Friday, December 28, 2012

Slick Willie

Why not go back to the good times?

With all of the fiscal cliff noise, I hear a lot of chest beating about how our economy thrived under Bill Clinton.  I agree.  But just saying Clinton was a democrat and therefore his policies and Obama's policies must be the same is a pretty lazy and incorrect assumption.  Hear are some words from former Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich's blog blasting Republican's for not wanting to raise top tax rates:

"Funny, I don’t remember the economy suffering under Bill Clinton’s taxes...I seem to recall that the economy generated 22 million net new jobs during those years, unemployment fell dramatically, almost everyone’s income grew, poverty dropped, and the economy soared. In fact, it was the strongest and best economy we’ve had in anyone’s memory."

Reich is correct on one account.  Under Clinton things went very well for growth, jobs, and debt.  If we think Willie's years were great, then lets be clear on ALL of the conditions going on in the 1990s, not just the few that fit the self serving argument. 

First, tax rates were higher for EVERYONE, not just rich people:

Clinton Rates (left) v Bush Rates (right)

Quite simply, if you want to go back to the 1990s from a tax rate side, you need to let ALL of the tax cuts expire which will raise taxes on ALL income groups.  I do not understand the liberal stance on this issue.  Dems keep saying that the rich need to go back to paying their "fair share" like under Clinton, but why do they not want to let all the tax cuts expire.  Just like Reich points out, the economy did not suffer under Clinton tax rates, right?  Anyone want to wager on what economic growth does if all the tax cuts expire?  If you truly are a believer in the higher tax philosophy, I would think you want all the rates to go up so you can prove that the economy and tax rates are wholly unrelated.

Second, Under Clinton average government spending was 19.4% of GDP.  Under Obama Spending has averaged 23.8% of GDP and his future budgets suggest he never intends to bring this below 22% of GDP.  In order to get spending back to Clinton days, Obama would have to immediately cut spending by $600B PER YEAR.  His latest "proposal" called for about $160B in annualized cuts (with little to none of that in the next few years).


Third, capital gains taxes were CUT under Clinton from 28% to 20% in 1997.  This helped lead to a boom in federal revenue as the stock market soared.  Obama is suggesting increasing the cap gains and dividend tax rates moving the exact opposite way of Clinton.

Fourth, Clinton reformed welfare reducing the cost to taxpayers.  Obama is adding Obama-care with all of its taxes and penalties to the backs of workers and businesses.

Bottom line, in order to get to a Clintonian Utopia, Obama would need to repeal Obama-care, massively reduce federal spending, and cut taxes on capital while raising taxes on all income groups (and probably would need to create a tech boom as well).  Obama does not have the stomach for any of that.  Please do not equate Obama to Clinton just because he wants to raise taxes on the top 2%.  His policies are absolutely NOTHING like the policies of the '90s.  Again do more than just read headlines and one-liners, look at the info for yourself.

Lets be clear, nobody actually believes raising taxes will cause economic growth, but more importantly we have little evidence raising tax rates increases tax revenues or reduces debt.  The only reason for raising taxes on 2% of the population is political as doing so makes people feel better that the rich are paying their 'fair share'. As illustrated below, the rich already pay a much higher portion of total taxes and their tax rates are higher relative to their incomes.  So fairness is explained by going back to the 90s rates.  Except, if that is fair, do they not have to raise rates on everyone? 

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Post Election Beatdown

So what now?

After watching the election coverage and slowly coming to terms with the defeat of the free market champion I wanted to see captain the ship for the next four years, I am left wondering what to do from here.  It sure didn't take me long to feel the effects of the re-elected status quo...

In the first 24 hours after the election I saw the stock market plunge close to 3%.  As if that wasn't enough of a financial hit, that same day my truck was stolen right out of my work parking lot in the middle of the day.  Four days later my vehicle returned, no back seats, seemingly having competed a successful human trafficking run across the border.  I'll let you make the judgement on how that speaks to the issues of illegal immigration, border control, and the rule of law, but I will make the simple judgement that this is another sign the economy stinks.  But lets be honest, everyone knew the economy was weak when they cast their vote.  No one voted for Obama because they thought he would grow the economy.

