Mitt Romney accused of supporting Chinese sweatshop labor

Report from the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights: 

When he was the CEO of Bain Capital and the president of its affiliated corporations, investments in Global-Tech factories directly contributed to abominable labor practices, records show.

more at  Mitt Romney accused of supporting Chinese sweatshop labor.

Michael Tomasky on How the GOP Invented Mitt Romney’s “Moochers” – The Daily Beast

Republicans once worked with Democrats to help the poor and middle class. But that was before the GOP was taken over by cynics and liars. What’s a fair-minded Democrat to do?

more at Michael Tomasky on How the GOP Invented Mitt Romney’s “Moochers” – The Daily Beast.

Obama Better For Economy, Business Executives Say

LONDON, Aug 17 (Reuters) – Twice as many business executives around the world say the global economy will prosper better if incumbent U.S. president Barack Obama wins the next election than if his Republican challenger Mitt Romney does, a poll showed on Friday.

Democrat Obama was chosen by 42.7 percent in the 1,700 respondent poll, compared with 20.5 percent for Romney. The rest said “neither”.

via Obama Better For Economy, Business Executives Say.

Budget cuts hurt British economy – study — RT

As any first year economics student knows…

The British economy won’t begin to recover until 2014, as government’s cuts and the euro crisis slash demand which is a key driver for UK economy growth, is the conclusion of a study prepared by a leading UK think tank.

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research revised its forecast, saying the UK economy would shrink 0.5% this year, down from an initial estimate of zero growth.

“The major problem in the U.K. economy is a lack of demand, and the government can do things to boost demand,” Simon Kirby, the economist at the NIESR said.

Though the 2010 austerity program, which was extended for two years to 2017, was aimed to boost growth to 2.8% this year, the UK economy contracted by 0.7% in the second quarter of 2012, the report stressed.

Had the government postponed its austerity program by three years, the country’s economy could grow 1.2% this year and the output could grow 239 billion pounds between 2011 and 2021, the NIESR said.

“It remains the case there is scope for a less aggressive path of fiscal tightening,” Kirby said. “We would be seeing a small amount of growth rather contraction.”

NIESR called on the government to loosen its debt reduction plans and borrow more to pay for key infrastructure projects. The think tank expects Chancellor George Osborne to borrow 12.5 billion pounds more than planned in the year through March 2013.  However, NIESR welcomed recent steps to boost the economy such as the Funding for Lending Scheme which is designed to avoid a possible credit crunch and higher interest rates during the crisis.

via Budget cuts hurt British economy – study — RT.

How Republicans Sabotaged the Recovery – By Daniel Altman | Foreign Policy

Altman, who traditionally has hewed to the center in his research and writing, said he recently chose to take sides because “one side is just so wrong.”

Imagine, for a moment, how difficult it would have been to land a man on the moon if half of the U.S. Congress had believed that the sun revolved around the earth. Or consider how the War in the Pacific might have progressed if half of Congress had still thought the world was flat. Or whether polio would have been eradicated if half of Congress insisted that the best cure was bleeding using leeches. Unfortunately, this was the situation the United States in January 2009, when Barack Obama assumed the presidency. The nation was trying to climb out of the deepest economic hole since the Great Depression, but the Republican Party had about as scientific an approach to the economy as medieval alchemists did to the periodic table.

Sometimes, mistaken ideas can be harmless or even humorous. But in a crisis, they can be downright dangerous. By the time Obama took office, Lehman Brothers had failed, and the Treasury was already trying to prop up banks and other financial institutions to prevent a complete collapse of the economy. In addition, the nation had undergone a tremendous fiscal transformation. Back in 2000, the United States had expected to rack up more than $4 trillion in budgetary surpluses over the coming eight years, but the Bush administration enacted tax cuts that brought the tax burden for upper-income Americans down to the lowest levels since the 1940s. These cuts, combined with two expensive wars and a short recession, sent the nation into deep deficits. The new president faced an enormous task to revive the economy — one that he could not complete without Congress’s help. Together, they would have to protect Americans from a prolonged economic slump while attempting to chart a course toward a more fiscally responsible future.

Not everyone in Congress was in a mood to cooperate. Stung by their electoral defeats and facing Democratic domination of both houses, the Republicans did everything they could to slow the new president’s agenda, from filibusters and procedural votes to delayed appointments and partisan bickering. Clearly, the election campaigns of 2010 and 2012 had already begun, and Republicans were determined to stop the new president from keeping his promises.

more at How Republicans Sabotaged the Recovery – By Daniel Altman | Foreign Policy.

