Archive for the ‘The Economy’ Category

Obama’s “Balanced Approach” Unbalanced

July 26, 2011

Our president must be nuts. 

During his latest spin fest tonight, he explained to the American people that we’ve got to get this debt ceiling raised, and we must do it now, and we must do it his way, or he will take his blocks and go home. 

Okay, I added that last part in. 

But in reality, he has said that the so called “Cut Cap and Balance” bill that passed the House is dead on arrival.  He will not sign a bill that does not include tax increases for the richest Americans and corporations.  And he will not sign a bill that does not extend past the 2012 election. 

Maybe calling the Campainger in Chief has been a mistake.  Maybe I should take to calling him the Ultimatum President.  Or maybe just the Unbalanced President.

Obama has said over and over that he favors a “balanced approach” to solve the debt problem.  Maybe you are unsure exactly what that means. 

It means simply that the people who earn the most in this country should be more than happy to fork over more of their earnings to a government that spends on stupid crap.  If they aren’t more than happy to do so, they are evil, greedy, and unamerican.  He said something tonight that made me scratch my head a little.  Only until it bled and a small portion of my ample brain was exposed to the atmosphere.  He said we don’t want to cut spending on programs that help working families.  Now, my family is a working family, and we don’t get government assistance for anything.  My son is borrowing money to go to school, but I don’t have anything to do with that.  Who, exactly is he talking about?  What “programs” do “working families” take advantage of?  If you are a working family and you are on government assistance of some kind, say, food stamps, exaclty what kind of “work” are you doing?  You are certainly not working in a law firm or teaching calculus to high school kids (Right.  Like goverment schools teach calculus).  You aren’t a professional manager or technician or electrician or engineer.  You may still be a professional.  A professional couch potato.  A moocher.  A leech.  Those are the “working families”  the Campaigner in Chief is talking about.  He’s not talking about a father working two jobs to feed his family.  He’s talking about a single mother in an urban area raising seven illegitimate children on burger flipping money.  Now, what’s the difference between the two?  Maybe these two examples have similar education.  Maybe they live in the same neighborhood.  But one is not interested in accepting government money to do something he can do for himself, if he works hard enough.  The other, simply, is interested in getting that free “Obama money.”  Without a care in the world about where it came from. 

Obama’s balanced approach means that those among us who prepared themselves for life, learned a skill or got a degree and now work in the private sector providing services to the public MUST be content to live on less, while those among us who have made one bad choice after another continue to show up with their hand out.  His approach also means stripping the military down to two jeeps and dinghy, while allowing the pentagon to be used for section 8 housing.  His approach means slowing an already sluggish economy down further by increasing taxes on corporations.  It means increasing “investment” (code word for more spending) in education (padding the teacher’s union’s coffers), and infrastructure (public works projects that will come in over budget and late.) It means “reforming” medicare (rationing care) and “getting healthcare costs under control” (price fixing). 

Now, if there are places to cut wasteful spending, and everybody seems to not only agree that their are but they seem to know where these places are, why not go after that first?  Why not cut spending on stupid crap like sending college students to Africa to photograph ants?  Or cut National Endowment for the Arts funds that allow “artists” to throw poop on a canvas and call it art?  Hey, if we are going to cut depreciation to big oil companies and corporate jet owners, why not cut it for computer manufacturers and Apple?  These big companies make a much larger profit margin than oil companies do.  Why not go after them? 

Does wasteful government spending need to be cut?  Absolutely.  It needs to be cut on the military, on White House staffers, on Congressional staffers, and anywhere else we can do what we need to do while spending less. 

Maybe if we KNEW where all the money was going, we’d be a little more comfortable allowing our tyrannical government confiscate more of our hard-earned cash.  But that will never happen, because if we KNEW where the money was going, we wouldn’t pay any taxes at all.  Why pay to support stupid crap?

I think the Republicans cannot make a deal with the Democrats over the debt ceiling.  President Reagan made a deal with a Democrat Senate and House.  The deal was that he would sign a tax increase if spending were cut three dollars for every dollar taxes went up.  Still waiting for that deal to come to fruition.  You cannot make deals with Democrats.  These guys will hold the entire country hostage to keep their pet programs in place at current spending levels or with the ability to increase spending whenever politicians feel like it’s necessary.  And Republicans aren’t really any better.  Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, member of the “gang of six,”  proposed increasing tax rates on capital gains, taking away tax incentives from private companies to keep deployed reservists on the payroll, and elimination of a portion of the mortgage interest rate deduction.  Sound plan, there, Saxby.  If you think any of these ideas will help reduce the debt long term, you are just as insane as President Obama. 

If these clowns want to raise taxes on ANYONE, they should have to show us why they need the money.  They shouldn’t be allowed to call an increase in spending a cut, which they currently do. 

Maybe it is time for a balanced approach.  Go ahead and raise taxes on the job creators, but balance that with an elimination of the earned income tax credit.  Attack big oil companies and remove their depreciation incentives to buy equipment, and remove their incentive to search for energy sources, but balance that with a decrease in spending on cars and plane rides for congressmen, as well as the first lady.  It’s probably cheaper to charter a private jet than it is to take Air Force One on a shopping spree in Europe. 

