Category Archives: Money

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Penny Pritzker Obama 2008 national finance chairwoman, Economic Recovery Advisory Board, Skills for America’s Future, Obama Council for Jobs and Competitiveness, Superior Bank origin of sub prime crisis

Penny Pritzker Obama 2008 national finance chairwoman, Economic Recovery Advisory Board, Skills for America’s Future, Obama Council for Jobs and Competitiveness, Superior Bank origin of sub prime crisis

“We intend to close loopholes that allowed big financial firms to trade risky financial products like credit defaults swaps and other derivatives without
oversight; to identify system-wide risks that could cause a meltdown; to strengthen capital and liquidity requirements to make the system more stable; and to ensure that the failure of any large firm does not take the entire economy down with it. Never again will the American taxpayer be held hostage by a bank
that is “too big to fail.”…Barack Obama

“Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama says he’ll crack down on fraudulent sub-prime lenders. If he really means it he can start by firing his campaign finance chair, Penny Pritzker. Before taking over Obama’s campaign finances, she headed up the borderline shady and failed Superior Bank. It collapsed in 2002. The bank’s sordid story and its abominable role in fueling the sub-prime crisis are well known and documented. It engaged in deceptive and faulty lending, questionable accounting practices, and charged hidden fees. It did it with the sleepy-eyed see-no-evil oversight of federal. It made thousands of dubious loans to mostly poor, strapped homeowners. A disproportionate number of them were minority.

Obama’s home state, Illinois, ranked near the top of thee states in the percentage of sub-prime mortgages. Nearly 15 percent of home loans were sub-prime according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. But that only tells part of the tale. According to the Woodstock Institute, a Chicago non-profit that studies housing issues, the sub-prime fall-out was far higher in the predominantly black and Latino neighborhoods of South and Southwest Chicago.

The predictable happened when many of those lost their homes. When the bank collapsed Pritzker and bank officials skipped away with their profits and reputations intact. Aside from the financial and personal misery sub prime lenders caused the thousands of distressed homeowners, sub-prime lending has been a major cause of the housing crisis in many areas, and has dealt a sledgehammer blow to the economy. Obama has said nothing about Pritzker, Superior Bank, or their dubious practices.”…Huffington Post, February 29, 2008

“One could make the argument that Pritzker was the most important person in Barack Obama’s presidential bid – except, perhaps, for Obama himself. A longtime Obama friend, Pritzker was national finance chairwoman for the Obama campaign throughout his 2008 presidential effort. She helped him raise a record $750 million from a dizzying array of donors.
Obama’s huge fundraising advantage not only gave him clout during the primaries against Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), but also provided the means to bypass federal funding for the general election and dramatically outspend Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)…Washington Post 

“Why did Obama employ Robert Bauer of Perkins Coie, to request an advisory opinion on FEC matching funds that he was not eligible for?”…Citizen Wells

More on Obama’s 2008  National Finance Chairwoman and economic advisor Penny Pritzker.

From Consortium News February 28, 2008.

“Though Superior Bank collapsed years before the current sub-prime turmoil that is rocking the world’s financial markets – and pushing those millions of homeowners toward foreclosure – some banking experts say the Pritzkers and Superior hold a special place in the history of the sub-prime fiasco.

“The [sub-prime] financial engineering that created the Wall Street meltdown was developed by the Pritzkers and Ernst and Young, working with Merrill Lynch to sell bonds securitized by sub-prime mortgages,” Timothy J. Anderson, a whistleblower on financial and bank fraud, told me in an interview.

“The sub-prime mortgages,” Anderson said, “were provided to Merrill Lynch, by a nation-wide Pritzker origination system, using Superior as the cash cow, with many millions in FDIC insured deposits. Superior’s owners were to sub-prime lending, what Michael Milken was to junk bonds.”

In other words, if you traced today’s sub-prime crisis back to its origins, you would come upon the role of the Pritzkers and Superior Bank of Chicago.”

http://www.consortiumnews.com/2008/022708a.html

From Chicago Magazine December 2002.

“”They were always more interested in building an empire than in getting their name in the newspaper,” says Patrick Foley, formerly president of Hyatt Hotels Corporation. “They just didn’t enjoy that kind of notoriety.”

