Friday, April 13, 2012
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Thursday, December 15, 2011
President Obama has indicated that he will veto any tax bill that has language forcing him to approve the Keystone XL pipeline project. The House has passed legislation to that end, and now the Senate will be forced to deal with the pipeline issue. That's not something Obama or the Senate Dem majority would like to deal with, right now
Look for it to be called a "poison pill" strategy, perpetrated by the House GOP, because they don't want to extend the payroll tax cut. Others, like me, will see it as linking tax cuts to greater employment, and daring the Dems to shoot it down. It's almost 2012, and both sides are pullin' out all the stops!
We'll have to see if Sen. Reid brings it up, but the pressure is enormous. I think it's perfect political Jiu Jitsu, with the GOP calling out the President with his own words... "pass this bill, now!" Remember, Reid didn't act on the President's jobs bill, so it would be a big-ass "cave" if he moves on an issue raised by the House GOP. Too bad, if it happens, because it will just prove that the "political center" has moved somewhat to the right, again. No hard feelings, just cold facts....
Let's see what the Senate does about sustaining this payroll tax cut. Nothing, or Something...
Sunday, October 16, 2011
These are examples of stories the "in the tank for Obama" media stay away from, until they "have legs," meaning they get too big to ignore. While Solyndra is fading from the fleeting media mentions it got, it will not be the last "green" initiative of the OA's that will be scrutinized (link). Any other one (or more) that was a bad deal may end Obama's political chances at enacting any of that agenda. The Justice Department is investigating, but they can't afford another "cover-up" right now, which leads me to the second scandal...
"Fast and Furious" was an ill-designed operation, which consisted of telling gun shops and dealers to sell weapons illegally, and waiting to find out where they ended up, often after they'd used to kill someone. Eric Holder has yet to give his version of what this operation amounted to, but since he's called the House GOP's investigation "partisan," I'm guessing there's something he's hiding, for political reasons. It's always the coverup that's criminal, and AG Holder is stickin' to his story about only hearing about the operation "a few weeks" before his congressional testimony, on May 3rd. Now, he's claiming that the emails from a year earlier about the operation were not shown to him, or that he didn't read them. In other words, he's pleading ignorance, and incompetence, rather than a corrupt attempt to "cover up" an ill-conceived law enforcement operation (link).
These two scandals are "body blows" that this administration can't afford to let "drag out," but that seems to be their strategy. Right now, Dems seem happy to revel in the "Occupy Wall St (or name your city)" protests, because it is taking the media spotlight off of the OA's predicament. The "Wall St. protesters," and their cacophony of leftist cliches will fade, but these scandals, and the issues they raise about the OA will not go away. I expect Holder to go "under the bus" soon, but it won't look good, in any case.
Saturday, October 08, 2011
Ask any of the Wall St. protesters if they agree with Republicans, or the TEA Party, and they'll say "Hell, NO"! How many of them know that the GOP actually blocked the bailouts, the first time they were voted on. When the bill came up for a second vote, the "moderate" Republicans voted for the bailout, along with all of the Dems. The ones who still opposed them, in the face of withering political pressure, were the TEA Party caucus members. I'd like to see someone ask the protesters what they think about that. They should all support Michelle Bachmann for President.
Why did the "Durbin amendment" cap "debit transaction" fees? Well, those fees came from "small businesses," and Sen. Dick just wanted to help them out of being screwed by the banks. He didn't think of all the constituents that he would screw over, when BoA reacted to this deprivation of revenue from retailers by transferring the fee to the debit cardholders. Of course, the customers have less political clout than small businesses, who supposedly have less clout than big businesses, like BoA...crap rolls downhill, until it gets recycled by some pol, like Dick Durbin!
The new fees that BoA and the others are imopsing are expected to bring in more revenue than their old fee structure did, even with fewer debit card customers...the only ones getting screwed here are the people who work for Bank of America. Every employee of that bank has to wake up every day wondering how long they'll have a job. They were already planning on laying off tens of thousands of workers, and this won't help.
