Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Occupy Chicago!!

I took a walk down to the CBOT yesterday to check out the protest. I was ready to despise the hippie losers with their misspelled signs and misguided slogans but when I got down there I just felt bad for them. There was a forlorn drum circle and (by my count) 37 protesters.

37. On a gorgeous day with the sun out. The crowd doubled every time the light on Lasalle said "Don't Walk"

My favorite sign that I saw was "Educated. Multi-Lingual. Moving to China."

I offered to help pack but the protester of ambiguous sex was not interested.

I then walked a block away to the farmers market and bought some local cheese. It was delicious.

The people with the wacky "Give peace a chance" and "War never solved anything" (except for ending slavery, fascism, communism, or tyranny I assume he forgot to write) were smelly and beyond parody. The drum circle was mostly vacant. The people wandering in an out of the CBOT were just smirking and rolling their eyes. No one was taking them seriously aside from themselves.

Putting aside their most ridiculous demands like the blanket forgiveness of all debt, a $20 living wage regardless of employment, completely open borders everywhere and the trillions they want for green energy and infrastructure, we can get to issues where I find a lot of common ground with them.

End Crony Capitalism. End the Bailout Culture. End Too Big Too Fail.

These are signs that I have seen word for word at Tea Party rallies. These are ideas that I have espoused on this blog and sentiments that I think have a ton of traction across the country. The issue here is the chicken or the egg. I think that crony capitalism, bailouts and the idea of "too big too fail" stem from a government that is too large, powerful and intertwined with business. Incentives were skewed, the free market was perverted and the taxpayers got screwed. The implied guarantee of FRE and FNM, the bailout of the UAW in the form of the big 3, Solyndra, the Stimulus and the TARP in general are not facets of capitalism or a free market economy. They are examples of the "Tyranny of Pull" expounded by Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged. The targeted gifts to campaign bundlers in the case of Solyndra, public sector unions (Stimulus), private sector unions (Big 3) and the financial sector (TARP FRE FNM) who gave more money to Obama than any candidate in any campaign ever just proves that I should not be looking for a new job, I should just give money to Obama's re-election campaign so I can be taken care of in the future.

These cretins are complaining about money in politics when the vast majority of them voted for the only candidate ever to turn down public financing. The candidate who is now targeting a BILLION dollars of donations for his re-election campaign. The candidate who received more money from Wall Street, K street and BP than any other candidate ever. They are beating the drum to pass a financial reform act that is named Dodd-Frank, which is beyond parody. Dodd was a "Friend of Mozillo" up to his eyebrows in CFC slime, donations and favors. Barney Frank's boyfriend was on the board of FRE and Frank himself talked about rolling the dice more in the direction of subprime loans. How are these people not in jail, let alone still in office and writing laws to save us? This is like the internet scammers that write viruses than infect your computer then charge you to fix it.

My solution here is less centralized government. Less power in Washington, less opportunity for these people to screw things up. They should not be choosing winners and losers in the economy, they should not be guaranteeing loans for campaign bundlers, giving billions to selected constituencies like the UAW or SEIU, sending guns to Mexico, bailing out banks that Maxine Waters' husband is invested in, or funding studies on the affect of cocaine on the social lives of monkeys. Slash the size of the government to protecting our rights, maintaining our borders, roads, foreign relations and a safety net for those who cannot take care of themselves.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fast and Furious

Not only of my top movie franchises (In specific, non-random order 1. Die Hard 2. Indiana Jones 3. Star Wars IV-VI 4. Fast and Furious 5. Back to the Future 6. Mighty Ducks I-II) but my current favorite government scandal that gets no coverage.

Here is a more comprehensive synopsis than I am going to provide, read the whole thing

Basically the idea of the program was to allow gun sales to suspected or known cartel members and track them up the chain to find bigger fish. Over 2000 guns were involved, with some sold personally by ATF agents whose complaints and objections were ignored by their superiors. The death toll includes at least one Border Control agent and according to Mexican authorities literally hundreds more people.

Let that sink in, the administration, in a program sponsored by the Obama-Pelosi-Reid Stimulus, knowingly put guns in the hands of cartel killers. This lead to deaths on both sides of the border. This is something that bothers me 100x more than Troy Davis being executed but it barely registers on the national news radar.

What was the objective? Why are we violating the sovereignty of a neighbor and putting our officers and civilians at risk? What is the end game that merits this strategy? What benefit do we derive from this?

Since the observation and surveillance techniques successfully followed zero guns and lead to zero high ranking cartel arrests, we are left with the following options.

