Monday, 13 August 2012
1. Is making money on insider trading legal? The answer is YES for Congress and NO for everyone else, such as Martha Stewart (who only did what many members in Congress, including Paul Ryan, do all the time and she was put in prison!)...
First; An Old Report On Insider Trading in Congress...
Recently, Jon Stewart mocked Congress for their in your face hypocrisy...
The government investigates trading on non-public information -- unless members of Congress are doing it!
If you ALREADY made a ton of money with a bunch of people involved together... if you go against them you will get caught for your own involvement in the scam. that's why Paul Ryan was chosen... he will fight to the death to avoid prison. So be it.
The following is divided into three parts... but first, an introduction...
Let's put this in the "the real scandal is what's legal" file:
Ryan attended a closed meeting with congressional leaders, Bush's Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on September 18, 2008. The purpose of the meeting was to disclose the coming economic meltdown and beg Congress to pass legislation to help collapsing banks. Instead of doing anything to help, Ryan left the meeting and on that very same day Paul Ryan sold shares of stock he owned in several troubled banks and reinvested the proceeds in Goldman Sachs, a bank that the meeting had disclosed was not in trouble.
This kind of trading might be illegal now but was definitely kosher back then when insider trading rules didn't apply to Congress at all. My guess is that it's probably fine even under today's rules, since even though it fits the ordinary language meaning of "insider information," it doesn't actually make Ryan an insider to the companies in question in a legal sense. But it's about as clear an example of a public official trying to use his office to obtain personal benefits as you're likely to find.
Note: Since Slate wrote this they have withdrawn the paragraph they wrote on Paul Ryan. It's a small rag and should be easy to buy or scare for multi-billionaires. Anyways, Here's more proofs of Paul Ryan's corruption from more credible sources:
PAUL RYAN SOLD SHARES OF THE STOCK CONCERNED ON THE SAME DAY...
This is the VP pick of the guy who bragged about his ability to get money from Washington in 2002...
How do you distract people from the fact that you're making money off of their misery?... and are engaged in activities that led to economic disaster? Answer: You blame a scapegoat.
From The Guardian: The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy "No 3 was the most clarifying: draft laws against the little-known loophole that currently allows members of Congress to pass legislation affecting Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are investors."
Scapegoat: Martha Stewart - Insider Trading is what Martha Stewart went to prison for!
'Basically the banks were being lent money at no interest (by the government) and then the government was borrowing it back and giving interest!' Jon Stewart
Note: Bloomberg report referred to above is here.
In other words; Given all the corruption outlined above and in my past posts (listed below), it's obvious Wall Street and Congress are in cahoots (yes, some people might call it a 'conspiracy'). But whatever you call it, it's a proven fact that insider trading is going on, Paul Ryan is involved and keeping the status quois extrmely important to some very rich and powerful people (without access to death squads cause thier party is out of power, now. So courage up.)
Paul Ryan loves charts. As chairman of the House Budget Committee, the Wisconsin GOPer has cultivated a reputation as the consummate policy wonk, ready to wage ideological battle at the drop of the dime with an arsenal of tables and graphs. But Ryan's numbers don't always add up. And when they do, the results can be stunning. When Democrats tested arguments about his budget in focus groups, they found it difficult because voters refused to believe that a politician would actually propose, say, gutting Medicare to cut tax for the rich. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says it's "the largest redistribution of income from the bottom to the top in modern U.S. history."
Here's a guide to Paul Ryan's balance sheet, by the numbers.
