Wednesday, 13 April 2011

The Fix to the Fix to the Fix

Typically, the last thing on Earth that a sitting President about to run for re-election would do twelve months out.....is promise to raise taxes.  Today, the promise came.  President Obama now says that the only way ahead for the nation to survive....is to raise taxes....and the target is the folks who make more than $250k.  Naturally, this would be approved by most Democrats and by most folks who make less than $250k.

Logically, you sit and pause over a strategy like this.  Most folks are completely safe.  In fact, if you make $30k a year on salary....it's a 99.9 percent chance that you absolutely pay no taxes whatsoever.

Most folks would listen to the suggestion and fall into a daze....readily agreeing that we just tax the big guys and everything else will fall into place.

Course, if you gazed over to the senators standing there and running for office next year.....they have to be scratching their head and wondering who will donate to their re-election campaign?  It wasn't the guy making $30k a year.  The computer technician making $80k a year might have given $100 to their campaign but that would be it.  The banker making $180k a year?  He might have donated $1k over to the Senator's campaign.  But the truth is....the $5k checks came from guys making $250k or more.

The governors running in 2012?  Well...they might need big bucks along the way, and these $250k or more salary folks....were the ones who carried the bulk of weight for these elections.

I'm going to make a guess that the only Senator this weekend to really hype the President's message is Harry Reid and those who don't have to run in 2012.  The rest of these guys are keeping their mouth shut and probably won't readily support the President's message unless they gets lots of government deals for their local counties or states.

What happens if the President gets his game lined up and actually passed?  It's a curious thing....some $250k guy comes along and donates $10k to the election campaign of some Senator.  The Senator writes a wonderfully written seven line piece of tax code and automatically invalidates the President's tax on some wealthy guy who owns a 30-acre horse ranch.  The rich guy gets a $50k credit on his empty ranch, or a $10k tax credit for his renovation of a barn, and then things go back to normal again.

Eventually, a bunch of Senators write lots of new tax code....giving out credits left and right for just about anything.

Two years into the President's next four years.....he suddenly says that that tax revenue isn't covering the requirements.  Strangely enough, he blames the wealthy yet again, and starts another campaign to tax the wealthy yet again.  Senator Snuffy smiles as he gets paid campaign money to fix the President's mess.

As hard as you can try to fix something....there's a guy out there to unfix what you fixed.  And behind that guy....there is another guy to fix what the first guy did to unfix your fix.  Bottom line: only in America.

Just a Moment of Fantasy

I'm used to those silly credit card offers that come in the mail about every three weeks.  Today, I got a new type of credit offer.  Amusingly enough....from my credit union.  I barely use these guys and it's strictly as a local spot to pick up cash at work when I need it (at the Pentagon).

Here was the envelope.....with a fresh new offer of a pre-approved $35k car loan.  I didn't ask for it and I would never go through these guys (they are typically 1 percent higher than most others).  They went to a fair amount of trouble....to think that I might be interested.

I actually stood there for twenty seconds....contemplating what kind of car I could get for $35k (there are eight various choices).  Then reality hit me....I just wasn't into the market for a car.

It's kinda sad.....this momentary enticement....like some gal at the bar with a tube top on and asking you with a thick New Orleans accent if you want a double gin and tonic this time around.  Somehow, I found enough strength to just shred the offer.  Sadly, now I stand and gaze out and stare at the star-studded Arlington evening sky and wonder what kind of car I would have bought....if I had just been weak enough.

The VP Game

Most folks have kinda figured out that Joe Biden will not be the 2012-nominee for VP.  The question is....who follows him to help float the ticket.  Last year, I was mostly leaning toward Hillary.  I figured this would be a helpful ticket if she was the VP.....and maybe giving her the chance to run in 2016.

I've come to think differently, and will offer up what I think will occur in July of next year....retired Indiana governor....Evan Bayh.  He stood down in the last election and simply elected to leave office.  He'll be 56 next year and probably is the least problematic political figure that the Democrats currently have.  In the midwest, he is fairly popular and could help in several states.  Toss in the fact that he gives good speeches....and I think he's the odds on guy to be VP after Joe.

The State of Things

There's an odd story that I picked up yesterday....that oddly relates to the status of the nation.

I have an associate who knew a number of ladies when he was in the Air Force about twenty years ago.  Amongst them.....this one gal who was into malls and socializing.  At some point, she and another young gal (both in their early 20's) made a Saturday bet at a mall....who could acquire the most credit cards in a space of a couple of hours.  Naturally, this meant applying for credit and buying items. The friend of hers picked up around nine credit cards....but that wasn't enough to win.....against eleven credit cards picked up in one day.

This ended up being a fateful day that started a spending trend over just a couple of years.  This young gal friend of my associate....eventually picked up over $80k of debt, and spent over a dozen years trying to pay this off.  It triggered a divorce eventually from a guy.

Oddly, when you look at the US government....we function more or less in the same fashion as the naive young lady.  We spent and spent, and we owe debt that is mostly unimaginable.  We have various financial analysts who talk about this on a daily basis on TV shows.....and we still see this as mostly unimaginable.  We have people elected to office who have one claim to fame.....they actually think we have spent too much.  Sadly, we have other folks who have been elected to office....who'd like more to spend more money, and folks are fairly entertained by his promises.

In a way, it's like some tragic Greek opera.  We don't have a fat lady, and there's some doubt over this coming to an end.  It just might linger for years and decades.  That's not the kind of opera that you'd pay to see.