Thursday, July 19, 2012

My View

Random ruminations from your resident curmudgeon...

"If you've got a didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." That was the infamous and inflammatory quote by President Obama this past week about successful small businesses in this country. Once you get past the blindingly stupid and naive nature of this comment, there is tremendous insight in what the President said. And that insight helps us to understand the root cause of so many the problems our country faces. You see, President Obama, Democrats, and liberals of all stripe believe that government creates jobs and wealth. Now, nothing could be further from the truth, as it is entrepreneurs that risk capital and sacrifice time and effort to build a business. Entrepreneurs- industrious and innovative individuals- take ideas and bring them to life as a product or service that has the potential to meet the needs of the marketplace and be successful. And to be sure, not every entrepreneur succeeds. But America's business community is built by people that have taken risks and worked to grow their business and make a profit. Government does not do that. Now to be sure, government provides the security for our country that allows entrepreneurs to succeed or fail; there is a set of laws that are codified and we expect government to enforce them and provide a level playing field. But here is the critical point: government has never once taken a dollar and invested it into a fledgling business opportunity and grown that business and created new jobs. Never. Yet, we have leaders in Washington that have a misguided perspective that government does just that, and it was epitomized by the President's comment. And that view, that belief from the Left creates a contentious conflict that is an impediment to real reform of our tax code and elimination of burdensome regulations that encumber the real job creators. Perhaps it is time for the professional politicians to be replaced by people with real world experience.

It's election season, and I believe that politicians divide their time equally between running for office and running for cover.

Pay close attention to California. Why? Because California is a real life lab experiment that showcases what happens when Democrats run everything. With the exception of the RINO (Republican In Name Only) governator, there hasn't been a Republican Governor since 1996. The Democrats have controlled both houses of the state legislature since 1997. What has been the result? Spending in California has more than doubled, from a state budget of $45.4 billion in 1996 to $92.5 billion in 2012. Income, sales, and property taxes have all been hiked to some of the highest in the nation. So even with all the tax hikes, spending has still outpaced revenue, and Governor Jerry Brown's budget is $15.7 billion in the hole. What does he and his fellow Democrats propose? You know as well as I- raise taxes! Governor Brown proposes raising the sales tax on everyone and raising income taxes on those that make more than $250,000 per year (like President Obama has proposed) . This is projected to raise $8.5 billion, which still leaves a budget deficit of $7.5 billion. And no one in Sacramento knows where that money to make up the deficit will come from. And California keeps on spending, having recently approved a $2.6 billion bond sale to start work on a high speed rail line. Legislators admit they don't know where the rest of the money will come from to complete the rail line, but are going to spend these funds nevertheless. And how has this tax and spend policy worked out for the state? Unemployment is 10.8%; private companies have fled the state and there are fewer private sector jobs today than in 2000. Perhaps most shocking of all, 1/3 of the total welfare recipients in the U.S. live in California, even though the state has 1/8 of the nation's total population. Yes, if you want to see what life is like when the Democrats run things, pay close attention to California. And remember this lesson in November.

In this day and age, common sense is so rare it should be classified as a super power.

I have been seeing a lot of ads on television recently for the Chevy Volt. In these ads, happy smiling people extol the virtues of a car that only requires a fill up once a month or so. That is all nice, but here is what you should know about the Volt. The Volt has a 400 pound battery in it that is dead weight that eliminates most of the trunk space. And there is that little matter of the unsolved battery explosions that have resulted in fires. Once you get past that inconvenient fact, there is the reality that a Chevy Volt is nothing more than the Chevy Cruze with that 400 pound battery installed. The Cruze sells for around $17,000 as compared to the Volt's price tag of $41,000. Even at this price, GM admits they make little to no money on the Volt. The $41,000 price tag is a bit misleading though. Add in the $240 million in Energy Department grants to GM, $150 million in Federal grants to GM's Korean battery maker, and $1.5 billion in incentives and tax breaks and factor that against the number of Volts that have been sold and each one has cost the American taxpayer approximately $250,000. Painful, eh? It gets worse. To tempt consumers to buy this car, the government has been offering an incentive  (read: your tax dollars) of $7,500 to buy a car. President Obama wants to up that to $10,000 of your money. And here is the kicker: GM is now going to offer a 60 day return policy. This simply means that once you receive your incentive check in the mail, you can return the car for a full refund. AND YOU GET TO KEEP THE INCENTIVE CHECK! Talk about poor stewardship of your tax dollars. Friends, you now have some sense of why GM and our government are so screwed up. Leaders in both entities are divorced from reality, and they don't care, because it is your money they are spending.

I have reached the age where birthdays just aren't what they used to be.

And that, my friends, is my view.

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