MONEY: Changing my position on “emergency funds”

From time to time, folks ask me for advice and “help”. I try hard to give them the best I can in both areas. Interesting that they don’t follow the advice and ignore the help. Yet, will return for more.

Guess I’m getting cynical.

Part of any financial plan, job search, or almost any kind of advice that I give is about having an “emergency fund”.

A financial plan starts with an emergency fund and then proceeds on to savings and later investments. (For the truly wealthy, after investments come speculation. I only know two people in that category. And they don’t need my advice.)

In the past, I advised an “emergency fund” in a demand deposit account, preferably in a Credit Union, equal to some multiple of the individual’s “burn rate” (i.e., how much you spend every month; what goes out). The multiplier was at least 6 but could be as high as 60 depending upon how secure your employment was, how hot your field was, how hot your industry was, and how old you were. IF you had a large savings and investments portfolio, THEN you could “sanity check” the multiplier.

Now, I’m getting older and wiser. I think that you need an “emergency fund” that’s the equivalent of a 5 year MONTHLY CD ladder. Yes, 60 cds. SIXTY. Each one equal to your burn rate.

It’s a tough world out there.

You could be locked out of your savings and investments. You need more security. You have to build up to this advice and it’s not easy. But we have hard times coming. And, six months of burn rate in nickels stored at home.

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MONEY: WW2 Wage and Price control were disasterous and carry through today

On Apr 24, 2010, at 5:58 PM, LUDDITE wrote:

At a time when some firms have cut back on benefits, these employers offer notably generous plans. Fortune picks some of the best.

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Good for you. But bad for us as a society. Pensions and benefits are a result of the WW2 wage and price controls. Big companies bent the salary cap rules by giving these inducements to get good workers. This was a gooferment distortion of the employment marketplace which as usual has had disastrous side effects. I’m not a economist; nor a social scientist, but let see if I can enumerate the ones I know about.

(1) Medical insurance tied to employment had several bad effects. It locked up workers who couldn’t or wouldn’t change jobs due to losing their benefits or the “pre-existing conditions of going to a different insurer. Lose your job due to poor performance, bad economy (i.e., recession), or structural changes in the economy (i.e., rust belt) lose your benefits. It disconnected the link between the expense and the pain of paying thus inducing folks not shop around, negotiate, or even look at the bills.

(2) Pensions are in effect deferred compensation. It locks up capital in the company pension plan — with its risk in bankruptcy — from the individual. So, for example, an employee, if they had that money, could have used it as they saw fit to provide for their own retirement. In my own case, I could have had an extra X$/month to pay down my mortgage sooner and had that capital asset for my retirement. It’s about Freedom and liberty. I was FORCED to trade X$ per month at that time for a future cash flow at age 65 assuming I lived so long. If I didn’t, it was lost. Like “Social Security”!

(3) Pensions were such an expense that the Aircraft companies were firing “old” injineers just before their pensions vested to hire new graduates cheaper. (The fact that much of their work was for the military and the gooferment made it hurt even more.) Hence, having created the problem, the Gooferment gave us the solution — more gooferment — the ERISA laws. (Argh!)

(4) Pensions and benefits, due to it hidden sunken costs, makes the workforce less flexible and nimble. You had to have a much bigger opportunity in a new job in order to justify leaving the security, pension, and benefits in an old employer.

(5) Increased regulation of the workplace, such as OSHA, FALSA, and NLRB, all sprung out of that New Deal thinking. And, was as taxation and regulation, a drag on our economy.

So that’s why this is bad for us as a nation.

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POLITICAL: Energy independence and the debt!

8 Very Public False Starts for US Energy Independence

By Rocky Vega

*** begin quote ***

* In 1974 with 36.1% of oil from foreign sources, President Richard Nixon said

* In 1975 with 36.1% of oil from foreign sources, President Gerald Ford said

* In 1979 with 40.5% of oil from foreign sources, President Jimmy Carter said

* In 1981 with 43.6% of oil from foreign sources, President Ronald Reagan said

* In 1992 with 47.2% of oil from foreign sources, President George Bush said

* In 1995 with 49.8% of oil from foreign sources, President Bill Clinton said

* In 2006 with 65.5% of oil from foreign sources, President George W. Bush said

* In 2009 with 66.2% of oil from foreign sources, President Barack Obama said

*** end quote ***

Who cares what they said!