Last year, however, the Pritzkers found themselves most uncomfortably in the public eye after the stunning collapse of Superior Bank, the Oakbrook Terrace–based savings and loan they jointly owned with the New York real estate developer Alvin Dworman. The institution’s failure is “a tale of gross mismanagement,” says George Kaufman, a finance professor at Loyola University Chicago. “[Superior] was engaged in relatively unethical practices, fancy-footwork accounting, playing it very close to the edge.” Kaufman says many share in the blame for the mess-the bank’s managers, directors, and auditors, as well as banking regulators-but he also wonders how the Pritzkers, as co-owners, could have allowed it to happen. “One of the great mysteries to me is what the Pritzkers were up to, why they took these chances,” he says. “It makes no sense given their wealth and visibility.””

“The family’s most agonizing setback, however, was the stunning collapse last year of the once high-flying Superior Bank. The thrift had come into the Pritzker fold in 1988, when Jay Pritzker and Alvin Dworman-old social friends and partners in several past business ventures-put up $42.5 million for the insolvent Lyons Savings Bank, as it was then called, in return for an estimated $645 million in federal tax credits and loan guarantees. (By one estimate, it would have cost the government $200 million less simply to shut Lyons down.) Although Dworman had agreed to run the renamed Superior Bank out of his New York office, Jay deputized his niece Penny-a Harvard educated go-getter who had just earned her law degree and M.B.A. from Stanford-to help keep tabs on the investment. She served as chairman of Superior from 1989 to 1994, long enough for the bank to regain its financial health and embark on an aggressive new strategy, making high-interest home and auto loans to people with bad credit. For a time, that strategy appeared to work like a charm, yielding big profits-and large dividends for the Pritzkers and Dworman.

In reality, Superior was spiraling into ruin. Although the details are complicated, the bank’s fall stemmed from a risky business strategy and from poor oversight by the bank’s directors, according to investigations by banking regulators. Superior became heavily concentrated in high-risk assets connected with its subprime lending business, and then used “unrealistic and overly optimistic assumptions” to record the value of those assets, according to a report by the inspector general of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. In language redolent of the corporate accounting scandals that have rocked Wall Street recently, the report adds that by using “liberal interpretations of accounting principles” Superior was able to “report impressive net income figures that masked the net operating losses the institution was actually experiencing.” Those phony “profits,” by the way, allowed Coast-to-Coast Financial Corporation, the holding company owned jointly by the Pritzkers and Dworman, to collect more than $200 million in dividends from 1993 to 1999-money the bank desperately could have used as it tottered toward insolvency.

After the Pritzkers and Dworman failed in July of last year to follow through on a plan to inject $270 million into the bank, Superior was seized by the Office of Thrift Supervision and eventually placed in receivership under the FDIC. Last December, to avoid being punished for Superior’s failure, the Pritzkers agreed to pay the FDIC $460 million while admitting no wrongdoing. Because $360 million of that payment was to be spread out interest free over 15 years, the settlement was worth an estimated $335 million in today’s dollars. But that won’t cover all the damage. Even with the settlement, Superior’s failure is expected to cost the federal thrift insurance fund an estimated $440 million.

Meanwhile, the Pritzkers still have not put their Superior troubles entirely behind them. Tom and Penny Pritzker are defendants (along with Dworman, several officers and directors, and the bank’s auditor, Ernst & Young) in a federal civil racketeering suit brought on behalf of Superior’s uninsured depositors (those with deposits in excess of the federally insured $100,000). Although the 1,400 uninsured depositors so far have recovered about 55 percent of the more than $65 million they lost in the collapse, they are still out almost $30 million, according to Clint Krislov, the lawyer for the plaintiffs. By contrast, the Pritzkers may not have fared so badly. Counting the tax credits and deductions they originally received and the dividends they collected over the years, “they appear not to have lost money on the deal,” Krislov says. (A source close to the family says the Pritzkers did lose money in Superior, and asserts that the lawsuit is without merit.)

* * *
The Superior scandal stained virtually everyone connected with it-the bank’s managers and directors, the accountants who signed off on its financial statements, the banking regulators who failed to act aggressively as early as the mid-nineties, when Superior’s problems were fast becoming apparent, and, of course, the owners. As the fallout spread, the Pritzkers worked feverishly to control the damage. They claimed that they had been “passive investors” while Dworman’s people ran the show (Dworman said the Pritzkers shared in the blame). They also made the case that Superior’s auditor had continued to give favorable opinions on the bank’s accounting over the years. On that score, the Pritzkers appeared to gain some vindication in early November of this year when the FDIC sued Ernst & Young for fraud in its audit of Superior, and sought at least $2.19 billion in punitive and compensatory damages. (Ernst & Young denied responsibility for Superior’s collapse and said it would vigorously fight the charges.)