1. Complete incompetence
2. A different motive

Even someone with as little faith in the governments ability to do anything efficiently and well as I do would have a hard time believing that 2000 guns would be knowingly given to cartel warriors accidentally. So what would the other motive be? As I see it there are two options

1. Playing realpolitik between the Cartels
2. Influencing the debate on gun control in the states

If this was an operation designed to arm the Sinaloa Cartel against the Zetas who are becoming the most powerful institution in Mexico, legitimate or otherwise, it is still a disaster. Even if they were trying to counterbalance the Zetas why use American retail gun dealers? Why not buy guns internationally or use the thousands of guns taken from the field in Afghanistan or Iraq? At the very least, the sourcing the guns from the  American stores when it would be cleaner and more covert to do it from elsewhere seems to be done with an eye on tilting the debate on the second amendment here.

Now Holder is being investigated for perjury for his supposed ignorance of the program in Congressional testimonies earlier this year. Could not happen to a nicer guy.

Reagan was almost impeached for Iran Contra, documents coming forward are indicating more Administration knowledge than previously indicated. This is worse. I am beside myself that this does not get more coverage.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Barry!

What kind of out of touch plutocrat would throw himself a celebrity laden, $35,000 a plate birthday party the day the market takes it in the shorts? The same one that rants about "fairness" and corporate jets and people having "too much money." 

I can only imagine what the media say if it was a conservative doing something like this.

Further, I will agree to be called a "terrorist" about threatening default if liberals agree to be called Pedophiles for the way they are absolutely screwing my kids and grandkids with their insane spending and astronomical debt.  Deal?

Friday, July 29, 2011


Ask liberals what president they like and Clinton will be at the top of the list. Go from there and ask that, in those halcyon days of the Clinton Administration if we were grossly underserved by our government. If people were dying in the streets for want of food or medicine, if our children were being taught off of stone tablets in water damaged class rooms. They will say no. What is their rationale for saying that even now, when we are spending 2x what we were spending back then, that any cuts are draconian and will, according to Pelsoi, ruin "Life as we know it on Earth?"

Fiscal year 2001: $1.86 trillion
Fiscal year 2002: $2.01 trillion
Fiscal year 2003: $2.16 trillion
Fiscal year 2004: $2.29 trillion
Fiscal year 2005: $2.47 trillion
Fiscal year 2006: $2.66 trillion
Fiscal year 2007: $2.73 trillion
Fiscal year 2008: $2.98 trillion
Fiscal year 2009: $3.52 trillion
Fiscal year 2010: $3.46 trillion
Fiscal year 2011 (estimate): $3.82 trillion

The question is what will be enough? We have doubled spending and all we want to talk about are more "investments" and "savings in the tax code." There are no brakes on this bus. They will never be able to tax and spend enough.

Now on the subject of "new revenue" we are told by Barney Frank that there are "a lot of Rich people we can tax" but is he right? If we taxed the top 1% of earners, those evil millionaires and billionaires and corporate jet owners (we all know that Obama signed a stimulus bill written by Reid and Pelosi that contained the jet tax break right? I feel this needs to be stressed) at 100%, just confiscated all of their earnings it would only yield $938 billion. So with out $1.65 trillion deficit this year would still not be covered. 

I was talking to an Obama supporter last week and we were discussing the Republican field for 2012. She was giddy about the lack of a big name or obvious strong challenger but my feeling is that the toughest opponent that Barry is going to face in 2012 will not be any of the Republican challengers but Math. These figures are, to use an awesome liberal buzzword, unsustainable.  

These debt conversations are sickening. We should be talking about cutting entire departments rather than rounding error level cuts this year with totally awesome promises for cuts in the out years. There should be a 10% AT LEAST cut of every department even after we slash Education, Interior, Education and HUD but we are quibbling over 30 billion here and there. We borrow more than that in 10 days. This deal saves what the government borrow while I was body surfing at the Jersey Shore with my family. This is insulting to anyone who understands math and I cannot understand why the discussion is framed in these terms. I wish there was an adult in Washington over then Paul Ryan. I would buy that man a $300 bottle of wine.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


The debt ceiling debate is a joke, it is a debate between awful and gross. The current GOP plan seems to give a trillion dollar credit card in return for minuscule cuts this year with tons of totally awesome promises to cut more than that in the "out years." Sweet. I totally trust politicians on both sides to honor that.  

