With many U.S. newspapers struggling to survive, a Democratic
senator on Tuesday introduced a bill to help them by allowing newspaper
companies to restructure as nonprofits with a variety of tax breaks.
"This may not be the optimal choice for some major newspapers or
corporate media chains but it should be an option for many newspapers
that are struggling to stay afloat," said Senator Benjamin Cardin.
A Cardin spokesman said the bill had yet to attract any co-sponsors,
but had sparked plenty of interest within the media, which has seen
plunging revenues and many journalist layoffs.
Cardin's Newspaper Revitalization Act would allow newspapers to
operate as nonprofits for educational purposes under the U.S. tax code,
giving them a similar status to public broadcasting companies.
Under this arrangement, newspapers would still be free to report on
all issues, including political campaigns. But they would be prohibited
from making political endorsements. Source.
Guess who gets to decide what's political. Are we really ready for a government run news media?
"We are losing our newspaper industry," Cardin said. "The economy
has caused an immediate problem, but the business model for newspapers,
based on circulation and advertising revenue, is broken, and that is a
real tragedy for communities across the nation and for our democracy.
Newspaper subscriptions and advertising have shrunk dramatically in
the past few years as Americans have turned more and more to the
Internet or television for information.
That's right, Obama wants to start nationalizing companies. First wreck the economy with massive spending and taxation, and then nationalize the victims of Obama's own economic planning. It seems unbelievable until you consider his background. "True, there are cases in which nationalization is bad, but there are, likewise, quite a few benefits to be derived from it. "~ Barak Obama Sr.
WaPo-The Obama administration is considering asking Congress to give the
Treasury secretary unprecedented powers to initiate the seizure of
non-bank financial companies, such as large insurers, investment firms
and hedge funds, whose collapse would damage the broader economy,
according to an administration document.
The government at present has the authority to seize only banks.
Giving the Treasury secretary authority over a broader range of
companies would mark a significant shift from the existing model of
financial regulation, which relies on independent agencies that are
shielded from the political process. The Treasury secretary, a member
of the president's Cabinet, would exercise the new powers in
consultation with the White House, the Federal Reserve and other
regulators, according to the document.
The administration plans to send legislation to Capitol Hill this
week. Sources cautioned that the details, including the Treasury's
role, are still in flux.
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner is set to argue for the new
powers at a hearing today on Capitol Hill about the furor over bonuses
paid to executives at American Investment Group
which the government has propped up with about $180 billion in federal
aid. Administration officials have said that the proposed authority
would have allowed them to seize AIG last fall and wind down its
operations at less cost to taxpayers.
The administration's proposal contains two pieces. First, it would
empower a government agency to take on the new role of systemic risk
regulator with broad oversight of any and all financial firms whose
failure could disrupt the broader economy. The Federal Reserve is
widely considered to be the leading candidate for this assignment. But
some critics warn that this could conflict with the Fed's other
responsibilities, particularly its control over monetary policy.
The government also would assume the authority to seize such firms if they totter toward failure.
Besides seizing a company outright, the document states, the
Treasury Secretary could use a range of tools to prevent its collapse,
such as guaranteeing losses, buying assets or taking a partial
ownership stake. Such authority also would allow the government to
break contracts, such as the agreements to pay $165 million in bonuses
to employees of AIG's most troubled unit.
The Treasury secretary could act only after consulting with the
president and getting a recommendation from two-thirds of the Federal
Reserve Board, according to the plan.
Geithner plans to lay out the administration's broader strategy for
overhauling financial regulation at another hearing on Thursday.
The authority to seize non-bank financial firms has emerged as a
priority for the administration after the failure of investment house Lehman Brothers, which was not a traditional bank, and the troubled rescue of AIG.
"We're very late in doing this, but we've got to move quickly to try
and do this because, again, it's a necessary thing for any government
to have a broader range of tools for dealing with these kinds of
things, so you can protect the economy from the kind of risks posed by
institutions that get to the point where they're systemic," Geithner
said last night at a forum held by the Wall Street Journal.