Look at results.

The power to tax is the power to destroy.

Tariffs are constitutional.

How about a 5% import duty on all “foreign” energy?

That 5% is used to reduce the national debt.

And, at the same time. tie the congress critters salary to the deficit in the prior year. Salary zero if there is any!

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POLITICAL: Reigning in corporate salaries; a modest proposal.

AT&T CEO’s pay jumps 35 percent to $20.3 million in 2009

from Macworld by Ann Bednarz

*** begin quote ***

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson’s stock awards fell 8 percent in 2009, but he earned a cash bonus of $5.85 million that helped increase his total compensation by 35 percent.

*** end quote ***

Corporations are are a gooferment creation. So, needless to say, they are screwed up.

It’s unseemly for ANY corporation employee to have a salary greater than that of the President.

The gooferment’s creation fails to align the interest of the owners and the employees.

The gooferment could correct that error with five year stock options as the manner of executive compensation. Or maybe, a mix of options that vest from 10 to 50 years? With a sliding scale, weighted towards the middle?

That could be done with the stroke of a pen.

If I was “king”, I’d have the “Sheriff of Nottingham” (aka the IRS) audit any company that pays salaries greater than that of the Prez.

How fast could things change?

How many lobbyists and politicians would have their pockets stuffed with cash to kill this?

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POLITICAL: If this isn’t intergenerational theft, what is?

Congressional estimates show grim deficit picture
By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer Andrew Taylor, Associated Press Writer
Fri Mar 5, 6:17 pm ET

*** begin quote ***

WASHINGTON – A new congressional report released Friday says the United States’ long-term fiscal woes are even worse than predicted by President Barack Obama’s grim budget submission last month.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicts that Obama’s budget plans would generate deficits over the upcoming decade that would total $9.8 trillion. That’s $1.2 trillion more than predicted by the administration.

*** end quote ***

Time for a serious acknowledgment. This generation was “robbed” by the last in the Social Security Ponzi scheme, as well as the continual addition to the debt. So to are we “robbing” future generations by piling on the debt and unfunded liabilities.

So what is the answer?

Well, clearly each year, the demographics change as to the intergenerational population. So there’s MUST be year to year deficit neutral budgets. Since there has to be a true up in the next financial year. So any deficit must be corrected in the following year. Since we can NOT eliminate the debt build up over 70 years in a few years, we need to have a 70 year deficit reduction plan. CLEARLY, we can’t have unfunded liabilities or off-budget expenditures.

So, it’s a giant mess.

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GAMBLING: An interesting problem

Penney’s Game
6 March 2010
By Donald Catlin

*** begin quote ***

Every now and then in this column I like to look at so-called proposition bets (for example see my archived article An Earful of Cider that appeared in December of 1999). These are wagers that sound like either a sure thing, or at worst a fair bet, and are anything but. A dandy example of this is Penney’s Game named after its inventor Walter Penney (Journal of Recreational Mathematics, October 1969, p. 241). I wish to thank my friend The Midnight Skulker for bringing this game to my attention.

*** end quote ***

I don’t know how this applies to gambling in that I don’t know where you can get such a bet in a casino.

That being said, the article’s findings (i.e., Player B has an advantage) were surprising.

Given that playing slots is like being Player B (I.e., the Casino is Player A and sets the terms of the wager), I’d like an advantage.

Last time I heard of a player getting an advantage was when the Canadian casino kept turning off the Keno machine allowing the same results to come day after day. Wonder if that smart fellow, who won a lot of money, was allowed to keep his “winnings”. (Hope so!)

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POLITICAL: The cost of “public educstion”

EDITORIAL: Governor balancing books on students’ backs
Thursday, March 4, 2010 4:22 PM EST

*** begin quote ***

   Gov. Chris Christie has made a point of saying he plans to tackle the state’s budget crisis head on. Gone, he says, are the days of kicking the proverbial can (i.e., the state’s recurring deficit) down the road and hoping someone else will pick it up.