That’s balance.

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Budget Deal NOT a Victory for Boehner

April 11, 2011

I’ve intentionally stayed away from talking about the budget stuff going on in DC intentionally.  Democrats and Republicans see things so entirely differently that commenting on it seemed moot.  However, with the left screeching about how they got hammered in this deal, I could no longer restrain myself. 

News outlets all over are proclaiming Boehner the big winner in all this.  The idea is that he stood eye to eye with the Democrats and got what he ultimately wanted. 

Not even close. 

The Republicans threw out a number at the beginning of all this as to what they’d like to get in the way of budget cuts.  They arbitrarily chose $100 billion.  Nice round number.  A number the dumb masses could get behind.  And totally unrealistic.  The Democrats counter offered essentially zero cuts.  $6 billion.  That wouldn’t even be enough to buy Steve Austin in today’s money.  Also, totally unrealistic. 

The Republicans chose the slow bleed strategy of continuing resolutions, each time getting a little more in cuts.  A billion here, a billion there type of thing.  They got serious, however, when the president said he would not sign another continuting resolution.  Then, the game started for real. 

The number of $67 billion was then thrown around.  Two thirds of the original number.  Again, easy to get your brain around.  I did the math without any kind of electronic assistance, without even a pencil.  The Democrats responded.  $12 billion or so.  And on and on.  When it looked like the troops wouldn’t get paid (which they would get paid, since I did when the government shut down in 1995), the blame game started.  Republicans wanted to kill women.  Republicans wanted to destroy a woman’s reproductive rights (which amendment to the Constitution has that one?  I didn’t think so.)  Old people’s bodies would be piled up in the street.  Senior citizens would be deprived of meals, according to Nancy Pelosi.  The Republicans said, rightly, that we wouldn’t even be talking about this if the previous Congress has passed a budget for 2011.  But, since Democrats are political cowards, they didn’t want to do their jobs since it might cost them more seats.  There were meetings in the Oval office.  There were press conferences.  And, finally, with about 90 minutes to go, the sides agreed in principle on a continuing resolution for a week and a way to fund the government for the remainder of this fiscal year. 

Whopee. 

Media outlets are proclaiming a victory for Boehner and the Tea Party Republicans.  Uh, Planned Parenthood is still being funded.  So is NPR.  These were the only things we really heard about in the budget battle.  How, exactly, is not getting the only thing the media really spoke about a victory? 

The answer is that it’s not.  $37 billion dollars.  One percent of the annual deficit.  That’s all they got.  Now, we get to listen to the anointed one crow about how he saved the day.  Excellent. 

President Obama will give a speech on Wednesday to outline his budget ideas for the 2012 fiscal year.  Good thing he’s leading on this.  The Republicans have had a proposal out for a week, and only after the 2011 budget was agreed to did he actually do anything.  I guess “lead” has a different meaning to me than it does to the Dems. 

His speech will propose ways to cut the deficit.  They will probably include making rich people pay more in taxes and cut the military.  Why do I say that?  Because Democrats always go after the “rich” one way or another and always find “savings” by weakening our country’s ability to defend itself.  George Washington said that the best way to ensure peace was to always be ready to go to war.  Are we ready to go to war? 

A couple of specific things I’ve heard are dropping the income limit for social security.  Now, here’s how smart Washington DC is.  Pay attention, here.  This is good. 

Right now, people who earn more than $250K stop paying into social security when they reach that amount of money paid to them in a year.  It is ostensibly the idea that these people will not be taking benefits from social security, so it’s not fair that they should pay into a system they won’t use.  If you remove that limit, people who make more than $250K will continue to pay into social security all year.  This is where you say “Ooof.”  This means that the entire system will be heavily funded by people who do not, and probably never will, get any benefit from the system.  It’s not like income taxes, where the American citizen at least gets interstates and military defense for their money.  This is money being tossed down a hole in Washington.  And, if that isn’t enough,  people who paid very little into the system will get the most benefit from it.  I guess to a Democrat, that’s fair. 

The Republicans don’t have any better ideas, really.  Raise the retirement age.  That means you get to pay into the system longer and get less benefit from it.  Why not raise the limit to 90?  100?  Even higher?  That would completely solve the social security problem, and give the politicians in Washington, Republican and Democrat, a bigger bag of taxpayer money to pilfer from. 

I heard on the radio today that we may be looking at $5 a gallon gas by the summer.  Higher taxes, higer fuel prices, higher prices on everything delivered by truck or train, all mean that the economy will not recover.  But, not to be deterred, Obama and the rest of the Democrat hacks will have an answer:  more government spending.  To do that, they’ll have to borrow more money.  To do that, they’ll have to raise the debt ceiling. 

