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10:12 AM on 05/10/2013
If only every adult in the U.S. would read this article! President Obama has done some decent things, but he has made virtually no effort to make the simple financial changes that would return financial power to the people.
12:59 PM on 05/10/2013
I agree @ read article. I've shared it with others through email and Twitter. Obama has done nothing decent because he's not a decent person. Anyone who says one thing and does something else is untrustworthy. Period.

Americans are deluded and we are accepting immoral and criminal behavior from Washington and calling what is wrong, right. The blindness of this country is the real problem.
04:49 PM on 05/10/2013
he would like to. how ever, he has an opposition party that hates him with every fiber of their being. he could create the cure for aids and cancer and still have it blocked by them. also, he can propose things, but they will never get passed by them as well.
10:06 AM on 05/10/2013
America is a plutocracy/corporatocracy. Most of us are just the worker bees who make them the billions of dollars. While the DOW rises, lower class wages descend toward a catfood diet and worker bees pray to stall off the first medical emergency that will make them bankrupt. While billionaires are stashing millions in offshore accounts and gold bars in Swiss banks, the working poor can only afford to buy items from the millions of jobs shipped to China. Hang your head Lady Liberty! Your republic has become a government of the wealthy, by the wealthy and for the wealthy.
09:40 AM on 05/10/2013
A key statement that Republicans have denied from the beginning:Although the stimulus programs prevented the slide from deepening, it was far too small to put America back to work. So now we're facing the highest levels of sustained unemployment since the Great Depression. The biggest victims of Wall Street greed are the long-term unemployed. Read the New New Deal and it will tell you how the stimulus helped various sectors of the economy. My biggest gripe is that Republicans and their radio & TV heros rant about socialist "transfer" of wealth, when it goes top down. When the wealth is transfered to the top, it's okey dokey. Some poor scmuck, who's uneducated and barely making a living will, defend these rich bastards who have rigged the system, as if they "earned" this money!
09:38 AM on 05/10/2013
It isn't trickle down, its tinkel down.

Not mentioned are off-shoring 4 million American middle class jobs through NAFTA., the WTO and ridicilous Trade Agreements, the invasion of 12 million illegal aliens taking jobs and driving down wages and the automation of factories where the only new hires are robots.
09:30 AM on 05/10/2013
In most economic times, the rich get richer because they understand how money and markets work and then take advantage of that knowledge. The only difference is the knowledge that they have chosen to learn.

So in the future you have two choices: sit here and complain that someone else is getting ahead, or, take the time to obtain some financial education for yourself and then take the risk and apply that knowledge.
That's so Putin
02:36 PM on 05/10/2013
You forgot to mention this difference....the rich can afford Tax Attorneys to use the so-called tax code to exploit deductions that the working class cannot. You forgot to mention....the rich have billions offshore that they do list on their tax returns. You forgot to mention.....the rich contribute heavily to campaigns, otherwise known as bribes, in order to sway legislation favorable to guess what......making them more rich.
Buy a clue please.
02:53 PM on 05/10/2013
So, you have chosen not to learn and utilize common techniques that can be applied in your daily life to increase your wealth and would prefer to make excuses and blame others for doing what you are afraid to do.

Like everything else, it is your choice.
Returning with fire to cleanse the land
03:31 PM on 05/10/2013
The rich get richer because money allows you to buy assets at a reduced rate. It is not about smarts, it is about having the money.
08:42 PM on 05/10/2013
Partially correct, but having smarts is more important than having the money. If you have the smarts and find the asset at a great price, the money will find you.

Trust me on this one my friend, there are a lot of people with money looking for a great deal but lack the wits to find it. Finding the deal is the hard part; the money is easy. I invest my own money buying assets, but I much prefer to use other people's money so my potential is not limited.

But, here is the trick that stops most people from doing what I do (or you can do); they are not willing to put in the time and sacrifices necessary to learn how to find the assets that others find valuable.

Don't let money be the thing that stops you from building wealth, it's only a small piece of the puzzle.
Allene Stucki
09:27 AM on 05/10/2013
Only a rabid liberal ideologue could write (in regard to TBTF banks), ". . . but Washington allowed them to grow even bigger!"

People whose memories aren't clouded by liberal ideology should clearly remember that the government (in the form of two Treasury Secretaries, Paulson and Geithner), literally FORCED the solvent banks to absorb the insolvent banks, under threat of all the dire consequences the government is capable of inflicting upon the industry.

