Tag Archives: Politics

Democrat Women Silent On Liberal Slurs

I posted earlier about the fact that liberals don’t expect themselves, themselves as an identified “group” to live up a certain level of values.  The individual and specific father of three 4 who teaches school and considers himself a devote Christian?  Does he have, and live by, values?  Sure.

Same for the soccer mom who volunteers at the hospital, organizes fund raisers for charities and contributes to others and considers herself a lifelong liberal?  Her?  Is she an example of a person living a “values-based” life?  Sure.

But it ends there.  As a group, there is no demand that values be important.

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Chisago County: Entitlement Program Case Study

I grew up “In the Land of Sky Blue Waters.”  I know those people, my people.  I know how they feel about government, how they feel about compassion and how they feel about responsibility.

I know what it’s like to have a neighbor lose a barn to fire.  I know what it’s like to have the community come together to rebuild that barn, to donate seed and feed, horses and cattle.  I know what it’s like to have a barn raising.

I know what those people in the New York Times article are getting at, hinting at and struggling with.

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Mimi Alford: “Once Upon A Secret”

Long before the 2003 revelation that John F. Kennedy had been shtooping his hot little intern the whole world knew that King Arthur was shtooping just about anyone he wanted.  So, I guess the fact that we are now seeing a book penned by said intern isn’t that big of news.

On the other hand, the tell all tale certainly does offer an interesting insight into the White House during the days of Johnny K.  For example, it took the President all of 4 days to bed his mistress.  Not bad considering.  Then the wonderful news that he told her to make herself available to other men.

Ahh, great stuff.

But more interesting to me than the story, after all, it’s hardly news, right?  Is the review that the NY Times ran Wednesday:

“Once Upon a Secret” can be better appreciated for what it really is: the strangest memoir about secrets and lies since “The Politician,” by Andrew Young, exposed the delusional arrogance behind John Edwards’s presidential campaign. Like Mr. Young, Ms. Alford seems to have little idea how badly her stories reflect on herself.

In one fell swoop the Times takes the time[s] to go after two authors of a book that would dare tell all of the sordid affairs of powerful Democrat men.  I can’t say that I’ll read the book, after all – why -, but man o man is the review is brutal.

Veto Override Meeting: Racial Justice Act

In 2009 North Carolina passed the Racial Justice Act.  The law allows death-row inmates the ability to appeal their sentence arguing that racial discrimination was a factor in that sentence.  I’ve long argued that the death penalty is not a viable tool in our criminal justice system for just that reason.  The sentence is not applied uniformly and it disproportionately impacts minorities and the poor.

Because of this I oppose the Death Penalty and I applauded the passing of the law.

Now, however, state Republicans are meeting to discuss how they plan to proceed in overriding a governor’s veto that would have repealed much of this very important law:

 RALEIGH, N.C. — When the Republican-led Legislature considers Wednesday whether to cancel Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto and scrap the Racial Justice Act, the outcome of the override session will depend again on whether a handful of the governor’s fellow Democrats side with the GOP.

The Republicans have it wrong.  They were wrong to oppose the bill in 2009, wrong to send it to the Governor’s desk in 2011 and are wrong now.

The idea that the government would discriminate, especially in this matter, is an assault on the senses.  Hopefully the Democrats in the House stand firm and do not change their vote to assist the veto override.

Why Democrats Favor A Tax Cut

In the last few days and weeks we’ve been hearing a lot about the payroll tax hike/cut.  Lately the pitch has ramped up for two reasons.  One, the Senate was ale to negotiate a bipartisan agreement to extend the tax cuts.

For 2 months.

Now, most recently, the House Republicans have declined to accept that compromise.  They voted Tuesday to reject the Senate deal and are asking for the two bodies to meet in committee.  We’ll see who blinks.

However, for me, what has been lost in all of this is why the Democrats are fighting for a tax cut to begin with?  I certainly understand the whole “We-They” thing, after all, the whole payroll tax cut idea was the Democrats brain child.  But why, at all, do the tax more, big state liberals want ANY tax cut?  Especially one that funds their most precious social program, Social Security?