   But that’s exactly what he’s doing, withholding aid from school districts for this year’s budget and forcing them to make up the shortfall with money many districts had planned to use in 2010-2011.

*** end quote ***

Unfortunately, “We, The People” can’t afford “public education” anymore. A new solution will hae to be found. “Public Education” is inefficient and ineffective. Also it’s dumbing down and indoctrinating the next generation of voters to look to big gooferment as the “solution” to every problem. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that the reality. Too expensive, too “one size fits all”, too corrupt.

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RANT: Obamais looking at your retirement savings

The United States of Argentina: Obama’s Pension Grab
by J.C. Arenas

*** begin quote ***

As of the third quarter of 2009, Americans held a combined $8 trillion in 401(k) plans and IRAs, according to the most recent retirement market report from the Washington D.C.-based Investment Company Institute. Furthermore, his proposal for health-care reform calls for an extension of the 2.9% Medicare tax to unearned income, which means those annuities and other forms of guaranteed income streams you would receive in exchange for relinquishing the freedom you currently possess over your retirement funds, would be subject to taxation. The American people consistently lose when the government desires to be helpful.

*** end quote ***

WHERE is OBH44 going to come up with all the money to pay for all these goodies?

Trillion dollar deficits? Where do you find a loose trillion dollars?


Your retirement funds.

That’s the target BECAUSE there is NO WHERE else for the gooferment to get that size money!

Will this be the issue that awakes the sheeple?

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POLITICAL: Too many parks; Socialism’s economic calculation problem

Monday, March 08, 2010

‘I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today’

*** begin quote ***

I am not the only New Jersey columnist who believes the state needs to rethink how its local governments are organized. Alfred Doblin, editorial page editor for The Record, takes on the sacred cow of home rule in his column today (

“What is more important: Quality education or a local school district? Is the firefighter less competent because he or she answers to a regional supervisor instead of a local chief? Does it matter if the municipality, county or an independent contractor removes snow as long as the snow is removed?”

He likens the state’s fiscal crisis to the Chicago fire that destroyed that city in the late 19th Century, saying New Jersey has “burned down” and adding that “We should not build it like it was.” As he says of the sacred cow of “Home rule” — a “very big cow”: “it’s time it either produced a beverage or became an entrée.”

“The fiscal reality is bleak. But there are ways of providing many of the services we expect while still spending less. We don’t have too many teachers. We don’t have too many parks. We don’t have too many roads. We have too many districts. We have too many municipalities. We have too many departments that essentially duplicate other departments.”

*** end quote ***

“We don’t have too many …”

How can any one possibly say that?

One of the problems that Austrian Economics points out is that socialism has no way of making these economic calculations.

In a free economy, the price mechanism determines how many of anything we have. (Evil) (business) people risk their own capital to “test” if something is needed. Then the economy efficiently allocates capital to the things that people want. And they “vote” for the things they want by spending their scarce dollars. Profit is the message that the invisible hand of the economy uses to attract more capital to a needed area. That’s if we had a “free” economy.

Now we have a semi-free economy. The gooferment at many levels intrude and distort the market signals. For example, the FED by distorting the core interest rate for capital encourages “malinvestment”. The Austrians fault malinvestments for the boom and bust we see in the economy. That one distortion alone has catastrophic implication on what risks people take. Bubbles would not be as big or as hurtful without the “money” distortion. Commodity money, or at least the repeal of “legal tender” laws, would allow the free market to adjust the interest rate. And, limit the ability of the gooferment to spend.

Now, when we have NO profit or price mechanism, the gooferment can’t do anything. Because EVERY decision becomes a “political” decision. Only at the very grossest level can we opine on government spending. Suppose that a park was a for profit operation, like Disney World, and it had to carry its costs. This is the specific argument that I have with the South Brunswick “Public Library”. They take money from property taxes and “fund raising” that they do. People in and around South Brunswick didn’t support a movie theater; it went out of business. How can the “Public Library” go out of business? It can’t. The State Gooferment “legislates” that there be one for every Municipal Gooferment. It’s politics; not economics.