To some, however, the Pritzkers were hardly the innocents they made themselves out to be. The family, after all, controlled half the board seats of the bank’s holding company, which benefited from all that dividend income, and the Pritzker Organization’s chief financial officer, Glen Miller, chaired the bank’s audit committee. Although Penny had stepped down as the bank’s chairman in 1994, she remained a director of its holding company.

“No one should have had any illusions about what was going on,” says Bert Ely, a banking consultant in Alexandria, Virginia, who tracked the Superior story. “[Superior] was reporting gains that were unrealistically high, which allowed [it] to pay big dividends [to the Pritzkers and Dworman]. It was a lot like Enron and WorldCom-reporting profitability that wasn’t there. Their financial people should have been able to figure that out. If they truly didn’t understand the bank’s fundamentally unworkable business model, then the Pritzkers have bigger problems than Superior.”

The Pritzkers said in a statement that the settlement was simply “the right thing to do,” reflecting the family’s “historical commitment to stand behind their investments.” That may have been true. But it also entitles them to 25 percent of any sum the government collects in its $2.19-billion suit against Ernst & Young. Beyond that, the settlement made an ugly story go away. “I am convinced that the Pritzkers wanted to get their name off the front page,” says Ely. “They had stepped into a pile of horse manure, and they were highly embarrassed.””

http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/December-2002/Tremors-in-the-Empire/

 

The Corruption of America, Porter Stansberry, America is in decline, Americans Are Getting Poorer Fast, Entitlement root of many serious cultural problems

The Corruption of America, Porter Stansberry, America is in decline, Americans Are Getting Poorer Fast, Entitlement root of many serious cultural problems

The following are exerpts from a well written article by Porter Stansberry on many of the economic and social woes of America. The full article is worthy of your time.

The Corruption of America

“Why I’m still bullish on America
By: Porter Stansberry
The numbers tell us America is in decline… if not outright collapse.

I say “the numbers tell us” because I’ve become very sensitive to the impact this kind of statement has on people. When I warned about the impending
bankruptcy of General Motors in 2006 and 2007, readers actually blamed me for the company’s problems – as if my warnings to the public were the real problem, rather than GM’s $400 billion in debt.

The claim was absurd. But the resentment my work engendered was real.

So please… before you read this issue, which makes several arresting claims about the future of our country… understand I am only writing about the facts
as I find them today. I am only drawing conclusions based on the situation as it stands. I am not saying that these conditions can’t improve. Or that they
won’t improve.

The truth is, I am optimistic. I believe our country is heading into a crisis. But I also believe that… sooner or later… Americans will make the right
choices and put our country back on sound footing.

Please pay careful attention to the data I cite. And please send me corrections to the facts. I will happily publish any correction that can be
substantiated. But please don’t send me threats, accusations against my character, or baseless claims about my lack of patriotism. If I didn’t love our
country, none of these facts would bother me. I wouldn’t have bothered writing this letter.

I know this is a politically charged and emotional issue. My conclusions will not be easy for most readers to accept. Likewise, many of the things I am
writing about this month will challenge my subscribers to re-examine what they believe about their country. The facts about America today tell a painful
story about a country in a steep decline, beset by problems of its own making.

One last point, before we begin… I realize that this kind of macro-economic/political analysis is not, primarily, what you pay me for. You rightly expect me to provide you with investment opportunities – whether bull market, bear market, or total societal collapse. And that’s what I’ve done every month for more than 15 years.

But that’s not what I’ve done this month. You won’t find any investment ideas at all in these pages. This issue is unlike any other I have ever written.

I’m sure it will spark a wave of cancellations – costing me hundreds of thousands of dollars. I fear it will spark a tremendous amount of controversy. Many
people will surely accuse me of deliberately writing inflammatory things in order to stir the pot and gain attention. That’s not my intention. The truth is,
I’ve gone to great lengths throughout my career to protect my privacy.

I am speaking out now because I believe someone must. And I have the resources to do it. I am sharing these ideas with my subscribers because I know we have arrived at the moment of a long-brewing crisis.

Our political leaders, our business leaders, and our cultural leaders have made a series of catastrophic choices. The result has been a long decline in
America’s standard of living.

For decades, we have papered over these problems with massive amounts of borrowing. But now, our debts total close to 400% of GDP, and America is the world’s largest borrower (after being the world’s largest creditor only 40 years ago)… And the holes in our society can no longer be hidden…

We’ve reached the point where we will have to fix what lies at the heart of America’s decline… or be satisfied with a vastly lower standard of living in
the future.

