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Republican Congressmen threaten to destroy America's economy unless we agree to their demands

We are the only first world nation that even has a "debt ceiling," so maybe we should get rid of it? The larger point though is that allowing the debt ceiling to be hit would mean a full shutdown of America and a defaulting on all of our debt around the world. It would be financial apocalypse, in no uncertain terms. We couldn't pay cops, firemen, teachers, soldiers, translators. We couldn't pay for the bombs and armor and bullets and food and everything else needed in our wars overseas. The mere fact that Lindsey Graham (and others, who all want different things) suggests we do this means he is totally unfit for government. Also, Social Security does not add to the national debt. It is fully paid for. It is perfectly solvent until 2037, and with minor tweaks will be solvent thereafter. ThinkProgress -- Lindsey Graham Threatens To Hold Debt Ceiling Vote Hostage For Regressive Social Security Cuts
A handful of Republican Congressmen — including Sen.-elect Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) — have announced that they will oppose increasing the nation’s debt ceiling the next time it comes up for a vote, essentially saying that they are okay with a government shutdown or the myriad consequences of the U.S. defaulting on its debt obligations. RNC Chairman Michael Steele even drew a hard line in the sand, saying “we’re not going to compromise on raising the debt ceiling.” Other Republicans, however, are planning to use the debt ceiling vote and imminent economic chaos as an opportunity to wring concessions from Senate Democrats and President Obama. On Meet the Press yesterday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that he would not vote to increase the debt limit unless a plan is adopted to cut Social Security benefits via raising the retirement age: GRAHAM: This is an opportunity to make sure the government is changing its spending ways. I will not vote for the debt ceiling increase until I see a plan in place that will deal with our long-term debt obligations starting with Social Security, a real bipartisan effort to make sure that Social Security stays solvent, adjusting the age, looking at means-tests for benefits. [...] GREGORY: That’s a big condition just on Social Security alone. GRAHAM: Yeah, it is! GREGORY: You think Republicans are prepared to follow you and two things you said: raise the retirement age and means-test benefits for older Americans? GRAHAM: I would suggest that if we’re serious about taking America in a new direction and you’re not putting entitlement reform on the table, you’ve missed a great opportunity to change the course of America’s future.

How to: Beat the stock market by only investing one day a month

Forgive me for posting financial wankery, but this is a fairly ingenuous little hack. How to beat the market? Only stay a day at a time
It's one of the truisms of financial planning: trying to perfectly time the market is a fool's errand. For long-term gains, the advice goes, you should buy index funds and hold them indefinitely. Warren Buffett likes to say that his preferred holding period is "forever." But a very simplistic form of market-timing has worked for the past 11 years. It involves owning the Standard & Poor's 500 stocks, but only for the first day of every month. An S&P report recently found that someone who invested $10,000 in the S&P 500 on Dec. 31, 1999, and left the money there until Dec. 1, 2010, would have just $8,209. An investor who was in the market only on the first day of every month over the same time — for example, buying at the close on Dec. 31 and selling at the close of the first trading day in January — would have $13,816. That's nearly 70 percent more than buying and holding the whole time. S&P didn't include reinvesting dividends in either scenario because of the complications of figuring out which companies paid dividends on the first trading day of the month for 11 years. But even if you include all possible dividends for the buy-and-holders, the first-day trade strategy came out 33 percentage points ahead. The strategy appears to work because of a market quirk. Money tends to go into stocks of the first day of the month as institutional investors reopen their books for a new reporting period. It's also the day when money tends to go into 401(k) or other retirement accounts.