Anyway, this post is about education.  Not public primary or secondary, which is an abomination created by the two header monster of government control and public sector unions that deserves a post of its own, but college education. Specifically, why we are, the taxpayers, are subsidizing millions of kids for billions of dollars to go to school, study bullshit and not graduate. The debate over the budget will constantly descend into Mrs. Lovejoy screaming about how this is robbing children of the chance to go to college, which is, as we are told by people who work for colleges, the only way to get ahead in the world.  Bullshit.  I paid $500 to a plumber yesterday for 2.5 hours of work, there are other ways to make money.

What is the purpose of a college education?  To prepare students for life? To enrich their personal experience? To train students for a career? To chase loose women and drink cold beers?

Honestly, if I am not paying for it, I could not think of a way I would care less if someone went to school and abused whatever substances while studying underwater basket weaving and never graduated ever.  However, since my tax dollars are spent on it, I tend to care a lot. 

I am not heartless or a Social Darwinist, I think that high achieving students should have the opportunity to get an education and succeed and maximize their potential.  Great-grandson of goatherds and grandson of a plumber, I am the American Dream and would never begrudge others the same.  I just think there need to be stipulations attached to the funding.

 I had a long conversation with one of my best friends about this. This is an exceptionally smart guy who happens to be a socialist (seems like oil and water to me too folks).  He said, and I am paraphrasing, that "Education should be a right. I would want to live in a State where education is a priority and people can study whatever they want at minimal personal expense." I agreed completely that in a perfect world that would be awesome just like free unicorns and double rainbows for all, but we live in a world with limits and debt ceilings.  I see the funding of education as an investment. If my cash is on the line I want to see a return for society as a whole. Why should I work hard to pay taxes to fund the education of someone who wants to get 3 degrees because they love studying and do not want to work? That system in not sustainable at all. There is no incentive to actually work and do things when you can just continue to live the dream in a fluffy academic world for life (Right Obama?).

If a smart kid wants to study hard math, science, medicine or engineering I am totally on board.  I would add business degrees that are heavy in econ finance and math, expressly forbid marketing or marketing, and I am sure there are others that I am leaving out but you get the idea.  You are smart, capable and want to study something like this, awesome. There is a linear route to getting a good job and paying taxes that will repay what your degree cost. Go to the best school you can get into and godspeed. There is a clear return on investment. When we hear these sob stories that "I have 250K of student loan debt and I am a teacher/barista/social worker" it is hard to drum up a lot of sympathy. You know what you want to do, you know the range of salaries from what you want to do, why would you choose a school/career combination that will lead to debilitating debt with a job that will not allow you to repay it? I am not saying that these are not worthy majors or careers, but go to in state public schools. These are realities, it is just math.

I am not being an asshole, I plan on sending my kids to school and I will have a similar talk with them.  I will tell them to take something that will get them a job and aside from that take whatever you want.  I took the bare minimum courses to get my Finance degree (plus they gave me an International Business degree for not soiling myself in any important classes over 4 years, only requirement I could observe) and had a blast taking classes that interested me outside of my major. I had time to minor in Spanish and Classics along with taking every Tennis and Racquetball class offered by WashU (Renaissance man, I know). I also had a great time.

Bottom line when people say we need everyone to go to college they are lying. We send too many kids to college who are not prepared to be students. 43% of people who go to college do not graduate withing 6 years (Hey Andrew you made it!). This is a joke. We need to send more kids to trade schools and apprenticeship programs because college is not for everyone, and the kids that are going need to be studying more useful things. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Just put my money where my wild right wing political beliefs are and bought a new dishwasher and over the range microwave at Home Depot.  Can only blame the roommate for the microwave, the dishwasher just sucked.

On Obama and jobs

Obamacare is bad for jobs? Shocker!
So you are telling me that the fact that a company may or may not be on the hook for massive taxes on a massive new unfunded liability that was supposed to insure 30 million people while bringing costs down is not an incentive to hire more people? Who ever could have anticipated that?  It is almost like people respond to incentives!

Two more soundbites, one from CEO of Home Depot which is where I will be buying my new dishwasher after reading this, please read the whole thing

IBD: If you could sit down with Obama and talk to him about job creation, what would you say?

Marcus: I'm not sure Obama would understand 
anything that I'd say, because he's never really worked a day outside 
the political or legal area. He doesn't know how to make a payroll, he 
doesn't understand the problems businesses face. I would try to explain 
that the plight of the busi nessman is very reactive to Washington. As
Washington piles on regulations and mandates, the impact is tremendous. 
I don't think he's a bad guy. I just think he has no knowledge of this.

