Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A simple message to our nation's politicians


Dear American Politician:

We are scared.  We don't spend.  We sit on cash.  So, our economy does not grow.

Why?  Because we are frightened of all the negativity coming from our nation's capital.  When you return to Washington DC next week from recess,  please do some very simple things:

Stay away from TV cameras
Refrain from blaming the "other" party
Stop pointing fingers
Offer up solutions
Negotiate beyond the public eye
Compromise

If you'll adhere to these very simple rules,  you'll find that:

Our confidence will grow
We will buy homes
We will spend again
Employers will hire
Our economic engine will lurch forward
Our entire country will prosper

But,  if you start more childish in-fighting,  we're headed into a deep, dark morass from which we will likely never recover.

Sincerely,

THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Absolutely stunning stupidity

If it's not apparent now,  you've been living under a rock for the last 2 months.  What am I talking about?  I'm talking about the stunning stupidity of the Republican Party in the immense damage they have done to American consumer confidence, and resulting harm to the American economy.  The direct translation of Republican stupidity?  Trillions in wealth lost.

The clown act that Republicans executed on in Washington DC these last two months absolutely destroyed consumer confidence.  The numbers just now released have plunged to lows often seen in the 1970s.

Thank you Senator Burr.  Thank you Republicans.  Your idiocy will go down as historical.  Future generations will marvel at just how naive Americans were to have supported a party that revels in economic destruction.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Monday, August 22, 2011

We ARE Republicans


We are Republicans.

We BELIEVE IN:
   Cutting taxes on the super-wealthy
   Kicking middle class America in the teeth and pushing them over the cliff
   Raising taxes of, and cutting spending on,  the poor

WE ARE REPUBLICANS.

I'm kinda thinking that this is the most effective platform for my Republican party coming into the '12 elections.  What do you think?

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Republicans fail to understand simple, basic economics


You are one of two people on the planet.  You raise pigs.  The other living person is a nearby neighbor who raises sheep.  You each have $1.  Once a year,  you meet your neighbor at the local creek bed.  You give your neighbor $1.  He gives you a sheep.   Your neighbor gives you $1.  You give him a pig.  What was the annual GDP of the plant that year?

Republican politicians are clueless as to how to do this math.  Absolutely clueless.

The GDP was $2.   And it can be expressed in this formula:

$ Money supply x annual velocity of money supply = $GDP or MS x V = GDP.

$2 x 1 = $2

Now, let's increase the GDP.  Meet at the creek bed 3 times a year and make that exchange.  What's the new GDP?

$2 x 3 = $6

You get it now?  If so,  take some time and think about how the formula works,  what it takes to increase economic activity.   The two obvious ways are:

1.  Hold the money supply constant,  and increase the velocity of the money.   Make the money change hands more frequently within a year.

2.  Increase the money supply,  while the velocity of the money holds constant.  In other words,  print more money and pass it around.  More money changing hands the same number of times annually will increase GDP.

Each of these two outcomes would cause economic activity to grow, right?  Right.

But,  what were to happen if the Velocity of Money were to decline?  Let's say you and your neighbor get scared of each other.  Or,  you get scared that you might be attacked by a wild animal if you met at the creek bed.  So,  you decrease your meetings each year from 3,  down to 1.  And you still just exchange a single animal.  The outcome is that economic activity falls.

Get it yet?

Today.  Right now.  People are scared.  They see what's going on in Washington DC and they're scared that the rudderless government won't get our problems straightened out.  They are scared that the Republican party will continue to play games and hold our country hostage.  So, they sit on their money.  They stuff it in the bank.  They put it under their mattresses.  They don't spend it.  The velocity of money falls.  GDP falls.  No new jobs get created.  We just sit at a standstill.

But when the velocity of money falls,  we can print more money in an effort to get economic activity going again.   That's what Republicans fail to understand.   They get so upset about money printing that,  like Rick Perry,  they make threats.   They hold our government hostage.  They point fingers at the money printing Federal Reserve Board and call these people evil,  the root of our problems,  heretics.

Reality?  Republicans upset about current day money printing are clueless idiots.  They fail to understand very basic economic principles.  But they are convincing the ignorant masses that the FED must be stopped.   And if it happens,  that will stop the one and only hope we have left in getting our economy jump stated and on its way back to growth. 

It's not hard.  MS x V = GDP.   V is trending down in a major way.  It's OK then for the FED to increase MS.  It's OK for the FED to print more money right now.  It's OK for the FED to be the only grown up in Washington DC making a gallant attempt to get our economy back on track.

But Republicans pointing fingers at the FED?   These are the stupid people.  Close your ears to their ignorance.  North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr?  He's just another ignorant, finger-pointing Republican.   

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

We can thank Eric Cantor and Republicans for Trillions in wealth wiped off the map


It's all spelled out in the Washington Post article of August 6th.  In mid-Jan 2011,  Eric Cantor and the GOP laid out plans to hold America hostage,  thereby wiping out Trillions in wealth.  Job well done Eric.  Job well done Republican Party.  This wealth destruction and the pending Republican recession to come is squarely on your shoulders.

Read the article. Then ask yourself,  should you really support a party so bent on destroying our country?

North Carolina deserves better than our worthless Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Articles worth a read, August 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tom Coburn does what Republicans do best - SPREAD FEAR


LOL.  And Republicans can't understand why centrists like me continue to thumb our nose at their idiocy?  Read this about Tom Coburn's latest accomplishments.  Apparently,  Tom is doing what the GOP does best,  run around the country spreading fear and pessimism.

Someone please shut that little #*$&@ up.

My Republican Senator, lawnmower salesman Richard Burr,  is no better.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

All hail the many accomplishments of the Republican Tea Party!


Markets crash
Trillions in wealth wiped off the map
Gold soars
Recession on the horizon

Yes,  all hail the many accomplishments of the Republican Tea Party!  Their childish food fights on capital hill got the ball rolling on fear and panic in financial markets around the world, with a great recession to follow.

IDIOTS.

North Carolina deserves better than our worthless Republican Senator Richard Burr.

The coming Republican recession

Click on image to enlarge:

Our nation's security markets have had a very nasty, sudden sell-off over the last few weeks.  Trillions in wealth has gone out the window.  Stock markets do a phenomenal job in portending the future though.  And when patterns like this unfold,  it spells significant trouble for our economy out the next 6 to 9 months.  We're headed into another ugly recession.

I know what caused this recession.  We got frightened into this one. Republicans started a very nasty fight on Capital Hill.  Their errant ways sent shock waves through America. We were stunned at the incompetence of our political leaders. We were stunned that Republicans could act in such a childish manner. Consumers closed their wallets tight and economic activity fell off the cliff. That's what got the ball rolling. That's how it will unfold.

As I'm sitting here thinking about it though,  I can hear the 1 million and 1 ways that my Republican Party will point fingers and cast blame on anyone,  but themselves.  America deserves better.

North Carolina deserves better than our worthless Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Our economy is flooded with idle cash, yet Republicans remain blind

  • $2+ Trillion sitting on company balance sheets
  • $3+ Trillion sitting on deposit at the federal reserve
  • $3+ Trillion cash in money market funds, earning nothing
  • $8+ Trillion cash in banks, earning nothing

We have cash out the wazoo in this country.  Cash here.  Cash there.  Cash everywhere.  There's tons of it,  sitting around doing absolutely NOTHING,  earning absolutely NOTHING.

Common sense says we need to focus on a way to get that cash moving.  And what are our Republican leaders doing?  They sure as hell aren't using common sense.  Their policies are all geared to channeling more cash to people who will then sit on that cash.   Let's let the rich keep it,  so they can stuff it in the bank.  Let's let the rich keep it,  so they can stuff it under a mattress.  Let's let the rich have more cash,  yes,  that's the answer to our problems in an environment where the rich control all that cash ... just sitting there ... doing nothing. NOT.