Not only did the government ram the problematic banks down the throats of the less problematic banks, they forced them to accept interest-free loans they didn't want, with which to do it.
12:33 PM on 05/10/2013
That's the snapshot way of viewing history. You are correct. You fail to mention that when government rammed the failing banks down their throats, the U.S. and possibly the world was teetering on what looked like a complete financial collapse.
Rightly or wrongly, the top politicians, bankers and policy makers saw little option. It is very debatable as to whether what they feared would come to pass or not, but that was a moment of desperation and panic at every level.
The problem isn't what they did at that moment, it is the long term trends that are stacking the deck so that the obscenely rich get ever richer. Politics aside how will the multi-billionaires getting more billions, while the middle classes and poor have less be better for the country or the economy?
Allene Stucki
01:53 PM on 05/10/2013
I don't get the "snapshot" part. I wasn't pretending to do a comprehensive analysis of everything that led up to the TBTF banks becoming much bigger even. Surely that is so fresh on everybody's mind that it doesn't need recounting.

My point was that the endless liberal demonization of the banks invariably includes at least the implicit idea that that sorry situation (meaning getting even bigger) happened as a result of the boundless greed of the "banksters", when it actually resulted from government coercion, and mostly under a Democratic administration.

And I don't see any connection between the banks getting bigger, deplorable as that is, and the "multibillionaires" stealing from the poor.
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09:19 AM on 05/10/2013
This whole article must be totally false. I mean Paul Krugman keeps on saying that what the fed is doing is the right thing for main street and our glorious economic recovery. Who is this author to bring up facts and figures which go against the democratic rhetoric and Keynesian champions?

Just because the fed continues to buy up the stock market to the tune of $80 Billion per day, and just because wall street is almost entirely owned by the wealthy in America and the government, and just because the value of the dollar used by every US Citizen has decreased by 98% over the last few decades DOESN'T MEAN that anything is wrong. My Huffpo Krugman article said that we need to do even MORE spending at a government level because 4.5 trillion hasn't been enough.

Sarcasm off.
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I prefer to think of my micro-bio as half full
11:50 AM on 05/10/2013
I'm a bit confused, we're currently pursuing an austerity policy (or did yo miss the whole sequester thing?). Krugman has always been pro-stimulus, as you yourself note in the last portion of your post. The fed isn't currently doing the 'right thing for main street' in Krugman's eyes, it's doing quite the opposite.
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01:12 PM on 05/10/2013
LOL.  Austerity policy.  I laugh every time I hear that.  They are all up in arms over "how much" they had to cut (very little of which was from the real problem, the entitlement programs) and yet the fed is printing 80 billion a day, every day, to prop up the markets.  We really are in deep now.
01:09 PM on 05/10/2013
Wake up. Stop believeing the government.
Dyslexic agnostic insomniac
09:04 AM on 05/10/2013
OMG......5.6 Trillion? That's almost identical to the debt Obama has added to this nation, could there be a correlation?
09:28 AM on 05/10/2013
"5.6 Trillion? That's almost identical to the debt Obama has added to this nation"

Government spending under Obama is down. Much of the debt added since 2009 was money kept off the books by the Bush II administration (money sent into the black hole of the unfunded Iraq invasion and war, and tax cuts for the wealthy). Try to keep up...
09:59 AM on 05/10/2013
Yet you can't give us any detail as to where this money has gone. There were built in money holes that existed well beore Obama showed up. Tell us what happens when a previous administration keeps the expenses of 2 wars off the books, then the current president does the right thing and puts them on the books, where they belong. Tell us what happens when billions in federal revenues is lost, due to a pre-existing recession. Tell us that you've at least researched your statement and know that the debt is shrinking.
09:03 AM on 05/10/2013
GOP Talking Points:

1. The Government growing out of control!
2. The poor and the needy are taking all of our tax dollars.
3. We are living under a "Tax and Spend" administration.

Oh the irony.

A1. The percentage of government employees (relative to the whole work force) is the lowest it has been since 1984, even allowing for the fact that overall employment is so low (which would tend to increase the % of government employees)
A2. Most of our money goes to the wealthy.
A3. Tax Revenue as a percentage of Total income is as low as it has ever been.

The wealthy get away with it by declaring most of their annual income as Capital Gains and Investment income, thereby only paying 15% rather than the 25-39% that the rest of us pays.

Some simple solutions.

1. Cap the Morgage Interest deduction at $30,000, total.
2. Cap the Capital Gains tax rate at $1,000,000, anything above that is "Income".
3. Get rid of the SS Cap.
4. Close all of the current Corporate loopholes.
That's so Putin
02:38 PM on 05/10/2013
I love the Brit. F&F
retired business owner
08:47 AM on 05/10/2013
Raise more revenue from the extremely wealthy who are wealthy enough that paying more in taxes would not cause them to reduce their spending in the real economy and spend that money on well paying jobs, the recipients of which, would spend their new income in the real economy.

