Friday, December 16, 2011

Who to Vote for in 2012

These budget showdowns seem to be commonplace with the new alignment of a Republican House and a Democratic Senate.

In the last showdown, we nearly defaulted because the Republicans insisted that the millionaires and billionaires get a tax break.  This time, the Democrats are insisting that the common men and women get a tax break and the Republicans oppose this.

The choice, therefore, is very simple.  If you're a millionaire or a billionaire, vote Republican.  If you're not, vote Democrat.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Oakland, California Plans to Shut Down

The "Occupy" movement is picking up steam.  Now, leaders of the movement in Oakland, California are calling for a citywide strike tomorrow (Wednesday).  Students are encouraged to not go to school and workers are called on to not go to work.  Effectively, the will shut down the city.

If this indeed happens and other cities follow suit, it's getting serious, and the richest 1% of the United States are in danger.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

President Bill Clinton

I was just watching a replay of U.S. President Bill Clinton's first State of the Union Address.  It is a tragedy that the term limit for president was not extended during his time.  The budget that was balanced would not have exploded out of control, the dangers of terrorism that were so evil and came to being on 9/11 would not have happened for they were known about but ignored by Clinton's successor, health care reform would have been passed much sooner, thereby freeing families to live more healthy, productive lives and have more disposable income for themselves rather than on medical bills.

Many politicians speak words, but Clinton inherently understood what he was talking about, perhaps more than any other president in U.S. history.  If you are able to replay this address, you will understand what a visionary he was.  He forecast that if health care reform was not passed, we would see deficits approaching a billion dollars shortly after the turn of the century.  And what did we see during the Bush administration?  Deficits approaching a billion dollars.  We went from having a genius in the White House to a child in the White House, and we clearly saw the difference.  Unless or until moderates and Republicans begin to see that it is better to have a Democrat in the White House than it is to have a bad Republican, America's problems will continue.

Had Bill Clinton been in office from 1992-2008, American would be strong, we would continue to have a large surplus, our education system would be the envy of the world, interest rates would be low, and the stock market (which he tripled from 3, 200 when he took office to 10,800 when he left), would probably be over 20,000 by now.  America is much, much worse off because he wasn't given extended terms.  We are much, much worse.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Rick Perry Wants to Raise Your Taxes

Rick Perry, amazingly elected to be a governor (of Texas) declared that the savings program you most likely contribute to (Social Security) is a Ponzi scheme.  Perry wants to do away with Social Security, meaning that all the amount you have contributed to up until now will be lost forever.  

This would amount to the biggest tax increase in United States history.  Up until now, you have been contributing money to your own Social Security account that you thought was safe.  But then George W. Bush spent your money on the Iraq War.  You didn't count on Republicans coming into power--silly you.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Jobs in the U.S.

President Barack Obama presented his Jobs Bill before Congress tonight.  It's pretty simple, straightforward and people in both parties support it.  If there aren't millions of jobs created in the next two years, we know it will be because of Republicans in Congress.  Obama has presented a plan while Congress has come up with nothing.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Rick Perry Wants Texas to Secede from United States

Governor Rick Perry, who some people want for President of the United States, hates the United States so much that he wants Texas to Secede from the U.S. 

Besides this fact, Texas has given us lots of bad presidents over the years...Don't think we want to go down that road again.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

GOP Presidential Contenders Turn To Iowa

Republicans will focus on Iowa beginning tonight in hopes of continuing the progress they made in the debt ceiling adventures.

The first Republican presidential debate in two months will be tonight.  Iowa is the first state that award delegates in both the primary and caucus.  Most of the contenders will make stops at the Iowa State Fair to take questions from voters and shake hands.  Several others, including Texas Governor Rick Perry, who is making all the moves one would associate with a run at the nation's highest office, will also be at the state fair. 

Then Saturday night, the Ames Straw Poll will likely influence the race.  It generally is a test of grassroots organization and the candidates who do the best have the best organizations and are able to get their supporters to the event.

Perry has one thing in common with the last occupant of the White House besides also being from Texas--he was a "C" or "D" student.

Hopefully America has learned that when you have a president that is dumber than you are, the results are not good.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Americans Favor Tax Increase on Wealthy By Large Margin

As I mentioned a few days ago, this is going to be a major issue in the 2012 elections.  Republicans don't believe that billionaires are any better off than anyone else and don't want their taxes raised.  Democrats believe the wealthy should pay a higher percentage than those who make minimum wage.

