Sunday, June 12, 2011

The New Economy

Well, here we are! Out of the recession! Stronger than ever! A manageable deficit. Low unemployment!
Affordable healthcare for all! We made it! All thanks to our totally fearless leader the incredible Barack Obama! Now, in reality, if you believe anything before the words Barack Obama you need to be on serious medication. All of the above have actually gotten worse. The only bright spot in the whole mess is Anthony Weiner. A nutjob like him could go on Jerry Springer, but he's now going to go in treatment. Right. So, how do we start to turn things around? We do positive things, NOT negative things. How about for starters we do the following and see how it works:

(1) Lower the capitol gains tax.
  • Capital gains on assets held for a year or less are taxed at your ordinary income tax rate (anywhere from 28% to 39.6%, depending on your specific ordinary tax rate).
  • Capital gains on assets held for more than a year are taxed at a reduced tax rate of 20%.
So, lets lower it to 14% and watch business investment and hiring improve.

(2) Simplify the tax code.

Several reforms could make the current tax system simpler as well as fairer and more conducive to economic growth. One reform would be to resolve the uncertainty created by the sunset, phase-in, and phase-out provisions of the 2001 and 2003 tax acts. Having numerous tax provisions dangle for an indefinite period does not simplify the tax code. (It would also make sense to decide whether to keep permanently or to abolish the entire set of temporary tax provisions that existed even before 2001.

Another option would be to reform the individual alternative minimum tax (AMT). To spare the middle-income taxpayers who were never its target, the AMT should be indexed for inflation, deductions should be allowed for dependents and for state and local taxes, and all personal credits should be available against the AMT. Any new proposal that cuts regular income tax liabilities should be required to make conforming adjustments to the AMT so that more taxpayers are not subjected to it.

In a number of areas, numerous provisions-each with slightly different rules-apply to the same general activity. Coordinating or consolidating these provisions would simplify taxes, often with little or no forgone revenue. Examples include the various provisions relating to families with children (the earned income tax credit, the dependent exemption, and the child credit), tax subsidies for education (the Hope and Lifetime Learning credits and the deduction for tuition and fees), and saving incentives (traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), Roth IRAs, educational IRAs, and Keogh plans), and the plethora of different tax rates for capital gains.

(3) Shrink the federal government.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 1.8 million civilians work for the Federal Government, excluding the Post Office. I am sure that in ALL of those agencies and departments there is a lot of cross management and over duplication. Eliminate it. How about we simply eliminate some of the federal agencies entirely? After all, I seem to remember our education system being better before there was a Department of Education................................. What about the Department of the Interior? According to them, there stated mission is: "The U.S. Department of the Interior protects America’s natural resources and heritage, honors our cultures and tribal communities, and supplies the energy to power our future." OK, what did we do before they were a federal agency? Somewhow, I think we managed just fine.

(4) Reduce the government vehicle fleet. According to a  March report by the GAO,  the federal government spent $1.9 billion on new vehicles in fiscal 2009, and burned through 963,000 gallons of fuel a day with its fleet of 600,00 vehicles. 600,000 vehicles! I bet we could phase out at least 150,000.

(5) Drill for oil! Our drilling for oil has almost come to a complete halt. But, we give billion dollar incentives to South American countries (Brazil) so THEY can expand drilling. Do you like paying $3.90 a gallon or higher? I sure don't. Also, drill in the NWR. (National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska)
It is a viable and very feasible option. It can also be done without wrecking the environment there.

(6) Put tariffs on poorly made foreign products, and foreign products that hurt American companies. We are still getting cheap Chinese cement that has asbestos fibers in it. Why? Some foreign steel is markedly inferior to American made steel. Slap a 20% tariff on poorly made foreign products and help American companies compete. Also, I don't know of any American toy companies that have armed guards watching the workers as they do in some Chinese factories.

(7) Strengthen our military. We are now stretched thin fighting 2 wars in the middle east. How much thinner can we be stretched? We face a number of known and potential adversaries. China, Iran, North Korea and Soviet Russia are only a few. China and North Korea are arming up, and we are doing nothing. Our navy is now down to 283 ships. A shadow of it's former mighty fleets.

While this is not a total solution, I believe this does represent a good start to getting our country back to a solid future. Want one more reason we have so many problems now? It's simple. YOU! Thats right! Every year most Americans bitch and moan about the politicians that do nothing but waste money and do little effective work. BUT, when election time comes around, those same politicians keep getting re-elected and re-elected. Sometimes change is good! Think before you vote! Until next time, be prepared. Be informed.

