Friday, July 30, 2010

Will allowing the Bush Tax Cuts to expire REALLY hurt small businesses?


I'm tired of people, primarily Republicans, coming onto CNBC and arguing about small business owners being hurt if we allow the Bush tax cuts to expire on the wealthy. Their argument is that the vast majority of the 4.3 Million filers (Table 3) who report over $200 K in taxable income are small business owners. I really haven't looked around to see if I can confirm this to be the case. I will take a look at this issue at some point this weekend.

However, I do know that over $345 Billion in taxes don't get paid annually because of cheating. Small businesses account for a very large portion of our nation's $345 Billion annual cheating on tax returns. Here's a short powerpoint presentation from the IRS on their detailed studies of recently filed returns. Almost 30% of it, a total of $109 Billion, comes from individuals under reporting business income. Sole proprietorships, partnerships, and S-Corp owners are simply deciding they don't want to pay their fair share of income tax. This has got to stop. We simply can't afford this level of income tax cheating in our country.

For that reason alone, it's past time to increase the income tax rates on the wealthy, which Republicans argue are largely small businesses, the very same small businesses who cheat America out of $109 Billion annually. Republicans just need to shut the heck up about small businesses being hurt. They aren't being hurt. In fact, small businesses are hurting the rest of us, by not paying their fair share.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

America runs from stocks

News out of ICI today - Americans continue to dump shares of US equity mutual funds ($11 Billion sold in July - 12th straight month of net selling) like the funds possess some kind of plague. Can you blame them? Our markets are rigged. Our markets are controlled by High Frequency Traders (HFT). There is simply no way to win in the equity markets any more. Between Corporate Executives stealing our wealth through low priced stock options, and HFT shops putting a $21 Billion annual tax on our stock buying and selling, we're all losers. So, why buy stocks?

Who's to blame for this pitiful situation? Hell, I don't know. But I know what the problem is. And I know it's been a problem for years. And I know that Washington DC is about the only place where this mess can get cleaned up. And I know that Washington DC sits on it lazy collective tails and allows Corporate Executives and HFT traders to continue to steal our wealth and make it theirs. So, we sell stocks, and sell again, and again, and again. Wonder if anyone like our lazy Republican Senator Richard Burr will ever wake the hell up and stop the madness? Nope.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

$9,831.46, fork it over

We have a $1.4 Trillion deficit this year in our country. According to Table 3 in this post, there are about 142.4 Million individual income tax filers in our country. Do the math. We borrowed $9,831.46 for each income tax filer. A deficit is nothing more than deferred income taxes. If you filed a return, you'll be called on one day to pay $9,831.46 more than the tax you already paid, just for this past year.

Get out your checkbook. As you think about writing that check, give some thought to pinning blame for this disaster. Think ... 8 years of a Republican idiot in the White House, and more Republican idiots calling the shots in Congress. That's where the blame really lies. And I plan to fix the blame when I walk into the voting booth this fall.

If I had my way, they'd be mailing my bill for $9,831.46 to Brooke Burr, Senator Burr's wife. Maybe Brooke could pull payment out of her ATM machine?

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Allow tax cuts to expire on the Wealthy?


The Bush Tax Cuts expire at the end of this year. There's a raging debate in Washington DC as to what to do about these tax cuts. The White House wants to allow the tax cuts to expire on only those making more than $200 - $250 K a year (The Wealthiest 3% of Americans). Most Democrats support the White House. A few Democrats support the Republican stance. Almost to the one, Republicans do not want these tax cuts to expire.

This debate is insane. It's stupid and a total waste of time.

Let's look at the facts. Keep in mind that we're running an annual budget deficit of $1.4 Trillion. Look at Table 6 of this post. The annual taxable income of the Wealthiest 3% of Americans is about $2 Trillion. If we allow the Bush Tax Cuts to expire on just Americans earning over $200 - $250 K, their income tax rates will go up by about 5%. Do the math. 5% times $2 Trillion = $100 Billion. We'd raise only an additional $100 Billion in annual taxes to try to solve our $1.4 Trillion annual problem? That's not even a start.

Let's get real here. An additional $100 Billion from the Wealthiest Americans only solves 7% of our $1.4 Trillion annual problem. What the hell kind of debate is this? We can't even move to solve 7% of our problem without Republicans raising hell over getting it done?

God Damn the Republican Party. Get off your lazy asses in Washington DC and look at the math. Do the damn math, idiots. Of course we need to raise these taxes. And we need to do MORE, much more. Taxes on all Americans need to go up. Deep, deep cuts to spending, across the board need to happen too. NOW.

The Republican Party just damn sucks. They can't even take the first step to solve our nation's problems without creating all kinds of conflict, finger pointing, whining and crying. Republicans need a wake-up call. They all need their sorry tails kicked out of office.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

$8.7 Billion. Poof. Gone.

The Defense Department seems to have misplaced $8.7 Billion somewhere in Iraq. I guess they figured it was better to lose it there than spend it in the US for less important things like education, health care, or even food stamps for US Citizens.

What the hell else should we expect? We allowed a bunch of moronic Republicans to lie to us, and railroad our country into useless wars. We've spent $1 Trillion for wars. How much health care could that have bought our nation?

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Time to bail on the USA?


Tim Geithner, our income tax dodging Secretary of the Treasury, made the rounds on Sunday political TV yesterday. Tax Dodger Tim thinks we need to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire on the wealthiest 2 to 3% of Americans, but keep the Bush tax cuts in place for everyone else. That sparked an all-day debate on CNBC as to what makes good economic sense in terms of actions to take on these expiring tax cuts. It was a never ending drum beat, all day long on CNBC. That got me to thinking. Who pays taxes? Is it possible to close our $1.4 Trillion deficit? What will that mean for the investing environment in the intermediate and longer term?

I went on a hunt for income tax information. What I found was interesting, but also alarming. My observations from examining this information certainly altered how I view the investing landscape.

The tax info is easy enough to obtain. It’s here. The 2008 stats were just released within the last couple weeks. You can follow myriad links to a ton of historical IRS information. And it’s in spreadsheet form. But, it’s also overwhelming. Far too much detail. But I poked around, did some combining, simplifying, reorganizing, and a little math here and there to get a clearer picture. And, I’m going to document my findings here for future reference.

This will be a long post. But, trust me, it’s worth a look. And it’s a hell of alot easier to understand than all the detail the IRS dumps out there. And it should be a good reference point in debating income tax issues in our country.

First, the IRS goes nuts in grouping the information in far too many different income categories. Let’s simplify. When we typically think about our citizens, we tend to put people in one of four different categories:

Table 1 – 2008 American Taxpayers, Categorized


Income (AGI) Description
Poor > $20 K These folks live hand to mouth and largely depend on governmental assistance or charity to subsist.
Blue collar > $20 K < $100 K These folks generally can put food on their tables and pay for shelter. Some drive decent autos and can send their children to college.
White collar > $100 K < $200 K The solid middle class citizens of this country. They are the core.
Wealthy > $200 K The lucky few who have little trouble providing for themselves and their families.