Now, do you see why this won’t be a win for the Republicans or anybody who currently has a job?  The Democrats will say “We compromised with you guys.  Now you compromise with us.”  Even though no compromise should have been necessary.  The Democrat House, Senate, and White House did not approve a budget for this year due to a wobbly spine problem.  So, I say don’t raise the debt ceiling and let the cards fall where they may.  We are already seeing inflation everywhere except our paychecks, mostly becauses Obama embraces the Carterian ideas of managing the economy.  Print more money.  Kill the military.  Let third world jerks like Mohamar Qadaffi walk all over you. 

Is it too outlandish an idea to think all this is itentional?  Maybe the Dems didn’t pass a budget not because they were scared, but because they saw all this coming?  And the timing of it, leading into a presidential campaign, could set up the Dems to really stick it to the Republicans in next year’s election.  “Those guys want to cut your Medicare.  They want you to live in huts.  They want to take away your right to kill your unborn child. We’re your guys.  We won’t do any of that.” 

I hope it is too outlandish.  It means that the leaders of our nation want to destroy our nation.  Turn over control to the UN, or maybe NATO. 

Oh, they already did that.  On a small scale, at least. 

Pray for our country, and vote out people who don’t see things like you do.  Because, even if this is a win for Boehner, it’s a loss for the American people, and for the American way of life. 

If you can read this, thank a teacher.  If you can do it in English, thank a soldier.  If you have to answer the question about reading it in Spanish, thank a Democrat.

Obama Energy Speech Predictable, And Wrong

March 31, 2011

Yesterday, President Obama gave a speech at Georgetown University to outline energy policy.  He made a few surprise statements, but was overall very predictable.  Predictable in that he stated the obvious and bowed down to the tree huggers.  Predictable in that he took credit for the work of other administrations.  Predictable in that he lied. 

The president surprised me when he said that he understands that prices at the pump affect everybody.  He did not state that higher fuel prices have other consequences like higher prices for food and other consumer goods, since they are shipped on machines that consume diesel and gasoline.  He blamed higher fuel prices on the economic recovery, relating the rising demand for fuel to the anemic economic recovery.  This explains why the president appears to be so clueless.  High prices are causing the economy to flounder.  The economic “recovery” isn’t big enough to warrant the kind of price increases we are seeing at the pump yet.  It has been far too small to lead to a twenty plus percent increase in fuel price.  The economy would recover more quickly if private sector businesses could count on lower fuel cost, both to run their plants and transport their goods.  As usual, the president has his cause and effect backwards. 

President Obama proudly stated that we have lowered oil imports since he took office, and has approved leases in that same time.  These are true, more or less, but the devil is in the details.  Many of the oil leases were approved during the Clinton administration.  President Obama has approved a handful of new leases for exploration, and these are leftovers from previous administrations.  So for him to take credit for opening up the exploration of domestic oil is disingenuous at best, and an out and out lie at worst.  Listening to his speech, you’d think the oil industry is looking for oil on every street corner in the country and offshore of every state in the union.  He even stated that if you believe that his administration was hampering domestic oil production, it was simply not true.  Except that it is true.  Remember the drilling moratorium?  It’s still in place.  Anyone who wants to drill for oil in deep water has a bunch of new regulations to adhere to.  Obama basically said that he wanted drilling in America, as long as he thinks it’s okay.  “Responsible and safe” were the words he used. 

Obama said we need to look in our own back yard for oil.  He wasn’t talking about domestic production.  He was talking about Canada, Mexico and countries like Brazil, that just got approval for loans from the US to drill for oil there. 

All of this is interesting, but not the end game Obama wants.  He admitted that we would need oil for decades to come until alternative sources of energy could be perfected to the point that they would actually be viable and profitable.  (He didn’t say profitable, but it’s a fact that profitability is important, even if profits are evil).  No, the end game is to extract our energy from dandelion roots.  Even if it costs 200% of what oil costs, that’s what Obama wants.  He said we have “invested” a lot of money in high speed rail.  I’ve complained about this before.  High speed rail works in countries where the population is tightly packed together like in Europe and Japan.  If I had to take a “high speed” train to visit my mother, it would take three days to get there, and cost a lot more than two tanks of gas do, although with gas prices rising like they are, that may be changing.  It won’t work in America unless the entire population of the country moves to the city.  Good luck getting a farmer to move into downtown New York. 

The pinnacle of the speech was the renewable energy, or green, part of the speech.  The green movement currently consists of companies that cannot make enough money to stay afloat without government subsidies.  Now, if you are a lefty, this is fine by you.  But for those of us who believe that companies should sink or swim on their own without a lot of intrusion by government, this is absurd.  If a company makes a product that is truly cutting edge, there will be demand for that product, and people will pay for it.  Since there is currently little demand these products, little money is being made.  Yet the government continues to support these ventures, and many of them go out of business anyway, even with government subsidies to help get them going.  What does all this tell you?  We are a LONG WAY from green initiatives being viable.  Until then, oil is the king. 

I think one thing the president is missing here is that if other countries thought we would produce our own oil, therefore reducing the price of that commodity, they may increase production out of fear of losing a big customer.  This happened during the Bush years.  It works.  But, since Obama has never even been a shift manager at a McDonald’s, I wouldn’t expect him to get the nuances of how business works. 

