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Regarding the new initiatives to crack down on unruly riders on RTA, the article on CDC tonight.... I say....Laws will not be enforced. The anti-social obnoxious culture is why the system has lost so many decent riders. Not abating the problem will only worsen matters. By the way Mr. Conwell... lawless behavior is not a "culture!" There is no social redeeming value here with this lack of behavior.

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also, instead of spending money to provide musical entertainment RTA should be spending that money on not cutting service and expanding rail service. i cant tell you how many times i've been on a bus (and sometimes rapid) where you can barely even get off of it. hate to be critical, but i dont think RTA is using its resources in the best manner.

 

Dec. 9: Rail frequency increases & 29 RTA schedules adjusted

http://www.riderta.com/newsroom/releases/?listingid=1812

 

Yes, they probably need even more service frequencies. For example my HealthLine and #55 buses this past week were so full you could barely fit another person on board. That wasn't so bad on the HealthLine as it was near the end of its run, but when the outbound #55 (3:19 pm) is jammed before it gets to Public Square with several more stops to go before it leaves downtown on the Shoreway, that's a problem.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Gildone, I assume Jerry means they're sent as txt messages.  You don't need a smartphone for that.

 

I don't have free texting either.  I have a basic phone with no qwerty key pad.  I have to text the old way.  Some things just aren't in the budget.  When your job is in an automobile-centric exurb, and the job is too good not to keep, those car expenses (even though I also carpool) take a huge bite out of the budget.  This is what too many people don't understand about car ownership.  It's an insatiable money pit. 

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Gildone, I assume Jerry means they're sent as txt messages.  You don't need a smartphone for that.

 

I don't have free texting either.  I have a basic phone with no qwerty key pad.  I have to text the old way.  Some things just aren't in the budget.  When your job is in an automobile-centric exurb, and the job is too good not to keep, those car expenses (even though I also carpool) take a huge bite out of the budget.  This is what too many people don't understand about car ownership.  It's an insatiable money pit.

 

I agree about car ownership being a money pit, but I'm not sure what that has to do about RTA's commuter alerts or text messages.  RTA is alerting customers in a way that costs them at most 20 cents per message.  I don't know how often they send these alerts out, but I can't imagine it would cost you more than a dollar or two a month.  If the alerts are important to you, I find it hard to believe you can't find a dollar or two in a whole month somewhere else in your budget that can be cut out.  If not, that stinks I guess, but I don't fault RTA for not reasonably trying to get the alerts out to people on the go.

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I agree about car ownership being a money pit, but I'm not sure what that has to do about RTA's commuter alerts or text messages.  RTA is alerting customers in a way that costs them at most 20 cents per message.  I don't know how often they send these alerts out, but I can't imagine it would cost you more than a dollar or two a month.  If the alerts are important to you, I find it hard to believe you can't find a dollar or two in a whole month somewhere else in your budget that can be cut out.  If not, that stinks I guess, but I don't fault RTA for not reasonably trying to get the alerts out to people on the go.

 

Let's not presume to tell anyone else how to manage their finances.  I think the Commuter Alerts program is great, but the fact remains that the single best medium for disseminating information about service interruptions to the widest possible audience (the website) has historically been underused for that purpose.  I'm glad that RTA is working to redesign their website, and I sincerely hope that this is something the development team is taking into consideration.

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Unless people are in the habit of checking the RTA web site every morning before setting off to work, I don't think the web page would be that helpful for unexpected rider alerts.  And of course web access is far more expansive than texts :)

 

The best catch-all alert system should be well informed drivers and station personnel (including the RTA police) who could provide verbal alerts to riders.  This is something most systems seem bad at (for example: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2013/02/one-worst-mass-transit-commute-horror-stories-you-will-ever-read/4576/).

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I agree about car ownership being a money pit, but I'm not sure what that has to do about RTA's commuter alerts or text messages.  RTA is alerting customers in a way that costs them at most 20 cents per message.  I don't know how often they send these alerts out, but I can't imagine it would cost you more than a dollar or two a month.  If the alerts are important to you, I find it hard to believe you can't find a dollar or two in a whole month somewhere else in your budget that can be cut out.  If not, that stinks I guess, but I don't fault RTA for not reasonably trying to get the alerts out to people on the go.

