Audio Clips

29 October 2008

Thanks for the Heads Up!

Saturday Night Live Understands It, Why Doesn't Washington?

How can it be that SNL can see through the noise and get to the crux of the matter and yet our politicians still feel like they have to bail out those "poor unfortunate" people who are getting foreclosed on. 94% of home-buyers are responsibly making their mortgage payments. Why are we catering to the 6% who aren't? Those of us who didn't make bad decisions with our money are constituents too. Why are we ignored? More pandering and scare-mongering. Arghhh!

And Now For Something Completely Different

Alright, enough of my complaining. Time for a little levity.


27 October 2008

Ted Stevens GUILTY

Ted Stevens, Alaska senator, has been found guilty of corruption charges for receiving gifts from people and companies and not reporting them to the Senate Ethics Committee. This is fantastic. This creep has been in the Senate for 40 years and has obviously used his position to line his pockets and remodel his home. I hope you find yourself in jail, Mr. Stevens. You've earned it.

23 October 2008

We Should Proceed With Caution, Not Reckless Abandon

2 UCLA economists have done some extensive research and believe that FDR's policies actually prolonged the Great Depression by 7 years. Lee Ohanian, one of the economists believes that it will not be repeated as long as the lawmakers don't "gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies." He explains briefly why it was such a long recovery when it should have been significantly shorter.

"President Roosevelt believed that excessive competition was responsible for the Depression by reducing prices and wages, and by extension reducing employment and demand for goods and services," said Cole, also a UCLA professor of economics. "So he came up with a recovery package that would be unimaginable today, allowing businesses in every industry to collude without the threat of antitrust prosecution and workers to demand salaries about 25 percent above where they ought to have been, given market forces. The economy was poised for a beautiful recovery, but that recovery was stalled by these misguided policies."

Please call your representative and senators and urge them to use caution in "treating" the economy. Our government has shown a distinct lack of competence in the past when it comes to the economy. I don't believe that they have gotten any more brilliant in the last 70 years. The economy has too many moving parts for any centralized organization to be able to manage it.

The Government Doesn’t “Share” in Losses, We Do

Apparently the Bush administration is considering a proposal to take $40 billion from taxpayers to buy foreclosures from banks and then reduce the amount owed by the home-buyer. (Is there anyone left in America who can't wait for this man to be out of office?)

According to an article at The Street.com the government will "share in any future losses on the new loans with lenders." Pardon me, Mr. Journalist, but you may want to rethink who is going to "share" in those losses. Government has NO money except what they take from you and me. So government won't be "sharing" in the losses, we will.

Every responsible citizen who did not choose to buy an overpriced house (roughly 97% of the population) will pay for every idiot who bought a house they couldn't afford. That's sure generous of us. Except that it isn't really generosity because the money will be taken from us at gunpoint. Generosity would be letting these people learn their lesson and returning to the rental market. Build up your down payment and try again later. Don't take money from me and my family because you were too lazy to figure out if you could afford the house payment. That's not my fault. I'm currently saving for my own down payment. Why should I have to put my own home purchase on hold to help you keep your home? Explain to me the fairness in that.

11 October 2008

Going on Vacation

I'll be gone for a week and a half so no updates until then. Here's a kleenex to dry your tears. Now stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about! I did add an Armstrong and Getty Clip called "Whip the Bankers". Enjoy!

09 October 2008

China Owns Us!!! Oh Wait...



I constantly hear fear-mongering from politicians and talking heads that China owns us and when they decide to "call in the debt" we are going to crash. First off, China owns $500 billion of a $10 trillion debt. That's 5%. Hardly a concerning amount. Japan actually owns more of our debt than China, but both countries are dwarfed by the biggest holders, the U.S. government and U.S. citizens. (There are still big problems with that scenario but that's another post.) So when you hear politicians, like John McCain in this video, and talking heads trying to scare you by saying that China owns us, recognize that they are just trying to scare you into accepting their proposal, whatever it is.

Secondly, China can't "call in the debt". That isn't how treasuries work. They have contractual maturity dates. If China doesn't want their bonds anymore they are free to sell them on the open market and, frankly, that would be an opportunity for us to buy them back at a significant discount. But they can't just walk up to us and demand that we give them back their money. That's not how bonds work. There is no provision for that in the contract.