I don’t want to get too technical with how our taxes work, but just know that I based the cutoff for these categories according to Adjusted Gross Income (AGI).

In looking at the reams of information Americans report on their tax returns, I focused on just 3 key categories of income: Salary (S), Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) & Taxable Income (TI). Although I fear your eyes glazing over and you falling asleep, its important to get a very general understanding of these three categories:

Table 2 – S, AGI, TI – Key categories of income on tax returns

+ Salary (S) Easy. What you’re paid in your job. It’s reported on your W-2. Note though that 401 K savings are backed out of this number.
+ Various adjustments to pull in all other sources of income + Interest, Dividends, Pensions, Taxable Social Security, Rents, Business Income, Alimony received
- IRA, Alimony paid
= Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)
- Various adjustments to allow for deductions from income - Itemized deductions of home interest, investment interest, state and local taxes, medical costs above a certain floor, charitable giving
= Taxable Income (TI)

Tax rate applied to taxable income determines how much income taxes one pays. Yes, there is also some math involved with tax credits, but in the overall scheme of things, credits are noise, so I ignored them in my review. I just focused on (S) Salary, (AGI) Adjusted Gross Income and (TI) Taxable Income.

You can’t stop at Income Taxes however. There’s also Payroll Taxes – Social Security and Medicare. The link to the IRS information is only helpful for Income Taxes. They don’t break out payroll taxes. But using the tax rates and rules for calculating Payroll Taxes (I’ll spare you the complexity), I made rough estimates as to who paid what in payroll taxes as well. Then I added Income Taxes and Payroll Taxes together to get a picture of total Individual Taxes Paid (Income + Payroll).

So, let’s look at how all this stuff breaks out into our four buckets:

Table 3 – American Taxpayers, Stratified


# Filers %
Poor 49.0 M 34.4%
Blue collar 75.1 M 52.8%
White collar 13.8 M 9.7%
Wealthy 4.3 M 3.1%

142.4 M

Table 4 – Total Salary in America, 2008


Total $ % Avg Per
Poor 377.3 B 6.3% 7.6 K
Blue collar 2,935.3 B 49.3% 39.1 K
White collar 1,431.9 B 24.1% 103.3 K
Wealthy 1,026.0 B 20.3% 275.6 K

5,950.6 B
41.8 K

Table 5 – Total Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) in America, 2008


Total $ % Avg Per
Poor 297.5 B 3.6% 6.0 K
Blue collar 3,658.2 B 44.3% 48.7 K
White collar 1,845.1 B 22.3% 133.2 K
Wealthy 2,462.0 B 29.8% 562.6 K

8,262.9 B
58.0 K

Table 6 – Total Taxable Income (TI) in America, 2008


Total $ % Avg Per
Poor 64.8 B 1.2% 1.3 K
Blue collar 2,032.4 B 37.0% 27.0 K
White collar 1,336.6 B 24.4% 96.5 K
Wealthy 2,053.7 B 37.4% 469.3 K

5,487.5 B
38.5 K

Table 7 – Income Tax Paid in America, 2008


Total $ % Avg Per
Poor 5.7 B .6% .1 K
Blue collar 256.9 B 24.9% 3.4 K
White collar 232.2 B 22.5% 16.8 K
Wealthy 536.6 B 52.0% 122.6 K

1,031.6 B
7.2 K

Table 8 – Individual Payroll Taxes Paid in America, 2008


Total $ % Avg Per
Poor 28.9 B 7.0% .6 K
Blue collar 224.6 B 54.6% 3.0 K
White collar 109.5 B 26.7% 7.9 K
Wealthy 48.1 B 11.7% 11.0 K

411.0 B
2.9 K

Table 9 – Total Individual Taxes Paid in America (Tables 8 + 9) , 2008


Total $ % Avg Per
Poor 34.6 B 2.4% .7 K
Blue collar 481.5 B 33.4% 6.4 K
White collar 341.8 B 23.7% 24.7 K
Wealthy 584.7 B 40.5% 133.6 K

1,442.6 B
10.1 K

At this point I stepped back to make sure my numbers were in the ballpark of being correct. Jim Quinn posted this great piece a few days ago about our nation’s deficit situation. There’s a chart there showing total collection on individual income taxes to be $1.1 Trillion, pretty darn close to my $1.03 Trillion. And it shows collection on payroll taxes to be $934 Billion. Given that 1/2 payroll taxes are paid by individuals and 1/2 by companies, my $411 Billion is in the ballpark. My numbers are a little shy of his. But his chart may also be older info than 2008. I’m comfortable that what I reflect above is fairly accurate.

I stopped to ponder the tax rates we pay:

Table 10 – Tax Rates, 2008


Income Tax/TI
Table 7/Table 6
Total Tax/TI
Table 9/Table 6
Total Tax/AGI
Table 9/Table 5
Poor 8.9% 53.4% 11.6%
Blue collar 12.6% 23.7% 13.2%
White collar 17.4% 25.6% 18.5%
Wealthy 26.1% 28.5% 23.7%

18.8% 26.3% 17.5%

Now, on to stepping back from the trees and pondering the forest.

Observations:

1. The most shocking observation is that American individuals pay $1.4 Trillion in taxes (Table 9). Our deficit is $1.4 Trillion. So, we’d have to double our tax payments to balance our budget. Not possible. Not anywhere near being possible. Doubling all individual income taxes would murder our economy.

2. Do the wealthy pay all the taxes? You often hear this is the case. The wealthy make up 3.1% of filers (Table 3). They make 20% (Table 4) of the total salary income in our country, have 29% (Table 5) of the adjusted gross income, 37% (Table 6) of the taxable income, and pay 40% (Table 9) of the individual income taxes. So, they don’t pay all, but a big chunk.

3. Do the wealthy pay more than their fair share? Hardly. They make 37% (Table 6) of the taxable income, yet pay only 40% (Table 9) of the total individual taxes. Only a 3 percentage point difference can hardly be called a progressive income tax structure. Most people try to press this point by using an intellectually dishonest comparison of income tax paid to taxable income, and leave out payroll tax. Sure, the wealthy pay 52% (Table 7) of the income tax, yet make 37% (Table 6) of the taxable income. But, one needs to consider total tax (income + payroll) and not just income tax. So it is reasonable to make the case that the wealthy should pay more. Our total tax rates could stand to be more progressive.

4. Can we close the budget deficit by only increasing taxes on the wealthy? Nope. Not anywhere near. The total taxable income of the wealthy is $2 Trillion (Table 6). Let’s say we slapped an additional 10 percentage point tax on to the shoulders of the wealthy, that’d raise $200 Billion, $1.2 Trillion short of closing our annual deficit.