Friday, October 22, 2010

What My Mother Taught Me About Politics

Well, it's almost that time of year again. Time to go to the voting booth and cast our votes for who we want to represent us. This year, we need to make dramatic change. I sat here last night after I got home from work, and I was thinking about my mother. Good woman. Unfortunately, mom is long gone. However I was reflecting back on some of the things she said to me as I was growing up. A good number of them now that I am older and wiser, I have noticed have come true. Strange how moms are usually right! I am the first to admit, that as I grew up, my relationship with my mother was at times strained. But inspite of that, she taught me many good things. Some of which can be applied to politicians. Sad to say, but true. I remember one time I was going door to door to ask for donations for the Jerry Lewis Telethon. I honestly can't remember how many telethons Jerry has done to help sick children so I had to look it up. 44. Amazing. So, I go door to door and collect about a hundred dollars. Not bad. I had a girl that lived next door to me that was about my age that wanted to help me. Can't remember her name. I told my mom that and my mom told me- "Well, if she wants to help you, be careful. I think she's two faced." That confused me a tad. So me and this girl went out again, this time together. Together we collected roughly 180 dollars. (I had the money I had previously collected at home seperate) 180 dollars was pretty good I thought. I come to find out later, that she had erased MY name from the MDA collection kit we had, and only had HER name on it. So as a result, she took total credit for all the work. She also told everyone she had done it all by herself.  Typical bitch. Needless to say, I never had anything to do with her again. So now that I am older and wiser I have come to see how that directly ties in with politics. Mom was right. When it comes to politics, MOST people in politics are two faced! They will tell us anything we want to hear to get their sorry ass elected, and then when they get in office, they have an incredibly short memory. Obama kept preaching about his so called Hope and Change. As for me, he can keep his damn hope and change! It just ain't working! Not at all. Hey Barack! Want to know where you can put your so called Hope and Change?? I'll gladly tell you. A lot of politicians are 2 faced, but they want us to elect them anyways. There is a definate problem with honesty and politics. They just don't go together. To bad. As our next election approaches, remember to go do your part! VOTE!! Be a part of the American political process, not one of the apathetic voters that stay home.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Paladino Paradox

Well here we are, almost at the end of September, and about 5 weeks until election day. Boy are things getting interesting here in New York! Rick Lazio lost the primary for governor of New York. He lost to an unknown political upstart- Carl Paladino. Here, we run into a major problem. Lazio wasn't supposed to lose. Everyone assumed he would coast to victory over the unknown tea party activist. it didn't happen that way! Not only did Lazio lose, he lost bad! Poor Rick! Albany's crystal ball had a meltdown and didn't work. Lazio represented the same old lame ass "old School" politics that New Yorkers are so tired of. He always will. So, Lazio got shot down in flames and now Andrew Cuomo is up against Paladino. Talk about more of the same old school politics! Poor Andy is still riding his daddy's coattails. Mario is doing everything he can I bet to see to it that junior wins. Well, even that is starting to look somewhat doubtful! A poll by Quinnipiac University shows Cuomo ahead by only 6 points. Not much! Cuomo is telling everyone he is not paying attention to the polls. He better. Theres a dark shadow coming up behind Andy, and it's Carl Paladino followed by a few million pissed off New Yorkers. New York's government is so dysfunctional it's a wonder anything gets done! Carl Paladino vows to clean Albany up with a baseball bat. I admit, I doubt he seriously means that, but I am sure he is going to make needed changes in Albany and to our state government. Paladino vows to cut state spending by 20%. Sound hard? Maybe.....................But, if you cut out all the waste in Albany, it is a lot easier. What happens in New York is also set to happen all across the country as voters gear up to clean political house this November. The Democrats are certain to  lose the House, and quite possibly the Senate. If so, Obama will be dead in the water to implement any more of his radical agenda. Rahm Emanuel may step down and run for Mayor of Chicago. I hope he does! Sincerely, I hope he wins. he will be right at home with Chicago's corrupt politics and infighting. Obama's approval rating is now down to 42%. You go Barack HUSSEIN Obama! Take that rating right to the basement with you! So, now a lot of people sit back and ask, "what can I do to change things"? Simple. VOTE! We as Americans take for granted our right and our liberties. We shouldn't. ALL of them can be taken away with the stroke of a pen. Ask the Germans what Hitler did. Our voter apathy in New York is among the worst in the nation. Time to change it. November 2nd is coming. Quickly. The winds of change are afoot in New York, and in many other parts of the country. Make those flames even stronger. VOTE, and make a difference in our government. Carl Paladino, Chris Christie, Christine O'Donell, Meg Whitman. All of them and many more, out to make a change for the better in America. Now, it's up to YOU to do your part. And as for Carl Paladino- RUN CARL, RUN! Even IF Carl does lose, he has done a lot to shake up the political scene in New York, and to actually make it fun again to watch the old school political trash squirm a little.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

