Archive for good news

Social Security and Medicare: "Distinctly good news"

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keep government out of medicare, social security

My favorite columnist at the Los Angeles Times, Michael Hiltzik (scroll), has written another excellent piece, this time covering the "no-bad-news day" for Social Security and the "distinctly good news" about Medicare. Sorry, GOP. I know I'm rubbing it in after my post about all those upbeat economic news reports that broke today, but hey, a blogger's gotta do what a blogger's gotta do.

Republicans *coughPAULRYANcough* are just dying to privatize us all into oblivion, which would mean cutting earned benefits for those who rely on them. Way to appeal to voters, GOP. It's a good thing we have Michael Hiltzik around to deliver a more even-handed (read: accurate) approach to informing us about the current state of both Social Security and Medicare.

Take it away, Michael:

"[T]he news is essentially that there is no news" in the reports, as Kathy Ruffing of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a leading expert on Social Security, said during a conference call Monday on the Social Security report.

The trustees still estimate that the Social Security trust fund will be exhausted in 2033 -- same as its estimate last year. The range of estimates -- for these things can never be exact -- places the date at some time between 2029 and 2041. Even then, the trustees say, there will still be enough money coming in to the program each year to pay 77% of currently scheduled benefits. And the trustees do, however, suggest that their best-case scenario for economic growth and other demographic and economic factors is brighter this year than it looked in 2013.

As of now, Social Security is in surplus (by $32 billion last year), and is expected to remain so on an annual basis at least through 2019.

Hiltzik goes on to say that the B Word (bankrupt) is more like the BS Word. His exact phrasing was, anyone who challenges the facts has "given up his or her right to be taken seriously as a policy expert." Are you listening, Wannabe President Ryan?

Now how about Medicare? Is there good news there, too? And if so, would it possibly have anything to do with the O Word (Obamacare)? Don't be silly! Oh wait:

As for Medicare, there's distinctly good news. The continuing drop in healthcare expenses has made Medicare healthier -- the estimated date of its trust fund's depletion has been moved out by four years, to 2030. If you're keeping track, that date has been moved off by a total of 13 years since enactment of the Affordable Care Act.

neener nanner tv

Hiltzik also includes a few warnings, so please link over to read the entire column.

He concludes by rightfully calling out Congress for taking a five-week break just when we need them to "pay attention." He's clearly as miffed at them as we are. One can almost hear him throwing his head back and screaming, "Enough!"

Or as I like to call it, the F G Word (Gaaa!).

Not a skit, our actual Congress, gaa! Maddow

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Good economic news... again! Time to impeach! #BlameObama

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economic news recovery

With all the talk of impeachment and GOP lawsuits against President Obama these days, it seemed like a good time to add more fuel to the politically insane fires. Yes, once again we have upbeat economic news. What's a blogger to do? Why, publish the upbeat economic news, of course.

Let's start with a Fox Biz email alert headline, because I know how you rely heavily on every word uttered by Fox, the most reliable name in economic news:

U.S. Economy Grows at 4% Pace in 2Q

What?! Why I oughta. Please proceed, Fox Biz:

The Commerce Department reports the U.S. economy grew at an annualized pace of 4% in the second quarter, beating Wall Street expectations for a 3% rate.

Oh what do they know... Let's see what the big bad "librul media" has to say about all this good economic news. New York Times, I'm talkin' to you:

The United States economy rebounded heartily in the spring after a dismal winter, the Commerce Department reported on Wednesday, growing at an annual rate of 4 percent from April through June and surpassing economists’ expectations.

In its initial estimate for the second quarter, the government cited a major advance in inventories for private businesses, higher government spending at the state and local level and personal consumption spending as chief contributors to growth. Economists, who had been hoping for a full reversal of the first quarter’s decline, were cheered by the second quarter’s numbers. The consensus forecast for G.D.P. was 3 percent.

“Fantastic,” Douglas Handler, chief United States economist for IHS Global Insight Analysis, said of the second-quarter G.D.P. increase. The bigger-than-expected gain further cemented views that the decrease in America’s overall output during the first quarter was most likely a fluke tied in large part to unusually stormy winter weather and other anomalies.

Huhwha? "Higher government spending at the state and local level"?

Read it and weep, impeachers.

curses foiled again

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Good news: Weekly jobless claims fall (again), lowest level since '06 #BlameObama

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i hate good news

I hate to be the bearer of good news (kidding), but once again, there is good news to be bearered, er, had. And how ironic that it is Fox Biz that is the actual bearer of this good news story that must be driving Republicans mad, because they hate this kind of upbeat stuff. Why? Because it comes to us under President Obama's watch.

And that is No-No Numero Uno.

Via a Fox Biz email alert:

The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell last week to 284,000 from an upwardly revised 303,000 the week prior. Wall Street expected claims to rise to 308,000 from an initially reported 302,000. The reading was the lowest since February 2006.

Here's more, via Reuters:

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in nearly 8-1/2 years last week, suggesting the labor market recovery was gaining traction. [...]

The data provided further confirmation that the labor market is tightening. Employment has grown by more than 200,000 jobs in each of the last five months, a stretch not seen since the late 1990s. [...]

The decline in continuing claims indicates some long-term unemployed Americans are finding jobs, a key metric for Fed policymakers.

