Friday, May 7, 2010

The Hyphenating of America

From birth, I have been American--not European-American, not Christian-American, not female-American, not Protestant-American--just plain American. So when and why did the hyphen start tearing us apart? And what happens to those of us who don't have a hyphen--do we just make up one to belong?

  • Mexican-American, Latino-American, Hispanic-American, Jewish-American, Muslim-American, Asian-American, Arab-American, Cuban-Americans, Irish-American, Italian-American, Native American...........
At one point in our history, the term "hyphenated American" was an epithet used to diminish the standing of Americans--an insult meant to diminish the standing of the target. Now it is used to differentiate--and divide--us.

Do we hear of Muslim-French, Asian-English, Italian-German, Jewish-Canadian? Of course not!! In no other country are people referenced by their ethnic heritage or religious affiliation. It just plain sounds STUPID.

My opinion is that politicians, to promote identity politics, have used the hyphen to engender support and feed the victim mentality--to increase power. The idiocy of "multiculturalism" divides us and focuses on differences. There is nothing wrong with preserving cultural heritage but hyphenating identity is divisive and harmful to our future.

John Wayne published a poem "The Hyphen" --I cannot add to what he said. En
Publish Post
ough of this. We're just American--period!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

HOW THE NANNY STATE KILLS JOBS RECOVERY

Lets say I have idea for food product that, I think, can net a profit of $1,000,000 for my small company IF I can manage the risks. I don't know for certain--only the consumer will prove if I am right or wrong. What are the risks?
  • Will the ingredients be available at a price that allows a profit?
  • Will my advertising be successful?
  • Can I get the financing?
  • Can I find the right employees? At an affordable cost?
In business, all that risk is on the front end and is personal--If I fail, I pay. I don't have lobbyists and a slew of attorneys at my disposal--just my ideas and willingness to assume reasonable risk.
  1. Financing: Regulatory reform is on the agenda so getting a bank loan will be hard and whatever terms we agree upon can be changed by the government. Most likely, I will have to provide a personal guarantee.
  2. Marketing Research: I know a young, recent Marketing graduate who is willing, anxious to gain experience. She is raw talent. I don't have the money for market research--she wants this project to get her feet wet, apply her class learning and build her resume. DOL has a brochure touting the benefits of internships. But I just read in the NYT that DOL is making it more difficult to use unpaid interns. The article linked me to the DOL guidelines which includes Rule 4: "The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees, and on occasion the employer's operations may actually be impeded." (emphasis added) Dare I chance that, if successful I derive benefit from her research and risk fines, back pay, benefits, etc. Of course I would derive an advantage--why else would I bring her on for the project? She's not worth minimum wage so she will just have to continue her membership in the 20%+ youth unemployment, forgo the opportunity to get some in depth experience and build her resume. I would have thought that a 22 year old could make that decision for herself, but the Nanny State thinks better.
  3. Hiring employees: Don't dare--with Obamacare in place, I will be faced with health insurance mandates, potential unionization if card check passes, and higher payroll taxes. If I am going to produce this product, will have to outsource it overseas.
  4. Pricing the product: Will VAT taxes, if passed, affect this product? If so, the price shoots up. When inflation takes off, and it will given the huge federal deficit, will consumers be able to afford it?
  5. Packaging: How can I possibly design packaging? FDA is proposing to change all the rules on packaging--Nanny State believes the public is too stupid to turn the package over so they will likely require labeling on the front of the package. How do I plan for that now? Plus I face the increased costs of redesigning all the packaging for all the products I sell now.
How do I plan for anything? I cannot just monitor what Congress will do because FDA, EPA, DOL, FCC are monstrous churn out regs machines and there is no appeal if they come out with regs that could destroy my business.

Bottom line--I don't personally need the money that I could potentially make, if I assume all these risks. And taxes are going up for the "rich" all over the place. Say I am successful and generate the $1,000,000 profit. After federal, state and local taxes, I would be lucky to net $500,000. My goal would be to invest the money but the income from that would be subject to the new Medicare taxes on unearned income and would keep me in a higher bracket for personal income taxes. At best, my heirs, after estate tax, would end up with $250,000. So I take all those risks for--what?

Why would I assume the risks given the rewards? I wouldn't. Too bad. Would have been a great product, could have produced many jobs and spin off businesses, could have benefited my community. Too bad. I have no incentive to take the risks--just disincentives and possible loss. Too bad. No jobs. No recovery.

This is what happens when this much uncertainty is introduced in to the small business or start up environment. It dies. Plain and Simple. Recovery dies.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

TAX & SPEND AMERICANS TO RUIN

  • Increase entitlements
  • Increase spending
  • Killer deficits
All part of a recipe to impose VAT. Volcker now saying is inevitable. Apparently Obama was so deep into study of law he skipped Economics and History. I think he studied the Constitution to find ways to void its protections and limitation on gov.

