Thursday, October 30, 2008

I BOUGHT THIS ELECTION, FAIR AND SQUARE


I have told you everything you wanted to hear, and spent the money to make sure you heard it. If you haven't heard it, "I will be whatever you want me to be, and give you whatever you need. I will spend my unlimited resources to ensure that everyone has everything they need to live like Warren Buffet, or at least Jimmy Buffet." We're going to "stick it to the man," by giving their money to "the other 95%, including YOU!" I enjoyed all of those contributions of less than $200 from "doodad pro" and all of my other supporters, and you will get paid back ten times over. We're gonna have a party on Warren and Jimmy's dime! It will last for about 8.5 seconds, until we get back to spending money borrowed from China and Saudi Arabia. Oh, did I mention I appointed George Soros as head of the Federal Reserve?



Resistance is futile. We control the money, and I own the presidency. I bought it "fair and square," public financing be damned!



VOTE FOR ME...THE ELECTION IS OVER...I AM PRESIDENT OBAMA! -by Wednesday, I hype!




Wednesday, October 22, 2008

WILL OBAMA'S "SLICK" TAX "CUT" OFFSET THE NYS "TOBACCO TAX?"

This guy is nothing, if not "slick." It sounds good, the way he explains it. The income tax "cuts" that go to people who don't pay any income tax actually "offset" other taxes they pay, like the FICA payroll tax, sales tax, or state income taxes. Why doesn't he go all the way, and call it a federal wage increase? There are many holes in the logic of this "tax plan," but I'd like to start with the thought that this "tax check" is meant to offset FICA, better known as "Social Security" tax. William McGurn takes this idea on, in his WSJ column today.



In most parts of America, getting money back on taxes you haven't paid
sounds a lot like welfare. Ah, say the Obama people, you forget: Even those who pay no income taxes pay payroll taxes for Social Security. Under the Obama plan, they say, these Americans would get an income tax credit up to $500 based on what they are paying into Social Security.

Just two little questions: If people are going to get a tax refund based on
what they pay into Social Security, then we're not really talking about income tax relief, are we? And if what we're really talking about is payroll tax relief, doesn't that mean billions of dollars in lost revenue for a Social Security trust fund that is already badly underfinanced?

Austan Goolsbee, the University of Chicago economic professor who serves as one of Sen. Obama's top advisers, discussed these issues during a recent appearance on Fox News. There he stated that the answer to the first question is that these Americans are getting an income tax rebate. And the answer to the second is that the money would not actually come out of Social Security.

"You can't just cut the payroll tax because that's what funds Social
Security," Mr. Goolsbee told Fox's Shepard Smith. "So if you tried to do that, you would undermine the Social Security Trust Fund."

Now, if you have been following this so far, you have learned that people
who pay no income tax will get an income tax refund. You have also learned that this check will represent relief for the payroll taxes these people do pay. And you have been assured that this rebate check won't actually come out of payroll taxes, lest we harm Social Security.

You have to admire the audacity. With one touch of the Obama magic, what otherwise would be described as taking money from Peter to pay Paul is now transformed into Paul's tax relief. Where a tax cut for payroll taxes paid will not in fact come from payroll taxes. And where all these plans come together under the rhetorical umbrella of "Making Work Pay."

Not everyone is persuaded. Andrew Biggs is a scholar at the American
Enterprise Institute and a former Social Security Administration official who has written a great deal about Mr. Obama's plans on his blog (
AndrewGBiggs.blogspot.com). He notes that to understand the unintended consequences, it helps to remember that
while people at the bottom pay a higher percentage of their income in payroll taxes, they are accruing benefits in excess of what they pay in.

"It's interesting that Mr. Obama calls his plan 'Making Work Pay,'" says
Mr. Biggs, "because the incentives are just the opposite. By expanding benefits for people whose benefits exceed their taxes, you're increasing their disincentive for work. And you're doing the same at the top of the income scale, where you are raising their taxes so you can distribute the revenue to others."

Even more interesting is what Mr. Obama's "tax cuts" do to Social Security financing. As Mr. Biggs notes, had Mr. Obama proposed to pay for payroll tax relief out of, well, payroll taxes, his plan would never have a chance in Congress. Most members would look at a plan that defunded a trust fund that seniors are counting on for their retirement as political suicide.