Per Reuters, "the economy now appears to be firing on nearly all cylinders." Too bad the same can't be said for the Republican Party of Nyet.

Say it with me now...

blame obama Bush's fault smaller

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Yawn: Weekly jobless claims slip... again. #BlameObama

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jobless benefits unemployment down

Fox Biz keeps bugging me with upbeat email alerts like the one below. And we all know that they are the single most reliable source of information in the entire world, so I pay attention to every word. Since I can't keep all the good news bottled up inside, especially on a day filled with very bad news (AP Reporting that Malaysian Air 777 Was "Shot Down" over Ukraine), I had to share. Again. Yawn. Yes, one more time, weekly jobless claims fell and nobody on cable news [sic] seems to have noticed. And if they did notice, they failed to report it to the rest of us.

Then again, since when as the news [sic] media performed up to expectations? And by expectations I mean standards that meet or surpass that of playing Telephone.

Here's the latest:

The number of Americans filing for first-time jobless benefits fell to 302,000 last week from an upwardly-revised 305,000 the week prior. Economists expected claims to rise to 310,000 from an initially-reported 304,000.

Seriously, if this keeps up, Republican impeachment and lawsuit efforts will start to look even more ludicrous than they already do.

Nonetheless, with jobless claims sliding, there's only one thing left to do. Say it with me now, everyone:

blame obama

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Borderghazi continues as weekly job claims fall... again. #BlameObama

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borderghazi texas


While all the infantile talking schmoes heads are stomping their feet and tantruming about why President Obama won't make an appearance at the border-- his KATRINA, sez they (Borderghazi!!!!)-- the economy is quietly doing things that should make the GOP get even more tantrumy and red-faced: It's picking up. Slowly but surely. Weekly job claims have fallen-- again-- and so have sad little Republican faces.

And who better to bring us news that will cause conservatives to point, and flip, even more fingers at the president over Borderghazi to divert attention from any accomplishments on Obama's watch? Why, none other than the most reliable source for accurate news in the whole wide world, Fox Biz! Via email alert:

The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell last week to 304,000 from an unrevised 315,000 the week prior. Wall Street expected claims to remain at 315,000.

You all know what to do. Say it with me now:

blame obama

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Applications for jobless benefits dip #BlameObama

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jobless benefits unemployment down

Darn that Fox Biz, reporting more good news to us again and again! Who do they think they are, MSNBC? Today's upbeat report will ruffle a few GOP feathers, but what else is new? Maybe Darrell Issa can hold hearings and try to impeach the president for being complicit in achieving lower unemployment numbers. Once again, first-time jobless benefits fell, like it or not, Impeachateers. Via an email alert:

The number of Americans filing for first-time jobless benefits fell to 312,000 last week from an upwardly revised 314,000 the week prior. Wall Street expected claims to fall to 310,000 from an initially reported 312,000.

The Detroit Free Press has more, including that business "are hiring at a healthy pace." Please link over for more, but here's a taste:

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits declined last week, the latest evidence that a sharp economic slowdown earlier this year hasn’t caused employers to cut jobs. [...]

Applications are a proxy for layoffs, so the declines indicate that companies are cutting fewer jobs. [...] When businesses are confident enough to keep staff, they are also likely to hire more people.

The low level of applications indicates employers haven’t been rattled by the first quarter’s dismal showing, which many economists have partly blamed on bad weather. If businesses feared the economy was tumbling into a recession, they would likely ramp up layoffs.

Okay everyone, all together now:

blame obama Bush's fault smaller

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Public faith in Congress falls, so do weekly jobless claims

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worst congress ever gop fail

Americans don't much like Congress. What an understatement. Let me reword that. Americans hate Congress. There, that's better.

And for good reason. GOP obstructionists prevent any progress on fixing immigration, the economy, our schools, voting rights, civil rights issues, you name it. And the hostility and head-butting are constant. The infighting among Republicans is entertaining to Dems, but that must play into these numbers, too.

Via Gallup:

Gallup Congress poll

Americans' confidence in Congress has sunk to a new low. Seven percent of Americans say they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in Congress as an American institution, down from the previous low of 10% in 2013. This confidence is starkly different from the 42% in 1973, the first year Gallup began asking the question. [...]

The current 7% of Americans who place confidence in Congress is the lowest of the 17 institutions Gallup measured this year, and is the lowest Gallup has ever found for any of these institutions. The dearth of public confidence in their elected leaders on Capitol Hill is yet another sign of the challenges that could face incumbents in 2014's midterm elections -- as well as more broadly a challenge to the broad underpinnings of the nation's representative democratic system.

Seven. Percent.

whoa smaller

Major shrinkage. And I'm not just referring to their numbers. After seeing that poll, Congress members (no pun) must certainly be feeling, er, inadequate:

shrinkage smaller

Which brings us to more reports of shrinkage, this time courtesy of every liberal's favorite source, the always reliable Fox Biz. Via an email alert:

The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell last week to 312,000 from an upwardly revised 318,000 the week prior. Wall Street expected claims to fall to 314,000 from an initially reported 317,000.

Which just goes to show you, there's good shrinkage and bad shrinkage. Fair and balanced reporting, brought to you by TPC.

blame obama Bush's fault smaller

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