5. Let’s say we took a much more drastic step of slapping a tax on all income for everyone, and not allowing any deductions at all (no home interest, state and local income taxes, charitable giving, et al). Our total individual income in the country is $8.3 Trillion (AGI in Table 5). It would take an additional 18% tax on all income to close our budget deficit. Again, not possible.

Starting to get the picture of how F’ed we are in this country?

What are my conclusions?

Economic – We are in such dire straights with our budget deficits that I see no way out of this mess. The numbers simply won’t work. The cuts in spending and increases in taxes will be so drastic as to sink our economy into a deep, dark hole. We’re not there yet, but at some point this disaster will become evident to investors the world over. When it does, our dollar will crash, interest rates will skyrocket, our economy will tank, and chaos will rule.

Financial – Only a fool wouldn’t be parking his money outside the US, and in hard assets like gold/silver, and commodities.

Political – We didn’t get here overnight. 8 years of irresponsible leadership from the Republican Bush administration was largely responsible for this F’ed up situation. Republicans really SUCK. I’ll never again vote for a Republican. Never ever.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Richard Burr.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

55+ screwed America

I thought more about the post I made yesterday about the 55+ generation in America. At each stage of their economic lives, they were handed income tax benefits that allowed them to avoid paying their fair share of income taxes. Read the post. Think about it. It should become clearly evident to you that the 55+ generation screwed America. We have $14 Trillion in debt because the 55+ generation were handed tax benefits left and right.

A more important thought came to mind this morning. There's talk in Congress now about limiting Social Security, changing our nation's retirement plans. While I'm in favor of doing something, it needs to be fair. Notice that the talk is all centered on allowing anyone over 55 to keep their current benefits? Anyone under 55 must take a hit. See what's going on here? The 55+ generation screwed us at each step of their financial lives by passing income tax benefits that protected their key earnings and expense streams. Now, they're going for the kill. They'll keep their social security, while the rest of us must sacrifice. Just how fair is that?

What we should be talking about in this country is stripping anyone over 55 of their social security. The outcry would be intense. But the reality is that this is the ONLY fair move to make from an inter-generational standpoint.

Republicans caused this problem. Old Republicans. The 55+ generation. While Senator Richard Burr isn't in that group, he's close enough. More important, he was in Congress, voting yes on these income tax benefits that piled debt on our shoulders. He needs to get the boot. He needs to answer for $14 Trillion in debt.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Tea Party is full of free-loaders


It's 5:21 am on Saturday. I've got nothing better to do than sit here, with coffee in hand, and nerd grits in my belly, and think. And right now, I'm thinking that the TEA Party really sucks. Why? Its full of old people who only know how to take, take, take.

I read somewhere that the average age of a typical Tea Party member is 55+. It's the 55+ generation in this country that really F'ed up America. These people had everything handed to them on a silver platter. They are the reason our country is in debt up to its eyeballs:

80s - Entering their peak earnings years, they weren't happy about paying taxes, so they elected Reagan. Their income tax rates were drastically slashed. This was the beginning of massive debt being piled on the shoulders of the rest of the nation.
80s - Wanting ways to save for retirement tax-free, they were handed IRAs and 401Ks.
80s - As child-care became an issue - they were given company benefit plans to set aside tax free child care funds.
90s - Having invested heavily in housing, they weren't pleased about being taxed on this key asset, so sales of their primary residence were deemed tax-free.
90s - Entering a period where they started buying stocks heavily, they weren't happy about capital gains taxes, so they had those slashed drastically.
90s - Wanting to pay for their children's college educations without being taxed - they were handed 529s and Coverdales.
90s - As medical costs started to become an issue - they were handed medical flex plans.
00s - Approaching old age, they weren't pleased with estate taxes, so they had the ceiling on taxable estates substantially raised.
00s - Not happy with the thought of paying for medications, they pushed through a plan for free drugs in their retirement.

55+. This generation bugged out on paying their fair share. In their peak earnings years, they avoided their tax obligations. When they piled up housing equity and stock gains, they avoided taxes. For child-care and medical costs, they were handed ways to pay these tax free. For retirement savings and college costs, they were given tax-free rides. When estate taxes and drug costs stared them in the eyes, they got free rides there too. At each key step of their financial evolution, they avoided paying income taxes on their key earnings streams and assets. Earnings, housing, retirement, child care, medical costs, college costs, pharma in retirement, estates. Each key piece of legislation that made these income streams tax advantaged happened when the 55+ generation entered that stage of their lives. They were subsidized. As a nation, we borrowed money, over $14 Trillion, to subsidize this free-loading generation of 55+.

And the real teeth kicker? They are the only generation who will likely retire with both a pension, and tax free assets in IRAs and 401Ks. Just about everyone behind them can kiss the pension good-bye.

Yep, the TEA Party is full of free-loaders. The reality is that the 55+ generation screwed everyone younger. They got a free ride. We got saddled with their debt. And we have $14 Trillion in debt to prove it. Message to TEA Party members - just shut the hell up. Stop complaining about taxes. You haven't paid your fair share. Maybe its time that we tax anyone who joins the TEA Party. It would only be fair. Free rides don't last forever. And your time is up. Pay up, or shut up.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Richard Burr.

It's a War. And China kicked our ass.


I was sitting here thinking about the economic nightmare we're in right now. I'm fortunate. I own my home (and I've got another one for sale if anyone's interested). I've banked the money needed to send my children through college. I don't owe anyone a dime. And I have more than enough cash tucked away in investments to live a comfortable life. So I have few financial worries. Yet, all's not well.

I'm pained by the suffering around me. Neighbors don't have jobs because of this screwed up Republican economy. They likely lay awake at night worrying about their future. Their stress finds its way into my house, because I lay awake at night worried about my neighbors. How did we get into this situation?

There are lots of explanations as to why we're in one hell of an economic mess. But one big one stands out. China went to war with us, economically. They kicked our ass. China now owns America.

If you think of this situation like a securities trader would, you'll realize that the Chinese are about as smart as they come. In trading, there's always a way to make money. Always. It's only a matter of constantly looking for patterns, or a weakness in the system that can be exploited to make money over and over again. The Chinese found the pattern and the weaknesses. The Chinese kicked our ass.

The Chinese leveraged their cheap labor and our Republican Party's willingness to open the free trade spigot. China sent us boatloads of cheap crap. We sent them our manufacturing base and our money. They sent us crap, took our money, and bought little pieces of America, over and over and over again. China kept the gravy train going by manipulating their currency, driving down our interest rates, and leveraging off our wide open markets.

Now we're stuck. We owe China almost $1 Trillion, and climbing. And there's not much of anything we can do about it. They own us.

How did this happen? Republicans. China saw our weakness. Our weakness was 8 years of idiot Republicans running our country. These laissez-faire Republicans opened our markets wide. Then they allowed massive currency manipulation to go unanswered. Free markets only work if currencies trade freely. Republicans stood around doing nothing while factory after factory closed its doors in our country and moved to China. Republicans stood around doing nothing while China manipulated its currency to put us at a massive disadvantage. All this economic damage was masked by a booming US housing market that was smoke and mirrors. Now we're screwed.

