Thursday, December 30, 2010

JOBS

 Have you noticed the trend after each economic slowdown? As the economy starts to recover and then does , it is usually referred to as a " jobless recovery " That is what has been happening and it will continue. When the economy slows businesses  cut back to take a defensive position. They then look for ways to improve productivity. This often results in ways to work smarter which includes better technologies . Then as the economy improves they find that they can grow too but without needing to revert to the employment levels that existed pre slowdown. The result is that business can grow without hiring. This is good for the business and the stockholders but not so for people looking for a job.

  The way for employees to participate is by improving their skills and knowledge but unfortunately we do not have a good national program in place to make this happen and the result is that we get increasing unemployment levels among the less educated . The level of unemployment among high school dropouts is 17 % and it will change little as the economy does improve.As a country we need to increase and improve the level of education of the younger generation but we have a school system that fails them.

 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

POOR CHARLIE NEEDS HELP ; YOUR MONEY

Poor Charlie has problems. As you recall he was found guilty on twelve counts of ethics violations and this ran up a big legal bill which has not been completely paid off. Now it seems he has to hire new lawyers to defend himself on another charge of using PAC money to partially pay his legal bills from the earlier defense.

  So to get this straight, he broke rules and laws and illegally used Pac,  read other peoples money , to defend himself and now has a legal defense fund , read other peoples money to defend himself for using other peoples money. I guess he has no understanding of personal responsibility but then why should he, he is a congressman.

 If you feel moved to help poor Charlie send your money to   Poor Charlie ,  #6 Irresponsible Way, Government  Criminal Dept. , Defend The Idiot Chairman, Washington District of Criminals USA.

Monday, December 20, 2010

EVERYONE WINS : EVERYONE LOOSES

  We all know that the deficit is a major threat to our future. The new tax bill will only makes it worse.  The bill reduces federal revenues and expands spending and the deficit grows even faster. Yes, the tax bill has something for everyone and will no doubt add a boost to the economy but the resulting growth will not be enough to have a positive affect on the deficit..

  We can not grow out of the problem. If we do not see sweeping moves in the new congress to attack the debt head on, we will stall growth again , our credit will be downgraded, and we will be further down the path to becoming a second rate economy. Think Greece, England, France , Spain ,Ireland . We could end up looking up to them.They have made drastic moves to cut spending. We have not,  yet.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

IT IS ABOUT TIME

  Finally gays can serve openly in the military. Are we seeing a new atmosphere of compromise and cooperation in Washington? Hope so. IT's about time.

Friday, December 17, 2010

BIGGEST LIES EXPOSED

The two biggest political lies of 2010 :

       Obamacare is a government takeover health care.

      "The ethics report exonerates me"    Charlie Rangel

WILL GOD SPEAK TO SARAH ?

  Sarah Palin was asked today about her plans to run in 2012.Her reply was "  it is a prayerful consideration " What does that mean? Maybe she is waiting for a word from God. I have a word from me "Sarah, keep your soap opera out of the political arena "

THANK YOU MAVERICK

   John McCain did us a huge favor. He stopped the omnibus spending bill from going to a vote.This is a major victory for the tax payer.Harry Reid has had all year to get the spending bill through, but waited to the last few days to force it through with lots of pork and wasteful spending. He did not want it to see the light of day. The man has no morals at all.

  Now just maybe, the new congress will have a chance to put forth a new bill that is more frugal and better for our future. Thank you Maverick.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

LETS ROB THE RICH TO HAVE MORE TO WASTE

  The house vote on the tax bill is being held up by the liberal left so that they can voice their outrage at the estate tax. The amount of money involved is only about 10 billion, but they would have you believe it is hundreds of billions. So to them it is outrageous to let the rich keep an additional 10 billion, but they have no problem adding 8 billion in unneeded pork to the spending bill. They have no morals or sense of fairness at all.I wish I could send them some of my outrage with their irresponsible behavior.

OH HOW LOW CAN THEY GO ?

  A new pole today shows that 86 % have an unfavorable view of congress, a 30 year low. This puts them below used car salesmen and BP oil .How can this be, we voted for them.? Sure does not give much weight to the dem.vs rep. blame game . It is the congress , not the left or right that is the problem.

PELOSI VS PALIN

  A new pole today shows that Nancy and The Mad Momma  Bear are tied in the category of high disapproval.  No surprise there . What is surprising is how much influence Sarah has gained since being an unknown not long ago. She has a lot of great one liners but that is as far as it goes. How anyone can use here name and president in the same sentence is beyond me. Maybe it is the power of Dancing With The Stars.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

NUMBER ONE MESSAGE TO THE PRESIDENT

  During the meeting the President had today with 20 leaders of big business concern about the debt was mentioned by the executives . The  well founded fear they have is that our debt is unsustainable and they are worried about how it will be handled and how it will affect our future. In addition to the previously bad relationship between the President and business, fear of the debt bomb , is probably the number one problem inhibiting investment, hiring and growth.

  I really hope the president and congress get the message loud and clear because even if business and government become best buddies, not much growth will result without a real and serious plan to reduce deficit spending.If we do not, the credit markets will force a very painful change that will be bad for everyone.

IS THE WAR OVER ?

     I am referring to the war between the white house and corporate America. Since the election the relationship between the two has been hostile . I have been saying that one of the reasons that our economy has been stuck is the bad relationship between the white house and some of the liberal left of congress with corporate America.Corporate America will not invest and hire under an environment of uncertainty and part of that has been the attitude of the president towards corporate America. In the past he has stated that profit [ greed] is evil and the pursuit of profits is a less honorable than public service.

  Today the president met with 20 members of American industry to make peace and to find a way to work together to promote investment and jobs. Yes the 20 representatives invited were mostly friendly to the administration, and those most hostile were not invited. However those who attended were quite upbeat about the meeting and this could be really good news for the economy.The big difference from previous meetings is that this time " the  president listened , did not lecture , and really seemed engaged."

 If the president is sincere,and I hope he is, this could be a new beginning of government and private business working together to point us in the right direction. After all, government does not create jobs, private business does, and it needs the government to create an environment conducive to creating jobs. Maybe just maybe this will happen and we will all benefit. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

HELP WE NEED $120 MILLION ; FOR OUR BEAVERS ;REALLY

 One bit of pork added to the omnibus spending bill is 120 million dollars for beaver management in North Carolina. Really, that much for beavers?

  I know firsthand that we in North Carolina have a good working relationship with our beavers. When the beavers get out of line , we deal with it ourselves, legally, and do it for no charge . What in the world are they going to do with 120 million dollars to manage beavers.? Home improvement possibly?

INSULTING ;OUTRAGEOUS BEHAVIOR

 The lame duck congress is winding up business .Today they are trying to push through what is called an omnibus spending bill which is to fund the cabinets for the next budget year which actually started in october without a budget. This bill is 1900 pages , which means no one knows the entire contents.It is for 1.27 trillion in spending compared to total revenues of 2.5 trillion.The outrageous part is that it also contains 8 billion in earmarks. Yes the things we have heard the  " new " congress will eliminate.Most came from the left , the same people who debated so vigorously about tax cuts. The rest came from lame duck idiots.

  So to get this straight, Congress spends months debating tax cuts and DODT , then wants to pass in a day or two a huge spending bill which will consume half their revenue, which no one has read ,the public has not seen , should have been done months ago, by people who add special add ons ,which they said they would not do anymore,for projects few want and voted on by people will be out of office in a week or two.

  Is this a sensible way to run a country?Is there no shame?

Monday, December 13, 2010

YES WE CAN CUT DEFENSE SPENDING

     We all know the cold war is over but does the military? Look at foreign troop deployment.

      Afghanistan             100000

      Korea                         40000

      Japan                          50000

     Germany                     60000  [ 21 bases ]

     Italy                             10000

     UK                              10000

     Kuwait                         11000

     That is 281000 troops stationed off shore . Why? The cost of this is maybe 300 billion a year , more if you count the cost of the bases. What is happening here is that the US taxpayer is subsidizing the defense budgets of the above listed countries.

  The most glaring outrage is the 11000 troops in Kuwait which are there for only one reason and that is to protect Saudi.So a country that can not afford it, is protecting a country that can. Yes we are generous and crazy.

US CREDIT DOWNGRADED

 Moody is a highly political company that rates debt of all types. It currently has the US debt  ie treasuries, rated as AAA ,its highest rating.Moody stated today that it may be forced to reduce US debt ratings due to the current unsustainable debt level and the affects of the tax deal in congress.It anticipates reducing the rating in a year or so.This means treasury rates will go up.They already have in the past week to the highest level in six months.This in turn makes the cost to finance the debt higher,forcing yet higher debt levels.

 To figure out what this really means conceder the source.Remember Enron? Just before it collapsed, stock analysts were rating it as a strong buy, a must own stock.Moody is no different than the stock analysts. Just before the financial collapse they had a AAA rating on the credit default swaps.

  So if Moody says it might have to downgrade US treasuries in a year, it really means that treasuries are actually downgraded now. This means higher interest rates, higher taxes and higher unemployment are almost a certainty.



Sunday, December 12, 2010

ESTATE TAXES ; WHY THE UPROAR?

