & Company that made so much of his outsize wealth possible.

In fact, government documents on the bailout obtained by Rolling Stone show that the legend crafted by Romney is basically a lie. The federal records, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that Romney's initial rescue attempt at Bain & Company was actually a disaster leaving the firm so financially strapped that it had "no value as a going concern." 
Even worse, the federal bailout ultimately engineered by Romney screwed the FDIC – the bank insurance system backed by taxpayers – out of at least $10 million. And in an added insult, Romney rewarded top executives at Bain with hefty bonuses at the very moment that he was demanding his handout from the feds.

Under normal circumstances, such ample reserves would have made liquidating Bain an attractive option: Creditors could simply divvy up the stockpiled cash and be done with the troubled firm.

What's more, the bonus loophole gave Romney a perverse form of leverage: If the banks and the FDIC didn't give in to his demands and forgive much of Bain's debts, Romney would raid the firm's coffers, pushing it into the very bankruptcy that the loan agreement had been intended to avert. The losers in this game would not only be Bain's creditors – including the federal government – but the firm's nearly 1,000 employees worldwide.

The FDIC considered finding a buyer to take over its loans to Bain, but analysts concluded that "Bain has no value as a going concern." And the government wasn't likely to get much out of Bain if it allowed the firm to go bankrupt:

How had Romney scored such a favorable deal at the FDIC's expense? It didn't hurt that he had close ties to the agency – the kind of "crony capitalism" he now decries. A month before he closed the 1991 loan agreement, Romney promoted a former FDIC bank examiner to become a senior executive at Bain. He also had pull at the top: FDIC chairman Bill Seidman, who had served as finance chair for Romney's father when he ran for president in 1968.

The federal documents also reveal that, contrary to Romney's claim that he returned full time to Bain Capital in 1992, he remained involved in bailout negotiations to the very end….

This story is from the September 13, 2012 issue of Rolling Stone.

(Hat tip
Barry Ritholtz via Spencer)

It's incredible that the lies just go on and on in a time of almost-no-bounds ability to research everything online.

Knowing that the AARP was co-opted years ago by the right-wing liars setting up the (unfunded) Medicare Part D taxpayer ripoff scam, it's not surprising to read at Angry Bear that they're still jumping up and down, screaming about their poor fates contingent on their worst thought-through fantasy:   that old people have to sacrifice now and young people won't have health care ever unless these old people give up their already-paid-for health care and young people are alienated from paying for their own (just like the old people already did).

A book review by Dale Coberly

ONE NATION UNDER AARP:  The Fight Over Medicare, Social Security, and America’s Future
by Frederick R. Lynch

I was asked to write a review of this book, perhaps because I sometimes write about Social Security. But I had to completely rearrange my perspective in order to even understand what the book is about. I believe that I know that the “Social Security crisis” is essentially a lie. Lynch assumes that the crisis is real and writes about AARP’s efforts to make itself the spokesperson for the Boomers in the “generational war” that will follow from this “fact.”

Given that politics has nothing to do with facts, Lynch and AARP may be on the right track.
Lynch introduces his book by describing a conference hosted by AARP... “to demonstrate to...boomers that AARP... is no longer their parents’ AARP... A rebranded AARP is actively recruiting seventy eight million graying baby boomers. The mating dance of these organizational and generational giants has enormous implications for the nations’ political future. ... half of the voters in the 2008 and 2010 elections were over fifty... and half of them were members of AARP... the nation’s fourth highest spending lobby...”

Okay, that’s why. But then Lynch just assumes “ epic fight over...Medicare and Social Security is being forced by the ballooning national debt.”

In fact Social Security has nothing to do with the “ballooning national debt.” And Medicare so far has had nothing to do with that debt and need not do so in the future. The ballooning national debt has been caused by tax cuts, military spending, and a deep recession caused by unregulated banks “too big to fail” indulging in reckless if not criminal activity.

Social Security is paid for by the workers who will get the benefits. Medicare can and should be organized so workers pay directly and transparently for their own health insurance. The huge cost increases predicted for Medicare are driven by the huge cost increases predicted for medical care. Only a fool would decide that if we are expecting huge medical costs we need to cut our insurance.

