Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Senator Richard Burr really sucks at stock trading

The harder I look at Senator Richard Burr's stock trading activity, the more shocked I become at what a financial idiot we have for a US Senator:
  • Bought stock in AIG on March 26, 2008. He doesn't indicate a sale of AIG in 2008, and hasn't reported his 2009 activity yet. He likely took a bath in that stock. It closed at a reverse stock split equivalent of $867 a share the day he bought it. It trades at $45 a share now, a 95% loss.
  • Bought RR Donnelley in early '08 and sold it near YE for a 50% loss.
  • Got his butt kicked even more badly in Alliance Bernstein and Atmel. What was he thinking?
  • At YE '08 he was sitting on AMEX, AON, KeyCorp, Legg Mason and Wachovia stock (among many others), which were later decimated.
Man oh man. I'm actually starting to feel sorry for our US Senator. But I feel even more sorry for the people of North Carolina. We have a financial idiot representing us in Washington DC. North Carolina deserves better than US Senator Richard Burr

$3,238 - Avg Small business cheating on income taxes

What's $3,238? It's the amount of money the average small business person pockets every year by not paying their fair share of federal income taxes. How do I know this? Well, I did some research, and used some basic math skills. Why do I care about this number? I care because I'm just damn tired of listening to my Republican elected representatives tell me how we need to give small businesses more income tax breaks. Sound familiar? It's another Republican mantra. We need to throw more of our tax money at small business. We can't increase any taxes, it'll hurt small business. Small business this, small business that. Bullshit.

How about let's change this Republican mantra to "let's make small businesses pay their damn fair share of income taxes, like the rest of us"?

The math is pretty easy. The IRS does detailed work every couple of years to determine how much cheating takes place in America on the income tax front. The results of the last study are detailed here. The amount of annual unpaid income taxes came to $345 Billion - $1,045 per every American citizen. Stunning, eh? We're a country of income tax cheats.

If you read the study results carefully you'll see that about $68 Billion of that shortfall comes from filers of Schedule C (small business, sole proprietorship). According to this website, there are about 21 million Schedule C filers annually. So, on average, each small business person underpays $3,238 in federal income taxes ($68 Billion / 21 Million). Small business people cheat up a storm.

Do keep in mind, this doesn't include the tax cheating that goes on with the 4.4 million filers of Subchapter S Corporations (the majority of which are small business people), or the millions and millions more filers of partnership and LLC Corp. returns too. It's a landmine of small business tax cheaters out there.

So, next time you hear Republican Senator Richard Burr get on his soapbox and talk about how we need to help small business, give the man crap. Tell him to take a hike. We should help those who honestly pay the income tax they owe. And right now, a giant bulk of the tax gap in this country comes from the income tax cheating of small business owners. Instead of helping these people, we should be hiring more IRS agents and going after them aggressively.

Republican Senator Richard Burr wants to give your tax dollars to the tax cheats. How much sense does that make? North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Does trade data lie?

My Republican party won't stop running its mouth about free trade. The theory is that trade agreements with other countries will boost our trading and bring more economic activity and jobs to our country. So, how's that working out for America?

It's not working worth a crap. And someone needs to step back and use some common sense. We've given away our manufacturing base to China. We make little to nothing in our country now. We're stuck in this box where we get just about all our manufactured goods off a line where Chinese workers are paid a couple hundred dollars a month to work 7 days a week and 10 to 12 hours a day. We can't compete against that. We make nothing in our country. And our unemployment lines continue to swell.

Take some time and actually look at the trade data. From about a $100 Billion annual deficit in the mid 90s, when we embarked on this policy of running around the world handing other people our manufacturing base, we're now running $600, $700, $800 Billion trade deficits. We're giving almost a Trillion dollars of wealth annually to other countries. I don't know about you, but its pretty evident to me that continuing to pass our wealth to other countries will eventually end badly. It'll make our housing crises look like a picnic, eventually.

Can we stop with this bullshit Republican talk about the "need" to sign free trade agreements? It's time for an adult to walk into this insane Republican situation and call a timeout.

