taxes

The Markets Do The Talking.

Obama really wants your money… that’s where his idea of ‘balance’ comes from. Can’t call it what it is, taxes… no, that wouldn’t do… ugly word, taxes… doesn’t sell very well. ‘Balance’, now… well, that’s just a hop, skip and jump from ‘shared sacrifice’, that old Clinton standby.

Taxes… that’s it. That’s the whole game plan. Your money, his distribution. He likes that. He loves spending money, as a matter of fact he’s already throwing more government goody ideas out there through his statist media outlets. New and improved unemployment extensions. More ‘shovel ready’ jobs that will go only to unions supporting ObaMao and the DeMarxists.

Raising the debt limit has given Obama another huge slush fund which he will use to full advantage against us. He’ll pump millions of our kids’ money into freedom loving organizations like SEIU and ACORN (in all of its new manifestations) who in turn use, as it has been proven, highly questionable and outright illegal methods in voter registration and in funneling unqualified voters through polls. These people are his foot soldiers. They don’t worry much about legality and some of the SEIU thugs have roughed up people, usually smaller or weaker than they are.

Billions and billions of dollars going into the coffers of the enemy, mostly because of the outright cowardice of the Republican leadership. Every single representative and senator who voted yes on the debt sellout had better have some pretty convincing reasons for doing so. Those that are trying to avoid their constituents, by not holding town hall meetings during this congressional break, need to be tracked down.

Look up your representatives’ home district offices and pay them visits. Be respectful. No one listens to obnoxious people. I said ‘respectful’… I didn’t say to be a door mat. You’re angry and you have every reason to be angry, and it’s okay to tell them so in a reasonable manner. That berserker stuff is strictly for the Marxists.

It’s just like last November, we’re just starting a little early, that’s all. Judging by the increasing number of people who write that they hadn’t been inclined to be activist until recently, we are on track for another astounding win. It’s up to us to put solid constitutional conservatives in office. It’s also up to us to punish those lawmakers whom we judge to have not performed the tasks we set for them.

Obama’s job approval ratings came out today. The markets have spoken. Apparently, they see much more clearly than Washington does what an unmitigated disaster these fool politicians have created for us.

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2011

Balance the Budget: Now is the Time

 

ARRA News Service - Tina Korbe, Hot Air said: When “Cut, Cap and Balance” failed the Senate and both chambers of Congress regrouped around new plans, the first to go of the three crucial elements in the House’s original plan was a balanced budget amendment. Neither of the deficit reduction plans presently on the table provides for the passage of a BBA. It’s also the element of CCB most frequently decried as unrealistic. But political lights from Thomas Jefferson to Ronald Reagan have called for such an amendment, as this video from GOP Labs illustrates. Let President Obama say, “We don’t need more studies; we don’t need a balanced budget amendment.” If ever any unfolding drama proved the need for such an amendment, the drama of the past week has been it. Leave cuts to Congress and what do you get? CBO-certified gimmicks on both sides — even on the side of one sincerely trying to garner savings, one who says he also “wanted more.”

 

President Reagan Said in a Speech to the Nation on Federal Budget, 4/29/1982: As former President Ronald Reagan says in this video, “Most Americans understand the need for a balanced budget and most have seen how difficult it is for the Congress to withstand the pressures to spend more. … We tried the carrot and it failed. With the stick of a balanced budget amendment, we can stop government’s squandering and overtaxing ways and save our economy.”

Tags: balanced budget amendment, President, Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, video, economic recovery, conservative, the Economy, taxes, bankrupt, Balance the Budget, Thomas Jefferson, American people

"Shared sacrifice" = pouring gasoline on the fire

I don't blog much about CT state politics. Frankly, I doubt the rest of the country cares much, and I also try and give the locals some slack as to trying to do their business.

The Wall Street Journal is a bit less reticent, especially as new Governor Dannel Malloy styles himself the "anti-Christie".  Malloy's idea was that CT should increase revenues in order to limit budget cuts. So, is "shared sacrifice" a political winner?

Hmmm, it may be running into a brick wall at the local gas pump.

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) - Governor Malloy's state budget plan appears to be heading for a crash over the gas tax.

 With gas prices going up by the day, members of Malloy's own political party are balking at voting for a plan that includes a hike in the gas tax. Democratic leaders over at the State Capitol say they intend to vote on the Malloy budget plan by Tuesday, but this is holding things up. At one gas station across from the Capitol Complex regular was $4.36 a gallon today, and one of the reasons it's so high is because of state taxes. The reason the taxes are so high is because, unlike our neighboring states, Connecticut has no highway or bridge tolls of any kind. The entire transportation fund for road and bridges and public transit is generated through the taxes on gasoline. Governor Malloy's budget plan includes another three cent hike in the gas tax starting Jul. 1.