 

Let's not presume to tell anyone else how to manage their finances.  I think the Commuter Alerts program is great, but the fact remains that the single best medium for disseminating information about service interruptions to the widest possible audience (the website) has historically been underused for that purpose.  I'm glad that RTA is working to redesign their website, and I sincerely hope that this is something the development team is taking into consideration.

 

I was just pointing out that asking for alerts on the go and then complaining about a 20 cent text message is unfair to RTA.  And he had already said he doesn't have a smartphone, so the website wouldn't help.

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Unless people are in the habit of checking the RTA web site every morning before setting off to work, I don't think the web page would be that helpful for unexpected rider alerts.  And of course web access is far more expansive than texts :)

 

The best catch-all alert system should be well informed drivers and station personnel (including the RTA police) who could provide verbal alerts to riders.  This is something most systems seem bad at (for example: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2013/02/one-worst-mass-transit-commute-horror-stories-you-will-ever-read/4576/).

 

I would say it actually is more expansive than a text-message system that people have to proactively sign up for.

 

Why would anyone expect notifications via text or website if there weren't unusual circumstances?  Several times this winter there have been rail service interruptions because of heavy snowfall, and that information was not available on the website.  I'm sure I'm not the only one to check road or transit conditions when there's severe weather.  The only difference is that every news station in the area posts and broadcasts traffic updates, and RTA commuters are expected to rely on the commuter alerts.

 

Different types of service interruptions are probably most efficiently announced via different media, but why do you think there shouldn't be a central up-to-date web location where that information can be accessed?

 

By the way, I'm not saying there's no use for the commuter alert system.  I'm subscribed to it, and while it's very imperfect, it helps.  I just think that the website could be much better used to disseminate information to riders.

 

I agree about car ownership being a money pit, but I'm not sure what that has to do about RTA's commuter alerts or text messages.  RTA is alerting customers in a way that costs them at most 20 cents per message.  I don't know how often they send these alerts out, but I can't imagine it would cost you more than a dollar or two a month.  If the alerts are important to you, I find it hard to

I was just pointing out that asking for alerts on the go and then complaining about a 20 cent text message is unfair to RTA.  And he had already said he doesn't have a smartphone, so the website wouldn't help.

 

And I was just pointing out that it's unfair for you to make assumptions about someone else's finances.  And smartphones aren't the only devices that can access the internet.  I'm assuming gildone has a computer, since s/he is a regular poster on UO.

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Text messages are one thing, but a faster and cheaper way to get the word out is via Twitter. Even if you don't follow @GCRTA on Twitter, many of your fellow passengers do, as does the media.

 

Add them at https://twitter.com/GCRTA


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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I agree with him on the machines, but unless you're riding the HL or Red line they're a non issue.

 

How many years has it been since they were installed? Edit: Nevermind I looked it up. 4 years since they were installed and they're still a PITA.

MORE GOOD NEWS FOR THE HEALTHLINE

· Ticket vending machines are ready

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http://www.cleveland.com/naymik/index.ssf/2013/02/clevelands_downtown_parking_pr.html

 

How's this for entertainment. It started off in the right direction but he lost me at the end.

 

There's a whole lot of word salad going on there, and I'm not entirely sure he ever reached any kind of conclusion.

 

He's also rather dismissive of the "lazy SUV driver's" only excuse for not wanting to park being the ensuing 1/4 mile walk. I've got news for him -- there are PLENTY of reasons why a person wouldn't want to park, and drive, downtown.

 

Perfect case in point -- Saturday night, my wife and I were returning from a party down in Canton. Bad as the weather was, I suggested we avoid Dead Man's Curve and cut through downtown, picking up 90 on the north side. BIG mistake. The Cavs game had just let out, the Cleveland PD were doing their usual STELLAR job of traffic direction, and the other downtown activity contributed to our being snarled up down there for about 45 minutes. I only WISH that more of the Cavs attendees had used RTA.