How do I know? How do I statistically define the decline of America?

The broadest measure of national wealth is per-capita gross domestic product (GDP). Economists use this figure to judge standards of living around the world.
It shows the value of the country’s annual production divided by the number of its citizens. No, the production isn’t actually divided among all the
citizens, but this measure provides us with a fair benchmark to compare different economies around the world. Likewise, this measure shows the growth (or the decline) in wealth in societies across time.

So… is America growing richer or poorer based on per-capita GDP? Seems like a simple enough question, doesn’t it? Is our economy growing faster than our
population? Are we, as individuals, becoming more affluent? Or is the pie, measured on a per-person basis, growing smaller?

This is the most fundamental measure of the success or the failure of any political system or culture. Are the legal and social rules we live under aiding
our economic development or holding us back? What do the numbers say?

Unfortunately, it’s a harder question to answer than it should be. The problem is, we don’t have a sound currency with which to measure GDP through time.
Until 1971, the U.S. dollar was defined as a certain amount of gold. And the price of gold was fixed by international agreement. It didn’t actually begin to
trade freely until 1975. Therefore, the value of the U.S. dollar (and thus the value of U.S. production, which is measured in dollars) was manipulated higher
for many years.

Even today, our government’s nominal GDP figures are greatly influenced by inflation. The influence of inflation is particularly pernicious in GDP studies.
You see, inflation, which actually reduces our standard of living, drives up the amount of nominal GDP. So it creates the appearance of a wealthier
country… while the nation is actually getting poorer.”

“You see, I believe the decline of our country is primarily a decline of our culture.

We have lost our sense of honor, humility, and the dedication to personal responsibility that, for more than 200 years, made our country the greatest hope for mankind. I want to detail some of the factors that gave rise to the current entitlement society. We have become a country of people who believe their well-being is someone else’s responsibility.

I’ve labeled these problems: The Corruption of America.

These problems manifest themselves in different ways across institutions in all parts of our society. But at their root, they are simply facets of the same
stone. They are all part of the same essential problem.

The corruption of America isn’t happening in one part of our country… or in one type of institution. It is happening across the landscape of our society,
in almost every institution. It’s a kind of moral decay… a kind of greed… a kind of desperate grasp for power… And it’s destroying our nation.

The Ethos of ‘Getting Yours’

Americans know, in their bones, that something terrible is happening. Maybe you can’t articulate it. Maybe you don’t have the statistics to understand
exactly what’s going on. But my bet is, you think about it a lot.”

“Bloomberg news published an article based on confidential sources about how Henry Paulson, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs and the Republican U.S. Treasury secretary during the financial crisis, held a secret meeting with the top 20 hedge-fund managers in New York City in late July 2008. This was about two weeks after he testified to Congress that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were “well-capitalized.””

“This was the most outrageous example of graft and corruption I have ever seen. Certainly it involves more billions of dollars in misappropriated value than
any other similar story I can recall. These managers had the risk-free ability to make tens of billions of dollars, if not hundreds of billions, by using
derivatives to capitalize on what they knew was the imminent collapse of the world’s largest mortgage bank. Who picked up the tab? You know perfectly well.
It was you and me, the taxpayers.”

“What does that say about our country when even the most egregious kind of corruption – involving hundreds of billions of dollars – is simply ignored?

It seems like everyone in our country has lost his moral bearing, from the highest government officials and senior corporate leaders all the way down to
schoolteachers and local community leaders. The ethos of my fellow Americans seems to have changed from one of personal integrity and responsibility to
“getting yours” – the all-out attempt, by any means possible, to get the most amount of benefits with the least amount of work.”

“It is routinely alleged in national political debates that something is fundamentally unfair and un-American about the huge “wealth gap” between the poorest Americans and the wealthiest. Some politicians like to argue that the poor never have a real shot at the American dream, and as a nation, we owe them more and more of our resources to correct this injustice. Most important, it is alleged that only the government has the resources to correct this inequality.

This is a dangerous notion…

First, it promotes the idea of entitlement. Entitlement is a fairly new idea in the American political lexicon – perhaps because most of our nation’s wealth
is still fairly new. The American idea of entitlement argues that because you were born into a rich society, other people owe you something. The idea has
become pervasive in our culture. It underlies the basic assumptions behind the idea of a “wealth gap.” Implicit is the assumption that successful Americans
haven’t rightfully earned their wealth… that in one way or another, they’ve taken advantage of the society and have an obligation to give back most of what
they’ve “taken.”

