Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Without a sustained recovery in national output to 3% growth or more and without putting millions more Americans back to work, there is no politically feasible spending reduction or tax increase that could balance the budget even if Ron Paul ran Congress. Tax revenues have remained below 16% of GDP for the last four years because the economy is in a slow growth rut. The growth deficit, not the budget deficit, is the great issue of our time.

The Reagan years offer an instructive history, because the economy's troubles in the 1970s and the steep drop in real middle-class incomes (some $4,000 per household since 2009) were so similar to today's. Reagan put pro-growth tax cuts and a rebuilt military ahead of his ambitions to balance the budget, and he was right.

After his tax cuts fully kicked in on January 1, 1983, annual growth averaged some 4% over five years, while employment gains were swift and long-lasting. The deficit fell in half from a peak of 6% of GDP in 1983 to under 3% in 1989.

Friday, August 17, 2012


Jim I don't know how long it will take for you to truly understand my position. I will again make it as clear as I can. I am NOT for taxing the rich only. I don't believe the rich are job creators any more; you are living in a different world today. Markets make jobs. Demand makes jobs.
Trickle down is OFFENSIVE to me.
 I got a job because their was a NEED. We need a middle class.
My vote is simple number ONE which candidate is the MOST LIKELY to get us in another WAR, Which candidate will cut DEFENSE? We spend so much money on defense, we have a NAVY that is 16 times larger than any civilized country on the planet. Cut defense is only part of the solution but a good start! Stop starting wars, stop foreign aid. Get rid of tax loopholes for companies that don't deserve it.

 We are over reacting in fear. We have not over promised the poor, we simply have spent the money in fear. To blame the economy on a 30 year school teacher/ fireman  pension is idiotic Jim! Jim I have made a living working for wealthy people in their pursuit of leisure time, so I am for people being rich.
 Please Please stop the madness and claiming I blame " rich folks", never once have I said that.
The way you make up deficits in a family or in a government is simply find more income, and save more expenses.
 I am for a tax increase on everyone.
Did you hear that I am willing to pay more taxes, and I am middle class.
My one personal gripe is the taxes are never LOW ENOUGH for conservatives.
 Let me ask you when your house is on fire and the firemen arrive and put it out do they send you a bill?
 No we need government.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


A Obama Ryan ticket don't laugh! Here are Five reasons for a split ticket:

