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Tidbits Political Quotations
To Accompany the June 28, 2017 edition of Tidbits          
Bob Jensen at
Trinity University

USA Debt Clock --- ubl

How Your Federal Tax Dollars are Spent ---

To Whom Does the USA Federal Government Owe Money (the booked obligation of $19+ trillion) ---
The US Debt Clock in Real Time --- 
Remember the Jane Fonda Movie called "Rollover" ---
One worry is that nations holding trillions of dollars invested in USA debt are dependent upon sales of oil and gas to sustain those investments.

To Whom Does the USA Federal Government Owe Money (the unbooked obligation of $100 trillion and unknown more in contracted entitlements) ---
The biggest worry of the entitlements obligations is enormous obligation for the future under the Medicare and Medicaid programs that are now deemed totally unsustainable ---


Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side because it's been fertilized with more bullshit.


Shoot for the space in between, because that's where the real mystery lies.
Vera Rubin


Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
T.S. Eliot

There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.
Leonard Cohen

Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.
Margaret Wheatley
Even conversations that are not politically correct.

Why, we grow rusty and you catch us at the very point of decadence --- by this time tomorrow we may have forgotten everything we ever knew. That's a thought isn't it? We'd be back to where we started --- improvising.
Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Act I)

It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.

Babe Ruth, Historic Home Run Hitter
What's sad is to witness what Syria has become because nobody will give up.

And "because they're nonstate actors, it's hard for us to get the satisfaction of [Gen.] MacArthur and the [Japanese] Emperor [Hirohito] meeting and the war officially being over," Obama observed, referencing the end of World War II. 
President Barack Obama when asked if the USA of the future will be perpetually engaged in war.

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. 
Joseph Campbell

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking. 
George S. Patton

If you don't know where you're going, you might not get there.
Yogi Berra

Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.
Henry David Thoreau

Are we overreacting to US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate? ---
Nives Dolsak, University of Washington and Aseem Prakash, University of Washington

Rewriting American History
Professor Walter E. Williams

California Lawmakers Seek to Subvert Government Transparency:  The state legislature is failing to heed the will of the voters ---
Jensen Comment
In 2013 the California government was also caught hiding a massive amount of debt from the public and was forced to change accounting practices.


What Sharia law means: Five questions answered ---
Jensen Comment
Think of what a mess it would be if every religion had its own set of laws that trumped the uniform set of statutes for the nation.

The proliferation of Islamic extremism represents a “historic challenge” for Sweden ---

People Are Bothered By Economic Unfairness, Not Economic Inequality ---

MIT:  Scientists clash over a proposal to get the U.S. running on 100 percent renewables ---

As More States Kill Their Estate Taxes, Will The Push To Repeal The Federal Estate Tax Become Irresistible?

India’s prime minister is not as much of a reformer as he seems -
Economist Magazine, June 24, 2017--- 

The Democrats Lost Their Way on Immigration
The Atlantic Magazine

Not Remotely Green
A car battery used in a Tesla generates as much CO2 as driving a gasoline-powered car for eight years. And that’s before it even come off the production line ---
Swedish Environmental Research Institute:
Tesla's new batteries may be harder on the environment than you think
The Guardian

Aydan Ozoguz, the country’s commissioner for imigration, refugees and integration, said in an interview with the Financial Times that only a quarter of those being granted shelter in Germany would ever make it to the self-sufficiency stage ---

Also see


They say that patriotism is the last refuge
To which a scoundrel clings.
Steal a little and they throw you in jail,
Steal a lot and they make you king.
There's only one step down from here, baby,
It's called the land of permanent bliss. 
What's a sweetheart like you doin' in a dump like this?

Bob Dylan

Well, the rifleman’s stalking the sick and the lame
Preacherman seeks the same, who’ll get there first is uncertain
Nightsticks and water cannons, tear gas, padlocks
Molotov cocktails and rocks behind every curtain
False-hearted judges dying in the webs that they spin
Only a matter of time ’til night comes steppin’ in

Bob Dylan

Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son
And what did you see, my darling young one
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin'
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin'
I saw a white ladder all covered with water
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall

Bob Dylan

Hear Bob Dylan’s Newly-Released Nobel Lecture: A Meditation on Music, Literature & Lyrics ---

Patti Smith Sings Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rains Gonna Fall” at Nobel Prize Ceremony & Gets a Case of the Nerves ---

USA Debt Clock --- ubl

Will Illinois Be the First State to Declare Bankruptcy ---

Chaired Professor Wages Court Battle Against Tenure ---

Malthusianism ---

UN:  The world's population will grow by a billion people in the next 13 years and will be almost 10billion by the time we reach 2050 ---

The world's population will grow by a billion people in the next 13 years and will be almost 10billion by the time we reach 2050, the United Nations predicts. The current population of 7.6billion is expected to balloon in the coming decade, driven largely by high birth rates in Africa, according to a new UN report. India will surpass China as the most crowded inside the next seven years, while Nigeria will overtake the United States and become the world's third most populous country shortly before 2050, research suggests.