You have to laugh at the Census advertisement saying that everyone should fill it out so that “the Gooferment can figure out how many schools we need”. That is the economic calculation problem. We never hear anything about how many McDonalds we need. Because some uncompensated person has risked their capital to fulfill what they perceive as a need. See if we left education to parents, as we do food, clothing, and a myriad of other things, then we would know EXACTLY how many “schools are needed”. Of course, the Gooferment with its “zoning regulations” still interferes. That’s why we have a McDonalds on Sand Hill and Route 1 where a jug handle should be.

In closing, I know that I’ll get the usual carping about “libertarian looniness”. But it is a real political and economic problem. It’s wasteful to have politicians and bureaucrats making what should be economic decisions.

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INTERESTING: Chaos creates order

Health Care, Chaos, and the Challenge of Chickens in Manhattan
John O’Leary and William D. Eggers | 02/24/2010

*** begin quote ***

The paradox is that chaos creates order, while control can result in chaos. In an effort to control outcomes, free exchange is curtailed and the essential ordering signals of price and profit are lost—leading to misallocation of resources and outcomes that nobody likes.

Few of us appreciate how mundane chaos really is and how we are essentially surrounded by it.

Consider: Who is in charge of getting the right number of chickens to Manhattan every day? After all, few chickens live there, but a lot of chickens get eaten there. The typical Manhattanite downs about sixty pounds of chicken a year, in every imaginable form, from chicken chow mein to chicken nuggets, from organic chicken to those little cubes that float in your can of chicken soup. Untold thousands of people participate in providing for Manhattan’s ever-changing chicken needs, from truck drivers to restaurant owners, from grocery store managers to Arkansas chicken farmers. Who is in charge? Who makes sure that New York City winds up with the right amount of the right kind of chicken?

The answer is: No one. The chaos of the uncontrolled buying and selling of the market produces an orderly pattern of exchanges that coordinates the activities of independent yet interdependent participants. The result, without any central planning, is an adaptable and ever-changing arrangement that generally meets the needs of Manhattan’s chicken eating public. The government provides certain oversight and context for the market. The U.S. Department of Agriculture watches over chicken farms and the city’s Board of Health licenses and inspects restaurants. Chickens are hauled over public roads and contract disputes between chicken farmers and truckers are resolved in public courts. But when it comes to the essence of the chicken delivery system—how much chicken, of what kind, at what price—it is the invisible workings of supply and demand that align the productive activities of a loose network of thousands of people (and companies) in making sure New Yorkers get their chicken potpie, chicken vindaloo, and extra-spicy buffalo chicken wings.

*** end quote ***

Interesting, no central authority using force to “enforce an orderly market”. No “market failures”. Just lots of folks seeking their own best interests as they see them. That’s called “freedom”. If the gooferment didn’t “inspect” chickens — ignore for the moment that this is a farce because they don’t do any “inspecting” — just look into what they really do! — do you think the marketplace wouldn’t figure out how to make chickens safe? Kosher, Halal, WalMart, supermarket guaranties, Consumers Reports or Underwriters’ Laboratory, consumers or buyers talking to each other.

And don’t even get me started on the “roads” argument. No roads in Disney World?

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QUOTE: Poverty — L. Neil Smith

Poverty is a solved problem – all they have to do is abolish taxes and regulations which cripple those intelligent, capable, and responsible men and women and destroy their productive capacity, then stand back and watch the economy boom.

— L. Neil Smith  

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MONEY: Ship your luggage?

Kip Tips
Save Money by Shipping Your Luggage
You may spend less by using a shipping company — rather than the airlines — to get your bags to your destination.
By Cameron Huddleston, Contributing Editor,

*** begin quote ***

You may be able to save money by shipping your luggage rather than checking it in the next time you fly. The idea might sound absurd. But if you do the math – as has done for you in this chart — you’ll see that it would cost you less in some cases to send your bags to your destination by FedEx, UPS or U.S. Postal Service ground shipping.

*** end quote ***

We did it once before it was fashionable. Worked excellent. Not cheap. Probably cheaper now. And, easier.

