Monday, March 16, 2009

Taxes do matter…

When I was in Boston, it was not odd to accidentally stumble upon an impromptu ‘set’ for a Movie or popular TV Show. Boston as a city and Massachusetts as a state, land of a thousand taxes (and fees, when taxes can’t apply) has some of the most favorable tax breaks for movies and TV shows to set up production there. A lot of States and Metro areas are doing the same thing. New York (city and state) and Michigan are also so high in tax benefits that it is possible to have a negative tax on your entire production in these areas.

Ever watch '30 Rock'? Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin’s sit com on NBC? Well Alec Baldwin recently rebuked New York Governor David Paterson for trying to help close the state's $7 billion budget deficit by stating he may cancel the 35% tax credit for filming in New York City.

"I'm telling you right now," said Baldwin, "if these tax breaks are not reinstated into the budget, film production in this town is going to collapse, and television is going to collapse and it's all going to go to California."

'30 Rock' is filmed in Manhattan.

Isn’t that irony? What is you ask? This; The Motion Picture Production and Distribution industry gave $14 million in political contributions last year: 89% went to pro-tax Democrats.

I was also told that the filming of “Annapolis” (a film about the Naval Academy) was originally planned to film in Maryland (You know, where the Naval Academy actually is…) but as production as scheduled to begin the received a last minute offer from Pennsylvania. What happened? They packed up and headed to the Keystone State to save an additional $10 million in tax incentives. Similar happenings occurred in Mississippi where filming was set to begin for “Runaway Jury”; When Louisiana came knocking, they packed up and headed to Cajun Country.
Anyway, just to bring home a point here, taxes do matter. Enough that folks are willing to ‘leave town’.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I'll tell you where you can park that boat...

I just read an article that states the 'golden child' is tarnishing.

“Polling data show that Mr. Obama's approval rating is dropping and is below where George W. Bush was in an analogous period in 2001. Rasmussen Reports data shows that Mr. Obama's net presidential approval rating -- which is calculated by subtracting the number who strongly disapprove from the number who strongly approve -- is just six, his lowest rating to date.”

Here are some additional Gallup poll highlights:

83% say they are worried that the steps Mr. Obama is taking to fix the economy may not work and the economy will get worse.
82% say they are worried about the amount of money being added to the deficit.
78% are worried about inflation growing.
69% say they are worried about the increasing role of the government in the U.S. economy.

Knock, knock…GOP, are you there? 2010 is right around the corner. Linking BHO to the floundering economy as a neophyte who won a popularity contest and those that support him blindly do so to further imperil the US economy. It's not just your job, it's your duty to keep bringing up the absolutly irresponsible acts of this administration.

People are upset, and they should be…raise your hand if you’ve ever taken a debt management course or read a book on improving your finances. Anyone ever tell you that you need to spend your way out of debt? It doesn’t make sense, does it?

A gentleman I work with just bought a home on short sale for $164,000; the home had two defaulting mortgages attached to it; a Primary for $250,000 and a Second for nearly $50,000 more. Just 8 years ago the family who now can no longer afford their house bought it for $139,000. I give you the root of the financial crisis right there. In 2005 the house was probably worth close to $300k on paper, and the family who lived there used their home as a Credit Card. Did I mention they have a Cadillac Escalade, an Audi A6 and a large Boat?

As sad as it is to see anyone displaced, there are some situations where I don’t offer a lot of pity; and when it comes to greed, that’s certainly a case for no remorse on my behalf.

Now to further prove that the ‘smartest man in the room’ has no clue; we, the tax payer, will be left with the burden of helping families like the one mentioned above, stay in their home. The Audacity of Hope indeed.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Big Bird nearly laid's true!

Wow! How does it feel to be the President responsible for nearly laying off Big Bird? In a recent AP article titled: ‘Recession forcing layoffs at Sesame Workshop’ it was announced they are eliminating 67 of 355 staff positions. My personal recommendation is Bert & Ernie, but who am I?

I was already trembling at the prospect of telling my kids that their future has just been mortgaged; then to hear that big Bird, Elmo and Cookie nearly got their pink slips put me in a near panic. Sadly, it was 67 other jobs that could not be saved by BHO's economic spenduluses.

On another subject, how amazingly asinine is it to tout earmark reform after signing a bill containing over 8000 earmarks? Moreover, where were our (5) days to review it and how come it was signed behind closed doors? I know why, because he couldn't wipe the grin off his face long enough to appear in public…either that or the teleprompter was broken.