As you’ll see, I believe the idea of entitlement lies at the root of many of our most serious cultural problems.

The more obvious problem is the idea that the government is responsible for fixing the “wealth gap.” But the government has proved wholly ineffective at
dealing with poverty in America. The data is nearly conclusive that government efforts are far more likely to be the cause of the wealth gap than the
solution.”

“It has now been almost 50 years since the start of the War on Poverty, President Lyndon Johnson’s program to radically increase domestic welfare spending.
These programs and their various spinoffs have been at the center of Democratic politics ever since. In fact, if you compare speeches about these programs from the mid-1960s until today, you will find the verbiage never changes. Obama is merely echoing the same calls for “social justice” that Robert Kennedy used in his ill-fated 1968 campaign for president.”
“And what do the Democrats do with this power? They push a form of American socialism. This political system features transfer payments, government jobs, and lucrative government contracts to voters in exchange for political support – and in many cases, outright bribes. They do all of these things under the cover
of “progressive” politics and “social justice.”

But if you brush away the veneer, what you find is a history of abuse of power, corruption, and outright bribery. Conyers himself was found guilty of several
minor ethical violations in 2006 – mainly of using his staff as personal servants, forcing them to babysit and chauffer his children. In 1992, he was one of
the most egregious abusers of the House Banking scandal. He wrote 273 bad checks and left his account overdrawn for nine months. But that’s all small-time
graft compared to how things really work in his office and in his district.

How do I know? Well… just ask yourself where Conyers’ wife sleeps today.

Monica Conyers, the wife of the second-longest tenured congressman in the United States, sleeps in a federal prison in West Virginia. She pled guilty to
bribery in June 2009. She is serving a 37-month sentence for accepting $60,000 in bribes as the president pro tempore of the Detroit City Council. And yet…
and yet… Conyers won re-election handily in 2010.”

“Government Employee Unions:
Organized Corruption

A big part of the answer lies in understanding the key mechanism in the Democratic Party’s funding system. (Don’t worry… so far, we’ve been talking about Democratic Party failures, but I’ll get to the Republicans next. The corruption of America is a bipartisan problem.)”

“A government union turns the public servant into the public’s master. It is a means of using the government’s own spending to organize control of that
government. And that is exactly what’s happened. The government, unlike private companies, isn’t limited by normal economics because the government controls the monopoly on force and has the power to levy taxes.”

“Our country’s core problems are not found in only one political party.

There is just as much corruption, if not more, on the Republican side of the aisle. It was, for example, as I pointed out earlier, a white, Republican-
appointed Treasury secretary (Henry Paulson) who tipped off 20 top hedge-fund managers about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s imminent collapse after assuring the public that it wouldn’t happen.

For big business, the powerful role of government in our society is simply too valuable to ignore. And the amount of corruption it inspires is stunning. Few
politicians even bother trying to hide the fact that they’re bought and sold like furniture.

Take Newt Gingrich. The white, Republican former House speaker was paid $1.6 million for “consulting” by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during a period of time the two firms were under constant attack by Newt’s fellow Republicans. Were the attacks efforts to truly reform a major threat to our financial system… or were they merely shakedowns? All we know for certain is Fannie and Freddie collapsed, just as many Republicans warned they would. The Republican effort to reform the firms failed. Newt collected $1.6 million.

Fannie and Freddie could end up costing taxpayers as much as $500 billion. No, I’m not ignoring the colossal role the Democrats played in staffing Fannie and
Freddie, lobbying Congress for the companies, etc. I’m simply pointing out that, in Washington, everything and everyone seems to be for sale, on both sides
of the aisle.”

“Here’s a simple solution. Hold the senators and congressmen personally liable for any deficit, each year. We elected these people to be our leaders. We did
not elect them to spend us into bankruptcy. We did not elect them to feather their own nests with unlimited public spending. We did not elect them to buy
votes. The only way to stop what’s happening is to make them personally responsible for their actions. Either they will balance the budget or face personal
financial ruin.

Demanding personal accountability for fiduciary responsibilities would have an immediate and profound impact on our society. It would wipe out the
entitlement mentality that’s destroying our society – almost overnight.”

“I do agree that the nation will soon face a choice between heading down the path towards fascism… or turning back the power of government and restoring the limited Republic that was our birthright. I continue to believe Americans will choose personal liberty.

