Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Want Corporate Money Out of Politics?

Then stop offering them something for sale?  So long as the government has the power to rob you to pay a corporation, so long as special interests receive handouts, then there will be those trying to purchase those handouts via campaign contributions. 

Here is the problem with corporate welfare and other government subsidies.  They help a concentrated group a lot, those they hurt (you, me, all consumers) are dispersed, the pain is spread amongst the many.  So, you aren't likely to raise the type of capital it takes to lobby congress to repeal a subsidy because it costs you an extra $75/year, whereas those who receive those subsidies are willing to spend the millions in campaign donations required to keep the subsidies that net them hundred of millions in additional revenue.  This is why we still subsidize sugar farmers, corn farmers, green energy producers, appliance makers, oil companies, airlines, airports, car makers, train companies, parcel companies, mortgage companies, banks, investment firms, foreign governments, defense contractors, and...well, you get the idea.  The concentration of advantage in each of those cases insures that there will always be more money spread to support them than to get rid of them.  This is why without revolution, we will always subsidize those who need it least at the expense of those who can afford it least.

Corporate welfare and other subsidies must end, but the only way to make that happen is to enforce that former protector of our security, the Constitution, but that is a topic for another discussion. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

The "I Didn't Do It" Society

I'll try to keep this brief, though I think I could probably rant for hours on the death of personal responsibility.  What was once confined to the mouths of children is becoming commonplace throughout our society.  I first noticed it in the 1990's with the escalation of the insanity defense, which spawned the twinkie defense, the extra Y chromosome defense, battered spouse syndrome, etc etc.  I've since noticed it in civil matters, in finance and economics, and in politics.  The situations change, but the refrain is the same:

"It's not my fault."
"I didn't do it."
"I may have done it, but only because...."
"Society made me do it."
"It wasn't me, it was the one-armed man!"

Not being blamed, not being the source of disappointment, not wanting to shoulder the responsibility are all understandable instincts for a child and in children, should be excusable.  We aren't children anymore, but someone forgot to tell society that.  We have gone from our parents providing for us to the government providing for us...and when we have children, the government provides for them as well.  Nearly half of all children born in the last 5 years have received government food assistance.  Schools are becoming little more than extended day cares for hoards of uninvolved parents who stay happily uninvolved and irresponsible for the education of their children. 

People borrow money and become the "victims" when they can't meet their obligations.  Stories air nightly and have for years on the victims of foreclosure.  The banks are blamed, the mortgage brokers are blamed, wall street is blamed, but no blame is cast on the speculators, those who lied on mortgage applications, those who borrowed more than they could hope to repay.  This isn't to say that they don't share some responsibility with those who were peddling this madness, but ultimately the decision was theirs.   Oh, but even the banks are avoiding responsibility, not because they don't admit fault, but because our government is afraid of the consequences of their default. 

Our government, despite the propaganda that you should give up your responsibilities to their benevolent hands, is another ardent supporter of the "It's Not My Fault" chorus.  From individual politicians pointing the finger at their counterparts in an opposing party to the bureaucracy interested only in perpetuating it's own existence, regardless of the quality of work produced, we are surrounded by exemplifiers of this lifestyle. 

There are numerous personal advantages to this lifestyle.  For instance, let's say you make a decent salary and feel guilty that you make more than your neighbors.  You could voluntarily give him part of your income to make up for the difference OR you could petition the government to take a portion of money from people who make more than you and redistribute that to those who make less.  This way you get the warm glow of helping someone without it costing you as much money. 

If retirement isn't your responsibility you can spend all of your income on the here and now, not worrying about the cost of maintaining your health and home when your earning power decreases due to age, but that's ok.  The government is responsible for that now.  Don't want to be involved in your kids future, it's ok, we're spending billions and billions of dollars to make sure you don't have to.  We aren't doing a very good job, but that's because greedy people like those republicans won't give up more of their money so we can spend it babysitting and maybe educating your child.  No, don't worry, we've got it.  It's not YOUR responsibility.  You gave birth, isn't that enough?