    The number one objection that the far left has to the tax compromise is the estate tax issue. In 2009 the estate tax exemption was 3.5 million dollars . The new compromised bill raises that to 5 million dollars, which is effectively 10 million for a family if handled properly.The left has been all over the news complaining about this , but it is just posturing . The impact on the budget is minor . They want us to think that this is a sweetheart deal to a few rich people that will drive us broke.

   The fact is that the total revenue from estate taxes is about 1 to 2 % of total federal revenues.Over half of of estate tax revenues come from estates over 10 million dollars. So the bottom line is that the compromise on estate taxes will have an impact on federal revenues of 12 billion dollars . Not exactly a budget buster as some would have you believe. This could easily be paid for simply by eliminating the Amtrack and corn ethanol subsidies [ about 10 billion combined  ].

  I say let the moderate rich keep their hard owned money.They worked hard to earn it. Get rid of things that make no sense and waste everyone's money.

  

Thursday, December 9, 2010

grandpa timmies political / economic views: JUST THINK ABOUT THIS ; VERY SCAREY

grandpa timmies political / economic views: JUST THINK ABOUT THIS ; VERY SCAREY: " We spent 440 billion to service our debt this year. We also spent about 1 trillion for defense. Total spending about 3.2 trillio..."

JUST THINK ABOUT THIS ; VERY SCAREY

  We spent 440 billion to service our debt this year. We also spent about 1 trillion for defense. Total spending about 3.2 trillion about 1.2 trillion borrowed. If the current proposal for taxes and unemployment is passed we got a real problem . In just nine years the the interest on the debt will go close to 900 billion.How in the world are we going to pay for it? What do you mean ,don't touch my social security or medicare ? We will be fortunate just to pay the fuel for Air Force One. Interest rates are going up.

POLITICAL PAYBACK IN THE EXTREME ; WE LOOSE CHINA WINS

  Why is a big wind farm in texas a bad idea? This is complex and maddening. First the contracting will be done by a Chinese co. The three hundred turbines will be made by A-Power. This company is new ,has never made a turbine , and got it's technology from GE.A-Power is in China !!!.

   The wind farm , Spinning Star, will be 51 % owned by four business men who will have put up no investment. They are working to get loan guarantees from the Dept. of Energy [taxpayer ]and 450 million in our stimulus money!!!

  So how is it possible that the taxpayer spends 450 million dollars to import products from China , guarantees a loan over one billion dollars for four men who own half the business and have no financial stake? It is political payback again.These four men have been among the top donors to the democratic party. Two have spent many nights in the Whitehouse. Their spearhead to get this done is , you guessed it, Harry Reid.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

CORPORATE TAXES GOOD OR BAD ?

   Those on the left love to attack our corporations accusing them of being greedy at the expense of the working man. They love to punish them with the second highest corporate tax rates in the world then criticize them for moving off shore. Ask yourself, if you lived in an abusive family, and had the means to do so, would you stay or leave?

  When we use punitive taxation we only hurt ourselves. First the tax on US companies is just added onto the price we pay on their products sold in this country , so in essence we just increase our own taxes. Second the corporations are much more likely to put new facilities in other countries where they are welcomed with lower tax rates.

  So , does big business take jobs offshore or does our government push them offshore?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

TAXPAYER/CONSUMER SCREWED AGAIN

  In an effort to promote energy independence our government decided to blend corn ethanol with gasoline. Good idea , bad consequences. We spend 9 billion a year to subsidize ethanol. Ethanol is not energy efficient when made from corn and consumes 40 % of the corn crop, driving up food costs. To protect the corn farmer we have a 0.45 cent per gallon tax on imported ethanol from Brazil where it can be made more

  The result,we waste more energy,are less energy independent,pay more for food and throw away 9 billion a year. Corn farmers win, we all loose.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

POLITICAL PAYBACK; EXTREME HYPOCRISY

    Harry Reid does it again. Now he is trying to get a bill through the lame duck congress to legalize on line poker , with restrictions that allow only his constituency to benefit. The biggest donors to his campaign [ MGM $182000 ] are the biggest winners. It is bold political payback, a case of buying congress.

   Hypocrisy in the extreme. Harry is a mormon. Mormons do not drink,smoke or gamble.

Friday, December 3, 2010

RICH VS POOR

  I get very upset when the poor claim that they are poor because the rich get richer. The reasoning seems to be that the pie is only so big and if the rich get richer ,then they get more of the pie so therefore there is less for the poor. But it doesn't work that way. Our free economic system has the capacity to make the pie grow in size so that all can get a bigger piece.

  I know we have a progressive tax system that attempts to redistribute wealth but it is not very successful. Do the poor really think that if the rich get poorer, that they will get richer? Will taxing the rich put more riches in the hands of the poor? It just does not work that way.

  We hear that the middle class is shrinking and this is not good for the country.This is not because the rich took from the middle class. My guess is that some of the middle class moved up to the rich status. And, some fell from the middle class because they do not have the the education or skills to keep pace in todays economy. This is no longer an economy where a high school dropout , nor a high school grad  can reach the middle class without special skills or training. And of course there are those who can earn a middle class income but will remain poor because they can not manage their money. If you are poor , do not blame the rich,they will still be rich and you will be poor.Get yourself an education and manage your resources and you too can improve your status.



                                            

ARE WE A WELFARE STATE?

  Since Bill Clinton reformed welfare very successfully, we have far less people living on welfare and none making it a career as in the past. Therefore we would not be considered a pure welfare society.

  The current number of Americans living below the " official "poverty level is 14.3%. Compared to the wealthy, they are indeed poor. However, their standard of living is equal to or even slightly better than the average European  [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_the_United_States ]

  Given that 14.3 % live in poverty and 47% pay no federal income tax it looks like we are indeed a welfare state.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

FLY HOME IN YOUR OWN 767

   For some reason the house speaker has exclusive use of an Air Force 767. This is a very big jet. Last year Nancy Pelosi used it 38 times to go home to California. Talk about a waste of money. But what about the carbon footprint from a cap and trader, it is pure hypocrisy. That jet burns up $60000 in fuel per trip :that is 2.28 million dollars last year. How many tax payers does it take just to pay her fuel bill?

  There is good news though. Now the keys to the jet have been given to new speaker Boehner. He is going to fly commercial and try to get rid of the jet.It may be political but at least he will quit the waste of fuel. Nancy did not.

TAX AND SPEND ?

  Here are the numbers :

    Let the Bush tax cuts expire for the rich only   -   Tax revenue increases 70 billion per year.

    Let all Bush tax cuts expire                              -    Tax revenue increases 370 billion per year


   Neither option makes a difference unless congress cuts spending.Any increase must be tied to spending cuts or the increased revenue will just be spent / wasted and the tax payer gets screwed.


  

SIMPLE QUESTIONS ; NO ANSWERS

  Simple questions Why does congress treat themselves like they are above the law, better than us.? How is it that congress can pass laws that we must follow but they do not.?Why must we pay social security taxes and congress gets a much better retirement than we do? How can congress pass a healthcare bill for us and they have their own , special healthcare program. How can congress break laws and not be treated like we are?. How is that congress can sell their votes to special interests and say they did not? How can congress give special breaks to companies in their district and not apply them to all similar companies in all districts.?What ever happened to "by the people and for the people"?

  These people are not our representatives. They are the self anointed elite who have the power to affect all of our lives. Yes we have the power to vote them out of office, only to be replaced by more of the same.How do we win?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

REPLY TO ANNOYMUS

   It may seem like a conspiracy by the gas companies but I doubt it. There is no shortage of gasoline today. The main reason prices go up and down a lot is because the value of the dollar fluctuates so much.

  People love to target big oil as the enemy. Yes they make a lot of money because we buy a lot of gas. They must make a good profit to be able to finance the exploration for more oil which we demand at a cheap price , while we tell them where they can not explore. The fact is that the profit as a percent of sales for the oil industry is actually lower than it is for many industries.

I LOVE THIS TAX

    The deficit commission has proposed a gas tax increase.People will complain about it no doubt.But.

  We are spoiled rotten and our government is broke. We have the best road system in the world,but need four wheel drive and big vehicles ,usually  with one occupant. I know, a better public transportation will help. We also pay some of the lowest fuel prices in the non producing world. US gas about $2.60 versus Europe at about $7.50. And we send about a billion dollars a day to producing countries.

  A higher gas tax, say $1.00 per gallon makes good sense. The part that is most appealing is that it is a semi voluntary tax. We have some choice in the matter. We can buy more fuel efficient cars, take public transportation,car pool,consolidate trips,etc. It is also better for the environment.It will help speed the conversion to natural gas which is more friendly to the environment and abundant in our country which creates more jobs here and keeps more US dollars at home. A $1.00 tax per gallon will generate about 150billion dollars to a broke government which can put it towards debt reduction.

  What is the reason this has not been done already? Our politicians are too afraid to upset the spoiled electorate.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

DEFICIT COMMISSION PRESS CONFERENCE TODAY

   "the era of deficit denial is over "

   "the choices will be painful "

   "America we have a serious problem and little time to respond"

   "the deficit and debt are like a cancer eating us from within"

   These are direct quotes from Simpson and Bowels

  

SIMPLE COMPROMISE TO CUT THE DEFICIT 11 %

  The current big debate is the Bush tax cuts. I love how the left said the tax cuts were for the rich and now that they are due to expire, it is a big tax increase for the middle class. Most feel that this is a bad time to allow the cuts to expire and I agree to a point. The big debate is what to do about the top income bracket.