I believe they will choose more freedom rather than more totalitarian rule. I don’t believe Americans will tolerate martial law for long – even in the advent
of a real emergency, which I do believe will occur.”

“What gives me confidence for the future? Gun sales, for one thing. U.S. citizens legally own around 270 million firearms – about 88 guns per 100 citizens
(including children) today.

That’s a hard population to police without its consent. America is the No. 1 country in the world as ranked by the number of guns per-capita. That plays a
major factor in the kind of government you will see take root in America. Things might go too far in this country for a while… And I’d argue they’ve been
going the wrong way for too long. But the government can only take things so far before they’ll be faced with a very angry, well-armed opposition.

If the government attempts to take our guns… my opinion would change immediately. But that’s one right the Supreme Court has been strengthening recently.
It gives me hope that most people in America still understand that the right to bear arms has little to do with protecting ourselves from crime and
everything to do with protecting ourselves from government…”

Read more:

http://www.stansberryresearch.com/pub/reports/201112PSI_issue.html

Thank you, Porter Stansberry,  for this well written and insightful article.

I urge you all to read the entire article and pass it along to your elected officials and those running for office.

Obama lies about taxes, Truth about taxes from John Hammer of the Rhinoceros Times, August 11, 2011, Federal dollars buy frills

Obama lies about taxes, Truth about taxes from John Hammer of the Rhinoceros Times, August 11, 2011, Federal dollars buy frills

“…and Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They [socialists] always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them.”…Margaret Thatcher

I have been a fan of John Hammer of the Rhinoceros Times for years. So was my late father. I met with John several weeks ago and had a great discussion. I half jokingly stated that we may be the only 2 reporting entities in the area providing real news. John Hammer provides his article, “Under The Hammer” in print as well as the internet every Thursday. Sadly, in the home state of Edward R. Murrow, you will be hard pressed to find the truth in print elsewhere.

From John Hammer August 11, 2011.

“Obama continues to say that the wealthy have “to pay their fair share” of taxes. What Obama doesn’t say is what that fair share is. Right now the top 50 percent of wage earners pay 97 percent of the taxes. The top 5 percent pay about 57 percent of the taxes and the top 1 percent pay 37 percent of the taxes.

It looks like the wealthy are paying their fair share, but it would be informative for Obama to tell the American people just what he thought a fair share for the wealthy was. Should the upper 50 percent of wage earners pay 99 percent of the taxes? Should the top 1 percent pay 75 percent?

Maybe the problem is not that the rich aren’t paying enough but that the federal government is giving away too much to whom it defines as poor. There is now a federal program to provide cell phones to poor people and they get 250 minutes of free time a month. How can a cell phone be a necessity? I lived most of my life without a cell phone and thought I was doing pretty well.

The average family defined by the federal government as living in poverty lives in an air-conditioned residence with two color televisions, cable or satellite service, a DVD and a VCR player and a PlayStation or an Xbox. Along with the refrigerator, oven and stove they have a microwave and a coffee maker in the kitchen. They also have a washer and dryer, ceiling fans and a cordless phone.

So people living in poverty live better than the Muse and I because we only have one television and don’t have cable or satellite, and we don’t have a game box. We didn’t have a microwave until a friend who was horrified that we lived in the dark ages gave us her old one. It is used mainly for heating milk, although I understand it has other purposes.

The average family living in poverty in the US isn’t struggling to buy food or pay medical bills but does struggle to pay the cable or satellite television bill and for air-conditioning in the summer.

These are people who qualify for government assistance because they, according to the federal definition, live in poverty.

The federal government can define poverty any way it wants. It would appear that the definition of poverty has gotten so high that people who don’t need help but are willing to accept help are getting a lot of federal dollars.

Why on earth should the federal government be helping families pay their cable bill or make the payments on their second television?

Obama is right, all Americans need to pay their fair share, but the problem is not at the top or at the bottom. Everyone should be able to agree that people who really need assistance should have it available. It appears that a large part of the problem may be that poverty has suffered from the equivalent of grade inflation. People who don’t need help are getting lots of it.”

Read more:

http://greensboro.rhinotimes.com/Articles-c-2011-08-10-209180.112113-Under-the-Hammer.html

Grocery prices, Coffee prices, Gasoline oil, Oil company profits, Why you are paying more, Citizen Wells commentary

Grocery prices, Coffee prices, Gasoline oil, Oil company profits, Why you are paying more, Citizen Wells commentary

“We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times… and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK”…Barack Obama

“The (American) press, which is mostly controlled by vested
interests, has an excessive influence on public opinion.”… Albert Einstein

If you  want political correctness or lies, visit a mainstream media site. I will gladly compare my credentials to anyone “reporting” there.
I just left the grocery store. I get sticker shock every time I visit. If you are a young family, an older person on a fixed low income, someone who has lost a job, my heart goes out to you.

