Thursday, July 22, 2010
Random thoughts from a warped and fevered mind...
Remember the auto industry bailout, when you and I as taxpayers became the owners of General Motors and Chrysler? One of the provisions of these auto companies receiving funds from the government was that dealerships had to be closed under the guise of "cost savings". A recently released report from the Inspector General of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, Neal Barofsky, brings to light some stunning facts about these closures. According to Barofsky, "Dealerships were retained because they were recently appointed, were key wholesale parts dealers, or were minority or woman-owned dealerships." Well, so much for colorblindness. 2,000 dealerships were closed costing approximately 100,000 jobs. Want to know another little interesting fact? The report states that in areas were there was an over saturation of dealerships, primarily urban areas, dealerships were left untouched. The areas where dealerships were closed? Rural areas. Want to tie this together? There are 1300 rural counties in the United States as identified by the Census Bureau. In the Presidential election of 2008, Obama lost those 1300 rural counties by nearly 80% according to the Rural Policy Research Institute. The bulk of the closed dealerships were in rural areas. Can you say "payback?" One final point. Executives from both auto companies said that closing the dealerships would not save them money, and would economically harm the communities where the dealerships were closed. The administration, however, insisted on closing these dealerships because of the President's desire for "shared sacrifice". In a word, this is unbelievable. The Machiavellian nature of this administration should make every American fearful.
We have a "panic room" in our house. It's called the kitchen.
Have you done the prudent thing and contributed to your IRA or your company 401(K) to save for retirement? Good for you, but get ready, because the federal government is coming after your money. In a little known move, the Department of Treasury and the Department of Labor are soliciting public comments on the proposal "to convert 401(K) plans and IRA's into annuities or other steady streams of payments." Simply put, the government is considering taking your retirement savings and handing you a promise that they (the government) will pay you some monthly benefit over your lifetime. According to InvestmentNews.com, this idea was hatched in the House Education and Labor Committee, chaired by George Miller (D-California) and in the House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Jim McDermott (D-Washington) that "focused re-directing tax breaks to a 'new' system of retirement accounts to which all workers would be required to contribute." If this system were implemented, the effects would be disastrous for those that have saved for retirement. Those individuals would lose all control of their money and would instead get a guaranteed payment. This may or may not meet your required living expenses and amounts to forced confiscation of your money should this become law. Why would the government want to do this? Your money would be used to immediately pay for their mind boggling budget deficits. We already have a foretaste of how this would work. Take a look at the Social Security system. Are you comfortable relying on that as the example of prudent fiscal management? A tactic such as this amounts to nothing more than unabashed socialism and fosters an atmosphere of class warfare in our society.
My motto is "Never say never", which makes it difficult to tell people my motto.
The Paycheck Fairness Act is being pushed mightily by the White House in an attempt to get Congress to pass the bill. What is this proposed new law, you might ask? The PFA provides for a wide gamut of new workplace regulations and reporting, but the centerpiece is the collection of payroll data for each employee at a public or private company. Ostensibly, this is to be used to eliminate discrimination in salaries based on gender. Practically, it would give the federal government almost unlimited control in setting policy and rates for employee pay, from the largest employer down to a mom and pop business. According to National Association of Manufacturers, the PFA could put a company in violation of the provisions of the proposed act even though the company was complying with existing labor laws. So now the federal government wants to be in the business of setting the pay scale for all employees in this nation. As a small business owner myself, I find this to be untenable. The audacity of this administration is beyond words. At least words I can use on a family blog.
Are people born with photographic memories, or do they just take time to develop?
And that, my friends, is my view.