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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

opportunity -- at least in connecticut

It is rare these days to speak of economic opportunity, but a great one is now presenting itself to Connecticut. In New York, the Democrats have just agreed on a soak the rich rise in the tax structure -- actually it is a soak everyone scheme, but it hits the rich hardest. For wealthy New York City residents the tax rate is now over three times as high as it would be in Connecticut. For suburbanites in New York, the rate is about twice as high as the Connecticut rate. This gives connecticut a golden opportunity. simply by holding the line on income tax rates the state can attract many high income families over the next few years. This will increase the Connecticut tax base and will lead to an increase in revenues even if the tax rates remain the same. More important, as businesses in New Yor City flee the high tax rates -- and they surely will --Connecticut becomes a favored destination if it can hold the line on taxes. this will also greatly expand the tax base in CT.

It is important to remember the days in the '60s and '79s when New York raised taxes even higher than they are now. Hundreds of businesses left New York and mover to Connecticut. The prosperity of the City of Stamford is directly linked to this movement. In the early 60's, Stamford was a run down, gritty city that could easily have failed. Instead, the City made room for new businesses and encouraged development, and the low tax rate did the rest. Another move like that now would go a long way towards guaranteeing the economic prosperity of Connecticut for years to come.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Alan Colmes

In his latest message on the Fox forum, Alan Colmes argues that we need to leave Obama alone so that he will be able to have time to find out the location of the mens' room in the White House. I usually do not agree with Colmes, but i do here. Clearly, after 70 days in office Obama has yet to figure out this important information. After all, there are no maps on the teleprompter. There has never been a less well prepared President. Obama knew how to run for President. He has no idea how to BE president.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The chicken game

It is strange to see the US and its allies (we still have some!) play a game of chicken with North Korea. Back in the days of the USSR, this was called brinkmanship and it was used regularly to impress upon the Soviets that their actions had consequences. During the cold war, only the Carter Administration pulled back from the practice -- and that not for too long. Today, the Obamacrats are telling Kim mentally ill Jong that his launch of a missile will have severe consequences for NK. Given the source, why would Kim believe the threats? Is obama really going to take steps that the NK's announce will be considered acts of war just to stop a missile? Aren't we going to hear soon that since the US and other powers have missiles, the NK's should have the right to own some too? Aren't we going to hear that we are pushing towards reconciliation with this madman and his insane regime? My guess is that we will soon watch the Obamacrats surrender -- they do it so well. Indeed, probably we will hear that the real reason that NK needs a missile has something to do with the Israel-Palestinian dispute and that the US needs to put pressure on Israel so that NK does not start a nuclear war.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hillary's idiocy

Our new Secretary of State has managed to make a mess of things yet again. This time the problem was not using a cutesy gimmick like the supposed "reset" button that she gave to the Rusians (which actually said "overpay"). No her latest outrage is to blame the Mexican drug violence on the United States. It is the old Blame America First game, but this time it is voiced by our own Secretary of State.

Hillary's position has about as much merit as her old charge that the Monica Lewinsky scandal was just a product of the "vast Right-wing conspiracy". (Apparently she missed the connection between Monica's mouth and Bill's genitals). Nevertheless, when she announces this crap as the nations senior diplomat, her words carry weight and do immeasurable damage to the USA.

Let's hope that Hillary is the next to go after Geithner.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

ho hum

I thought that I would blog the press conference this evening. I could not take it for long so I gave up. I had to leave the TV when Obama said that his plan was to cut the deficit in half in four years and that no one disputed that his budget would accomplish this. If the President of the United States thinks that after making the deficit at least three times bigger than any ever before (and doing this in only 60 days) that anyone is going to believe him when he says that he is going to cut the deficit, then he is a fool. Further, if Obama thinks that it is an accomplishment to drive the economy into the ground with enormous expenditures that will eventually have to be paid for, then he is again a fool. I guess the inexcapable conclusion is that he is a fool.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Bank Plan

Today, the administration's plan for toxic assets held by banks was "unveiled". More precisely, it was leaked in bits and pieces and then discussed by the treasury secretary. In response (supposedly) the stock market went up in dramatic fashion. It is important to understand the motivation of the market. this is not a vote of confidence in the plan. There are still too many details unknown to tade stocks based upon the expected outcome of this plan. Rather, the market reaction was at best a major sigh of relief that The Obamacrats (or should they be called "Obureacrats") have finally managed to come forward with a plan of sorts. Remember, there has been no question since election day that Obama would need a plan to deal with the problems of the banks. He had the transition period of three months to get things ready. He managed to do prepare nothing regarding the banks -- the lynch pin of our economic recovery. then the administration began in earnest. for more than two months we have waited and waited and waited as Obama and Tim Terrific (or more accurately just the treasury secretary) worked on this plan. Indeed, for a plan that seems like it was put together in a few hours to take two months to complete is unforgiveable.

Let me be clear: the plan may work or it may not. I do not see enough of the details to have a firm view as to its likelihood of success. What is unforgiveable, however, is the delay in producting the plan.

