Posts Tagged ‘Rant’

The New Administrations’ Bay of Pigs

February 10, 2009

I just came across this little gem of a fact relating to the reparations that post WWI Germany was to pay, decided at the Treaty of Versailles;

In January 1921, the total sum due was decided by an Inter-Allied Reparations Commission and was set at 269 billion gold marks (2,790 gold marks equalled 1 kilogram of pure gold), about £23.6 Billion, about $32 billion (roughly equivalent to $393.6 Billion US Dollars as of 2005).

The figure was later cut in half. Ask any junior high-school student the root cause of WWII and the cause of the economic collapse of Germany, and they’ll answer, “The Treaty of Versailles.” I hope to hell these ‘economists’ know what they’re doing in spending two or three times the amount that bankrupted German.

Orwellian Moment

January 26, 2009

We of the sinking middle class may sink without further struggles into the working class where we belong, and probably when we get there it will not be so dreadful as we feared, for, after all, we have nothing to lose.
George Orwell

Seems appropriate on a day when a spokesperson for the Obama Adminstration defended expanded coverage for contraception as a means of economic stimulus to feel the need to refer the most famous of writers who warned of the anti-utopia in our future. One more from George:

There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them.

Terror Still Top Concern

January 23, 2009

A Pew Poll, released today, showed these as the top three concerns of the respondents:
Economy 85%
Jobs 82%
Terrorism 76%

Concerns over terrorism are in a virtual tie with concerns over losing ones job and the economy.  The American people are not going to be happy if the new President lets the guard down and a couple million citizens go up in a fireball or inhale a tiny spec of some radioisotope and die a horrifying death within six months.

If President Obama wishes to pander to the hard-core leftists and shut Guantanamo down, nulify every legal order and opinion on interrogations, or make other concessions that, in the eyes of three-quarters of the American public make us more vulnerable to terrorists, it’s going to take more than just a brilliantly cheoregraphed and tele-prompted speech to allay the outrage. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice…

Add’l: As the financial calamities of many major newspapers indicate, there is a migration away from newsprint to the Internet. The terrorist actions of many are hardly, if at all, reported in the main stream media. In that vacuum many independent reporters, internet journalists, photographers, and bloggers are providing extensive coverage of disturbing trends, even in the United States. My supposition is that the new media is helping to provide the information that is causing  continuing concerns over terror-related activities around the globe.

As a prime example, Internet journalist Zombie provides a comprehensive report on Islamist reaction to the attempt by Israel to defend itself from the daily rocket attacks against its citizens (of all faiths). Note the coordinated threats, protests, and riots on January 10, 2009. Including right here in the United States.

Seven Proposals To Repair The Economy

January 22, 2009

Just as it took years for the economic damage to occur, it may take years to repair. Outlined below are seven proposals that will not instantaneously bust the Treasury, but will in a very short time cause jobs to be created, consumer confidence to climb, and the economy to move forward.

1). Return the deduct-ability of interest expense, from whatever source, especially automobile financing, to the tax code. People have been using second mortgages and re-mortgaging their homes to buy automobiles. By doing this they are circumventing the tax law. Automobiles depreciate, homes appreciate. Until lately, when most areas of the country have witnessed dramatic depreciation. The auto industry is in trouble and consumers have little ability to finance their now worth less homes, once again, to buy autos. Sunset the law, for some later date, but return the tax deduction for all interest expense. Perhaps even for those who do not itemize deductions. Consider some type of variable for interest expense on high mileage cars. Buy a tiny little car that gets 50 mpg? You get to write-off twice the interest expense. Buy a gas guzzler, and you only get to write off 50% of the interest. Cost to the treasury? Very little in year one.

2). The new home builders are in trouble. Let ’em yell and scream and stomp their feet. But tell ’em to get lost. The existing homes in this country need to begin appreciating again. A fresh supply of new homes is the last thing we need. The sub-contractors who supply the labor to the new home builders can work on repairing the existing home base. Consumers might be able to find a supply of plumbers, roofers, electricians, and other skilled craftsmen at an affordable rate. Cost to the treasury? Zero. Benefit to nation? Immeasurable.

3). The oil shock of the past years is not an accident. We can expect it to happen again. More natural gas and oil needs to be found. It is there, and if we have to provide tax incentives to oil companies to make them drill, do it! Provide a further reward for high-yielding discoveries. Some people hate the oil companies, but they need to get over it. More jobs will be created and less money will ultimately flow to our “friends” in the middle east. Cost to the treasury? Substantial. Cost to let the obsession of some people leave us hostage, once again? A hell of a lot more substantial. The Islamic Republic of Iran, fattened by oil revenue, and in hot pursuit of atomic weaponry, is one prime example of what our do-nothing attitude has achieved.