You do not really have to look too far for reasons why Romney was defeated and you could read a thousand articles in that vein, so I will not go down that road.  Instead I will look out into the future and make some calls about the good and bad things that we can expect to see in an Obama second term:

The Good:

1)  Energy:  While this will happen despite Obama's best efforts, it will happen none the less and Obama will be there to take the credit.  Thanks to fracking technology we are going to continue to see a boom in domestic natural gas and oil production.  Further, the boom in natural gas may help force solutions in natural gas in transportation, which would be the golden ticket to reduce dependence on foreign oil.  Amazingly, Natural gas is a win-win for both energy costs and the environment (much cleaner than coal/oil), though I don't think the tree-huggers like to admit that. Further, the lower energy costs are a nice benefit to manufacturers who produce in the US, so they may finally have some new incentive to invest here.

Sadly, the Natural Gas gains will likely be more limited than they otherwise would have been and coal production and pipeline creation will be stunted, but I think we will see a net gain in energy production.  

2) Education:  I like 'race to the top' a hell of a lot better than 'no child left behind'.  I barely know much about them beyond their names but I cannot argue that one seems like capitalism and the other like communism.  Further, several republican governors have made strong efforts to reign in the outrageous control teachers unions have over compensation (See Chicago) and budget deficits.

Now, we will see if Obama can do something underhanded to payback the teachers unions like he did with the auto unions in that bailout.  I am sure we will have expenditures here at a federal level we cannot afford.  Even better, I would bet these go to states that have completely mis-managed their budgets like Illinois, New York, or California (Hmmm, how do those states vote?).  Rewarding horrible behavior is a flagship principle of the left.

3) Immigration: I am hard pressed to see Obama ignoring immigration for a whole new term.  And while I may not agree totally with the policy, I say we move forward with some version of the 'Dream Act' and let children of illegal immigrants have a path to citizenship based on their record.  This way, in four years we can actually talk about the real issues of illegal immigration like border control, work visas, and implementing laws for deporting those illegals we do not want to grant a path to citizenship.  

The Bad:

1) Entitlement Spending:  Apparently the majority of people cannot see or do not care to see the dire situation we face with Social Security or Medicare.  They are both on very poor financial footing and will create a dire future fiscal issue that can only be solved by soaring inflation or massive tax hikes.  Obama has never lifted a finger in proposing fixing entitlements, and thus I worry we will be four years closer to bankruptcy when he is done.

2) Higher Taxes:  I suppose that the majority of Americans think that the rich can afford to pay more taxes.  What great sacrifice to vote to take money from other people so you can either directly benefit from a government handout or your favorite pet cause can benefit.  Just remember that these are people who directly invest in our economy (either through small businesses or with capital investment).  So instead of them using their money to ultimately create jobs, we would prefer they hand that money out to people who did not earn it and will not produce anything with it.  Jobs will suffer.

3) Obama Care:  We will finally see the full implementation of Obama-Care conveniently effective AFTER the election.  Hard to argue more people will be covered.  But who pays for that?  If small businesses have to pay for health care, can they afford to hire more people?  If hiring suffers do the reduced number of tax payers have to pay a higher burden?  Yikes.

The Ugly: 

1) Freedom:  Increasingly forcing certain groups of people by law to pay higher taxes, buy health insurance, join unions, and bailout certain companies subject us more and more to government control over our lives.  I know that many of you like the idea of a nice safety net.  But I urge you all to pick up a history book.  They are loaded with examples in modern history of central authority trying to take control of the economy because they know better than free markets.  It didn't work for Mao, it didn't work for the Soviet Union, it is not working for the socialist economies of Europe. 

I know the election is over, but economic principles don't just die because people were lured to vote for the promise of free stuff.  More importantly, I want people to understand they are better off in the long run if they adhere to free market principles as more jobs and higher growth have always followed.

Finally, I know I rarely talk about the more emotionally titillating issues like abortion or gay marriage or free contraception or the spotted owl or racism.  The truth is that I just do not think these issues rate in importance anywhere near the economic and freedom issues that threaten our very existence.  You may think I'm heartless, but turn on the news tomorrow and the next day and the day after, I bet you will hear infinitely more about the 'Fiscal Cliff', the economy, debt, and taxes than you will about these social issues.  Maybe all the politicians you just voted for are heartless too, or maybe its hard to worry about consequence free fornication when people are struggling to put food on the table. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Knockout

Hopefully everyone tuned in last Wednesday night for an extremely insightful debate between Romney and Obama.  If you did, you saw Romney land punch after punch and wondered why Obama didn't even bother to put up a glove to protect himself.  Watching Obama get exposed as a President with a poor record and no vision for a next term was fun, but I enjoyed the way Romney layed out and defended his positions so much more.