1. They are both smart.

2. Sends Congress a message we the people want you to work together.

3. Can speak to Congress and the people sharing the bully pulpit.

4. Yes there is one President but just over his shoulder could be another.

5. Biden is an idiot.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Interesting Pick

Ryan is the anti-Palin in that he is very substantive. He is a policy wonk - a rarity in the GOP. He puts Wisconsin clearly in play, should help a little in Michigan and could tip Iowa into the red column. But his Ryan Budget is used as cudgel against GOP House and Senate candidates, usually with success. Remember - his "courageous" plan permanently cuts taxes (especially on the top end), ends Medicare as we know it, and balances the budget in 27 years (!?). I have to think this will put Florida in Obama's column, which brings more electoral votes than Michigan and Wisconsin combined. The Catholic Church said his budget plan was immoral for the cuts to basic social programs. There will always be the poor, but we must help them or something like that. This move doesn't help bring along practicing Catholics into the GOP - a group that that has steadily moved to the right (along with white blue collar men). Democrats had been hoping Ryan would be the pick, but thought it was too risky for the ever cautious Romney. It will help Dems nationalize the Ryan Budget/Medicare cuts. Word was that both Boehner and McConnell did not want Ryan on the ticket for fear of what it would do to their members. This was the one VP pick who could "win" the House for the Democrats. You will soon and often hear, "Vote Democratic - Save Medicare". What are some non-partisan observations? There are plenty: He will make his race more serious. So much has been personal and petty ("Romney Hood", "Obamaloney"). Ryan will be all about economics and he knows his subject. He is socially conservative, but generally rejects social issue questions. He does not want to talk about Abortion, Planned Parenthood, Immigration or Climate Change. The GOP will have a chance to hand the baton to the next generation. Romney is old - compared to Obama, so Ryan can be the face of the GOP future. Ryan's elevated position as Veep or more likely his return to the House after a November loss, positions him well to move legislation. He is already the GOP's top economic dog, but he will be able to flex his muscles over the next two to four years. Grover Norquist will not be be able to tie his hands when Ryan might quarterback Simpson Bowles or an even larger compromise. After a win or loss at the VP level, he will be free to broker deals with the Democrats because he will have the confidence and trust of his caucus that he got the best deal possible. He will be able to deliver deals that Boehner couldn't and Eric Cantor rejected. Win or lose, obstructionism will not be a viable option in the next Congress. The conservatives love Ryan, but I like him too. He is not a Birther or a Truther and rejects that crazy wing of the party. The Tea Party likes him, but he is uncomfortable around them. He is a very establishment guy, much more concerned with policy than politics. If they can get him to concede to needing of 20%/GDP in federal revenues, you will see a lot of new taxes (VAT, Carbon/Energy), cuts to top income tax rates, elimination of loopholes and deductions. Perhaps even the whole elimination of corporate income taxes (effectively paid at the dividend level). Tax reform could increase revenues by 33% relatively quickly. That, along with some entitlement reforms (initially, just raising the ages on a phased in basis) will balance our budget and bring back surplus in 4 - 5 years. Paul Ryan is one guy on the right who just might be able make this happen. Lastly - he is no fan of Obamacare, but his knowledge of Washington and policy could grease the skids for effective implementation of our health care changes. If he is not proscribed from cooperating, he could effectively work with Obama much as Gingrich did with Clinton. We will see. Interesting pick. Interesting times!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Gosh...I think it is your fault.

So are our woes due to over promising or under taxing? can get mad over Capitol Gains taxes, you can get mad at anything you want...however, what got us into this mess, what is destroying our country, is over promising (for political you get this?), government largess..local, state, federal.  

Our problems keep repeating themselves on a local, state and national level (Greece) and your ilk keep trying to blame the "rich".  So don't obfuscate, don't not answer, try this one (call Beedie and Gorman if you must).  Are our problems because we have under taxed the rich or because we have over promised to the elderly, pensions, welfare and unions?

And if you are really vigorous and really want to answer a question, try this one....which political party, Liberal or Conservatives (Socialist or Capitalist) benefits most by promising (over promising) to those groups.  Now Terry...don't run away...answer this question.   Why are we in this mess?

Budget crunches already have prompted Michigan lawmakers to authorize emergency fiscal managers, and led the mayor of Scranton, Pa., to temporarily cut the pay of all city workers to the minimum wage.
In a majority of the nation's 19,000 municipalities—urban and rural, big and small—stagnant property tax revenues, less aid from states and rising costs are forcing less dramatic but still difficult steps.
Moody's Investors Service recently said that while municipal bankruptcies are likely to remain rare, it warned of a "a small but growing trend in fiscally troubled cities unwilling to pay their debt obligations."
"We need help right now," said William Schirf, the mayor of Altoona, Pa. Crime in the city of 46,000 rose 11% last year, while the number of police officers fell 8% over three years because of budget constraints. The city has reduced the number of streets it is repaving and clearing of snow, and cut down on leaf pickups and removing dead animals, trash and bicycles from roadways.
Altoona officials projected a $3 million deficit for fiscal 2012. Under state law, the city can't raise property taxes—its greatest source of revenue—any higher. In April, Altoona was declared fiscally distressed under a state law, enabling it to restructure its finances. "We just don't have the income to match our expenses," said Mr. Schirf.
A study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found that annual pension payments for state and local plans more than doubled to 15.7% of payrolls in 2011 from 6.4% a decade earlier.
The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government said local governments made roughly $50 billion in pension contributions in 2010, but their unfunded pension liabilities still total $3 trillion and unfunded health benefit liabilities are more than $1 trillion.
Local government cuts are one factor slowing the broader economic recovery, offsetting stronger private-sector growth. State and local government spending and investment fell at a rate of 2.1% in the second quarter, according to the Commerce Department, the 11th consecutive quarterly drop. Local governments also have cut 66,000 jobs in the past year, mostly teachers and other school employees.