Sheesh fellows,  get off your idiotic asses and find mechanisms to pry the cash out of the hands of those who will just sit on it.  Get it moving.  Get it circulating.  In the parlance of economists,  get that damn Velocity of Money moving higher.  That doesn't happen by giving even more cash to people who already have so damn much that they sit on what they have.

We have idiots at the helm of our Republican party,  idiots who can't look at a situation and use common sense.

North Carolina deserves better than our worthless Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Does a friendly game of poker accurately explain our economy?


Three good friends came over one recent evening for a game of poker.  We each started out with $1,000 in chips and played until dawn.  The game flowed fairly evenly for hours.  Then,  I get a string of hot hands and wipe out all my friends.  I'm sitting with all the chips.  They have none.  Game over.

How is this friendly game of poker not unlike the current day American economy?  If you ask me,  the poker game does a pretty darn good job of explaining why our economy is so screwed up.  Wealth concentration killed our game,  just like it killed our economy.  And when you get severity in wealth concentration,  when one guy holds all the chips,  then there's not much that can be done to resolve the problem and keep the game going, at least not based on current rules.  When this happens though,  my wife usually steps in to resolve the problem.

My wife sometimes plays the role of the FED, injects liquidity into our poker game - lending us money on very inexpensive terms if we put some of our chips up as collateral.  But I'm the only one with chips.  So,  I'm the only who can borrow cheaply from my wife.  Game still over.

Although she doesn't do this,  my wife could act like the government.  She could swoop in every couple hours,  collect a tax on each person's existing pot,  and redistribute those chips.  But if her taxing policy is like our current day government's policy,  she's not going to get many chips from me.  And no one else has any chips to be taxed.  Game still over.

To keep this game going,  the rules need to be changed.

Let's face it.  There's only one way that my poker game stays alive.  My wife kicks me in the nuts,  takes away a good number of my poker chips,  and gives them back to my friends.

Why can't our government bring itself to act like my wife?  To jump start our economy,  our government needs to kick the wealthy in the nuts,  take some of their money,  and redistribute it.  Yes,  that's heresy to a Republican.  But we must take the actions that are dictated by the circumstances.  And right now,  the wealthy in our country hold all the chips.  And they're sitting on those chips,  doing nothing.   The only way out of this mess is a swift kick in the nuts and redistribution of the chips.

And that's how our American economy is similar to my game of poker.

Our current day Republican politicians don't know poker,  don't have a practical wife,  and can't bring themselves to kick rich people in the nuts.  So, we're all going to sit around looking at the guy with all the chips,  and not do much of anything else.

North Carolina deserves better than our worthless Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Rigid aherence to the dogma of low taxes is killing our economy


You're in a car headed down the highway traveling at 65 MPH.  You're headed out of town to your weekend cottage get-a-way.  So its a routine trip.  Its a trip you've done so many times in your life that you're confident you could drive it in your sleep.  Suddenly,  a mammoth MAC Truck crosses the median and is headed straight at you.   Keep going?  Hell no.  Your brain instantaneously kicks into gear and makes adjustments to guide you to safety.   And that's the problem with our Republican Party.  We have no brain.

Think about this story.  For road, car, truck, brain,  substitute Republican dogma, low taxes, economy, tax policy.

Our party is all about low taxes,  come hell or high water.  We stick to this philosophy at all times.  But the economy around us is constantly changing.  And as the economy changes,  we need to be flexible enough to change our approach to managing the economy for continued growth and prosperity.  Therein lies the problem with Republican political leaders.  They don't change when its change that is needed most.

Tax cuts are helpful in a booming economy.  When economic activity is booming,  our nation's capacity to produce goods and services become constrained.  Shortages of production capacity or labor might even materialize,  driving up costs and inflation.  So in a booming economy,  tax cuts help capital expansion, spur LT investments. The outcome is an increase to capacity,  better matching of supply with demand,  and continuation of dynamic growth.

Tax cuts and a favorable taxing structure are not so helpful though when times are tough.  Tax cuts overwhelmingly go to the wealthy.  In tough times,  wealthy people have no motivation to invest for capacity expansion.  They take the money and stuff it in the bank and under their mattresses.  That accomplishes nothing to get our economy moving forward.

Our problem now is a lack of demand for goods and services.  We have plenty of production capacity.  Too many plants are sitting empty and unused.   And we have too much labor.  There are too many Americans without a job.  Why then do our Republican Leaders want to give wealthy people more tax breaks? That money in the hands of the wealthy winds up sitting,  accomplishing nothing.  Why then do our Republican leaders act so stupidly? Because our Republican Leaders lack a brain.  They are driving down the highway and they're not going to alter direction, no matter what.  They stick to the same script,  tax cuts to the wealthy,  no matter what the economic conditions.  They see the Mack Truck.  But they are bound, bent and determined that they can just keep on driving, taking the same action over and over.  The wreck kills our economy.

Our problem today is not capital formation,  lack of savings,  capacity constraints,  lack of plant or labor.  We have massive excesses of savings, plant, labor.  Our problem is lack of demand.  To solve our problem,  we need to think in terms of taxing the wealthy,  and transmitting that money somehow,  someway,  into mechanisms that will spur demand.  i.e., Tax the wealthy,  create infrastructure jobs for the unemployed.  Yet,  our Republican politicians stand there like complete and utter idiots and insist that they must stick to their dogma of "No Tax Increases", while the wealthy grow more wealthy,  the wealthy are taxed at rates significantly lower than the middle class, and demand goes wanting while all those tax breaks are piling up in banks and under mattresses (on deposit at the FED).

We're stuck. We're stuck in a terrible economy. We're stuck because our Republican Party lacks a brain. And the Mac Truck is headed straight at us.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

With Ed Lazear as a GOP economic leader, who needs enemies?

Ed Lazear was the top economist in the Republican Bush White House.  Is it any wonder that Republicans drove our economy over a cliff?  With Ed in charge of economic planning,  who needs more enemies?  Ed is enough.

Ed Lazear was on CNBC this morning.  You can see and hear his interview here.   This man is a typical GOP dolt.  In 11 minutes,  he managed to talk out of both sides of his mouth so often that he made the GOP look terribly foolish,  and solidified my belief that Republicans are to blame for this economic mess. Count the number of times Ed contradicts himself (only a few of which are indicated below).  Your head will spin.
  • In one breath he talks about the need to focus on the LT,  in the next he indicates the dire need to get something going now.
  • In one breath he talks about too much spending,  in the next he talks about the need to take action now to jumpstart the economy (like there's ample opportunity to do this without spending).
  • In one breath he talks about the need of generating investment in LT assets,  in the next he admits that lack of demand is the problem and there's nothing we can do about that.
  • In one breath he talks about Obama's focus on the wrong issues right out of the gate,  in the next he refuses to criticize the early focus on healthcare.
In this interview,  Ed Lazear demonstrates everything wrong with the modern day Republican Party.  They criticize.  They point fingers.  Yet,  they have nothing to offer up in the way of viable alternatives to solve any of the issues that they themselves dropped on our doorstep.  This man is a pathetic loser, as is my Republican Party.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.


32% of wealthiest 400 paid less than 15% income tax. How is this fair?


This article sums up why I am so upset with my Republican Party.  And this paragraph within the article makes me livid:

"The many adjustments to income permitted by the tax code, plus alternative tax rates on the largest sources of income of the wealthy, explain why the average federal income tax rate on the 400 richest people in America was 18.11 percent in 2008, according to the Internal Revenue Service, down from 26.38 percent when these data were first calculated in 1992. Among the top 400, 7.5 percent had an average tax rate of less than 10 percent, 25 percent paid between 10 and 15 percent, and 28 percent paid between 15 and 20 percent."