I think it is worth highlighting and expanding on a few of his thoughts:


"You raise taxes and you kill jobs. That's why the National Federation of Independent Businesses said your plan will kill 700,000 jobs. I don't want to kill jobs in this environment."

"There's no question in my mind that if the president were to be re-elected you'll continue to see a middle-class squeeze with incomes going down and prices going up. I'll get incomes up again. You'll see chronic unemployment. We've had 43 straight months with unemployment above 8 percent. If I'm president, I will create...12 million new jobs in this country with rising incomes."

More important to me than the exact policies is Romney's laser focus on creating jobs as priority #1.  I cannot believe Obama spent his first 2 years in office working on a very controversial healthcare law that adds a lot of uncertainty to employers.  That was an enormous mistake that has blunted our recovery.

Tax Policy:

"Mr. President, you're absolutely right, which is that, with regards to 97 percent of the businesses are not -- not taxed at the 35 percent tax rate, they're taxed at a lower rate. But those businesses that are in the last 3 percent of businesses happen to employ half -- half of all the people who work in small business. Those are the businesses that employ one-quarter of all the workers in America. And your plan is to take their tax rate from 35 percent to 40 percent."

Obama wants to make competing harder those who employ 25% of ALL Americans.  No great leap or complicated correlation needs to be made here, employers have less money they will hire less.   

"My plan is not like anything that's been tried before. My plan is to bring down rates, but also bring down deductions and exemptions and credits at the same time so the revenue stays in, but that we bring down rates to get more people working."

"I want to bring down the tax burden on middle-income families. And I'm going to work together with Congress to say, OK, what are the various ways we could bring down deductions, for instance? One way, for instance, would be to have a single number. Make up a number — 25,000 (dollars), $50,000. Anybody can have deductions up to that amount. And then that number disappears for high-income people. That's one way one could do it. One could follow Bowles-Simpson as a model and take deduction by deduction and make differences that way."

Romney's tax plan is very good because it is focused on giving incentives to people to work and produce more.  Lower tax rates for everyone will increase how much money people bring home while limiting or capping deductions is an excellent way to cut government spending disguised in the tax code.

Lets face it, you may like your home mortgage or property tax deduction (I like mine), but this is the federal government sending you a check to take out a loan or buy a house.  And for those of you who think the rich need to pay more, who do you think take out the biggest loans and buy the biggest houses and get the biggest deductions?

"The second topic, which is you said you get a deduction for getting a plant overseas. Look, I've been in business for 25 years. I have no idea what you're talking about."

Obama's Failures:

"Middle- income Americans have seen their income come down by $4,300. This is a -- this is a tax in and of itself. I'll call it the economy tax. It's been crushing."

I am sure you will hear the term 'the economy tax' again.  Few can deny that food and energy prices have gone up and wages are stagnant or declining. This combo lowers our standard of living across the board, and if you think that Obama is turning things around, these facts are a staggering reminder that we are still reeling and the recovery promoted by the left is non-existent.  

"My priority is putting people back to work in America. They're suffering in this country. And we talk about evidence. Look at the evidence of the last four years. It's absolutely extraordinary. We've got 23 million people out of work or stopped looking for work in this country. It's just -- it's -- we've got -- when the president took office, 32 million people on food stamps; 47 million on food stamps today; economic growth this year slower than last year, and last year slower than the year before."

The numbers are damning, the economy is poor and Obama has vastly extended government dependency.

"there was a survey done of small businesses across the country. It said, what's been the effect of "Obamacare" on your hiring plans? And three-quarters of them said, it makes us less likely to hire people. I just don't know how the president could have come into office, facing 23 million people out of work, rising unemployment, an economic crisis at the — at the kitchen table and spent his energy and passion for two years fighting for "Obamacare" instead of fighting for jobs for the American people."


Deficit Spending:

"I will eliminate all programs by this test, if they don't pass it: Is the program so critical it's worth borrowing money from China to pay for it? And if not, I'll get rid of it."

Excellent way to say it.  I might also add that any deficit spending is a direct punch to the face of our children.