One wonders how long it would take Obama to respond to other types of crises. Imagine what would happen in a nuclear attack -- Maybe we would respond within a month.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

why can't Obama tell the truth

So president Obama tells jay Leno on the tonight Show that he was shocked to find out about the AIG bonuses. It reminds me of the great line in Casablanca when Captain Reneau closes down Rick's place because he is "Shocked, Shocked to find out that there is gambling going on there." At that point, one of Rick's employees, Sasha, comes up and hands the good Captain his winnings.

How can Obama believe that he can get away with the this? Anyone who paid the slightest attention to the various bailouts knew that there would still be bonuses. And so what. If the retention bonuses had been paid as higher base salaries all along rather than a bonus on a date and in an amount fixed by contract, no one would look twice at them. The bonuses that really are annoying are the performance bonuses given to folks who led their companies into disaster (like those at Merrill), not the one who agreed to stay on so that the company could unwind unwise positions (like those at AIG). Obama knew, without a doubt, all about these bonuses. If, in fact, he were truly surprised to find out about the bonuses (rather than his actual surprise at the anger of the American people), then he is even more incompetant than he has appeared to date (and that is truly saying something major).

Oh well, only three years and ten months to go. I hope that the US can survive this.

Time to go

Senator Dodd has now come clean and admitted that he is the one who put the language into the stimulus bill that protected the AIG bonuses. Just the day before, he was claiming that some unknown senator or congressman had changed the language in the conference committee and that he was not involved. Even for Washington, the unraveling of this lie was done at lightning speed.

So now Connecticut has an admitted liar as a senator. That Dodd has lied is not so surprising as that he has admitted it. Normally, there would be some argument explaining why the lie was not a lie. Here, however, assuming Dodd does not now claim to have Alzheimer's Disease, the is no excuse possible.

Dod should resign now. If not, the people of Connecticut should make sure that we "resign" him in the next election.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Doddering fool

Connecticut's own special friend of Angelo senator -- Chris Dodd has now come out aghast at the AIG bonuses. His outrage is amazing since it was his amendment to the stimulus bill that protected the bonuses of those working for companies that received bail out monies prior to the passage of that bill. At the time, Chris was just trying to protect his big contributors at AIG -- Dodd got more money from AIG than any other senator or congressman in the last five years -- a lot more indeed. Now that there has been public outcry over the bonuses, our senior senator has adopted a pose of outrage. This outrage is just as honest as the truth that Dodd did not receive any favorable treatment from Countrywide in exchange for his favoring them on the banking committee. does he really think he will get away with this stuff?

Absolutely Impossible to Grap

We now know that the obama administration thinks that AIG stands for Absolutely Impossible to Grasp. After all, the US has controlled AIG since last fall, and yet, Obama seems shocked at first that AIG paid out taxpayer hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money in bonuses. How dumb are they? I could have told them that AIG would pay bonuses like that unless action was taken to stop them, and I have never looked at AIG in detail, never!

In the last two weeks when AIG was given an additional 30 billion in federal money, it would have been easy for a condition to be place on the "investment" that required the suspension of all bonuses, or the limitation of bonuses to 5% of base salary. AIG might have breached employment contracts, but so what. It would be easy to argue that the intervening force of the government prevented performance of those emplyment contracts. Even if a court someday rules that AIG had to pay in any event, the political damage from the bonuses could have been avoided.

Obama and his minions, however, seem unable to grasp the reality of the situation. I guess they are too busy running in campaign mode to actually govern. Maybe if Tim Terrific at Treasury had managed to hire some asistants rather than running to photo ops, proper action could have been taken.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A new howler

This morning's news on CBS Radio brought a new howler from Obama'sTreasury Secretary. Tim Terrific was interviewed at the G-20 meeting and somberly announced that the ministers of the 20 countries had agreed that each would be doing much more to fight the world wide recession. A few questions later he conceded that there was not any agreement with regard to what is the proper course of action to follow.

That's great! His message in a nutshell: No one knows what to do, but we are going to do a lot more of it! Good work Tim! Maybe you should concentrate on figuring out a workable bank plan and not waste time with international photo ops. You are not helping.

Friday, March 13, 2009

same old same old

I keep waiting for the administration to get its act together. Instead we have been treated to an ongoing comedy of errors. (not to mention the attempts to divert attention from those errors and the untruths that are put forth to justify many actions). It is hard to imagine that Obama and his folks could accomplish something that I thought undoable by anyone -- they make people look back nostalgicaly for the days of the Bush administration insofar as openess and honesty is concerned.

Nice work guys!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Victory against the idiots

Charles Freeman has "withdrawn" his name from consideration for the post of director of the National Intelligence Estimates. Amazingly, the Obama administration had nominated Freeman to hold one of the most sensitive posts in the US intelligence structure despite Freeman's history as an apologist for Saudi Arabia and various Islamic terror groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. Obama also ignored Freeman's endorsement of the Chinese massacre of innocent civilians at Tienamen Square. In short, Freeman is someone who could never be unbiased with regard to terrorism or China, two of the most important issues facing the US in the next few years.