As a CPA, I'm very knowledgeable about our tax code.  And I work my tail off to research and take advantage of every tax break possible,  yet my federal tax bill was 22% of my income last year.  60% of the 400 richest Americans paid a lower tax rate than me!  And 32% of these super wealthy paid less than a 15% rate!

I ask myself and my party ... how is it fair when the richest Americans pay so little?   HOW?

My Republican party doesn't care about middle class America. We pay a higher tax rate than the wealthiest of the wealthy.  And to balance our nation's budget to pay for the Republican Wars and the tax cuts on the wealthy,  Republicans demand drastic cuts to the very programs aimed at helping middle class America,  so the wealthiest of the wealthy can continue paying tax rates lower than us.  HOW is this fair?   Do you not understand the need to raise income taxes on the wealthy?  If not,  you must be blind.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

GOP has nothing to offer


One of the most widely followed bloggers in financial circles is a cocky, foul mouthed trader - The Fly. You won't read a funnier blog. And you won't find a blog that gives you more insight into the Securities Trading Community. The Fly speaks his mind.  Caution though, he's not rated "G". His language is the language of the trading room floors - ample amounts of profanity, intermingled with numerous astute observations.

Last night,  The Fly opined about the current state of national GOP politics.  His observations could easily be substituted for mine.  I repeat them in entirety below,  but would point you back to his blog too.  He's worth following if you have any interest in the politician leanings of Wall Street:

"Okay, I am going out on a limb here, at the risk of upsetting my emotional friend, Senator Gint. Aside from Romney, the current roster of republican candidates are UNELECTABLE. More so, if Mitt is NOT nominated, or HERMAN CO-CAINE, I will be voting for Prezident O’bama again.

Ask me why, I fucking dare you.

First of all, Bachmann is an idiot on a wide array of issues. Do I really need to delve into detail, seriously? Rick Perry is a bible toting simpleton, who will endorse BIG fucking oil, as if that shit was oxygen. Plus anyway, didn’t he run Al Gore’s Texas campaign many moons ago? I say NO to RINOS every time. And, let’s not ignore his asinine comments on the beloved BEARDED CLAM. Take issue with me on this, I don’t give a fuck. I will NOT vote for anyone who is hating on the Fed. For the love of half bibles and abandoned churches, the Fed is all we have here on Wall Street. Fuck these politicians.

I would LOVE to say President Co-caine, over and over again. Herman is a mathematician and majored in Physics. He is like Obama, but only smarter and knows shit about life, and business. He wants to eliminate cap gains. Okay, maybe that didn’t hit you right away, so I’ll say it again. He wants to put capital gains taxes at ZERO percent, FOREVER. And, to boot, he wants to lower income tax to 25%, again permanently. Sadly, the media treats him like he is the former owner of a fucking chicken restaurant. 

Santorum wants to arrest women who abort babies conceived by way of rape, as does Bachman. These fuckers don’t recognize that DNA can be transferred from one person to the next, because, well, God makes everyone, right? These fucking religious zealots are insane.

Lastly, there is Mitt. He is our final hope. However, the fucking hillbillies don’t like him because he’s a mormon and likes to keep 4-5 wives around, doing the dishes, baking him banana bread. 

Just like last election, I will vote against the republicans for fielding such a stupid roster. They do not deserve to win. Obama is the worst President since Bush II and he will win thanks to the pathetic state of the GOP.

Out with business minded people, in with the fucking bible teachers.

Fuck off."

The GOP has nothing. Air. Zilch. Nada. Zippo. It's a limp political party that ran our country into the sewer,  and is now making every obstructionist move possible in an effort to pin their incompetence on anyone but themselves.  It's a collection of worthless politicians who accomplish nothing,  like my state's Republican Senator. 

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How Republican Politicians destroy America


A short story that explains how Republican politicians, like North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr,  destroy our country:

An announcement recently hit the wires that the Republican Party was seeking to raise campaign financing.  They planned to sell access to all their policy tools, to anyone who could afford the selling price.  North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr was overseeing the sale.

On the day of the big sale, all the Republican tools were attractively displayed. Laid out before the buyers were Envy, Jealousy, Hatred, Malice, Deceit, Sensuality, Pride, Idolatry, and a number of other, similar Republican implements. Each of the tools was marked with its own price.

Over in the corner, all by itself, was a harmless looking, wedge-shaped tool very much worn, but still it bore the highest price. Someone asked Senator Burr what it was.  “That is Discouragement”, replied the Senator.  The next question came quickly, “And why is it priced so high even though it is plain to see that it is worn more than these others?”

Because replied Senator Burr,  “Discouragement is more useful to our Republican party than all these others.  We can pry open and get into a man’s heart with Discouragement, when we cannot get near him with any other tool. Once we get inside, we can use him in whatever way suits us best. It is well worn because we use it on all Americans, and few people even know its our most effective Republican tool.”

This tool was priced so high that no one could buy it.  To this day it has never been sold. It still belongs to the Republican Party.  And Republicans continue to use Discouragement on the citizens of our good nation each and every day.

Is it not evident to you now why it is that our Senator always points fingers elsewhere, always talks negatively, always attacks the "other" party? Republicans use that dull tool on us each and every day.

It's time to put a stop to all the negativity coming from our Republican Party. It's time to turn our backs on Republican politicians who can only blame Obama. Republicans created this financial crises. They need to accept responsibility. And their inability to propose rational, common sense solutions, their inability to compromise, their inability to execute on the will of the American people,  it just plain beats us down into a state of endless discouragement. It kills our economy. It keeps us unemployed. It keeps us in debt. It hurts our nation.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

There is just 1 person I would support on the GOP ticket

This current line-up of GOP candidates for President is simply pathetic:

Perry - Read my lips,  no new Texans.  The man is a Bible thumping moron.  We've had our fill of idiots from Texas.

Palin - Nice smile.  But please, shrubbery has more brain cells than Sarah.

Bachmann - Palin junior.  Honestly,  this woman is in dire need to be consistently and constantly medicated.  Michele has mental issues.

Romney - He'll say and do anything to get elected.  And I will not vote for a man who made his riches buying companies and firing people.

Paul - Nice man.  But his economic ideas border on being insane.  And his constant rants about gold and the dollar are just tiring.

There isn't a serious alternative in the bunch.  They all remind me of North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr - terribly incompetent.   However,  there is one Republican out there who I would back:


And I still hold out hope that he'll come to his senses and run.

Warren Buffett talks with Charlie Rose, America listens


Warren Buffet did an hour long interview last night with Charlie Rose.  You can listen to it here.  As always,  Warren speaks in common sense terms.