"the Department of Energy has said the tax break for oil companies is $2.8 billion a year. And it's actually an accounting treatment, as you know, that's been in place for a hundred years. Now…in one year, you provided $90 billion in breaks to the green energy world."

We must let economic forces work.  When green energy has an economic benefit, it will be embraced across the board.  Until then we cannot afford to flush taxpayer money down the drain chasing windmills.


"Dodd- Frank was passed, and it includes within it a number of provisions that I think have some unintended consequences that are harmful to the economy. One is it designates a number of banks as too big to fail, and they're effectively guaranteed by the federal government...This is the biggest kiss that's been given to — to New York banks I've ever seen. This is an enormous boon for them. There's been — 122 community and small banks have closed since Dodd-Frank."

I love this point, but maybe for a little different reason.  This very much highlights the point that just because the government does something doesn't mean it will have the desired effect.  People must realize that markets almost without fail provide better solutions to these problems than governments do.  We just need to find more ways to get out of the way.  

The Role of Government:

"And what we're seeing right now is, in my view, a — a trickle-down government approach which has government thinking it can do a better job than free people pursuing their dreams. And it's not working...And the proof of that is 23 million people out of work. The proof of that is one out of six people in poverty. The proof of that is we've gone from 32 million on food stamps to 47 million on food stamps. The proof of that is that 50 percent of college graduates this year can't find work."

"My experience is the private sector typically is able to provide a better product at a lower cost."
"But you make a very good point, which is that the — the place you put your money makes a pretty clear indication of where your heart is. You put $90 billion into — into green jobs...that would have hired 2 million teachers. Ninety billion dollars."

Not only does Romney believe the government does not have the answers, he clearly points out how poor Obama's judgement in spending taxpayer money has been.

Working together:

"I had the great experience...of being elected in a state where my legislature was 87 percent Democrat, and that meant I figured out from day one I had to get along and I had to work across the aisle to get anything done. We drove our schools to be number one in the nation. We cut taxes 19 times."

Amen.  You have to be able to find some common ground.  I believe Romney will, now more than ever.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Debates

What should you look for in the debate?

Hopefully everyone will be watching Wednesday evening for the first round of the Presidential Debates between Obama and Romney.  The debates are very important for Romney as he needs to show both a strong sense of what America needs moving forward as well as have a presidential look when he presents his case.

Obama's job is a lot easier, as he only has to tell the people that he is for government solving all of your problems and avoid tough math questions on how we would pay for any of it, i.e. like long term payment for Obama-care, run away stimulus spending, subsidizing student loans, no entitlement reform, etc...  Basically Obama will talk about the government giveaways and tell you that if everyone paid their fair share we could afford it.  Of course, it is a complete lie, but people like to believe in a free lunch, so it will play.

So, here is what I think Romney needs to punch home on Wednesday:

First, he NEEDS to define the election about 2 things: the economy and the deficit.  These really are the only 2 important topics in this election, but since the President is an abysmal failure on each he will do anything to pivot away from them.  Anything he wants to do needs to be shown to help, anything Obama wants to do needs to be shown to hurt.

The Five Point Plan:

Mitt needs to sell and believe in his 5 point plan like its the Bible.  It has some great stuff in it, but needs to all tie back to his key themes:    

1) Energy: Grow our domestic oil, gas and coal production.  Why? it will create jobs, reduce energy costs to business and consumers, and reduce dependence on oil from our enemies.  Key Example: Keystone Pipeline

2) Help Small Business: Cut tax rates, reduce regulations.  Why? Reduces cost on business, increases incentive for business to operate in the US.  Key Example:  Obama-Care, 20% Tax Cuts

3) Deficit Reduction: Cap Spending at 20% GDP.  Reform Entitlements.  Reduce tax rates, eliminate deductions.  Cut wasteful programs and align federal wages to private sector.  Key Example: Medicare Reform

4) Free Trade: Tough on China, Open new markets.  Makes consumer goods cheaper and opens new markets for American companies to compete.

5) Workforce Skills:  Open up Visa program to allow more legal immigration, improve school competition to drive better student results.  Key Example: Teacher's Unions  

Ultimately Romney needs to explain that Obama's policies are sure to make operating a business and hiring people much more expensive while increasing taxes and exploding deficits.  A set of policies that have proven to fail.