And we want to hand control of our country back to the Republican idiots who allowed China to kick our asses? Think about that before you walk into the voting booth this fall.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

It's 4 am, what are you doing now?


It's 4 am. Saturday even. Yet, I'm wide awake. I wake up just about every day at 4 am. That's when CNBC starts broadcasting the news from the European and Asian markets. The markets are not open on Saturday, but that doesn't stop my biological clock from getting me up. Besides that, it's just plain difficult to sleep these days. There's too much crap going on in Washington DC to enable most Americans to sleep well.

I made a very important discovery this morning and felt like I needed to blog about it. Grits. They're a staple in the south. I eat them often. They're pretty bland though. But this morning I discovered if you pour some candy nerds on top of hot grits, it's heaven on earth. Try it. It'll take your mind off all the bullshit that goes on in Washington DC where our dolt Republican Senator Richard Burr is getting absolutely nothing of substance accomplished.

Nerd Grits. Give them a shot. Thank me later.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Friday, July 23, 2010

What to make your blood boil?


Found this interesting article this evening in the NY Times. Floyd Norris was poking around the IRS website and came across the income tax statistics for the 2008 tax year. I followed his lead and went to the IRS website, then followed that to the summary of all the information available. Most of it is in spreadsheet form. It's interesting stuff. But I have to warn you. If you spend just a little time looking at these stats, it'll make your damn blood boil.

Unemployment payments. 17 filers in the United States collected unemployment, and reported over $10 Million in taxable income to boot. Over 700,000 filers with taxable income greater than $100 K collected unemployment. Over 100,000 filers collecting unemployment had taxable income in excess of $200 K. Isn't unemployment meant to be a bridge? Since when in the hell is our government in the business of taking money from us, and giving it to rich people?

Social Security. Only a portion of social security benefits get taxed once your income exceeds a certain amount. So not all social security income gets reported. But of the $96.8 Billion that got reported on tax returns, 43% of it was paid to filers with taxable income in excess of $100 K. Over 2.1 Million filers in this country collected social security and also have income in excess of $100 K.

We need to means test unemployment and social security benefits in our country. We have almost $14 Trillion in debt outstanding. Common sense says we don't borrow to just hand money over to people who already have a means to provide for themselves. What we're doing in this country is absolutely insane. We borrow money from poor Chinese ($6 K per year per capita income) and turn around and give it to wealthy Americans ($44 K per year per capita income).

STOP THE INSANITY. We need people in Washington DC with common sense.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

More on Wealth Concentration

Interesting article - America's middle class getting snuffed out.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Jim Quinn for President

After reading this article, I'd vote Jim Quinn in for any public office the man wants.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Who took our $182 Billion?


This article today from Bloomberg is THE most important article I've seen to date about the financial crises we've recently gone through. The panel set up to investigate the crises is digging deep. They're following the money trail. Taxpayers gave AIG $182 Billion. Most Americans would simply point the finger at AIG. But, it's not that easy. AIG took that money and forwarded it to a myriad of other financial institutions. Where did it go, and why?

Goldman Sachs got a big chunk of our money. Goldman wound up getting $12 Billion in taxpayer money, directly from AIG. Testifying in front of the panel charged with investigating this mess, Goldman said none of that money went into their pockets, they passed it on to others. The panel called BULLSHIT on Goldman and basically said, "prove it buddy".

Ask our Senator Richard Burr about this article. I can tell you his response .... blank stare. Our Senator is a clueless dolt when it comes to the important matters of finance and our economy. Our Senator is too busy calling his wife and begging her to yank money out of ATM machines.

Thank you Elizabeth Warren (Democrat). Thank you Chuck Grassley (Republican). Thank you for being among the very few in Washington DC with enough common sense to call BULLSHIT on Goldman Sachs. Americans deserve to know what happened to our $182 Billion.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Keyword humor


The market vaulted to up 200, then pretty much froze in place. So, I'm bored and tired of financial reading, research, scans, listening to earnings calls, and watching my screens. When I get bored, there are more than a few things I do for humor. One of them is to check the analytics for this site. I always manage to get a smile out of the Google keywords that lead people to this blog.

Some of my favorite keywords for the month of July:
  • burr dont give a shit
  • burr oil commercial
  • republicans suck
  • burr tells wife to empty bank accounts
  • birthday cakes - pink floyd [heck if I know what this one is about]
  • burr financial crises
  • burr goldman sachs
  • god damn bradly burr
  • i hate my house i am underwater
  • majority of tax cheats are republican
  • nc anybody but burr
  • republicans are screwing america
  • richard burr funny ad
  • richard burr took money
  • senator stock trades
  • throw republican senators out of office
  • what happened to my republican party
Funny stuff.

You get a Republican paycut?


Interesting article in the Wall Street Journal today. 1 in 5 Americans saw their income decline more than 25% last year. Amazing stuff.

Me? I had a record year last year. Our Republican Senator Richard Burr spent the year calling his wife and begging her to go to their ATM machine and yank out as much cash as possible. While he was in panic mode and rushing the exits, I was like the 82nd Airborne Division. I stormed head first into our financial markets, buying anything and everything that no one else wanted. I leveraged up to my eyeballs and bought high yielding debt and equity securities. My reward? An annual return on my invested capital that exceeded 60%, and one heck of a nice income stream that's paying big dividends even now.

Our Republican Senator Richard Burr is a financial idiot. He and the other financial idiots in Washington DC brought us policies that destroyed the incomes of the average American. You're simply better off just closing your ears and shutting your wallets to this dolt. And when he needs your vote this fall, lean the opposite direction. I did, and was rewarded handsomely. And I plan to do it again when I step into the voting booth.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Bank Run Burr


This is the article, from the Hendersonville-Times that earned Republican Senator Richard Burr his nickname .... "Bank Run Burr". I went back and read the article this morning. It makes me madder than hell. On April 13, 2009 our US Senator stood in front of a large group of business people in our state and gave one hell of a gloomy speech. If you were sitting in the audience and heard this speech, you probably sold all your investments and buried your cash in your back yard.

On April 13, 2009 the S&P 500 closed at 858. Yesterday it closed at 1,069. That's a 24.6% return you've missed out on after hearing our US Senator talk about how much our economy sucks. So much for the economic and financial acumen of our idiot Republican Senator.

Job #1 of our US political leaders is to inspire the American people. Confidence. We need confidence right now. And it isn't coming from chicken little US Republican Senators who go around talking the end of the economic world for America.

Republican Senator Richard Burr is an economic and financial idiot. North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Republican Senator Burr traded on insider information? Where's the SEC investigation?