A partial list of revenue raisers (rounded to the nearest $50 billion):
1) $100 billion a year with an alternative minimum tax of 30% on all income from people earning $1 million or more per year
2) $150 billion a year from a .25% financial speculation tax
3) $100 billion a year from closing just some of the more egregious loopholes for large corporations
4) $100 billion a year by getting lost revenue from tax havens
5) $150 billion a year from a 0.5% tax on the $30 trillion in wealth held by those with a net worth of $5 million or more (they would continue to get much wealthier even with this tax)

I could go on but that's $600 billion a year right there. That would pay for about 10 million jobs at about $50,000 apiece after factoring in materials costs and profits for companies involved. To the extent that the new wages (and profits) are spent in the real economy it would increase overall demand, result in further hiring, increase average wages because of a shrinkage in the supply of available labor, increase small business profits, reduce "welfare" payments, increase tax revenue, and reduce deficits.
That's so Putin
02:41 PM on 05/10/2013
Excellent. And why can't Washington figure this out?? They have, they just HAVE to protect the weathiest who fund their re-elections. We've reached the pinnacle of corruption.
08:37 AM on 05/10/2013
Great Article. A couple more authors Plutocrats by Christiana Freidman, Predator Nation by Charles H. Ferguson. This is a very complicated issue, but I would say many on Wall Street get paid for things others would be in jail for. You can't take an insurance policy out on all the houses on your street, then pour gasoline on the neighborhood and happily collect the insurance money. There are many laws on the books these people could be put in jail for though, and the government does nothing. They're too much in the Wall Street bubble. Al Capone was put to jail with much fan fare for much lesser corporate crimes.
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My wife won't let me. So forget it.
08:19 AM on 05/10/2013
Who would believe that the bankers are the new Jesse Jameses! The corporate corruption trickles down. That's for sure. I quit my car sales job when I caught the management stealing and cheating. There's a way to present the final numbers on a car sales contract that hides the fraud very effectively. It took me two years to spot it, but it's there, and it's on virtually every contract. they hide the rebate. Manipulate the trade's payoff. Interest rate shenanigans. I still can't believe it. I also found out that half the managers in any dealership are ex-cons. They've all been to prison, people. It appears now that America is corrupt at every level.

Unfortunately, I'm so broke now that I'm actually considering going back to car sales. (I'm a good one, but honest, so I don't make much, but it's better than nothing. 12 hour days, (3000 hours a year), and you take home about $15 an hour after taxes. Oh well, we're born powerless and we'll die powerless, but you can't take it with you, and I don't think the man upstairs cares one way or the other about your bank account. Wouldn't that be something? If judgement day found us being segregated by the number of zeros in our checking accounts. Remember, there's a mansion in heaven for you, unless you're poor, then you get a trailer park. What if that's true? OMG.
08:17 AM on 05/10/2013
"This isn't about redistributing their wealth. It's about getting ours back."

08:12 AM on 05/10/2013
Hmmm seems to me Obamanomics and Bernanke's quantitative easing is not working.
Possible solution
1) repeal Dodd Frank and reinstat Glass Steagal. D/Frank is cumbersome costly and does nothing for too big too fail as the banks are larger after the crisis than before. Glass Steagal worked for 70 years.
2) repeal Obamacare it is over 2000 pages of job killing legislation and the costs have soared even before being fully implemented. At the very least get rid of the high cost insurance that people are required to purchase and lower it to a catastrophic like policy. This would encourage more people to purchase on their own,
3)consolidate the many govt programs that duplicate each other savings going toward deficit reduction.
4) we have more people on social security disability today than the nation of Greece. Require every one to go to a govt approved Dr and prove they are disabled.
5)lower the corp tax rate and encourage them to bring money overseas back home while getting rid of special breaks - these include oil, gas, wind, solar, ethanol, and any other favorites of a particular congressman. Govt should not be in the business of choosing winners
6)home grown energy we have more oil reserves than Saudia Arabia and a 100 year supply of natural gas exploit this. Would keep us out of the Middle East
Implementing anything close to these would be jump start to a moribund job market
07:17 AM on 05/10/2013
Could the corruption of American Government be any more clear?

Could a population be any more divided against our own interests with half of us supporting the Republican corporatists and the other half supporting Democratic corporatists.

The only party offering a plan to do anything at all about this while maintaining the useful part of government, is the Green Party.