If paying your creditors isn't your responsibility you can buy a house and car and the whatever else you can convince someone to let you borrow.  The mortgage lender doesn't care, the government is going to guaranty the loan to them and the government doesn't care because happy homeowners don't vote out the politicians that helped them get there.  And don't worry, we all know it isn't your fault, you were coerced into taking these loans.  Society told you that you had to have a nice house and big car and all the newest gadgets.  And so what if it is your fault, you didn't hurt anyone, just some big corporation who doesn't know the difference....and the government that bailed them out....and the taxpayers who have ever growing portions of their income seized to cover the costs...and your children who see that there are no consequences to irresponsible didn't hurt anyone.


Thursday, August 25, 2011


I've often wondered how anyone can say that they are arguing for equality when they promote government control over any aspect of our lives.  I didn't get what was equal about the law of the land favoring some over others, treating groups differently based on their race or the success or lack of success of their parents.  In my naive little mind, the only true equality under the law was for all men and women to be treated the exact same by the laws of the land, that no one person or group was more subjected to the coercive power of government than any other.

See, what I didn't understand was Economic Equality!  Of course!  The idea is that we should be lifted from concerns with our economic station.  Of course this only works by relinquishing control of that aspect of your life.  This is just a little bit of freedom to give up to give you the peace of mind of never having to choose for yourself how you will conduct half of your daily life.  You won't be burdened with the responsibility of having to exercise your own value judgments over what you do with your life or how you spend your money.  With economic equality, these decisions are made by a bureaucrat, who only has your society's best interest at heart. 

The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals, would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.

The Wealth Of Nations, Book IV, Chapter II, p. 456, para. 10.

If this doesn't sound appealing to you, then maybe it's time for you to get more involved.  These things are already happening in this country.  Someone has already decided that you should buy health insurance, whether you want to or not.  If you don't, the coercive power of the State will penalize you.  By regulating commerce, someone has decided that you do not want to purchase incandescent bulbs, appliances that work, or electricity from the most cost effective sources.  They tell you you can't work more than 40 hours for a single employer (or make it unlikely that you can).  How long before they tell you you can't have more than 1 job (because it's not fair that you should have 2 or 3 when so many have none)? 

How about this?  Treat everyone equal under the law.  Allow people to make the value decisions that effect every aspect of their lives.  Equality should not be about what you have, but the coercive rules that we all must live under. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Was That an Earthquake?

Or did the tea party hobbits do something at Mt. Doom?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Section 8 Gets Ridiculous

Talk about a disincentive to improve your life....

If you live in Columbia, MD, a rather affluent planned community about 30 miles outside of DC, and qualify for Section 8 housing, you can get a voucher up to $2600 per month.  I was hard pressed to find a rental unit in Columbia over this price, but did notice one come in before publication.   The ones you can find in the area are considerably luxurious, many with private club memberships, gated communities, covered parking.  So, let's say you're living in one of these communities and doing just enough to get by, but no more than Section 8 qualifications allow.  In order to maintain that lifestyle, you'd realistically have to get a job paying better than $125K per year.  That ten-fold increase in wage isn't likely, but a job at Walmart that doubles your current income level and disqualifies you from receiving the public benefit that has you living in luxurious surrounds.  Even a job that would pay $50,000 gross salary makes no sense.  When you pay no taxes on your $12,000 income, get a credit back for your children, pay less than $2500 per year for a condo that would otherwise cost you $35,000 per year.  After taxes that $50,000 gross salary would net you $38K if you're lucky. 

Hey, everyone knows hardwork and pride are for suckers. 


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lies and Damned Lies

Seriously?  If you don't have something truthful to use as your reasoning, just don't say it.  How does this ass clown have a TV show?  Granted, it's on a channel that averages fewer viewers than my humble blog has readers, but come on.

This tells the story nicely.

Good Thing It Isn't Urgent....

At first, when I read that Obama was on another vacation, I just rolled my eyes.  Then, when I stopped to think about it I realized that when he's on vacation, he's not further weakening the economy.  Have a good trip sir. 