Let's just say it is... hmm. an inauspicious time to raise what are already among the highest gas taxes in the nation.  (Just a few miles into MA gas is 40 cents a gallon cheaper).  And this is not the only tax hike the Malloy budget aims at the working & middle class, as he now plans to tax clothing costing less than $50

Perhaps the most bizarre element of this difficult episode is that Malloy's hand-picked energy czar, former Yale academic Dan Esty, is a vociferous cheerleader for massive tax hikes on energy usage.  

According to Commissioner Esty, we need more pain at the pump.

The best way to drive energy innovation would be an emissions charge of $5 per ton of greenhouse gases beginning in 2012, rising to $100 per ton by 2032. The low initial charge, starting next year, would make the short-term burden on consumers and businesses almost negligible. .....

Our proposal would apply to all greenhouse gas emissions, so that everybody, and every fossil-fuel-dependent form of energy, would be included. Coal-burning power plants would pay based on the emissions measured at their smokestacks. Oil companies would pay for every gallon of gas or oil delivered. Yes, these costs would be passed on to consumers, but this is what motivates changes in behavior and technological investments. (Emphasis added-IM)

You see, unless those benighted consumers in their SUV's and their warm homes get hammered even worse, there will be no positive changes in technology to improve energy efficiency, as per Professor Esty. And of course, notwtihstanding the worst job market since the early 1980's, "instituting a carbon charge would have only a minimal impact on American competitiveness".

Two words. Yeah. Right.

Of course, Dan Esty is part of CT's new "power couple"

---his wife Elizabeth is the new wannabe congressperson from Connecticut 5.  

She seeks to be the new Democrat in the district to replace job hopper Chris Murphy.

Esty's political approach was to run as a centrist soccer mom in a suburban district. Never mentioning her Yale Law degree. Or her prior legal work on a highly controversial assisted suicide case.   The 2008 Obama wave and her warm and fuzzy campaign propelled her to the legislature; once there, she promptly alienated her constituents    by demanding an end to capital punishment even though the most heinous murders in CT history occurred in her own district. 

 She was ousted even after she threw her own Democratic colleagues under the bus

So, if CT voters are eager to keep mass murderers coddled with 3 hots and a cot, and take out home equity loans to buy gasoline, well we can sacrifice even more than what Dan Malloy wants. We can turn the keys in DC over the the power couple of Dan and Elizabeth Esty.  ...  Blecch

Forced Austerity.

Does anyone remember that most of President Franklin Roosevelt’s ‘new deal’ was overturned by the courts and strongly opposed by Congressional Republicans, and not a few Democrats? They faced the ugly truth back then. Throwing government into any issue only results in making any problem infinitely much worse.

Roosevelt’s redistributionist-socialist ideas only resulted in extending the depression by an extra ten or so years. There are some who claim, and not without some justification, that we actually didn’t come out of the depression until the consumption boom of the late forties and fifties… citing the large numbers of men who came back from World War Two who couldn’t find jobs in a peacetime America. It was the Roosevelt administration who sold us a bill of goods, about the greatest Ponzi scheme the world has ever seen.

This monstrous unfunded liability has had tax revenues stolen from the ‘Social Security Fund’, virtually from the beginning, by greedy, unprincipled politicians seeking to increase their own power. What we have with the Obama administration and Congress is nothing more than the Roosevelt New Deal on steroids.

Our new Conservative Congress will force austerity on a wildly out-of-control government by starving out the Marxists’ socialist programs by removing their funding. Hear that, Obama? We should go from there to the EPA and the FCC, and yank their funding as well.

The battle for the heart and soul of this great nation is only beginning. We can not and will not tolerate the leftists’ repeated assaults against the very fabric of our society. Be warned… The American Patriot is on the march and will not rest until America is free of the taint of communism.

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2010

Senate passes tax cut bill by huge border

The U.S. Senate approved the tax bill by a very vast border after compromises by both sides of the aisle. The bill extends the Bush era tax cuts. You will find various other key provisions like joblessness benefits and estate taxes. The bill still has to be voted on by the House before it goes to the desk of the President. Source of article - Senate tax cut bill passes by incredibly wide margin by MoneyBlogNewz  

Huge yes vote on senate tax bill 

The Senate in Washington D.C. has been viewed closely lately. Numerous wanted to know if the Bush era tax cuts would be extended with the tax bill. The last legislation to pass before the “lame duck Congress” starts next year is this. It is one of the most significant anyway. The Senate voted in favor of the $858 billion bill by a margin of 81 to 19, as outlined by the brand new York Times. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) hailed the tax cut bill passing as an act of great cooperation between the two parties to achieve a substantial task on behalf of the American people. The only problem was that the House of Representatives still had to pass the bill before it could become the law. It has passed the House now too though. 

