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.