Then I read that as soon as he gets back from this latest vacation and the trip Mitt Romney has dubbed the "Magical Misery Tour" (yes, it's coming to take you away) that he's going to lay out a "jobs" plan.  So far Obama's jobs plan has been to hire more permanent government workers and funnel money to states in a one time spree to ensure they didn't cut their budgets to manageable sizes.  This has done nothing to spur the economy, and it's not surprising to anyone willing to spend a moment to analyze wha this means. 

Additional government spending first involves selling more bonds to raise money.  These bonds are (still) considered extremely safe investments and many people looking to park their money somewhere safe have chosen to purchase these bonds.  This is money that does not get invested in new ventures, added to existing capital, or reinvested in the stock market.  This creation of new government debt also signals that additional government revenues will be needed to pay it off.  Then we get to the actual expenditures.  Typically a business spends money on those things that grant it a return.  The greater return the more we say it was an efficient use of capital resources.  The government is not interested in return per se, but when your stated purpose is to "grow the economy" it's fair to look at the efficiency of use of capital resources. 

- Extending jobless benefits for 99 weeks - What is the economic efficiency of this expenditure?  I am not going to answer it except to ask the question in a different way.  How much economic benefit is there to pay people to NOT produce.

- Creating new regulations - Discouraging innovation, expansion and entreprenneurship in response to last years news doesn't do a lot of good.  The government was late to the party that it helped throw and its regulations (Dodd Frank, NLRB, EPA) do nothing to punish those who did wrong, but hurt those looking to do right in the future.  Lots of economic benefit there.  Really.

- Food stamps:  This is a new one on me, but according to a recent White House statement, food stamps are economic stimulus.  Really, all they're doing is to help offset the rising cost of food caused by loose monetary policy, farm subsidies, and ethanol mandates. 

- Massive new government entitlement - This may actually have some economic benefit at first as businesses are encouraged to shed the high cost of providing affordable health care to their employees.  This will shift the cost to The Government, that great all powerful well of neverending money.  Then the bill will become due and the estimates of $1 trillion in total cost will seem like a pipe dream. 

This discussion reminds me of a recent Rick Perry statement that he hopes to make government irrelevant in most people's lives.  Amen.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Problems With the Field

We'll start on the Republican Side.  (quick note:  I'm contemplating a full featured article on each candidate, outlining some of their stated positions and my thoughts on those in the near future)

Michelle Bachmann:  While I appreciate the swiftness in which she attached herself to the tea party, that admiration is more in the form of watching a leech attach itself to a thriving host.  Her too far right idealsin many respects turn me off.  She's also a flame thrower, misrepresents history, and is too opportunistic for my tastes.

Mitt Romney:  Another opportunist, Mitt seems to be whatever is popular at the moment.  He seems to be a genuinely nice guy, with good governance fundamentals.  His religion matters not a whit to me.  I could see myself voting for him, but I'm still at a loss as to what this guy stands for.  Where is he on the issues that are important.  For all of the speeches I've listened to him make, I haven't been able to isolate his stances.

Newt Gingrich:  Brilliant guy, but not at all charismatic and I'm afraid not electable.  After the devastating bluff he failed to pull on Clinton in '95 and his subsequent ethical issues, while he's probably the best qualified to actually lead, he's the least electable after Bachmann.

Ron Paul:  Dr. Paul's refusal to play the political games, his hardline insistence and strong libertarian stance are all huge pluses for me personally, but have caused the major media outlets, whether they be mainstream or allegedly fair and balanced to marginalize him.  He's virtually ignored.  When he year after year wins the CPAC poll, came in 2nd in the IA straw poll last week, and has a major grassroots following, yet is virtually ignored by all media, that's a problem.  While most of my readers probably know who Ron Paul is, the average American does not.  That's a problem.

Ricky Perry:  He's been branded an evangelical.  Fair or not, with the culturally sanctioned bigotry regularly directed to Southern Christians, that's a problem.  Some of the participants in his recently organized prayer meeting for the nation.  What someone does in their own lives, I don't care who they are, is not my concern.  He neither used Texas funds or Texas property in helping to promote the rally, but has been accused of trying to establish a Theocracy or set himself up as the first Ayatollah by allegedly even keeled, tolerant Americans. 