Richard Burr. This man never met a free trade agreement he didn't want to support. And now we don't make squat in North Carolina. Textiles? Gone. Furniture? Gone. We make nothing here, absolutely nothing that can provide a decent job for blue collar North Carolinians. Thank you Senator Burr. Thank you for the long unemployment lines and the screwed up economic mess you've dropped on our doorstep.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Hypocrisy run wild

Allan Meltzer is writing an interesting opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal today. "Why Obamanomics has failed". I should probably know who Allan is, but don't have a clue. His piece slams the President, so he must be some famous Republican who I've never heard of. Still, his opinion piece is good. You should read it. If for no other reason, to understand the F*@^ing Republican hypocrisy that is so plainly evident. This is a classic example of why I'm in a state of protest against my party. I am just damn tired of all the finger pointing, without acknowledging that Republicans are the primary reason we are where we are in our economic mess.

Allan makes many good points about why President Obama's stimulus plans have not worked. One of his points though is so far off-base that it should be offensive to any reader. "One piece [of the President's stimulus plan] financed temporary tax cuts. This was a mistake, and ignores the role of expectations in the economy. Economic theory predicts that temporary tax cuts have little effect on spending [no duh]."

Why were tax cuts even included in the stimulus plan? They were included because no REPUBLICANS would sign on to vote for the plan unless tax cuts were included. President Obama did not want to include tax cuts in a stimulus package. He was forced to do this in order to avoid a Senate Republican filibuster. This was a REPUBLICAN mistake. And its time for REPUBLICANS to admit that their continued insistence on addressing every damn problem in this country with tax cuts, that go primary to the wealthy, is a failed policy that brought us to this point. Stop with the damn tax cuts. Focus on spending cuts, and adjust the tax code so that its fair.

I'm tired of Republicans not owning up to their responsibility for this mess. I'm tired of Republicans even having a say in any legislation in efforts to improve this situation. We are where we are because Republicans use the Senate filibuster to continue to screw up America.

What can we do about this? It's time to punish the Republicans who brought us this mess. It's time to throw these bums out of office. And North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr is one bum who needs to go. North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Let's not tax the banks?

Republicans are standing in the way of Fin Reg (financial reform). They don't want the government to tax the banks.

OK. Let's think about this from a common sense standpoint. Bankers took us to the brink of an economic collapse. These idiots needed massive amounts of taxpayer money to be rescued. And the vast majority took our money and continued to pay themselves egregious amounts of compensation. Republicans are saying "let's not punish the bankers". That makes common sense. Right? Hell no. There's not an entity in our country more deserving of higher income tax rates than bankers.

Then we're also looking at a situation where the Democrats trying to cobble together this bill are trying to live by Paygo (pay as we go) rules. If we pass new legislation that costs our government money, let's make sure it's paid for via new taxes, or spending cuts elsewhere. Paygo is a foreign language to Republicans. During the Bush years, Republicans only knew how to spend money. Yet, let's not tax the banks to pay for financial system reform? My god, if we can't put a tax on fatcat bankers who pay themselves ungodly amounts of money, what in the world are our Republican Politicians going to propose when it really comes time to get serious about cutting our deficits?

Oh, I got it. Let's cut taxes on everybody. It's the Republican mantra. Have a problem? Cut taxes. Need a cure for cancer? Cut taxes. Want world peace? Cut taxes. And you think our deficits are a Democratic spending problem?

You know something, I'm just totally pissed off at a Republican world where hedge fund managers making hundreds of millions in annual compensation only pay a 15% federal income tax rate, yet a married teacher and firefighter are paying 25,28,31% federal income taxes on their combined $100 K annual compensation, and we can't put a tax on egregiously paid bankers who almost destroyed our world? Welcome to Republican insanity.

Today's Republican Politicians in Washington DC are just plain clueless dolts.

Republican Senator Richard Burr is a friend to egregiously paid, irresponsible bankers. North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

I'm laughing now

I listen to Larry Kudlow. It pains me to admit that. Larry's a right wing nut job, Republican Economist. He has a show on CNBC (the business news network) every evening from 7 - 8 pm. I usually TIVO it and listen to it about now, around 10 or 11 pm in the evenings. It takes lots of energy to suppress the desire to throw up. But every now and then, Larry will shut up long enough to allow one of his good guests to make some interesting comments.

