Monday, February 23, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Already we are seeing the most liberal, big spending president in our history - and this is just his first month in office! It's not just the president either; it's the whole political circus. Trips to Denver and Phoenix for the sake of political showmanship was not what we were promised in his campaign. It costs almost $65k an hour just to run Air Force One. The massive security each time the president goes to a city and all the personnel required on scene and around the country adds up to a ridiculous amount of time and money. Every hour the plane is in the air alone costs more than what 90% of Americans make in a year - remember that number during the campaign? Wasn't it Obama who asked us to turn down our thermostats? And even in this record-setting spending bill, members of the Senate and Congress had to be "paid off" for their vote by receiving pork packages of ridiculous proportions for their constituents back home so they can tout it come reelection time - and, yes, they will use political entertainment so you'll buy it. They couldn't even pass one clean straightforward bill without everyone putting their hands in the cookie jar. [more...]
PINOCCHI"O"BAMA told five lies to pass the unfunded stimulus plan and now with a straight face, he tells us that he wants to deal with the federal deficit! He must think all Americans are total idiots!
And PINOCCHI"O"BAMA is also repeating Richard Nixon's biggest mistake! In the early 1970s, as an economic ploy, President Nixon elected to weaken the U.S. dollar, and thus unwittingly, he ignited rampant inflation. Soon the Arab oil barons realized that the actual buying power of their "oil dollars" had been drastically reduced. In order to recapture their lost purchasing power, they formed OPEC in order to jack up the cost of oil. We all know the rest of that story.
Now, PINOCCHI"O"BAMA is repeating the same mistake! However, this time, it will not only be the oil barons who will be angry that their U.S. dollars are losing their real value (purchasing power). The massive stimulus deficits will cause a hyper "O"FLATION that will also anger every nation that is holding U.S. dollars (i.e., China and Japan, etc.). As a result, in the future they will elect to invest in stronger currencies (i.e., Euro) instead of the devalued $OBAMA BUCKS! [more...]
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Root: 20,000 California Government Employees Losing Their Jobs is Not a Disaster - It's a Start in the Right Direction
The auto industry gets an oversight board, so why doesn't Congress? Politics found its way into the automaker industry and has appointed a "board" to oversee plans and the work out of Detroit. The stimulus plan is a political media bonanza. However, both efforts are inferior ways to get out of the rut. If our best private sector CEOs and company founders were part of a national board – an 'Office of Financial Defense' - they would never approve such plans. Let's pour billions into saving the giants and propping them up for a little while when we all know full well people aren't going to buy cars in a quantity enough to save them. Giving astronomical tax breaks to individuals and small business requires such a paltry sum of money; it won't be stimulating anything put the press. Do we all think that a governing board of the United States and Congress would ever run this county's finances like this? I can assure you, it would be vastly different and, in my opinion, the only way we can get this country steered back into the right direction. Congress is just not capable of managing the budget, spending and our money. There are only a handful of people there who really have the business experience to run our national P&L let alone balance a checkbook. [more...]
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Obama and his Democratic cohorts incessantly lecture the American people about "shared sacrifice" in these times of economic crisis. Obama just last week set limits on executive pay at companies that have taken government loans. The Democratic Congress (led by Senator Chris Dodd) then one-upped Obama by setting strict limits on executive bonuses as well. The Democratic cabal of Obama/Reid/Pelosi describe raising taxes on the wealthy as "fair" on news programs virtually every hour of every day. Every mention out of the mouths of liberal Democratic politicians is about the sacrifice that should be made by CEOs, executives, and high-income taxpayers. I agree - everyone should sacrifice. But shouldn't "everyone" include government and Obama's supporters, too? [more...]