Business and energy are tied together.  Energy is big business.  The truth is that we need our own supply of energy, be it natural gas, oil, or dandelion roots.  And since it takes time for these items to make it market, now is the time to fire up the production of our own energy.  Unlike Obama, I think American ingenuity can only work if you have good tools to work with, and the raw materials to make your ideas work.  Obama acutally said that ingenuity was what would solve our energy problems. 

Obama also dismissively swiped at “Drill Baby Drill,” saying that this didn’t do anything to solve the problems we have on the energy front.  Hey, Mr. President, that’s because we never actually drilled.  It’s a short term help to solve our problems while your tweed jacket wearing friends figure out how to fool Americans into thinking that going without power for two days out of the week is a good thing for them.  Good luck with that, too.

It’s time for us to become independent for our energy.  Unrest in a region of the world should not affect what my family has for dinner.  And right now, that is precisely what is happening to us, as well as other families all over the nation.  The choice between driving to work and food is getting harder to make. 

Drill, Mr. President.  You can have your science projects, too.  Just don’t make me eat peanut butter.  Your wife would think that’s bad, since peanut butter is loaded with fat.

Debt Problem Real, and Our Leaders Asleep at Wheel

January 6, 2011

I’ve been reading a book I received as a Christmas gift from my son, Broke, by Glenn Beck.  I’m about halfway through it.  I thought it would be an easy read, because it’s not very long.  I was wrong.  Very wrong. 

This book outlines the real trouble our economy is in, and the history of how we got to this point.  It also points out that recovering from this danger, with our current leaders, will be tough, unless the jerks driving this bus wake up and start driving. 

I just read a little bit about the way debt is calculated by our government.  Instead of using generally accepted accounting practices, or GAAP, they instead use three different methods along with some GAAP’s.  Neither of these methods are accurate.   The methods, unified cash basis, modified accrual basis, and on budget/off budget all have their strong and weak points, but none of these methods accurately represent our budget, and therefore our debt.  The kicker is the on budget/off budget part.  The government determines which programs to include in budgetary numbers, and which ones to leave out.  They also cook the books when it comes to revenue.  Since the Social Security fund usually operates at a surplus, and the general fund usually operates at a deficit, the government has a neat little trick they pull:  they borrow the money from the Social Security fund and put it in the general fund to make the deficit look smaller. 

Sound Enronish?  If a private company did this, their CEO’s, CFO’s, managers and maybe the janitors would all be strung up by their thumbs and pelted with rotting vegetables.  The media would scream about corporate corruption and demand heads on platters.  If you don’t beleive me, check some of the noise the media generated during the Enron investigation.  After all, Enron did some of the same stuff the Federal Government gets away with all the time.  And Ken Lay, Enron’s CEO, was, rightfully, punished.  Enron went out of business, stockholders lost their money, and a lot of people lost their jobs. 

Why is it different with government?  Why don’t we hold government to the same standards we hold our private businesses to? 

Most people don’t know what in the hell government is doing.  And, since government doesn’t have to turn a profit, nobody cares how much money they spend on obscene art projects or sending college students to China to study bugs.  It’s the government, right?  They have an unlimited supply of money, right? 

WRONG.  Our government is $13 trillion in debt.  Each family’s share of the debt is about $50,000.  Money the family didn’t spend.  Their government WASTED their money on stuff the family will probably never use.  And now, there’s all this debt. 

All this information is the reason I chuckle out loud when I hear politicians talk about spending cuts and tax increases.  These guys can’t possibly cut enough fat by firing their staff and walking to work to pay down the debt.  It will take a huge amount of sacrifice by ALL OF US to get this done.  I think the sacrifice should start in Washington.  Our leaders need to quit worrying about the political capital they are expending to do the right things, and just do the right things.  Less regulation, lower taxes, fewer lawyers, no lobbyists looking for money for a company or industry.  No more farm subsidies, no more welfare, and serious reforms for Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid.  I said everybody should sacrifice.  Some of the sacrifice can come from people who are paid NOT to work. 

Let’s hope the new congress can get the bus pointed in the right direction.  Otherwise, it will be time again in two years for a new group of drivers.

US Government Almost Out of Money, Spends $1.1 Trillion

December 15, 2010

Maybe you’ve heard and maybe you haven’t, but the US government is going to run out of money for the daily operations it carries out.  On Saturday.  That’s in four days.  And the congress has now agreed on this ridiculous compromise deal that is going to cost over a trillion dollars. 

The number of a trillion includes an estimated 800 billion dollars in lost tax revenue due to the Bush era tax cuts being extended.  But there is a whole host of new spending in this bill, now being tagged as an omnibus bill because it packages almost twenty other bills into one.  The new spending includes hundreds of earmarks. 

Now, in light of the idea that the government will be out of money, does more spending make sense?  Also, is lost tax revenue spending?  I’ve struggled with that one a little bit.  How can extending current tax rates cost money, unless the government already thinks it’s their money in the first place?  To me, it’s like buying one lottery ticket then buying a bunch of stuff before you win the lottery.  Democrats in the House of Representatives and in the Senate, as well as the White House, were counting on that money to fund more spending.  Spending that, I’m sure, we will be told will further stimulate the economy. 