Key points:
  1. If the committee of 12 fails in coming up with a credible budget plan,  our country will morph into a pit of hopelessness. We might already be in the pit.
  2. In a very high percentage of cases,  the very rich are paying a smaller percentage of their income in taxes than the people cleaning the offices of the rich.
  3. Since 1992,  the very rich have had almost a 10 fold increase in capital gains,  taxed at the very lowest rate,  and not subject to payroll taxes.
  4. Often lost in the discussion about taxes,  payroll taxes account for almost 1/2 the taxes raised by our government,  yet the rich don't pay payroll taxes on the vast majority of their income.
  5. If you make money with money,  you pay no payroll taxes.  Make money with muscle,  you wind up paying payroll + income taxes.  This is the source of the inequity.
  6. Buffett never had one person decline to invest as a result of the existing tax rate.
  7. People are very upset with how the government works.
  8. Tea party is simply insane - causing the American people to be losers.
  9. The housing bubble is the primary source of our current economic problems.  We won't come back until we work off the excess of housing.
  10. Household formation is the key to our economic revival. Unemployment will fall appreciably when we get back to building 1 M homes a year.  Level now at 500 K.
  11. All Buffett's businesses getting consistently better - except those tied to housing.
  12. Buffett thinks economy will turn faster than Federal Reserve Board currently forecasting.
  13. Changing immigration policy to allow more immigrants into our country could help excess housing situation.
  14. We need to be collecting about 18 - 19% of GDP in taxes.  Currently collecting just shy of 15%.  We need to move spending down to 20 - 21%,  taxes up to 18 - 19%.
  15. Doesn't matter if cut taxes, spend more, each is stimulus.  Government running deficit is stimulus.  Currently,  stimulus is at record 10% of GDP (deficit of $1.4 T on about $14 T annual GDP).
  16. Our nation does not have confidence in our leadership. We no longer believe in what our leaders say or do.
  17. Our free market system has led to extremes.  We are becoming a nation of haves and have nots.
  18. Everybody in this country owes their own good fortune in some way to the rest of the country.
  19. Warren Buffett's tax situation:  $62 M Adjusted Gross Income,  $39.8 M Taxable Income, $6.9 M Federal Tax.   Payroll taxes: $15 K.  Total tax rate 11.1% on Adjusted Gross Income,  17.3% on Taxable Income.   I pay taxes at a significantly higher rate than Warren Buffett.  And I suspect you do as well.  SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER!  How is this fair?
  20. Republicans are basically communicating ... "the country be damned".
  21. We need to means test Social Security.
  22. 60 million Americans live in households where the income is $21 K or less. If we're going to cut spending on these households,  then everyone should be made to contribute.  A rich society should think about these people every day.
  23. We need drastic downside incentives for corporate executives,  and we have not tackled this issue yet.
  24. Warren's businesses investing a record $7 Billion in capital investments this year,  almost all in the US.  +$1 B more than last year.
Bottom line - This interview confirms and solidifies my anger at my Republican Party.  We ran our economy into a ditch.  We under-taxed the wealthy.  We declared unfunded wars.  We spent money like drunken sailors.  We ignored problems in the costs of education,  health care,  and energy.   And now,  to pay for our incompetence,  we propose to leave the super-wealthy untouched while we kick the middle class in the teeth and then shove them over a cliff.

I deeply deplore the worthlessness of my incompetent North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr.   This man was central in making a mess of our country.  And in his steadfast protection of the super-wealthy and his desire to screw middle class America is just reprehensible.

North Carolina deserves better than our worthless Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Monday, August 15, 2011

32% of wealthiest 400 paid less than 15% income tax. How is this fair?


This article sums up why I am so upset with my Republican Party.  And this paragraph within the article makes me livid:

"The many adjustments to income permitted by the tax code, plus alternative tax rates on the largest sources of income of the wealthy, explain why the average federal income tax rate on the 400 richest people in America was 18.11 percent in 2008, according to the Internal Revenue Service, down from 26.38 percent when these data were first calculated in 1992. Among the top 400, 7.5 percent had an average tax rate of less than 10 percent, 25 percent paid between 10 and 15 percent, and 28 percent paid between 15 and 20 percent."

As a CPA, I'm very knowledgeable about our tax code.  And I work my tail off to research and take advantage of every tax break possible,  yet my federal tax bill was 22% of my income last year.  60% of the 400 richest Americans paid a lower tax rate than me!  And 32% of these super wealthy paid less than a 15% rate!

I ask myself and my party ... how is it fair when the richest Americans pay so little?   HOW?

My Republican party doesn't care about middle class America. We pay a higher tax rate than the wealthiest of the wealthy.  And to balance our nation's budget to pay for the Republican Wars and the tax cuts on the wealthy,  Republicans demand drastic cuts to the very programs aimed at helping middle class America,  so the wealthiest of the wealthy can continue paying tax rates lower than us.  HOW is this fair?   Do you not understand the need to raise income taxes on the wealthy?  If not,  you must be blind.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Yes Senator Burr, Stop Coddling the Super-Rich


If you've read much of my blog,  you know how upset I am with my Republican party. Middle class America is under attack from Republicans.  Our incomes are declining in real terms.  We pay taxes at overall effective income tax rates that are significantly higher than Super-Rich Americans.   And the Federal spending largely benefiting middle class America is on the chopping block.  Republicans want to strip away our medical benefits (Medicare) and retirement pay (Social Security). Worse though,  this is happening to us because Republicans so terribly mismanaged our economy and budgets, and ran around the world starting extremely costly and ineffective wars.  Now, middle class America has to pay for Republican incompetence.

Of all these troubling issues,  the one that bugs me the most is the unfairness of our nation's income tax structure.  Like most upper middle class Americans,  I am constantly trapped by the AMT tax.  That means deductions for state income taxes and mortgage interest are useless.   And,  I wind up paying 25% tax on my capital gains, instead of the 15% rate handed to the Super-Rich.  The net result is that my overall income tax rate winds up in the 20 - 24% range - the range where the vast majority of middle class Americans fall.

But the Super-Rich,  the class protected and coddled by Republicans,  pay significantly less.  They rarely get trapped by AMT.  As I have pointed out time and again here,  the net result is that the very richest among us pay an effective federal income tax rate that is significantly LOWER than paid by most middle class Americans. The 400 richest Americans paid an average rate of 18%.  Over 1/3rd of those paid less that 15%. How is this fair?  How is this fair in an era where we can not balance our nation's budgets and we rack up Trillions in debt? Why is our nation borrowing so much,  and taxing the wealthiest among us so little?  Why?  Because that's the way the Republican Party wants it.  And that's why I will not support my current day Republican Party.  Their stance on zero tolerance for income tax increases,  in an environment where the Super-Rich pay so little, our nation is racking up so much debt, well, their stance on this issue is just insane.

This morning,  Warren Buffet writes a very important Op-Ed in the New York Times that makes this very point crystal clear.  Republicans are coddling the Super-Rich in this country by insisting that no income taxes be increased. Republicans push middle class America over the cliff,  while kissing up to the Super-Rich. Read this article. Tell me how this is fair. Tell me how you can support Republicans knowing that they believe this inequity should exist.  I can't. I won't. I never will,  for the remainder of my life. Republicans have taxed me far too much, taxed the Super-Rich far too little, resulting in mountains of debt that me and my children will be paying off into eternity.

I WILL NOT SUPPORT A REPUBLICAN PARTY THAT SHOWS SO MUCH CONTEMPT FOR MIDDLE CLASS AMERICA THROUGH VAST INEQUITIES IN OUR INCOME TAX STRUCTURE.  I WILL NOT SUPPORT A PARTY THAT TAXES THE SUPER-RICH SO LITTLE,  WHILE SHOVING MIDDLE CLASS AMERICANS OVER A CLIFF.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Burr says there's not much that he can do? WTF?


I nearly fell out of my chair this evening when I read about Senator Richard Burr's interview with WRAL today.  Read about it here:

"Senator Richard Burr said today there’s not much Congress can do in the short term to address the financial unease that’s been roiling US and world markets for the past week."

What f*cking planet do you live on Senator?

Get your lazy tail back up to Washington DC.  Pound the living hell out of Mitch's front door until he agrees to call Republicans back off their month long vacation.  Get the HELL back to work.   We are in crises mode in case you didn't realize.  Almost $3 Trillion now has been wiped off the map as a result of the circus Republicans caused over this debt ceiling debate.

You broke it A**hole.  FIX IT.  NOW.

