Tuesday, October 7, 2008
So much to say, so much to comment on, WOW! Here we go... A few weeks ago John McCain was made a laughing stock by most of the media for saying the fundamentals of the U.S. economy were strong. The ridicule dished out was so great that he wimped out and started explaining that he meant something different than what was reported. (some stuff about how he was commenting on the American worker and population). The whole problem I have with this scenario is - HE WAS RIGHT! The fundamentals of the U.S. economy are strong. We still have an economy that is the envy of the world. Are there problems now, yes. Are the fundamentals (American Heritage dictionary says fundamentals are - 1) Of or relating to the foundation or base; elementary: the fundamental laws of the universe. 2) Forming or serving as an essential component of a system or structure; central: an example that was fundamental to the argument. So, our fundamentals are: Freedom, democracy, free markets, equality, etc. All still pretty sound, if you ask me.) of our economy sound - I say again, YES! Now for some comments on our current situation(s). The "mortgage crisis" - Did you realize that as of August less than 2% of all personal mortgages were in default? Did anyone report that? Did you know that at the same period, less than 6% of personal mortgages were in arrears (late)? Now, there are areas of the country with much higher percentages, this is the national average. There are also lenders with MUCH higher percentages, but it is of their own doing! One problem I have here is, now that Americans have been told that the government is going to "bail out" bad mortgages, the default rates will skyrocket. Why pay when the good ole government is going to take care of it. REMEMBER - THERE IS NO GOVERNMENT MONEY!! JUST TAX DOLLARS!! Wall Street problems - Today, 10/7/08 - The stock market took another large drop. (yesterday it was up, but that did not make the news - another problem I have) Headlines read - "2 Trillion Gone from Nest Eggs!" Sensationalism. Yes, if you went to sell your stocks, cash out your stock or mutual fund based retirement plans, there would be 2 trillion less than in July. What percentage are going to cash out now, CLOSE TO ZERO! Apocalyptic headlines make news. The stock market has been going up and down for the history of people buying and selling stocks. A big part of this problem is a LOT of current investors are young enough to have never seen the market drop. They thought stocks always went up. (actually in the long run, most do) Unless you are in a position to have to take your money out of a retirement plan now, all is fine. Look back on this in two or three years and all the value will be back, probably plus some. Government bailout(s) - You can read my last post on this. I have a REAL problem with our tax dollars being used to cover poor financial decisions. If the government has that kind of money, we are paying too much in taxes. If you want to know a GREAT reason for tax cuts - this is it. The government can't spend what they don't have.... Oh yeah, they can - THEY'RE THE GOVERNMENT! But it makes it harder. Speaking of TAX CUTS - Tax cuts always benefit the people that pay the taxes. (I have a post on this as well back a ways - read it for details.) I am soooooo tired of that class warfare B.S. put out about the rich getting the tax breaks. Since the "Tax Breaks" of the early 2000s, the "rich" are paying a higher percentage (and many more dollars) of taxes than before. Here are the breakdowns - The top 1% of population ranked by income make 19% of the income and pay 37% if the income taxes The top 5% of population ranked by income make 33% if the income and pay 57% of the taxes. The top 10% of population ranked by income make 44% of the income and pay 68% of the taxes. The top 25% of the population ranked by income make 66% of the income and pay 85% of the taxes. The bottom 50% of the population effectively pay NO INCOME TAXES! (after tax credits, etc) So, of course tax cuts go to the rich - THEY PAY THE TAXES!! And, even after the latest tax cuts they pay more! and the "Kicker" - POLITICS - I am going to make a flat statement - If you vote for a Democrat for any national office (local, even state - if they are the better candidate - go for it) - you are an idiot! The national democrats are so invested in winning this election that they are willing to destroy the country to do it! The reporting and sound bites coming out of this "crisis" is more than half the problem. The people in Washington know that most of the voters are so ignorant of how things really work that they can say George Bush and his administration "caused" the current problems and people will believe it. They know that to get Obama and a larger majority in Congress elected, they have to terrify people and make them believe the Republican did it. Here are some facts - Since World War II (1945) through the current one, there have been 30 Congress -es seated. The Republicans have controlled 6 of them (12 years). The Democrats have controlled 20 of them (40 years). I define control here by having a majority in BOTH houses of Congress. So, for the remaining years there was a Republican Senate and a Democrat House (interestingly there has not been a Republican House without a Republican Senate). The Constitution of the U.S. mandates that ALL spending bills be created and approved in the House of Representatives. This includes budgets and TAXES! The Democrats have had total control of spending and taxes for 40 years out of the last 60, and control of the House for another 8, for effective spending control for 48 of the last 60 years! How the hell can they blame ANYTHING on ANYONE else!! So, I say again - If you vote for ANY democrat for a national office - you are an idiot! The reason this economy is in "CRISIS" is THEM! A LOT of it is pure contrived b.s., but it is affecting our lives anyway. And for President - regardless of any policies - to vote for a guy for President who only has 150 days as a Senator as his experience is insane! I am not a John McCain supporter in a big way, but I don't think that on the job training is appropriate for a president of this country. (I don't understand how Democrats and voters can blast Palin for her lack of experience to be VP! Her experience as a mayor and a governor are much more relevant to be VP than Obama's experience is to be president!) Lastly, if you are in N.C. - vote for Elizabeth Dole. It is rare that we ask someone in national office for a personal intervention. My wife and I asked Senator Dole's office (and Richard Burr, but he is not up for e\re-election) to intercede on her behalf to get her disability approved. After being told the decision was going before a judge and would not be heard for three or four months; three or four WEEKS after contacting the Senator we got an approval. We got follow up calls from her office and a letter from her following up. She did her job, I feel she earned my endorsement. I am asking anyone that can legally vote for her to do so.