Mitch Daniels:  Sadlly, not running.  Would make an excellent VP candidate for a smart nominee.

Chris Christie:  Also not running.  Please, Mr. Governor.  Run.

Barack Obama:  What we thought was confidence 3 years ago has been revealed to be hubris of the worst sort.  The man named his dog (not a rescue as he promised in his campaign) his initials (BO, not Bho (too obvious)).  The man is rumored to be the smartest guy in the room, but you'd never know it by his actions (he has none, preferring to cede all responsibility and hopefully blame to others).  He refuses to make the important decisions, overuses hyperbole, talks down to you and to me and taxes the truth to an overwhelming degree.  See some of my past articles for expansion on those.  Finally, at the core of him, Mr. Obama's belief that I am responsible for the failures of my neighbor and my neighbor's neighbor and that the successful OWE something to those who are not, make him unfit to govern what should be the Freest nation on Earth.

Monday, August 15, 2011

By all means...

Mr. Buffet, if you think you should be paying more in taxes.  Please, feel free to do so.  Checks and Money Orders should be made payable to The United States of America or US Treasury.  If you think that you should be taxed more, then pay more.  Don't tell us that you only paid an effective tax rate of 10%.  No one forced you to claim all of the available deductions. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Different Tactics

It's amazing how some people think jobs are created in this country.  A prominent spokesperson for a prominent politician who works and resides at a large light colored house in the capitol recently stated on position that paying people not to work will create jobs.  Perhaps you can guess the source of my skepticism?  Another favorite tactic is to harrangue businesses to go out and hire people, meanwhile create rules from thin air that makes the cost of doing the current business more costly, future costs uncertain, and spend so much borrowed money to assure that businesses must scrimp in order to pay the future tax burdens you promise.

The actuality is remarkably simple.  Businesses hire when it's good for business.  When they have a need to be met or when they want to expand capacity or to a new line of business.  With six hundred eight new rules being promulgated last month and God only knows how many more to come, many businesses are wary of expanding in the U.S.

I've spoken on this subject several times, see:  Why We Work and Part 3 of my series on Jobs and the Economy for just a small sampling of my comments on this subject.  Ok, here I go again.  Let's pretend there is a French Company that wanted to invest $20 Trillion dollars in the United States, granted they may have to go through some paperwork coming in, but would we tax their initial capital investments in the US?  Would we instantly take 35% of their money?  Of course not.  Now, let's quit pretending.  No one knows the totals, but the low estimates are around $3 trillion and the high around $11 trillion in money that belongs to Americans that is sitting overseas and being reinvested overseas.  It's going to be taxed if it comes, it's not coming back.  Instead, American businesses continue to invest and expand in some overseas markets.  Many giant American companies, Exxon, Microsoft, GM, Ford, Caterpillar, IBM and the list could go on, are holding a large amount of money in offshore accounts.  They've already paid taxes on that money in the countries in which it was earned, and while the rate of growth of the money may be lesser overseas now, it's better to keep that money invested offshore than to bring it into this country and subject it to the most unreasonable tax code in the world.

Today there is word that Unions are angry with the Democratic Party for failure to pass a bill that would make it easier to unionize, what they claim will be a boon for job creation (delusional).  Meanwhile they've assaulted job producing companies in Right to Work states, sabotaged income producing infrastructure of employers in 5 northeastern states, through excessive labor costs nearly destroyed the US auto industry, and wrecked havoc in Wisc, Ohio, and Mass earlier this year in protecting public union's bargaining "rights."

To Be Hated So...

The level of vitriol in this country is starting to get to me.  I'm not a big fan of Sarah Palin, but I do feel bad for her.  The level of hate directed at her is way out of proportion to anything she's ever said or done.  The irrational stupidity of it just blows my mind.  I've talked to supposedly intelligent people who actually believe she said the words that came out of Tina Fey's mouth during an SNL skit.  Take a few minutes and watch clips of Sarah Palin: The Undefeated.  There are several floating around on this here interweb.