1.) Ryan's public image is that of a "deficit hawk," constantly looking for inefficiencies and unnecessary programs. But that's a recent invention. As a congressman, Ryan has played a key part in the ballooning federal deficit over the last decade. He voted for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Medicare Part D, the implementation and extension of the Bush tax cuts, the 2008 stimulus, the auto bailout, and TARP:
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities2.) The New Republic's Jonathan Cohn writes that under the 2011 Ryan budget, "[g]overnment would be so starved of resources that, by 2050, it wouldn’t have enough money for core functions like food inspections and highway maintenance." That sounds like hyperbole, but it's not. The Ryan budget pledges to reduce non-entitlement expenditures from 12 percent of GDP to just 3.5 percent—all while somehow increasing defense spending:
Based on Congressional Budget Office estimates3.) What specifically would get axed under the Ryan budget? He doesn't say. That allows him to sidestep charges that, for instance, he would eviscerate funding for popular programs like Pell Grants. But the CBPP's analysis suggests that whatever route Ryan takes, it's a guarantee that the discretionary cuts would mostly hurt the poor:
CBPP4.) As Suzy Khimm explained in MoJo last year, the Ryan budget curbs Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) spending "not by finding efficiencies but by slashing benefits, cutting payments to providers, and reducing access to the program." According to an Urban Institute study commissioned by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the number of people eligible for the federal health care program could be cut by more than 50 percent:
Kaiser Family FoundationHere's what that means as a percentage of overall GDP:
CBO5.) Political pundits have already expended gallons of ink pondering the impact of the Ryan pick in states with high numbers of senior citizens, like Florida, Iowa, and Pennsylvania. But the Ryan budget leaves today's elderly voters mostly unscathed; it's everyone else who gets the axe. The Congressional Budget Office calculated that under the 2011 Ryan plan, the government's contribution to health care would not keep up with the increase in health costs and increases in insurance prices. That means seniors would be responsible for almost twice as much of the tab:
Put another way:
Congressional Budget Office6.) As Alec MacGillis notes, Ryan's 2012 budget "promotes saving by eliminating taxes on interest, capital gains, and dividends," in addition to repealing the estate tax ("death tax," in GOP parlance). That's on top of the proposed permanent continuation of the Bush tax cuts. Interest, capital gains, and dividends don't mean much to low-income earners. But it's a huge boost for the one percent—and more specifically for Mitt Romney, whose tax rate would drop to close to zero. (He still gets fresh income from book sales and speaking fees.) Here's the breakdown on how much after-tax income would increase, percentage-wise, for each quintile, under the Ryan Budget:
Tax Policy Center dataThe only people paying more are those who afford it least.
The Romney campaign has already signaled that its candidate intends to distance himself, at least rhetorically, from the Ryan budget. But given Romney's previous embrace of the proposal—and his new, literal embrace of the man behind it—you can see why the Obama campaign seems to be licking its lips at the chance to run against Romney–Ryan.
3. Explained and Recommended By Bill Moyers
Remember the controversy last year over Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) 2011 budget that many believed would signal the end of Medicare? Earlier this week, the House Budget Committee chairman released his new budget plan, entitled “The Path to Prosperity.” Over the next 10 years, Ryan’s plan would cut spending by $5.3 trillion more than Obama’s proposed plan and overhaul the tax code by replacing the six current brackets with two — a top bracket of 25 percent (as opposed to today’s 35 percent) and a lower bracket of 10 percent. While Medicare and Medicaid get a trim, it’s not mainly about Medicare this time. This time it’s about cutting programs for the poor.
The Washington Post‘s Ezra Klein broke down the proposed spending cuts in a WonkBook blog post.
Over the next decade, Ryan plans to spend about 16 percent less than the White House on “income security” programs for the poor — that’s everything from food stamps to housing assistance to the earned-income tax credit. (Ryan’s budget would authorize $4.8 trillion between 2013 and 2022; the White House’s would spend $5.7 trillion.) Compared with Obama, Ryan would spend 25 percent less on transportation and 13 percent less on veterans. He’d spend 6 percent less on “General science, space, and basic technology.” And, compared with the White House’s proposal, he’d shell out 33 percent less for “Education, training, employment, and social services.”
Still, the spending cuts don’t go far enough for some. Tea Party Republicans said that they weren’t sure they would vote for it and the conservative Club for Growth rejected the budget yesterday, saying it takes too long to balance the budget (by 2040) and violates the Budget Control Act by ending automatic spending cuts. Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum told Glenn Beck that although he thought it was a “great blueprint,” he would prefer a plan that cut spending more quickly. Mitt Romney called it “a bold and exciting effort.”