Get to work on the budget deal, you worthless POS.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Republican brinkmanship cost American investors $2.8 Trillion


The toll taken by the Republican brinkmanship over the budget ceiling continues to climb.  In 3 weeks,  over $2.8 Trillion has gone up in smoke.  I wonder who Americans will blame when they open their August IRA, 401K, Roth, 529, Coverdale, SEP,  Pension statements?  I know who I am blaming.  And its not Democrats.

I would note again ... Budget deal undone.  Congress vacations.  Financial markets melt.  Trillions lost.

Boehner, Cantor, Burr ... don't you think you pathetic idiots could interrupt your month long vacation,  get your sorry butts back to work,  and get that 'effing budget deal resolved,  sooner rather than later?

My Republican party is full of sorry assed, piece of crap, lazy,  irresponsible politicians.  And I suspect those decimated account statements coming in the mail later this month will reinforce this fact in the minds of the vast majority of Americans.

North Carolina deserves better than our worthless Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Republican Arrogance, the post that kicked off this blog


March 22, 2009. This was the post that kicked off my blog. It's as true today as it was well over 2 years ago:


Yesterday was a day of working around my house. It's spring and spring always brings on chores. I enjoy it because it gets my mind off issues like the economy, the financial markets, and politics. That reduces my stress levels, which is something I need.

But then, a neighbor walked over and we talked. Mistake. He's a die-hard Republican. I am too. But lately, I straddle the fence, generally hating both parties. But he sent my stress levels to the roof with a constant pounding on Barny Frank, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and John Kerry. It's their fault. Everything's their fault.

A typical Republican.

I have to tell you, I'm just flat tired of hearing Republicans talk about our nation's problems. The Republican Party IS OUR NATION'S PROBLEM. These people were in control of the White House for the last 8 years. They were in control of Congress for 6 of the last 8 years. It was a total break down in government oversight and regulation that brought us to this point. And that was the Republican's fault. They were in control. I have a message for all Republicans out there who want to mouth off about Democratic leaders:

Just shut up.

Republicans did nothing about energy spiraling out of control. They did nothing about education costs that bankrupted families, and piled debt onto the shoulders of our young people. They did nothing about health care costs that were the single biggest factor in personal bankruptcies in our nation. They did nothing about the 45 million Americans without health care coverage. They did nothing about our broken education system. They sat on their asses while wealth concentration hit historical proportions, while the middle class suffered. They doubled our nation's debt by piling another $5 Trillion to the shoulders of our children. They were directly responsible for putting a leash on the SEC to the point it was a broken, toothless, total waste of money.

But Republicans were an accomplished party on some fronts. They made the rich even richer. They prided themselves on increasing home ownership to record levels, and we know how that worked out. They started wars. They spent money like drunken sailors. They allowed our investment banks to leverage up to 40 to 1. They stood in the way of the Federal Reserve providing adult oversight to the mortgage lending industry. And I could go on and on.

I am a Republican. I so deplore how irresponsible my party has been that I don't have a single kind word to say about my party or any of it's leaders. And I'm not a fan either of the Democratic Party. However, I'm smart enough to know who's a fault for this mess. Republicans. And I am smart enough to know that the only answer right now is to give the other guys a chance. And that means we need to push out of office every damn Republican who served during the Bush administration. Every single one. We need to give the other guys a chance to do better. And they need at least 8 years before we start giving them grief.

It was our fault. We screwed America. The Republican Party is to blame for this mess. And Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Harry Reid and Barney Frank deserve our silence right now.

So, a message to fellow Republicans:

Just shut up.


You want to know what I'm really thinking right now?


This is what I really think right now as I stare at a trading screen that shows the DOW down 519 points,  after a 635 point loss on Monday,  after a 513 point loss last Thursday,  after a 266 point loss the previous Monday .....

... FUCKING REPUBLICAN POLITICIANS ...

You idiots started a food fight in Congress that wound up costing Americans Trillions in losses in their IRAs, 401Ks, 529s, ROTHs, Coverdales.  People saw that clown act in Washington,  got scared,  and ran for the exits.  What Republicans set in motion was simply an act of terrorism on the American pocketbook.

The Republican party fucked up our economy.  The Republican party refuses to take responsibility.  The Republican party makes every effort possible to blame everyone but themselves.  The Republican party is full of worthless,  good for nothing politicians.

What I really think?

... Republican Politicians all need to rot in hell ...

That's what I really think Senator.  You're to blame.  You've been there for 15 years.  You drove our economy over the cliff.  And now you're spending all your fucking time trying to pin it on anyone but yourself.

I do hope you rot in hell.  I really do.



North Carolina deserves better than our pathetic Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Whew ... I feel a little better now.


How Republican politicians destroy America


A short story that explains how Republican politicians, like North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr,  destroy our country:

An announcement recently hit the wires that the Republican Party was seeking to raise campaign financing.  They planned to sell access to all their policy tools, to anyone who could afford the selling price.  North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr was overseeing the sale.

On the day of the big sale, all the Republican tools were attractively displayed. Laid out before the buyers were Envy, Jealousy, Hatred, Malice, Deceit, Sensuality, Pride, Idolatry, and a number of other, similar Republican implements. Each of the tools was marked with its own price.

Over in the corner, all by itself, was a harmless looking, wedge-shaped tool very much worn, but still it bore the highest price. Someone asked Senator Burr what it was.  “That is Discouragement”, replied the Senator.  The next question came quickly, “And why is it priced so high even though it is plain to see that it is worn more than these others?”

Because replied Senator Burr,  “Discouragement is more useful to our Republican party than all these others.  We can pry open and get into a man’s heart with Discouragement, when we cannot get near him with any other tool. Once we get inside, we can use him in whatever way suits us best. It is well worn because we use it on all Americans, and few people even know its our most effective Republican tool.”

This tool was priced so high that no one could buy it.  To this day it has never been sold. It still belongs to the Republican Party.  And Republicans continue to use Discouragement on the citizens of our good nation each and every day.

Is it not evident to you now why it is that our Senator always points fingers elsewhere, always talks negatively, always attacks the "other" party? Republicans use that dull tool on us each and every day.

It's time to put a stop to all the negativity coming from our Republican Party. It's time to turn our backs on Republican politicians who can only blame Obama. Republicans created this financial crises. They need to accept responsibility. And their inability to propose rational, common sense solutions, their inability to compromise, their inability to execute on the will of the American people,  it just plain beats us down into a state of endless discouragement. It kills our economy. It keeps us unemployed. It keeps us in debt. It hurts our nation.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Typical of my Republican party, close your eyes and ears to what Americans want

New poll out from CNN:

"According to the poll, 63 percent say the super committee should call for increased taxes on higher-income Americans and businesses, with 36 percent disagreeing. And by a 57 to 40 percent margin they say the committee's deficit reduction proposal should include major cuts in domestic spending."

Why is it that Republicans,  like Richard Burr,  don't want to listen to Americans?  We need a balanced approach.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Latest IRS statistics spell out the failure of our Republican Party

The IRS just released statistics on America's tax returns for 2009.   It's not a pretty picture,  and spells out just how miserably the administration of George W Bush and Senator Richard Burr failed our country.  Highlights:
  • Average income fell 6.1% from the previous year, to $54,283.
  • Average income is now down to 1997 levels in real dollar terms.
  • Total adjusted gross income was $7.6 T, down from the 2007 peak of $9 T.
  • 116.9 M taxpayers reported some salaries and wages, down from the 2007 peak of 120.8 M.
  • 140.5 M tax returns were filed,  2 M less than the peak in 2007.
  • 41.7% of returns paid no taxes.
  • The average income of those paying no taxes is $14,483.
Why do I pin these poor results on our Republican party?  How Americans performed financially in 2009 was a direct result of government policies set years before 2009 rolled around.  And Republicans controlled our economy in the previous 8 years.  They are to blame for this terrible outcome.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

@curtiswright - Question for Senator Burr - Is he aware that not ALL NC Republicans support his policies?