 The left argues that extending the cuts for the rich is at the risk of extending unemployment payments.The left wants the rates to go up for those making over $200000. The right says no tax increases, but cut deficits.

  Here is a novel compromise that will appeal to both left and right and maybe even help the economy. Let the cuts for the rich expire This will increase revenue about 70 billion a year.But instead of spending the extra revenue , match it dollar for dollar with spending cuts. This will send a powerful message that we are serious about our deficit spending. The combined result would be a decrease in deficit spending of 140 billion which is about 11 % of the deficit and a damn good first step.

FEDERAL PAY FREEZE EXEMPTS USPS ; WHY?

 The president announced a proposed two year pay freeze for federal employees. A good first step ,but probably more political in motive, which will theoretically cut expenditures 2 billion a year.But we all know they will find ways to skip around this freeze and actual savings will be much less.

  The military are exempt from the freeze as they should be. But for some reason the USPS is also exempt and this makes no sense at all other than political.The USPS employees 630000, and lost 8.6 billion dollars this year,so why do they deserve a raise instead of a pay cut.? It is not a bad job. Starting pay is $19 per hour,there is liberal vacation and sick leave benefits. They get free health care,and defined retirement. They get a much better package than in the private sector. And all of this to deliver junk mail that goes from the USPS to the trash.

  Lets get serious, sell the USPS to private the private sector. We don't want pay freezes, we want less government employees.

Monday, November 29, 2010

MORE OF THE SAME ; I HOPE NOT

  Tuesday the congress leaders and the president will meet to discuss the Bush tax cuts and the deficit. They will probably announce a  " successful " meeting agreeing to get serious about the deficit and vowing to reach a compromise. That will probably all change on Wednesday when the deficit reduction commission releases its suggestions, which have been outlined last week.

  There will be a lot of bickering and finger pointing and public outrage over the proposals.The left will promise to protect social security and medicare and the right will insist on extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich and not taxing gasoline more.

  There will probably be no winners.I hope I am wrong but we will just get more of the same,with halfhearted results that will not make a serious impact on the deficit and both sides proclaiming to have "fought" for us. Unfortunately we will all be losers.The deficit will not go down and neither will unemployment.

UNEXPECTED RESULTS

  There is a successful company called  FIGI WATER. They sell bottled water and they get their water form Figi. Today the Figi government significantly raised their tax rate on Figi Water. Today Figi Water shut down, packed up and left Figi.  Sound familiar?

" UNACCEPTABLE "

  That is Nancy Polsi's reaction to the bipartisan debt reduction committee. So what does she propose? Taxing the rich, will not come close to cutting the debt. She needs a dose of reality and obviously has not listened to the voters.

  Business as usual will lead to bankruptcy , much higher unemployment, higher taxes, reduced gov. benefits, inflation all of which hurt the middle class the most.

  Nancy is not protecting the middle class, she is putting us on a path to self destruction.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

AFGHANISTAN AND THE DEFICIT

  In a desperate and necessary move to get the deficit down many propose a complete and fast withdrawal from Afghanistan. It is a great proposal,we need to get out, but  its affect on the deficit is not near enough to make a difference.

   While it is not easy to get true costs of our evolvement there it appears to be about 200 billion dollars a year. It is a great start ,but keep in mind our deficit is close to one trillion dollars this year. The interest payments on our debt is 44o billion a year.

WE ARE FIGHTING THE WRONG WAR

    Most Americans supported invading Afghanistan  and most do not support our presence there 9 years later and with good reason.

   Right after 9-11, we learned that the ragtag group of Bin Ladens loyalists,Al-Qaeda,  were responsible.What most people do not know is that it took several months to invade Afghanistan. Before the invasion 12 secret forces, 12 CIA agents ,and 14000 mounted tribesmen ,with minor air support were able to put Al-Qaeda and the Taliban out of business which made the invasion anticlimactic and.not necessary.

  Today we have 100000 troops in Afghanistan . Why? Our mission was to defeat Al-Qaeda. Guess what? There are less than 100 Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. So why do we need to have 100000 troops going after 100 crazy guys? But, the mission has CHANGED. Our president has stated "we will take the war to the taliban " This is a different and hopeless mission.

   The Taliban are a group of very mean , radical Islamic extremest, opportunists. They have been trying to take control of Afghanistan, a country that has NEVER had a central government, since the Russians left.We will be as successful in eliminating the Taliban as we were eliminating the Viet Cong.

 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

COINSENODENCE ?

  US households that pay no federal income tax            47 %

  President's approval rating                                           45.6 %

AND YOU THINK IRELAND HAS A PROBLEM ???

  Ireland has to borrow one pound for every four it spends: 25%

  The US has to borrows  33% of every dollar it spends.

 So exactly which country is in fiscal trouble ?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

WHO WILL HELP US ?

  Ireland has a debt that is 125 % of GNP. Our debt is at 92% and growing fast. Ireland will ask for a bail out loan from the EU since it debt instruments now go for 8% interest rates.

  We are soon to follow Ireland ,but who will bail us out?

 This is not a left vs right or rich vs poor issue.It is American problem that requires sacrifice from all of us. We can solve this problem but must act decisively and quickly. The consequences of not acting now will be very bad.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

OUR PRESIDENT CAN BE A HERO

  The Problem - Our Fiscal Policy Is Unsustainable

  Positions       -  Left - Raise taxes, do not cut spending


                       - Right - Do not cut taxes, cut spending


                       - The voter - Raise taxes but not mine , cut spending but not mine, but cut the deficit


 The President  Faces a near impossible problem but something must be done and if done properly our economy and jobs will quickly improve. This is his opportunity to shine. If he makes his case to the people , embraces compromise, bends his beliefs ,and puts all his efforts into it he will be a hero. If not , he will be unemployed in two years and you can take that to the bank.


 
  The Problem - Our Fiscal Policy Is Unsustainable

  Positions       -  Left - Raise taxes, do not cut spending


                       - Right - Do not cut taxes, cut spending


                       - The voter - Raise taxes but not mine , cut spending but not mine, but cut the deficit


 The President  Faces a near impossible problem but something must be done and if done properly our economy and jobs will quickly improve. This is his opportunity to shine. If he makes his case to the people , embraces compromise, bends his beliefs ,and puts all his efforts into it he will be a hero. If not , he will be unemployed in two years and you can take that to the bank.


  

HEADLINES FROM THE FUTURE part4

  NYC: Potholes Not Repaired Until Diameter Exceeds Five Feet

  Federal Elevator Operators Let Go; Congressmen Now Expected To Push Buttons Themselves

  Congress Must Now Buy Tokens To Use Private Subway At Capital

  Two Congressmen Resign After Surprise Drug Test

  New Personal Budget App Has Flaw: When Budget Exceeds Personal Wealth Computer Explodes

   IRS Seeks More From The Rich ; Can,t Find Any

Thursday, November 18, 2010

NO CONFLICT OF INTEREST HERE [LOL ]

  Per CNBC  One half of congress are millionaires ,ten senators are worth more than 10 million. Not exactly " representative " is it?

  Congress are big stock owners Their biggest holdings are Bank Of America, GE and P&G.They do not have blind trusts. There are more restrictions on CNBC reporter buying and selling stock than there are on congress. So they can buy and sell as they please, while passing laws that affect their holdings.

THREE BILLION IS JUST PEANUTS

    Yep  That is how much taxpayers pay to support our peanut industry.All thanks to a strong commodity lobby. Since airlines don't hand out peanuts anymore we must have an excess of peanuts. I wonder do they grow peanuts in china? Export potential?  Do you think China will accept peanuts as debt payment?

THE REAL CULPRIT OF THE SUB-PRIME MESS

  Everyone likes to blame , especially for the housing bubble and subsequent financial and economic collapse. Sure ,greed played a big role ,and we love to point out wall street , big banks , and CEO ' s  , their bonuses' and they should share in the blame but are not the worst player in the bunch.

  Yes wall street got bailed-out  but surprise, for the most part have paid back the loans with interest.The real villain though is FREDDIE  and  FANNIE. It is CONGRESS that runs these two culprits and sets their rules and bails them out , even thought not required by law to do so. They have consumed over 500 billion dollars of our money and need more.This is way more than wall street banks " borrowed "

  Congress loves it that we blame Bush, the left, the right , the rich ,corporate America etc. This diverts the real blame from them. And , by the way, those who are upset about corporate  bonuses may like to know that CONGRESS paid the CEO's of FREDDIE AND FANNIE  six million dollars each for their performance in bringing us down. Go figure.!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

THIS JUST IN

  Today on CNBC Donald Trump indicated that for the first time he is looking at  running for president.Once you get past his oversized ego and hair, he does have some interesting assets to bring to the table, his knowledge of business,the economy and trade being foremost.However , the Donald does have  a history of several of his endeavors going bankrupt. Would it not be refreshing  to see him in the oval office announcing  ' YOURE FIRED '?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

IT IS OUTRAGEOUS ; AN AFFRONT TO HONEST TAXPAYERS

    There are 100000 employees on the federal payroll who are delinquent in paying 3.3 billion dollars in federal taxes. Over 900 of them work on capital hill, and many work for the IRS which is charged with collecting taxes from us.