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NEWJERSEY: Tackling the NJ financial mess  

Kneale: With NJ Governor Christie, a Star Is Born
Published: Thursday, 18 Feb 2010 | 12:35 PM ET
By: Dennis Kneale
CNBC Media & Technology Editor

*** begin quote ***

And he cited a stunning stat: A 42-year-old state government worker in New Jersey who gets a 20-year pension has paid in all of $124,000—and will take out $3.8 million in payments and health coverage for the rest of his life.

This simply can’t continue, yet few other politicians are talking about the government pension bubble that could bankrupt some cities. A new report from the Pew Center on the States says states have promised to pay $3.35 trillion to current and retired workers—and are running $1 trillion short in funding that obligation.

The worst-off state: President Obama’s home state of Illinois, which has funded only 54% of what it will have to pay out. Unions now represent 40% of all government workers, and they are especially powerful at the local and state levels. Given the Dems’ union ties, ya gotta question whether benefit cuts are a viable option, as I wrote about here.

But I now hold out new hope, thanks to Gov. Christie of New Jersey. He brings a fresh new face and a voluble, emphatic voice to politics. Let us pray we hear a lot more from him.

*** end quote ***

Politicians “adding” part time jobs into lucrative pensions at the taxpayers’ expense is also a big problem.

Time to shift to something that resembles private industry.

(1) No defined benefit pensions for anyone.

(2) Eliminate ALL abuses.

(3) 401ks for everyone. “Recognition bonds” for all unfunded liabilities. Use rock solid Insurance Companies to protect both the employees and taxpayers.


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MONEY: Beat Airline Fees

How To Beat Airline Fees
Quentin Hardy, 02.18.10, 07:00 PM EST
Garments and gadgets that let you travel light and avoid extra charges on your next trip.

*** begin quote ***

This was before plausible roller bags, Web sites for lightweight travelers, and all the digital folding headphones, smart phone stands and nanofiber clothing that make the light life easy. It was also before the cursed baggage fees–now beating them is almost like flying for free.

*** end quote ***

Of course, I would only fly if I couldn’t get an appointment for a colonoscopy!

It also makes the “safety” case that all that junk dragged into the cabin makes us ALL unsafe should an emergency occur. The TSA should be the bad guy, (It is already.) By enforcing the number and size restrictions on carry ons. The airlines SHOULD charge for all the carry on crap. That’s what SHOULD be discouraged! Make checked bags free; carry on costs!


If I were “king”, I’d proclaim the diktat throughout the land. And the serfs would rejoice.

If not for that, then for the fact we’d be using gold as a monetary standard and the gooferment would be cut down to size. (And, the airlines would be running the terminals, schedules, and “security”. Where passengers could sue in the “king’s” court for damages.)

And, peace and prosperity would be the rule though out the “kingdom”.

I can only wish!

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MONEY: Estates don’t make it to heirs

February 10, 2010
A Tale of Two Sisters

*** begin quote ***

While meeting with a client yesterday I heard a story that I thought was instructive and worth repeating. My client’s two aunts were both in the same nursing home. One of her aunts was destitute, and her room was paid for by Medicaid. The other had managed to save a couple of hundred thousand dollars and was in the room next door privately paying for her care at about $5,000 per month. After about 3 years, the other aunt was also destitute and received Medicaid. My client correctly observed that both sisters had the same type of room, in the exact same facility, and received the same care, but one was spending her life’s savings while the other received the same care at no cost. My client wisely recognized the wisdom of planning in order to preserve her life’s savings.

*** end quote ***

Having seen this situation up close and personal, I agree it’s a disaster.

A great aunt gave a substantial estate to eventually getting tossed from a “private” nursing home into a state facilitiy. An aunt, who was merely “great” to me, burned through a several hundred thousand dollar “savings” to wind up the same way.

The answer: don’t get old!

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GAMBLING: Expanding casinos will lead to Chapter 11 all around

— On Tue, 2/2/10, Casino City Times News Desk <> wrote:

From: Casino City Times News Desk <>
Subject: Casino City Times: Delaware approves table games for racetrack casinos

On Feb 2, 2010, at 8:42 AM, Luddite wrote:

Nice slot strategy, and table games at Delaware Park and Dover? Cool. LV continues to suffer over years from not being the only place to gamble…still has the magic though.

