Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

Warren Buffet said it. Nick Hanauer said it. The rich should pay more taxes.

I have great news for them any *anyone* who wants to pay more “taxes”!!! They can do it right now! At this very moment!

Purchase more US Treasury Notes. Here’s the link: US Treasury Notes.

Guys like Hanauer can easily afford the tax accountant to ensure that any additional tax deduction from the Treasury Notes can be offset by purchasing even more of the Treasury Notes. Best part is that you don’t have to wait for Congress to pass a bill. They can start today!

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Obama is talking a talk that sounds great on the surface but can ultimately lead to a massive loss of jobs in America rather than creating jobs. Bernanke is helping to speed along this economically devastating Administrative policy with equally rash monetary policy. I understand where Obama is coming from. He wants to create jobs in America. The thinking by the Fed is that by the Fed devaluing the USD (US Dollar), American goods will become more affordable to China and other nations. Sounds great! On paper…

However, it is a clear indication that Obama and Bernanke don’t understand the United States’ position in the world economy. An import economy does create jobs, contrary to what the Obama Administration makes it sound like. Yes, manufacturing jobs have been lost in America. However, importing still creates jobs. A lot of jobs for that matter, and higher paying jobs! The major key to being a strong importing nation is having a strong currency. The stronger the USD, the greater the ability to import products from other countries.

The Federal Reserve, under Bernanke, has weakened the USD significantly over the least several years. The Obama administration is trying to create more manufacturing jobs in America on the backs of the import industry. Yes, import jobs will be lost as the USD continues to decline, but the result isn’t going to be layoffs, it’s going to be import businesses going bankrupt.

Now, this isn’t a too big to fail claim about the import industry. This is a claim that America doesn’t have the ability to produce all the same products that China does. What has taken decades to build in China is not going to happen overnight in America. Additionally, the typical Chinese worker makes a fraction of what an American worker would make for the same product. So, either American’s are going to have to take lower paying jobs or the cost of products are going to skyrocket!

Some argue that China is manipulating the RMB (Renminbi/Yuan) so that it’s export business continues to thrive at the detriment of America. There may be some validity to the claim the claim of currency manipulation, but it isn’t much unlike Bernanke’s QE and QE2, which are just fancy terms for devaluing the dollar. That is what Bernanke has done. He was devalued the USD. You can call it Quantitative Easing all you want, but a rose by any other name…

There is a large trade deficit between America and China, but it’s not across the board. For instance, where are Chinese airliners getting their planes? Where are they getting their MRI equipment? The advanced technology comes from America. A weaker dollar will lead to lower real profits by Boeing, GE, and other leading American businesses. Here’s the reality of a weaker dollar. So what if your widget sells for $500 when that $500 is only the equivalent to $300 from just 10 years ago!

A weak currency policy is a terrible monetary policy for America. An Administrative policy supporting exports is a good one when the focus is on exports that those other countries can’t make. Is the US really going to compete with the Chinese with making knock off MP3 players and cell phones that get thrown away every 2 years? Those will only be high paying jobs because the value of the USD will have declined to much to make America competitive with China that we’ll have gotten to the status of a 3rd world economy.

I’m being dramatic for a reason. The world economy has been centered on a strong America and strong USD for decades. The result of a devalued USD and trade restrictions with countries we’ve been importing from for decades is not what anyone in America is going to want. Enormous amounts of wealth has made its way to other nations like China, Mexico, and others. Those countries are seeing improvements in their quality of life. The US should continue to lead the world economy with a strong USD position and strong import position. The whole idea behind imports and exports is that countries export what they do/make best and import what other countries do/make best. The US still does and makes many products, services, and technology better than any other country.

The Solution: The Obama Administration should focus on leading technology industries (instead of rehashing dying industries in America) and creating greater tax incentives to grow those industries (just like Clinton did with the Internet)! Congress should act as well to impeach Bernanke. It is fully within the power of Congress to do so. Further, the Obama Administration can take action in the Treasury Department by not selling bonds to The Federal Reserve. These actions would send a sound message to the world economy that the United States is standing for a strong USD, strong US consumption, and leading the world economy out of this depression with swift action. These actions would take about 9 months to catapult the US economy and world economy out of this depression. The message to the rest of the world is that America wants to continue to *lead* the global economy rather than play a reactive role in the global economy.

It’s that time again! Time to head to the polls and vote for Congress members, Senators, City Council, etc. And in California, we hit the polls for the largest exercise in democracy in the world: California Propositions! Here are my takes on each of the Propositions open for voting this Tuesday…

Proposition 19 – The weed ballot. They are even making this section of the ballot out of hemp paper! I’ve heard all kinds of stories from both sides on this. I even heard a commercial against proposition 19 that states that an employee could get stoned off his ass every day but a company couldn’t do anything about it unless they ran over someone with a forklift. Well, those weren’t the exact words, but it was pretty much along those lines.