Let’s see… the original stimulus bill was supposed to stimulate the economy.  When the stimulus bill was approved, unemployment was around 7%.  It is now around 10%, and has not significantly dropped in the past few months.  How was this stimulus money spent?  A lot of colleges were given grants to study monkeys, bugs, and dinosaur bones.  Many of these studies were done, or are being done, in other countries.  A heck of a lot of signs were bought to tell you that the road you are driving on is being fixed using stimulus money.  No one is working, or the road has been crudely patched, but there are signs everywhere.  Some bridges have been fixed, roads repaved and what not, but a lot of that money has been wasted.  How much, and by whom?

Glad you asked.

University of Montana students got a $141,000 grant to travel to China to study dinosaur eggs.  Penn state got almost $100,000 to go to Argentina to study plant fossils.  for more outrages, check the following link.

http://boortz.com/nealz_nuze/2010/12/our-tax-dollars.html

These amounts of money are a speck compared to the size of the overall stimulus package.  But it adds up.  And none of these grants did anything to get people back to work.  Still think the government is a good steward of your money? 

For most people, when you are out of money, you stop spending.  You don’t take out loans to buy a big screen TV.  I would have preferred the government to take that $700 billion and send out vouchers or checks to the American people, who would have, in turn, bought stuff.  That would have stimulated the economy.  Instead, we got trickle up poverty.  Give the money to non-producers and hope for the best.  Fund projects that would pay union workers to do the work.  Send college students overseas to study crap.  Hey, they could have had the students travel in the US.  At least some of the money would have been spent here, on hotels, meals, fuel, equipment, whatever.  Then, the crap they study might actually shed some light on stuff that happened in the US in the past. 

As you can tell, I’m a little irritated by the idea that the government can spend money responsibly.  They can’t.  Not now.  Not ever.  And why?  Because it’s not their money.  It’s the same thing that happens with my kids.  When they have to use my truck, they don’t clean it, put gas in it, check the oil, whatever.  Why?  Because it’s not their problem to fix it if it breaks.  Same thing with the government.  All of these guys know that eventually, they will be out of a job, and whatever damage they may have done will have to be fixed by someone else.  It’s really that simple. 

Maybe it’s time for us, as a country, to finally say no to these clowns.  No, as in “no, I won’t vote for your non-math doing, overspending, power hungry asses again.”  But I’m not naiive enough to think that Republicans will do any better.  I hope so, but their ideas of reducing taxes and spending seems to center on cutting spending on things that could actually benefit most people, and cutting taxes on people who can actually afford to pay more.  Cut spending on the Department of Education.  Cut the National Endowment for the Arts.  Cut welfare spending.  And cut taxes for everyone that actually has tax liability.  Don’t send a check to someone who didn’t have any tax liability.  That’s insane. 

It’s time for change.  No more career politicians.  No more lobbyists.  No more earmarks for buddies in your home state.  That’s what the party of NO should be saying.

He Doesn’t Get It Part 2

November 10, 2010

Before President Obama took off on a tour of the middle east, he appeared on Sixty Minutes on Sunday.  I couldn’t hear the interview between the president and Steve Kroft, but I was reading the subtitles during the interview.  Kroft, to his credit, asked tough questions.  Obama, to his credit, answered truthfully.

That’s where the problems began for the president.

He proved, once again, that he doesn’t get it.  Kroft asked him about the jobless problem in America.  Why aren’t corporations hiring?  Why aren’t banks loaning?  What can you do to get this trend turned around? 

Obama replied, basically, by saying that he had met with CEO’s of these companies, and that the meetings were contentious at times.  He didn’t give specific ideas to get companies going again, but that he would offer tax incentives to small businesses to get them hiring, that the tax incentives of the past two years will start working.  He’s wrong. 

The reason that companies aren’t hiring right now is that they don’t have the revenue to support growth.  In short, they are looking to cut costs to make their profits grow, not hire more people to make more widgets.  The sale of their widgets is down, you see, because people are keeping what money they have, so companies don’t need to hire more people.  Obama doesn’t get this.  He doesn’t get that if these companies didn’t have to hire an army of lawyers and accountants to make sure that they are in compliance with local and federal regulations and that they are accounting correctly, they might be able to grow their businesses.  He doesn’t get that the reduced sales is the cause of a downturn in hiring.  He doesn’t understand that the uncertainty of the tax laws make businesses wary of making moves in their business because they don’t know how much of their revenue they will have confiscated by the government.   Businesses these days spend a lot of time and money doing forecasts and predictions months and years ahead of time to be able to plan their business activities.  Taxes are big part of that.  Obama doesn’t get it.

Kroft asked the president specifically about this, saying that the tax laws make businesses reluctant to spend.  Obama basically blew this off, again employing the “millionaires and billionaires” phrase in his response.  More class warfare.  Cool.