This CNN poll confirms my thoughts.  63% of Americans believe that the wealthy should have to revert the the tax they were paying before President George W. Bush gave them big tax breaks.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Dow Jones Falls Another 300 Points

The United States stock market has fallen under 325 points this morning, and it is now 1,500 points lower since the Republican plan to raise the debit ceiling.  Seems like quite a price to pay to protect the billionaires from paying their fair share.

This will be the #1 issue in the upcoming 2012 elections.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

United States Adds 117,000 Jobs

It wasn't all that long ago when we had month after month in which we hopelessly lost hundreds of thousands of jobs.  Month after month.

Now, we've had a year in which the job market is turning around.  Business owners (Republicans mostly) have been reluctant to hire people so as to make President Obama look like a genius, instead piling up record profits and stockpiling record amounts of cash in the bank rather than adding new factories and new products.  I said a few months ago that at some point, investors are going to get angry with them for sitting on all that cash.  Now witness the 1,000 point drop in the Dow, over 500 points in a single day.  The investors have finally wised up to the tricks of the corporation and are demanding expansion.

And presto--over 100,000 jobs created in a month.  

All that really has to happen is for the lower and middle class Americans to rise up and demand their fair share.  That is really all that was at the core of the movement to organize workers and demand a decent wage.  

Yes, it really wasn't all that long ago that we lost hundreds of thousands of jobs.  Remember?  It was 2006-2008.

Since the Republican Proposal to Raise the Debt Ceiling Was Passed

...Dow Jones Industrial Average has plummeted over 1,000 points
the prestigious credit rating of the United States has been downgraded.

(All so the precious billionaires can keep their tax breaks.....)

You have one party for the billionaires...

And one party for the rest of us.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Debt Deal Will Become Law

With today's overwhelming vote in the United States Senate, the debt deal has been passed and will be signed by President Barack Obama.

Now we can turn to the issue which divided Democrats and Republicans in this debate and will be one of the central issues in the 2012 elections.

"Do you believe millionaires and billionaires should continue to receive tax cuts?  If your answer is yes, you will want to vote Republican in 2012, because Republicans do not want to burden the rich with taxes.  If your answer is no, you will want to vote Democrat, because Democrats believe the rich are already getting too many tax loopholes as it is.

Monday, August 1, 2011

U.S. Raises Debt Ceiling

Although this deal could have been reached months ago, Republicans finally consented to President Obama's demands and agreed to the deal.  

At real issue is why Republicans demanded so much time on whether or not the United States would pay its bills when the top priority should be jobs.  One thing that I'm sure will come up in the 2012 elections is why Republicans demanded that billionaires keep their tax cuts that President Bush gave them.  I don't think that fact sits too well with the millions of Americans out of work.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Did You Know...

That all of the Presidents from George Washington to Jimmy Carter had a total of $1 trillion of debut and that when Ronald Reagan left office, the debut was up to $2 trillion?

That when President Clinton left office, the budget was balanced, and when George W. Bush left office, he was running an $850 billion deficit per year?

Friday, July 29, 2011

On the Subject of Debt Ceilings

It's interesting that the country ran smoothly for 200 years before Republicans gained control in 1980 with Ronald Reagan.  The party has been a factor in the 31 years since and it is the first time in history that the United States is in danger of default.  They love to obstruct and gum things up but can't provide concrete solutions and have zero ability to compromise.  Those are certainly not qualities that great leaders have in common.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Where Are the Jobs?

Eric Kantor and the Republicans say that we can't take away the tax cuts for the billionaires because "We can't tax the job creators."

If this is true, where are the jobs?  Do you see the so-called millions of jobs that the rich are creating?

Of course, it isn't true.  Jobs have gone downhill ever since President Bush gave them a tax cut.  The Politics Simplified answer is that those people do not in fact create jobs (unless of course you count the illegal immigrants that the billionaires pay under the table as maids and cooks).  But even then, those people don't pay taxes--read, they don't help the deficit.  What does happen, rather, is that those tax cuts made the deficit balloon.  Once the common person hears that the deficit is again out of control, they cut their spending, thus affecting the economy, which further adds to the deficit.

Cutting Spending in America

The common person is very much misled when it comes to cutting federal spending and understanding what "the government is".