It's interesting to note that the government spends excess Social Security revenue in the "general fund." Isn't it a little misleading to propose using general fund revenue to pay people that are still paying taxes into the Social Security system? If Obama wants to propose "payroll" tax cuts for lower-wage workers, he should just propose that. Of course, that's "political suicide," so he did a "slick" thing. He proposed a convoluted plan that sounds "fair" to most "middle class working people," and moreso to lower end wage-earners, who stand to benefit from it. Liberals of all incomes like it because it is textbook "income redistribution."

As far as reimbursing people for state taxes, property taxes, or sales taxes, those are even thinner smoke screens. Why didn't he pitch it as a "tobacco tax rebate," for all of us NYers paying $9 a pack? Besides being "political suicide," it's not a relevant reason for this plan. Neither are any of these other taxes he says this payment is meant to "offset." Let the federal government stick to relieving the taxes they actually levy, instead of reimbursing us for "local" taxes.

He flat-out couldn't call it a "payroll" tax cut, but that's what he's selling it as. McCain needs to address this, in a way that exposes the whole "ponzi scheme" behind Social Security: spending it's dwindling surplus in the "general revenue" stream is "wasteful," to be generous. Giving it directly to people who are still working, and paying into the system is going to tick some retirees off.

If Obama can claim that this rebate "offsets" every other tax under the sun, all taxpayers should share in this benefit. Retirees, and Social Security recipients pay sales tax, and often other taxes, but get no benefit from Obama's income tax cut. How fair is this to them? Plus, his proposed "tax cut" comes nowhere near reimbursing all of the government's other levies, so it's dishonest to suggest it addresses them all.

He's selling a dream, folks, and many people are buying it. "Slick" doesn't begin to describe this guy.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Rev. Wright, Ayers, and Rezko Attend Obama Fundraiser at Raines' Mansion: Exclusive Coverage on Fox News' O'Reilly Factor!

HA! SCARED YOU LIBERALS! Heck, I don't even know if Rezko is available to attend such a potential fundraiser! On a serious note, I don't think such an occurence is neccessary for McCain to win. As Sen. Obama said, "don't let our guard down," and as Sen. McCain said, "we've got them right where we want them," this race isn't over. Just a little "election fever" fun! Sorry to tease my conservative friends, if you bought the title! LOL!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Economic Questions For Sen. Obama


Some questions for Sen. Obama on economic issues:



The last Democratic president also promised a "middle class tax cut," but ended up raising taxes on people making less than $30,000 a year. Since your record doesn't show any support for tax cuts, why should we believe you?



Medicare and Medicaid are losing billions of dollars every year, and are riddled with fraud. If the government can't pay for, and adequately manage these health care programs, how can it afford "universal" health care? Will you fix Medicaid/-care before proposing any new health care program?



Rich people are notoriously cheap; many will tell you that's how they got rich. If you raise their taxes in an economic downturn, when they've already lost a signifigant amount of their wealth, won't that hurt many small busnisses that cater to them? Remember the "luxury boat" tax, a huge failure that had to be repealed?



Some of us struggling middle class voters didn't take advantage of the "subprime" and "no money down" mortgages, because we knew we couldn't afford the eventual payments. Instead, we're still renting, as our landlords increase our rent to cover their increasing bills. Will you give renters a tax credit, or some kind of relief you're offering struggling homeowners?



Social Security must be fixed. Will you allow workers to have private SS accounts, instead of government IOU's? Isn't the current system, where current workers' taxes go directly to current retirees, unsustainable? As for the crashing markets, what's the difference between bailing out these big companies, and bailing out the Social Security recipients that have nothing but the government's IOU backing up the money they've paid into the Social Security "system?"

Thursday, October 09, 2008

It's Time to Use the RICO Act on ACORN


If I hear one more ACORN defender say "it was just a few bad canvassers' fault," I'm going to explode. By now, everyone must've heard of the fraudulent voter registrations collected by this group in around a dozen states. If this were really the work of "a few bad apples" that they hired, why is it happening all over the country? Further, why is it continuing, when they had these same problems for several election cycles?



The evidence is becoming overwhelming that ACORN is a corrupt racketeering organization, using federal money to file fraudulent voter registrations. Michelle Malkin has a great round-up of the details, and it's not pretty. Some law-enforcement agency has to end their corrupt activities, for once and for all.