This evening, I'm watching Larry and laughing my ass off. He's talking with Rick Santelli. Rick reports from the trading floors of Chicago. One of Rick's rants about six months ago is being attributed to the founding of the tea party movement in this country. Rick's another uber right wing nut case who's way out in right field, out to lunch. Larry asked Rick what our government should be doing right now. Rick wants an across the board tax cut, as does just about every Republican in Washington DC. That's so damn stupid. So I'm laughing my ass off.

We're in an environment now where consumers are absolutely scared to death. So what do scared people do, run out and spend money? Hell no. They'll sit on that money. And if they do spend it, they'll go to Wal-Mart and buy necessities, largely stuff made in China. Right now, tax cuts are nothing but a way to boost savings, or create jobs in China. But we need that money targeted to buying goods that will be produced in this country, so jobs will be created in this country. We don't create jobs in America when we give Americans money to put in the bank or buy crap from China.

I can hear Republicans now ... savings equals capital creation, equals capital investment, equals jobs. Well, normally that's true. But right now, it's far from the truth. We have an abundance of capital in this country. Demand for our treasury securities at auction far exceeds supply. Banks are flush with capital to lend, they just don't have enough safe prospects to lend the money out. Republicans simply don't get this. To the one, Republican politicians are simply stuck in their same old mantra of cutting taxes as the answer to anything and everything that ills our country. It's such ridiculous bullshit. Republican politicians are idiots and don't have a lick of common sense.

If consumers are scared and won't spend, then the government needs to step in and spend. But, the government spending needs to be very highly targeted to spending on goods and services that originate in America. That's what creates jobs. Where we keep screwing up is in having to appease Republicans by putting tax cuts into our stimulus plans. And that's why our stimulus doesn't work.

We need some common sense in Washington DC. And that's not coming from our hapless Republican party right now. And it's especially not coming from our state's lawn mowing salesman Republican Senator Richard Burr. Senator Burr won't shut up about needing tax cuts, at a time that tax cuts won't do a damn thing to solve our problems. We deserve better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I can't wait

Fox News. Glenn Beck. Bill O'Reilly. Shawn what's his name. These idiots have brainwashed gullible Americans into thinking that we absolutely must stop spending. We absolutely must cut taxes. We absolutely must keep our war machine overseas. We absolutely must not touch social security and medicare.

I can't wait. I can't wait to hear how Republicans intend to make all this happen. It's going to be like trying to cram a 500 pound passenger into the back seat of a Toyota Prius. It just isn't going to happen. No way, no how.

Come to think of it, have you ever heard a plan from Republican Senator Richard Burr as to how he wants to balance our budgets? He's not going to cut defense, social security or medicare? He's going to stay in Iraq and Afghanistan as long as it takes? He's going to cut taxes? Yeah, I always knew that 1+1 = 22. Glenn Beck, Fox News and Republican Senator Richard Burr says it does, so it must be true.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Financial panic on our doorstep again

There's a financial markets bloodbath unfolding in Europe this morning. And we're going to feel the pain of it here in the US. A massive run on the European banks is happening right now. Funds are being yanked out of every major European bank. That money is fleeing to the US and Switzerland. Why? Because conservative, Republican like forces are calling the shots in Europe. They are cutting budgets and withdrawing liquidity from their economies at exactly the wrong time. Look to the coming European panic and financial disaster to see our future here in the US if Republicans take back control of our economy. The Republican philosophy of deep budget cuts and tight monetary controls will do to us what those philosophies are doing to Europe right now. Our economy will be decimated.

Just watch, and learn over the coming days. It's going to get ugly, both in Europe, and here in the US. The financial markets will dive. Massive amounts of wealth will get destroyed. Our economies will turn down, consumers will get scared, and the great death spiral to economic ruin begins.

The Republican mantra of tight money and tight budgets is exactly wrong headed at this point in history. It will take us down the road of economic Armageddon. But, don't try to have that conversation with Republican Senator Richard Burr. The man sold lawnmower parts for a living before we sent him to Washington DC. Senator Richard Burr doesn't know jack about anything dealing with our economy. Senator Richard Burr is an economic idiot, as are most Republicans right now. They're simply clueless as to how we should be managing through this period of consumer uncertainty and fear. Their answer is to take a hammer and beat the fear out of the consumer. Right. Got it.