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I think imho that they (the politicians) are going to kill their own “golden goose”. “Gambling” doesn’t help build the mindset of a vigorous energetic people building “wealth”. I have read some stuff that it impoverishes the bottom strata and extracts net 15% from the local economy. In addition, all the venues makes it less “special” and divides the pie in to infinitesimally small slices that can’t support economic activity. Thus, their “slice” wanes over time. imho!

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POLITICAL: China dictates American policy

China PLA officers urge economic punch against U.S.
Chris Buckley
Tue Feb 9, 2010 12:00pm EST

*** begin quote ***

BEIJING (Reuters) – Senior Chinese military officers have proposed that their country boost defense spending, adjust PLA deployments, and possibly sell some U.S. bonds to punish Washington for its latest round of arms sales to Taiwan.

*** end quote ***

Doesn’t anyone find this dangerous?

(1) Immediately balance the budget. Nuke functions. Lower taxes (i.e., the Laffer curve will increase revenue).

(2) Create a debt-reduction plan (i.e., whatever reasonable interval to pay it off — fifty years? a hundred years?).

(3) Adopt something with teeth that can keep this from happening again!


Your gooferment at work!

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POLITICAL: Palin, Tea Party, and how to put the pig on a diet

Palin Drives Libertarians out of Tea Party
By: Jane Hamsher
Monday February 8, 2010 8:00 am

*** begin quote ***

There was a lot of pushback because of the price of the Palin tickets, and many of the rank-and-file tea party activists see her as a symbol of the establishment GOP’s attempt to co-opt their nascent movement.

Palin evidently thought she could endorse Rand Paul and they’d all throw flowers at her feet. Instead they’re having a melt down over her speech, trying to figure out how to keep the neocons out of future conventions.

Rather than navigating the gulf between the tea party activists and the GOP, Palin drove a wedge between them.

Well, at least she had the good sense not to mention her Bridge to Nowhere. But you have to wonder why they invited her there in the first place.

*** end quote ***

I correctly called Palin as McCain’s VP 3 months before the decision.

I liked Palin when she made “her” speech/

I thought that she was improperly prepared for the Katie’s ambush.

I do know that the neocons are not libertarians.

I KNOW that the Tea Party people are the “new kids” on the block.

BUT, if they succumb to EITHER party then they will just put BHO44 back in the White House. They need to pick and chose who to endorse base of track records. They need to align with some of the folks that have been fighting these battles for years! They need to back those initiatives that will cut the problems down to size (i.e., Read The Bills Act; One Subject At Time; Audit the FED; Free Competition in Currency Act)/

You have to start cutting this “pig” down to size; not putting lipstick on it.

How about a law DECREASING the debt ceiling a 100M$ every year until it’s ZERO?

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POLITICS: OBH44 and his economic illiterates

Wednesday, February 03, 2010
$2 Trillion in Tax Hikes Is Good for the Economy?   
Larry Kudlow

*** begin quote ***

Why not put more money into private pockets to spur growth — the free-market capitalist way? Why slam businesses, banks, and hedge funds to the tune of nearly $500 billion?

Once again, it takes liquidity from the private sector, reduces economic growth and the incentive effect, and gives money to the government.

Here’s the key point. All of these fat-cat, class-warfare, soak-the-(alleged)-rich tax-hike proposals actually reduce investment and capital formation so much so that jobs and wages will ultimately falter on Main Street. That’s what Team Obama is missing.

Taxing businesses and so-called “rich” people hurts ordinary working folks. That’s a fact. And that’s why this is a misbegotten policy. We’re not talking class warfare here; we’re talking growth. My way is the growth way. So far, the Team Obama way is a social policy on the left that has nothing to do with spurring jobs and economic growth.

*** end quote ***

Can’t drum it in to economic illiterates.

  • Companies don’t pay taxes; only real people do.
  • The government spends OUR money; it doesn’t EARN any. It does NOT create wealth.
  • A dollar taken by the gooferment is not available for other productive uses.
  • A dollar is not a store of value when the gooferment runs the printing press.
  • The political process is corrupt. It’s not a democracy; nor is it “representative”!