President Barack Obama announced plans to launch a government task force for restructuring the struggling U.S. auto industry. President Obama will appoint Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner as his "designee" for overseeing auto bailout loans and as co-head of the new high-level panel together with White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers. This may be a good start for much needed oversight but where is the oversight into the bank bailout loans? I only hear of news that the next half of the multi-billion dollar bailout to banks will be handed out with restrictions. Wall Street has needed a "nanny" for years and now is the time to implement one. Months after the first half of the billion dollar bailout, consumer credit is still frozen. Wall Street investment banks have not loosened up their hold on the money but instead look to be saving the money for a "rainy day." Their rainy day will ultimately be to fight investors tooth and nail when investors seek compensation for devastating losses to their pension funds and retirement accounts. Pension funds across America were hit hard due to sales of worthless CDOs, which were backed by mortgage securities. These CDOs were pushed on the pension funds by Wall Street investment bankers touting the investments as "investment grade" and safe securities. When the economy crashed, pension fund members lost their retirement and Wall Street received billions of dollars in handouts. When will Washington learn that their handouts to Wall Street will not result in a trickle down to Main Street? At least with the auto industry, assistance given to them may result in jobs to people who need jobs... assistance to Wall Street will lead to CEOs complaining about a $500K compensation cap. Where is the justice? [more...]
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
There is no doubt that a stimulus package will be passed. We are paying a board of directors, CEO, and management, and this is the plan they come up with? You've got to be kidding me! The worst thing is we are all shareholders and I know if America were a company, our stock price would be in the tank, our balance sheet destroyed, and management and the board fired by the shareholders. But we go on, never really having a voice in this mess and certainly don't have a voice in policy and this bailout – as ineffective as I know it will be.
Can you imagine if you were a CEO and you took the stage with a huge audience of shareholders... Start with 25% of all company revenue, which was simply to pay interest on debt. Worse, you ask to borrow more; and even worse, you plan to cut revenue by another $500 billion or so. America paid and mostly accrued $318 billion last year just in interest on the debt. We only collect $1.2 trillion is tax revenue. So, simply put, you cut revenue, pile on debt, and continue to finance interest on that debt. Cut revenue and increase borrowing? Wasn't the problem with the banks that they kept buying and selling mortgage debt and paying it forward just like America's debt? When do you think the house of cards is going to tumble? In our lifetime? In our children's? You'd better believe it. [more...]
It's a shame that President Obama focused so much of his time yesterday and his presentation last night on Elkhart, Indiana without recognizing that the reason that community has seen its unemployment rate spike from 4-14% in recent months was due to the restrictive and punitive energy policies that his own administration supports. Elkhart is the "RV Capitol of the World." 50% of all RVs are made in Elkhart. When the gasoline prices spiked to over $4 a gallon last year, and with his administration pursuing energy and environmental policies that will return us to those prices and higher, RVs don't sell. So there is no need to make more of them, in Elkhart or anywhere else! This trillion dollar pork barrel spending orgy that President Obama is passing won't cure their problems. Once again, he is offering false hopes and phony policies when we desperately need to drill for more oil and natural gas and develop America's energy resources, cut the tax burden on individuals and companies who can fuel an economic resurgence, and provide immediate mortgage relief to revitalize our economy. [more...]
Like Bill Clinton, Barack Obama does not let the truth get in his way. Here are examples from last night's disinformation "press conference":
"This is the worst economy since the Great Depression."
No, it is not! Jimmy Carter's 1970s were significantly worse. Interest rates were over 20%. Inflation was over 14%. Unemployment was twice as high as now.
"It was the policies of the past 8 years (tax cuts) that caused the problem."
No, it wasn't. It was tax cuts that pulled the U.S. out of the Clinton recession (and the Eisenhower recession and the Carter recession). It was government manipulation of the credit market and lax regulatory oversight of the financial markets that were the main causes – not tax cuts.
"There is no pork in this bill."
$250,000,000,000 to the states with no stings attached! OINK! OINK!"
This is no time to play politics!"
Mr. Obama, you finally said something that is true and makes sense. [more...]