Heck, for all I know there are earmarks for Snuffy and crew...there are certainly much sillier things in this bill. Just too little too late I guess.

What a day…I’m spent.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Education or Family Values; Chicken before the Egg?

BHO said on Tuesday:

"Despite resources that are unmatched anywhere in the world, we have let our grades slip, our schools crumble, our teacher quality fall short, and other nations outpace us," Obama said. "The relative decline of American education is untenable for our economy, unsustainable for our democracy, and unacceptable for our children. We cannot afford to let it continue. What is at stake is nothing less than the American dream."

This was during his speech to overhaul the education system. He thinks that by creating incentives for teacher’s that it will solve our education issues, and save our country from an inevitable decline. Spend all the money in the world and you will be left with nothing more than an empty wallet. Great teachers do not teach for the money, they do it because they are passionate about education.

That said here’s a news flash for you: Education has been on the decline ever since the American family values system has been on the decline.

Single parents outpace traditional families. Premarital sex has led to an enormous increase in young, unwed, single mothers who struggle in raising a family. Child abuse claims are on the rise and in my city is already 3 fold fro ma year ago. What was once shunned upon by society is now completely acceptable. In fact, there is more government assistance for a young, single mother than for a traditional young family who is struggling to make ends meet. I’d we willing to wager that the difference is tenfold.

The Divorce rate is climbing due to ‘no fault’ divorce laws and its continued acceptance in society. Instead of making it work even if only for the good of the Children, men and women are tricked by society into believing they can do it better on their own. Then they battle it out in the court systems and children are bartered as possessions. It’s MY weekend! I get to clam them on taxes this year! Etc…

When you are single parent, it is tough on you; I know and feel for those of you in that situation. If you do not have a close, reliable family willing to pitch in and fill some of the paternal voids (pick up the children from school because you need to work late, take them to a Dr. appt. because you have used up all of your vacation time, help teach the kid to hit/throw a curveball, etc…) you find yourself in situations where you have to make horrible choices in either your career or your household. Then the Children grow up, and begin to model their life after yours, and it’s much more difficult to tell them “Do as I say, not as I did/do”. Children aren’t dummies and they will push you to your parental limits. None of us are supermen/women, and if we were, then teenagers are kryptonite and they know it.

Here’s the deal. With no moral authority parents are left with very little leverage in raising their Children. They are left with the empty phrase of “because I said so…” which, to a rebellious son/daughter means nothing more than “I know better than you…” which may be true, but is as empty in meaning as MC Hammer’s (Ed McMahon for you more seasoned folks) bank account. When kids are bombarded with humanistic views of they are masters of their own destiny, they can do anything, and everything is ok as long as you are lead by your heart; they lose sense of reality. Wrong is no longer wrong if it feels good. Feelings and emotions outweigh logic and common sense.

Here’s a question, is murder wrong?...Who says so? Man’s law? What is man’s law based on?

Perfect example: I had an amazing opportunity to see Dennis Prager deliver a speech on morality. He told a story of a time he posed a question to a group of High School Seniors he was addressing. His question was simple; if you saw your dog and a stranger both drowning and you could only save one of them, which would you save? Overwhelmingly the students chose their dog over the stranger. This is exactly the type of results you will have when you are lead by your heart. The same reason we spend millions in federal money to support Chimpanzee Retirement Homes yet allow people to abort their children. It is ‘wrong to euthanize an Ape, that looks and acts so much like us, shares so much of our DNA; but a baby you cannot see, or hear…well, think of the burden that young girl will have to endure for the rest of her life from one night of poor decision making. I can tell you; neither of my two children were ‘planned’, in fact I could tell you that it was not the most convenient of things I’ve had to endure, but…I tell you the truth when I say…HAVING CHILDREN IS THE GREATEST JOY I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE. Nothing compares…nothing on earth. I think of the guilt that a young girl who had an abortion will have to endure for the rest of her life, knowing what she has given up, the joy she will miss out on, because her heart had control of her mind. I feel for her…and her loss.

Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, it is well known that children thrive within the family structure. Two parents, preferably Male/Female is the balance that was intended from design. If you have no religion at all, use nature as your guide. Very few animals go it alone; both parents have an intended role in the youngling’s development. From teaching the young to hunt/fight/gather/groom/love/nest/forage/store etc… each parental figure is vital to the survival of the species.

The learning process, the passion to learn, grow, and succeed, all start at home. It is vital for not only the ‘American Dream’, but for our own survival as a species.