This morning there is an article in my inbox discussing Rick Perry's plan to force a theocracy in the United States.  Why do they believe that?  Because as a private citizen he asked people to pray for our nation.  He even participated and out of his own pocket helped fund a prayer event in Texas.  Not one reliable quote is attributed to him claiming that he wants the government to enforce Christianity or for there to be an establishment of religion from DC.  The hatred directed at him, simply for being willing to speak out about his faith is staggering.  Even to discuss faith, so long as you are a conservative, is seen as an assault on sensibilities of this refined nation of ours. 

And then we have the hatred directed at businesses who seek to make a profit.  Just the idea of making money off of other people is treated as dirty.  When homeowners can't pay for a house they never should have even attempted to buy, it's the lender's fault.  When people spend beyond their means and can't pay their credit cards it's the marketers and the banks and the retailers fault.  Personal responsibility is washed out by an irrational hatred for the marketeer.  When someone succeeds they have an unfair advantage of upbringing or education, no credit is given to the hard work and good decisions.

Hatred for the Tea Party, who dares to stand up and say that enough is enough.  Any who stand to challenge the status quo, the established way of doing things, are lambasted by our national press.  When Paul Ryan stood up and said, there has to be a better way of doing this, the President invited him to a speech so he could trash his proposal. 

And now, hatred boils over around the world.  In London, youngsters are having a grand time.  They're assaulting stores and banks and invading the homes of private citizens in fits of rage.  They have no successes and few prospects.  They are suddenly faced with a future that is not guaranteed, that requires the sweat of their brow, and they rage and the "unfairness" of it all.  In Greece, a government that has provided everything, has managed most aspects of the economy, can no longer afford the cronyism and socialism that its citizens have become accustomed to.  Forced to cut back, its citizens are taking to the streets with firebombs and stones almost daily.

For now, our hatred, our vitriol, hasn't boiled out into the massive protests seen around the globe, but I think it's coming. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mission Ridiculous...

Why does it feel like amateur hour in the manner in which our nations military is being operated?  From published troop movements, to firm dates of withdrawal being set.  The unecessary wars that are being waged in Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya and Iraq (yes, still in Iraq) seem more and more like they're being conducted by some guy in the basement with a headset and an XBox controller. 

Special Ops are being over-used and we're losing some of our best because of it. 

First we hear that the recently killed SEALS were on a rescue mission of other commandos, now it appears that what they were really doing is going in to harry a retreating foe.  I don't condone armchair quarterbacking, but let's at least make sure the signal callers are more experienced than that pimply faced kid or our ivy league president.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Entitlement Society

Entitlement.  It's a word that makes me cringe more than just about any other.  From Entitlement Spending to being told that someone is "entitled to respect," the sense of the same is burning through our nation and our world like a disease.

Webster defines the word in one sense as a Right and in another as a Privilege.  Maybe this explains the confusion surrounding the word.  If you are entitled to respect, what that really means is that you deserve respect because you have earned respect.  If you think that you are entitled to respect simply for being, well, get over yourself pal.  I may treat you respectfully, that doesn't mean I am required by law to actually respect you, nor will I. 

Another of Webster's definitions is that of an entitlement spending program.  A right to payment created by act of law.  When you think you're entitled to money simply for being...well, I think that's a problem.  However, entitlements that come through what is earned, that is not so much of a problem. 

Next time you hear someone say that they are entitled to this, ask them if they've earned it.  The reaction I get is both amusing and disheartening.

If you want to know what an entitlement society looks like when the entitlements begin to ebb, look at England over the past 4 days and Greece over the past 18 months.  The governments of those countries have had to retract many of their something for nothing pledges.  Riots, fires, looting, murder.  This is the response of the huddled masses.  They just want the "respect they're entitled to."  So, how do they earn that respect, by destroying homes, property, businesses, lives.  By rampaging through Manchester and London or Athens?  One couple was seen rampaging through the streets with their child along in her stroller.  As windows were smashed, storefronts looted, they jovially trotted along with the crowd, hurling insults at police. 