Monday, February 9, 2009
Barack Obama's recession will soon turn into Great Depression II. Rinos and Democrats have conspired to produce a ridiculous scheme to spend and tax America's way to prosperity. Never mind that this has never worked. Forget the enormous problems with this $800 billion "stimulus" package. Hold aside the crushing $ 1.5 TRILLION weight it produces when added to the totally ineffective $700 billion the congress shoveled at this problem last fall. Now congress will spend $ 1.5 TRILLION of our money and we have only Obama's assurances "THINGS WILL GET WORSE FOR YEARS TO COME" to build our dreams on. As evidenced by its provision forcing any college receiving federal funds (read 99% of schools) to push religious clubs off its grounds, this monstrosity is a Marxist wish list of their darkest plans for America. This sour witch's brew, pieced together by Barney Frank and other criminally partisan Democrats, uses our money to turn attention away from the Fanny and Freddy mess they made. Instead of making things better, this pile of sludge will cause us to beg for money from the Chinese. So these idiots will be handing our economic security to our largest competitor and "hoping" for the best. [more...]
As the week closes, Washington tells us that we are days away from the final drafts of the government stimulus package. The Senate grudgingly agreed to give President Obama access to the second half of the bailout fund, but only after the president promised to impose tougher conditions and to devote at least $50 billion of the fund to reducing mortgage foreclosures. "Tougher conditions." This 'too little too late' measure has been the calling card of Capitol Hill this past year. In the midst of reports of a potential government/private-sector partnership to help ailing investment banks, there has been no mention of the true victims in this economic crisis. Yes, the poor failing banks are getting billions of dollars in bailout money yet the investors who were defrauded by these banks will likely get zero once again. Institutional investors such as pension funds invested millions of dollars into CDOs, which were touted as "safe investments" by banks such as UBS and Citigroup. CDOs emerged as one of the largest selling investment vehicles and with credit rating agencies stamping these investments as AAA and BBB, pension funds invested portions of their portfolio with confidence. Now, Americans around the country are out of work and are reviewing pages in their hemorrhaging pension portfolios. Will these pension fund members be able to retire with a safety net that they worked years to build? The only sure thing for these pension members is an uphill battle against these billion dollar corporation who now have government money to pay for their legal defenses. [more...]
As the details of the Godzilla "stimulus" bill become known, it is increasingly obvious that the American capitalist economy will not be stimulated – it will be stomped on. The good news is that Obama's vision of big government on steroids is built on the quicksand of unprecedented borrowing of trillions of dollars no one on the planet has. Better yet, conservatives know socialism doesn't work no matter how much money is thrown at it. I don't want Obama to fail. But Obama will fail because he pursues a failed faith. Sens. Spector, Collins and Snowe have done conservatives a favor. They have helped galvanize and unify conservatives, and they have given this president the rope with which he will gleefully hang himself. Oh, there will be a price to pay – a huge price – before Americans regain the freedoms we took for granted for so long. Elections have consequences, and the awful consequences of this last election are now coming into focus for an increasing number of Americans who were caught up in the fervor of "hope" and "change." [more...]
Obama Bankrupts America with $9.7 Trillion on Bailouts and Stimulus, as CBO Confirms the Best Choice is to do Nothing.
For weeks I've been interviewed nonstop in the media about President Obama's Economic Stimulus Plan. Again and again, even conservative hosts said to me, "Well we have to do something. What would you do?" My answer is that sometimes the best choice is to do nothing. The response from talk show hosts and experts was always the same, "Huh? Are you mad? Do nothing?" Well, sometimes no decision is better than a rush-to-judgment. Sometimes "do no harm" is more important (and more successful) than "do something at all costs." Shouldn't we have learned that lesson from our decision to invade Iraq to stop Saddam Hussein from using his Weapons of Mass Destruction (that never existed)? Why rush our decisions? Why rush multi-billion or multi-trillion dollar decisions that could make or break our entire American economy? Why not step back, breathe deep, listen to economists on both sides of the argument and slowly, deliberately make decisions after months of deliberations and debate. [more...]
Friday, February 6, 2009
According to the figures just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 3.6 million jobs have been lost since the recession began in December 2007, including the nearly 600,000 jobs shed in January. Given the steady stream of mass layoffs, a credit freeze and a decline in consumer spending, the writing was already on the wall for a devastating 13th month of job losses. The job losses were widespread throughout the economy and employers cut jobs at a faster pace last month.