Politicians are perennial fear-mongers. They want to scare you into voting for them. H.L. Mencken said: "The only way a reporter should look at a politician is down." That is reasonable advice for all of us. Particularly since most reporters seem to just fawn over politicians of one stripe or another and so are unreliable for unbiased information. Turn on your inner skeptic when you hear a politician speak.

05 October 2008

Beneficiary of the Recent Pork

According to Taxpayers for Common Sense one of the beneficiaries of an excise tax waiver I mentioned earlier is a company named Rose City Archery in Myrtle Point, Oregon. The provision of the bill was introduced by the two senators from Oregon. If you would like to express your disgust to senators Gordon Smith or Ron Wyden, two more shills for any bidder, just click on their names.

I've been disappointed by Gordon Smith in the past. His son committed suicide several years ago so he started a crusade to take $60 million from working families and give it to organizations who fight suicide. I don't mean this to sound heartless. I feel sorry for his loss and can't imagine what shock and sorrow I would feel if this happened in my family, but that doesn't justify him robbing taxpayers to assuage his sorrow or guilt. It is exactly this kind of emotionalism that our leaders constantly use to justify their theft of our money.

Defining Marriage



Those who know me know that I am pretty libertarian in my political attitudes. I don't believe in the using the government to force your philosophy on others. I believe that natural rights are the birthright of every person. So you may wonder why I am for Proposition 8 in California. I'll explain. I have no problem with people who choose a homosexual lifestyle having the same rights that I enjoy. I'm not going to come to you and harangue you for a lifestyle that I don't choose.

I am opposed to the redefinition of marriage because it it being used by homosexual advocacy groups as a step to teaching it to the children in school. THAT I have a problem with. I don't go into the schools to teach the Christian lifestyle and I expect that others not use the school system to promote their own lifestyle. Schools are for reading, writing, and arithmetic. It is not a laboratory for social change.

Massachusetts approved gay marriage not too long ago and now schools there are using that as the justification for introducing the concept of gay relationships to children as young as 5, as can be seen in the video above. I'm a live-and-let-live kind of guy, but the minute you start imposing your will on my family you're going to raise my hackles and we're going to have a confrontation. If you feel that it is okay for the government to use the school to effect social change then you had better be willing to accept the consequences of that when the powers-that-be change and are no longer in your corner.

I find it ironic that some people have no problem with our schools teaching what THEY agree with and then complain or find it appalling that groups like evangelical Christians or Catholics teach things in private schools that run counter to that person's beliefs. It's one way or the other. Either we respect each others' right to raise our children as we see fit or we believe that the government should enforce social teachings through school. If we're going to employ the government in that effort then the strongest party wins and the fight for control of government is on. And that is precisely the thing that the founders of this country fought against.

04 October 2008

Inside Every Cynic...

George Carlin, a world-class cynic, once said: "Inside every cynical person is a disappointed idealist." I find myself constantly fighting cynicism because I don't believe that it accomplishes anything. It's hard because I am constantly bombarded by decisions by our government officials that seem to benefit a select few who are capable of buying votes. I do, however, believe that almost everyone you come in contact with is trying to live their life free of government intrusion and is willing to help their neighbor if they see a need or if they're asked. That hope is what keeps me from just swallowing a bitter, bitter pill and viewing everyone's motives with suspicion. We desperately need, as a society, to believe in each others' best intentions and be forgiving of each others' trespasses. It is far easier to go through life assuming that everyone is trying their best to do what's right and occasionally they make mistakes, (Heaven knows that I do) rather than assume that everyone who crosses our path is deliberately out to offend, rob and beat us down. I don't want to live like that and I'm trying to surround myself with people who don't want to believe that either.

03 October 2008

This May Come As a Surprise to Obama Supporters



Neither presidential candidate supports the concept of gay marriage. I know a few Obama supporters who may be surprised by that fact.

Biden's Definition of Patriotism



Patriotism has NOTHING to do with taxes Mr. Biden. To think that paying higher taxes is a matter of patriotism is insulting and ignorant. To take that to its logical conclusion would require us to turn over our entire paycheck to the government to show how much we love our country. That is stupidity and jingoism of the most dangerous kind. Governments were formed by men to provide mutual protection. Governments exist to serve the people, not the other way around.