    The treasury dept. , run by a person who had his own tax "oversights" , can not deduct the past due taxes from their paycheck, saying it is not legal.

   Get behind on your taxes and you will quickly learn the power of the IRS. How can we sit by and let this happen? It is a disgusting insult to those who diligently pay taxes.

   I am mad and hope you are.

BREAKING NEWS ; RANGEL FOUND GUILTY

  It did not take long to find this crook guilty. I wonder where that two million dollars for legal defense came from and why it cost so much.

  So what will the ethics committee do?  Not much I suspect . Charlie is smart as a fox , and claims sloppy record keeping. At the least that would get us a fine and interest with the IRS.His peers will let him off easy   .They are fellow foxes.

ARE WE NEXT ?

   Take a look at the national debt as a percent of GNP in the countries that are in trouble.


                            Japan     192

                            Ireland    125

                            Greece    108

                            Iceland    100

  Compared to China            18

  And  the USA                   93  and climbing fast

Sunday, November 14, 2010

NOTE FROM JAPAN TO THE USA

     Dear  Uncle  


       We have recently received a copy of a letter from the fine people over there in China addressing their concern about the 800 billion dollars that you owe them. It is with great humility that we must remind you that you also owe our fine people 800 billion dollars.

    We in Japan have symphony with your situation.You see our debt has been close to the value of our GNP, the same as you, for a long time and we have been unable to grow out of it.We have had little economic growth for 20 years and fear the same for your country. Given this grave situation we worry that you will pay China with US dollars and may have to resort to paying us with more debt. Since we are broke this is not a good idea and we implore you to help us out. In the meantime ,while we remain your friend, we will be reducing our purchase of your debt to protect our country.

  JAPAN

NOTE FROM CHINA TO USA

   My Dear Uncle

          A review of your account with us has raised great concern on our behalf.We note that you now owe us about 800 billion dollars. We also note that your income is projected to be 2.16 trillion dollars this year,while your mandatory payments for such things as social security,medicare and the interest you must pay us and others on your 13.6 trillion dollar debt is to be 2.18 trillion dollars. Thus your income will just cover your mortgage expenses and you will have nothing left to run your household and defend it unless you borrow. Since your house [debt] is valued at 14.5 trillion dollars [gnp] you have reached the critical point in your ability to remain solvent.

       As such it is with deep regret that we inform you that you are now on our critical care watch list. This means that we will be closely watching your future fiscal policy and take action as required to protect our interests. It is with deep desire from us that you get your house in order. If we see further deterioration in your financial status we will at worse not finance you anymore , at best continue to finance you marginally but at a much higher interest rate .In terms that Americans can understand, you have maxed  out your credit card with us.

     It is the sincere wish of the Chinese people that you get your income and spending under control so that we can continue our relationship.

   Sincerely   China

Friday, November 12, 2010

headlines from the future Part 3


  County Announces No Road Plowing This Winter

  Federal Prisons Closed;Sub Contracts Work To Mexico

  Last food Stamps Printed

 Amtrak Sold To Saudi Firm

  UPS Buys USPS

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

BEWARE OF QUANTITATE EASING

  The federal reserve announced quantitive easing in an attempt to boost the economy.I do not think it will work and the risks are very high.

 Quantitive easing can be done by the fed when it credits its books,writes a check to the central banks and receives assets from the bank in return. These assets are bonds and debt instruments.This puts more liquidity in the hands of the banks and allows them to make more loans.This is turn is supposed to boost the economy by increasing money supply.

  Did you notice the part where the fed credits its books to buy bank assets.? This is just imaginary money.It is no different than you putting an extra zero ,or two, on your checking account balance so you can buy more.

   There is the false assumption that banks will make more loans.To do that there has to be someone willing to borrow and they have to have great credit.

  We have done this before.During the financial crisis  it was necessary to prevent a meltdown and it did. But it was also expected to boost economic growth and it did not and I see less reason for it to do so now.Japan has tried it 10 times with no success,their economy is still stuck.

 The risk is inflation and possibly super inflation.The fed wants to see some inflation but if not careful,we could see out of control inflation.

Monday, November 8, 2010

GNP UP 2 %, UNEMPLOYMENT 9.8% ; THE NEW NORM

   Economic growth of 1.5 to 2 % and unemployment of  9 to 10 % will be our future for a long time, possibly 4 years to 8 years so get used to it.. The reason.... debt of 92% of GDP, Continued deficit spending,and a congress without the will to fix it. A change in congress will not result in economic change. Congress does not create jobs, it only creates an environment that hinders job creation and it will continue its ways even after the mid terms.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

THE BIGGEST DECISION OF OUR PRESIDENTS CAREER

 Will president Obama be a Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter? The choice is his and he must make it now.Will he be a Bill Clinton ,move directly to the center and improve the state of the economy and his chances of reelection?  Or will he cling to his ideology , resulting in grid lock,a stuck economy ,reduced chances of reelection and more blame games in 2012?

  If he moves center we all gain, if not be prepared for more pain. We will see soon.

SPECIAL INTERESTS

  Many voters feel that special interests run this country and to an extent they do buy buying influence in the halls of congress.What happens is that special interests, through expensive lobbying, campaign contributions and soft money contributions buy votes from congress to advance their cause. The result is that a special interest gets  helped , usually at the expense of other interests,   the taxpaying citizen pays for it and the congressman keeps his job.

  There should only be one special interest and that should be the American citizen,not just a segment or group , but all of us.

  .

Friday, November 5, 2010

CONGRESS BREAKS IT'S OWN LAWS; WE PAY THE PRICE

   In 1997 congress passed a law to limit the growth of medicare payments to the rate of GDP growth. To pay for the new health care bill, we were told that medicare payments would be cut 30%.

  Every year since 1997, congress has broken the law it passed and has postponed the reduction in medicare payments.So it sure looks like the 30% reduction promised to help pay for the new health care bill is not very likely.

  What this means is an ever increasing deficit as congress continues to take today's problems and push them out into the future where the fix will be more painful and costly. We are close to the tipping point,like Greece,&France, and congress seems intent on rushing us there as fast as they can.

 

CONGRESS KEEPS MONEY AND JOBS OFF SHORE

     Its the same old game thats been played every election cycle. The other guy voted to give tax breaks to corporations that send jobs off shore. Its bull. If this is our problem as they keep pointing out, then why haven't they fixed it?

  The fact is that big business does and should have plants in other countries and the profits they make there are not taxed until they bring the profits to the US which charges a tax of 35 % to do so. So the profits stay in other countries and creates more jobs and liquidity there instead of here. US companies have one trillion dollars in profits sitting in other countries and it could be put to work in our country if the idiots in congress reduced or eliminated the tax to something more reasonable like 5 % .We all win.  More jobs here,more free stimulus , more liquidity and more revenue to the treasury.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A CASE FOR ' NONE OF THE ABOVE '

  South Carolina senate candidate Alvin Greene received 328000 votes [28 % ].For those who do not know him, Mr. Greene ,and unemployed ,indicted ,ex marine who lives with his dad, ran no campaign ,no bumper stickers ,no press conferences  nothing. He was asked to give a 45 min. talk to the NAACP and ,in his only public appearance ,managed to speak for 7 min.When asked about cap and trade,he asked what it was.

  What in the world does this say about the voters who voted for Mr. Greene? I can only hope that they were protesting their choices.If they really wanted Mr. Greene to represent them in the US senate,we have a very serious problem in this country. We need to take responsibility for our future.

MORE ARROGANCE

  Harry Reid, the guy who saved the world ,has won a close race . In his acceptance speech, instead of being humble he goes on the attack,as he is so prone to do. Who does he attack? Not the opposition,but the poles because they were not accurate.He says we have to do "something about that" ie more government controls. Yes our future looks bright.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

headlines FROM THE FUTURE;PART 2

             No SS COLA This Year; 3% Cut Instead

            Mad Seniors March On Washington

            President Signs "Clean The Swamp Bill " Two Senators Arrested

            Six Congressmen On Extended Foreign Junket

            Another Pension Fund Files Bankruptcy

           Austerity Move By Congress ; Speaker Told To Fly Coach

WE THE VOTERS ARE LEFT OUT

  It used to be there were republicans and democrats ,we pretty much knew what we were voting for, they tended to reach compromise , and we tended to pretty much agree with the one we voted for, but not so today.
  Both parties have their radical wings that few of us identify with.Today it seems that candidates,and elected congressmen,  believe that they must cater to their extreme wings to get elected. While the economy  is the number one issue, things get confusing when we introduce personal issues like gay rights and right to choose, things the government should stay out of. The result, the 70% of us who are in the middle do not have a clear or good choice that represents our values. We get a congress that we do not identify with, that makes no one happy with their performance,that can not compromise ,and does not do their job for we the people.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

CLINTON THE REPUBLICAN; BUSH THE DEMOCRAT

   Its not a typo or age.

  Take a close look at how the last two presidents governed .Bill Clinton actually embraced traditional  republican views ; free trade,NAFTA,welfare reform,balanced budget.He abandoned health care reform when he saw the voters didn't want it.