Tax cut bill facts 

The tax cuts from the Bush administration could be extended with the tax bill. The increase in taxes for the richest 2 % of earners is canceled. The way the estate tax is now will continue. This will go into 2011. Estates left to heirs totaling more than $5 million, or $10 million for couples, could be taxed at 35 percent. Unemployment benefits could be extended because of the bill from 26 weeks to 99 weeks. This is only for states that have unemployment rates over 8.5 percent. The bill also cuts payroll taxes for Social Security for workers earning $106,000 a year or less. 

Bill seeing House now 

In order for the bill to become law, it has to be passed by the House of Representatives. Currently, the House has a Democrat majority, as the Republican majority of the upcoming lame duck session has not yet been seated. Numerous democrats weren’t happy about the compromises made in the bill. That is why many democrats voted against it within the House. However, should the House not pass it, income taxes will rise for all Americans in 2011. 

Articles cited 

New York Times 

Britain’s Present Will Be Our Future Unless We Wise Up Now!

Watching the total anarchy playing out in London’s streets… An out-of-control, mindless mob of social welfare government-created clones, clamoring for more and more from a government which has no more to give. Which has had no more to give for a long time. We are witnessing the collapse of the classic nanny state.

Told that the government was going to have to raise school tuition fees, these ‘students’, as the ever cowardly lame stream press is calling them, are the direct result of government welfare cradle-to-grave entitlements.

It seems the police have been so neutered they cannot even protect the royal family any longer. A couple of those cretins came very close to laying hands on the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, who actually took a jab in the ribs from a stick… it could have as easily been a knife. How did the supposedly armored Rolls have a window open to start with and where were the security guys?

Then there’s the story that the street cops and the Prince’s escorts were on different frequencies. I think the government of Britain and its people have been on different frequencies for a long time.


A socialist thug attacks the royal car

The fact that these mindless, vicious anarchists are being directed cannot be discounted. An experienced crowd control guy can pretty much pick out the agitators and the organizers. I no more believe that these riots are spontaneous than that the moon is made of Brie.

But they sure can be instructive as to what we can expect here in this country if we don’t seize history here and now, and change the course that Barack Obama and his Marxists have tried to put us on. I’m with Larry Kudlow on this. The ‘tax cuts’, which are in fact not cuts at all but just a reprieve from the steeply increased income taxes foisted on us by Bill Clinton, are the necessary fuel to get small business going again.

I remember those taxes…they hurt badly. Larry’s calling the tax plan a good start to get business moving again, and he’s right. It’s significant that Barack Obama had to bring in Bubba to explain why raising taxes, in an already disastrously weakened economy with people unemployed for years, with homes and businesses being lost, might not be such a good idea.

The left is howling mad. They feel the country slipping from what they thought for sure was the fast grip of socialist penury. You want to see what that would look like? Look at Europe.

The left is blind to anything outside its ideological focus. The complete and virtually universal American rejection of socialism and all it stands for has blindsided them. They’re lashing around like a beheaded snake… but no less dangerous for that.

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2010

The Coming Staples Mausoleum/Stadium

-By Warner Todd Huston

Even as supporters claim they won’t need subsidies, it is more likely that L.A. is about to plunge itself forever into debt with a new stadium, the Staples Center. A look at just about any other convention center, or stadium in the country easily shows that these projects seldom pay for themselves as builders insist that they will do. Yet, every time you turn around another city is falling for this false hope.

Unfortunately it is almost impossible for the average citizen to track where the budget money is going in any particular city budget. As we learned from Bell, California people have even been duped into making city politicians millionaires and millions have been misspent.

Cities shift funds from one department to another with such regularity that tracking it is difficult. If the City of Bell is any lesson we need far more transparency in city budgeting.

But it shouldn't be any surprise to the city fathers of LA that the Staples Center will never pay for itself. After all, the Convention Center has lost millions every year, too, and now they intend to tear down part of that losing venture to build yet another losing venture. According to the L.A. Almanac, in 2005 the convention center brought in $9,130,000. Appropriations for the convention center, however, were 21,608,518. That is an operating loss.

Even if LA wanted to ignore the constant operating loss of its own convention center, they have but to ask San Francisco whose own Moscone Center also operates at a perpetual loss. The Moscone Center takes in about $10 million annually yet has an operating cost that runs at least three million more than it takes in.