I was looking over a report of traffic to my website. Someone keeps searching google with the keywords "Richard Burr Net Worth" and winds up at my website. This didn't make sense to me. Being curious, I decided to do the same. But, I followed a link to a website that details Senator Burr's financial disclosure information. I found some really informative stuff. Did you know that Senator Richard Burr is a closet stock trader? Our Senator is a Wall Street Trading Shark.

Remember how Bank Run Burr sat in meetings in Washington DC at the height of the financial crises in 2008? Those meetings then got him so scared he called his wife Brooke and encouraged her to go to the nearest ATM and withdraw as much cash as possible? Focus on the fact that he had access to detailed, non-public, insider information about the critical governmental efforts going on at the very height of the financial crises. Right? Right.

So, isn't it amazing that Richard Burr owned some stock in Bear Stearns? Want to know when he sold that stock? Our Senator sold his Bear Stearns stock on Friday, March 14th. The stock closed at $30 that day. On the following Monday morning, March 17th, Bear Stearns was sold to JP Morgan for $2 a share [behind the scenes, the Treasury and FED forced the sale of Bear Stearns]. Amazing, eh? Our Senator is a stock trading whiz. He knows exactly when to get out of a stock, right before it plunges in value. Or, more likely, Senator Richard Burr sat in one of those meetings on March 14th and got inside information from the US Treasury or Federal Reserve Board that Bear Stearns was about to plunge in value, information he used to save himself from losing money. You be the judge. I know what I think happened, and it wasn't legal.

Now, to be fair to Senator Richard Burr, he sold a whopping $1 K worth of Bear Stearns stock, taking about a $2 K loss. We're talking peanuts. But, its the principle of the matter that counts here.

There's something even more interesting though. Senator Burr's financial disclosures indicate that he sold $5 K of stock in Lehman Brothers on March 17, 2008 - the day that JP Morgan took over Bear Stearns at the rock bottom price of $2. The problem is this, he does not disclose even purchasing any Lehman stock in 2008. And, he didn't disclose owning any Lehman stock at the end of 2007. What, his Lehman shares just appeared out of thin air? Gee, wonder what kind of illegal crap is going on there? Something's wrong here. Anyway, it appears that Richard Burr loves to trade securities. Who knew?

I don't like our US Senator. I think the man is trying to use his position to make money trading stocks on the side. But, I have to laugh my butt off at his weak attempt. In looking over his trading activity, it appears to me that he sucks at trading just as badly as he sucks at being a US Senator. He just needs to resign from the Senate and come work with me for a couple months. I'll teach our poor Senator how to trade. He needs to learn, because this pathetic man has a ridiculously low net worth for his age and stature.

The bottom line - something really smells in the stock trading of our US Senator. If I didn't know better, it would appear that North Carolina Senator Richard Burr loves doing his fair share of trading on non-public financial information. If so, the man is a crook. North Carolina simply deserves better than our sorry Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Green Zone

I just finished watching the movie Green Zone. It's a decent movie. But, I'm left wondering why in the world they so misnamed this movie. They should have called it:

How Republicans F'ed up Iraq, threw over $1 Trillion of our tax dollars out the window, and snuffed out the lives of hundreds of thousands of human beings.

And I'm left wondering too - how in the world can a sane person watch this movie and then vote to send another Republican to Washington DC?

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

It sure is nice to be a rich Republican

Brett Arend is out with an interesting article over on MarketWatch today. He's hammering on issues around wealth concentration and how the rich pay taxes at lower rates than the middle class. Brett has a ton of facts to back up his assertions. This Republican inequity is sickening and will eventually lead to the downfall of our country. Thank you Republican party. Thank you North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr. Thank you for catering to the rich and wealthy in our country, while you kick the middle class in the teeth.

The meat of Brett's article:

"Right now it [the top tax rate] only kicks in on each dollar of ordinary income over $374,000 a year. A recent study by the Congressional Budget Office found that the top 1% of Americans paid an average federal income tax rate of just 19% in 2007, the last year when data were available. The top 5% of earners paid an average rate of less than 18%. There are ways and means to minimize tax -- like calling your income "capital gains." That's what private equity honchos do, where possible. In many cases, it means people making tens of millions a year are paying lower tax rates than their chauffeurs and receptionists. (There are proposals to change that, with predictable screaming).

As for socialism: The Federal Reserve reports that the private sector is doing so badly that corporate profits just, um, rocketed to a new record high. The after-tax profits of corporate America rocketed 43% in the first quarter.

And let's not overlook, too, this year's gigantic one-off tax cut for the very wealthiest: The one-year abolition of the federal estate tax. When it comes to inheritance, we are, at least for a year, back in the age of President Taft. That, for example, saved George Steinbrenner's richly deserving heirs hundreds of millions in taxes. For years we've heard the wealthy rage against the estate tax and express their fervent wish they could avoid it. This year they have their chance.

The truth is, this is a great time and place in which to be rich. The average Fortune 500 chief executive pocketed $10.5 million in 2008, the last year for which data are yet available. That's more than 300 times the average worker's pay. Back in the Dark Ages -- the 1940s through 1980 -- the ratio was typically about 40 times. From 1979 through 2007, says the CBO, the top 1% saw their average household income skyrocket from $346,000 to $1.3 million in constant, 2007 dollars. That's after taxes. Meanwhile the average middle-class family saw their income rise from $44,000 to $55,000.

And according to an analysis by the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S. has one of the most unequal income distributions in the world. In this field, most of the developed world is pretty much in line -- Japan, Italy, Australia, Canada, Norway, Great Britain. Some are more unequal than others, but all are comparable. In each case, of course, the rich make more than the middle class, sometimes a lot more. But they generally occupy the same economy.

The U.S.? Our income distribution is more in line with Zimbabwe, Argentina, and El Salvador. We think of Russia as the land of oligarchs, but America's inequality is actually slightly greater than Russia's.

Maybe we should all be investing in luxury goods companies, and launching overpriced "designer" labels targeted at oligarchs with more money than sense. As for all those millions out of work: Maybe they can get jobs as servants."

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The New [Republican] aristocracy

Not only is wealth concentration getting bad in our country, but the wealthy are being given ways to avoid having to pay any estate taxes, no matter what tax rates exist. Their bankers and lawyers engineer their way around the estate tax laws. It's simply egregious that loopholes like this exist.

Who allows the super wealthy and their lawyers to find ways to pay ZERO taxes? Our Republican party. Who allows the super wealthy to protect their assets from any creditors? Our Republican party.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Wealth Concentration in America

I made this post back in April 2009. It's worth a repost, as a reminder of one of the key things that ails our economy right now:

Senator Burr is a member of the Republican machine in Washington DC that simply loves to twist the facts to their advantage. It makes me mad. It should make you mad too. The latest egregious effort from that machine came from Republican Ari Fleischer, the former Press Secretary to George W Bush. Ari wrote a provocative opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal last week about who pays income taxes in our country.