 

Another great example would be the brutal cold snap we had last week. In that weather, a 1/4 mile walk could be treacherous.

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Regarding the Web site, there is a scroller on the home page with four (or five) rotating messages. I check every morning at 6 a.m. with Rail Dispatch, and if there is an unusual interruption, it goes into the scroller. Now you were saying...

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Regarding the Web site, there is a scroller on the home page with four (or five) rotating messages. I check every morning at 6 a.m. with Rail Dispatch, and if there is an unusual interruption, it goes into the scroller.

 

I'm assuming you're addressing me.  I'm sure you do your best, but if every service interruption were announced like this or in some other very obvious way, I wouldn't have brought it up.

 

Now you were saying...

 

I appreciate your participation on this forum, Jerry, but this rejoinder was rather unnecessary and disrespectful.  I'm only attempting to discuss what I see as a legitimate area for improvement.  Please don't dismiss public input, especially from someone who rides RTA daily and defends your organization from a lot of uninformed criticism.

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Kasich declares war on Ohio transit?

 

The proposal also will impact county and transit authority sales tax rates. To ensure those taxes do not generate an additional 30-percent revenue increase as the tax base expands, Kasich is proposing to reduce those rates and guarantee a 10-percent growth rate. Locals would not be allowed to change their sales tax rates for three years.

 

The change means counties and transit authorities would get a $120 million increase over two years, instead of the $700 million if rates were left alone.

 

More Here:

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2013/02/12/Income-tax-cut-sales-tax-expansion-debated.html


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Interesting choice of title.  I had to scroll almost all the way to the end before transit was even mentioned, and then it was a single sentence. 

 

I'm confused how anyone foresees a 30% increase in revenue from expanding tax base in two years?  Seems pretty rosy for comparisons sake.  I think a guaranteed 10% increase sounds pretty solid, but obviously I'll be shouted down as a train hater in 3...2...1....

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10% is fine if it's floor rather than a ceiling. And Kasich sounds like he is proposing to first reduce the amount of funding transit agencies can get from their voter-approved, county-based levies. Then the revenues would grow from there. If that's accurate, then that's a big loss.

 

Did that sound like shouting?


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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I guess the option of actually trying to make money, or at least break even, at least on the most heavily-traveled routes, is not an option?  What is going to happen when the federal government as we know it ceases to exist under the weight of its debt, states are forced to actually govern rather than give people free money, and all transit becomes either a profit-making institution, or an extinct one?  Because all those things are going to happen, and probably sooner than most people realize.  Transit was not always subsidized in the past, and it won't always be in the future.  If we wish to be proactive, rather than be forced to react to a crisis after it's already too late, I don't think there is any better time than right now.  I know I will get slammed for this, mostly by people with little vision and little understanding of history.  But perhaps there are others here, hopefully maybe even some on the staff of GCRTA, who also understand what is coming and would like to talk about how we could prepare for it, so it doesn't end up becoming a complete disaster for transit in NE Ohio?

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We subsidized transit (and, more heavily, roads) before America descended into this fiscal mess after 2000. So I'm pretty sure we should not place the burden of this mess on transit or any mode of transportation, for that matter.

 

The only reason why transit stopped being part of the private-sector is we created government funding mechanisms for motorists and sourcing more of their costs on non-motorist activities (ie: Shouldn't keeping the Fifth Fleet in the Middle East be paid for by gas taxes? Or why should multi-billion-dollar oil companies get tax breaks? How much of a regional sewer system should be funded by motorists since low-density land use is needed to support greater car use?). If we want transit to return to the "free market" and pay for itself, then highways must also join it. If only one mode is returned to the "free market" and must pay for itself, then it will die.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Interesting choice of title.  I had to scroll almost all the way to the end before transit was even mentioned, and then it was a single sentence. 

 

I'm confused how anyone foresees a 30% increase in revenue from expanding tax base in two years?  Seems pretty rosy for comparisons sake.  I think a guaranteed 10% increase sounds pretty solid, but obviously I'll be shouted down as a train hater in 3...2...1....