We need someone other than a lawnmower salesman in Washington DC representing us in the US Senate. North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Monday, June 28, 2010

We live in a strange, scary, WEIRD period

Things are really weird out there. Very weird.

Republican President George Bush pushes an "ownership society" and herds everyone into housing.
Republican Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan (a closet Libertarian) turns his back on rational, reasonable enforcement of regulations over the mortgage lending industry and everyone who can breathe gets a low cost "liar loan" to be a home owner.
Republican SEC Chairman Chris Cox applies his laissez-fair attitude to securities law enforcement and allows our nation's banks to package junk mortgage loans and sell this worthless paper around the world.
Republican controlled Congress exercises the power of the misguided purse and cuts taxes like mad, continues spending like mad, and racks up a boat load of debt.

Shit hits the fan.
The world economy goes into a tailspin.
Trillions in wealth are wiped off the map.
Many millions of people are unemployed and without hope.
All this, thanks largely to naive, misguided actions of my inept Republican Party.
We do the sensible thing and vote out the Republican bums, give the other guys a chance.

Now, here we are hardly two years later, and we want to bring back the guys who handed us this mess in the first place?

Like I said, things are getting really weird.

Get your head screwed on straight. Use a little North Carolina, southern, common sense. We can't give control back to those who brought us this mess in the first place. Although it pains me greatly to not vote Republican, we have to punish those people who laid this financial mess on our doorstep. North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr is one of these people. Senator Burr is to blame for this mess. He was there. He voted in lockstep with George W Bush. This financial mess is his fault.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Senator Burr rewards the rich, the fix is in.

The fix is in. The game of life in the United States is rigged. The rich are rewarded, the middle class get trampled, thanks to Republicans, thanks to the likes of Republican Senator Richard Burr.

How can I say this? Easy. Look no further than John Paulson - the American hedge fund manager who made $15 Billion shorting housing. John pocketed $3 to $4 Billion in fees. How much income tax did John pay? Next to nothing. John's uber wealthy, with a net worth of over $12 Billion. John's a member of the protected Republican class in America. John is a buddy, friend, pal to politicians like Republican Senator Richard Burr. John doesn't have to pay a reasonable amount of income tax. Our current Republican leaders think the rich pay too much, and the middle class need to pay more.

This is such bullshit. But this is exactly what our current Republican party stands for though. Through a little known "out" in the income tax code, super rich hedge fund managers pay only a 15% income tax rate on their profits. It's a provision referred to as "carried interest". And every time someone tries to correct this massive inequity, Republicans come to the defense of the super rich and cry and whine that this ultra low income tax rate is justified. The rich should pay less. So our nation's debt continues to soar and the middle class get stuck with the bill.

How much do you pay in taxes on your savings and investment? Well, you'll likely pay 2x what John pays. Your earnings from savings and investments are likely taxed at your incremental income tax rate of 25, 28, 31%. So Republicans handed John about $500 Million in additional wealth.

I have a common sense question for my Republican Party - what the F*#& are you smoking?

Aren't you tired of the crap that our Republican Party pulls to increase wealth concentration in our country? The super wealthy grow even more wealthy, while the middle class in our country sink into a deep dark hole, thanks to the current policies of our Republican Party. It's time to correct the inequities in our income tax code. Crap like "carried interest" are in dire need of adjustment. And the only way it's going to happen is to boot out of office the dolts like Republican Senator Richard Burr who continue to support this mess.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr. It's time to give this man his walking papers.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Republican Senator Richard Burr rewards theft

Richard Fuld Jr. - Lehman Brothers
Jimmy Cayne - Bear Stearns
Martin Sullivan - AIG
Robert Williamstad - AIG
Angelo Mozilo - Country Wide
Stan O'Neil - Merrill Lynch
Kenneth Lewis -Bank of America
Daniel Mudd - Fannie Mae
Richard Syron - Freddie Mac
G Kenny Thompson - Wachovia
Alan Fishman - Washington Mutual

Collectively, these men took many BILLIONS of dollars in compensation from their failed companies, absolutely shocking amounts of income. But the companies lie in ruin. As a result, investors around the world lost TRILLIONS in wealth. Taxpayers had to come to the table with HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS in loans, subsidies and outright grants to save our financial system from collapse. These sorry-assed executives took our money. Isn't that theft?