Just as Rudy Giuliani used RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act to break (or at least weaken) the mafia's stranglehold on NYC politics in the 1980's, RICO can be used by the US Attorney General to do the same to ACORN, on a federal level. Since there doesn't seem to be the political will to do this under the current administration (and it's not certain that either a McCain or Obama administration would, either), I have a suggestion.



It's time we (you, me, etc..) filed a class-action civil RICO action against ACORN, and get them out of the "voter registration" (read as: election) industry, and investigate corruption in all of their other businesses and political activities. Their defenders will cry "racism!" and "disenfranchisement!" -but actual voters, who vote only once, in their own name (that's most of us voters), are the ones being "disenfranchised" by ACORN's actions. That's why "we" have standing to file this suit. The tax money that ACORN has received must be returned to the government, and "treble damages" should apply (that means a peanalty of three time the amount of money that was fraudulently obtained and/or used for fraudulent purposes), as well.



There are many corrupt facets to this organization, and if it's apparent to me, why isn't a single Democrat of note willing to criticize them? Why are Obama's ACORN ties not being used by McCain, or often mentioned in most of the MSM reports about the "ACORN fraud" stories? Could ACORN be the "October surprise" that clinches a McCain victory? Or will ACORN's activities "tar" an Obama victory? Those are just a few of the political questions that will be answered eventually.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Palin "Kicks Butt" in Debate! (I'M HERE TO COLLECT ON MY BET)


On Aug. 30th, I wrote this about Gov. Palin: "I'm betting that she's dealt with blowhards like Biden before, and will kick his butt in their debate." I'm here to collect my winnings. The most negative take one could have on her performance in the vice-presidential debate was that "she held her own," or "she stopped her downward momentum." There were roughly an equal number of gaffes, mispronunciations, and misstatements between them, but there was a palpable difference between the two. One liberal commentator (on MSNBC) said they seemed "as if they were on two different worlds," and though he meant that Gov. Palin was from "the other" world than his, most Americans live there, too.



I sure do. After listening to most of the debate, I found myself right back at my first analysis of the governor, embodied by the title of that Aug. 30th post: "I LOVE SARAH PALIN! (In a Totally Platonic/Political Way)" This lady has everything required to be president of the United States. I am more confident in her than I was when I wrote my first post about her. She is the "bold" and "audacious" politician that Obama talks about being, but has never been.



She won the debate, though Sen. Biden "held his own." That translates to "he didn't self-destruct," as it did when applied to Palin from liberals. He didn't get any real "zingers" in against her. His "outstanding" moment was when he talked about his family's tragedy, which "humanized" him, but really didn't advance the Obama ticket. Conversely, Gov. Palin had several "outstanding" moments, few of which invoked her family. Nonetheless, she did advance the McCain ticket's goals, especially with these comments:



First among them was when she said "I've only been at this for five and a half weeks," which put the whole debate in perspective. "Your plan is a white flag of surrender in Iraq" was another good rejoinder. I also liked this quote (excerpted from the FOXNEWS website): "It's so obvious that I'm a Washington outsider, and someone just not used to the way you guys operate," she said at one point, criticizing him for voting for the Iraq war before speaking out against it. "Americans are craving that straight talk."



"Talking points" they may be, but hers were better than Sen. Biden's, and anyone who doubts it is living in MSNBC's "other world." Look for the media to say that she "delivered" them better, or that she was "better coached" than Sen. Biden. The fact is that she conveyed her message better than Biden did, and in a more "charismatic" way.



I'm going to stand by the analysis of the most honest liberal I know: my girlfriend Anna, who was really impressed by Gov. Palin, even though she doesn't agree with her, politically. She said that Gov. Palin "won" the debate, by being a little more than Sen,. Biden's "equal." She gave better than she got, in this shoot-out.



People may have concerns about her being "ready to be the President," but she's not running for president. The other ticket is the one with the "inexperience" at the top. She's no Dan Quayle, that's for sure. She is proving herself a valuable political asset to the McCain campaign. She also didn't ride her husband's political train to get where she is.