It's more than Dick Durbin, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank's insane ideology that got this bill signed into law. President Obama buys into it, as well. He signed it, and I was as pissed as I was at Pres. Bush for signing McCain-Feingold! I don't care about party politics or ideology, I don't like legislation that has a bad outcome. He still supports it, with a weak cry that banks should "eat" the lost profit he took away from their debit card transactions...he sounds like Michael Moore, who's out selling his new book on the liberal circuit.
Michael Moore and Obama can rail against outrageous "corporate compensation," and there is a real problem with failure being rewarded. Unfortunately, this is a situation that government regulation created. Attempts to limit "monetary compensation" led to huge "benefits" and "stock option" packages, and indeed caused our whole system of "employer provided health care," as well as "corporate stock options," (which were ironically designed by the market to "regulate" executive compensation). Attempts to tax "medical benefits" led to the issuance of hundreds of waivers to "Obamacare." If Obama gets to raise "capital gains" taxes, expect waivers to be given to every company that any public pension fund invests in, which means all of the "large cap" companies, unless they're "excessive polluters," or something as politically incorrect. BoA is "too big to fail," but may be thrown under the bus, if Obama's radical side takes over!
I'm only being half sarcastic, because the economic problems we face are all to real. Maybe BoA should go under, and all of the other "big banks," as well. How else will we unwind the question of who owns the debt on all of the "underwater" mortgages, at least in the US? OK, we sold those crappy bonds to the rest of the world...so any US housing market devaluation will be a bigger "hit" than the world markets can take right now. If Obama's supporters want to "destroy capitalism," this is the best shot they'll ever get...this is what scares me; if they accept that he'll be a "one termer," will the economy repeat what happened at the end of Bush's second term? Paging George Soros, are you coming back?
Could BoA be the next "Lehman," brothers? Thanks, Senator Dick!
Friday, September 23, 2011
Several decades ago, it was discovered that sixteen people with incomes over one million dollars paid no tax on it. The result of this discovery was that the Congress created the "Alternative Minimum Tax." People in the highest tax bracket had to hire an accountant to calculate their taxes under the regular tax code, and the AMT code, and pay whichever amount was greater. The only problem was that the AMT was not pegged to inflation. This has forced successive congresses to pass "patches" to keep it from affecting millions of current-day middle class taxpayers. For some reason, they've never gotten rid of it.
Recently, I read that over one thousand people who earned over one million dollars in income paid no tax on it. I guess that not pegging the AMT to inflation wasn't the only problem with it, after all, if the number of million-dollar earners who paid no tax grew by around 7,000%. I don't know what percentage of all US million-dollar earners those 16 people were all those decades ago, but the thousand or so today make up less than three percent of that population. In fact, the average tax rate on that group today is somewhere between 27 and 29 percent, according to the IRS.
I have to laugh all the farcial presidential rhetoric about "making the rich pay their fair share," especially when he trots out Warren Buffet to say "tax me more"! This is a man whose core business is built on avoiding the payment of taxes! If the President and the Congress want to actually fix the problem of million-dollar earners paying no tax, here's an idea. Have the nice people from the IRS come in and explain which tax "loopholes" these people are using, and close them.
Of course, that's not what happened in the past with the AMT, and not likely to happen today, under this president. Instead, he proposes "carpet bombing" all wealthy Americans with a higher tax burden. Many of these people are the backbone of the US economy, small business owners, and others are senior executives at many mid-sized corporations, and junior executives at most large corporations. Remember, this president is classifying people who make two hundred thousand dollars a year as "millionaires," which is only the least of faults with his plans. Most of these people already pay a higher tax rate than middle class taxpayers, and inflation has made that income bracket "middle class" in places like NYC and parts of California. It's the 1970's all over again, in more ways than one, under this president.