My home state of New York knows only too well just how bad it is - New York had the highest number of announced layoffs last month with almost 48,000 jobs lost. Macy's cut 7,000 jobs, Estee Lauder lost 2,000, Time Warner laid off 1,250, and the Bloomberg news and data firm announced its first layoffs since it was founded by New York's Mayor Bloomberg 28 years ago. And one additional measure of how this recession is affecting every corner of the economy: even Allergan, the maker of Botox, has announced layoffs. Understandably, we'll be seeing frowns all over the country.
After 13 straight months of jobs losses, a total of more than 3 million jobs have now been lost. More than 2 million homes have gone into foreclosure, and millions of other homeowners find themselves owing more to the bank than their homes are worth. In California and Florida for example, home prices have descended by 50%+ from their peak in 2006.
Construction has fallen to its slowest pace since the Census Bureau began collecting data. Just yesterday, the Labor Department announced that initial jobless claims surged to 626,000 for the week ending January 31. The number of people on the unemployment compensation rolls now stands at nearly 4.8 million people - the most since records began in 1967, with another 1.7 million receiving extended benefits. Millions have lost their health insurance and $6 trillion in personal wealth has simply evaporated.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
The same Wall Street financial institutions that are recipients of a $350 billion bailout stimulus package - the first half of a total planned $750 billion dollar package from the government - have been found to have paid out $18.4 billion dollars in bonuses in 2008. The $350 billion dollar stimulus package, known as TARP (Treasury Department's Troubled Asset Relief Program), was intended to remove toxic assets from banks and other financial institutions, thus enabling them to continue on with their present operations and also limit the amount of unemployment within these institutions. In reality, many of these organizations received billions of dollars in government aid, distributed millions in bonuses to its executives and then announced thousands of employee layoffs. This is contrary to helping the economy and is working to increase unemployment.
For example, Eagle Bancorp received $38 million from TARP and doled out $1.967 million in executive bonuses and option awards. Bank of America failed to stop Merrill Lynch from issuing $4 billion dollars in year-end bonuses as it was taking over the company.
How did the government miss these bonuses? Those charged with handing out the TARP money were very knowledgeable of the Wall Street model. Hank Paulsen was the acting Treasury Secretary for the Bush Administration at the time that the $350 billion dollars in TARP money was distributed. He also was the CEO for Goldman Sachs until 2006. Neel Kashkari was the head of the TARP plan during the Bush administration and he has been asked by Obama to continue in his position. He is also a former Golden Sachs executive. They should have and were most probably aware of what was happening in regards to the bonuses that were distributed within these companies.
The government wrote checks to the banks instead of buying their toxic assets even though congress was told that TARP funds would only be used to buy toxic assets. In truth, the government walked away from this matter, because it was quicker and easier to give the banks money due the worsening economic crises. Now the banks are stuck with these toxic assets making it more difficult for them to invest in healthier assets. Hopefully the remaining $350 million will be distributed with more insight. A new system of checks and balances is being implemented to protect the interest of the consumers and workers.
Now President Obama and democrats in congress are moving to cap Wall Street bonuses and pay to $400,000, which is the salary paid to the President of the United States. They are also seeking to create a court to restrain Wall Street's massive indulgences. Wall Street firms argue that bonuses are necessary in order to secure good competitive workers and are used to entice talented workers to their firms. Rudy Giuliani defended corporate bonuses telling CNN last week that cutting bonuses would mean less spending in restaurants and stores. These may be valid points, but the truth is that bonuses by definition is a reward for work above and beyond normal expected performance, and if a company needs millions of dollars in bailouts from the government, the executives receiving these bonuses are not performing at beyond level expectations. The resulting job losses by mostly hard working ordinary Americans cannot adequately justify the extra spending in the stores and restaurants.
As a a result of the government mishandling the TARP money and corporations paying out huge bonuses to executives, many hard working Americans are paying the price. Thousands of employees are being laid off. The American taxpayers are directly paying for the government TARP bailout plan. The taxpayers are also paying attorneys' fees for the large financial institutions that are being investigated for their mishandling of the TARP money. This in turn affects many workers' pension and retirement funds.