This president doesn’t seem to understand that government cannot create real growth in the economy.  Sure, government spending may be able to artificially make the economy seem healthier than it is, but once that spending stops, the economy slows again.  Government also cannot provide jobs, nor can it make the private sector create new jobs.  It can implement policies that make the private sector want to expand their business, but the decisions about businesses reside with the people who own and operate them.  The owners of the businesses. 

Temporary tax relief only makes people plan when they will pull out of the economy.  But, they will pull out.  Real tax relief will give people and businesses confidence that they will keep more of their money, and therefore spur them to invest and grow their businesses.  But President Obama doesn’t get this.  It’s okay to run the deficit up spending money of BS projects, but it’s not okay to temporarily increase the deficit to provide long-term deficit reduction.  What a boob. 

President Obama clearly didn’t get his economic education on planet earth.  I guess we could expect this from a man who has never worked in the private sector and has always gotten his job from poor people, except the Harvard thing.  He has never had to be responsible for revenue and spending, profit and loss, production and sales. 

Until now.

He also said in an interview last week that the election wasn’t a referendum on his policies, but that he had done a poor job explaining what he was doing. 

Again, he doesn’t get it.  It’s exactly the opposite.  People  understand EXACTLY what he’s trying to do.  And they don’t like it.  He couldn’t phrase “The government is going to drive the private healthcare providers out of business so that the only place people can come for coverage is the government” in a way to make most people with a working set of neurons in their brain buy the idea that his healthcare bill, written by a socialist group called the Freedom Alliance, is a good idea.  People understand Obama. 

He doesn’t understand people. 

I thought it was kind of cool that he took credit for the 150,000 or so jobs added by the private sector last month, but won’t comment on the 450,000 new jobless claims in the same time period.  He has said that over 2 million jobs have been added since he took office.  He hasn’t said anything about the 7 million or so jobs lost in the same time period.  Sounds to me like he’s 5 million in the hole.  I guess you need a business degree to figure that one out. 

I have some advice for the president.  Repeal Obamacare.  Repeal the financial reform bill.  not only should you extend the Bush tax cuts, you should employ more tax cuts.  You should do away with the income tax, medicare tax, and social security tax and replace them with the fair tax.  Do these things, and the economy will recover, and we’ll actually be able to repay the red Chinese. 

And I don’t have a PhD in business.  Just a group of neurons firing.  On all cylinders. 

Our president doesn’t.   He just doesn’t get it.

Tax Day

April 15, 2010

As many Americans make final entries in their tax forms and make them ready to send off to the government, I thought it was worth talking about. 

The Federal income tax as we know it wasn’t part of the original Constitution.  The sixteenth Amendment gave government the power to collect taxes on a person’s income.  The founding fathers thought this was a bad idea and promoted the ability of government to spend money they didn’t have.  The idea of being taxed on personal income, they believed, discouraged people from trying to earn more money, invent things or improve the human condition.  There were, however, other attempts to collect taxes on income. 

The first income tax was levied in 1861 on incomes above $800 per year and was repealed when the war was over.  Another tax was imposed on income by the Revenue Act of 1862.  This was the first progressive tax in history.  It taxed people who made $600 per year (around $14000 in today’s dollars) at 3%, and people over $10,000 at 5%.  The tax was designed to help pay for the Civil war, and taxes were “witheld at the source.”  It was supposed to end in 1866, but the source I used did not state whether it did or not. 

Other revenue taxes on inco me were introduced around the turn of the century to offset costs of tarriffs.  In 1894, Democrats in Congress enacted the Wilson-Forman tariff, which was the first peacetime income tax.  It was a 2% tax on income over $4000.  However, in 1895, the Supreme Court held in Pollock V. Farmer’s Trust Co. that tax based on receipte from the use of property to be unconstitutional.  It did find that taxes on real and personal property were okay.  Due to the difficulties with taxing income without taxing property, a federal income tax was found to be impractical until…

The Sixteenth Amendment. 

This amendment reads:  “The congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment amont the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.” 

This removed the impracticality of Wilson-Forman, and removed the approtionment requirement.  This requirement meant, at the time, that taxes collected had to be divided among the states based on population.  It took the government a long time to figure out a way around that pesky constitution, yes? 

Income taxes were modest in the beginning.  A 7% tax on incomes over $500,000.  (That’s ten million bucks in today’s dollars) During WWI, this rate was 77% on incomes over $1 million ($16 million today).  After the war, the rate was scaled back to 24% and the income threshold was $100,000. ($1 million today). 

In 1939, the top income tax rate was 75% and applied to incomes over $5 million. ($75 million today).  In 1944 and 1945, the top tax rate was 94% on income over $200,000. 

I want you to look at something here.  in 1939, the US economy was still in the throwes of the Great Depression, yet FDR still had a top tax rate of 75%.  Nothing to discourage making money like that, huh? 

Woodrow Wilson was president in 1913.  A Republican, but a progressive.  The tax rates were progressive, too, meaning that higher earners paid a higher percentage of their income in taxes.  FDR continued this line of thinking during a time when 25% of Americans were out of work.   That’s how it’s been ever since. 