Even if we can't control costs... and we can... we are still going to have to pay for them. The easiest way is to pay a little at a time each month while we are young and working. It doesn't make much sense to "save" the cost of insurance now and be faced with unpayable costs when you are old and no longer working.

Only Medicare allows people to pay in advance this way AND to finesse the problem of "medical inflation" with pay-as-you-go financing. But "only a fool" is what we have in Washington these days.

But IF Social Security is being blamed for the deficit, however falsely, THEN boomers will need leaders to defend it. The most likely candidate is AARP.

Lynch says his book examines three key issues:

1.) Are the boomers a sleeping political giant? Can they be organized to determine the policy that will shape the future of Social Security?
2.) Is AARP going to lead the boomers... or “stimulate boomers’ age awareness to entice them into becoming members and purchasing AARP products and services...?”
3) Will boomers and AARP “negotiate an increasingly competitive global super-capitalism... in which “working class Americans feel threatened” but “the nation’s elite -- highly educated professional and managerial classes -- embrace the new Post American Order?"

I may be the wrong person to be reviewing this book because I cannot get past the premise. Lynch ASSUMES “generational war,” ASSUMES that “Younger Americans will be asked to subsidize aging baby boomers’ entitlements.”

And this is simply not true. The boomers will have already paid for their Social Security and Medicare. “Younger workers” will be asked to pay, in advance, for their own Social Security and Medicare.

That’s how insurance works. It is only the success of the Big LIE that has convinced them... and the Washington “elite”... that “pay as you go” means you are paying for someone else’s greedy grannies.
Apparently these people think that when you “invest” in a stock, or just put your money in the bank, it lies there breeding interest like bugs in a drawer. The fact is that ALL “saved” money has to be used... spent... by someone else to earn interest. What is important is that you get the money back when you need it. Social Security provides the best guarantee in the world that you will get your money back... and more, if you need it. That’s what makes it insurance.

It is worth noting that even the Big Liars are always promising that “if you are over fifty five, your Social Security will not be affected.” That pretty much eliminates “paying for the boomers." It is the “young people’s” Social Security that they are trying to kill.

Perhaps the boomers, and the young people who may someday grow old in spite of themselves, will need AARP to represent them. But it is by no means clear that AARP understands Social Security or cares about the interests of old people. Instead, perhaps, it just wants a seat at the table, the power that that represents, and of course the business that comes their way as a result of being seen as the retirees representative in Washington.

I don’t know.

But if Lynch is right and AARP is the best hope we have in the game the “elite” are playing with our retirement security, then others more attuned to real politics than I am may want to start by reading his book.
And maybe they can see if there is a way to influence AARP’s influence on the phony “generational war.”

They would have this much going for them: Lynch quotes AARP CEO Bill Novelli,

“But when you get down to the level of needs, everyone needs health and healthcare and they need long-term financial security. Then, when you get down to the level of values, all generations are the same: they want a better world for their children and grandchildren; they want to leave the world a better place and to leave a legacy. These are common values, and that’s what we’ve built upon.”
And what they would have going against them is that unfortunately these values are not shared by the “elite” leaders of both parties and their sponsors, who want only what’s in it for them, here and now. And know how to lie to get it.

coberly said...
For the benefit of anyone who may not already have heard...

Today's workers can pay for their own future Social Security benefits... just as workers have always done... without cuts, means testing, raising the retirement age, or turning it into welfare by taxing the rich..

simply by raising their own payroll tax an average of one half of one tenth of one percent per year while their wages are rising over one full percent per year at the same time. They will get their money back when it pays for their own retirement which will be richer and longer than their grandparents'.

For the average worker, one half of one tenth of one percent of his wages is about forty cents per week, and his boss will pay half of that.
Aug 30, 2012
Congress Critters Making Big Money Off Your Losses?


Bustednuckles said...

They don't even give a shit about brazen lying anymore.
One staffer said out loud they aren't going to pay any attention to fact checkers, they are just going to keep dumping lies faster than any fact checkers can keep up with.

BTW honey, I did fix my fuck up.

I knew I tried to add you to my blogroll but I fucked it up but good. It is fixed now.


Suzan said...

Thanks, P!

It's kind of refreshing isn't it to not have to worry about them trying to hide their lying anymore?

It's great that they're so comfortable with telling us to our faces now.

Hope that a few others catch on.

But what are the odds?

Love ya!