Ari's argument can be boiled down to this, the rich pay the largest proportion of our nation's income taxes. The poor pay almost nothing. In fact, we're quickly getting to the point that almost 50% of Americans don't pay income taxes. At first blush, that makes you mad. But they do pay payroll taxes if they have a job. Still, it's an intellectually dishonest presentation of the facts. And that's what should really make you mad. The Republican machine, of which Senator Richard Burr is a dues paying member, is good at twisting an argument to scare you into their way of thinking.

Why is it dishonest? Those who have the wealth should pay the most for the privilege of living in a society that allowed them to build the wealth. And the wealth concentration in our country is simply out of control. Think long and hard about what I am going to type next:
  1. Less than 1% of Americans control over 34% of our nation's wealth.
  2. The top 10% of Americans control 71% of our nation's wealth.
  3. The bottom 40% control less than 1% of our nation's wealth.
And these were 2004 stats. It's probably worse now. Shocking! Absolutely shocking! But when put into the context of Ari's opinion piece, it makes Ari and the Republican party machine look foolish for whining about the wealthy having to pay taxes.

Those who can afford to pay should pay. They got wealthy on the back of all the institutions provided by our government. And when the top 10% of Americans control almost 75% of our nation's wealth, I would think they'd be grateful. They should keep their mouths shut about having to pay income tax. Pay it, and be grateful to live in America.

So, the next time you hear a Republican like Senator Richard Burr whining about the high income taxes we pay, ask him why it is that only 10% of Americans control 71% of the wealth. Ask him why the wealth concentration continues to be tilted to the richest among us. And then demand to know why it is that these people aren't paying MORE. We run up budget deficits so they can get richer. Is that fair?

I'm in the 10% group. And I'm very grateful to live in this country. I don't mind paying my fair share of income taxes, even if it means paying more. I am a Republican. But I also know that immense concentration of wealth in the hands of a few is a very bad thing for prosperous societies. Think about it like a game of poker. If 4 people are playing poker, and one person takes everyone's money, the game is over. That's no different than a country and it's economy. When a very few people accumulate all the wealth, the economic game is over. Wealth concentration is bad. We have to put in place mechanisms to prevent it from getting worse, and even reverse some of what has already happened, if we are to remain a strong country with a viable economy. The wealthy must pay more income taxes so we can balance our budget and reverse some of the wealth concentration that has already happened.

Senator Richard Burr doesn't understand how bad the wealth concentration has gotten in our country. If he did, he wouldn't be preaching about high tax rates on the wealthy. We need to throw this man out of office. Join me. Vote against Richard Burr in the next election. North Carolina deserves better.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Washington DC kisses Goldman's ass


It's 4 am. I'm wide awake, after a night of tossing and turning. What's bothering me? Take your pick. Lots of stuff. Stuff that's bothering most Americans. Mostly, everywhere I look these days, my costs of living are going through the roof:
  • Our medical plan jacked its rates.
  • My son's college tuition went up over 18%.
  • My HVAC system went out - it takes a couple bars of gold to address that one.
  • I have a house that won't sell, no matter how much I lower the price.
  • My property taxes are going up.
  • My water bill just got jacked by 10%.
  • And Washington DC is kissing Goldman Sach's ass, while pissing all over the average American.
Welcome to life. What else is new?

Goldman Sachs screwed America. While putting together garbage mortgage deals and selling them to pension funds and banks all over the world, they constructed the deals to allow themselves and favored clients to reap tens of Billions in profits by betting against American housing. They screwed the world economy. Trillions in wealth got wiped out. Millions of Americans are without work and don't have a clue how they'll pay their bills. Yep, Goldman Sachs really screwed our country.

The SEC slapped Goldman on the wrist. Goldman settled with the SEC for $550 Million. The average American reading that headline thinks that Goldman got punished. Bullshit. Goldman puts over $12 Billion a year on the bottom line. They pay $10 Million bonuses like its candy. Goldman will make that $550 Million back in two weeks. What kind of punishment is that? The SEC should have fined them $12 Billion, minimum. And a couple dozen Goldman I-Bankers and Executives should have served time.

Steal a candy bar and you get your ass thrown in jail. Rape the world economy, and you get a slap on the wrist. It's enough to make a sensible man lose sleep.

It's even worse when you dig into what really happened. They are being punished because they put deals together that allowed hedge fund manager John Paulson to make over $14 Billion in 2008, betting against America, betting against our housing. John personally pocketed $2 to $3 Billion that year for his fee. He only paid a 15% income tax rate. While the average blue collar married couple working in half-way decent jobs are likely paying an incremental tax rate of 25, 28, 31%. What the hell kind of justice is that? It's Republican justice, and it sucks.

I'm just F-ing tired of Washington DC kissing the asses of the likes of Goldman Sachs. And what the hell is our Republican Senator Richard Burr doing in Washington DC today? He's busy voting against financial industry reform. He's busy kissing the asses of rich bankers who use taxpayer money, our money, to pay themselves egregious bonuses.

Republican Senator Richard Burr can go F*%^ himself. He's a worthless, piece of crap.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Republicans turn their backs on fairness

George Steinbrenner, owner of the NY Yankees, died a few days ago. The circumstances that resulted from his death really anger me. I'm not a Yankees fan. And I'm not a big fan of Steinbrenner. And you know I'm not a fan of my Republican party. And it's the intersection of Steinbrenner's death and the stupidity of my Republican party that really anger me.

It turns out that George died at just the right time. His family now avoids paying over $600 million in estate taxes. Yep, the Steinbrenner family held a Republican lottery ticket that allowed them to walk away with $600 million. And this points to one of my biggest beefs with my Republican party. My Republican party turned its back, years ago, on making American life a level playing field for everyone. Republicans don't give a damn about basic fairness in our society.

Is it fair that a very wealthy person who dies in 2010 pays no estate taxes? If it happened last year, or next year, it would have been a different story. Who in the hell thought leaving 2010 wide open with no estate tax requirement made sense? Who in the hell thought this was a fair outcome? Republicans. When Republicans controlled the White House and Congress they monkeyed with the tax code and left this stupid hole in 2010 where no estate taxes would be paid. Republicans simply lacked common sense. And the Steinbrenner family wins a $600 million jackpot. The American taxpayer borrows another $600 million from China, to be paid back at a later date, by our children and grandchildren.

My Republican party simply lacks a lick of common sense on a wide number of issues. They don't focus on the most basic and simple concept of America. Our country is a level playing field, with fairness to everyone, rich or poor, black or white. Or, it should be that way, if not for the Republican party.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wilson v Bowles - reason enough not to vote for Democrat Elaine Marshall


I'm not a fan of Republican Richard Burr. I'm not a fan of my Republican party. Their errant policies during the Bush administration drove our economy over a cliff. They need to be punished. But, I can also tell you this, each and every day I have increasing difficulty thinking about voting for the Democratic alternative. Today's heartburn? Headlines in the Raleigh News and Observer. Erskine Bowles. The man is a Democrat. He's a complete and abysmal failure. I'm having a very difficult time this morning stomaching the thought of voting for anyone who's in the same political party as Erskine Bowles.