  Bush governed more along traditional democratic lines,huge tax and spend [without the taxes],huge deficits,big tax cuts for the middle and lower class, big social programs and a new, massive, unfunded ,very costly add on to medicare. He even installed a tariff on some imported steel as a payback to West Virginia but it cost jobs here and later rescinded it.

  I just voted and  I voted for the candidate not the party. For our congressman and senator I went to their web sites and read their positions on the issues giving higher preference to  the ones with the least amount of political experience. Result  one R vote , one D vote. So if you insist on voting strictly by party, you may get the opposite of what you were expecting.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

CHICKENS ; EGGS; AND CONGRESS

  Have you ever been around a chicken when it lays an egg?  It is indeed a major event, at least if you are a chicken. The hen lays an egg then gets up and struts herself around the coop. She then gets up on the highest perch in the coop,sometimes even in the entrance of the coop, and proudly announces to the world that she has indeed produced the best egg ever. She stands tall and lets out a loud series of cackles and clucks and crows proclaiming that her egg is the best ever, full of nutrition and taste for all to enjoy. After about 5 minutes of bragging, she forgets the egg and goes on about her business of eating in preparation for the next.

  Not much different than congress . Ever smell a rotten egg?

Friday, October 29, 2010

CONGRESS 2011

  Today the positive approval rating of congress is about 15 % almost tied with BP. Really!  I forecast that 8 months from now BP may pull ahead. Really

WHERE IS THE COMPASSION ?

   We Americans are a compassionate people, that is one reason we have such a great country.But one must wonder about our government. To appease the voters and protect their political butts they will not make the tough choices that must be made now to protect our future. We simply can not continue this huge deficit because it will put such a burden on the future taxpayers they will be crushed and there is no compassion in being so unfair to them.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

NO TRUTH IN POLITICAL ADVERTISING

  My opponent raided social security to pay for xxx  -    Social security has been raided since LBJ. All social security goes into general funds.

  My opponent will cut your social security   -  We have no choice  Its a ponzi scheme ready to collapse.

  My opponent voted for the largest deficit in history   - They all did,its that or shut down the government.

  My opponent voted to ship jobs to China  -   There was no such bill.If true, then why haven't they voted to bring them back?

  My opponent voted for tax loopholes for corporations that ship jobs off shore -   No such bill existed or exists today.

  I will create American jobs.   -   Congress can not create jobs, recent events prove this.Congress can create an environment that encourages job growth but has done the opposite.

 I will stop wasteful spending  -   Yea sure. Congress has promised this for years and it just gets worse.

 My opponent voted to bail out wall street   -  The TARP bill was necessary to prevent financial collapse. Most of the money went to FANNIE and FREDDY ,and a lot more will.  The biggest recipient of tax payer dollars to two institutions run by congress. Actual wall street banks have repaid the money, FANNIE and FREDDY will not ,we pay.

  My opponent gave big tax breaks to the rich  -   Every income group got a tax break the biggest percentage reductions went to the lower groups.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

grandpa timmies political / economic views: HELP ; POLITICAL ADDS ATTACK US, NOT THE OPPONENT

grandpa timmies political / economic views: HELP ; POLITICAL ADDS ATTACK US, NOT THE OPPONENT: " I am very offended by the political adds that are now reaching their peak.It drives me nuts and I sure hope most feel the same.I hope we a..."

EXTREME ARROGANCE

       Remember the claim by Al Gore that he invented the internet? Now senator Reid has pronounced that he alone saved the world from financial collapse. Can you believe this crap? If he has so much power then why can he not fix the current economic mess that he helped create?

Monday, October 25, 2010

UNCLE SAM GETS TURNED DOWN AT BANK

  Our government is so broke that if it took its income statement and debt obligations to the bank with a 50% deposit on a house, it would be refused a mortgage on the spot.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

HEADLINES FROM THE FUTURE;PART 1

    Congressmen Hire Personal Bodyguards ; Fear Public Outrage At Budget Cuts

    Congress Votes Self Raise; Cited Increased Costs Of Personal Protection

    Congress Makes More Budget Cuts ; Speaker Must Now Fly Coach

    Congress Gives Up Sweet Retirement ; Now Rely On Social Security

    Congress Audited By IRS ;  Cost Of Junkets  Now Taxable Income

    Congressman Put In Psych Ward After Introducing Term Limit Bill

  

  

Friday, October 22, 2010

NOTE TO CONGRESS; LET SEC. DEFENSE GATES DO HIS JOB

  Our politicians want us to believe that they want to reduce the deficit.We all know that it is critical to our economic future but when the tough times arrive to actually do something they all run for cover.Both parties are equally guilty.
  Case in point. Defense secretary Gates has been charged with a plan to reduce his budget by 100 billion dollars which is significant.His first target, to close the Joint Forces Command in Norfork Va. as it is not critical and is duplicated elsewhere.This closure would save 240 million dollars a year and put 6000 people out of work.So then the Virginia congressmen and senators ,members of both parties , mount a protest to stop the closure claiming the base is critical to defense, but of course we all know it is only critical to their own jobs.They are in favor of reduced expenses, but not in their district.
  And here is another example of politicians protecting their jobs at our own expense.The Army needed to increase their air lift capacity and ordered 180 C-17 airplanes which were delivered by 2007 at which time the army closed the order because they had sufficient capacity and needed the funds elsewhere. Yep,you guessed it.Congress decided the army needed more airplanes and continued the contract through 2010 for another 10 billion dollars.
  The congress and senate ,from both parties,are acting only in their own interests and not ours.Who is better positioned  to manage the military budget,congress or the Sec. of Defense.? If we want a secure future this crap has got to stop and the only answer I have for how to do so is term limits. I think the army should use those extra planes to airlift congress and the senate to a remote island and leave them there.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

BAD NEWS FOR ALL

   Sorry for the bad news but we are bankrupt,its just not been made official. Our current federal debt is 14 trillion.That works out to $150000 per tax filer who actually pays taxes. The median family net worth is $93000       .http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth_in_the_United_States

Monday, October 18, 2010

SOCIAL SECURITY ;TOO MUCH BURDEN FOR THE KIDS OF THE FUTURE

THE NUMBERS TELL THE STORY Over my lifetime of work I paid $53000 into ss.When I start collecting benefits i am to get $1800 per month income. Not accounting for inflation, I will Get back what I paid in after 2.5 years. If I live for 20 more years that means I get back $400000 more than I put in.Good deal for me but not fair to the poor young people of the future.This means that it will take about 6 poor kids making $60000 per year just to cover my benefits, not including medicare. { actually 3 if employer contributions are included}. I am ashamed to burden the future with this It is not fair at all.

killarneytim.blogspot.com

Sunday, October 17, 2010

LESSONS FROM JAPAN

 Remember the days when Japan was the economic engine that we envied? In the last 5 years Japan's economic growth has averaged just less than zero.All attempts to boost economic growth have failed.In the mid 1980's Japan had a real estate bubble and in the last 30 years economic growth has averaged just one half percent.Sound familiar?
 So why has the second or third largest economy in the world been stuck with no economic growth? The national debt in Japan is close to 200% of the economy, ours right now is 94% and rapidly increasing.
 Lesson learned. We will be stuck with no growth for years unless we get our debt under control right now. The longer we wait, the worse it will be. No politician ,in office or running for office has a serious plan to do so.It will be painful for everyone and we all have to sacrifice. If not our future looks grim .    http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/federal_debt_chart.html#copypaste

Saturday, October 16, 2010

TIME FOR SOME BALLOT HUMOR

   During a previous election year we had an issue on the ballot asking for approval to pass a law to make it illegal for placing indoor furniture outdoors. It did not pass.
   This year we have a proposed new law to make it so that a convicted felon can not hold the office of sherif. probably a tight vote.

Friday, October 15, 2010

THE DEFENSE BUDGET; IRRATIONAL FEARS COST TOO MUCH

   We spend about 700 billion dollars a year on our defense budget and this represents about 45% of discretionary spending and thus becomes the big target in seeking to reduce our deficit. We can not go back to the Carter era and cripple defense.My cousin was an anti sub patrol plane pilot, and at the height of the cold war, half of the planes on his carrier could not carry weapons due to a lack of spare parts.
   Defense secretary Gates is working on getting costs down but his idea of cost reduction is a 1% budget increase next year.This wont work.We need to seriously rethink our position and make some real changes.
  We currently have around 150000 military personnel and civilian employees deployed outside this country,not including the two war zones.Most of these deployments and bases are left overs from old wars.
           Japan        45000
           S. Korea    30000
           Germany   60000
   The cold war threat is history,why do we need these troops there? I am hard pressed to come up with a good justification.Yes I know N. Korea is a real threat but will our presence in S. Korea deter them or will it be our missiles?S.Korea and Japan really do not want us there and our presence props up their defenses at our expense and they have the economic means to take care of their own needs.
 Our presence in Europe, mainly Germany was intended to confront the Russian tanks streaming across the plains of Europe.That threat is gone.Most of their tanks are likely no longer operational yet we spend fortunes in Germany and for what reason?
  In my opinion our biggest waste is the 10500 troops we have in Kuwait. They are there to protect Saudi Arabia from another invasion from Iraq.Saudi does not want them in there country because we insult their culture so we put them in Kuwait.Does not seem to be very justifiable since Sadam is dead and what is left of his military could be defeated by a well armed boy scout troop.Yet we spend big bucks to make a country, who does not like us, feel safer.
  And of course there are the 56000 troops in Iraq and 94000 in Afghanistan.{later}
  I think one reason we have not reduced these very costly troop deployments is that it represents huge change in our old policies but its time now to do something , we can no longer afford it.Another resistance to this change is the power of the generals. These changes will put them out of work and I believe they spend too much time justifying the importance of their jobs than they do protecting the economic security of our country.
   