Try walking into a convenience store, and stealing a candy bar in plain sight. You're going to get arrested and thrown in jail. But these executives? They kept their wealth and live high on the hog.

This all happened under the watch of Republican Senator Richard Burr's service in Washington DC. Has he done one damn thing to bring justice to this situation? Has our Senator moved to right this colossal wrong? Has he done anything to strip these sorry executives of their ill gotten wealth and return it to the taxpayers? NOPE, not a damn thing. More importantly, why aren't these people in jail?

And that's why we need to send our sorry Republican Senator Richard Burr packing. For Richard Burr thinks it's OK for corporate executives to rip us off for BILLIONS, while we arrest the man who steals a candy bar from a convenience store.

North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr hasn't lifted a finger to bring justice to the real theft that has occurred in our economy. If he won't do anything about them, then we need to throw Senator Burr's sorry butt out of office. We deserve better than Richard Burr.

Senator Richard Burr is an empty suit

Bank Run Burr. That's how I think of him, ever since, at the very height of our nation's recent financial crises, our Republican Senator Richard Burr was busy doing what? .... calling his wife Brooke and encouraging her to run to the bank and withdraw as much cash as possible.

Is our Senator trying to solve our nation's problems, or his he doing nothing but contributing to even more problems? Bank Run Burr. The man is just one huge, smelly problem for the people of North Carolina. Don't step in it.

Senator Burr does nothing, absolutely nothing to help us in Washington DC.

The fact that our Republican Senator Richard Burr is an empty suit was very recently reinforced in my mind. As I was paying bills and doing paperwork, I had C-span on the other evening. A committee of Senators and Representatives were working hard to hammer out a compromise bill for adult oversight of our nation's financial markets and its various players. This financial reform is extremely important to our nation. Where was Senator Burr? Well, he was busy on the Senate floor addressing ridiculously stupid issues - honoring tennis player John Isner. Tennis, versus financial system reform. Our Senator chose Tennis.

North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr spends his time doing really stupid shit, while the important work of our nation's Senators falls on other shoulders. And that's why Bank Run Burr needs his sorry butt kicked to the curb. North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Losing steam - But Burr still has to go

I've been losing some steam in my efforts to keep this blog going, for a couple reasons. First, I saw the writing on the wall in terms of who the Democrats would be putting on the ticket to run against Richard Burr. It's been evident to me for awhile that Elaine Marshall would get the nod. I'm not an Elaine Marshall fan. It's a shame really. She's almost a neighbor. If I stand on my front porch and toss a rock over to the next neighborhood, I can almost hit her house. But Elaine, like Richard Burr, simply doesn't possess the brain power to address the economic and financial issues that I care so much about. So, it's a struggle when I think forward to walking into that voting booth and taking my anger out on the Republican Party.

Second, I'm still on a hiatus from the real world. I bought a big, new house late last year. I've been snowed in a myriad of projects putting my stamp on our new home. I've refinished our garage with slick new epoxy and high gloss floors, done so much repainting that I wish I owned stock in Sherwin Williams, and am building a killer workshop in my basement. And I've also been saddled with a complete rework of my old home in an effort to sell it in this lousy-assed Republican disaster of an economy. So I've been able to take my mind off of how royally my Republican Party screwed our nation.

So where do I stand now? I'm still more than pissed off at how Republicans ran the American economy into the ground. I'm pissed that they shoveled massive amounts of wealth to the very top tier in our country, at the expense of the middle class (wealth concentration run wild). I'm pissed that they allowed Wall Street to rape and pillage with no adult oversight. I'm pissed that their laissez-faire, free market approach to just about every economic issue allowed thieves to empty our wallets. And I'm really pissed off at how, although they caused this mess, Republicans stand back now, point fingers, and try to pin the blame on anybody but themselves.

So, I'm not crazy about voting for Elaine Marshall, but Republican Senator Richard Burr screwed our country. Burr voted in lockstep with that moron of a President George W Bush. Those clowns brought us one hell of an economic mess. Republicans who served in the Bush administration need to be punished. Republican Senator Richard Burr needs to go. It's time to kick his sorry butt to the curb.