The contrasting headlines I'm staring at this morning in the Raleigh N&O are these, "Blue Cross to cut costs 20%" verses "UNC tuition will rise sharply".

Brad Wilson is the recently appointed CEO of Blue Cross. Brad is tackling one of the main problems we face in our nation today - runaway health care costs. This man is now my hero. He's taking bold action. Brad is doing what needs to be done in this economic environment. He's aggressively cutting the fat that built up over the last decade. Brad has recognized the pain his customers feel and he's doing his part to cushion that pain as much as possible. Brad's making one hell of a bold move to cut $200 Million out of an $1 Billion annual budget for administrative costs. Brad's also going to press health care providers to cut costs, like squeezing blood out of a stone. Right on Brad. You're the man of the hour, day, week, year, decade. Get this done and you'll be put on a pedestal and worshiped in this state far into the future.

Erskine Bowles was the UNC system President for a number of years. He's now been appointed by President Obama to be a co-head of the very critical committee to bring our nation's fiscal situation back onto a straight and narrow path. What a colossal mistake. That's like appointing a drunk to oversee inventory control at the local ABC store. Erskine Bowles has proven that he can't manage costs worth a damn.

If you live in NC, you know of Erskine. I've made some posts here (and here) in the past about Erskine. He served as Bill Clinton's right hand man in the White House. He unsuccessfully ran for the Senate. He lost to Burr, but then was rewarded with the job of running our state's universities. Erskine was responsible for tackling another of our nation's problems - runaway costs of college tuition. But during his tenure, he allowed administrative costs to grow at a rate substantially higher than student enrollment. Now we're paying the price through a massive 18% increase in tuition. Erskine Bowles was a miserable failure.

So, I had heartburn this morning when I saw the headlines about an 18% tuition increase. Democrats failed the people of North Carolina. They appointed an ineffective dolt to head up our higher education system and now we're paying a steep price. And this same dolt is being awarded the plum job of trying to steer the fiscal ship for our country? Sounds pretty insane to me, insane enough that it makes me wonder whether it's even worth showing up to vote in the next election.

Republicans brought us this economic mess. And Democrats like Erskine Bowles make it even worse. Today, I feel like there is absolutely no solution. Our country, our economy, is going to hell, thanks to idiots like Richard Burr and Erskine Bowles. Hopefully, there will be enough Brad Wilsons who will surface in the coming months that there will be a ray of hope we can survive this economic mess.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Republicans brought us an $11.7 Trillion budget swing?


Brian Ried is out this morning with a very interesting article in the Wall Street Journal. You'll need a subscription to read the article. If you don't have one, find someone who can get you access and read this article. It's a very informative explanation as to what happened over the last decade to our federal budget.

As President Clinton was leaving office, our long-term federal budget projections showed a $5.6 Trillion SURPLUS from 2001 through 2011. It now looks as if the actual results will be a $6.1 Trillion DEFICIT. Brian takes a look at what caused this egregious $11.7 Trillion swing in our financial results. Was irresponsible financial performance driven by the Bush Administration and Republican control over Congress, or something else?

Put your thinking cap on while reading the article, then you decide. I don't agree with Brian. In future posts here I'll pick on his assumptions. I'll arrive at my own conclusion as to who and what caused this economic mess.

Here's the key paragraph I focused on:

"The bulk of the swing resulted from economic and technical revisions (33%), other new spending (32%), net interest on the debt (12%), the 2009 stimulus (6%) and other tax cuts (3%). Specifically, the tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000 are responsible for just 4% of the swing. If there were no Bush tax cuts, runaway spending and economic factors would have guaranteed more than $4 trillion in deficits over the decade and kept the budget in deficit every year except 2007."

I'll have many more comments later about this article. But right now, this much I know for sure - North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Anti-business?


There are a number of things my Republican party does well. Unfortunately though, these few things are vastly overshadowed these days by their stupidity. Case in point is how my party flails around like a wounded animal, throwing slogans up against the wall, hoping that something, anything, sticks that will turn the American people against President Obama. One of the dumbest damn things I'm hearing now is this constant drumbeat from my party that President Obama is anti-business. Really? Is that really true?

My life is business and political news. I read and research all the damn time. I watch the financial markets constantly. Where is the evidence that President Obama hates the business world? I can't find it, other than in the slogans and talking points coming out of the mouths of Republican politicians.

Listen up fellow Republicans. Stop with the senseless mud slinging and dumb-assed slogans. Focus your efforts on proposing solutions to our country's problems. Because these days, I hear very little in the way of workable solutions. I hear and see a ton of mouthing off, mud slinging, finger pointing and other such bullshit coming from Republican politicians.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Funny Google keyword seach

The funniest Google keyword search that lands a user on my website: "Why do Republicans keep screwing themselves?"

Amen brother Republican. Amen.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Republicans suck at enforcing the laws


I'm impressed with President Obama's approach to illegal immigration. Enforce the existing laws.

Those four words were not practiced during the Bush Administration. What happened as a result?
  • Our Republican controlled Federal Reserve Board was asleep at the wheel while the mortgage market ran wild. Now we have a housing crises.
  • Our Republican controlled Securities and Exchange Commission was asleep at the wheel while Wall Street raped and pillaged our 401 Ks. Now we have an economic crisis and massive unemployment.
  • Our Republican controlled Minerals Management Agency was asleep at the wheel while unsafe drilling practices were used left and right. Now we have a mess in the gulf.
  • Our Republican controlled IRS was asleep at the wheel while every rich person in this country hid assets at UBS in Switzerland. Now we have budget deficits that are about to eat us alive.
  • Our Republican controlled border oversight organizations were asleep at the wheel while illegal immigrants were flooding into our country. Now we have a bill for social services that we simply can not afford.
Enforce the laws - a simple and effective concept. Republicans suck at enforcing the laws.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Senator Richard Burr - WTF you going to cut?


Karl Rove, the closet Republican Senator of the entire United States is out this morning with an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal. I need to RANT again.

Basically, Karl indicates Republicans need to run on a "growth" agenda:

"A GOP growth agenda would keep intact the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. Tax reform and simplification—including the flat tax and cutting the corporate tax rate—can also be winning issues if advocated by Republican candidates with authenticity and passion."

My Republican party candidates need to go around the country singing the tune of ultra low tax rates, and corporate tax cuts, as the way to boost economic growth? Holy crap. You think our budget deficits are bad now? They're only going to get worse if we keep the Bush tax cuts intact, and also lower corporate tax rates. That's the way simple math works. We're going to drown in debt under Karl's plan.

WTF are Republicans thinking? I simply don't understand how in the hell we address our massive budget deficits by cutting revenue? Here's the common sense question to then ask Republican candidates like Richard Burr ..... WTF you going to cut? You'll have to offset the lower taxes, as well as overcome the existing annual budget deficits that already exceed $1 Trillion annually.