Thursday, October 14, 2010

grandpa timmies political / economic views: IRS TO TAX PAYER;YOU WILL NEED TO PAY AN ADDITIONA...

grandpa timmies political / economic views: IRS TO TAX PAYER;YOU WILL NEED TO PAY AN ADDITIONA...: " Our national debt is approaching 14 trillion dollars. Its pretty hard to get a feeling of just how big this number really is so lets put it..."

IRS TO TAX PAYER;YOU WILL NEED TO PAY AN ADDITIONAL $5000 to $10000 A YEAR TO GET OUR DEBT DOWN

 Our national debt is approaching 14 trillion dollars. Its pretty hard to get a feeling of just how big this number really is so lets put it on a personal basis. There were 136 million individual tax returns filed last year but 43 million returns paid no tax.So the remaining 93 million tax returns are on the line to pay off this debt which is financed by treasury bills and notes and bonds. Do the math and if you filed a return and paid taxes then you are in debt for $150000.Surprise.
  There is good news and bad. This does not include interest on that debt and we dont have to pay it all this year. Assume we have an average maturity of 15 years. So we can make annual installments of about $10000 ,so put that in your budget.Too much? Well maybe we can get by if we reduce the debt. say just 50%, to a more manageable number. That will reduce our annual debt payment to $5000.Of course we can only squeak by doing this if we dont add more debt.How likely is that?
  Remember we owe this money ,it must be paid to individuals here and abroad and countries like China,and teacher and union retirement funds etc. I dont think they will accept an IOU.So start saving and planning because you will have to pay this, in addition to your current federal,state and local taxes.
  I know  , you don't like it and want an easy way out , like say cutting government spending.Clearly half our spending is mandatory for such things as medicare,food stamps,social security,and interest on that debt.Which one do you want to slash? Still looking for an easy way out ? Here is one, lets take the money out of the defense budget and the cost of those stupid wars. OK and here is what happens. To pay off one half our debt in 15 years we will have to cut the defense budget by 67%.Feel better and safer now.?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

FAT TAX; WE NEED IT NOW

   I agree completely with our president's position that controlling the rapid increase in health care costs is very critical to controlling our debt and to improving our economic future.Health care costs have been increasing too fast,are a drag on the economy and threaten future growth and employment.Unfortunately I just don,t get the feeling that our new health care bill will do much to contain future increases and I am certainly confused how the claims are that it will save billions  and cost billions.
  One idea put forth during the health care debate was a fat tax but it fell flat..I think the feedback on this idea was fast and furious and the politicians caved quickly as they so often do.It makes sense to me.We have a serious problem with obesity in this country and it is costing all of us dearly. Over one third of our citizens are obese.It is a serious problem that is costing us dearly.Obesity  leads to many problems which are expensive ie joint problems, heart failure heart attack,and the worst one diabetes with all its associated bad affects.There are numerous studies that peg the cost of obesity at 2000 to 4000 per year for the individual and 300 to 400 billion dollars a year for the healthcare system.These costs are growing so rapidly that it could easily reach the point where it will overwhelm our system and our ability to pay for it.It may well be that the rapid raise in health insurance rates is is driven by the same rapid increase in obesity rates.We may just be trying to fix the wrong problem .
  We have seen that tobacco tax,public awareness and education have had very positive results in reducing smoking rates and we must do the same for obesity. We have for years used the sin tax to reduce the consumption of tobacco and alcohol and it makes perfect sense to apply the same to fat and sugar.This is not government intrusion into our lives,certainly not near as much so as mandated insurance.If we tax fat and sugar,we have a choice and I love taxes that are chosen.If an individual  goes to a pop machine and a coke costs $1.00 while a diet coke costs $1.15 and that person is on a tight budget which will he purchase? He still has a choice and this is not intrusion,it is being smart.
  If we institute a fat tax,all those high sugar drinks,absurdly high calorie fast foods will generate alot of tax revenue which would be well spent supporting the health care system and those who can not afford it.If we don,t do something soon our country will not be able to afford it.
 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR SCHOOLS?

 I attended public school in a big midwest city and feel I received a wonderful,first rate education and was well prepared for college.I had first rate teachers who were enthusiastic, creative,dedicated and really cared about us. They were severely underpaid then as they are now.They shaped my future and next to parents are the most important influence one could have.We need good teachers as much today as they prepare our kids for the future.
 We have the best universities in the world yet our public schools are failing.Why is that? I dont know for sure but have a strong suspicion that government has something to do with it. I looked at the Department of Education web site and budget and it is very vague and loaded with programs that cost billions for such programs as "increase awareness of ....." What is it and why does it cost so much? I have a feeling that the more programs and more spending that the Dept. of Ed has, the poorer results we get. The Dept. does administer grants and scholarships which no doubt have good results but one must question their overall contribution to public education.
   Schools are administered at the state and local levels.We have a federal dept ,a state dept and the local dept.I bet there is a lot of duplication,waste and make work policies that create overhead and do little to improve education.I have seen several news reports of special programs where individual schools were improved dramatically.We should learn from this and apply it all over.The first thing these programs did was change almost everything ,especially the administration . This is not an expensive program, just a change in the way of doing business. This is what we need nationally.It is no longer business as usual.We need a complete change, not more money.

Monday, October 11, 2010

HELP ; POLITICAL ADDS ATTACK US, NOT THE OPPONENT

 I am very offended by the political adds that are now reaching their peak.It drives me nuts and I sure hope most feel the same.I  hope we all know that they are distortions at best and lies at worst. They are intended to play on our emotions and have the underling assumption that Joe voter is an uniformed,ignorant,low I.Q,easily influenced easily frightened idiot.
  Tonight I watched two adds that claimed the opponent;
          
            . voted to send jobs to China    .voted for a runaway debt      .paid for the debt by raiding social security  .wants to make social security illegal  .wants to put old people in jail for collecting social security[it even shows a little old lady behind bars]

  So does anyone believe this crap.When was that bill voted on that legislated to send jobs to china?Was there a separate bill to send jobs to mexico or was it a rider?.When will we vote on the bill to send jobs to india. and why isnt there a bill to bring jobs back here? Wouldnt it be cheaper to pay grandma social security than to incarcerate her? Haven't we been raiding social security since LBJ? Get the point?

 The sad fact is that they must give results since we see them every election cycle and  they spend so much money on them. This being the case then we must conclude that our politicians have as  low opinion  of us  as we do of them and I approve this message.
  .

Saturday, October 9, 2010

NOTE TO WASHINGTON; PLEASE NO MORE HELP

  When will washington,  and especially the current administration figure out that government is not the magic bullet to fix the economy? The last jobs report showed big losses in government employment levels, which isn,t all bad and certainly not a surprise. One response was to create a new agency with some stupid name like technology for america,to match what community colleges teach to what business needs.
  This is so off target it bewilders me. One would assume that community colleges match their curriculum to the needs of the local economy. Is it not why they are in business? Further one would presume that the students who attend these colleges have a pretty good idea of what training skills offered by the colleges are in demand and offer the best chances for employment.
  Do we really need another Washington bureaucracy to do what is already being done in the market place?This is yet one more instance in which out government believes that it can do a better job than the private sector.The government again thinks it can better chart our future than we can ourselves.This administration has no idea what is happening in the real world.It has no faith in the free economic system,no faith in individuals making good decisions for themselves,and thinks the profit motive is evil and destructive. This is really no surprise.The current administration cabnet and advisors have no real world experience.Less  than 7% have no experience in the private sector as compared to an average of 47 % in all previous ones.That means that the misguided idiots making decisions for us have never had to meet a payroll, punch a time clock,join a union,or actually perform a job where performance actually mattered and poor performance resulted in unemployment.And they have spent their life spending other peoples money.
 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

CLASS WARFARE IS SELF DESTRUCTION

  The current debate about the fate of the Bush tax cuts has created   self destructive behavior. I get a real kick when one group charges that the other is not paying its  'fair share ' yet no one seems to have the answer as to what is "fair" and who has the power to determine fairness.
  It is certain that there is unfairness in the tax codes.This is generally a result of our lawmakers attempting to promote an industry, sector,or group which they feel is in the best interest of our collective good. Other times it is political payback which does not  serve us well. We all tend to agree that our tax code is unfair to some, beneficial to others and way too complex and full of special breaks for many.
  The poor attack the rich saying they dont pay their fair share, dont spend, dont create jobs, inherited their money don't deserve their station in life.The rich attack the poor saying that they milk the system , are lazy ,dont want a job,prefer to collect benefits and do nothing productive.These kind of attacks are both true and not true and certainly do not lead to a productive outcome for all of us.In defense of both sides. Most rich do pay a lot of taxes , do create jobs, do invest in growth,take risks and work hard. Most of the poor do not like or want government assistance, are often ashamed to do so, would much prefer to have a job, and do pay payroll taxes.It is just not fair to attack either group.On the other side there are rich who feel entitled and do not contribute to our society and there are poor who do think they are entitled to be supported and have no desire to be productive. Fortunately I think these two groups are not the majority of their respective groups.
  I think the big difference between both groups is education and personal values.It is obvious that higher education,either technical skills or college education lead to higher rewards.Like wise values instilled by our parents, teachers and life experiences instill a self discipline and drive that allows us to do better and achieve more.A very enlightening book The Millionaire Next Door  concluded that the single most significant factor that determined the ability to become wealthy is not income but personal financial management.Thus it is not how much you make , rather how you spend and manage your money that is the best indicator of future financial stability.
 We are all better served if we quit engaging in this class warfare and  set our course on a much more simplified tax system and rid ourselves of all the special goodies that our government puts in the tax codes to reward special interests.