 

No, I had the same reaction as you.  The 30% hypothetical increase is from the broadening of the tax base to include services, not from anticipated spending growth, so that increase very much would happen (more or less) in Cuyahoga County the same as in the rest of the state.  But given our high sales tax rate, I think I'd rather see the rate decline.  And guaranteeing a 10 percent growth rate from today's baseline for some period (the article isn't totally clear, but looks like 3 years) actually sounds like a significant boon to RTA; I doubt RTA has anything like that in their projects right now. If this is right, no complaints from me at all. Sounds like a pretty generous compromise, actually. And because the posted sales tax rate will be lower, I'd also guess it reduces any political opposition to RTA's sales tax going forward.

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We subsidized transit (and, more heavily, roads) before America descended into this fiscal mess after 2000. So I'm pretty sure we should not place the burden of this mess on transit or any mode of transportation, for that matter.

 

The only reason why transit stopped being part of the private-sector is we created government funding mechanisms for motorists and sourcing more of their costs on non-motorist activities (ie: Shouldn't keeping the Fifth Fleet in the Middle East be paid for by gas taxes? Or why should multi-billion-dollar oil companies get tax breaks? How much of a regional sewer system should be funded by motorists since low-density land use is needed to support greater car use?). If we want transit to return to the "free market" and pay for itself, then highways must also join it. If only one mode is returned to the "free market" and must pay for itself, then it will die.

 

I agree that roads should not be subsidized either (and soon they will not be either, for the same reasons).  Ditto defense contractors, etc., etc.  We are a long way from anything even resembling a free market, but circumstances are about to force us to seriously rethink some of the ways we choose to waste foreigners' money.  It simply is not going to be available to us much longer. 

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10% is fine if it's floor rather than a ceiling. And Kasich sounds like he is proposing to first reduce the amount of funding transit agencies can get from their voter-approved, county-based levies. Then the revenues would grow from there. If that's accurate, then that's a big loss.

 

Did that sound like shouting?

 

is the Cuyahoga County RTA levy up for renewal in the next 2 years?  Is there a ballot measure in the works to increase or decrease it?  So why the concern about it being cut?  What's the annual percent budget increase/decrease been the last 10 yrs for comparison?  2-3% ?  Again, 10% increase sounds pretty good as a floor or a ceiling.  I just can't see how the state or the local economy could grow faster than that in 2 yrs time.  I mean, the casinos were supposed to be the big fix for everything and already they are underperforming...

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is the Cuyahoga County RTA levy up for renewal in the next 2 years?  Is there a ballot measure in the works to increase or decrease it?  So why the concern about it being cut?  What's the annual percent budget increase/decrease been the last 10 yrs for comparison?  2-3% ?  Again, 10% increase sounds pretty good as a floor or a ceiling.  I just can't see how the state or the local economy could grow faster than that in 2 yrs time.  I mean, the casinos were supposed to be the big fix for everything and already they are underperforming...

 

GCRTA's countywide sales tax levy is permanent. However as a higher level of government, the state can change local/county tax rates if it so chooses. And that is what it is proposing to do here. County-based tax rates, like GCRTA's, are proposed to be reduced as the state seeks to broaden its sales tax to apply to more purchases that it currently does not now apply.

 

HOWEVER -- because all sales taxes (including GCRTA's) will apply to more purchases, it would generate much more revenue (like six times more) if the state broadens the application of sales taxes. So that's why the state is seeking to reduce the rate of each state and county sales tax. The total rate may be less, but it still may generate more revenue -- about $120 million worth to all counties and transit agencies. At least that's their prediction. And the Kasich administration says it would guarantee a 10 percent growth rate in revenue which sounds good. But I'm not sure how they can guarantee that.

 

So there is the possibility this could do good things for GCRTA and other Ohio transit agencies with county-based sales taxes. It could also be a smoke-and-mirrors approach given Kasich's antagonism toward cities and transit. So I will wait until the Legislative Services Commission comes back with its analysis of this proposal. And I'm also awaiting the input of several professional political analysts before I decide how I should feel next.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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HOWEVER -- because all sales taxes (including GCRTA's) will apply to more purchases, it would generate much more revenue (like six times more) if the state broadens the application of sales taxes.