Why?  Because Social Security is SO broken, so in debt and so “no chance of survival” that the Democrats feel they have little to lose.  In fact, they KNOW the government will “bail out” Social Security.  So, in some perverse way, the payroll tax cut can be seen to be a stimulus program.  Albeit not a perfect one.  For starters the more you make the more it benefits you.  And, you have to actually be working to benefit.  But other than that, any money not sent to Social Security is just added to the bill that Congress will eventually pay.

Rascally Rabbits!

Payroll Tax Cut Details

So, I get the hinge.  The Democrats in the Senate won a vote to extend the payroll tax cut for 2 months.  The House GOP doesn’t like that bill and wants to vote on one of their own.  They want the tax cut to be longer than 2 months, more like a year:

The fourth-ranking House Republican argued Tuesday that a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut “would do more harm than good.”

Now, in so far as we can reduce the tax burden for a s long as we can, I resonate with the good Mr. Hensarling, Rep from Texas.  What I don’t understand however, is why even such a relatively short extension of a year is thought to be THAT much better.  If you’re gonna end the tax, end the tax.  A temporary reduction is just as random and unpredictable if it’s 2 months or 12.

I’m a little disappointed in both parties over this one.

What Is The Role Of Government

If we erect government to resolve disputes, protect from fraud and safeguard Liberty, where do we get the idea that we need to redistribute wealth?

Why do we tax from some and give to others?

Abortion: Call It What It Is

There was a lot of debate around the Mississippi legislation that would have defined life at conception.  I’is no secret that this was nothing but a method to move to make abortion illegal.  The pro-life folks want to codify that life exists and therefore, that life has claim to individual Liberty.

While I resonate with the concept I diverge in two areas:

  1. I don’t think that human life begins at conception.  Shortly thereafter?  Sure.  Heartbeat, brain activity and blood flowing?  Yeah, then.  Then’ish.
  2. We don’t have to work that hard to make this point.

There is already bi-partisan support for this concept.  In fact, that support passed new legislation into law that will take effect here in North Carolina tomorrow, December 1.

RALEIGH, N.C. — More than four years after a pregnant woman was killed outside a Raleigh convenience store, a law named for her unborn son that criminalizes the murder of a fetus will take effect Thursday.

State lawmakers passed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, often referred to as Ethen’s Law, in April. The legislation deems that anyone who commits murder, manslaughter or assault against a pregnant woman is guilty of the same crimes against the fetus, regardless of whether an attacker knows about the pregnancy.

I do not find it consistent to be charged with a crime against a human being unless you committed that crime against, you know, a human being.

We all  know, ALL of us, that life begins well before literal conception.  What we’re doing is just negotiating on the time.  As such, we know that the kid in the womb is just that, a kid.

So, we’re not arguing about what’s going on when there is an abortion, a child is dying.  We’re just saying we’re okay with the taking of that life when it suits us.  It would be refreshing, as if, the Liberal Left would be honest and admit that.

Mortgage Refinance Program: Part II

The current economic condition was brought about by housing.   Housing costs and a housing bubble.  The result is that we find an enormous problem with hundreds of thousands of people facing foreclosure. And until that problem is cured, we may never truly begin to see a real path to recovery.

These people are suffering.  They’re going to bed at night with that pit i their stomach wondering how they’re gonna make the next payment.  How they’re gonna avoid having the phone shut off.  How they’re gonna make winter.  There is fear and apprehension and stress.  I get it.  And I don’t wanna diminish it.   But those feelings are never, ever, really gonna go away until they’re addressed.  Not just contained, but addressed.

I went to school in Marshall, MN, home of Schwanna’s Ice Cream and Red Barron pizza.

I met Mr. Schwann by the way.  He dropped out of school in the eighth grade before founding his company.  I tended bar at the hotel he liked to have his Christmas Parties at.  His favorite thing was to tell me to watch how his executives would “run on the bar” in an effort to drink what he was drinking.  The worst was when he landed on CC and water with a rind of lemon.  I never cut so many lemon rinds in my life!