If we spend the whole evening talking about Immigration, Student Loans and Auto Bailouts, Romney will have a much harder task.  Don't get me wrong, Obama bought the votes of illegal immigrants through his 'policy' of letting them stay, he bought students votes through his subsidizing their loans, and of course paid the unions directly with tax payer money in the auto bailouts.  However, since only the American taxpayer got creamed in these situations and the costs are easy to cover up, these seem to be winning issues for Obama.  Losers for the country, but difficult to defend without looking heartless.

All in all, when you are watching, make sure you do not get distracted by stupid issues as I'm sure the moderator will ask Mitt about his taxes or some other such non-sense. Listen closely to see if Obama has any real ideas on how to put America on sure footing for the future.  I know Romney does, but listen for him to lay it out. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tax Burden

Great charts enclosed showing the federal tax burden by income groups. 

Bottom line:  Federal income taxes are very progressive and taxing millionaires has no chance of solving debt problem:

Friday, September 21, 2012

How Did We Get Here?

As we draw ever closer to the election, people have a clear choice to make on the direction of the country, and a glimpse at history can help illuminate our future.  What are the clear issues that face us today:

23 Million Americans under-employed and $16 Trillion in debt. 

No other issues really matter when these numbers are so high, and these numbers are even more frightening when you look at them in the context of history, as the last time unemployment maintained these epidemic levels this long was during the Great Depression.  So what went wrong?

The conventional wisdom from the left suggests that George W. Bush was the singular cause of this mess as somehow war and tax cuts caused all the past and current deficits AND plunged us into a financial meltdown.  Of course, these arguments breakdown when pressed to explain their logic as Bush's policy changes were more leftist Keynesian than free market.

But I'm not here to defend or bash W., I am here to offer deeper reasons for why we are currently stuck at high unemployment and debt, and remind you that history will repeat itself if we do not take action in this election.  The reasons for our inability to kick start the economy and gain control over our debt are seeded in actions taken long before now, they actually start during our last great depression...

Entitlement Spending:

The die was cast when we passed the Social Security Act in the 1930s that we were going to take the responsibility of saving for retirement away from individuals and shift it to Government.  The program claims success for keeping millions of Americans from poverty (of course, it also assumes that Americans were not capable of that responsibility on their own).  However, our population has dramatically changed over 80 years, and we have not adjusted the program accordingly.  The payouts continue to be more and more generous, while the payroll funding diminishes, creating larger and larger obligations and debt for our nation.

Medicare was established in the 1960s with the same goal, take care of seniors who cannot do for themselves.  However, the same issue is being played out here.  Higher and higher medical costs, high fraud and inefficiency driving up our debt, while elected officials expand benefits and ignore the effects of the aging population.

Remember both of these programs were easily paid for at their start, but now both are threatening to cripple our fiscal future.  And now here comes Obamacare.  Can you really believe this program will remain solvent?  Can you believe that we would ever adjust the program to cut benefits if it gets too expensive.  History says that we do not have the political will to reduce handouts once we start giving them.  Further employers realize these programs will continue to drive up their taxes and thus discourage investment in new markets and new jobs.

Minimum Wage:

In the 1940s, the United States passed a national minimum wage.  The intent of course sounds nice as it forces employers to give a decent wage to workers.  However, in practice a minimum wage is higher than the market wage and therefore increases supply of labor while decreasing the demand for labor (Econ 101).  The result of course is higher than necessary unemployment.  Ask the 14% of young adults unemployed who could be gaining skills on a job to advance their career if they would like to see employers hire more people at lower wages.

Government Unions:

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, government employees were granted the power to collectively bargain.  As you can see from recent history in Wisconsin and Chicago, teachers unions have taken a large role in bankrupting states and municipalities.  How many less state and local government employees would have been laid-off if government bodies could have reduced pay or benefits like so many other companies did to survive after the financial crisis?  Of course, these unions want you to believe they are there to protect the teachers, but in reality they greatly reduce the number of teachers hired (not to mention suck up huge chunks of the education money that could be going to your children).

During our great recession, when people across the board have taken pay cuts, lost benefits, and significantly reduced personal wealth, these government unions continue to hold tax payers liable for promised benefits from government officials that the unions got elected.