As evident from this blog,  not all Republicans are big fans of our clueless Senator.

Jeremy Grantham is calling Republicans clueless

Jeremy Grantham is out with his August investment letter.

As always, Jeremy is making a number of astute observations.  But the overall theme of his letter is how Republicans screwed America.  They screwed us by ignoring the housing mess,  which is primarily responsible for this current economic crises.   And they continue to screw us further by channeling the vast majority of economic benefits in our country to the top 10% - a point I continue to hammer on in this blog.   Our primary economic problem is the lack of consumer demand.  We are NOT going to solve this problem with the solutions proposed by you and the current Republican leadership.  Our problem of soft demand will only get resolved by channeling economic resources away from the top 10%,  and buffer the other 90%.  That takes tax increases at the top,  and lower taxes at the bottom.

Senator, you are simply clueless,  as are the vast majority of today's Republican Politicians.  This hard line of "no tax increases" is just insane.  It gets us nowhere,  accomplishes nothing.  To address the need for further demand,  we need tax fairness.   And it is just NOT fair when the super wealthy pay income taxes are net effective rates LOWER than middle class Americans.   Wake the heck up Senator.  Get this fixed.

The key paragraph in Jeremy's letter:

"Personal income progress is very modest. Productivity has been very high – remarkably so compared to the rest of the developed world average – but the U.S. continues its odd and long history of flowing all economic gains to corporations and the very rich and basically none to the average hour worked. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that we are facing weak demand. For 30 years to the year 2000, consumers compensated for their lack of progress in hourly wages partly by working harder and longer and in greater numbers and partly by borrowing. But in the 10 years after 2000, the participation rate in the workforce has dropped dramatically and hours worked per person has flattened so that the only way for individuals to grow their consumption more recently was by borrowing even more and, to some extent, by speculating in housing. Rising house prices provided the (apparently) real backing for more debt and, even where that backing did not exist, the ingenuity (and, we must admit, greed) of the financial system still supplied the debt. And all of that has gone. And since creating and destroying illusions seems a wretched way to proceed, we can hope (non-mortgage brokers anyway) that it does not return. Today the artificial sugar-coating of increasing debt has been removed and we must live with the reality that an average hour’s work has not received a material increase for 40 years. Without increased debt and without gains in hourly wages, how can there be sustained broad gains in consumption? Only Chanel suits, Hermes scarves, BMWs, and their ilk have very strong sales, and these top-end items are just too small a fraction to carry the day. If we want to dig out of our current morass, don’t we have to change this equation and isn’t the most direct way of doing this to divide the pie more evenly? That would mean lower income and sales taxes for the bottom 75% of earners and higher taxes for the top 10%! We have allowed the vagaries of globalization and the plentiful supply of cheap Chinese labor to determine our income distribution, which has become steadily steeper, to the point where we have become one of the least egalitarian developed societies. Wouldn’t it be better for us to decide deliberately and by ourselves that income distribution which creates the best balance of social justice and incentive to work? I am not suggesting that we become some goody two-shoes Scandinavian country. But how about going back to the levels of income equality that existed under the Presidency of that notable Pinko, Dwight Eisenhower. And don’t think for a second that this more equal income distribution somehow interfered with economic growth: the 50s and 60s were the heyday of sustained U.S. economic gains."

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Thank you Senator Burr, sincerely

American equity markets lose $1 Trillion in a single day.

Thank you Senator Burr.  This is your fault,  for acting like a fucking jackass as a Republican,  pointing fingers everywhere but in the mirror,  lying to us constantly, and pulling the wool over the eyes of middle class Americans in hiding your real agenda - ensuring that the super wealthy in this country remain under-taxed, while our country racks up debt like crazy.

You SUCK Senator Richard Burr.  YOU REALLY SUCK.

Who caused this debt crises in the USA?

Gee Senator, looks like our Republican Party is MOST responsible for this debt that you constantly lie about and try to pin on President Obama, eh?

Senator, you wind up rotting in hell for habitual lying. You know that, right?



Thank God Senator Burr is near his ATM

Senator Richard Burr is on a month-long Senate break and probably back at home in Winston-Salem.  Thank God for him.  Now he can go directly to the ATM himself to yank out money prior to the coming financial meltdown.

We're happy for you Senator.  Give that ATM a hard ride.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Please remind the people of North Carolina

Senator Burr:  Remind us again - When running for office recently,  you heaped a ton of criticism on President Obama for $500 Billion in medicare cuts over 10 years. And now,  just two years later, you are pointing fingers at President Obama for his lack of leadership on balancing our budgets?  The Republican Party now wants Trillions in cuts to social security and medicare, when 2 years ago,  minor cuts were a no-no?

That's the pot calling the kettle black ... eh?

Senator Richard Burr, you have ZERO credibility right now. None. Nada. Zippo. Air. Zilch. You are a typical worthless politician, talking out of both sides of your mouth.

If we were to follow the Republican path now to a balanced budget,  President Obama's efforts at $500 Billion in medicare cuts would be a drop in the bucket to the $16 Trillion in cuts you're going to need over the coming decade under a balanced budget amendment. What are you going to cut Senator?  Man up. Tell the people of North Carolina how your balanced budget amendment means that they will get the living hell hacked out of their social security checks. Tell the people of North Carolina that you're going to throw them to the wolves in their old age when it comes to medical care.

Tell the people of North Carolina the god damn truth for once, just once, Senator.

North Carolina deserves better than our worthless Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Our budget ...

Click on image for a better view:

Republican intellectual dishonesty, er ... outright lies


One of the things that frustrates me the most about our modern day Republican party is how much they just plain lie.  Next time you hear a Republican politician speak about taxes and spending,  listen for the issue they raise about fairness in our tax system.  It's very likely that you will hear the Republican say that its just not fair to tax the wealthy more.  It's not fair because the top 10% of Americans pay over 40% of the federal taxes.  And then they'll tell you that our problem is in entitlement spending (Social Security and Medicare).  Therefore,  we need to just make drastic cuts to entitlement spending and do nothing about raising taxes on the wealthy.

Busted.  LIE.

Why is this a lie?  It's a lie because when they talk about taxes,  they are only talking about federal income taxes,  conveniently leaving out payroll taxes.   Yet,  when they complain about entitlement spending,  they complain about the spending that is directly funded by payroll taxes.   They mix apples and oranges.  They lie and distort facts in order to make it appear that their proposals have merit.

Here's what we need to do to ensure we're hearing the truth.  When any politician talks about taxes and then entitlement spending,  we need to make sure they are quoting facts and statistics that include both income and payroll taxes.  Its just plain distortion of the facts for anyone to talk about just federal taxes,  then turn around and complain about programs largely financed by payroll taxes.

Richard Burr is one of these Republican liars.  He often points to the need to not raise taxes on the wealthy because they pay more than their fair share.  In making this statement,  he presents an argument only about incomes taxes.  But then he'll turn around and talk about the need for drastic cuts to entitlement programs,  without any mention that these programs are funded by payroll taxes.  Enough.  Enough of the lies and distortion of the facts. Richard Burr lies to us when he talks about these issues.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Common sense applied to our nation's budget problems ...


In thinking through our nation's problems,  I offer up these common sense observations:

1.  When our federal government acted responsibly in the past and balanced our budgets,  they taxed Americans at an overall average rate of 18% of our nation's income.  And they spent about 18% of our nation's income in the way of federal spending.   18% IN.  18% OUT.  Budgets balanced.