New Yorks Budget Mess

Well, New York finally has a budget. More or less. The New York Legislature was paralyzed for months with political infighting, name calling, missed sessions, and political sleight of hand. All of it combined kept New Yorks budget months overdue and schools and agencies sweating buckets waiting to see how bad they were going to get hit this year. To quote Governor Paterson: "Being Governor is like being in quicksand. You can move around a lot, but it just makes the problem worse." Truer words have never been spoken about New Yorks budget mess! The crap in Albany is getting deeper than ever this year, with the challenges of the state growing in tandem with a deficit that this year approached 10 billion dollars, while our Legislature was still paralyzed at the end of June. One thing is for sure, our next governor, whether it be Attorney General Andrew Coumo, (Democrat) former congressman Rick Lazio (Republican) or political upstart Carl Paladino. (Tea Party) Most people assumed that governor Paterson would be mostly paralyzed to end the budget mess that we found ourselves in. In a word- wrong! Paterson has demonstrated that in the future his successor will have formidable power to shape the state budget. Budgetary laws in New York CAN have the power to actually restrain spending by state lawmakers. But, only if the governor is able to effectively stand up to the state legislature. Until 1927, Almost all of New Yorks budget was a huge mess of joint and single appropiations bills that the state legislators came up without the governor having little if any say in the matter. Governor Alfred E. Smith, who was governor of New York for most of the 1920's saw that he was almost paralyzed to control state spending. So, he p.ut together a bi-partisan reform "coalition" that supported, and the voters of New York approved- amendments to the state constitution that created what we now know as executive budgets. In New York, as in the federal budget, the budget begins with a proposal from the executive branch. But thats where Albany and Washington also end. At the federal level, the House and the Senate committees sit down and draft all of the appropiations bills and then send them to the Congress which has NO obligation to pass any of the presidents recommendations. In New York, the complete spending plan to include all of the spending bills and the supporting statutes is then automatically sent to the state legislature. The ability of the state legislature to alter these bills is severely limited. They can add to the bill but only "provided that such additions are stated seperately and distinctly from the original items of the bill and refer each to a single object or purpose." The state governor then may use his pen and veto these additions, and if he does, it takes a two thirds majority of each house of the legislature (Assembly and the Senate) to override his veto. Legislators also have the power to strike out or reduce proposed items of the legislation. In a case such as this, the governor can really do nothing about it. Common sense should tell us that such a process would lead to reducing state spending and not increasing it. Key word: should.During this process the Legislature cannot consider passing ANY other appropiation until all of the governors bills have been acted upon. Such a process makes it even more important for New York to pass a viable spending bill in the first place. Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt in his first state budget fount the state Legislature fighting back trying to increase it's power to modify spending bills, or to find another way around the law. The state courts in a series of precedent setting decisions have almost always sided with the governor. The most recent was in 2004 with George Pataki. Pataki won. So why do we constantly have budget deadlock? Actually, it's simple. Only the state Legislature can raise state taxes or appropriate money. But the governor has one more important weapon at his beck and call. Spending extenders. Using these extenders to keep the state running forces the legislators to vote on spending cuts they would rather not vote on or postpone. Paterson used budget extenders freely, since he was not seeking re-election, he had no worries as to whether voters or the peons in Albany disagreed with him. In mid June while we technically had no budget, two thirds of of the 2010-2011 had been enacted as part of the governors temporary spending bills! This included a 385 million dollar cut to Medicaid and other related spending from the previous year. This new budget will sock us with 1.2 billion in new fees and taxes. So much for keeping jobs in New York!! People in New York who think that the governor alone cannot introduce real change in the budget process need to keep in mind the power he has under the state budget laws. The governor also has one last item at his disposal. The last time lawmakers in New York got a pay raise was 12 years ago. That's right. As they say, change can be good! Our next chance to make real change is coming November 2nd. USE IT!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Lets Fix New York State!