This is the entitlement society.

In Wisconsin, some were hoping for similar scenes leading up to the recall attempts against 6 Republican Senators in that state.  A supporter of the movement and Professor of Political Science lamented that the "revolution has not occurred" and "the Proletariat did not take over the streets."  I am not sure if the lament was because the scenes of this past winter did not repeat themselves in Wisconsin's capital or because the losses prevent the extension of entitlements by right.  More likely it's both.  That story is here.

More and more I've begun to believe that our world is turning into Never Never Land.  Where no one wants to grow up and take responsibility for their own lives.  Instead, we're all entitled to life and happiness at the cost of liberty.  It's time to cast off these delusions, it's time to grow up.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Who's Going to Get us Out of This Mess?

We are.  You and I will do it.  We, the workers, thinkers, innovators and doers of this nation will lift us up and carry us through these times of economic uncertainty.  Do not ask the government, do not expect any aid from that quarter.  Demand instead that they remove their impediments to innovation, remove the incentives for failure. 

In too much of our lives now we look to the Government to solve our problems.  Problem with schools, what is the Government doing to help?  Problem with crime?  What is the Government doing?  The more effective response to both of these is community action.  Schools with more parental involvement are many times more successful than schools with low parental involvement.  Areas that have a neighborhood watch, community involvement, and that participate in the "Night Out" program typically have much lower rates of crime. 

Our nation is riddled with examples of how we, the People of this nation, are better equipped than our Government to handle our problems for ourselves.  Social Security isn't enough to retire on, for many, it barely makes a dent in their retirement plans.  Anyone under 50 who anticipates Social Security being around for them is probably delusional.  Self-saving plans, 401(k), IRA, etc have become the mainstay of most retirement portfolios. 

Trial lawyers, while they have overshot their marks far too often (mainly due to government interference in loosening standards) are responsible for keeping more unsafe products, medicines, and foods out of the stream of American commerce than the FDA, USDA, and EPA combined. 

We are the answer.  As individuals, as families, as neighbors, as communities, as cities and states and this one nation, we the people are the answer. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

What's the Line?

Obama is about to speak on the economy.  What kind of odds can I get that he blames Bush, Republicans, Tea Party miscreants?  What are the odds on the trifecta? 

I will write a blog from the progressive perspective if he honestly and humbly accepts this as his responsibility.

Our Government or a Drug Pusher?

Cigarette companies used to give out free cigarettes to GI's in the field.  When those soldiers returned they were loyal customers for life.  Today they are condemned for these and other marketing ploys they used over the last 100 years.  A doctor in California was recently convicted after getting pain treatment patients hooked on pain killers in order to manipulate them into expensive nerve block treatments.  He literally turned people into addicts, then threatened to withhold new prescriptions for their pain killers if they didn't agree to undergo these expensive nerveblock shots.  They were painful, but cost the patients nothing.  Insurance companies paid the doctor $5,000 per shot. 

Our government does something similar.  You see, we have this pesky 10th Amendment that says, essentially, that on some issues the federal government can't tell the state's what to do.  Well, like the tobacco company, like the drug pusher, our government has found a way to control.  When the constitution doesn't allow direct manipulation of the states the feds have used Money as their drug.  Federal highway dollars are dangled and states race to change laws to meet the requirements of the Central Ruler.  Education money is dangled and states implement "No Child Makes It To the Top."  Unemployment money is dangled and states jump on the bandwagon. 

And, like a good dealer, the feds know how to keep them hooked.  When the states are a little short on a test score, the feds say, sure, you can still have the just can't do x or you also have to do y. 

You know, the Constitution also says the feds can't tell We the People what to do in certain things...could they be doing the same thing to us?  What do you think? 

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Petulant Child...

...was at the microphone again today.  He wanted to make sure that we all knew how bad things were when he took office and dang that Congress, what's up with THOSE guys and you heard about that Tsunami right?  That was bad.  Then there was the Arab Spring, which is/was great, but gosh, it really hurt the economy.  Bottom line, things are bad, but we need to remember that it's not his fault.  He's done everything he could. 