Witholding has not always been a part of paying taxes, either.  And these taxes were levied before Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the two hundred hungry federal beareaucracies that need feeding from the tax revenue.  Can you imagine paying over 90% of your hard earned income in taxes? 

Of course, the progressives then were no different than progressives today.  That money you have can’t possibly be the result of getting an education and preparing yourself for life.  It could not be the result of hard work developing a skill that is in demand.  You must have stolen, inherited, or somehow hornswaggled someone to get it.  So we, the government, are taking it back.  Obama and his band of tax cheats are sitting ready to tax us all to pay for his out of control spending.  There’s no way he can keep his promise of not raising taxes on people who make less than $250,000 a year (that’s about one hundred and fifty eight bucks in tomorrow’s money) and still pay for all the stuff he wants. 

Of course, paying for it isn’t nearly as important as getting it passed. 

Right?

Right? 

Wrong.  The tax code in this country rewards laziness and punishes hard work.  Obama really thinks that taking money from someone who earned it and giving it to someone who did not is helping that person.  It’s not.  Ben Franklin said the best source of charity was to make someone figure out how to take care of themselves.  It’s still true today.  If a person knows that there is no “government check” coming, they’ll get off their butt and make their own way.  I personally don’t like subsidizing these people with my work.  I obtained a skill and sell it at a ridiculous discount.  If I can’t make my own way, I find another way.  That’s what the American dream is.  Making your miracle come true. 

Now, I know that people will think I’m hateful and a racist because I don’t think working people should be FORCED to support non working people.  Fine.  I’m hateful and a racist.  But I contend it’s more racist to say that someone can’t make their own way because of the color of their skin, or that they didn’t have a man around, or that they grew up poor.  Some of the greatest men in history grew up poor.  Ever hear of Abraham Lincoln?  Thomas Edison?  Where would we be if men like this sat around and waited for the rest of us to support them?

People, if you don’t like being taxed the way we are, I encourage you to read Neal Boortz and John Linder’s Fair Tax book.  It is the only truly fair taxation system ever devised, and may just save our country.

The Takeover: Part 3 Financial Finality

April 15, 2010

Now that the Obama administration has control of GM and Chrysler, owns several banks and financial institutions, and has a law that allows them to get control of another one fifth of the economy, they have set their sights on a new target.  All business. 

Congressman Chris Dodd has written up a bill that is supposed to reform financial institutions.  Instead, it puts in the hands of one commission and ultimately, the President of the United States, decision making power on which businesses are too big to fail.  Or whose failure might cause a ripple in the economy.  Or businesses that won’t accept government bribes.  Or whatever. 

The point here is that this commission will pick winners and losers.  It could arbitrarily decide to break up any company it wishes, for any reason the government may be able to trump up.  With an anti-capitalist in the White House, this is bad. 

This bill came to see the light of day during the healthcare debate.  Now, here we are.  The government will make rules by which private companies must play, while the government can change the rules any time they wish, or put a company out of business if they want to.  They can fire any CEO they don’t like, they can take CONTROL of the company. 

The Marxist regime we have in charge right now will put health insurance companies out of business.  They will put financial companies out of business.  They will destroy the free market as one company after another falls victim to tax laws and overregulation. 

I hope you have stocked up on necessities.  They may not be available in a few years. 

Unless, that is, we fire these bastards in November. 

A bad Republican is still better than a good Democrat.  But a good Republican?  Let’s find ’em and fill the senate and congress with as many as we can. 

The country you save may be your own.

Obama to Take Bite Out of Apple?

January 26, 2010

Apple Computers posted record profits last year, according to finanicals released by the computer company recently.  Apple attributes this phenomenon to the popularity of the IPhone (my family has three).  Will Apple join the evil axis of the oil and pharmaceutical companies and become targeted by the Obama administration for being greedy? 

First off, the profits were $1.05 billion for the last quarter of 2009.  This doesn’t come close to the profits seen by oil companies and the pharmaceutical industry.  So the scale of profits is much smaller.  Secondly, Apple doesn’t depend on Iran or Venezuela for the raw materials to provide its product.  Apple will sell all it can, regardless of what the price of crude oil is.  The wild market fluctuations of crude have made life a little more difficult for the oil companies.  Apple’s profit margin remains relatively constant, while the oil companies don’t know what will happen with crude, and the pharmaceutical industry isn’t sure about what will happen with the healthcare industry. 

Granted,  you don’t need an IPhone to get to work like you need gas.  Apple also doesn’t have the government telling them where they can get their raw materials.  It’s not really a fair comparison.  But it is worth considering:  if Apple is making record profits, it can’t possibly be because they provide a product that is superior to their competition, can it?  The Macintosh line of computers’ cheapest model runs around $1000.  Macintosh still saw sales increase 51 percent unit sales growth, and a 54 percent revenue growth over the same quarter last year.  Apple users rave about the computers, and many say they will never go back to a PC.  In tough economic times, these numbers are pretty impressive, if you consider that cell phones and computers are luxury items. 

