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Recent comments

  • On the Program March 24 2009   10 years 4 weeks ago

    The audio of President Reagan when he was a Democrat was amazing to hear. I knew he had been a Democrat but to actually hear him criticize the Republican party on social security & labor wages was stunning. I would love to send that audio to everyone I know. Can you provide a link or post it here?

  • On the Program March 24 2009   10 years 4 weeks ago

    The analysis of mortgage payments at the end of the show is completely and utterly wrong. The payments on a level-payment, self-amortizing mortgage (what most of us have on our homes) consist of two parts, an interest component and a principal component. The interest component is by far the greatest part of the monthly payment at the beginning of the mortgage term because it consists of the entire amount of interest accrued that month on the outstanding principal amount. The outstanding principal shrinks gradually over the term of the mortgage, which means that the interest component of each month's payment also decreases as the principal is paid down. The bank is earning only the stated rate of interest each month, not, as Thom said, 80-90 percent.

    One of the hallmarks of one kind of risky mortgage is what is called negative amortization. In such a loan, the monthly payment is based on a so-called teaser rate, which lasts only a short period of time, sometimes as little as the first month of the mortgage, but the payment only changes once a year. Once the interest rate increases, the required monthly payment is no longer sufficient to pay the interest on the loan as it accrues, so the unpaid interest is added to principal. As I used to tell people when I closed loans like that, "This means that, if you pay only the required payment each month, at the end of a year you will owe more than you do today." Such a loan only works in a rising market, and really doesn't make sense even then unless the borrower has the discipline and ability to pay more than the required payment each month.

    A level-payment, self-amortizing loan could not be structured as Thom and the caller want. The payments could be set up to pay a set amount of principal each month (1/360 of the original loan amount for a 30-year mortgage), but interest would still have to be paid currently on the outstanding principal each month. To take a simple example, a $180,000 mortgage at six percent would start off with a payment of $1400, consisting of $500 principal and $900 interest, which would decrease each month by $2.50 (one month's interest on the $500 principal payment made the previous month). Most people could not afford this. By contrast, a level-payment, self-amortizing mortgage would have a monthly payment of $1079.19 for the same mortgage terms.

    One additional quibble: the "mortgage holder" is the lender, not the borrower. The lender (a/k/a the mortgagee) holds the mortgage (literally, the dead promise) until the borrower (a/k/a the mortgagor) complies with its terms (i.e., fulfills his/her/its/their promise) by paying it off in full, at which time the lender discharges the mortgage.

  • On the Program March 24 2009   10 years 4 weeks ago

    Reagan ran up the budget deficit at the fastest rate in US history--even accounting deficits that occurred during war. He covered this by increasing social security taxes from 4.8% in 1981 to 15.020%; it's been 15.3% since about 1990. Table available at the following site:

    http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/ProgData/taxRates.html

  • On the Program March 24 2009   10 years 4 weeks ago

    Thom,

    By all means get David Whorowitz on your show ASAP. Your audience just adores him. We also need another dose of Carrie Ludicrous of the Independent Women's Forum and Urine Brooks of the Ayn Rand Center.

    Last week, I objected to your claim that drug dealing in the black community was an expression of the entrepreneurial spirit among people who don't have a legal outlet for it. In that post, I said that you don't know much about the black community and I don't think you're particularly interested.

    Now here's part of my argument supporting that statement:

    Carrie Lukas, Yaron Brooks, David Horowitz are semi-regulars on your show. I would guess that any of them individually may, and just the 3 of them collectively, were probably on your show more than all the black guests you had on your show over the last 12 months. If that isn't the case, it's only because the candidacy and election of Barack Obama made you seek out opinions of blacks about the racists attacks Obama and/or the controversy over Jeremiah Wright.

    Blacks make up around 12% of the population of this country and Hispanics make up around 15%. What percentage of the guests on your show are from these populations? We're almost at the end of the first quarter of 2009; how many African-American or Hispanic guests have you had on your show so far this year?

    I do remember that one of the few African-American guests you had on your show was Michelle Bernard of the conservative Independent Women's Forum. Maybe Carrie Lukas wasn't available that day.

    I've heard you use the term "white privilege" a few times on your show. You have a choice of what guests you have on your show. You have an abundance of white conservatives, but it seems "people of color need not apply". How do you define "white privilege"?