For the first time in my life (a pretty long one, to date), I am
  • deeply concerned about losing freedom
  • deeply concerned our republic will not survive--or not be recognizable
  • deeply concerned nation will plunge into bankruptcy
  • would consider emigrating if possible
Americans should not feel like this!! The provisions in health care will shock and dismay even supporters. Bright side--maybe VAT imposed on the 47% who don't pay income tax will be a wake up for the increasing "dependent" class. The goal, I fear, of the gov is to make us all, HIGHLY DEPENDENT. Atlas Shrugged

Next idea will be to solve the housing crisis by the gov taking our houses and leave us with the mortgages, for our own and for others. Once we have VAT, our future is set in cement. Higher costs for everything!! Where is John Galt when we need him?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

TAXES FOR OUR OWN GOOD--MISSION OF NANNY STATE

Nanny State never admits taxes are to raise money to feed the insatiable thirst to spend. Instead, they are for our own good. And if they can't tax it, disguise it as a fine.
Just a sampling:

  1. Cigarette taxes levied to support schools yet cut down on smoking? State taxes range from $2.68 (NY, NH, DE) to under $.67 in southern and western states. Federal are $1.01, increased 4/09 from 39 cents, 259% increase. Do we believe the higher taxes will get POTUS to quit? But he cannot or the poor schoolchildren will suffer without those $$.
  2. Soda taxes were tossed around in the Health Care Bill (abandoned--for now) but California, thanks to Senator Dean Florez (D), is considering adding 1 cents on every teaspoon of added sugar and other caloric sweeteners in commercial beverages sold. Stated goal is to fund childhood obesity prevention programs. Can you imagine auditing compliance?
  3. Pizza tax: Under discussion is an 18% tax on pizza and soda to help slash health care costs.
  4. Prolonged adolescence tax: We all getting hit through the Health Care Act to keep kids on Mommy and Daddy's insurance until they hit the age of self-sufficiency--age 27??? So a child is old enough to decide for herself to have an abortion at age 15, but cannot be responsible to pay for it before age 27.
  5. Bottled Water: Florida, if Senator Evelyn Lynn (R) gets her way will impose a 6% tax on all bottles of water and direct the funding to cleaning up old plastic bottles that are thrown away--price $43 million to save the environment.
  6. Carbon tax: The feds are dying to slap a carbon tax on us which will affect nearly everything we do. Since we generate so much CO2 by breathing, I suspect they will figure out some way to hit us--along with the cows farting.
  7. Fast Food tax: It's hidden in the Health Care Act but will hit us in the pocketbook when 200,000 restaurants nationwide entail up-front costs of paying for caloric analysis of their products, update all the drive through menus, and incur all the associated costs. Reason: cause we're too stupid to figure out that a Big Mac has a bunch of calories.
  8. Alcohol tax: Ca looking a huge new tax estimated at $7 to $9 billion. Increases: beer 5,527%, wine 12,775%, spirits 2,703%. These are freaking out numbers--should really be good for the wine country and tourism as CA attempts to recover.
  9. Marijuana: Novel idea--make things legal specifically to have something new to tax.
  10. Tanning tax: 10% included in the Health Care Act. Protect all from those hideous UV rays
  11. Tax on Services in MI--to bolster education To argue with that you would have to be heartless and want our kids to fail!!
I could go on and on but you get the point. Why not just admit that it is a money grab? To Hell with business growth or a recovery. It is insulting that these ill-advised folk think they can speak for our good. They just don't get the concept of unintended consequences.

I highly recommend reading For GOOD AND EVIL: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization by Charles Adams. It chronicles how civilizations have been transformed and, in some cases, destroyed by tax policies poorly thought through. We are on that path, I fear.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

GOVERNMENT AS AN ABUSIVE, CONFUSED PARENT

We all know what happens when parents argue over discipline and privileges for children. Bad Outcomes!! The parents get made at one another, the children are confused, mistreated and ill-equipped for adulthood. Enter the gov as parents in the Nanny State. Confused, ill-informed, arguing, acting rashly--just look at the mess they are making with health care.
Examples of the confusion and bias:

Ballard High School, Teen Health Center, Seattle. Meg Wakeman, is the school nurse. A 15 year old is encouraged to have an abortion--"don't tell your Mom/Dad", arranges transport to the abortion clinic, and brings her back to finish her school day. All without the parent's knowledge or consent. Think twice before you authorize emergency medical care for your middle or high school child--the Nanny may have a different idea of what constitutes an emergency. King County Health Dept administers the clinic. And their website makes it clear that everything is confidential--and abortion is freely provided. No questions asked. No informing of parents. Free (taxpayer provided). Is a 15 year old really equipped to make that decision, spur of the moment, without parental consent or involvement? How will she deal with the consequences? In this case, we have to assume that the child (and 15 is a CHILD), TOLD HER PARENTS. HOW MUCH DAMAGE WAS DONE TO THIS FAMILY?
BUT GOVERNMENT KNOWS BEST AS A PARENT!

Example: Parental consent required for under 18's using tanning beds. The FDA is considering such legislation--either banning use under 18 or requiring parental consent. I don't have an opinion on tanning beds (never been in one) but I'm not making the connection. It's OK to provide a child a life altering abortion--a medical procedure--make the child snuff another life--but not OK to pop into a tanning bed, with the safety regs that are in effect. Am I missing something? BUT GOVERNMENT KNOWS BEST AS A PARENT!