Auto Unions:
In the 1970s, the global economy started to quickly mobilize as Japan and Germany finally recovered from WWII.  They were able to break into the auto industry and make higher quality cars at better prices than the U.S. automakers.  Why?  Automakers were hamstrung by laws that forced them to work with unions and thus gave inordinate power to unions to demand higher than market pay and pensions.  Of course, these guaranteed benefits were nooses for the auto companies and when they hit a tough recession, those nooses snapped their necks.  They were powerless to cut costs or raise money.

Of course, in response the taxpayer stands to lose up to $85 Billion dollars to bail them out, investors took a huge haircut, and they did little to cut union members benefits.  So any job Obama claims to have saved, may never have been lost if GM was able to pay market compensation to their employees when required to be competitive.  Maybe we should be asking if Obama supported the unions positions for the last 40 years that caused the problem instead of praising him for taking money from taxpayers to try to fix it.

All in all, I do not care so much that people want to collectively bargain, but people should not be forced to collectively bargain.  This forced unionization has led to reduced competitiveness and size of some of the flagship industries in this country.  

I could continue and focus on how other programs like welfare, unemployment insurance, mortgage interest deductions, and student loan subsidies increase our debt without providing incentive to be productive, but I think I have made my point. 

The critical point here, is that all of these policies have two glaring effects.  1) They reduce the amount of jobs available because they make hiring new employees too expensive and 2) The resulting lower employment is a drag on government spending due to the existing welfare state.  

23 Million Americans under-employed and $16 Trillion in debt.

Amazingly, the majority of the programs/special interests above had little effect on deficits when they were first enacted but over time they grow into unmanageable nightmares and create structural damage to our economy.

I don't blame Obama for the mess he inherited, it started many decades ago.  What I do blame him for is his philosophy that all of the above policies are great or did not go far enough to include government in our lives, and his insistence on adding new ones to the list so Americans have to jump ever higher hurdles to find jobs and pay increasing taxes.   

We must be smarter.  We must realize that increasing the role of government and special treatment for individuals has led to sustained lower employment and higher debt.  There is no free lunch, so even if you like the idea you will collect an unemployment check if you get laid-off, remember it comes with a side of reduced likelihood of finding your next job.

Many of the problems we face today started with policies built over many decades.  What do you want our country to look like 10, 20, 30 years from now.  Now is the time.  Change directions.  Pay attention to history and understand that any short-term gain imposed by government edict comes at a permanently higher cost to all of us.  Our financial future is in great jeopardy, but worse we are slowly and systematically being stripped of our freedom.  That should be unacceptable to all Americans.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Your Choice

What should this election really be about?

I just finished reading a book on the historic economic theory battle between Keynes' government stimulus, deficit spending approach and Hayek's free market, limited government solutions the day before Paul Ryan was announced as the vice presidential candidate for the Republican ticket.  This did two things, 1) confirmed for my wife that I am a really big nerd, and 2) really helped ground me in what we should care about when voting.  The vision and ability to deliver on that vision should really be the criteria for making our decision this November.  I like to look at the numbers a lot, but in the grand scheme of things, they just don't matter that much when deciding how to vote, because the world is so very dynamic.

Forget the details, ask yourself this question:  Do you fundamentally believe a larger government has a better chance of securing future success for America?  I am not sure you could ask that question so plainly before as Mitt Romney talked great free market rhetoric but had some flaws in his game (i.e. Massachusetts Health Care) that may have made you think he was not serious about free market solutions.  With his pick of Paul Ryan, Romney's vision is no longer a question, he is a free market, small government guy all the way.

Many of my favorite liberal buddies continue to claim that they a 'fiscally conservative'.  Well here is your chance to put your money where your mouth is.  Never has an election been more about the direction of the fiscal policy of this country.  You must decide if you prefer a bigger government or smaller government approach, and the differences are plain:

Increase Taxes
Increase Spending
Increase Entitlements
Increase Regulation

Reduce Taxes
Reduce Spending
Reduce Entitlements
Reduce Regulation

Big Government or Small Government?  No need to get swept up in all the details. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Petty Friday

Why am I so angry?

You know, usually I try to stick to discussion about policy questions.  I prefer to argue things with a mathematical slant because they give my opinions more weight and ultimately help find points of consensus.  But lets chuck that out the window today.  I'm a middle aged, middle class, Ohio born, Texas fed American with a manufacturing job and a solid tax burden, so why do I feel so disenfranchised with so much of what the Democratic party has to say?   In many ways, you would think I am the picture the left is painting in their middle class Utopia (except I lack the required Government dependence).  So why am I so upset 95% of what they have to say?  Lets take a sampling...