The powers would parallel the government's existing authority over
banks, which are exercised by banking regulatory agencies in
conjunction with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Geithner has cited
that structure as the model for the government's plans.
President Barack Obama waves and learns the door on Marine One is much shorter than he is, and bumps his head slightly, after denying claims that the stimulus bill contains a $3.7B earmark for protective headgear.
“The whole point, Mr. President, is to enact tax cuts and spending
measures that truly stimulate the economy,” McCain said. “There are
billions and tens of billions of dollars in this bill which will have
no effect within three, four, five or more years, or ever. Or ever.”
"While I appreciate the efforts of my colleagues to bring down
the price tag of this bill, the fact is we still face a trillion dollar
spending bill. Making it worse, the bill is 93% spending and only 7%
stimulation. Over the past few days I have fought to include more in
the way of real stimulus through higher percentage of infrastructure
and defense spending, while working to cut much of the typical
government waste often found in a bill of this size. Yet Democrats have
blocked these efforts.
"The good news tonight is that the American people are catching
on to the fact that this is the largest spending bill in history and
are becoming more and more vocal in their opposition. My offices in
Oklahoma and Washington DC have been flooded with emails, phone calls
and faxes overwhelmingly opposed to this trillion dollar legislation.
They can rest assured that my vote remains an unwavering ‘no.'"
Let's see, 93% of 780B? That's a 725.4 billion pork barrel.
Nicastro represents Connecticut's 79th assembly district, which
includes Bristol, a city of about 61,000 people outside Hartford, the
state capital. Its paper, The Bristol Press, may fold within days,
along with The Herald in nearby New Britain.
That is because publisher Journal Register, in danger of being
crushed under hundreds of millions of dollars of debt, says it cannot
afford to keep them open anymore.
Nicastro and fellow legislators want the papers to survive, and
petitioned the state government to do something about it. "The media is
a vitally important part of America," he said, particularly local
papers that cover news ignored by big papers and television and radio
To some experts, that sounds like a bailout, a word that resurfaced
this year after the U.S. government agreed to give hundreds of billions
of dollars to the automobile and financial sectors.
Relying on government help raises ethical questions for the press,
whose traditional role has been to operate free from government
influence as it tries to hold politicians accountable to the people who
elected them. Even some publishers desperate for help are wary of this
Providing government support can muddy that mission, said Paul
Janensch, a journalism professor at Quinnipiac University in
Connecticut, and a former reporter and editor.
Here's the money quote.
"You can't expect a watchdog to bite the hand that feeds it," he said.
Cancel that expose' on our golden egg laying goose. Handing out free money can make one very popular. Can you say puff piece?
But newspapers are being replaced by the internet media anyway, so why kill the trees? Why not bailout the struggling cast iron stove industry if that's truly the role of government?
Many media experts predict that 2009 will be the year that
newspapers of all sizes will falter and die, a threat long predicted
but rarely taken seriously until the credit crunch blossomed into a
full-fledged financial meltdown.
Some papers no longer print daily, and some not at all.
Yeah, just google "newspapers struggling" if you need to.All the government bailouts in the world are not going to make people subscribe to newspapers, we're getting our news for free online.
Wall Street extends decline as Cisco comments, retailers' sales add to recession worries
Wall Street plunged for a second day, triggered by computer gear maker
Cisco Systems warning of slumping demand and retailers reporting weak
sales for October. Concerns about widespread economic weakness sent the
major stock indexes down more than 4 percent Thursday, including the
Dow Jones industrial average, which tumbled more than 440 points.
Major indexes have lost about 10 percent since Barack Obama was
elected president -- a vote preceded by a steep rally -- and the losses
represent the Dow's worst two-day percentage decline since the October
Paper losses during that time in U.S. stocks came to
$1.2 trillion, according to the Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 Composite
Index, which represents nearly all stocks traded in America.
Wealth Redistribution = Less Wealth($/R = W - 1.2 trillion)