4). Legal immigration from other countries needs to slow down. Legal immigration from Islamist countries needs to grind to a halt. The strategy of the Islamists has been to drive all competing religions from their territories. We are making it too easy for them. American workers are losing good jobs to immigrants from other countries. Some legal and illegal immigrants are sending a substantial portion of their earnings back to their home countries, which does little for the U.S. economy. Cost to the treasury? A net plus as more American workers are employed and spend money in their own communities.

5). Apply a “means test” to Social Security. Did you make it to retirement age with a million dollars or more in the bank? Great, and if you had become disabled or died along the way, Social Security would have been there to help you or your survivors out. But you really don’t need to receive a check every month. Shed your assets, give some to your children and grandchildren now so that they might have a chance to keep their homes and educate their children. Shed all of your assets below a certain amount and you can receive that social security check. Harsh? Not really. Social Security was intended to be a type of insurance. Just as you pay for homeowners or renters insurance it is there in case you needed it. You don’t. Get over it. Cost to the treasury? A net plus as the red ink slows.

6). Forget all of the “pie-in-the-sky” make-work, jobs programs. They only amount to income-redistribution from one area of the country to another. Usually from rural areas to big cities. The rural areas will be out in full force, next election, if you continue to raid their wallets. Don’t believe me? Look at the Electoral Map, by county, from the last election. That election was a lot closer than the main-stream media reported. Seven small states with a swing of between 20k to 400k votes and John McCain would have won the electoral college and been President.

7). The industrial base of this country has been completely decimated by “free-trade” with other countries. But just how free has that trade actually been? Someone in Washington really has to look at the subsidies that other countries permit to their industries. American manufacturer’s need to know who they can complain to in order to get action. It’s nice to talk about making college affordable for everyone, or create some sort of taxpayer financed program to subsidize that education. Not everyone needs or wants to be a Marine Biologist. Some people need the types of employment that manufacturing provides, whether it be full or part-time employment. Consider placing severe tariffs on low-cost, highly petro-chemical based products from China or other importers. It’s junk, it’s cheap, and it may make some people feel good to be able to afford such crap. But it’s ballooning the demand for oil, and it’s still crap. Cost to the treasury? A net plus, once again.

With these seven fairly simple steps, easily and quickly implemented, the economy of the U.S. would once again begin moving. I expect not one of them will be pursued.

Post Script: When I wrote this post this morning, it was prior to MicroSoft announcing 5,000 job cuts. The days of the “information age” and “high tech” and “knowledge worker” jobs that were going to propel us into the next century are shreiking to a halt. Not everyone in this country is a C+ language programmer with the esoteric skills to create a new ‘paradigm’ to ‘reinvent’ our economy. Statistically, an IQ high enough to graduate college, much less understand the intricascies of computer languages, is enjoyed by less than half the population. Manufacturing, which used to employ nearly one-third of the employed, has been gradually out-sourced to other countries. Manufacturing jobs used to employ people of all age, IQ, gender and race. The days of looking down upon those jobs, and the people that filled those positions, should end.

Sayonara Sarah

November 6, 2008

John McCain needs to go back to Arizona, announce his official switch to the Democratic Party and disappear from the political scene. The McCain camp threw Palin to the wolves when they encouraged the Couric interview. Were they that freakin’ clueless to think that the knives wouldn’t come out for that interview?

I hope everyone from the McCain camp stays the hell away from Campaign 2010 and 2012. They proved themselves to have a degree of ineptitude I thought was impossible, some standard of campaigning ethics that seemed almost quaint, and shot themselves in the foot with their ideas on fund raising. They got outspent something like 7 to 1 and while the race STILL was surprising tight (a FIVE state switch of 200,000 votes per state would have won it for McCain) I just don’t think they really, really wanted to win. McCain had no fire in the gut. They should have kept him hopped up on a six-pack a day of Red Bull the past three months to bring out the fighter in him.

After running this “holier than thou” campaign the fact that they let any slurs appear about Gov. Palin shows the doddering old fools in his campaign for what they are. I personally think the nation needs a President “asleep at the wheel” for the next couple of years while the assorted markets figure out what needs to be done, then do it. McCain taking four hour naps in the afternoon, only waking up to veto legislation, while Sarah Palin went around and cut ribbons, would be the perfect cure for this economy.

Instead we’re in for four years of “boom and bust” overreaction and over legislation and overspending while a bunch of kids, running around like headless chickens, attempt to reassure (with practiced arrogance) that they have a freakin’ clue as to what they’re doing.