2.  Right now,  2011, our federal government is spending 24% of our nation's income,  and taxing us at 14%.

3.  Right now,  our federal government is taxing the 400 wealthiest among us (avg $280 M in annual income) at an average rate of 18%.  Over 32% of those 400 are paying 15% or lower.  The wealthiest are paying taxes at rates that only equal,  and often are less than our overall historical 18% average.

From those observations,  these common sense solutions should follow:

1.  If we've balanced revenues and spending in the past at 18%,  we need to get both our revenues and spending back to the 18% level.  This entails cutting spending,  AND raising revenues.

2.  If we need to get back to 18%,  and its fair that the wealthiest among us pay higher rates than those less wealthy,  then the wealthiest need to be paying taxes at rates far higher than 18%.

These are very common sense,  factual observations with common sense conclusions as to what needs to happen to solve our budget problem.  Unfortunately,  the Democratic Party is significantly closer to a common sense approach than the Republican Party.  That is just plain fact and can not be argued otherwise,  rationally.   As a country,  we must cut expenses and we must raise taxes on the wealthy.  We can argue as to what expenses to cut.  And we can argue about who has to bear what proportion of the burden in raising revenues,  it should be clearly evident that the overriding solution is both cutting expenses and raising revenues.

Right now,  neither party has it exactly right.  But Republicans are out in left field.  Democrats are in the infield,  but need to be closer to home plate.

Democrats want $4 Trillion in budget changes, over 10 years.  $3 Trillion in cuts,  $1 Trillion in revenue raising.  The number needs to be higher,  on both sides of the equation.  We need even deeper cuts,  and larger tax increases.

Republicans only want cuts.  And they will not raise taxes.  They also want a balanced budget amendment.  To solve the Republican equation would take our country to a point of 14% taxes IN,  14% expenditures OUT.  The deep cuts necessary to get us there would throw our country into a depression.

THE rational solution is 18/18.  Politicians with a plan to get us to 18/18 are worthy of our support.  Those are primarily Democrats.  The irrational solution is 14/14.  Politicians who want to get us to that point are simply clueless to the damage that would do to our economic future.  Those are primarily Republicans.

Senator Richard Burr walks the Republican party line.  While as a thinking,  rational person,  he may very well feel differently,  he only does what is demanded of him by the Republican leadership.  Richard Burr follows directions from the Senatorial Republican head,  Republican Mitch McConnell,  from the state of Kentucky.  Republican Senator Richard Burr does the bidding of the citizens of Kentucky.  He takes the irrational path, the path that will destroy our economy.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Downgrade ....

This past week or two has been brutal for Americans.  We witnessed embarrassing and childish actions from our politicians.  We watched debt problems in Europe rearing their ugly head,  while European leaders were all on vacation and not interested in taking decisive action.  The world seems to be unraveling in front of our eyes.   Most unfortunately,  our investments and savings are paying the price.  Over $1.8 Trillion in equity value was wiped off the map from the US equity markets in just two weeks.

Late last night,  we got word that Standard and Poor's downgraded our debt.  Yes,  our nation's budgets are to blame.  But the interesting thing is that Standard and Poor's appears to be placing most of the downgrade blame squarely on the shoulders of the dysfunctional political environment. S&P said: " “the downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges".

In other words,  our politicians are clowns.

We must stop the infighting and finger pointing in Washington D.C.  We must compromise. This is our fault.  We elected incompetent people more interested in sticking to ideology than in solving our problems.

To reverse our course,  we must put more emphasis on the quality of the people we send to Washington DC.   If a politician comes to the microphone and spends time blaming someone from the "other" party - these are the people we need to kick out of office.  If a politician spends more time talking about why we can't compromise and must stand our ground on ideology - these are the people we need to kick of office.   We need politicians who only talk about the issues,  the possible fixes,  what he or she thinks needs to be done,  and how they can compromise to get to a solution.  But the very second we see a finger pointed somewhere else,  we need to rush the podium and kick that sorry politician to the curb.

Republican Senator Richard Burr spends his efforts blaming everyone but himself for the problems in Washington DC.  The man has been there for 15 years.   These are problems he caused.  And he has done nothing to work us to solutions.  He has done everything possible to point fingers at others.   It's time to give Senator Richard Burr the boot.  The man is worthless.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Friday, August 5, 2011

So ...

$1.8 Trillion wiped off the map in equity values since our Senator and the other children in Washington DC started their infantile food fight over the budget ceiling.  Bye-Bye Pension savings, 401Ks, IRAs, Roths, 529 plans, Coverdales,  just plain savings.

How you liking this market's reaction to all the Republican solutions being offered up?  You haven't seen anything yet.  Kiss your savings good-bye now that Republicans are strong arming everyone and taking control of our economic future again.  If there's one thing we can count on from our Republican Party - they excel at destroying our economy and causing our savings to disappear.

God,  I'm so proud to be a Republican.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Funniest article I've ever read

Funniest article I have ever read.

By the way,  in case you didn't realize it,  the Onion writes spoof articles.  Still,  there's lots to be learned in reading and understanding the points raised in this spoof piece.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wait, isn't something wrong here?

Whew,  Congress came to our rescue and saved our economy with a budget deal.  Wait,  isn't something wrong here?

The DOW is down 180 223 250 266 points as I type.  It's been down each of the last 8 trading sessions.  Something like $800 Billion in net worth has been wiped off Americans' equity investments in the past week.  Just about every Wall Street analyst is telling us that the economy will now get weaker.  What's going on here?

Senator Burr - what happened to all the jobs you promised?  How about that "cut and grow" strategy Republicans constantly harped about?  Where is the economic growth?  The bill is passed.  There were no tax increases.  You got what you wanted.  But where are our jobs,  and where is our better economy?

THIS WAS A REPUBLICAN BILL.  WHAT HAPPENS FROM THIS POINT FORWARD WITH JOBS AND OUR ECONOMY - WE DON'T WANT TO HEAR ANY MORE OF YOUR 'EFFING OBAMA COMPLAINTS.  YOU GOT WHAT YOU WANTED.  REPUBLICANS OWN THE ECONOMIC OUTCOME FROM THIS POS BUDGET LEGISLATION YOU WANTED.

Not panning out so well,  eh?  Maybe next time Americans won't be so naive about the lies told to us by Republican politicians like Richard Burr.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Ideas to put Americans to work


Look, I am not a brilliant person. I have just an average IQ. And while I have a business degree from Harvard, you wouldn't know it based on my writing, spelling abilities. I'm not the typical Harvard rocket scientist. I got into good schools because I worked my ass off and studied extraordinarily hard. And while I've been fairly successful in making money at my career choice of securities trading, I'm also realistic in assessing my skills on that front too. Much of it came from just being darn lucky. I consider myself an average Joe. I appreciate a good beer, don't shave very often, go barefooted much of the week, and only wear jeans. Maybe then I'm just a barely average Joe? Anyway, I do excel in one area. I apply common sense and always strive to keep it simple. We need to do some common sense, simple things right now to turn our country around. And I have a few ideas.

We can't reply on Congress to get anything of substance accomplished. We have morons in Congress, including Senator Richard Burr. And while our President is a smart man, he can't get anything of substance done either without the support of the Congressional morons. So if anything gets done, it gets accomplished by our Federal Reserve Board.

We need to support efforts by our Federal Reserve Board (FED) to turn around our economy. So far, our FED has made two primary efforts to jump start economic growth, widely referred to as QE1 and QE2. They are widely viewed as failures. Still, they can't give up. We can't give up. Our FED needs to continue tweaking and trying.  And we need to lend them our support.

In QE1, our FED used hundreds of billions to buy some pretty horrible assets from our weakened banks. The idea was to infuse banks with capital so they could lend. It did make our banks stronger. But it didn't work to stimulate our economy. Banks sold assets to the FED, but sat on the capital. The economy was so weak that they had few good lending opportunities. So, it was on to QE2.