According to the Obama rhetoric, this kind of performance means that the Apple board of directors and their share holders are a bunch of greedy jerks.  They should be punished!  If their CEO gets a big bonus, tax 90% of it!  People are hurting in America!  It’s not “fair” for some people to get money while others are hurting!  Share the wealth!  Everybody does better, you know, when you spread the wealth around. 

I know the difference with the banks is that the taxpayers bailed them out.  Most of these banks have paid back the loans from the government with interest.  Some banks have turned large profits in the last year.  But, Obama castigates these people when the CEOs, who guided the banks from an entity that needed rescue to one that made money.  No bonuses!  You took money, and must pay a “fee” to the government because they had to spend money to clean up the mess the “banking industry” as a whole made.  Even banks that didn’t take taxpayer money will be subjected to these “fees,”  which are nothing more than government extortion. 

Clearly, Apple computer company has made “obscene” profits and must be punished.  That’s the Obama administration’s MO.  Punish companies that make money.   Rescue companies that don’t, and probably won’t, make money. 

I hope you all understand that this is sarcasm.  Of course Apple made money.  They make good computers and the IPhone is wildly popular.  The IPod is the industry standard for MP3 players.  I am glad a company started by an American is doing well.  It seems to be one of the few that is. 

But don’t worry, lefties.  I’m sure President Obama will figure out a way to confiscate some of their money.  It’s the Chicago way.

Obama and Banks: Like Oil and Water

December 14, 2009

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34416646/ns/business-us_business

I have lamented previously on this blog that it is apparent that our president never ran a business.  His meeting today with the banks is proof.

Now, let me say that banks getting taxpayer money to give executives a big bonus chaps my hide.  I don’t like having to turn my thermostat down to 62 in the winter to save money while some bank exec is being paid enough to take a trip to Aruba.  For a month.  That being said, I understand why banks have to pay those salaries and bonuses, and unlike our president, I think they are necessary. 

The MSNBC article I linked to talks about the meeting between President Obama and the banking guys today.  The president previewed how this meeting would go last night on “60 Minutes” when he called bank executives “fat cats.”  I guess the president hasn’t looked at Barney Frank lately.  Anyway, he is basically demanding that banks loan more money to small and intermediate businesses.  This in spite of the fact that, according to the MSNBC article, “regulators” are requiring the banks to closely examine every credit application.  Who, exactly, are thes “regulators?”  My bet is on government beareaucrats.  So, on the one hand, the president calls these guys school yard names and smacks them across the face, demanding more lending, while on the other hand, government regulators tell these banks to lend cautiously.  I honestly think President Obama lives in a “Never Never Land Ranch” environment in his own head.  Recently, he accused businesses of “sitting on the sidelines” when it came to job growth.  What does he think?  That businesses in America are laughing and saying that they refuse to hire people because the government wants them to?  Are these guys evil Montgomery Burns types, pressing their fingertips together and hissing “Excellent?”  Businesses in America would like nothing more than to hire twenty people, fifty, a hundred.  But they can’t, because their business is down.  Sales are down.  Revenues are down.  Which means the business doesn’t need more people just to stay afloat.  It needs less.  Our president doesn’t understand the basics of this finanical crisis. 

Obama’s answer?  More regulation!  On Friday, the US House of Representatives approved the creation of new regulators who will make sure the “fat cats” aren’t allowed to get fatter.  This group will make sure that executives don’t get big paychecks and bonuses.  They will make sure that every move is closely watched by a beaueaucrat interested only in busting a “fat cat” down to an “alley cat.” 

Here’s how this thing should really have played out:

Banks make bad decisions in their business.  They become insolvent and file for bankruptcy and either reorganize and re-emerge, having learned a lesson about playing debt roulette, or they go out of business.  This is a free-market solution to the problem.  It would have hurt, sure, but the economy would rebound.  Now, we have a ridiculous debt, an economy that is still in a recession, and no jobs being “created or saved,” no matter how much of our money Obama and his crew spend on pork projects in Hawaii and Chicago.

Obama is partially right when he said the financial crisis was of the bankers’ own making.  The part he left out was how government regulations forced banks to become more creative about debt when they were forced to loan money to people who couldn’t afford to buy a house, so they could buy a house.  Now the banks would have billions on the books in debts that they knew they would never get back.  Sell the debt.  To the government.  They are a bunch of suckers, right? Government is more responsible than the banking industry for this.  Obama cannot admit this.  He can only propose government as a solution to a problem.  He cannot admit that government is the problem. 

But government is the problem.  At least a big part of it. 

Now the president plans on using the bully pulpit (and the bully checkbook) to force banks to make more loans they won’t ever get paid on.  It’s kind of like letting your six year old drive your car.  The kid understands basically how to do it, but not the particulars. 

Yeah, the president watching over banks.  What will be next?  Some super-humongus spending bill that…. never mind.  That happened.  A government takeover of healthc…wait.  They are trying that.  I got it!  Proclaiming Obama Grand Poobah of Whoville and giving him all the power and money he needs to destroy America… oh.  The voters did that a year ago.  Except for the Whoville part.  The Grinch still has his sights set on the roast beast. 

The arrogance of this man drives me nuts.  Here’s hoping one term is short enough.