Starting with the latter, the government is not some evil alien that we can battle like Sigourney Weaver did in the movie series "Alien".  Rather, the government is us; you and me, our next door neighbors.  They have jobs just like you and I and no matter how they are portrayed, they are well-intentioned and are really trying to do their best for their fellow men and women.  So when someone says something bad about "the government", they are really criticizing themselves.

Now to the immediate task at hand, cutting spending.  The reality, and it's hard for the common person to accept, is that discretionary spending (the amount of spending that can actually be cut), is very small compared to the size of the deficit and the enormity of the debt.  The last time the federal budget was balanced was when President Clinton was in office--it's been quite a while.  But the truth is that the single best thing we can all do to balance the budget is to get people back to work.  If you have a business, the most responsible thing you could do would be to hire people (and not at minimum wage but at a reasonable wage so that someone can make a living and feed a family of four).  Now if this were a tough time for business, that would be a tough thing to do but these aren't tough times for businesses, at least for corporations.  The stock market has nearly doubled from a low of 6,626 in 2009 to about 12,500 today.  Corporations are once again making huge 1 and 2-billion dollar profits.  Those aren't tough times.

But as far as cutting government spending, understand that every dollar you cut from those programs affects jobs.  In other words, there is a person tied to that dollar that you want to cut.  With millions of Americans already unemployed, this is hardly the time to throw even more Americans out of work.  Are Republicans saying they want to throw people out of work?  Not a good strategy.

If you want to talk, rather, of cutting waste, there isn't an American alive that disagrees with you.  The last time it happened, again we have to go back to the Clinton Administration, when Vice President Al Gore cut billions of the federal budget and in fact, it was his work that helped pave the way for the budget to be balanced.  Given the excesses of the eight years that followed President Clinton, we no doubt can find more to trim.  But understand that this waste is a small, infinitesimal fraction of the federal budget.  If you cut military dollars, you cut soldiers or equipment that the soldiers need to defend the country.  If you cut the National Parks budget, you cut the job of a Ranger somewhere.  If you cut education, you throw a teacher out of work.  And so on. 

So if you say you want to cut spending, just understand that what you are really saying is you want someone to lose their job. 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Of All the Nerve

The executives of big oil companies are testifying before Congress at this hour saying, "Hands Off Our Tax Breaks".

The poor, wittle big oil companies.

It's time we treat this industry for what it is, a monopoly, just like power and gas companies.  They should be regulated for what they charge consumers.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Boehner Wants Cuts Before He Signs On To Debt Ceiling

Speaker of the House John Boehner, Republican, said in a speech that he would not agree to raise the debt ceiling unless there are $2 trillion in budget cuts.  As you know, if the debt ceiling is not raised, the United States would default on its bills.

Let's put this in individual terms.  John Boehner owes $5,000 in bills each month but only brings in $2,000.  He has bills from Ohio Power, Ohio Gas and Baby Bell in addition to a mortgage.  Continuing the analogy, he won't pay Ohio Power, Ohio Gas and Baby Bell until his spending goes down.  In other words, he's fine not paying his bills, and has no plan to cut his spending.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

President Obamas Approval Rating Soars

Before Barack Obama took office, jobs were being cut at a rate of about 200,000 per month.  According to Bloomberg News, American employers added 244,000 jobs last month, a complete reversal of the trend in just three years.

As a result, a new CBS Poll showed that Obama's approval rating shot up from 46 to 57%, an 11% jump in the last month.

Tax Rate in America the Lowest in 53 Years

Led by President Barack Obama, the tax rate in the United States has reached its lowest level since 1958. 

A Bureau of Economic Analysis study shows that Americans are paying an average of 23.6% of their gross income for federal, state and local taxes.  From 1970-1990, they were paying 27% income tax.  Keeping taxes low on the federal level has contributed to this reduction.  Other factors include lowering of property values (hence less property taxes) and unemployment for some Americans during the year, at which time they of course pay zero taxes.

But cutting Social Security taxes is another change, resulting from the budget compromise.  While that Republican proposal sounds good on paper, it will further endanger the future of Social Security, which to Republicans of course is a bonus.  Their philosophy is "to each is own" or "every man for himself" and if you weren't lucky enough to land a job with a pension, too bad for you.

So while it is good that the tax rate has been lowered under Obama, it is not good long-term for either the budget deficit or social security.  Americans will have to decide in the next election if they want to continue to keep more of their money at historic levels and have the future of the country (and by extension their children and grandchildren) in peril or if it is time to get America's house in order.  We can't have it both ways.