Meanwhile Europe, which currently has a birth rate of 1.6 children per woman, is set to see a decline in population in the coming decades. 

The report by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs' Population Division said roughly 83 million people are added to the world's population every year. The upward trend is expected to continue even with a continuing decline in fertility rates, which have fallen steadily since the 1960s, the authors wrote. John Wilmoth, director of the Population Division, said that the report includes information on the populations of 233 countries or areas of the world. 'The population in Africa is notable for its rapid rate of growth, and it is anticipated that over half of global population growth between now and 2050 will take place in that region,' he said.

Continued in article

Precision Farming Increases Crop Yields
Urgently needed to sustain explosive population growth predicted by the United Nations (another billion people added in 13 years)

The problematic way to make our national debt disappear ---

I’m going to make the entire US debt disappear before your eyes — and you are not going to like the way I do it.

Let’s start with the Federal Reserve’s announcement last week that it planned to shrink the size of its $4.5 trillion balance sheet.

Sounds pretty simple.

But those simple words are fraught with such complexity and danger that the inflation-haters in the world should rise up and demand a full accounting of how that will be done.

I’ll start at the beginning. But in the end you’ll see how it would be possible for out-of-control politicians in Washington to make what the Fed is about to do into something that could hurt generations of future Americans

The Federal Reserve had assets of only $800 billion when the 2007 financial crisis began. By late 2008, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke decided that he needed to keep interest rates extremely low — lower than he could through conventional methods.

So he adopted an idea that had been used in other parts of the world but never here: quantitative easing.

The idea has that name because when enacted, QE keeps interest rates low. In other words, the Fed would “ease” credit conditions — by increasing the quantity of money.

This isn’t the type of money that has presidents’ faces on it. It is electronic money, and the Fed used it to buy government bonds.

With the Fed utilizing this newly created e-money, it acted as a shill — and a very, very big one at that — at US Treasury auctions.

And with the Fed shilling, the demand for bonds was bound to be strong.

It would be like your aunt bidding up the price on your uncle’s car at an auction. It may look as though there is strong demand for the car, but it’s all fake.

And the stronger the demand for bonds, the higher the price — and the lower the interest rate. That helped the Treasury Department keep the federal deficit lower than it would have been.

QE was also a great benefit to Washington in another way.

Each year, by law, the Fed has to turn its profits over to the Treasury. And since the onset of QE, the profits from those $4.5 trillion in bonds have sharply reduced our annual deficit, which in turn has helped keep down this country’s debt level.

The US debt is almost $20 trillion right now. But without the Fed’s help — the profits from those QE bonds purchased with newly created e-money — that figure would be closer to $20.6 trillion.

Or, put another way, the US had an extra $600 billion to spend thanks to QE profits.

Problems will occur if Washington gets it into its head that there’s extra money to spend because of the QE money being returned to the Treasury.

Continued in article

From the CFO Journal's Morning Ledger on June 23, 2017

The race to bring solar power to Africa
American startups are competing to deliver solar powers to underserved communities, Bill McKibben writes for The New Yorker. These entrepreneurs look at solar power in Africa as a way to tap a large market and even make a hefty profit.

From the CFO Journal's Morning Ledger on June 23, 2017

The Senate’s health-care bill repeals hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes on businesses and high-income households and includes a retroactive cut in capital-gains taxes, Richard Rubin writes.

The tax portions of the proposal, a draft of which was released on Thursday in advance of a possible vote next week, are very similar to the elements in the version the House passed last month. The plan operates like the 2010 Affordable Care Act, but in reverse. Instead of raising taxes to pay for expanded insurance coverage, it reduces coverage and cuts taxes.

Also on Thursday, the largest U.S. banks survived a hypothetical “stress test” and could continue lending even during a deep recession, the Federal Reserve said, a strong report card that could bolster the industry’s case for cutting back regulation, Ryan Tracey and Telis Demos write.

In the first part of its annual tests, the Fed said 34 of the largest U.S. banks have significantly improved their defenses since the 2008 financial crisis. The results signal that many banks could win the Fed’s approval to increase dividend payouts to investors next week, in the second round of the tests.