FLASHBACK: Romney Economic Advisers Predicted Bush Tax Cuts Would Lead To Huge Job Growth | ThinkProgress

The same failed “trickle down” economic policies are not what is needed in this country…

Mitt Romney and his economic advisers have spent the week claiming that Romney’s economic plan will create 12 million jobs, as they attempt to change the subject away from a Tax Policy Center report showing that Romney’s tax plan would mean a big tax increase for middle-class families.A Center for American Progress Action Fund analysis shows that, far from creating 12 million jobs, Romney’s economic plan would kill 360,000 jobs in 2013 alone. But this discrepancy is perhaps less surprising considering that the same advisers who gave Romney his number — including economists Greg Mankiw and Glenn Hubbard, who both worked for former President George W. Bush — estimated that the Bush tax cuts would lead to massive job growth…

more at FLASHBACK: Romney Economic Advisers Predicted Bush Tax Cuts Would Lead To Huge Job Growth | ThinkProgress.

Study: Romney tax plan would shift burden to poor – Aug. 1, 2012

No surprise here…

Mitt Romney’s tax plan would provide large tax cuts to the very wealthy, while increasing the tax burden on the lower and middle classes, according to a study released Wednesday.

The report — produced by researchers at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center — illustrates just how difficult it would be to recoup government revenue lost under Romney’s plan.

more at Study: Romney tax plan would shift burden to poor – Aug. 1, 2012.

Corporatism and Fraud are Why Were Screwed: | Credit Writedowns

Via Credit Writedowns…

As the Global Financial Crisis rumbles along in its fifth year, we read the latest revelations of bankster fraud, the LIBOR scandal. This follows the muni bond fixing scam detailed a couple of weeks ago, as well as the JPMorgan Chase trading fiasco and the Corzine – MF Global collapse and any number of other scandals in recent months. In every case it was traders run amuck, fixing “markets” to make an easy buck at someone’s expense. In times like these, I always recall Robert Sherrill’s 1990 statement about the S&L crisis that “thievery is what unregulated capitalism is all about.”After 1990 we removed what was left of financial regulations following the flurry of deregulation of the early 1980s that had freed the thrifts so that they could self-destruct. And we are shocked, SHOCKED!, that thieves took over the financial system.Nay, they took over the whole economy and the political system lock, stock, and barrel. They didn’t just blow up finance, they oversaw the swiftest transfer of wealth to the very top the world has ever seen. They screwed workers out of their jobs, they screwed homeowners out of their houses, they screwed retirees out of their pensions, and they screwed municipalities out of their revenues and assets.Financiers are forcing schools, parks, pools, fire departments, senior citizen centers, and libraries to shut down. They are forcing national governments to auction off their cultural heritage to the highest bidder. Everything must go in fire sales pun intended at prices rigged by twenty-something traders at the biggest and most corrupt institutions the world has ever known.And since they’ve bought the politicians, the policy-makers, and the courts, no one will stop it. Few will even discuss it, since most university administrations have similarly been bought off—in many cases, the universities are even headed by corporate “leaders”–and their professors are on Wall Street’s payrolls.We’re screwed.

More at Corporatism and Fraud are Why Were Screwed: | Credit Writedowns.

Senate GOP kills small-business tax cut bill – The Maddow Blog

Does anyone actually believe the GOP cares about creating jobs at all?

Senate Democrats generally don’t expect much in the way of support for their proposals, especially when it comes to the economy, but they though their new small-business tax cut bill at least had a shot.

The proposal is straightforward enough: small business owners would get a new tax incentive to hire new workers and/or increase payroll wages, on top of a break businesses claim on capital investments. An independent firm that specializes in economic modeling concluded that the Democratic proposal could create nearly 1 million jobs.

Today, a majority of the Senate supported the measure, but the modern Senate no longer operates by majority rule. Democrats couldn’t break a Republican filibuster so the bill is dead.

Senate Republicans made good on their threat to filibuster a Democratic small-business tax cut bill today, ensuring the bill fell seven votes short of what it needed to move forward.

The Senate voted 53-44 to limit debate on the bill and move to final passage, but 60 votes were needed to overcome the filibuster. […]

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) argued Republicans would typically support the small-business bill save for their desire to deny the president a political victory ahead of the November elections. “There is no reason for them to oppose this bill other than to hurt President Obama,” Reid said today.

Republicans said they felt the need to kill the legislation because Reid denied them the chance to water it down with a series of amendments.

And since procedural concerns are obviously more important than lowering unemployment, the GOP argument doesn’t seem to surprise anyone.

via Senate GOP kills small-business tax cut bill – The Maddow Blog.