In QE2, our FED used hundreds of Billions more to buy US Treasury Securities. The idea was to allow our banks to once again build capital, take advantage of the yield curve, borrow cheap ST, and invest for much higher yields LT. Those investments would push up asset prices, making people wealthier. Wealthy people spend more. And more spending would jump start our economy. It didn't quite work out that way. Our world's financial system became flush with cheap capital. Unfortunately, lacking better alternative investments, much of that capital found its way into energy and ag investments that wound up pushing up oil and food costs. That caused inflation to spike around the world. We saw it at the gas station and in the supermarket. And some think our FED's actions wound up causing massive protests over rising food costs in the middle east. That wound up in governments getting overthrown. So QE2 caused inflation and world-wide governmental instability, not so good.

The outcome of QE2 brought a massive amount of criticism down onto the shoulders of the FED. Congress got into the act and pointed fingers left and right at our FED. Maybe it was deserved. Maybe not. But at least the FED is trying to find the right actions to get our economy moving forward. That's much more than Americans can say about our hapless Congress. Given time and support from Americans, I have confidence that our FED can find ways to move our economy forward. You too need to support our FED. And you need to tell your Congressmen that you support our FED.

Why does the FED deserve the support of the average American? I can only tell you why I support our Fed, and hope you agree. First, these are extremely smart, well educated people. Second, many of them come from the real world and have not been in government their entire careers. Third, they are a small group of people, which can move quickly and act decisively. Fourth, they are led by a real human being, someone with a humble background, grew up in a small town, lived a middle class American life, and for gosh sakes, waited tables at that tacky South of the Border tourist trap off I-95! I'd rather trust a former waiter with the future of our economy than some stuck-up, arrogant Congressman, who's never worked a real job and was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Bottom line - we need to support our FED.

Now, here come the common sense ideas that could come from our FED. The FED should embark on QE3. They will be reserved to do so, because Congress will try to stop them. But, we must tell our Congressmen to shut the hell up and back off. We must allow our FED to work unimpeded. There are some actions our FED could take now that would alleviate inflation issues in food and energy, and create a massive number of new jobs for our economy:

  1. Energy prices, especially oil, are high because supply is constrained. Our trade imbalance is also out of whack because we buy so much oil from the Middle East. So, to kill two birds with one stone, why doesn't the FED step in with programs that will greatly encourage energy development within our borders? They could either directly, or through our banks, subsidize loans to drillers, explorers, pipeline and storage owners and developers, and developers of all kinds of energy and supporting infrastructure ... hydro, nuke, nat gas, oil. Give anyone and everyone developing energy sources/infrastructure, loans that greatly push down their cost of capital. That would encourage, and pull forward, the development of energy sources within our borders. It would put people to work in America.
  2. The same should hold true with any and all Ag related investments in our country. We have massive amounts of underutilized land resources in our country that could be planted. And our Ag products could be exported the world over. Why don't we allow the FED to make subsidized loans to anyone and everyone willing to buy land and put it to use growing crops, where crops are not currently grown? I'm talking about ZERO percent interest loans. And maybe even entering into revenue/profit sharing arrangements where the farmer has little risk on the downside, but there are great upside rewards possible. Think about that. Our entire country would benefit. Higher supply would lower prices. Higher supply being exported to other nations would improve our trade balance and put our people to work. It takes numerous workers to move crops from field to port and onto international markets.

You see where I'm going with these ideas? Identify products/industries that are a source of constrained supply, contributing to inflationary pressures, and where Americans can be put to work within our borders. Flood those markets with cheap capital. We jack supply, cap inflation, and put Americans to work. Ag and Energy come to mind. But there could be many other niches within our economy where our FED could step in with cheap capital.

Ideas like these will never originate, or get passed by our Congress. Ideas like these can not get accomplished by our President either, because he must get support from Congress. But ideas like these can come from and get executed quickly by our FED. And while our FED has tried a couple things that have not worked as hoped, we can't shut them down. We must give our support to the ONE and ONLY governmental arm who can turn our situation around.

Give our Federal Reserve Board your support. Talk to your representatives in Congress. Tell them that you support our FED and they should just back off any criticisms they have about our FED's actions. Allow our FED to come forward with QE3 and beyond, and we may will find our nation on the road to a healing economy.

SenatorBurr - Why are you throwing away $1 Billion in revenue and killing 70,000 jobs?

Senator Richard Burr - you are an insane moron.

While Republicans toss around infantile objections to FAA bills in Congress .... $1 Billion in airline taxes go uncollected,  70,000 jobs get lost.   What in the hell are you people doing up there in Washington DC,  besides destroying jobs and wrecking our economy?

Monday, August 1, 2011

This debt mess is largely the result of bad REPUBLICAN policy


I trade securities for a living.  Time and again,  I find myself in a situation where I am confident in the direction a security will trade,  but it doesn't happen immediately.   Significant time passes before the market sees what I see.  It takes patience to sit and wait for the story to unfold.  But more times than not,  it eventually becomes crystal clear to everyone,  the security reacts,  and I make money.

I feel like this is one of those times.  But its not a security,  its the Republican Party.  I see the current day Republican Party as the root of our country's problem.  But strangely,  there are just so many darn Americans out there who don't see it.  Yet.   If you are one of those people,  I have to ask,  have you really taken the time to look at and understand this article?

Americans are busy people,  at least the ones who are employed.  They don't have the time to get up to speed on our nation's finances.  They don't have the time to really grasp why our nation has financial problems.  They only hear about our $14 Trillion in debt and hear Republicans talk about "Washington's spending problem".   So,  they back Republicans.

Who dropped this mess on our doorsteps?  Republicans did.  It's obvious,  if you'll just take the time to look at and understand the case laid out by Ezra Klein in his Washington Post article.  When President Bush took office in Jan 2001,  our nation had $7.5 T in debt outstanding.  Today,  it's over $14 Trillion.   Of the $6.5 Trillion we've racked up since 2001,  more than $5 Trillion of it is directly attributable to programs and policies emanating from the Republican administration of George W. Bush.  Yet,  the American people largely point fingers at President Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.   Take the time to educate yourself on how we got here.  Make sure you're pointing your finger in the right direction.

More importantly, make sure you're doing the right thing.  Would you support the person who burned your house down?   Would you support the burglar who broke into your safe and stole your money?  Would you support the thief who broke your car window and stole your radio?   Why then do you support the Republican party?

I see the modern day Republican party as the culprit who delivered this economic mess to our doorsteps.  They need to be punished.  They need to be voted out of office.  Most others don't yet see it.  I am confident however that this latest budget battle has just begun to awaken Americans.  Given a little more time for this story to unfold,  they'll come around to understanding that you can't give your house keys to a burglar.

It's time to hold Republicans accountable for screwing up our country.  It's time to throw them out of office.

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Where are the jobs from all those tax cuts?


George Bush and Republicans delivered tax cut after tax cut,  largely aimed at the so called "job creators",  the wealthiest Americans.  Where are all the jobs they promised?

US Employed in Jan 2001: 132.4 M  (George Bush took office)
US Employed in  Jul 2011: 131.0 M  (8 years of Bush,  3 of Obama)

Avg income 400 highest paid Americans 2001: $131 M
Avg income 400 highest paid Americans 2008: $270 M (latest year reported)

The rich have gotten richer,  that's for darn sure.  But we have no jobs to show for all those Republican tax cuts,  yet we're saddled with $14 Trillion in debt.

Why is that Senator Burr?  Please, tell us again why it is that we must under-tax the very wealthy while our nation continues to rack up massive debt.  Because they create jobs?  Where are the jobs Senator?  Where?

North Carolina deserves better than Republican Senator Richard Burr.