Finding and Using Health Statistics ---

Tapper:  Democrats' Obamacare Pitch Was Dishonest ---
Jake Tapper, CNN

Chicago Tribune:  The average 65-year-old couple retiring in a year can expect to spend $404,253 in today's dollars on health insurance and other health care costs ---

Jensen Comment
Erika and I spent more than $400,000 on health care in the first 10 years of retirement. Firstly, Medicare is not free in retirement even though we both paid into Medicare during our working years ---

Secondly, the premiums for our Medicare Supplemental insurance can be much greater than the Medicare premiums. I recommend buy a quality supplemental

Thirdly Medicare D only pays a portion of our annual prescription drug costs, especially after Erika and I hit the donut hole every year ---

Fourthly, there are many medical expenses not covered by Medicare, including all the non-prescription medications and such things as my hotel expenses in Boston when I wanted to be near Erika during her surgeries and therapy sessions.

Don't think that I'm complaining since Medicare has paid out over a million dollars for Erika's multiple spine surgeries and therapies and medications. My point, however, is that retirees should not really count on much on discretionary spending from Social Security payments since there are ever so many medical expenses for many seniors on Social Security.

And most importantly, Medicare does not pay for nursing services (such as the enormous monthly costs of nursing homes) when folks are no longer able to care for themselves. Erika and I are not at that point, but all people should plan ahead to save for the time when they might need very expensive long-term nursing care. I'm not an advocate of expensive nursing care insurance, but everybody should consider this and other alternatives in planning ahead for the possibility of needing long-term nursing care.

The Atlantic:  The top 5 percent of Americans who spend the most on health care account for 50.3 percent of all health care expenditures in the USA
.This critical five percent of the U.S. population is key to solving the nation's health care spending crisis.  ---
This article is not free

On November 22, 2009 CBS Sixty Minutes aired a video featuring experts (including physicians) explaining how the single largest drain on the Medicare insurance fund is keeping dying people hopelessly alive who could otherwise be allowed to die quicker and painlessly without artificially prolonging life on ICU machines.
"The Cost of Dying," CBS Sixty Minutes Video, November 22, 2009 ---
National health care plans such as those in Canada, Denmark, Germany, and the U.K. spend a lot less (proportionately) on keeping dying patients alive.

Harvard:  Hospitals Are Dramatically Overpaying for Their Technology ---

For critically ill patients on breathing machines, a simple step drastically improves their survival chances by almost 10% — from 60% to 70%. It involves programming the machine to deliver enough life-sustaining breaths, but not so much that it damages their lungs by overinflating them. Given that this intervention could prevent more suffering than many wonder drugs, one would expect that there would be zero market for a breathing machine that didn’t make lung-preventive ventilation as easy as possible. But in health care, few things work as expected. Fewer than half of patients, and in some hospitals fewer than 20%, receive this life-saving intervention.

One big reason why is that hospitals purchase technologies without requiring that they communicate with each other. The optimal air flow is based on a straightforward calculation using the height of the patient. Height data, however, resides in the electronic medical record, which typically does not communicate with the ventilator. As a result, physicians must retrieve this information from the medical record, perform the calculation (sometimes on paper), and enter the order. A respiratory therapist then takes the order and types it into the ventilator, often relying on memory.

If the ventilator and medical record communicated with each another, calculating the ideal air flow would be automated and clinicians would only need to verify the correct settings. Instead, they waste time on nonproductive work, filling the gap between these two systems. Because similar gaps exist between dozens of other hospital technologies, and clinicians are asked to perform hundreds of steps each day to deliver evidence-based care, unnecessary errors occur, and providers’ productivity has fallen, even while spending on technology has ballooned.

Health care’s safety and quality challenges are exacerbated by its procurement problem. For years, hospitals have invested in sophisticated devices and IT systems that, on their own, can be awe-inspiring. Yet these technologies rarely share data, let alone leverage it to support better clinical care.

How did we get here? First, the number of devices that work well with others is small. Manufacturers have been slow to embrace interoperability, which would allow health care technologies to share data with one another. In recent years, there has been movement to change that. More companies have pledged to open their data, giving innovators everywhere the chance to mine that data and use it to drive better care. But we are far from where we should be.

Second, despite significant work, health care lacks widespread adoption of interoperability standards that govern formats and elements of data shared between different systems. Without such standards, data cannot be shared and understood among devices. An accelerated effort is needed to create mature standards and expand their adoption by manufacturers. At Johns Hopkins, we are leading development of a report for the National Academy of Medicine that will identify the barriers to widespread interoperability and suggest opportunities to overcome them, such as policies, requirements, standards, and purchase specifications.

Part of the solution must involve hospitals. If they truly want technologies that save lives and boost productivity, they will need to exert their considerable pressure as purchasers, requiring that manufacturers embrace openness and interoperability, and only purchasing devices that support this. Too often, hospitals treat equipment and IT procurement in a siloed way, focusing on price without looking at how those devices will work as part of a larger system. For example, many new hospital beds come with a sophisticated array of sensors that can track such information as whether a patient is at risk of developing a bedsore, based on data about how often they move in bed. Such sensors may be 30% of a bed’s costs. Yet at one of our hospitals, that data is unusable — it’s in a format that our system cannot read.