 

six times more???  Seriously?  What are they proposing to tax, sunlight?

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Damn near. I saw the draft language last night. See the PD article for a summary.....

 

Because broadening the tax base would mean a windfall in sales taxes for Ohio’s 88 counties and the eight transit authorities that have piggyback taxes, Kasich’s plan would roll back their tax rates to a level that would guarantee 10 percent increases for two years and a 15 percent increase in the third year. Cuyahoga County’s rate, for example, would be rolled back from 1.25 percent to 0.80 percent.

 

http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2013/02/governor_john_kasichs_sales_ta.html


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Jerry, could you forward this to the people who provide shelters at bus stops? I saw a dozen people standing at two stops across Ridge Road from Ridge Park Square today in Brooklyn. Neither stop had a shelter. Those folks were standing out in the driving snow with shopping bags waiting for the hourly #45 bus NB. It was a large number of people -- is this normally a high-ridership stop(s)? Do the number of boardings/alightings at Ridge Park Square justify shelters at the stops in this area and on both sides of the street?

 

EDIT: I see that there are three stops on the NB side of Ridge in the vicinity of Ridge Park Square and two on the SB side of Ridge:

 

1. Flowerdale (the NB stop is the only one in Cleveland; all the others are in Brooklyn, this has no corresponding SB stop due the lane diverging for I-480 WB);

2. Northcliff;

3. Vandalia;

 

The Flowerdale and Vandalia NB stops each had a half-dozen people I saw waiting. I did not see anyone waiting at the middle stop, at Northcliff.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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We subsidized transit (and, more heavily, roads) before America descended into this fiscal mess after 2000. So I'm pretty sure we should not place the burden of this mess on transit or any mode of transportation, for that matter.

 

The only reason why transit stopped being part of the private-sector is we created government funding mechanisms for motorists and sourcing more of their costs on non-motorist activities (ie: Shouldn't keeping the Fifth Fleet in the Middle East be paid for by gas taxes? Or why should multi-billion-dollar oil companies get tax breaks? How much of a regional sewer system should be funded by motorists since low-density land use is needed to support greater car use?). If we want transit to return to the "free market" and pay for itself, then highways must also join it. If only one mode is returned to the "free market" and must pay for itself, then it will die.

 

I agree that roads should not be subsidized either (and soon they will not be either, for the same reasons).  Ditto defense contractors, etc., etc.  We are a long way from anything even resembling a free market, but circumstances are about to force us to seriously rethink some of the ways we choose to waste foreigners' money.  It simply is not going to be available to us much longer.

 

 

You are delusional if think people will stop buying our debt, we are not Greece.  nothing will change accept taxes will go up a bit and government services will be pulled back slightly, that's it.

 

the system is not failing, contrary to what some people say this "crisis" is not imminent nor irreversible.  The solution requires adjustment not  Destruction of the status Quo.

 

 

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I agree with Ken about waiting to see until we hear back from the Legislative Services Commission, etc.  However, I still disagree with reducing the county and transit sales taxes.  Transit in Ohio needs to be expanded, and since the state isn't up to the task of changing its transportation policies, they should let the counties and transit agencies have the extra money.  Counties need money too, especially since the state cut aid to local governments.

 

biker16 wrote:

You are delusional if think people will stop buying our debt, we are not Greece.

 

Haven't you heard about all those treasury bonds that the Fed keeps buying because we can't find enough buyers for all the debt we're trying to sell?  That's because several countries are already gradually reducing their US debt holdings. Why do you think the Fed stopped reporting the M3 money supply figure several years ago?  The unfortunate reality is that we are already Greece, we just haven't felt it yet because the US dollar is, but only for the time being, the world's reserve currency.  That reserve status is growing more and more precarious and anyone who thinks that it will never change is delusional. 