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MONEY: The debt will ensure that any freeze is a joke

Obama: The era of big government is … eternal
Posted: January 28, 2010
Larry Elder is a syndicated radio talk-show host

*** begin quote ***

What about the national debt – what we owe? According to the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation: “The public national debt – $5.8 trillion as of 2008 – is projected to double by 2012 and nearly triple by 2019. Thus, America would accumulate more government debt under President Obama than under every president in American history from George Washington to George W. Bush combined.”

The Big Entitlements – Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – remain the incredible spending faucets set on automatic growth. Neither Obama and his party nor most “fiscally conservative” Republicans offer anything resembling a way out. Meanwhile, the band plays on.

*** end quote ***

The Socialists aka Secular Progressives, will bankrupt us sooner or later.

How does the country survive?

Tax revolt by the payers.

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MONEY: Tax the banks; tax the people

False Hope in Financial Free Lunch
By The Mogambo Guru

*** begin quote ***

“President Barack Obama said Thursday he wants to tax banks to recoup the public bailout of foundering firms at the height of the financial crisis.”! Hahaha!

I am sure that you, being the astute Junior Mogambo Ranger (JMR) that you are, are laughing merrily with along with me – Hahahahahaha! – because this is so, so, so Theater-of-the-Absurd funny on so many, many, many levels, once you get beyond the horrifying, un-funny realization that it is abysmally, shockingly, alarmingly stupid on just the one level: it is a known fact that a tax on a business is just another expense to the business, like labor and raw materials, that is added to the prices that they must charge their customers in order to make a profit, which makes prices go up as the businesses raise prices to maintain their profit margins by recouping the tax they had to pay by, in case you haven’t been paying attention, raising prices, which is inflation, which is the one thing a country does NOT want, making a tax on business the most stupid thing you can do.

*** end quote ***

I’m not laughing at the fool in the WH or all the other fools on the Hill. They are sooo dumb!

And, we’re just as dumb to not standing up to ALL of them.

(1) ANY tax on ANY company is dumb. EITHER: (A) the company takes this new cost and passes it along to the customers. (Might even mark it up a little, a la any regulated utility that has a license to steal!) OR (B) if the cost can’t be passed along due to (international?) competition, it goes out of business and closes down and let’s go all its employees. How dumb can one person, even the President, be?

(2) Banks are a special type of company. It deals in money. If you are supposedly trying to get the banks to loan money to Main Street to get the economy moving, taking money from them makes ZERO sense! Perhaps, the President may want to speak to to little Timmy tax cheat Geithner, who defends AIG rescue as essential (to Goldman Sachs) and Helicopter Ben, about the banks borrowing from Treasury at zero and buying Treasury Bills at 3%. Seems like that is worse than the bail out!

The “Corporate tax” should be ZERO. Only real people pay taxes!


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POLITICAL: Energy independence; absent leadership

My Life in Key West

Monday, February 1, 2010

*** begin quote ***

The article contained an observation that sticks with me. The United States has depended on the Middle East for years for its power supply, to wit: oil. That if the United States did not get into the manufacture of renewable energy quickly and in big time, our energy dependency in the future would move to the Far East. China!

And we would have replaced one less than friendly peoples for another in satisfying our energy needs.

All very interesting. Thought provoking. Part of Obama’s State of the Union speech.

Talk is one thing. Action another. Obama has to move us in the direction of manufacture and use of renewable energy dramatically. Now, not tomorrow. And everyone, Democrat and Republican alike, should support him in this endeavor. This is not a No issue.

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(1) Unfortunately for us, OBH44 is an inexperienced “talker”; not a “do-er”. We need a “leader”; not a “community organizer”. Every politician lectures us about “energy independence”. Little gets done. If we still funded the Federal Government on tariffs and duties like the Dead Old White Guys wanted us to do, then the gooferment would be a lot smaller and less intrusive. AND, we’d have energy independence. because solutions here would be cheaper than imported oil from there. Maybe we might have a car industry too, instead of having sent allt he jobs overseas. Too late, we get smart. It might be way too late.

(2) With all the secession talk, maybe Mike and Tina can do some stuff for real. When the S hits the fan, maybe we can replace the FED’s “dollar” with a Constitutional gold and silver money. The we’d be once again the envy of the world with “honest money”. Maybe then we could get working on the national debt so that we don’t condemn the children to Haiti-like poverty. Inter-generational theft will be how we are remembered as the progeny try to pay off the Chinese.