One has to wonder who thought that Freeman could ever be appointed to this post. Is the Obama administration so wholly in dreamland that it thinks that someone like Freeman was a wise choice. Luckily there was enough of an outcry against this appointment that even the idiots who first brought it forward came to realize that Freeman had to go. As a result, we now have Freeman's "withdrawal".

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Cuba -- not gooding

Today's headline on Drudge is that Obama is going to lift the embargo against Cuba. Strange isn't it? For nearly 50 years, Presidents of both parties have kept in place the policy of embargo against Cuba. The US waited and waited for the day when there would no longer be a totalitarian government under Castro in power in Havana. Now, with the likelihood that the Castro gang will be gone within the term of the present administration, Obama is going to throw in the towel. Nice going! The current policy puts pressure on Cuba to relax its police state and grant some liberty to its people once the Castros are gone. Relaxation of the embargo will clearly strengthen the Cuban government who can crow about their "victory" over the US and reap the economic benefits that will flow to Cuba from its reopening to the US market. In other words, the pressure to relax the Cuban police state will be greatly reduced just at the time when the policy was finally likely to bear fruit.

Have I said lately that the Obama foreign policy group is a bunch of amateurs? The truth is that no one can say that ofter enough. Maybe Obama will send Hilary to Havana with a red button that says "Muerte al imperialismo norteamericano" -- She can announce that it says "Warm welcome back to the family of nations". That would be about par for the course.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Opportunity knocks ...... the US down

This morning the president announced that we should view the economic turmoil as an opportunity to do great things. Unfortunately, it seems that the great thing Barack wants to accomplish is the demolition of the free enterprise system that has brought the US so much wealth and success. After decades of having leftists teaching anti-american nonsense in the classrooms of our country, we have finally put a believer into office with sufficient power to act on the twisted idiocy that passes for knowledge in those circles. Let's not help create good jobs or save such jobs by responsible government action. Oh no! Let's try to create make work, temporary government jobs that will leave the job holders dependent on the goverment for their livelihood and, at the same time, let's destroy any incentive for private sector jobs to be created. Indeed, let's raise taxes, reduce capital availability and impose penalties for success, and at the same time let's take major American industries and install government bureaucrats to dictate policy for them so that they will not be able to compete in the future in the global economy.

We need a president who actually understands -- at least in a rudimentary way -- the economy.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ideological idiocy

Since the beginning of the recession last summer, there has been a strange switch in the ideology of and its effect on American politics. It used to be that the Republicans supported conservative principles (for the most part) while the Democrats had no real ideology other than grabbing power. With the advent of the recession, the Bush administration abandoned conservatism and opted instead for Socialism (I never met a bank I didn't want the government to buy, said Bush and his Treasury Secretary.) At the same time, the Democrats decided to adopt Socialism as well. The Democrats even seem now to be fighting for the destruction of the free enterprise system in the USA. Thus, in the name of the ideal of equality, the obama administration is trying to level the playing field throughout the country by making everyone poor. No more of those annoying rich people who create jobs. NO, the administration is going to make sure that any possible private sector help to the economy is scuttled in a torrent of taxation and spending which will drown those who might have helped get us going again. For those enterprises that remain competative in the global economy, the Obama administration is bringing forward cap and trade, forced unionization and higher taxes in order to make sure that US companies will not be able to compete -- at least not while using American labor. Clearly, if the administration is able to push the remaining manufacturing jobs out of the US, it can once again move us toward ideological purity -- i.e., everyone will be equally poor.

Even those who already have wealth are to be attacked by the Dems. Thus, the new administration is acting to bring on a major burst of inflation which will be able to reduce the worth of the assets held by the rich. Again, this serves the ideology at hand.

Some day the American people will realize what is going on. Hopefully, this will happen before it is too late. Also, hopefully, the remedy will be played out at the ballot box and not the alternative.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

It just keeps getting worse

After only a month and a half in office, Team Obama seems to be trying to destroy his presidency in record speed, and the debate during the campaign about the need for experience seems prescient at a minimum. In the last few weeks we have seen Obama 1)look foolish and amateurish in dealing with Russia about Iran, 2) shake the economy by announcing measures that would reduce investment and prevent job creation through the imposition of wealth-destroying taxes and other disincentives, 3) offset more than the purported middle class tax reductions through vast increases in the price of energy due to cap and trade, 4) act partisan and petty rather than presidential while atacking everyone on TV (not just Rush Limbaugh) who points out the foolishness of his policies. The list goes on, but you surely get the point. Obama has been acting like someone who does not even have a clue how to govern -- even though this is supposed to be the point of getting elected President. there is dire need for an adult to be brought into the White House to oversee the children (or should I say the lunatics) who are running wild there.

I do not like Obama's policies, that is for sure. Nevertheless, I do not wish to see Obama do permanent damage to the office of the President. Nor do I wish to see the USA suffer permanent damage due to the ongoing idiocy of Obama and his minions. Maybe it is time for Obama to bring in Bill Clinton for a few days to explain to Obama how the job is done. We won't get good policies, but maybe, just maybe, we can stop the random infliction of gunshot wounds to the feet.