I could go on and one. Food, exercise, discipline--all falling under their purview. This is a consequence of the Nanny State. An army of "experts" who know best, have their own bias and political agenda, making decisions, FORCING THEM UPON US BY LAW, arguing among themselves with inconsistent results and confusion.
GOD HELP US.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

OBAMACARE--RAW DEAL FOR AMERICA

Not to be outdone by Roosevelt's New Deal--Obama has given us the RAW DEAL. Obamacare leads us down a road from which we may never recover. Dem's own words: Rep Dingell (D, MI) "It takes a long time.......to put the legislation together to CONTROL THE PEOPLE" (Paul W Smith Show 3/24/10); Senator Dodd (D, CN) "This will change America forever."
My philosophy has always been CIVA--Change is Inevitable, you can be the victim or the architect. We are the victims.

COST?? It will bankrupt the country and take individual Americans down with it. Common sense, left at the doorstep of Congress, reveals simple truths:

  1. To control costs the provider and consumer must have a reciprocal relationship--provide what I need/want at a cost I am willing/able to pay. The worst thing that happened to health care in America was insurance coverage for routine medical care, misguided legislation after WWII with tax deductibility of employer paid health insurance. Control and cost consciousness was removed from the parties to health care--providers and patients. Good, cost control, legislation would have chipped away at this perversion--the RAW DEAL worsens the perversion.
  2. How can anyone believe you can expand coverage yet cut costs? Welcome to Alice & Wonderland Congress.
  3. Medicare is not sustainable--taxpayers funded the system--Congress spent the $$ and now they are double dipping to increase spending, to cover people who have NEVER paid into the system.
  4. TANSTAAFL--There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.
FREEDOM??
  1. The bill is full of CRAP, TRICKS, SLOPPINESS AND PAYOFFS meant to confuse, confound, intimidate (IRS enforcement) and wear us out.
  2. John Dingell and Chris Dodd sum it up better than I can.
Obama 2012 campaign slogan: YES WE CAN force upon Americans a RAW DEAL to CHANGE AMERICA FOREVER and CONTROL THE PEOPLE!!

GOD HELP US.


Friday, October 30, 2009

NANNY STATE HEALTH CARE TAKEOVER BILL CHOCK FULL OF TAX HIKES

H.R. 3962 devotes 10 pages (P. 1510-1519) to regulations requiring calorie counts be displayed at drive thru restaurant chains of 20 or more and vending machines. And the Secretary of HHS even gets to determine the recipes that will be used to establish the calories. Another "hidden tax" as the prices of meals will go up to cover the costs of complying with these regulations!! Why don't they also require the cashier to calculate the calories along with the cost and put in the receipt? BETTER YET--give us a competitive option--HOW ABOUT GOVERNMENT TAKE OVER RESTAURANTS!! MacDonalds could be "MacGovern", Wendy's could be "Windy Bottom", OutBack could become "GiveBack", TacoBell could be "TaxoBell".

Sec. 241 gives us ANOTHER new Agency "Health Choices Administration", headed by, of course, a Health Choices Commissioner (to be overseen by a HC Czar, I expect)--how much will this cost? Bigbrotherspeak: Health Choices Commissioner when the ultimate intent of this legislation is to remove choice from health care since Nanny State knows best. Agencies are expensive and they grow exponentially.

Buy or Pay UP: There is choice about buying--but none about PAY UP. 2.5% of taxable income if you opt out.

Sec. 413: Employer who doesn't participate isn't taxed--instead they make an 8% "contribution" to the Health Choices Administration. Bigbrotherspeak: a tax is a "contribution". But Sec. 512 amends the IRS code such that the 8% is an "excise tax."

FAKING A SMALL BUSINESS TAX CREDIT: Sec 521: Credit of 50% of insurance costs for small businesses; however, phases out above an AVERAGE $20,000 compensation to zero at $40,000 and/or phases out after 10 employees to zero at 15 employees; cannot be used for any "highly compensated employees" $80,000 (hint of what's to come in taxing "the rich"), must be elected and can only be used for 2 years. The way I calculate it (and it's not easy to understand): 12 employees, average comp $35,000, one over $80,000; annual health insurance cost $104,000; tax credit $2,612 each of two years, total $5,225. So much for the tax credit that doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

Sec. 552: Excise Tax on Medical Devices--Another "hidden" tax. Medical devices are defined in the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, Sec. 201(h)--looks to me like all costs except the doctor will rise by 2.5%.

Sec. 1181: Finally, something that benefits ME!! Closure of the coverage gap Part D Medicare (my husband's medications take him into the donut hole). But I still think it is a mistake. And even though it is "free" to us, I know it is not FREE. We and others have to pay additional costs and taxes to "give" this benefit. And having to pay a significant amount for medications makes us far more involved in decisions about what medications are needed and where we can buy at the lowest cost.

Full of tax hikes!! Calling this the Affordable Health Care Bill is Bigbrotherspeak