New Investment Strategy



Senators Obama and Biden apparently are proposing that bankruptcy courts be given the authority to adjust the principal that is owed on a house. So let me get this straight, we are going to allow the bankruptcy court to adjust downward the principal that a person owes to the bank. Hmmm. I'm sensing an opportunity. How about I buy a house I can't afford, declare bankruptcy and get the court to adjust down the amount I owe on it. Sounds fair to me. Forget that the true owner of the house is the bank, until it's paid off. Why should we care about the shareholders of the bank? They don't deserve consideration. Only poor, stupid homeowners should be considered. Now, if Biden is proposing that the downward adjustment can only happen if the bank is amenable then I'm fine with it. But if we start giving preference to the debtors then it's going to get harder and harder to find banks who are willing to loan money if, in bankruptcy, they are no longer entitled to the true amount owed.

Budget Neutral?



Sarah Palin called Senator McCain's proposal to create a $5,000 tax credit that can be used to purchase health insurance "budget neutral". I believe that she is implying that it would have no impact on the budget. I'm not sure how you can come to that conclusion. Leaving aside the idea of whether or not it would be a good idea, you can't say that a tax credit to the taxpayer is "budget neutral". How can it be? If you are providing a way to allow the taxpayer to pay $5,000 less in taxes then the government is going to feel that $5,000 in its revenues. Adjustments are going to have to be made somewhere. Either you lower your budget costs or you increase taxes elsewhere, but you can't say that it's budget neutral. It will certainly impact the federal budget.

Intriguing idea though.

"Simple Fairness" or Dangerous Trend?



In the VP debate the other night Senator Biden was arguing that by raising the taxes on those who make more than $250,000 per year we were just being fair. It was "simple fairness" to take more money from people who have achieved a higher standard of living. I really dislike this line of reasoning. Let's be clear, I make nowhere near $250,000 per year, but I would like to get there eventually and the idea that if you work hard and achieve your goals the government is going to be more punitive in your taxes is outrageous. Biden would have the people at the top end of the income spectrum paying a greater and greater portion of the government bill. How is that "simple fairness"? My concern is that if we reach a point that more than 50% of the voting public are effectively paying no taxes then we will have reached a tipping point for those people to demand more and more of those who have worked hard. "Simple fairness", Mr. Biden, is for every American to pay a share of the costs. To do otherwise is not fairness, it is repressive and tyrannical.

02 October 2008

Classic VP Debate Clip

We Report, Media Misguides

Okay, so this morning I was glancing through H.R. 1424, the bailout bill that is in the news, and I am going to just point a few things out and let you decide whether your representatives are looking out for your best interest or if they are using the public's panic to bend the taxpayer over and spank them. Here are just a few of the highlights added to the bill.


SEC. 503. EXEMPTION FROM EXCISE TAX FOR CERTAIN WOODEN ARROWS DESIGNED FOR USE BY CHILDREN.

SEC. 317. SEVEN-YEAR COST RECOVERY PERIOD FOR MOTORSPORTS RACING TRACK FACILITY.

SEC. 502. PROVISIONS RELATED TO FILM AND TELEVISION PRODUCTIONS.

Subtitle B--Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008

SEC. 322. TAX INCENTIVES FOR INVESTMENT IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

SEC. 211. TRANSPORTATION FRINGE BENEFIT TO BICYCLE COMMUTERS.

SEC. 314. INDIAN EMPLOYMENT CREDIT.

SEC. 315. ACCELERATED DEPRECIATION FOR BUSINESS PROPERTY ON INDIAN RESERVATIONS.

I'm not going to even debate on the merits on providing tax exemptions to people who make arrows
consisting of all natural wood with no laminations or artificial means of enhancing the spine of such shaft (whether sold separately or incorporated as part of a finished or unfinished product) of a type used in the manufacture of any arrow which after its assembly measures 5/16 of an inch or less in diameter, and is not suitable for use with a bow described in paragraph (1)(A).
Let's face it. Some chap in one of these representatives' district makes arrows that match this description, made a campaign contribution and asked for a tax break. Now he's getting his payback. Is this really the government you're asking for? If it's not, then contact your representative and senators when you find out about these things and be more proactive in learning about the bills that are being debated and passed.