  • On the Program March 24 2009   10 years 4 weeks ago

    Endnotes:

    1. U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Historical Tables, annual.

    This was from this website:

    THE LONG FAQ ON LIBERALISM
    Part of the Liberalism Resurgent web site
    © Copyright by Steve Kangas, editor
    website:
    http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/LiberalFAQ.htm#Backdemodeficit

  • The Real Criminals are Neither Lynndie England nor the AIG Traders   10 years 4 weeks ago

    I didn't know where to make this comment. Thom said he didn't know that he was not on air america any more. someone should let him know!! and put him back.

  • The Real Criminals are Neither Lynndie England nor the AIG Traders   10 years 4 weeks ago

    Conservative Ideology: "Reverse Robinhood"

    When are we going to be as pissed off as the French masses were in the late 1700s? (too many similarities)

  • On the Program March 24 2009   10 years 4 weeks ago

    Thom,

    Where did the stats on the debt Reagan and the others Presidents ran up come from? Not that I don't believe they are correct. I just want to be able to back them up when telling friends.

    Thanks!

    P.S. Ruby, you rock!

  • On the Program March 24 2009   10 years 4 weeks ago

    Thom,

    If someone told you that you could make a good living doing a radio show talking about whatever you wanted to, and all you had to do was tell your listeners that they should buy a 14 miles per gallon Hummer, would you do it?

    Buy American baby!

    Truth in Blogging Statement: B Roll averages over 50 miles per gallon driving a 3 year old Toyota Prius and has No respect for David Horowitz. B Roll is obviously part of the anti-American left.

  • On the Program March 24 2009   10 years 4 weeks ago

    THE DEMOCRATS DID NOT CONTROL CONGRESS WHILE REAGANOMICS WAS BEING IMPOSED!

    http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-demodeficit.htm

    Myth: Democrats in Congress created the deficit.

    Fact: Republicans controlled the Senate from 1981 to 1987, and the White House from 1981 to 1993.

    Summary:

    The Republicans controlled the Senate from 1981 through 1987, a period when the largest budget deficits of the 80s were passed. With Reagan in the White House, the GOP controlled two of the three bodies required to pass a budget.

    Argument

    Many Republicans argue that Reagan's tax cuts did not cause the mushrooming deficits of the 1980s -- it was runaway government spending. And because Democrats controlled Congress for 40 years, they are to blame for overcharging the public's credit card.

    This argument forgets one inconvenient fact: Republicans were in control of the Senate from January 1981 to January 1987. It's true that presidents must submit their budgets first to the House, and that House Democrats declared seven of Reagan's eight budgets "DOA" -- Dead on Arrival -- but the fact remains that the Senate is an equal player in the budget process. Both houses of Congress have committees for appropriations and aggregate spending. Both houses of Congress vote twice on the budget: once on the original version, and again after the conference committee hammers out a compromise version of the two competing bills.

    With Reagan wielding the veto pen in the White House, any budget standoff between House Democrats and Senate Republicans would have been tipped in the Republicans' favor. In other words, the GOP controlled two of the three bodies required to pass a budget. Therefore, Republicans dominated the budget process, and they deserve a larger share of responsibility for whatever deficits were passed on their watch.

    It should also be pointed out that Republicans passed the largest deficits of the 80s; when Democrats regained control of the Senate in 1987, they reduced the deficits in 88 and 89, as the following chart shows:

    Federal Deficit (Nominal dollars, in millions)(1)

    Year Deficit
    ---------------
    1979 -$40,183
    1980 -73,835
    1981 -78,976 < Republicans win Senate
    1982 -127,989
    1983 -207,818
    1984 -185,388
    1985 -212,334
    1986 -221,245
    1987 -149,769 < Democrats retake Senate
    1988 -155,187
    1989 -152,481
    1990 -221,384
    1991 -269,521
    1992 -290,403

    The smaller deficits of 1987-89 were the result of falling spending. Part of these were defense cuts in the Gorbachev era and the waning of the Cold War. Part of them were cuts in social spending, because this was the peak of the business cycle and there is less need for welfare and social spending when unemployment is low. The 1986 Tax Reform Act cut tax rates but also closed loopholes, actions which canceled each other out. So these smaller deficits were not the result of tax cuts, but Democratic-controlled spending!

    Finally, Reagan could have vetoed any budget he deemed unacceptable. He did not.