If they don't win, look for her to be the leading contender in 2012 on the GOP side, if she wants it, and works toward that goal. She's a very impressive lady, and a fantastic new political voice.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Bailout Bill: Now Dems Believe in "Trickle Down" Economics


I'm suprised that no one has picked up on this yet. This whole "bailout" bill is based on "trickle down" economics, and the Democrat leadership has to explain it, and promote it. While conservatives were concerned about the amount of government intrusion into the private sector, they understand the principle of saving, or assisting large companies, because it usually helps the average person. They just wish the private sector to do it.



None of the Dem leadership was comfortable in this role, and it's probably why Speaker Pelosi unleashed that tirade in the House the other day. She, and the other leaders (Frank and Dodd chief among them) who have been painting this as "bailing out the Bush policies" are deflecting blame from their own actions, which also prove the "trickle down" theory.



This "bailout" bill is the "other shoe" of one that dropped more recently: The Fannie/Freddie bailout bill. I don't remember any of these leaders decrying that one as strongly in the debate leading up to this bill. Mostly, they said all the right, "bipartisan" things, though a few tried to blame the GOP for Fan/Fred's "deregulation." Unfortunately, it wasn't GOP deregulation that caused Fan/Fred to back all these bad mortgages. It was liberal Democratic regulation that forced them to "give homes" to people that couldn't afford it. (Say Anything has the details, hat tip to Rob)



Deregulation did have a role, of course. It enabled Fan/Fred to package these mortgages in very complicated and creative ways, and to sell them as securities. These are free-market mechanisms for reducing "risk" by spreading it around. Boy, and did they ever "spread it around." Fannie/Freddie sold these securities to all of the big investment banks, worldwide.



How does this relate to "trickle-down" economics? Well, when the US government "stimulates" an industry that's already diong fine, it creates a "bubble." The "trickle down" effect was to make poor and middle-class people homeowners, and it worked. It also drove home prices higher, as the market was flooded with buyers. This should have caused interest rates to rise, but the Fed was hoplessly biased to keeping interest rates low, perhaps for political reasons ( I'll write about that another time).



The bubble burst when prices started declining, and people owed more on their homes than their home's current value. This coincided with a harsh increase in inflation, which the government has been outright lying about, in their "official" numbers, for years (yes, longer than the Bush administration, but again, that's another story). So the people who received the good "trickle down" effect were the first to feel the bad "trickle down" effect.



When they started defaulting on their loans, the assets that backed those loans were not worth what was owed. Eventually, this "trickled" back up the economic food chain. The banks didn't actually "own" those mortgages anymore. They had sold them to Fredie or Fannie, who had sold them to investors from all over the world. All of a sudden, banks in China, Europe, and Russia are in trouble, and it's "trickling down" to their average citizens.



Now, after bailing out Fan/Fred to the estimated tune of $200 Bil, all of the people who bought their bad paper over the past decade are saying "where's my bailout?" That $200 Bil was only the mortgages that Fan/Fred were holding, and by agreeing to buy them, we implicitly told all past customers of theirs that we would buy back whatever bad things they sold. We're making that explicit now, and you know who's paying the $700 Bil bill for this bill. You and me.



There is a bright side to all of this. Americans who go through crises often come through it stronger, and wiser. This goes for the nation as a whole, in general. More people will understand our economy, and government's limitations in controlling it, because of this "crisis." I'm not sure if I'm for or against the plan, to be honest. I just know that it isn't the last "shoe" to drop, and that "bipartisan quick fixes" usually do more harm than help to the economy.



Meanwhile, the holdouts seem to be conservatives, and liberals, but the leadership is being persuasive. They even suggested that "the taxpayers could make a profit on this investment," as if the taxpayer would actually see any of those "profits." Maybe this is how Obama will pay for universal health care. It's about as rational as inflating tires to bring gas prices down. He cited FDR's buying of mortgages in the '30's as a "stabilizing influence." He's right, FDR's various policies "stabilized" us in an international economic depression.



I've got a question for Sen. Obama. Beside the strain this bailout will put on our budget, will you fix the looming crises in Medicare and Medicaid funding, before you try to implement universal health care? While it sounds off-topic, think of the current crisis as the Dems attempt at "universal home-ownership." "Trickle down" applies to the public health care industry, as well. It may be about to overflow, as well, with more disatrous consequences than Fannie/Freddie.