The problem with the logic in most of the anti-19 campaigning is that it assumes that California will suddenly become 30 million potheads overnight and that this law would give weed smokers diplomatic immunity. Neither of those are going to take place, and I guarantee you that if someone shows up stoned to work, a company will have every right to reprimand (including fire) that employee just as if the employee showed up drunk! The valid argument is the lost federal funding that California will suffer *IF* the Federal government withholds grants, education funding etc. However, there is a very simple solution to that. Don’t give the federal government their share of the taxes they put on *OUR* gasoline we use in California. If they want the tax, they can come invade us and take it.

I’m not suggesting the above because I support proposition 19. However, I am most certainly supporting the free will of the states over our federal government. Certainly, we need a strong central government, but if the federal government wants to pick and choose who it gives funding too because a state’s population does something it doesn’t like, that’s nothing short of tyranny.

Proposition 20 – A panel redistricts instead of politicians. Allowing politicians to redistrict themselves is like asking a class of kindergartners to define how much recess time they want instead of classroom time.

Proposition 21 – More taxes disguised as “helping the environment” and state park funding. My favorite part of this prop is that it will raise $500 million/year but will only bring another $250 million to the state parks. That’s because the other $250 million will be siphoned away from the state parks and wasted on something else. Here’s what I’d support: the tax with the state parks still receiving the same funding they receive right now. This way, our politicians would have to come up with some other way to scam money out of our pockets. What a shame this proposition is!

Proposition 22 – The Robbing Peter to Pay Paul Proposition. Local taxes and taxes we pay on gasoline have been stolen for years to pay for items other than what they are supposed to pay for. Of course, having done so for so long, there are so many organizations that live off these funds they weren’t supposed to be getting paid from in the first place. What this proposition boils down to is sealing the gap of a taxation windfall for our state government. They need more money? Easy! Just increase the gasoline tax… Can’t get a bill passed to increase taxes somewhere else? No problem! Just increase the gasoline tax… Well, this prop will hold tax spenders (let’s just call them what they are!) accountable for their taxes.

I’m willing to bet lunch at Tomato Joe’s Pizza that our gas taxes more than cover the amount of work we need on our roads! Ultimately, this prop could lead to lower gas prices because I’m willing to bet we are overpaying gas taxes because those funds are being used for so many other things that otherwise wouldn’t have funding to save their lives. Our current policies are like supporting the loser brother because he’s part of the trust fund. This proposition is the closest we’re going to get to “opt-out” taxes.

Proposition 23 – Someone’s blowing smoke up our asses… Is clean air regulation really costing California 1 million jobs? Would the recession suddenly end if these regulations no longer existed? Is anyone really stupid enough to believe that? I suppose we’ll find out when the votes are cast for this proposition…

Proposition 24 – This is a taxing pissing match. However, let’s just look at the latest business news that shows rising profits by several large businesses while unemployment remains high. That’s not to say that I don’t support business tax incentives. However, the ones we have in place clearly are not promoting job creation. I could write for ages on the types of business tax credits that will stimulate job creation, but that’s for another blog at another time…

Proposition 25 – The Fiscal Irresponsibility Proposition – This is the Congressional equivalent to cutting off your nose to spite your face. Having a 1/2 vote for the budget is dangerous. It means that whatever political party rules with a majority will have their way with our budget. I’m not a big fan of this. They cloak the dangers of this budgeting by keeping the 2/3 majority for increased taxes and the income penalty to members of the state Congress. However, taxing is only one side of the coin. The more important side of the coin is spending. A government can easily overspend! Just look at our current Federal government. A government can easily overtax as well, but the ramifications of overtaxes are far less dangerous than overspending.

Proposition 26 – Written Behind Closed Doors LOL ROFLMAO!!! The anti-26 campaign has just been hilarious! I can’t stop laughing when I hear the ads on the radio talking about how this prop was drafted to big-oil because they want us to pay for oil spills. I’m still trying to figure out how that was deciphered from the actual language of the proposition. This prop seems pretty straight forward. Taxation by any other name is still a taxation.

Proposition 27 – So funny that this is on the same ballot as Prop 20! This is like watching two guys argue in downtown… Hilarious!!!

My friend Jim brings up an excellent point about the redistribution of wealth and communism in his reply to my post about Flat Tax being communism. First, I’ll cover his question of why governments levy taxes. Then I’ll get back onto the topic of the flat tax and communism.