Oh yeah, and all you BDS sufferers, it won’t be too long before you refer to the Bush years as the “good old days” as you sit in the dark and shiver in front of your blank computer screens, thankful for the 43rd economic stimulus check you just received that won’t cover even a portion of your $2000/month electric bill, thankful to Lord Obama that the CO2 level in the atmosphere dropped by 10 parts per million.

But Sarah Palin will be back in Alaska, catching fresh salmon, shooting a caribou or two, raising the fees on oil that gets sent to the lower 48, and laughing her ass off while she lays in her tanning bed. She’s gonna have the last laugh. You can bet the (no money-down, zero-points, sub-prime, zero-doc, adjustable rate mortgaged) house on it.

Americans To Freeze To Death This Winter

September 26, 2008

Carbon Footprint vs. Human Footprint

An Afro-American politician, raised on the south side of Chicago, has testified before Congress. No, not that one:

Governor Patrick says there’s a real possibility that people in America could freeze to death this winter due to the soaring cost of home heating fuel. Patrick met with members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation on Capitol Hill and later testified before a House panel on the need for heating aid in cold-weather states.

Actually, I agree with his assessment that people may very well be unable to afford to be able to heat their homes this winter and may die. Too many of the self-centered environmental activists that live in warmer states have no idea of the costs involved in maintaining a home above freezing in the northern climate zones of this country. Temperatures of 20 to 40 degrees below freezing are common and prolonged. And quite miserable.

Where I differ is the re-apportioning of tax dollars. We have huge stores of potential energy in this country, with millions of un-employed, to mine those stores. We need vast quantities of cheap, affordable energy. Certainly solar and wind and new technologies, where feasible, will help and should be encouraged.

But.

We need to drill for oil, drill for natural gas, and develop oil sand reserves. The “easy way out” is simply to decide to tax and re-distribute taxpayer dollars. This easy answer is the worst answer to a ever-growing problem.

Anyone Paying Attention?

September 24, 2008

I went into a branch office of the nations largest bank yesterday and reality slapped me in the face. The signboard in the lobby, which had sat there forever displaying the mortgage rates on the different term loans the bank offered was pushed to the corner. All of the rates were erased.
No more mortgages?
A cornerstone of both the American economy and the American dream of owning a home over?

A call to the main office this morning dispelled my paranoia.

False alarm.

For now.

The finger-pointing of this near total meltdown will now begin. The era of “compassionate conservatism” is over. Hopefully we will now see a return to the days of the bean-counting, knuckle-dragging conservative types who will insist that borrowers actually earn the money they say that they do, will insist that borrowers put 10 or 20% down on a home so that walking away from a mortgage is something that will cost them dearly, and that banks will not be forced to make loans to individuals or into areas that they decide is imprudent.

The nation’s grand experiment in socialism has taken us to the brink of financial disaster. With that, a note from Senator John McCain who co-sponsored legislation two years ago to attempt to avert this near disaster:

America this week faces an historic crisis in our financial system. We must pass legislation to address this crisis. If we do not, credit will dry up, with devastating consequences for our economy. People will no longer be able to buy homes and their life savings will be at stake. Businesses will not have enough money to pay their employees. If we do not act, ever corner of our country will be impacted. We cannot allow this to happen.

Last Friday, I laid out my proposal and I have since discussed my priorities and concerns with the bill the Administration has put forward. Senator Obama has expressed his priorities and concerns. This morning, I met with a group of economic advisers to talk about the proposal on the table and the steps that we should take going forward. I have also spoken with members of Congress to hear their perspective.

It has become clear that no consensus has developed to support the Administration’s proposal. I do not believe that the plan on the table will pass as it currently stands, and we are running out of time.

Tomorrow morning, I will suspend my campaign and return to Washington after speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative. I have spoken to Senator Obama and informed him of my decision and have asked him to join me.

I am calling on the President to convene a meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Senator Obama and myself. It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem.

We must meet as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans, and we must meet until this crisis is resolved. I am directing my campaign to work with the Obama campaign and the commission on presidential debates to delay Friday night’s debate until we have taken action to address this crisis.

I am confident that before the markets open on Monday we can achieve consensus on legislation that will stabilize our financial markets, protect taxpayers and homeowners, and earn the confidence of the American people. All we must do to achieve this is temporarily set politics aside, and I am committed to doing so.

Following September 11th, our national leaders came together at a time of crisis. We must show that kind of patriotism now. Americans across our country lament the fact that partisan divisions in Washington have prevented us from addressing our national challenges. Now is our chance to come together to prove that Washington is once again capable of leading this country.

The response from Senator Obama?
“If you need me, call me.”