Thursday, April 8, 2010
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.
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.