Jim is suggesting that income tax is communism but property tax is possibly justifiable if the purpose of government is the protect and to serve. There are a few problems with this, the most important being that the federal government should have absolutely nothing to do with property taxes. Second, the majority of Americans (and this hold true for most of the world) don’t own real property. Now, perhaps Jim is saying that you should pay taxes on all property you own so that you are paying your fair burden of the police and fire services in your area. Again, does this then mean that people who do not own a house are not deserving of police protection? They may be productive members of society that generate income, purchase cars, gasoline, clothing, rent an apartment from a property owner. They too are deserving of protection under the law.

Now, let’s get back to the purpose of government. There are several levels of government, but the purpose of all governments (at least in America) is the protection of life, liberty, and property. Jim is probably thinking to himself that I just proved his point about the property tax. However, life and liberty still come before property. The protection of these three equalities of all Americans takes place in several different ways via several different government agencies: Military, Police, Fire Departments, Department of Homeland Security, Commerce Department, Transportation Authority, FDA, EPA, FBI, CIA, etc.

All American’s are deserving of the services of all of the above, and all Americans should pay into those services. Now, there may be programs that an individual doesn’t support, but I’m not going to tackle that topic in this blog. Instead, I’m going to ask the next logical questions: Who stands to lose the most if our country in invaded, attacked, or bombed? Who stands to lose the most if there is a fire, earthquake, or other natural disaster? Who stands to lose the most if there is a severe disruption in the availability of natural resources, energy, or foreign services and labor? Not the guy making minimum wage, and not the guy paying 15% taxes (unless you implement a flat tax – communism).

The people who stand to lose the most in any of the above events are the business owners, investors, and wealthy Americans who utilize a great deal more of the protective and political power of or governments. Those who make more money stand to lose more money if something disastrous happens in this country. Therefore, they should pay a greater portion of the taxes. Some (like Jim) might say that wreaks of communism as it is a clear redistribution of wealth. Well, while there are certain programs that do redistribute wealth, most of them do not. Also, one need only look at history to know that a growing and increasingly upset lower-class is the demise of any ruling party.

Take any of the above departments and you will find a disproportionate amount of services being provided to those with greater wealth and income. Sure, there is some money redistributed to lower-income citizens, but again… History.

So this brings us back to the flat tax, which is ultimately the greatest form and supporter of capitalism. Yes, you read that right. A progressive taxation system is capitalism at its finest. How many of our Founding Fathers were in what we’d call the lower class? Was Washington? I think not. Jefferson? HA! Hamilton? Perhaps the closest. Franklin? You’ve got to be kidding me!

How many patent, copyright, and trademark lawsuits are there for the little guy? Barely any, but the giants are in the courtroom all the time. The wealthy utilize our legal system far more than the poor. The law, our government is supported and swayed by the wealthy far more than the the poor. Our governments have been created for the protection of all, but those who are wealthy have far more at stake and are easily responsible for a greater tax burden. In fact, it would be foolish to think otherwise because it would put at risk so much of what business owners and investors have works so hard to gain.

The buzz word these days is socialism!

National health care = socialism

Obama = socialism

The end of the world is coming!!!

Of course, there are those who have launched their attacks on capitalism. Apparently, capitalism has become the root of all evil. Lack of government regulation leads to all things bad. Supposedly the mortgage crisis was the result of a lack of regulation. However, it was the change in the regulation a decade and a half ago that caused it. It wasn’t a total free market that caused it. Just like the “deregulation” of the energy industry in CA… That didn’t cause the problems. It wasn’t capitalism that caused those problems. It was the government.

To be sure, all socialized programs are not a bad thing. Not that any of us were alive back during pre-revolution times, but we didn’t have an Army. There was no Navy. No Marines. Not even a Coast Guard until the great Alexander Hamilton made it happen.

The socialist organizations listed above are paramount to American security. There are several other social programs that are important to the the well being of America:

  • Police Departments
  • Fire Departments
  • Public Schools
  • CDC
  • Public Highways (although I do believe there should be more toll roads, but even toll roads are socialist)

There are countless others (even at the state level). I’m feeling lazy today, so I’m not going to build an exhaustive list.

However, it is important to note that governments by nature are socialist. Should your Congressman/woman collect payment from taxpayers, they are a socialist. This makes President Obama a socialist. He receives his paycheck from taxpayers. The Senators and Congress members supported by Rush Limbaugh are socialists if they receive taxpayer funds.

It’s going to be 6-9 months before things start moving into recovery, and they are going to get much worse over the next 3 months. And that is a best case scenario. Why is this recession going to be so long and so severe? Simple, we denied it was happening for almost an entire year!

Remember, according to our government our economy was fundamentally strong just 3 months ago. That wasn’t the case then. That wasn’t even the case a year ago.