Rights for America is committed to defending the rights of ordinary Americans who are in danger of losing their hard earned retirement and pension funds due to unethical financial decisions by the government and the big financial institutions. Rights for America has years of experience fighting Wall Street firms and the resulting corruption, neglect and fraud that is associated with it. If you are in danger of losing your hard earned retirement and pension funds, you owe it to your self to contact Rights for America today. [more...]
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
President Obama is opting for the easy out and is willing to drastically devalue the American dollar. By simply printing money instead of stimulating the four trillion dollars of real money that is currently parked in money markets accounts, Obama is following in George Bush's foolish footsteps.
Where is the change? Have all of the economists left the country? Where is the outrage? Every dollar of phony printed currency is 100% pure "O-flation." The amount of new phony money is unprecedented. Inflation will soon make the Jimmy Carter years look tame. The new wave of inflation will be the worst in U.S. history, for Obama is creating something so new and so bad... senior citizens on a fixed income and the poor will be devastated.
This is the exact scenario that created the conditions that led to WWII. Backdoor taxation ("O-flation") is cowardly and morally reprehensible! There are real options that would stimulate the real money in our economy and not send hundreds of Congress people on a wild and reckless spending spree.
Call your Senators and Congress people before it's too late and "O-flation" arrives! [more...]
The subprime mortgage crisis has had disastrous effects on our economy. Americans have lost their homes, businesses, jobs, savings and retirement money and it does not appear that financial conditions will improve anytime in the near future. Many were involved with the events leading to our financial meltdown, but it was the Wall Street investment banks that played the most prominent role. The investment banks have committed numerous fraudulent and unscrupulous acts, such as pressuring the subprime lenders to lower their credit standards, packaging the mortgages into securities with knowledge of the default risks, withholding information regarding risks from investors and credit rating agencies, and controlling the credit ratings of their securities - all to increase their revenues and insure bigger bonuses for their executives. And now, rather than seeking expiation for their abhorrent actions and a reasonable settlement to rectify their wrongs, the investment banks are hiring large overpriced law firms in an attempt to escape liability. [more...]
Monday, February 2, 2009
Consumer Free Fall: Consumption Economy Cannot Recover Without Consumer Spending. It's Monday and this time I am a Monday Morning Quarterback. 12 months and counting I have said it's the consumer that drives our economy. My warnings have fallen on many ears but a lot of deaf ones, too. I can't believe so many eyes are closed to the fact that every single business will strongly feel the impact of the consistent decline of consumer consumption. Expect more layoffs, unemployment, under-employment and hobbling and what do you get - a disaster of biblical proportion. six months and falling! When are we going to wake up these people in D.C.? Check out some NO COST solutions on my blog. Or PLEASE download IOUSA NOT! USA owes us at http://www.billyg.net/.
The Triumph of the American Spirit - The Super Bowl: Put the Same Effort and Enthusiasm into Your Life!
"I always turn to the sports section first. The sports section records people's accomplishments; the front page, nothing but man's failures," said Earl Warren, quoted in Sports Illustrated, 22 July 1968. Waking up today, surely everyone is proud to be an American even if you're from Arizona. Both the Cardinals and the Steelers played a well-fought game and after hours of party preparation excitement, at 6:30pm Eastern last night, the nation sat down to the closest Super Bowl in history. The emotion and inspiration derived from one single game unified America in an economy that is the worst since the depression. The unification accomplished reaches across political differences, socioeconomic status, and cultural differences. [more...]
Since President Obama's Inauguration we have seen the Congress - both the Democrats and the Republicans - behave in the most disgustingly political way in the middle of a national crisis - while the White House stands back and acts like a passive player in the game. Let us examine: Everyone knows the deteriorating economy is the whole shebang politically; every other pet issue - big and small - has to take a back seat until things get back on track. There is real angst in our nation; some wonder if we will ever get back on track. Instilling confidence that we will recover is a major part of the solution. So what does the House of Representatives do? They resort to their innate character! The Democrats create a so-called stimulus package that is an unmitigated disaster - loaded with increased welfare benefits for the states, more spending on already-existing entitlement programs, pet social-spending projects and all sorts of other Christmas tree spending to please various Democrat Members. In sum, this bill is a joke. And a disgrace. [more...]