LA's administration expects people to continue to patronize the convention center choking on the construction dust and stumbling over debris, finding little parking and confronted with constant crime in the area, as supporters build a new stadium that itself will not likely end up paying for itself.

Already news has leaked that the cost of this stadium will be over $1 billion. But even that price tag is likely two or even three times too small. After all, even if the stadium "only" costs $1 billion won't the city have to end up replacing the square footage lost to the convention center?

Also if the city does not replace the square footage, another problem arises. The larger conventions, those that bring in the most money, will have to be canceled because the city has lost the floor space that the convention center originally had. Some that are already booked may have to be canceled and the city will be at a competitive disadvantage with other convention center across the country for future events. This all constitutes a hidden cost to the taxpayers later on.

This is all a familiar tune being played out across the country. It isn't a new thing, either. Most people are familiar with the famous Houston Astrodome that now sits empty and unused because the city lost its national sports franchises. The stadium was built with much fanfare in 1965 and at this time far removed from its initial construction, one would assume the thing was paid for long ago. But that would be a false assumption.

As Steve Malenga reveals to us:

Take Houston. The Astrodome… There's still $32 million in debt on a stadium originally constructed for just $35 million, thanks to some $60 million in obligations floated on the dome in the 1980s for upgrades. With no current revenues, the dome must be supported entirely by local taxes, which cover about $2.4 million in annual debt payments (which stretch for 22 years) and another $2 million in upkeep. The solution? More debt, of course. The Harris County Commissioners, who control the stadium, are looking at a plan to turn the whole place into a giant conference and meeting center, at a cost of $900 million in new debt. Either that or spend $128 million to tear the place down.

Malenga also notes similar losses in other cities. Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands, for instance, is still costing the taxpayers millions even after the complex was torn down. Further the Seattle Kingdome offers similar deficits, upwards to $100 million, to Seattle's taxpayers and Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburg is also in hock for $23 million, or rather the taxpayers are in hock for that obscene amount.

As we can see, even as bodies of government are tearing down stadiums and convention centers and/or proposing new construction, debt service on these and other “abandoned” stadiums (like those built all over for the Olympics) are still saddling the taxpayers with debt. It’s the worst of all worlds as taxpayers are left holding the bag for stadiums that are already not producing revenue they are forced to pay for it all ad infinitum.

Yet LA's politicians continue to stumble toward this never ending waste of the taxpayer's money.

Calif. Utilities Seeking to Pass Costs Onto Customers While Claiming Moral High Ground on Global Warming

The fight against California's ill advised global warming bill AB32 is heating up as the State's utility companies come to the support of the economy killing global warming initiatives. Yet even as these power companies want to claim the moral high ground for supporting AB32 they are also seeking government approval to merely pass all the high costs of compliance right onto its customers.

So, while people are losing their jobs by the thousands, while taxes are going up, and while AB32 is hampering economic recovery, the utilities also want to pass on higher costs to California’s power customers in a stealth global warming tax.

The California Public Utilities Commission has filed Resolution G-3447 that will give utilities permission to hike prices in order to help the companies pay for the high compliance costs of the global warming law.

Here is the text of that resolution:

Resolution G-3447. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) seeks to modify its gas and electric regulatory accounts to recover from its core and noncore gas and electric customers a portion of the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Assembly Bill (AB) 32 Cost of Implementation Fee (AB 32 Fee) paid to CARB.

San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) seeks to revise its regulatory accounts to record the costs associated with the CARB AB 32 Fee and to recover these costs in customer gas transportation and electric commodity rates.

Southern California Edison Company (SCE) seeks to modify its regulatory accounts to record and recover AB 32 Fees paid to CARB.

Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) seeks to modify its Core Fixed Cost Account (CFCA) and Noncore Fixed Cost Account (NFCA) to record and recover AB 32 Fees paid to CARB.

Unbelievable. As these companies collude with global warming evangelists to "save the earth" they also make to force customers to pay for their supposedly high moral stance.

AB32 is killing the economy in many ways. This stealth tax is just one of them. This is why opponents of AB32 are trying to pass Proposition 23, a law that will put AB32 on hold until the economy returns to health.

Stadium Deal in LA a Moneypit

-By Warner Todd Huston

Whenever I think of this new Staples sports stadium deal going down in Los Angeles I can't help but think of the "bread and circuses" that contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire. Here is the City of L.A. sinking millions into this entertainment project leaving the people destitute and all for what? After all, as I wrote in the last column, these stadiums don't seem to pay for themselves. So why is LA doing this? Is it just the prestige of having a football franchise?