"Cities are still going to be facing very rough waters for the next couple of years," said Michael Pagano, dean of the college of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
There also was a backlash in Michigan after Gov. Rick Snyder won legislative approval of a measure that allowed him to appoint emergency managers for troubled cities and school systems—allowing collective-bargaining agreements to be tossed. Voters will decide in November whether to repeal the law.
To boost revenues, cities are increasing fees and property taxes—where they can. In Chicago, private investors are investing in public infrastructure projects. El Monte and Richmond, Calif., want to tax soda.
Towns and cities in energy-rich regions likewise are faring well. Just 100 miles north of Altoona, five hotels have been built in the past four years in downtown Williamsport, Pa., where natural gas companies have flocked to develop the Marcellus Shale. A new civic arena, residential housing and an airport terminal to provide direct flights to Houston are being planned. "Most citizens you talk to, they're very excited," said Williamsport Mayor Gabriel Campana, who refuels his natural-gas powered car at home.
But in far more cities, the outlook is darker. Although some suffer from specific problems—a bloated incinerator project in Harrisburg, Pa., and a bad real estate bet in Mammoth Lakes, California—most cities face falling revenues and rising costs.
Indeed, while housing is showing signs of improvement, real estate assessed values remain depressed, eroding property tax receipts, which provide 29% of revenue for municipalities, according to a Moody's analysis of census data. State aid, the biggest source of revenue for local governments at 34%, is falling and the growth of receipts from wage, sales and other taxes, which provide 10% of local budgets, is slowing.
At the same time, pension and health-care costs are rising despite efforts to restructure those benefits. The most vulnerable cities are ones that experienced drastic reductions in property values or are in states like California that limit municipal options to increase revenues. In addition, nearly a third of California cities require collective bargaining and prohibit outsourcing of administrative and maintenance services.
Since 2008, four California municipalities have filed for bankruptcy protection—Vallejo, Stockton, Mammoth Lakes, and most recently, San Bernardino, which declared bankruptcy Aug. 1, in large part because sales and property taxes fell after the real estate bust. The assessed value of homes in San Bernardino dropped to $10.3 billion in 2011 from $12.2 billion in 2008.
On top of a declining property tax base, the city has faced a significant drop in sales tax collections since 2005. Economist John Husing said San Bernardino's retail sales fell 30% during that period. Likewise, a decline in construction means less revenue from things like building permits and development fees.
While many municipalities nationwide have offset property-tax declines by raising tax rates, California's 1978 law dubbed Proposition 13 caps property taxes at about 1% of a home's value and forbids major tax increases unless a home is sold or rebuilt, though it permits taxes to fall if a home's value drops.
Residents in El Monte, Calif., 15 miles east of Los Angeles, will vote in November on a soda tax that could raise about $10 million annually. The city, which lost four major car dealerships that generated a large share of the city's sales tax revenue, cut nearly 30% of its workforce to help close a $3 million budget deficit but still faces $2 million deficit for the current year.
Local merchants oppose the measure. "I'm struggling to stay open and here they want to tax me even more. It's crazy," said Arthur Meier Jr., who owns Arts World Famous Burgers in El Monte.
Elsewhere, the cost of shoring up underfunded pension plans for public workers is going slowly. In many states, benefits are guaranteed and difficult to modify unless a city is declared "fiscally distressed." "Because of the guaranteed nature of benefits, there's no quick fix," said Thomas Fitzpatrick, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland.
Steven Kreisberg, collective bargaining director at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the nation's biggest public-sector union, said pension problems were caused by investment losses that can be gradually recovered, rather than due to overly rich benefits. "When you lose 20% of your assets in a single year that's what created the problem," he said.

