Thursday, December 13, 2012

My View

Random ruminations from your resident curmudgeon...

By now, the State of Michigan has a law pending the signature of Governor Rick Snyder that will make the state a right to work state. This simply means that a person that is hired by a company cannot be forced to join a union and have union dues confiscated from their paycheck. And the unions and their leadership are apoplectic. Violence has broken out and threats are flying from the unions. Even President Obama has gotten into the fray as he tries to protect his union cronies, stating that forced union membership means better wages and that this move is purely political and not economic. Once again, Obama is clueless. Right to work laws do not negate collective bargaining agreements; they prevent unions from imposing mandatory fees. And this frightens the unions, because those mandatory fees are used to bankroll Democrats in sate and national office for the promise of their political favor. Cut off that forced stream of income, and the unions ability to buy politicians and their favor is significantly diminished. How significant of an impact, you ask? A poll just before the vote of the Michigan legislature said that 25% of Michigan's government employees would opt out their union, costing the union over $100 million annually. Now you see why the Democrats and their machinery in the labor movement are fighting so viciously to  prevent the free choice of choosing union or non-union status. Remember: always follow the money.

Curiosity killed the cat, but for a while, I was a suspect.

Want to see what the United States will eventually look like with the Democrats in charge? Look no further than Detroit, or on a larger scale, the State of California. In both venues, government spending has burgeoned beyond any connection to revenue realities and as a result, pension obligations and salaries have become more than either entity can handle. The next step is obvious. A painful cutback in services and a rapidly deteriorating quality of life await those who cannot flee the mess around them. Higher taxes force businesses to flee to more favorable locales, leaving fewer jobs and generally lower levels of income. The economic death spiral continues as taxes are raised yet again and services gain cut back. Interestingly enough, when you look at both California and Detroit, nothing has been done to reform the massive pension obligations they face. And these pensions are the albatross around the financial neck of both governments. How does this relate to the U.S.? Higher taxes await all of us. Defense spending, infrastructure spending, and other "services" are being cut at the federal level. And yet again, more taxes are demanded. Notice what is missing? No discussion of entitlement reform, which is like the pensions that need to be reformed in Detroit and California. Until we have honest and meaningful reform, our nation is fast heading down the road toward economic calamity like Detroit or California.

Absolute power corrupts, but we still need the electricity.

Expect to go over the fiscal cliff at the end of the year. Obama is demanding his pound of flesh, financially speaking, by raising taxes on the "rich", and he is intractably dug in on this position. so be it. We SHOULD go over that fiscal cliff. yep, you heard that right. We should go over the fiscal cliff, and force the hand of those in Washington to consider meaningful tax and entitlement reform. Think the Democrats won't respond to the howls of their constituents when there is a massive cutback in their benefits beginning in January? Obama and the Democrats are not remotely serious about reform. They want to raise taxes and implement minuscule changes to entitlements that will occur 20 years from now. I say we happily dive over that cliff and enjoy the ride down. Maybe then, Democrats will be honest about the financial mess we are in and be willing to engage in meaningful reforms.

I have never been a big fan of camping. It is just too in tents.

And that, my friends, is my view.

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