Wednesday, June 3, 2009

And On Your Left, The Working Girls Of...

We tax all the others and pass the revenue on to you

Ben Bernacke (BennieB) told the House that rising deficits are a serious problem. Still, he likes TARP and thinks the economy will turn around later this year. In the next seven months, that is. The deficit has grown out of control in the last six months and he is an author of that policy. Which is it, Ben, deficit bad or TARP good? Can't have it both ways.

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Harry Reid brought $60 mil in stimulus pork to northern Nevada for a tourist train to compete with the existing non-subsidized tourist train. Think about it for a moment. You have a successful business, never took a dime of gummint money, and now the gummint is going to fund a new competitor with your tax money.

The new train has a different route, though. It's going to go by some of the famous northern Nevada brothels. You could NOT make this stuff up. I guess it's safer than driving out there drunk. That must be how they dressed up the fact that this is supposed to be from the highway fund.

At the same time we learn that the highway fund is nearly broke. Reuters reports Oklahoma's Senator Imhofe saying the following:

We recently learned that the Highway Trust Fund will run out of money some time before August of this year, and will require an infusion of $5 to $7 billion to get through the rest of fiscal year 2009," said Oklahoma's James Inhofe at a confirmation hearing for the next federal highway administrator.

But there's always money for a quick train trip to see the girls. I bet the existing train owner never thought he'd see the day.

This kind of spending makes no fiscal sense. None. It is thievery. But it buys votes and at the end of the day that's all our pols care about. It puts Harry Reid and his ilk in the same class as the working girls the train will visit except that the girls are more honest about it.

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For a sobering and realistic l0ok at the future of GM under the gummint's thumb, you really need to read David Brooks' NYTimes column today. His concluding paragraph is compelling and chilling:

The end result is that G.M. will not become more like successful car companies. It will become less like them. The federal merger will not accelerate the company’s viability. It will impede it. We’ve seen this before, albeit in different context: An overconfident government throws itself into a dysfunctional culture it doesn’t really understand. The result is quagmire. The costs escalate. There is no exit strategy.

GM as Vietnam or Iraq? I hate that his comparison makes sense.

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New Chrysler gets away with it after all. The gummint's position is that New Chrysler has to repair faulty vehicles but has no liability to people who were killed or injured by vehicles built by Old Chrysler. Sweet.

I will never, ever again buy a GM or Chrysler product.

Your mileage may vary, but why would it?

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Sorry Fiat, not quite yet. The sale of Chrysler has been put on hold to examine a complaint that some pension plans are being gravely disadvantaged by the sale, to the advantage of the UAW. There is a set of bankruptcy rules/laws that govern how creditors are treated in bankruptcy. The car czars have simply ignored them. Sorry, you can't do that. If the UAW is a creditor then it takes its chances along with all the rest of the creditors.

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Have you been postponing your death until 2010 to take advantage of the estate tax exemption for that year? You didn't really think it was going to happen, did you? It isn't. The gummint lied. 2010 will have the same estate tax rates as 2009, so go ahead and plan your death accordingly.

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In my home state of Oregon the legislature wants to increase the highest marginal tax rate to 11%. Only nailing the rich folks, don'cha know? Trouble is, Oregon has an active ballot initiative system. It can be problematic at times but it lets Oregon citizens directly affect the actions of their legislature. It is very, very unlikely that a tax raise could survive such a ballot box challenge.

In Eugene, the nearest city of any size to where I live, the county commissioners recently turned down a proposal to use allocated funds to re-open 84 jail beds. They did, however, vote themselves new assistants and furniture. 3-4 days later a convicted sex offender was released after doing three hours of his sentence because there was no place to put him. Three hours! A few hours later he kidnapped and raped again. Where's the outrage?

Now imagine asking for higher taxes after ignoring the safety of citizens while pols feather their own nests. Sure, the legislature is crass enough to do it -- being just pols who have oozed up from the city/county level -- but the people cansuccessfully oppose it via the ballot box.

This is another in a long line of examples of why the secret ballot is, or should be, sacred to all Americans... and why there is a movement to take it away from us.

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I'm proud to pay taxes in the United States; the only thing is, I could be just as proud for half the money. -- Arthur Godfrey

1 comment:

  1. Good reads all Chuck. One of these days . . .