Let's start talking

Opine on this my Liberal brethren.

I ask...what would you want if there was a sudden increase in crime by white, suit wearing men, in your neighborhood?  And you were one of them.  Would you support increased policing?

Crime in New York City has dropped 80% since the early 1990s, a decline unmatched anywhere in the country. The change has yielded an explosion of commerce in once forlorn neighborhoods, a boom in tourism, and a sharp rise in property values. Nowhere were the effects more dramatic than in the city's poorest areas.
When the bullets stopped flying, entrepreneurs snapped up the vacant lots that had served as breeding grounds of crime. Senior citizens were able to visit friends without fear of getting mugged. Children could sleep in their own beds rather than in bathtubs, no longer needing shelter from stray gunfire. Target, Home Depot and other national chains moved into thoroughfares long ruled by drug gangs, providing jobs for local workers and giving residents retail choices taken for granted in middle-class neighborhoods.
Most significant, more than 10,000 black and Hispanic males avoided the premature death that would have been their fate had New York's homicide rate remained at its early-1990s apex. Blacks and Hispanics have made up 79% of the decline in homicide victims since 1993.
New York's previously unimaginable status as America's safest big city is now in jeopardy thanks to a rising campaign against its proactive style of policing. In 1994 the New York Police Department, led then by Commissioner William Bratton, embraced the revolutionary concept that the police could actually prevent crime, not just respond to it after the fact.
The department began analyzing victim reports daily to target resources to where crime patterns were emerging. Top brass held commanders accountable for the safety of their precincts. And officers were expected to intervene when they observed someone acting suspiciously—maybe asking the person a few questions, perhaps frisking him if legally justified. In so doing, they sent the message in violence-plagued areas that law and order was still in effect.

Such proactive stops (or "stop-and-frisks") have averted countless crimes. But a chorus of critics, led by the New York Times, charges that the NYPD's policy is racist because the majority of those stopped are black and Hispanic. Every declared Democratic candidate for mayor in 2013 has vowed to eliminate stop-and-frisks or significantly reduce them. A federal judge overseeing a class-action lawsuit against the NYPD has already announced her conviction that the department's stop practices are unconstitutional, the prelude to putting the department under judicial control.
Omitted from these critics' complaints is any recognition of the demographics of crime. Blacks were 62% of the city's murder victims in 2011, even though they are only 23% of the population. They also made up a disproportionate share of criminals, committing 80% of all shootings, nearly 70% of all robberies and 66% of all violent crime, according to crime reports filed with the NYPD by victims and witnesses, usually minorities themselves.
Whites, by contrast, committed a little over 1% of all shootings, less than 5% of all robberies, and 5% of all violent crime in 2011, even though they are 35% of New York City's population. Given where crime is happening, the police cannot target their resources where they're needed without producing racially disparate stops and arrests.
Critics also contend, among other charges, that the absolute number of stops—680,000—is too high and demonstrates illegality. But there were nearly 900,000 arrests and summons last year under the far more exacting standard of probable cause. It is not surprising that a police force of 35,000 witnessed 680,000 instances of reasonably suspicious behavior among New York's 8.5 million residents. If 25,000 officers in enforcement commands made just one stop a week, there would be over a million stops a year.
Violence continues to afflict minority communities. A rash of shootings during outdoor basketball games this summer should remind New Yorkers of what is at stake in the stop-and-frisk debate. The victims include a 4-year-old boy killed last month in the Bronx when two thugs started shooting at each other across a playground, and a 25-year-old member of the Harlem Youth Marines, an anti-gang group, killed during a shootout in June.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


  • Likeability can be measured and is important in election. Remember who would you rather have a beer with Bush or Kerry, or Bush and Gore? The answer was Bush. I realize that being a leader is still about being competent and maybe Buffett would not be my favorite guy to have a beer with, I might still invest my money with a guy who is competent.  BUT
  •  Let's try the likeabilty test:
      One says I will pay more taxes,................ one says "not a penny more"
      One says I should pay more, says I pay enough.
      One says middle class need a break, says 'trickle down"
      One says WE did it, says I did it.