 

In 1900, for example, the British Pound was the world's reserve currency.  Did anyone think then that would change by mid century?  High debt from two world wars and the expense of maintaining its empire changed that.  Sounds familiar if you ask me. 

 

Oops, I digressed.  Any further discussion of this should probably be taken elsewhere...

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I agree about car ownership being a money pit, but I'm not sure what that has to do about RTA's commuter alerts or text messages.  RTA is alerting customers in a way that costs them at most 20 cents per message.  I don't know how often they send these alerts out, but I can't imagine it would cost you more than a dollar or two a month.  If the alerts are important to you, I find it hard to believe you can't find a dollar or two in a whole month somewhere else in your budget that can be cut out.  If not, that stinks I guess, but I don't fault RTA for not reasonably trying to get the alerts out to people on the go.

 

I don't know you so I don't judge your financial decisions.  You don't know me, so please don't judge mine.  Also, did you read the part where I said my job is in an automobile-centric exurb?  That means I can't take transit to work.  I use transit for other things, and not every day or even every week.  Therefore, I don't need to know RTA's status every day or every week. 

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I agree with Ken about waiting to see until we hear back from the Legislative Services Commission, etc.  However, I still disagree with reducing the county and transit sales taxes.  Transit in Ohio needs to be expanded, and since the state isn't up to the task of changing its transportation policies, they should let the counties and transit agencies have the extra money.  Counties need money too, especially since the state cut aid to local governments.

 

According to the Kasich Administration, the counties and transit agencies will get extra money from this change. I agree that there is the potential for extra revenue from broadening the sales tax, even if the overall sales tax rate is lowered. But right now that extra revenue is a big unknown. I know the Kasich Administration has revenue estimates. I would like to see some estimates provided by others.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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^Seems to me Republicans in Ohio used to be about devolving decisions down to local governments, or at least they claimed to be.  This is just one more example of them not doing that.  The decisions about local sales tax rates should be made at the local level, not by the Statehouse. 

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biker16 wrote:

You are delusional if think people will stop buying our debt, we are not Greece.

 

Haven't you heard about all those treasury bonds that the Fed keeps buying because we can't find enough buyers for all the debt we're trying to sell?  That's because several countries are already gradually reducing their US debt holdings. Why do you think the Fed stopped reporting the M3 money supply figure several years ago?  The unfortunate reality is that we are already Greece, we just haven't felt it yet because the US dollar is, but only for the time being, the world's reserve currency.  That reserve status is growing more and more precarious and anyone who thinks that it will never change is delusional. 

 

Quantitative Easing,

 

between 2008 and 2012 the Federal reserve has purchased trillion of dollars of US bonds. not because he market will not buy it, but because the Fed wants to create greater liquidity in the Economy.

 

the sign people will not buy Treasury bonds is when the interest rates go up, because the interest Rates are the carrot used to buy US bonds.

 

At 2.79% for a 10 year bond,  Are much lower than the 4.97% for the same bonds in 2007. 

 

So how does this jive with the Sky is falling rhetoric being put forth in the media?    Demand is higher than it was 5 years ago?

 

Why is the fed printing money to buy bonds? because Stagflation is more of a concern than inflation. even with the dumping of dollars onto the market inflation has been negligible.

 

In 1900, for example, the British Pound was the world's reserve currency.  Did anyone think then that would change by mid century?  High debt from two world wars and the expense of maintaining its empire changed that.  Sounds familiar if you ask me. 

 

Oops, I digressed.  Any further discussion of this should probably be taken elsewhere...

 

As to our reserve Status, Britain hasn't paid a high price for it's loss of reserve Status but has been punished by their austerity which has killed Economic Growth there.

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^Biker16: start a thread elsewhere on this and we'll keep discussing.  I probably shouldn't have chipped in when I did as I contributed to the derailing of the thread...

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^Biker16: start a thread elsewhere on this and we'll keep discussing.  I probably shouldn't have chipped in when I did as I contributed to the derailing of the thread...

 

Take it here:

http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php/topic,28112.0.html

 

Talk quickly because UrbanOhio will not be available Tuesday and Wednesday while the site is moved to the new server.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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