Continued in article

Senate may keep some Obamacare taxes in U.S. healthcare overhaul ---

Republican senators trying to repeal Obamacare are forming consensus to keep some of the U.S. healthcare law's taxes they long criticized, in hopes of delaying more drastic funding cuts, particularly to the Medicaid program for the poor and disabled.

First proposed by moderate Republicans, the idea is gaining traction among party members, according to five sources involved in or briefed on internal discussions. While no final decisions have been made, a sense of urgency has increased as Republicans draft a replacement bill to former President Barack Obama's healthcare law before Congress goes on recess on June 30.

But keeping some of the taxes in the Senate bill risks alienating conservatives. On Tuesday, 45 conservative groups and activists sent a letter to Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, urging the Senate to repeal all Obamacare taxes.

One cornerstone tax that could remain is the net investment income tax, which imposes a 3.8 percent surtax on capital gains, dividends and interest, the sources said. The taxes most likely to be abolished directly impact consumers and the health industry, including a tax on health insurance premiums, the so-called Cadillac tax on high-cost employer-provided insurance and the medical device tax.

Another proposal being floated is to keep all the taxes from the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, but to scale them back. A group of 13 Republican senators led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not completed a full draft of the bill, but is sending pieces to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to assess the impact of various provisions.

The CBO's assessment will help determine which taxes the Senate needs in order to pay for its replacement bill. It is not clear whether McConnell, or more conservative party members such as Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Senator Mike Lee of Utah, are receptive to keeping some of the taxes.

"I think most of the taxes are going to go away," Senator John Thune of South Dakota, the Senate's No. 3-ranking Republican, said on Tuesday. "Our members are still having a conversation about if we want to make changes that are in the end going to require some additional revenue."

Spokesmen for McConnell and Cruz declined to comment. A spokesman for Lee said he wants Republicans to abolish every tax that was included in a 2015 Obamacare repeal bill that Obama vetoed.

Since Obamacare became law in 2010, Republicans have campaigned on repealing the program that extended insurance coverage to 20 million additional Americans through both subsidized private insurance and an expansion of Medicaid.

They have argued that the law is too costly and represents undue government interference in Americans' healthcare. President Donald Trump promised to eliminate the law on his first day in office, but Republicans, who control the White House, the House of Representatives and the Senate, have struggled to coalesce around a single plan.

Under Senate rules, their bill must replicate the $133 billion in savings projected by preliminary legislation that passed in the U.S. House of Representatives last month. That bill would end Obamacare's expansion of Medicaid in 2020, slash its federal funding by more than $800 billion over 10 years and eliminate most of the law's taxes.

Moderate Republican senators from states that expanded Medicaid, including Rob Portman of Ohio, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Dean Heller of Nevada, have proposed phasing out the expansion over a seven-year period, from 2020 to 2027, to give state governors more time to cut program costs. That timeframe also prevents senators, who serve six-year terms, from having to run for re-election when Medicaid cuts have been implemented, two former Republican Senate aides said.

Continued in article

Obamacare Made 729 Erroneous Payments to Doctors ---


Bob Jensen's health care messaging ---

Bob Jensen's Tidbits Archives --- 

Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

Summary of Major Accounting Scandals ---

Bob Jensen's threads on such scandals:

Bob Jensen's threads on audit firm litigation and negligence ---

Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates ---

Enron ---

Rotten to the Core ---

American History of Fraud ---

Bob Jensen's fraud conclusions ---

Bob Jensen's threads on auditor professionalism and independence are at

Bob Jensen's threads on corporate governance are at 


Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave ---

·     With a Rejoinder from the 2010 Senior Editor of The Accounting Review (TAR), Steven J. Kachelmeier

·     With Replies in Appendix 4 to Professor Kachemeier by Professors Jagdish Gangolly and Paul Williams

·     With Added Conjectures in Appendix 1 as to Why the Profession of Accountancy Ignores TAR

·     With Suggestions in Appendix 2 for Incorporating Accounting Research into Undergraduate Accounting Courses

Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave  ---
By Bob Jensen

What went wrong in accounting/accountics research?  ---

The Sad State of Accountancy Doctoral Programs That Do Not Appeal to Most Accountants ---


Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory ---

Systemic problems of accountancy (especially the vegetable nutrition paradox) that probably will never be solved ---

Bob Jensen's economic crisis messaging

Bob Jensen's threads ---

Bob Jensen's Home Page ---