I like the Big O.

Monday, August 6, 2012


The good Doctor and I met the other day for golf, and rather than spoil our day talking politics we agreed to just play golf. But of course it's hard not to discuss the " state of the union". Assumptions about each other's positions always come up because we have become a country of labels. You are non caring- rich loving because you are a republican and I am socialist because I am a democrat, it's all so easy then listening stops.
 The same I am sure in Washington. The fact is we are much more complicated than labels.
 I don't for instance care that Romney is wealthy, great in fact!
 I'm mad at the "game of taxes" which allows him breaks other Americans don't get!
I'm mad 40% of Americans have no skin in the game.
 I'm mad we need ID's to vote, if your choosing that simply to keep blacks from voting under the guide of voter fraud.
I'm mad both sides don't find common ground and do what they were voted in to do keep America working.
 I'm mad there is gerrymandering so congressmen don't have to work together.
  • I'm just mad!!! We are better than this! Who will be the first to lay down the sword?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

“If you agree with the approach I just described, if you want to give the policies of the last decade another try, then you should vote for Mr. Romney,” Obama declared in his June 14 speech in Cleveland.Romney hasn’t helped matters. When asked by NBC’s Brian Williams to explain how his plan differs from Bush’s policies, Romney offered up familiar talking points that could have come from Bush himself. Now, I agree with those points — exploit domestic energy, promote trade, keep taxes low, etc. And you could easily find banal throwaway lines from Obama that at least make it sound like he does, too.
But Obama has the distinct advantage of being branded as the anti-Bush candidate in the race.
Romney needs to explain to voters why he’s not Bush 2.0. Republican politics have been off-kilter for several years now because a large segment of the conservative base does not look back fondly on the Bush presidency. The mainstream media’s various narratives about the Tea Party ignore a vastly more significant and powerful motivation than the various bigotries and conspiracy theories typically ascribed to them. The Tea Party feels the GOP under Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” gave up the store to big government.
Can we finally all agree that Keynesian economics is a flop? The politicians in Washington flushed about $800 billion down the toilet and we got nothing in exchange except for anemic growth and lots of people out of work.
Indeed, we’re getting to the point where the monthly employment reports from the Labor Departmentt must be akin to Chinese water torture for the Obama administration. Even when the unemployment rate falls, it gives critics an opportunity to show how bad the economy is doing compared to what the White House said would happen if the so-called stimulus was enacted.
But for the past few months, the joblessness rate has been rising, making the chart look even worse.
Three years after our worst recession since the Great Depression officially ended, the U.S. economy is still very weak. The people most hurt by this weakness are the unemployed and the poor, and of course the two problems are related. We have 23 million people who are unemployed, involuntarily working part-time, or given up looking for work — nearly 15 percent of the labor force. And poverty has reached 15.1 percent of the population — amazingly, a level that it was at in the mid-1960s. The first priority of the U.S. government should therefore be restoring full employment. This is a relatively easy thing to do. As Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman aptly put it: "It's like having a dead battery in a car, and while there may be a lot wrong with the car, you can get the car going remarkably easily, if you're willing to accept that's what the problem really is."
Most economists are well aware of what the problem really is, since it is so simple and basic. The economy lost about $1.3 trillion in private annual spending when the real estate bubble burst in 2007, and much of that has not recovered. State and local governments continue to tighten their budgets and lay off workers.
If the federal government had simply funded these governments' shortfalls, we would have an additional 2 million jobs today.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Romney's Middle Class Tax Hike