My major was Mathematics.  Not math, but Mathematics.  In calc I found myself in class with a bunch of non-math majors.  And they were struggling.  Some just wanted to pass and get the req out of the way.  Others were earnestly interested in learning calculus.  I gravitated towards those kids.

We would study forever.  I’ve found that math is learned in a series of ramps and plateaus.  That is, forward progress is made steadily until such a time as a specific concept is hit that prevents further and deeper understanding.  And until that plateau is addressed, not contained, further learning can not occur.  The gifted teachers have a grasp of plateau identification and remediation.  Anyway, the same process holds true in other aspects of life.

And home finances are one of them.  Which is my very long way of saying that just giving someone the answers to the calc exam isn’t going to help them understand calculus.  And neither is forgiving mortgages going to help people address their home finance situation:

WASHINGTON — The federal government’s expansion of a mortgage refinancing program could reduce the monthly payments of up to one million homeowners, but analysts said the modest scope of the plan meant it would probably do little to heal the housing market or help the broader economy.

The effort, built on sweeping voluntary agreements with the mortgage industry to let people refinance even if their homes have declined in value, reflects a new White House emphasis on economic measures that do not require Congress to overcome its bitter partisan divisions.

It also maintains a choice President Obama made in the early days of his administration to focus on reducing monthly payments rather than on the amounts that borrowers owe, the latter being what a growing number of liberal and conservative economists consider necessary to resolve the problem.

I resonate with the plight.  I get the desire to help.  But this isn’t helping.  This is enabling.  And until true and serious lessons are learned, nothing will change:

Treasury has publicly estimated that the redefault rate on HAMP permanent mods will be 40% over five year. Now, just one year into permanent mods, we have already reached a 21% redefault rate. There is no indication that the redefault rate is plateauing, and no reason to think that it will.

In other words, the default rate on refinanced mortgages is very high.  If you are failing to meet the payments of your current mortgage, there is little reason to believe that you will suddenly be able to make the payments on a restructured mortgage.

Not only does this program fail to help the problem it sets out to fix, the secondary impact is that it artificially keeps the home market from clearing.  The price of a home remains artificially high.  And this prevents true recovery.

Let the market work.  Accept the pain and allow these homes that are over leveraged to go into foreclosure and the market will heal.  It always does.

Warren Buffet Wants Tax Rates To Rise

Warren Buffet is now famous for claiming that his secretary pays more in taxes than he does.  Forget for a second that she doesn’t literally pay more.  Also forget for a second that she most certainly doesn’t pay the rate that Buffet claims she does.

Instead, focus on Buffet.  And his salary:

Warren Buffett, the billionaire chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A), was paid a $100,000 salary for a 30th straight year after warning that excessive executive compensation can hurt shareholders.

Buffett, 80, received no bonus in 2010 and he doesn’t get stock options or grants, the Omaha, Nebraska-based firm said today in a filing. Buffett’s personal and home-security services paid for by Berkshire cost $349,946. The company’s compensation committee has determined salaries since 2004. Buffett, Berkshire’s chairman and largest shareholder, formerly recommended his own salary to the board.

It’s reasonable to conclude that Buffet will earn another $100,000 next year.  Plus, of course, the security compensation.  So, if he gets his way and Obama and the Democrats raise the marginal tax rate from the 35% it is now to what ever they wanna move it to, guess what happens to Buffet’s tax burden?

It remains almost exactly the same.

See, Buffet makes his money in other ways than a simple paycheck:

  • Buffett’s adjusted gross income last year was $62,855,038
  • Buffett’s taxable income last year was $39,814,784
  • Buffett paid $15,300 in payroll taxes last year
  • Buffett’s federal tax bill came to $6,923,494, or 17.4% of his taxable income last year
So, if we DOUBLE the current top marginal rate, Buffet is only impacted on the first $100,000 + whatever the security compensation costs him.  The rest, the $39,400,000 or so left over, won’t be impacted.
Don’t be fooled.  Buffet doesn’t wanna pay more taxes.  He wants OTHER people to pay more taxes.