  • On the Program March 27 2009   10 years 4 weeks ago

    corporate coopting of EFCA. Disingenuously attractive name "Committee for a Level Playing Field. Progressives don't name bills as attractively like SCHIP for child health care. EFCA an exception.

    http://www.fsrn.org/audio/big-boxes-suggest-alternative-efca/4412

  • VIDEO OF THOM ON CNN'S "LARRY KING LIVE" 3/23/2009   10 years 4 weeks ago

    I saw you on Larry King tonight and you were fantastic! I've been listening to you for almost two years since I've been in Seattle. And the whole time I've been raving to my friends about how you're the smartest man on radio. Finally, you're getting the recognition you, and we, deserve. Spread those intelligent thoughts and ideas!

    Good on you, Thom!

  • The Real Criminals are Neither Lynndie England nor the AIG Traders   10 years 4 weeks ago

    EXACTLY. The whole point is to incentivize people to avoid paying the tax. It's the exact opposite of what "conservatives" do -- million dollar handouts in tax breaks with the "hopes" that people will do good things. Instead, you don't have to give them anything, and you don't have to take anything -- just give them a damned good reason to do it on their own.

  • The Real Criminals are Neither Lynndie England nor the AIG Traders   10 years 4 weeks ago

    Of course no one ever paid the 90 percent rate, either. However, the public benefit was that to avoid the 90 percent tax required reducing income. That meant putting the earnings back into the business. Reinvestment in US companies could not have been bad for the country's strongest period of sustained economic growth in its history.

  • The Real Criminals are Neither Lynndie England nor the AIG Traders   10 years 4 weeks ago

    I was blown away when I heard what you said today as to where the blame correctly belongs. At least I now know that I am not crazy in believing the same thing. I have a degree in Economics, but it doesn't take a degree to realize where all of this came from. One only needs to remember history. And those who lambst Keynes are foolhardy. Now, my one other wish is that, for a time, President Obama becomes a sort of benevolent dictator.

    On a personal note, I remember, when I was much younger, that my grandfather made an odd comment at the time. He said he was proud of being an American and also proud to have to pay the 70% marginal tax rate. He was an orphan immingrant from Poland. He eventually built his own company and became very successful. He was a wise, self taught man.

    Funny how people view this country today.

  • The Real Criminals are Neither Lynndie England nor the AIG Traders   10 years 4 weeks ago

    A more comprehensive of how marginal tax rates work would be very beneficial. Most average people don't know they work and panic at the thought of paying such enormous taxes. 90% tax on my income would leave me with less than 5 grand a year to live on and that's the sense that average seems to get and that's the emotion that the corporate media plays upon. Call it the "lottery mentality". Every person I know tries to win the big one and then, even before they start fantasizing about being rich, they start complaining that they'd lose over half the winnings in taxes. Not true, but most people don't know that. and it automatically makes a king's ransom in cash look not so rewarding. 90% tax on a million dollars leaves you with about a hundred grand -- nice money, but not the yacht buying kind, so people have a knee jerk reaction to that thought. But, of course, that's NOT how a marginal tax rate works. Average Joe does not know that.

    Fact. All the high taxes on the wealthy during the FDR years did NOT keep anyone from becoming wealthy. It did however keep a lot of people from becoming fuedalistically rich. That egalitarian principle, De Touceville would agree, kept Democracy alive and well those decades. Capitalism is an economic system -- a potentially nice one --, but it's NOT a political system. America comes first.

  • Listen to the The Great Debate! Hartmann vs Medved   10 years 4 weeks ago

    That's funny, I thought Medved won.

    I thought it was a good debate from both sides, actually. The audience was rude to both participants. Thom and Michael were both funny and seemed to get along. I would like to hear more of these. I enjoy hearing alternative thoughts.

  • On the Program March 23 2009   10 years 4 weeks ago

    On Monday 3-23, Thom Hartmann discussed what homeowners facing foreclosure can do. Well, one thing I've heard is to demand the loan note. This is your legal right and may delay or even bring the foreclosure grinding to a halt. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur is advising this form of legal hardball, as in linked article: http://politicalvoicesofwomen.ning.com/profiles/blog/show?id=1387629%3AB...

    Quote from article:
    KAPTUR: If you really look at the fine print, these Wall Street firms can't find the loan. They've divided it up into so many pieces, so there's a legitimate question in the law as to where that deed, where that loan actually is.

    DOBBS: In point of fact, it's not -- to be clear, if there's no note, there is no debt?

    KAPTUR: That's right.

    More where that came from, perhaps pure gold for the desperate.

