Tea & Crackers

A stunningly solid and thorough piece by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone.

This, then, is the future of the Republican Party: Angry white voters hovering over their cash-stuffed mattresses with their kerosene lanterns, peering through the blinds at the oncoming hordes of suburban soccer moms they’ve mistaken for death-panel bureaucrats bent on exterminating anyone who isn’t an illegal alien or a Kenyan anti-colonialist.

The world is changing all around the Tea Party. The country is becoming more black and more Hispanic by the day. The economy is becoming more and more complex, access to capital for ordinary individuals more and more remote, the ability to live simply and own a business without worrying about Chinese labor or the depreciating dollar vanished more or less for good. They want to pick up their ball and go home, but they can’t; thus, the difficulties and the rancor with those of us who are resigned to life on this planet.

Payroll tax cut: Yes, please

Unlike handing a bunch of dough over to folks who already have a bunch of dough, putting dollars in the hands of people who will spend it is the smartest way to get money into the economy.
One fine way of accomplishing that is to up everyone”s take-home pay by cutting payroll taxes. Nouriel Roubini has an op-ed at the Post today suggesting using the proceeds from allowing the Bush tax cuts for those making $250K and up expire to fund it.
This strategy has the added advantage of reducing costs for businesses, which, Roubini argues will help with job creation and retention.

A much better option is for the administration to reduce the payroll tax for two years. The reduced labor costs would lead employers to hire more; for employees, the increased take-home pay would boost much-needed economic consumption and advance the still-crucial process of deleveraging households (paying down credit card debt and other legacies of the easy-credit years).

As someone who has actually had to meet a payroll, I can tell you that cost per employee is a very real number in figuring out staffing levels.

Heading into wut?

News organizations might want to take note that while it is technically accurate that a poll number or some such fact represents the way something is “heading into November,” it is somewhat misleading since there’s the entire damn 31-day month of October in between.

Jobless numbers out

Now, less than 10 million people are jobless. Gives ya a real warm fuzzy feeling.

Altogether, about 9.67 million people were collecting some type of unemployment benefit in the week ended Aug. 21, compared with about 9.73 million in the prior week.

Here’s the Calculated Risk post on it.

I’m sure these #s will be drilled down throughout the day.