Well, New York state finally has a budget. Sort of. Our blind Governor first signed the wrong version of the spending bill. Great! So, when he finally signed the right bill what did we get? More taxes, more regulation, and a nice increase in state spending. Again. Isn't enough enough already? From 2008 to 2010, state spending has gone up over 11%. 11% as compared to a consumer inflation index of 2.6%. SNIFF! SNIFF! Do I smell PORK somewhere? How about lack of oversight? Lack of fraud investigation? Lack of JOB creation? Hmmmmmmmmmmm, let's see............................. How about ALL of that and more? New York spends 1 billion a week on Medicaid funding! But thats OK! No problem! Charlie Rangel has 4 apartments that are rent subsidized. BY US! Go Charlie! Charlie is so crooked he is under investigagtion by the state Attorney general, and they belong to his own party! If Charlie is "nudged" in retirement, he won't be hurting! Thats for sure. So, how about we stop the same crooked dealings that seem to permeate through Albany. Let's do something usefull! Let's create some jobs! It's not that hard! To start, we do what has been proposed in the past:

A moratorium on NEW taxes and regulations for at least 5 years! That would benefit small businesses, farms, manufacturing, the service sector and the transportation sector in New York.

A cap on state spending. Wow! A lot less PORK! And to make sure it is adhered to, we make it a constitutional cap on state spending.

A tax credit for every NEW job that is reflected in a companies total payroll, and an additional credit if the person that was hired was on unemployment or welfare.

Repeal the state sales tax on clothing.

Aggressively go after medicaid fraud.

Eliminate agency overlap, and reassign or not fill any created vacancies.

Eliminate the state red tape, extra taxes and fees that put a damper on business in New York, and threaten to drive away businesses that are here now.

Expand the state hydropower program that gives businesses a break on their utility bills.

Repair New Yorks crumbling infrastructure. MANY bridges and overpasses in New York are unsafe. A good number are actually crumbling.

Reduce the high tolls tractor trailers must pay to use the state thruway system.

New York can be fixed. We have a vibrant state with a rich history that can become so much more if we make our politicians do what we elcted them to do! But, we only have ourselves to blame! Why? Simple! Every election we listen to the same line of political bullshit from the same lame politicians and we send them back to Albany time and time again! Charlie Rangel is a perfect example. So is Tom DeNapoli. Long time bottom feeders at the public trough. as they say: CHANGE IS GOOD! Make your vote count!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The State of ObamaCare

Well, we are going to have national healthcare shoved down our throats, and up our ass. Does Obama really think it's going to work? Already, several of the major insurance companies are talking about premium increases of 40 to 65% in the first year alone. Some have mentioned that they will no longer offer coverage to children. Numerous large corporations have strongly hinted they will either discontinue health coverage to retirees, or make new hires ineligible for it. Is our healthcare system in that much of a turmoil that we need the Annointed One to wave his magic wand and make everything right? I doubt it. For the sake of this article, lets take a look at a few numbers. These come from the magazine Investors Business Daily. Very interesting.

Percentage of men and women who survived a cancer five years after diagnosis:

U.S. 65%
England 46%
Canada 42%

Percentage of patients diagnosed with diabetes who received treatment within six months:

U.S. 93%
England 15%
Canada 43%

Percentage referred to a medical specialist who see one within one month:

U.S. 77%
England 40%
Canada 43%

Number of MRI scanners (a prime diagnostic tool) per million people:

U.S. 71
England 14
Canada 18

And now for the real kicker:

Percentage of seniors (65+), with low income, who say they are in "excellent health":

U.S. 12%
England 2%
Canada 6%

And of course, we can't forget Harry Reid. It was Seantor reid who stated: "Elderly Americans must learn to accept the inconveniences of old age."

Way to go Harry! Maybe Harry wants to be on Obamacare, but an overwhelming number of Americans do not! Hey Barack! Keep the change! We don't want it. And to be honest, from the numbers above, we don't need it either. We have the best healthcare in the world. Maybe good old Senator reid would like to get HIS healthcare from Canada, Britain, or even North Korea. As with almost all politicians that feed at the public trough, Obama does what he thinks is best, and what his radical agenda call for. As Jerimiah Wright said: "Godda*n America!" We have been damned. Damned by Obama, Pelosi, Reid and all the other who think going trillions of dollars into debt and ruining our healthcare will solve Americas "ills". Somehow I don't think so. What will change Americas "ills" is coming in a few short weeks. Thats when YOU, the average American step into a voting booth and pull that small lever. Before you pull that lever, think! Think who you need to vote for carefully, and are they part of the problem or part of the solution?? Our founding fathers gave us the right to vote. Use it! Make the important and the right choice. But VOTE!