And another from Steve Wynn CEO who owns the casinos that I will be exclusively staying at in Vegas, please read the whole thing twice

The guy keeps making speeches about redistribution and maybe we ought to do something to businesses that don't invest, their holding too much money. We haven't heard that kind of talk except from pure socialists. Everybody's afraid of the government and there's no need soft peddling it, it's the truth. It is the truth

Boom Roasted.

The American economy can grow our way out of this but the children running Washington are not interested in doing the things that will allow it to happen.  Easy steps? Sign free trade pacts that have been languishing in Congress.  Open up oil wells in the Gulf, off the coast of CA and in Alaska for drilling.  This will keep energy costs down and provide hundreds of thousands of high paying blue collar jobs for Americans, plus will not send our money abroad to thugs like Chavez.  Approve the XL pipeline, hundreds of thousands more jobs.  Tort reform, real regulatory reform and a knowledge that the government will stop treating the economy like Calvinball, where the rules are made up constantly changing would make firms an individuals more likely to invest.

Our Deal Leader and his cronies are either unwilling to do these things or unable to come up with them because they have never lived in the real world

Crazy like a FOX

I wrote a really long post last week but it disappeared into the youtubes and interwebs, this is will be more succinct.  I am trying to be more diligent about this, we will see how it goes

First, from my position at the very top of the social media food chain, the collective liberal exultation over the Murdoch case has crossed into parody, there are two points to make about this, both involve hypocrisy

News of the World employees broke laws and should be punished.  Their superiors who were cognizant of the situation should share their fate.  The newspaper shutting down is completely justified.

Is the outrage over illegally obtained information? I thought I was told that Julian Assange was a hero for Wikileaks?

Was it over media outlets publishing illegally obtained information? Why are we not trying to put Pinch from the NYT in jail for publishing illegal phone taps of Newt Gingrich in 1996? Or for publishing the Wikileaks data? Or for the publishing of the CIA program tracking financial transactions of suspected terrorists in 2006? Or for revealing the wiretaps on numbers related to KSMs cell phone in 2005?

Was it over holding the head of an organization accountable for the actions of his subordinates? Les Moonves  was not dragged before Congress when Dan Rather falsified documents a month before the 2004 election.

It is almost as if these principles that are being referred to as sacrosanct and untouchable are applied completely out of convenience and immediately discarded when no longer needed.  This is not about News of the World, this is about silencing Fox, the on media outlet that does not bow at the altar of Obama.

The crux of this matter is the difference between reputation and reality.  To hear the left speak they are the ones that value diversity and other people's point of view.  This is how they view themselves, when in reality they take any avenue to silence dissension.  They try and silence opposing viewpoints through the fairness doctrine, through the talk of our "new tone" and, especially, through the courts.  Personally I welcome discussions with smart people who disagree with me.  When I was in training at my job that was the most effective way to understand what was going on, when I would suggest a trade my boss would make me defend it from every angle.  It was an incredibly effective manner of learning.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tax Debate

I'm back!

There is a huge disconnect in the conversation about taxes in this country.  On one side we have the liberals who see a fundamental unfairness or inequality in this country and think that the government needs to raise taxes to collect more money to spend to fix these problems.  On the other side we have the the conservatives who say we need to cut taxes and slash the size of the government.  No prizes for guessing where I fall on this spectrum but the conversation is too simplistic.

I think there is a lot of room for debate here on policy.  What is the goal of taxes?  Is it to fund the government or be an instrument of re distributive "justice?"  To pay for the Constitutionally enumerated powers granted to the Federal Government or to control the lives of citizens?

We know where our Dear Leader stands on this issue.  When I saw this debate it completely blew my mind, I thought Obama had completely ruined his chances for election.  Presented with facts on the capital gains tax, admittedly different from the income or corporate tax rates, that increasing marginal rates leads to lower revenues he said that he wanted to raise rates anyway in the interests of some abstract idea of "fairness."  Ignoring the fact that life is not fair an nor is it the job of the government to try and bring it as close to fair as possible, this is an unbelievable statement.  Obama wants to spend.  He wants to Win The Future (WTF!) on "investments" in education, infrastructure (High speed rail FTW!), and stimulus in general.  The taxing part seems to me to be what you try not to talk about as you go along talking with the totally awesome fun of giving away free stuff.  If I believed in the Keynesian School, the important thing to me would be having more money to spend on whatever alternative energy, Pigford Settlement or SEIU bailout that I thought would help the country.  I would not care too much where it came from, but if there were a simple way to have more money for the government to WTF with, I would not go out of my way to do something that would 1. Piss people off and 2. Lead to me having less money to spend.  This was a purely idealogical push for punitive tax rates on "the rich."  Class warfare, envy or whatever you want to call it that served no purpose aside from polishing his populist credentials while spitting in the face of logic and reason.