Recently, the coffee shop I frequent raised their prices due to the rising costs of their supplies. This coffee shop, adjacent to a large university, has a high percentage of young people and liberals as customers. I am certain they blame the big oil companies, Republicans and yes, even still George Bush for high fuel prices. This is sad and scary. Folks who are supposed to be getting an education or in possession of a higher degree and yet are brain washed and ignorant.

If you haven’t been paying attention or don’t get it, shut up and listen and take notes if necessary.

Why listen to me?

I am not running for office.

I have a math/science with concentration in computer science background.

I have a strong business background.

I am very knowledgeable in alternative energy sources. My research goes back to the seventies. I own a wind generator.

I have been paying attention.

I have done extensive research on Barack Obama.

Barack Obama is not the only problem but he is strongly tied to and is part of the problem. Obama is controlled by the far left. Obama is a narcissist and every decision he makes is about Obama.

The far left and the American public in general is the problem. The far left, the “squeaky wheel”, has been controlling our energy policy and they control Obama. The American public, that is you and me, should have stood up years ago and demanded a comprehensive energy program on par with the lunar landing. We did not. We have been too fat, lazy and complacent.

This is what we must do.

Drill baby drill.

Work with the oil companies to open a new refinery as soon as possible.

Demand that Iraq provide concessions in oil or money to pay the US back for money we spent there.

First and foremost, keep the government the hell out of the way of businesses developing wind, solar and other common sense solutions.

Keep environmental groups the hell out of wind and solar initiatives.

Harness more hydro electric power. Use smaller installations that do not require blocking water flow.

Provide more incentives for passive solar upgrades and new installs. This will save energy and put millions to work quickly.

Quit blaming the oil companies for making profits. Are you nuts? I want them to make a profit and continue producing our energy fuels. Do you want to pay higher food prices?

Are you paying attention!

House Republicans propose $2.5 Trillion in Spending Cuts, Spending Reduction Act of 2011, GOP promises to slash the federal budget

House Republicans propose $2.5 Trillion in Spending Cuts, Spending Reduction Act of 2011, GOP promises to slash the federal budget

From US News January 20, 2011.

“Moving aggressively to make good on election promises to slash the federal budget, the House GOP today unveiled an eye-popping plan to eliminate $2.5 trillion in spending over the next 10 years. Gone would be Amtrak subsidies, fat checks to the Legal Services Corporation and National Endowment for the Arts, and some $900 million to run President Obama’s healthcare reform program. [See a gallery of political caricatures.]

 
What’s more, the “Spending Reduction Act of 2011” proposed by members of the conservative Republican Study Committee, chaired by Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, would reduce current spending for non-defense, non-homeland security and non-veterans programs to 2008 levels, eliminate federal control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, cut the federal workforce by 15 percent through attrition, and cut some $80 billion by blocking implementation of Obamacare. [See a slide show of the top Congressional travel destinations.]

Some of the proposed reductions will surely draw Democratic attack, such as cutting the Ready to Learn TV Program, repeal of the Davis-Bacon Act, the elimination of the Energy Star Program, and cutting subsidies to the Woodrow Wilson Center. [See editorial cartoons about the GOP.]

Here is the overview provided by the Republican Study Committee:

FY 2011 CR Amendment: Replace the spending levels in the FY 2011 continuing resolution (CR) with non-defense, non-homeland security, non-veterans spending at FY 2008 levels. The legislation will further prohibit any FY 2011 funding from being used to carry out any provision of the Democrat government takeover of health care, or to defend the health care law against any lawsuit challenging any provision of the act. $80 billion savings.

Discretionary Spending Limit, FY 2012-2021: Eliminate automatic increases for inflation from CBO baseline projections for future discretionary appropriations. Further, impose discretionary spending limits through 2021 at 2006 levels on the non-defense portion of the discretionary budget. $2.29 trillion savings over ten years.

Federal Workforce Reforms: Eliminate automatic pay increases for civilian federal workers for five years. Additionally, cut the civilian workforce by a total of 15 percent through attrition. Allow the hiring of only one new worker for every two workers who leave federal employment until the reduction target has been met. (Savings included in above discretionary savings figure).