Recessions are fairly simple to recover from if they are dealt with responsibly. Ignoring it for 12 months just dug us a deeper hole. It would be like ignoring a broken leg for 12 months. Your leg would take longer to heal and would probably heal incorrectly (i.e. via $700 billion government bailout = $15 billion automobile industry bailout).

Here’s an idea for the government bailout program that the vast majority of Americans don’t support. Give us an opt out clause on our taxes for the next 10 years.

Now, I’m not talking about opting out of our taxes. Those of us who don’t support the bailout will still have to pay our taxes as usual. However, we can opt out of our tax dollars being used to fund this ridiculous scam.

If you limit the government’s availability of funds, they can’t be as spendthrift as they have been. If they want to come up with $700 billion to spend on some useless bailout, they will need to get it from some other source than the American taxpayer.

Years ago, this would not have been possible. However, with technology today, this is entirely possible. In fact, we could give taxpayers the ability to opt out of any irresponsible government spending. It would really make it simple for the government to determine how much they can waste on pointless bailouts like the automobile industry bailout. If 60% of Americans don’t support the automobile bailout then they will only have access to 40% of the taxpayer funds.

This would make budgeting for the government much easier! Taxpayers don’t support something, Congress can’t just go spend the money whenever and wherever they want. I suspect that we could balance the budget within 4-5 years and keep it balanced indefinitely with a bailout opt out clause. In fact, I suspect the government would end up with considerable surpluses as government waste would now have a true checks and balance system in place. The total tax dollars collected would be the same, but the ability for Congress to spend would drop considerably.

Now, some might argue that this would create serious problems with because the funding for the bailout is something that is “necessary” to avoid a greater economic downturn or because it is something the public doesn’t understand the importance of. I have two words December 2007.

This April 27 marked the 58th anniversary of one of the egregious moments in world history. It was the date that the South African government passed the Group Areas Act, implementing the most significant aspect of apartheid in South Africa. Less than two decades later, that same government passed an anti-terrorism Act.

Yes, this all took place long before most of us were born. When it happens abroad, we are shocked and appalled… Outraged! Yet, would we react the same if this happened at home?

Complex problems require simple solutions!

Many point to alternative energy sources as a way to combat rising energy prices. While this will help get us half way there, it won’t solve the problem quickly. To find the solution to the American energy crisis, we need to borrow a page from one of our Founding Father and the creator of what is considered today the Republican Party. Yes, a Republican!

Borrowing ideas from one of our greatest Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton, I’ve devised a long-term plan that would stimulate our economy in the short-term and end our reliance on any foreign energy resources. The best part is that just about any government in the world could implement a similar plan, giving us something else to fight about 😛

If you are feeling dangerous, you can read my idea on my new website WordsCause.com. And don’t forget to checkout the weekly WordsCause radio show hosted by yours truly and my great friend Dean this Saturday at 10AM!

This morning, I was browsing through the headlines on Rueters.com. After reading about how Obama is all talk and no action and how Hillary is in the political fight of her life, I couldn’t help but read about the Tokyo marathon runner who solves the mystery of his chest pain: bleeding nipples and not a cardiovascular issue.

HUH?

Yes, bleeding nipples. This was a mystery? Apparently, he attributes it to chafing and not excessive titty twisters before the race.

What does this have to do with a better future? Well, one could argue that Brian Jones will certainly be a little perkier after his marathon, but the better future was part of a Rueter’s survey:

Growing confidence in the future and slightly warmer views of President George W. Bush and Congress put Americans in a better mood this month, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday.

… Approval ratings for Bush climbed to 34 percent from 31 percent last month, and positive ratings for Congress inched up from 14 percent to a still-low 17 percent.

I’m feeling optimistic about the future. Bush signed a good stimulus package. More people are watching The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch. The Federal Reserve is finally waking up… Then another article catches my eye: LIBERAL INTOLERANCE:

The proportion of Americans reporting they feel less free to speak than they used to climbed from 13 percent in 1954 to 24 percent in 2005.

Guess they haven’t been reading many blogs lately. The first comment I received on my post about the ultra-boring two hour infomercial for Ford and Microsoft (aka Knight Rider) was the F-bomb. The only comment I received about the Bush Stimulus package being the next Big Idea was a tirade by a New Yorker that was longer than my post and didn’t address the point of my post.

Doesn’t seem like a lack of self expression is really present. I think the flaw with James L. Gibson’s study is how subjective it is to interpretation. For example:

The proportion who agree that “all people feel as free to say what they think as they used to” dropped from 56 percent to 43 percent.

Feeling “free to say what they think”? What exactly does that mean? Sounds like a personal problem.