Don’t bag on my Judeo-Christian worldview; Islam, Hinduism, all of the worlds great religions support moral values. It’s something we all agree upon.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Pork...with a side of Distraction

Why oh why is Rahm Emmanuel launching a strategy to link Rush Limbaugh as the voice of the Republican party? Why are we picking on Rush Limbaugh? One word…distraction. It’s actually a pretty good one considering the current status of the GOP.

Rasmussen Reports recently published results stating 68% of Republican Voters say their party has no clear leader, while nearly 17% remained undecided.

The White house plan, being executed by Rahm is:

Purpose: To divert the attention from the massive spending and negative focus building upon the POTUS.

Plan: Get the GOP to defend that Rush is NOT their leader all the while fighting about who is when there really isn’t a frontrunner at all.

Secondary Objective: Use Rush’s immeasurable ego to fan the flames.


Here’s the good news, anyone with ½ a brain is not following it.

I agree that the GOP currently has no Frontrunner. I agree That Bobby Jindal had a bad 1st outing that may have damaged him politically if he can’t follow it up with a STRONG second change on an upcoming national stage soon.

However, the truth is no one is going to stick their necks out just yet, not until closer to 2012. Plus, as much as I hate it, there will be backdoor deals to garner support from powerful party insiders before someone is more or less, appointed as the party ‘frontrunner’ from a conclussion of several behind-the-scenes agreements. This uis the ad reality of politics until someone comes out of nowhere speaking true passion for the county with incredible charisma (Reagan-esque)

Who would I support? That’s easy…

Mike Huckabee: He has been in the spotlight quite a bit and has made no obvious missteps. Very sharp, conservative, positive image.

Mitt Romney: He looks to have taken a step back, out of the spotlight, but very business savvy and could help with current economic condition.

Bobby Jindal: Very charismatic governor of Louisiana, has a keen political mind, and a brilliant self promoter (remind you of anyone...Obama?…)

Sarah Palin: Though she has taken a step out of the spotlight as well, she set valuable ground work during the last election cycle that can pay off in the future. She ignited the conservative base and is a powerful draw for female supporters, many of whom could come from the independents. I really think she should focus on 2016 since she is so very young and was proven to be a bit unseasoned, which Obama is proving to be his biggest weakness.

This all begs me to ask a still unanswered question:

Whis the Leader of the Democratic Party? Obama always speaks ah, umm, with ah, Teleprompter, ah, umm, who ah, is writing ah his speeches then?


Friday, March 6, 2009

Pork? Where's the beef?

Wow, my head is spinning. Notice I haven’t blogged in a few days? You’re not the only one.

All I’d be spouting is how spending this unimaginable amount of money is ridiculous. But now I’m starting to get it…the inexperience of the POTUS is beginning to show.

I’m not sure why I’m shocked that:

BHO hasn’t lived up to his campaign promises.

Where’s our (5) days to read every bill that passes his desk prior to him signing it?
Where is the "Scalpel "to cut out all of the ‘irresponsible’ spending?
What happened to "No new taxes for anyone making less than $250k", so far so good unless you just so happen to use electricity…sheesh. At least the Amish are safe from that one.

How is going to basketball games and police academy graduations , filling in his Secretary of HHS (Sebelius), and filling a FEMA Director (Fugate) takes priority over economic crisis. The brilliant Tim Geithner still hasn’t filled out his posts in the Treasury Dep’t.

How about the pork-a-palooza road show to sell us on why "we had to do it"? Does anyone know how much it costs the US taxayer everytime Air Force 1 is fired up? Mmmm hmmm...fiscal responsibility at it's finest.

How can you blame the new Porkulus (Porkulus II, Revenge of the Pork) on the past administration? It is coming across your desk, right? If that’s the case, send it to Texas, let Bush sign it. The fact is Porkulus II has was put on hold last year, awaiting the liberal POTUS knowing they can get a bigger payout. Duh…

So, my wife and I are looking at our monthly expenditures, cutting out the excess. We go over our expenses and figure out what is a want, and what is a need. For now, we both are gainfully employed, but with an uncertain outlook, who knows for how long. So we are making preparations to best weather the storm.

Why isn’t the government doing the same? My Starbucks habit, gone…their Bacon Bits (or literally, study of pig smell at a cost of over $1 million of my tax dollars), should go…better yet, give me the $1 million + dollars and I’ll tell you right now…pigs, their farms, and feed lots…smell. For that money I’ll throw in some charts and graphs, and I’ll even leather-bound it.

Pork, it's what's for dinner.... right?

I’m just going to burn all of my money when I get home, at least I’ll get some warmth from it.