Some call Ryan’s plan a kind of reverse Robin Hood — slashing the safety net and passing on the savings to the rich. New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait writes:
Poor people, or people who have a family member with a serious medical condition, come in for special abuse here. The Republican budget would repeal the Affordable Care Act, which provides health insurance coverage to 30 million people, and replace it with nothing. On top of that, it would absolutely slash Medicaid and the childrens’ health insurance plan, eliminating coverage from 14-27 million more people…
The Post‘s Dana Millbank says it’s not just about saving money. He says Ryan believes that hurting the poor is really the best way to help them in the long run. He writes:
“Ryan’s justification was straight out of Dickens. He wants to improve the moral fiber of the poor. There is, he told the audience at the conservative American Enterprise Institute later Tuesday, an ‘insidious moral tipping point, and I think the president is accelerating this.’ Too many Americans, he said, are receiving more from the government than they pay in taxes.
After recalling his family’s immigration from Ireland generations ago, and his belief in the virtue of people who ‘pull themselves up by the bootstraps,’ Ryan warned that a generous safety net ‘lulls able-bodied people into lives of complacency and dependency, which drains them of their very will and incentive to make the most of their lives. It’s demeaning.’
This view, that there is a culture of poverty, is certainly not a new idea. But it’s not clear that it will resonate with Americans in this election year. A Gallup poll released in November indicates a growing share of people have lost faith in the American Dream. The New York Times reports that 41 percent said that there was not much opportunity in America, up from 17 percent in 1998.
Ever since Barry Goldwater lost his bid for the presidency in 1964, the conservative movement has been looking for a choice, not an echo (Goldwater’s mantra). Reagan came close, but compromised too often on taxes and back-slapped with Democratic Speaker Tip O’Neill too often to give them total satisfaction. George W. was almost the putty-in-their-hands they’d craved, but the vast corruption he tolerated left a record they couldn’t boast of, and his wild deficit spending (including two wars they allowed him to put on the credit card and the budget-busting Medicare prescription bill) frustrated their aim of reducing the government until it could be drowned in the bathtub.
Mitt Romney hasn’t won their hearts either. He has shed so many of his previous positions in order to appease the Tea Party that he sounds as if he is reciting by rote Conscience of a Conservative — Goldwater’s declaration of principles — and just might forget it all the morning after his inauguration.
This was never Romney’s party, and without Karl Rove’s shadowy money behind him, he would not have survived the primaries. So shape-shifting a figure was unlikely ever to inspire the front line troops in an election the Right sees as a showdown with the Anti-Christ at Armageddon. In this campaign, Romney is now the “the man who isn’t there” – the dispensable one.
But in Paul Ryan, the Golden Boy from Janesville who schooled himself in the ideology of right-wing think tanks inside the Beltway, they finally have one of their own — a true believer for the new Gilded Age.
The country, too, now has a choice, not an echo. And that should add up to a definitive election in November.
Want to know more about the 42-year-old Republican candidate for vice president? Here’s a collection of Paul Ryan profiles, opinion pieces and data sets that we’ve collected here at Moyers & Company HQ.
- “Things you probably didn’t know about Paul Ryan” by Brad Knickerbocker in The Christian Science Monitor
- “Fussbudget: How Paul Ryan captured the G.O.P.” by Ryan Lizza in The New Yorker
- “Paul Ryan’s non-budget policy record, in one post” by Dylan Matthews in The Washington Post’s Wonkblog
- “Ryan campaign contributions” in Open Secrets (Career profile, since 1989)
- “A Young Republican with a Sweeping Agenda” by Monica Davey in The New York Times
- “The Legendary Paul Ryan” by Jonathan Chait in New York Magazine
- “Paul Ryan: A Good Choice, but Please, Not a ‘Serious’ One” by Jim Fallows in The Atlantic
- “Man with a Plan: How Paul Ryan became the intellectual leader of the Republican party ” by Stephen Hayes in The Weekly Standard
And here’s a roundup of recent BillMoyers.com posts about Rep. Paul Ryan and his 2012 budget proposal, “The Path to Prosperity.”
- “Video: ‘Nuns on the Bus’ Visits Paul Ryan’s Office“
- “Obama and Romney Reveal Early Campaign Strategies“
- “Ryan Budget Slashes Safety Net on ‘Path to Prosperity’“
- “Bill Moyers Essay: Everyone Should Be Entitled to Medicare“
The Paul Ryan EXOPOSOTHON Link Ring...