Is having a football franchise enough of a palladium to justify sinking millions of tax dollars into a project like this? The city and the state it is in are going bankrupt, yet the city fathers of Los Angeles are pursing this football team with stars in their eyes. Is this the sort of hard-nosed, grown-ups we want leading our government?

Even more ridiculous is the plan to tear down a portion of the convention center to build the stadium. In a city starving for revenue does it make any sense to tear down a facility that brings in money and to leave that space fallow until the new stadium is finally finished years later?

We have but to look at the Olympics to dash the idea that sports venues built and supported by tax dollars will pay for themselves. Few to none of the Olymics projects have returned on the investment anywhere in the world. Interestingly, one of the few Olympics to be held to a revenue neutral standard was the 1984 games held in L.A. If they could do it then, why can’t they do the same thing today with a new stadium deal?

Instead millions of tax dollars are thrown away on these ventures with the result that all the cities and countries that have sponsored them have after all is said and done is the purported prestige of having them. Unfortunately prestige doesn’t pay the bills. Taxpayers do.

There seems little doubt anymore that the costs of these stadium deals far outweighs the benefits. A study by the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank (download .pdf of study) found that a typical sports stadium costs taxpayers $188 million while bringing in only $40 million in long-term benefits from jobs and tax revenues. The study finds that the costs outweigh benefits by more than 4 to 1.

And if the good citizens of L.A. don't find the Kansas City Federal reserve study convincing, they should just ask the citizens of New Jersey how they feel about their sports stadium deal. Recently the Wall Street Journal published an article showing that New Jersey's Meadowlands Stadium is in hock for $830 million that it can't pay back and the deal is costing the state $100 million in bonds that will add up for decades to come. And this is on top of the $302 million that the state borrowed to build the facility in the first place.

It wasn’t any better for Washington D.C. when the idea of a stadium was floated there in 2003. At that time the Fiscal Policy Institute released a study that showed that the proposal of a stadium there was not a good idea.

The study found that, “stadiums don’t contribute strongly to economic growth,” and stated that, “public subsidies for stadium construction typically do not generate enough new tax revenue to offset the construction costs.”

A study of 25 stadiums built between 1978 and 1992 found that none of them generated a net increase in tax revenue for the host city. Even Baltimore’s Camden Yards, which is considered a highly successful stadium, is a net loser for the state.

None of this adds up to a smart investment by the taxpayers of Los Angeles or any other city.

But do city officials care about the taxpayers? With the revelations of the exorbitant salaries of city officials in the cities of Bell and Oakland, California, perhaps our politicians have at last come to to treat our taxes as Monopoly money, not real, fake stuff they can just use at will without any connection to reality.

And this stadium deal being pushed by AEG and the city fathers of Los Angeles reeks of a disconnect from reality.

And what of that location? Is it “the perfect location” for a stadium? Not many think it is.

Obama – Seventeen Minute Rambling Diatribe To Answer Tax Question.

It sounded like a 3000 page reply to a simple question from a ‘worker’, you remember that word… it’s a favorite of the left. If this was a set-up it was a good one. The question was bluntly placed and Obama launched into a seventeen minute ramble that somnolized everyone in hearing range. Sounding like a caricature of his campaign, he went right into his sales pitch selling the bill over and over. Why, if this wonder of blind legislation was so wonderful, are they having so much trouble selling this pile of garbage to their own base?


Obama at Celgard LLC, Charlotte NC.

Unless that woman was a plant placed there so that Obama had a platform from which to launch his meandering reply, Obama showed to all and sundry that once again, without his canned teleprompter gig, he’s disconnected and repetitive. This guy simply is not that good off the cuff… and when he gets off the cuff he gets out of there in a hurry.

The problem with lying is that every time you tell it it’s just a little less effective, and by now pretty much everyone except the hopeless Kool-Aid crew has, or is figuring out that, this thing is a vast smoke and mirrors snake oil. He’s a one man medicine show with plenty of Dr.Feelgood to pass around.

The problem with what he does is that he can never actually answer a direct question because if he told the truth he would have to say something like, ‘Hell yes, I’m raising taxes. I’m putting us farther in debt than all of the administrations in the history of this Republic combined. I’m going to tax you, your children and their children higher than any US government in history… and we’re going to curtail your freedoms in the process because we can’t have you making your own decisions. You might decide that you have a right to the labor of your hands or the intellectual property of your brain’.

We have one chance to stop this and turn it around… and would somebody please tell the damned dummies in the RNC to get their act together quick!! Or get out. We’re not putting up with that weak-minded sort of sidewalk act any more.

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2010

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