  
    

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

TEA PARTIES ARE AFTERNOON AFFAIRS

  There has been alot of news lately about the Tea Party due to some recent upsets.The big question is if these wins reflect a true support for the Tea party. or as I believe,simply a voter revolt against incumbency.Voters are upset with our current state of affairs and want to see a change in direction and naturally feel that a vote against the incumbent is the way to go. This voter attitude has given Tea party members an opportunity. This is not much different than Ross Perot challenging Bush Sr. when we had hugh voter discontent with the state of affairs then.We havent heard from the Perot factor since then and I cant even remember the name of the party he ran under.. The same will happen with the Tea Party.
  The Tea Party has a web site that lists their core beliefs and I suspect that most voters would support most of them in principal. The main beliefs being lower personal and corporate taxes,adherence to the constitution,and a mandatory balanced budget.In principal this sounds pretty good but their website does not have any proposals , no path to achieve these lofty goals. A mandatory balanced budget , possibly through a constitutional amendment , ties the hands of our government to respond to extemporaneous influences.
  While the lofty goals have beneficial outcomes, there is no roadmap of how to get there so this leaves the individual candidates free to expound their own ideas which often tend to be vague , radical, and poorly considered.There is no real leader of the party so it has more of a tendency to scatter off into often extreme directions.
  While I support their goals of reduced government and balanced budgets I do not see how they expect to do this.The tea party is just a normal reaction to voter frustration.After the mid terms we will likely see a move more towards the middle which will knock some of the wind out of their sails.The Tea party will last the afternoon but will not be a long term affair.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

grandpa timmies political / economic views: U.S. MANUFACTURING ; BE PROUD OF IT

grandpa timmies political / economic views: U.S. MANUFACTURING ; BE PROUD OF IT: " If you listen to the news, read political comments and debates, you probably believe that U.S. manufacturing is either dead or dying.You p..."

U.S. MANUFACTURING ; BE PROUD OF IT

  If you listen to the news, read political comments and debates, you probably believe that U.S. manufacturing is either dead or dying.You probably believe that China is the power base of manufacturing. Well, surprise.American manufacturing is king and we should be very proud of that.
 Here are the facts.In 1982,the value of goods and services produced in the USA accounted for 20% of the total world output.Today we produce 22% of the total world output.We are the largest producer in the world.By comparison, China produces just 8% of total world output.However, no doubt China's manufacturing base is rapidly increasing, up from 4% just a few years back.
  So why do we get the feeling  that our manufacturing base is in decline? Very simple , the employment numbers in the industrial sector have been in a long and steady decline. In 1987 industrial employment accounted for 16.5% of all employment , today just 11%. These jobs did not all go offshore.It is the increase in productivity that caused so many jobs to disappear.
 The increase in productivity is a good and necessary thing to keep our manufactures competitive and healthy.It means that we increase output per hour worked.It is not taking advantage of the working guy,it is rather a result of working smarter with better technology which is something our country has excelled at. It is good for all of us.Increased productivity helps manufacturers provide the consumer with better and less costly products, it provides more tax revenue,it helps us export more and it improves earnings for the employees.Yes I realize that the guy who spray painted cars on the production line will not buy this if he lost his job to a robot that took over his job. However someone has to build , fix ,program and maintain those robots which requires a higher skill set and is rewarded with higher pay.
 A great example is the american steel industry. Back in the 1960's ,American steel was king and employed a very high number of people.A US Steel plant in Pittsburg had up to 5000 employees. Today a plant in Kentucky can produce the same volume of steel as the 1960 plant did, with much higher quality and only 500 employees. If you were the 1960 worker this sounds bad. A 1960 steel plant in todays world could not stay in business.It could not be able to compete in todays world in terms of price and quality so it would provide zero employment.
 But there is good news. The steel plant of today may only employe 500 , but all of these employees are either high skill technicians or degreed engineers with proportionally much higher incomes. This is our future, it can not be avoided if we plan to continue to lead the world in manufacturing.This means that future job growth will require a better educated , higher skilled work force which challenges our educational system.The rate of job growth for high school dropouts and low skill workers does not look good.
 So what does this all mean relative to our future? Manufacturing is an extremely important part of our economy ,we should promote it, encourage it and stop blaming it for being greedy and sending jobs offshore. Yes economics and our own tax policies do create the forces that move jobs offshore but at the same time it also helps create jobs here.[ see tax policies /offshore jobs ] When we had high gas prices and Exxon reported record profits there was outrage against Exxxon .They were attacked for making " excess" profits at the expense of the American consumer.I say good for them, it is in our own interest that they make lots of profits.Actually as a percent of sales  their profit rate is  low compared to other industry ie. drugs. In realityit is American ingenuity,technology, and risk taking that allows Exxon to go out and find and develop the energy that we all demand at a cheap price.We are the first to scream the loudest when our gas prices go up and they will if Exxon does not make the money to invest in finding new energy sources for our future demand.If Exxon doesnt make money,where will they get the one half billion dollars they invest to develop a new well with no guarantee it will return one dollar in profit?
 There is a school of thought that corporate America runs our government through lobbies and contributions.Yes to an extent they do influence policy and in some cases this is good for our industry and good for us. But do not blame corporate America for too much influence , it is a two way street.Our politicians have the final say and the choice to limit the influence if they want to.Both parties share equally in allowing corporate influence.
 It should again be pointed out that we tax our corporations at 35 % which is the second highest in the world. Instead of burdening our big business with high tax rates perhaps we should offer support in terms of lower tax rates which will boost output, create jobs and in turn increase tax revenues .My thought is that we will get more for our investment if we raise individual rates and reduce corporate rates.Corporate America is the engine that drives our economy,and raises our standard of living.It is not the evil enemy as is often claimed to be.

Friday, September 10, 2010

HIGH SPEED WASTE

Thuresday our president said that we need to "invest" in high speed trains here in our country.His reason,other countries have them so we should too,right here in the US. Does this make sense to you? Is this good economic and fiscal planing?Does the cost vs. return make sense? Isn,t this line of reasoning sort of like saying that you "need" a big SUV because your friend has one, when you can,t even afford it?
 This appears to me as just a waist of money,a good example of spending other peoples money just for the sake of spending.What a stupid idea.
We are not the same as the countries that do have high speed trains.They will never show a profit here in the US. and only add to future deficits as they will have to be subsidized just like amtrak [see amtrak blog] to the tune of 1.5 to 2 billion a year.
 We can not afford this type of type of irrational spending and waste.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