1) Voter ID Registration - The left claims to be very sensitive to the rights of the poor who somehow cannot get a government ID but are going to vote, but do not care at all that my vote could be cancelled out by a non-citizen. 

2) Health Care - The left wants to expand health insurance to all Americans.  They do not care that they need to massively raise my taxes and my insurance premiums to accomplish this task.

3) Private Finances - The left is implying impropriety or Un-American sentiment because Mitt Romney will not release his tax returns and he had a Swiss bank account.  I did see one tax return from Romney:  He paid $3 MILLION dollars in taxes and gave $3 MILLION dollars to charity and broke zero tax laws. If he is Un-American, I must be from the moon, because it is likely the sum total of my life time tax payments will not reach his tax burden from last year.  

4) Government Spending - The left has spent every last second of the last month attacking Romney as too rich, a corporate raider, and a guy who wants to take your money and give it to the rich.  The hypocrisy of this message when not one word is dedicated to the $5 TRILLION deficit the last four years, is insulting.  The left has no problem stealing from our children to live fatter today, but have a big problem with the way Romney ran HIS business and personal finances?

5) Job Creation - If the left is not attacking Romney for being too successful, they are attacking him because his company outsourced or laid off workers (in select cases) to, egad, make a profit.  We have a stagnant high unemployment rate over 8% and the worst recovery since the Great Depression and you are spending ALL of your time talking about how Romney did what EVERY OTHER American businessman has done over the last 5 years (are they all Un-American too?).

6) Fat Cats - The left constantly chirps about how money is corrupting our political system both by big donors giving heavily to candidates and by big businesses lobbying for beneficial treatment in law making.  So what is their solution to a government they claim is so corrupted by the rich?  Make it bigger.  Wait, huh, what???  You want to continue to expand the size and power of a government that you believe is so easily corruptible by the wealthy few.  This hypocrisy is of course totally beyond my comprehension.    

I am devastated by this complete disregard for my country's future.  I will cede to you that Romney is rich and he was a business man that had to make difficult choices.  Can you cede to me that our countries' economy is a disaster and our democratic leadership and media should probably say a couple of words about what to do to fix it?       

How in the hell can the left spend every waking minute talking about Romney's tax returns, gay marriage, amnesty, student loans and free contraception when we have 25 Million Americans Under-employed, a $15 Trillion National Debt, skyrocketing Health Care costs, and a $500 Billion Tax Cliff.

I will tell you how.  In each of these cases Democrats can buy votes with taxpayer money.  Our President: Want a low student loan rate on that philosophy degree? vote for me.  Want to skirt the law and skip the the head of the line to become a citizen? got you covered.  Want to be subsidized to have consequence free fornication? I'm your guy.   Did you make a horrible decision and buy a house you could not afford?  No Problem, not your fault.  Does your company need a bailout because you do not want to take a pay cut?  cash or check.

Alas, I'm just a taxpayer, you have used all of my money to buy all those other votes.  It is a shame you do not have room for guys like me on your platform.  I'm just a checkbook.  

Friday, July 6, 2012


What are your voting priorities?

After listening to the litany of issues that have made the news cycles in recent months, I created a cheat sheet for prioritization of issues that are important to me and will help decide how I vote.

Obviously, politicians want you to feel singled out by and vote on a singular issue (good strategy, divide and conquer).  However, by prioritizing things that are important to you, you won't get sidetracked on an issue of relatively low importance or low impact just because it has an emotional appeal.  Below are the key issues I see being discussed in this campaign and my short take on each one:

Many of these issues are connected (like creating Jobs will improve housing so housing is lower on my list).  Also, I think Education is an incredibly important issue.  However, I do not believe federal government policies on education matter much compared to states and localities so it is lower on my list.

Ultimately, in my mind, the President who can focus on employment/growth and make significant improvements to our long term debt outlook (entitlement reform) will have greatly succeeded in moving us toward long term prosperity and away from the path of Europe.

Our current President has chosen to completely ignore the top 4 priorities in our nation and has made a mess of 5) Taxes 6) Energy and 7) Health Care.  I urge you all to make a similar list to help you decide what issues are the most critical to you and make sure that you are voting for the candidate that is willing to address SEVERAL of your most important issues.