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RANT: Media Bias – Cost the FDIC?

Regulators shut down banks in 5 states
Regulators shutter banks in Calif., Fla., Ga., Minn., Wash., totaling 15 bank failures in 2010
By Marcy Gordon, AP Business Writer , On Friday January 29, 2010, 10:48 pm EST

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Regulators shut down a big bank in California on Friday, along with two banks in Georgia and one each in Florida, Minnesota and Washington. That brought to 15 the number of bank failures so far in 2010 atop the 140 shuttered last year in the punishing economic climate.

The failure of Los Angeles-based First Regional Bank, with nearly $2.2 billion in assets and $1.9 billion in deposits, is expected to cost the federal deposit insurance fund $825.5 million.

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And, where, pray tell, does the FDIC get “its” money?

Yes, the taxpayer.

Either directly or indirectly.

Neither the gooferment, nor any corporation, have ANY money that doesn’t originate from a real person.

Some of the FDIC money is extracted from the banks that it “insures”, but that is extracted by the surviving banks from its customers which are, presumably, taxpayers.

Now, with the supposed “insurance” fund broke, it gets “its” money from the Treasury which means we borrow it from China!


Hopefully, the AP writer will learn that 825.5 comes from the poor taxpayer.

And, we wonder why we are in a depression?

Economic illiteracy!

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POLITICS: A spending freeze? Is he kidding me?

reinkefj has left a new comment on the post “A spending freeze? Is he kidding me?”:

Amazing when the wacko left and the wacko right agree, a spending freeze is just dumb. What he needs to do is what he promised in the campaign. Sit down with the Federal budget and a red pen.

Freezing spending at current levels is just enshrining the past mistakes.

imho, for example, milk and sugar price supports. We pay money so that people have to pay higher prices?

imho, minimum wage, that puts minority youths out of work. If there is a marginal worker, he’s out as opposed to making a few bucks. And, it cost the taxpayers in all sorts of ways.

imho, military bases in 170 countries. Let have some base closings in strange places.

That’s the way to “freeze” spending.

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It merely “freezes” the increased spending of the past decade. Argh!

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INTERESTING: Fixing Haiti long-term


Haiti’s Avoidable Death Toll

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The way out of Haiti’s grinding poverty is not rocket science. Ranking countries according to: (1) whether they are more or less free market, (2) per capita income, and (3) ranking in International Amnesty’s human rights protection index, we would find that those nations with a larger free market sector tend also to be those with the higher income and greater human rights protections. Haitian President Rene Preval is not enthusiastic about free markets; his heroes are none other than the hemisphere’s two brutal communist tyrants: Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Cuba’s Fidel Castro.

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We can’t fix it, but let’s keep the crooked leaders out of the USA. Persona Non Grata.

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TECHNOLOGY: ENUM won’t be implemented by the vested ISPs

ENUM: Dragging telephone numbers into the Internet Age

E-mail, IM, Facebook, phones—what if all of these ways to reach you over a network could be condensed into a single, unique number? The ENUM proposal aims to do just that, by giving everyone a single phone number that maps to all of their identifiers. Here’s how it works, and why it isn’t already widely used.

By Rudolf van der Berg | Last updated January 13, 2010 11:30 PM

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The main issue is that the ENUM standard (RFC 3761) demands that ENUM is a public service and that the control of the telephone number lies in the hands of the end-user. For this reason, it’s known as “Public-” or “User ENUM.” This is all in line with the Internet’s user- and endpoint-centric creed. This becomes quite clear if you read, for instance, the documentation of Nominet, which controls the UK’s ENUM registry (the +44 registry). It explicitly states that users can bypass their communications provider when they register in the ENUM registry. A significant amount of money is made by today’s telephony providers (be they traditional providers or ISPs providing VoIP bundled with Internet access). Telephony providers see User ENUM as a threat to their bottom line and are therefore not keen on introducing the technology nationally.

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The inet was driven by motivated individuals, not gooferments, not ISPs, not companies.

We need to get back to the fast innovation cycle of the old inet!

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