Thursday, April 8, 2010

My View

Random thoughts from a warped and fevered mind...

Remember about a year ago when the Obama administration took over General Motors? The claim was that the government could run the ailing automaker profitably and presumably better, and that the $50 BILLION dollar bailout posed no risk to the U.S. taxpayer. Well, how's this working out? In the second half of 2009, GM posted a $4.9 billion dollar LOSS. Yes, you read that correctly. $4.9 Billion. The $50 billion that the taxpayer is currently owed has no chance of being repaid unless there is a buyer that would take GM off the government's hands. Want to buy an auto company that is bleeding red ink? That's not all the bad news, however. GM has underfunded their pension plan and will need at least $12 billion within the next five years to meet its obligation to it 650,000 retirees.Want to guess where that money will come from? Oh, there is more. The United Auto Workers is suing GM for $450 million that it says GM owes the union run health care program but has yet to pay. The bailout of General Motors was a sop to the UAW as a payback for their support in the general election. Frankly, GM was a broken and bankrupt company. Under the leadership of the Obama administration, the U.S. taxpayers bought it. Is this how you want your money spent?

Mattel Toy Company has created a new Barbie. "Divorced Barbie" comes with all of Ken's stuff.

This is a very interesting and instructive chart. Understanding this chart will unravel the mysteries of the political discourse in this country. What you are looking at is a chart created by the Tax Foundation of America compiled from Internal Revenue Service tax filing data. The red line is the the actual number of Americans that file tax returns that show no tax liability; the blue bars show this as a percentage of the total taxpayers. At the end of 2008, 36% of all taxpayers- 50 million Americans- filed tax returns showing no tax liability. The great majority of these filers receive some form of government assistance or have income so low, they receive tax credits. Notice the trend line since 1985? This chart shows the great divide in our country today. The working class is paying for a greater and rapidly growing number of government programs that transfer their earned income to fellow citizens that are not working and earning income. Now one can debate the value of social programs, but the fact is that the growing percentage of Americans that receive transfer payments- taking your earned income and redistributing it to them- are exerting a strong influence on the political process. Politicians on the left and some on the right continue to pander to this growing group of citizens for their vote. And all the while, the working class is paying a greater percentage of their income to those that are not working.

NFL fans know the Jacksonville Jaguars as the "Jags" and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the "Bucs" What does that make the Tennessee Titans?

Keep your eye on the price of oil.This week, the price of a barrel of crude oil climbed to $87, and has strong upward momentum. Why is this important? As crude rises, the price at the pump goes up, which is the most obvious and painful part for many of rising energy prices. This takes more money out of our disposable income to fill up our cars and trucks. Less money in the hand of the consumer means less money spent in the economy, slowing if not stopping the nascent economic recovery. The additional bite that occurs with rising energy prices is the cost to ship everything from groceries to clothes to merchants. Those rising costs are passed along to us as consumers, again taking away more of of our after tax income. There is a very real possibility that the price of crude could hit triple digits- over $100 a barrel- in time for the summer driving season. This does not bode well for an economy that is struggling to get back on its feet.

I do the work of three men at my job- Larry, Moe, and Curly.

And that, my friends, is my view.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry I started to read this posting. I will continue to read pred-related postings but will avoid the non-pred opinions in the future.