DO WE REALLY REWARD US CORPORATIONS TO SHIP JOBS OFF SHORE? WELL, YES AND NO

 Remember the rhetoric from Obama and Hillary during the campaign ,repeated wednesday during Obama's speech in Cleveland to great roars of enthusiasm? We have heard it many times.Basically the theme goes ; we are going to close the tax loopholes and tax breaks for big American companies that ship American jobs to other countries. This will bring those jobs back to Cleveland or any other city he is speaking in.It will put American workers to work and keep those jobs here in America where they belong. Often these "rewards " to American companies to ship jobs offshore are associated with ' the failed policies  of the past "which of course means he wants the voter to believe that the right is behind this evil plot to give rewards to any company that hires people offshore.Kind of gets you upset to learn about this terrible plot.Right?
  Do you really know what Obama is talking about? He is in fact talking about the US corporate income  tax code.No doubt, knowing this, many may assume that this "loophole" was part of the Bush tax breaks for the rich.Actually many do not understand that the personal tax codes and corporate tax codes are two different sets of tax law with different rates,rules and deductions. The corporate tax loophole or incentive Obama is referring to is the part of the law that exempts from US income tax the profits that American companies make from offshore activities but only if those profits are kept outside of the United States.Now this is the important part to understand. This tax code has been in existence for FIFTY years.It is not a new goody for big business put in place by Bush. It has been in place and unchanged by the administrations of the past 50 years.
 Lets put this in easy to understand terms. One day I was in a souk in Morocco where you could buy anything from daggers to donkeys and was amazed to see a few boxes of Tide detergent. One can find American products in the most unlikely places. Tide is made by P&G who's home office is in Cincinnati.Lets assume that a box of tide ,made in cincinnati can be sold at a profit of one dollar.If that profit is made here in the US ,P&G will pay corporate income tax of 0.35.After tax profit is 0.65 per box.P&G then learns that there is a large market in europe for tide and starts to export a lot of tide to its distribution center in Ireland and finds that the volume is so high that it makes sense to build a plant in Ireland .So P&G now has a plant in Ireland selling lots of tide and for this example we assume that the per box profit is still one dollar per box. {more on this later].This profit is now subject to corporate income tax in Ireland but Ireland has a corporate income tax rate of 12.5%.So P%G now has an after tax profit of 87.5 cents per box versus the 0.65 cents profit if that tide was made in the US. P&G can not bring that profit back into the US, say to build a new tide plant here unless it pays the US a 35% tax on that profit.So to get that money to work in our country P&G now ends up with about 0.57 left from the original one dollar profit.
 If P&G keeps the profit off shore it does not pay the US tax and this is the loophole or tax break Obama is referring to. To close that loophole he has to get a law passed that would tax those boxes of tide made in Ireland and that will never happen because it would cripple US multi national companies , make them uncompetitive and ,now get this, cost high paying jobs here in the US.Yes the tide plant in Ireland would no doubt hire locals for most of the work.But all the marketing ,research,accounting,sales management ,and other functions would be in Cincinnati. Also no doubt there would be people from the US sent to Ireland to be managers of production etc. Many may think that these would be counted as exported jobs but just not true because these high paid US citizens working at the tide plant in Ireland are still subject to US income tax.Yes US citizens working abroad,except military, must pay US income tax.
 Getting back to the profit on a box of tide made in Ireland would probably be more than the dollar per box in the example. There are little labor issues in Ireland,there is less government regulation,no unions and a better educated labor force.  All of these factors would lead to lower costs.
 Now think about this.What should a US company do with the profits that it has earned and kept offshore to avoid US taxes? Well if they are sitting on a pile of cash and the need arises for a new research facility or production facility do you think they will spend that money here in our country? Of course not. This is an example how our corporate income tax policy helps keep jobs offshore.It is not tax loopholes that send jobs offshore, it is the US corporate tax code with the second highest tax rate in the world,that pushes those jobs away.It seems like the other industrialized nations have figured out that it is in there best economic interests to have much lower corporate tax rates. Many have no tax on corporate profits earned off shore.
  AS long ago as 1961 JFK asked congress to change the code to reduce the punishing tax rates on multinational and allow them to bring their profits home and it just did not happen.In 2004 our government did an experiment .The IRS offered multinationals a deal. They had a window of opportunity to bring their profits home for a one time deal of 5.25% instead of 35% tax rate .It was a good deal for everyone. The taxes paid on those repatriated profits generated 354 billion in tax revenues.
 Why do we bight the hand that feeds us?That is what our corporate tax code does.The multinationals are not the enemy and our tax code makes them fight their competitors,from other countries,with one hand tied behind their back which further reduces their ability to create corporate support jobs here.
 A much more reasonable approach that will help American companies and American workers is to quit attacking these companies ,reduce their tax rates to allow them to compete in the global economy,reduce their taxes on profits earned from goods exported from the US,and allow them to bring their offshore profits home to work here at a lower rate,this way the American worker wins,the multi national wins,and the IRS wins.
 The next time you hear that we give tax rewards to companies that ship jobs off shore do not believe it.When you hear that we will close those loopholes its a lie.If the IRS goes after this "loophole"and tries to tax offshore profits that are kept offshore it will devastate our multinationals and I doubt that it is legally even enforceable. Our tax laws force our companies to ship jobs away and inhibit job growth here in our country.It is just not right , fair or good for the American economy.
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

SUPPORT THE ECONOMY ; TAKE AMTRAK

   I am rapidly loosing faith in the decisions made in washington to "help" the economy. Today our president proposed more spending on rail travel to create jobs. I do not like to criticize our president so I will just say that whoever came up with this idea must have been smoking dope when the idea appeared to him and then the president gave it no thought before proposing it. I guess it sounded like a good idea at the time.
  To pay for this new program the president said he was going to eliminate subsidies for the oil and gas industry which was given  as part of the 2005 HR 6 energy bill which due to other provisions actually raised taxes for the energy companies.But ,and this is a big but, that bill only allocated 2.6 billion for oil and gas, the rest for nuclear power [haven't seen that yet].So for a cost neutral bill,he wants to spend 50 billion and pay for it with 2.6 billion in reduced expenditures.Do the math people, we get screwed again.And there is more, yes I know hard to believe.It seems the president has already proposed to use the oil and gas industry increased revenue to invest more billions in clean and renewable energy sources [june 2 2010.] but that was two months ago.I guess its easy to forget when he is so busy spending other peoples money.How does he keep track of it all?
  In 1970 congress created amtrak.Ever heard of it  [unless of course you live in the northeast corridor.? ]Amtrak is run by guess who, the government. So I guess it  comes as no big surprise that Amtrak has never made a profit and it was designated by congress to be a for profit business. But congress in its infinite       wisdom has all kind of antiquated rules that make it unprofitable.I know so many are upset about corporate parachutes but get this, any employee who is laid off from amtrak must receive six years severance pay.So congress attacks wall street bonuses but essentially does the same thing with a railroad they run that does not and never has made a profit.Well a business can not run at a loss indefinitely without an injection of money.Amtrak is no different but it has an unlimited supply of our money.We the taxpayer pay between 1 to 1.5 billion a year to subsidize amtrak or about $32 for every passenger. The best or should I say worse route is from New Orleans to Los Angeles.We pay $462 for every single passenger that takes that train.I just checked , you can fly the same route , round trip, for $300 or non stop for $480.
 I think you can figure out where this is going.Our president wants more amtracks to create jobs which means that in the future we will be asked or should I say forced to subsidize more riders who might ride them.What a joke.What is he thinking or smoking? New rail routes will take years to plan, buy right of way and it will be years before any jobs are created on the actual construction.The stimulus bill contained 8 billion for rail travel , one from Chicago to Iowa [ever been there? people in the east think thats where they grow potatoes. ] and the other goes from Tampa to Orlando.I used to live in Iowa and other than corn and pheasant hunting there are no major tourist attractions. Who will ride that train anyhow?The Florida route has no parking available doesnt plan to stop at places like disneyland and will cost more than driving yourself plus will save no time.So whats the point? I just dont get it.But we will get it, in our taxes.Bet on it.
  I think our president is impressed with the high speed trains in Europe. I have taken them and they are impressive ,fast,clean,efficient.But the U.S. is not europe.We have a much more scattered population,over vast distances and we prefer the freedom of our own car.Also europe has had trains for a very long tim,buying the right of way years ago and its a way of life .
 This new jobs proposal which is just more tax and spend hoopla is supposed to be paid for by eliminating some oil and gas industry tax breaks. So while we criticize the industry for making money and push them to find more energy and scream loudly when gas and heating costs go up we want them to pay for rails to nowhere which we will subsidize and no one will ride.Does this make any sense to anyone?
 This is one more example of how our government is hurting the economy.Please no more help from Washington.

Monday, September 6, 2010

AUGUST JOBS REPORT GOOD? OR BAD?

    The august jobs report was generally seen in the news as good news. The president said "it is good,but not good enough."Some headlines said "hiring picking up" Some said it was better than expected and therefore good.The stock market even responded with some very positive increases.
   This is all sugar coating or putting lipstick on a pig. The job report sucks. When looking at employment numbers I only consider the private sector to negate the effects of the census workers.The first four months of 2010 were looking pretty good for jobs .In january we added about 4000 jobs.Nothing to brag about here , but each month through april the numbers keep raising sharply to about 250000 in april.Things were looking pretty good then but then everything fell apart.In may new jobs dropped to 50000 and have wobbled around since then to 67000 jobs in august.To keep up with the segment of population growth entering the job market we must add 120000 jobs a month just to keep the unemployment  rate the same.The only good number in the report showed average hours worked ticked up 6 min. a week.This is a forecaster of future hiring but I just do not see it happening soon.
  In a previous blog I noted that uncertainty is a job killer and we still have plenty and our administration is doint nothing to reduce it. The private job sector will not take risk and hire if uncertainty is high.No one knows the true costs of obamacare,we do not know what our taxes will be,we fear the costs of possible cap and trade and given the huge and growing debt. we do not know what inflation and interest rates will do,and what government interference in the private sector will be thrown into the mix.The future is not looking good.
  I have a friend and customer who has testified before congress on helping improve our exports. A nobel task. He believes the future costs of obamacare will raise his health care costs 100 % in five years.He is trying to expand his business.He is hiring Americans,buying U.S. equipment and exporting. Since he has 135 employees and expects his health care costs to double in five years do not think that doesnt put a damper on his hiring and investment.
  So we saw a nice uptrend  from jan. to may then dismal job creation.What happened in may was the Greece financial crisis.While we do not count Greece in our jobs numbers, what it did was drive home the message that yes it could happen here. We already have a few states,is Calif. and Ill. that are essentially in the same position as Greece and our federal situation is not far behind.Again it is fear and uncertainty, caused by our own government that is hurting future economic growth.
  The stock market took a good bounce on the numbers because fear of a double dip were already priced into the market and positive jobs numbers  help to alleviate that fear.
  So once again, if we want jobs to come, the government must get out of the way and quit taking actions that actually cripple growth.