“Stimulus” Repeal: Eliminate all remaining “stimulus” funding. $45 billion total savings.

Eliminate federal control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. $30 billion total savings.

Repeal the Medicaid FMAP increase in the “State Bailout” (Senate amendments to S. 1586). $16.1 billion total savings.

More than 100 specific program eliminations and spending reductions listed below: $330 billion savings over ten years (included in above discretionary savings figure).”

Read more:

http://www.usnews.com/news/washington-whispers/articles/2011/01/20/house-gop-lists-25-trillion-in-spending-cuts

Republicans vow to cut spending repeal health care bill, John Boehner, New Speaker of the House, Citizen Wells open thread, November 5, 2010

Republicans vow to cut spending repeal health care bill, John Boehner, New Speaker of the House

From the Chicago Tribune November 5, 2010.

“Victorious at the polls, congressional Republicans asserted their newfound political strength on Thursday, vowing to seek a quick $100 billion in federal spending cuts and force repeated votes on the repeal of President Barack Obama’s prized health care overhaul.

At the White Houses, Obama said his administration was ready to work across party lines in a fresh attempt to “focus on the economy and jobs” as well as attack waste in government. In a show of bipartisanship, he invited top lawmakers to the White House at mid-month, and the nation’s newly elected governors two weeks later.

Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, in line to become the new speaker of the House, brushed aside talk that the No. 1 GOP goal was to make sure Obama is defeated at the polls in 2012. “That’s Senator McConnell’s statement and his opinion,” he told ABC, referring to the party’s leader in the Senate and adding that his own goals included cutting spending and creating jobs.”

“Many House Republicans campaigned on a platform of cutting government spending to levels in effect in 2008, before enactment of an economic stimulus bill and other increases that Democrats passed. Rep. Jerry Lewis of California, the senior Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, notified Democrats during the day that GOP lawmakers will try and implement the cuts when Congress considers the spending bill needed to keep most agencies running for the next eight months. The estimated savings total $100 billion.

“The unmistakable message sent by the American people on Tuesday is that they are justifiably angry at Washington. They want Congress to cut spending,” wrote Lewis, who faces an internal challenge in his attempt to become chairman of the panel next year.

At a news conference on Wednesday, the president signaled he was ready to jettison his campaign-long insistence that tax cuts be extended for earners at incomes up to $250,000 but be allowed to expire for higher-income people.”

Read more:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/sns-ap-us-washington-new-reality,0,4954825.story

Taxes, Unemployment, Businesses don’t pay taxes people do, Citizen Wells open thread, October 18, 2010

Taxes, Unemployment, Businesses don’t pay taxes people do, Citizen Wells open thread, October 18, 2010

The far left, in ignorance, or as part of their agenda of the end justifies the means, perpetually bashes business and the so called fat cats. They believe that anyone making more money than they should pay more taxes. They believe that corporations are evil.

Here is the truth about taxing business and increased business expenses.
Rush Limbaugh, for many years has done an excellent job of explaining the impact of tax increases on American business and ultimately the American public. He explains that corporations do not pay taxes. This also includes non corporations, all business entities. This is the huge message that you never hear from the left, the business bashers. We already have a seious unemployment situation due to Obama and his far left socialists. I am concerned that tax hikes or hidden cost increases that will begin kicking in 2011, coupled with out of control government spending , will take us over the edge. Our new Congress will have to work fast to deactivate the tax and spend Health Care Legislation, cut taxes and provide a more business and jobs friendly envioronment.
 

Businesses ultimately do not pay taxes. Taxes become part of the cost of doing business. They are passed on to consumers and impact employment and the overall econo. When a business incurrs higher taxes or other increased costs, some combination of the following occurs:

  • The increased costs are passed along to consumers. This could be a local family run dairy farm. The cost increases are reflected in higher milk prices. When higher inheritance taxes are in effect, the children of the dairy farmers could be forced to shut down. That would, of course, diminish supply.
  • The increased costs prevent more hiring from occuring. The spectre of tax increases is causing that now.
  • The increased costs can lead to layoffs and schedule decreases. Our high unemployment rate is witness to that.
  • The increased costs can lead to pay freezes and pay cuts.
  • The increased costs prevent bussinesses from spending money on expansion and new technology, futher putting a damper on the economy.

And don’t forget, people with money start businesses. Questions they must ask are is it feasible, will it make money and where do I locate. Taxes always influnce those decisions.

So when you are encountered by a brain dead, far left sheeple, educate them on higher taxes and business bashing.