He borrowed $800 billion from your kids and grandkids to keep union workers in jobs.  He bent the rules of Bankruptcy to benefit Unions and continued the plan to reward bad investments with government bailouts.  He fought hard in order to raise taxes on "millionaires and billionaires," and passed a MASSIVE new government entitlement.  Meanwhile his Labor Board, EPA, SEC, and Justice Department have waged an all out war on businesses.  The countries mood is darker than any time since the Great Depression, the housing market is toast, the dollar is struggling hard to become worthless, and the Fed and Treasury have abdicated any responsibility over monetary policy. 

Just keep in mind, none of our current problems are his fault.

You wanted the job, Mr. President, you got it.  Shut up and eat your peas.  Take credit for that which you have wrought. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Nobody Panic!!!!!

Obama is going to start concentrating on jobs again!  All will be well.  I repeat, no need to panic.  His Majesty will be focusing on jobs again.  Like a laser this time. 

Wait, laser was the metaphor from the time after he was inaugurated, or maybe it was the time he focused really hard after the stimulus failed to stop the official unemployment statistic from hitting 10%.  I'm pretty sure he was focused on jobs after the Senate passed health care in December of 2009, then he got REALLY focused after the House passed it in early 2010. 

Seriously people.  We keep hearing this same song and dance from the guy.  When are you going to stop believing it?  Jobs, jobs, jobs.  The only jobs he's ever created have been government jobs.  Meanwhile, that ever-expanding government monstrosity keeps churning out new rules and regulations.  608 new Federal Rules issued last month.  That's 608 new reasons NOT to hire someone for your business.  608 reasons why you can't find a better job.  608 ways in which your freedoms were just taken away from you.

I pray that this correction is just a blip on what I hope is a stout recovery.  I'm sorry to say that I just don't believe that it is.  We're in for some tough times.  Keep your eyes and ears open.  Help your neighbor, it's not the government's job anymore and it never should have been.

Monday, August 1, 2011

What is Baseline Budgeting

A "compromise" deal has been reached.  We'll continue to borrow money to pay for an ineffective government to provide unecessary services to a nation, the majority of which does not contribute anything, much less their "fair share."

The deal allegedly calls for "massive" spending cuts.  "Historic reductions in spending" show the purported resolve of our elected leaders to delay our descent into national bankruptcy.  This year our government will spending $3.8 Trillion.  To hear our overlords talk you'd think that next year we'd be spending significantly less than this.  Not so.  In fact, we'll spend more, and more the year after that, and more the year after that. 

If we see massive economic growth for the next 10 years, our projected budget deficits still exceed $8 trillion.  If, on the other hand, our economy continues for the next 2 years to grow at the anemic pace it has for the previous year, or worse, contracts.  The 10 year deficit figures could top $12 trillion.  We could easily double our national debt in 10 years.

But, doesnt' this deal cut $1 trillion in spending?  If you believe that, I have an investment opportunity for you. 

What the deal does is make extraordinarily optimistic ASSUMPTIONS about the growth in the economy, the capture of tax revenues at rates higher than we have ever captured them, and, most importantly, a SLIGHT reduction in the RATE OF GROWTH of government spending.  That's assuming that any of these cuts ACTUALLY HAPPEN.  A commission will make the recommendations, but Congress still has to agree to make it happen.

So, what is baseline budgeting.  Let's assume you're going to spend $1,000 this month and next month you plan to increase your spending by 10% to $1,100 and each month thereafter you increase by 10%.  $1,000 is your baseline.  Pretty soon your budget has increased significantly.  In 10 months, it's more than doubled.  Budget "cuts" under a baseline budgeting method mean you only increase it by 9% or maybe 8% each month.  Yes, you spend LESS than you had originally ASSUMED, but you're not really spending less. 

This is the deal that was struck, and so we continue a long succession of presidents and congresses failing to deliver the necessary fiscal discipline to truly make this a prosperous nation.