  • The Real Criminals are Neither Lynndie England nor the AIG Traders   10 years 4 weeks ago

    This 90% meme is vital. Keep saying it, and saying it and saying it, Thom.

    The hope is that at some point some bloviating blowhard on MSNBC will ask a guest, "What about this thing that's going around saying that we need a 90% tax rate? Is that INSANE, or what?" Then by the next day, six more conservatives will be trumpeting, "OBAMA WANTS A 90% TAX RATE!" Then somebody like Olbermann or Stewart will feel the need to debunk and defend it, and hopefully they'll do so by saying, "No, Obama never said that, but if you look back, it is true that we had a 90% tax rate for 20 years, and steady growth the whole time ..." And THEN the real discussion can start.

    There are tens of millions of middle-aged and younger Americans who have only known the top tax rate to be around 35%. 39% even seems outrageous. They don't even know that it can be higher -- much less that it was around 70% or above for the majority of the 20th century. If you say "raise it to 40%," they'll absolutely freak and talk it down to 36%. We can't do that. Start the debate at 90% and settle for 68% or 55%.

  • Listen to the The Great Debate! Hartmann vs Medved   10 years 4 weeks ago

    The so-called religious job of a Hindu deity, is to periodically return to Earth, (sometimes in disguise), and save everybody! Strangely, Mahayana Buddhism has put a rather illogical 'spin' on their visiting dieties. Their Bodi Satras, as they are termed, consider reasonable adult arguments as useless, as 'water through a seive'? So how does that type of attitude 'win' in American politics, especially with conservatives? Answer: the water is like our commons, and the seive is like the MSM!?! The problem with Medved's argument in the debate about the commons (on route to his spectacular loss!) was that to turn our backs upon our commons is as DISASTEROUS as leaving a child at home, alone!!

  • March 20th 2009 ON the Program   10 years 4 weeks ago

    Just to follow up on a full accounting of historic Trans-North America migration, from the historic crossing what is now the Bering Straite, to meso-American Mayan Civilization, Aztek depredation, and even the Inca Empire! What strikes me as fascinating, are the several Proto-Native American Languages, spoken throughout North America! Proto languages may be mutualy understood by other neighboring tribes, whereas each tribe retains a special core lexicon from its own region! (Ex. Proto-Iroquoian was understood by People of The Great Hill, People of The Great Swamp, People of The Hills, People of The Great Flint, and The Shirt-Wearing Peoples of the Northeastern North American region!!)

  • March 20th 2009 ON the Program   10 years 4 weeks ago

    Paid blogger wrap up:

    In earlier post (2nd from the top of this page) I said that I thought that two recent callers to the show were prolific posters on Thom's message boards and I wondered if they there being being paid to post here. Well, I can't prove whether they're being paid or not. However, here are some new numbers on their posting activities today.

    The guy who had called earlier this week about Thom "endorsing" Arlen Specter, has at this moment 97 posts since the new message board started. 5 of those posts were made within the last 5 hours.

    The guy who had called and challenged Bernie Sanders (last Friday, I think) has a 39 posts since the new board started. Amazingly, 19 of his posts were made in the last 4 hours. In addition, he called in to challenge Thom about the proposal to tax the $165 million in bonuses given to people at AIG.

    I REPORT, YOU DECIDE!

    B Roll, CSI

  • March 20th 2009 ON the Program   10 years 4 weeks ago

    As I am listening to your show I have come up with a concept..we all came here from lands that made rules that worked against us(or our past family and the founding fathers)..somehow this distaste for rules and regulations are still with us..so we elect others like us and they do in these laws that are meant to protect us..we used to drive many miles faster and we adjusted them..we now us seatbelts..as we can no longer use cell phones..these are adjustments of the primary rules of safe driving..the same goes for medical care..but when it comes to our economic well being we are not interested..you have a wonderful opportunity to educate the American people with these facts..
    thank you
    saul bernstein

  • March 20th 2009 ON the Program   10 years 4 weeks ago

    For anyone that missed the names of the Supreme Court cases Thom mentioned, they were Buckley v. Valeo & First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti.

  • March 20th 2009 ON the Program   10 years 4 weeks ago

    OK... OK... this is my 3rd post of the morning, but I guarantee it's strictly "pro bono".

    My suspicion was that the softness of John King's interview of Cheney may have been influenced by Seymour Hersh's recent revelation of Cheney's executive assassination squad.

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