What are you going to cut Senator Burr? Tell us. We want details. Until you do that, you're only blowing smoke. And I'm one Republican who's just god damn tired of all the lies that keep coming from my party. We need to address our budget deficits in this country, and if you're NOT going to raise any taxes, and reduce tax rates even further, you're going to have to make MASSIVE cuts to spending. So, man up, tell us where, and by how much.

If Republican Senator Richard Burr were really an honest man, he'd admit that Republican policies would eventually lead to massive cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Defense. These cuts will eventually be so sever that we'd be staring at THE GREAT DEPRESSION. Our homes would be worthless, our savings gone, and we'd be eating bread and drinking water.

I'm just F*#@ing tired of being lied to by my Republican Party. Stop with the nonsense of more tax cuts. And start telling the truth about the budget cuts now necessary to make up for all the bullshit tax cuts and deficit spending that Republicans delivered during the disastrous Bush administration.

Karl can't add. Senator Burr won't tell the truth. Republicana suck when it comes to acting fiscally responsible. And that's why I'm pissed off at my Republican party and want to run these clowns out of Washington DC. They're all miserable failures when it comes to working with our country's checkbook. Don't be fooled by these idiots.

Rant over.

North Carolina simply deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Illegal immigration may cost Elaine the election

Interesting day. Obama to sue Arizona over newly adopted illegal immigration laws. Burr poll numbers rise. Anyone else see the connection here?

Heck, I'm a moderate Republican, but even I see the value of what Arizona is trying to achieve. And if Elaine Marshall doesn't get it, if she doesn't understand that the majority of Americans want illegal immigration addressed harshly, then she's going to continue sliding in the polls. She'll lose this election on the illegal immigration issue alone. We've been over-run with illegal immigration in North Carolina. And we've vastly underestimated how much our tolerance of this issue is hurting us in the various social services costs ($2.1 B annually in NC). And as our budget imbalances on both the state and federal levels continue to grow, our impatience with this issue will rear it's ugly head.

Elaine - if you want to win this election, you're going to have to adopt a very tough stance on illegal immigration. That's all there is to it.

Shareholder rights get trampled by my Republican Party


I'm about to go on a RANT. It's going to be an ugly, emotional rant. I cuss heavily and blood rushes to my face to the point I take on a devilish appearance. If you don't like RANTS, don't read the rest of this post.

Why in the living hell am I not allowed to vote on the compensation paid to the executives of the companies in which I own shares? This one issue is the biggest pile of bullshit that my Republican party shovels each and every year, it's irritating as hell and makes me wonder every day if Republican politicians aren't really communists wrapping themselves in the American flag. We're capitalists for god's sake. Yet, in this country, I own stock in a company, and I don't have a god damn RIGHT to have a say in how much my companies pay their executives? WTF?

Each and every time, Republicans vote against giving shareholders the RIGHT to have a say on executive compensation of public companies. We're forced to vote for a CEO's hand picked slate of directors. We're forced to sit and watch as these friends of the CEO award these idiots ungodly amounts of compensation. We're forced to watch as these idiots go out and hire a compensation consultant who doesn't do shit but rubber stamp this ungodly compensation. Then, we're forced to watch all these assholes make off with massive amounts of wealth no matter how the company performs? Golden parachutes for failure are the norm. How in the hell can anyone with common sense sit there and allow this crap to happen time and time again?

Message to EVERY REPUBLICAN POLITICIAN in Washington DC. Get off your ^*&@ing lazy asses and put capitalism back on center stage. Give shareholders the right to decide how the executives in public companies are compensated. Republican politicians who support these bullshit CEOs are ALL ASSHOLES.

That's it. Rant is over. I feel better. And I will never vote for a Republican who thinks its wise to block any effort for shareholders to have a say over how THEIR companies are run. We should have the right to vote on compensation. We should have the right to nominate directors. We should have the right to have a say in these things because we're capitalists, not communists.

Republicans lost their rudder when it came to oversight of public corporations. As a result, we have a small community of idiot CEOs stealing our wealth. And the blame for this problem lies squarely on the shoulders of the Republican Party. And that includes our idiot Republican Senator Richard Burr. This man spouts laissez-faire and capitalism and then constantly and consistently votes against basic shareholder rights. %*#& Richard Burr. OK, the rant was not quite over with, yet. Now it is.

North Carolina simply deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Tax cheats shaking in their boots


Tax cheats in this country who park funds offshore are now spending sleepless nights. You know what? It's about damn time.

Why in the world though did it take an aggressive Democratic administration to make this happen? Why is it that my Republican party can't see the anger that exists in America over how unfair our entire way of life has become? The wealthy write the rules. The middle class get screwed. While Republicans attempt to wrap themselves in the banner of middle class America - we're starting to wise up. Our Republican party really sucks at ensuring a level playing field for all Americans in all facets of our lives. Republicans look the other way when big corporations and wealthy individuals don't live by the rules. And that just plain stinks.

Like the income tax cheats who are now being called on the carpet, the time is coming soon to do the same on our Republican Party.

North Carolina simply deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The key economic debate


This article does the best job that I've seen, thus far, describing the give and take going on right now in managing our economy. Basically, Americans are scared to death. When you ask them about their fears, the overwhelming response has to do with our deficits and our indebtedness to China. Republicans are leveraging this fear and pounding the table to cut deficits, cut spending, and hold taxes where they are. Democrats think the lowered tax rates brought to us by Republicans are a root cause of the deficits. Democrats think we need to spend more to jump-start our economy, or we'll fall back into a death spiral leading to even greater unemployment, slower growth, and therefore higher deficits.

This is also a debate playing out on the international stage. The US wants to continue stimulus spending to ensure our economic recovery takes hold. Europe wants to slow spending, raise taxes and hack away at the budget deficits and debt.

What's the right approach? Hell, it's easy to be on the fence. Smart people are on each side of this debate, all of whom are making excellent points. But the one point that carries the most weight for me is this: Roosevelt vs. Republicans, 1937.

This debate happened in 1937. Republicans raised hell about Roosevelt's deficit spending in his administration's efforts to pull our country out of The Great Depression. Republicans won that debate. We stopped the stimulus spending in its tracks and cut our deficits. The economy got worse, not better. More people lost jobs. The Depression continued for another 3 years until our economy got saved by all the production efforts of World War 2 - a governmental stimulus effort of massive proportions.

History has a way of repeating itself every generation or so. This is one piece of history I really don't want to live through in my lifetime. I'm siding with the Democrats in this debate. We need to jack the stimulus up until its clear we're out of the woods of this economic disaster brought to us by President George W Bush and his merry band of Republican idiots. I just don't have a desire to live through 1937 - 40. Neither should you. To avoid it, let's kick a Republican idiot out of office. And North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr is a good start.

North Carolina simply deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.