This brings me to my larger point, I do not think the argument should be solely over marginal tax rates and class warfare.  Personally I think the argument that 45% of Americans pay zero income tax is a more compelling argument than the envy and populism that comes with railing against "the rich," but what we need to focus on is revenue.  Tax increases never lead to the increased revenue promised because people change their behaviors when the circumstances of their environment change.  The focus of the conversation should be revenue, where can we walk up and down the Laffer Curve to find a point where revenue is maximized with the smallest rates possible?  Lower marginal rates, on corporations, individuals and capital gains encourage investment, expansion and innovation.  If lowering taxes and increasing individual accountability, responsibility and freedom actually leads to higher gross tax revenues in an area like the capital gains tax why not try it elsewhere?  Is it not about the gross tax revenue at all and rather more focused abstract, nebulous ideas of "justice" and "fairness?"  What do they value more, the disadvantaged that they claim to care about or taking the highest percent possible from the "rich" and the "greedy speculators" and whomever else they hate at the time?

Friday, January 28, 2011


I had a great time in college at Washington University in St. Louis.  Great school, great time, but they are never, ever, getting another dollar of my money.  This decision was made a while ago after this shining example of tolerance and willingness to openly exchange ideas that made me sick

I thought that conservatives were the ones guilty of epistemic closure, not liberals.  I thought liberals lived in the reality based world and had open minds and were willing to debate because they were confident that they had the facts and truths on their side to win the day.  I thought conservatives had their "Digital Brown shirts" (Hat tip Al Gore!) out to silence debate and dissent on the other side.  I guess that is why Republicans are pushing to bring back the Fairness Doctrine or labeling their ideological counterparts as the people who inspire others to murder innocents  or hell even just calling them Nazis because they do not think the government should be in charge of health care.

I love this quote

Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz shares with his students a strategy for successfully defending cases. If the facts are on your side, Dershowitz says, pound the facts into the table. If the law is on your side, pound the law into the table. If neither the facts nor the law are on your side, pound the table.

I would love to have an honest debate over the size of the government and the correct role of taxation, spending, regulation et al based on facts and reality but the majority of the time the conversation on the other side goes right to pounding on the table, saying that I am Darwinist, Racist, Hate the poor, Hate women, minorities etc etc.  It is partly my fault because, according to people that will remain unamed (Nicki) I am "Loud" and "A bully."  Such is life.

Finally, more WashU cowardice.

Play a little game with me, if this girl's last name was Smith, Jones or even Pelosi, would there be the same protest?  

Look, I really do not like the frequency with which I am put in the position of defending the Palins.  I am an extreme Hayek fan and fiscal conservative but not a culture warrior or raging social con.  I believe in a culture of self reliance and personal responsibility but I think that is best fostered by getting people off the government teat, getting bureaucrats out of the way of the economy and allowing people to count on themselves for security and prosperity rather a Giant Nanny State.  I like Sarah Palin, I admire decisions she has made in her life and respect what she has accomplished, but I am not a Sarah 2012 banner waver (I prefer Christie or Rubio) but her and her family deserve to be treated better than they are.  Can you imagine if someone said this about a liberal woman?  As it is we hear the same outrage from the feminists that we heard about Clinton.  Or about the way Islam treats women.  Curious double standards abound.  

In conclusion, the sooner the liberal higher education bubble pops the better.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Is it weird to only me....

That the 2009 Nobel Laureate is giving a State Dinner. a huge feast with speeches, dignitaries and probably a number of celebrities (including Obama himself!) to honor the man responsible for keeping the 2010 Nobel Laureate in a gulag?

No?  Just me?

Not even challenging China on human rights, we instead get a speech that boiled down to  "ZOMG we can haz Pandas!"

Further, I completely support Obama going to the Super Bowl.  I think he should golf, attend sporting events and vacation as much as possible as it keeps him out of the office and away from making more bad decisions.  Obama seems to me like my friends that became consultants out of college.  They worked long hours on excel without any real ability to influence events or strategy, in a  politically correct environment and in undesirable locations, but they had some really cool perks.  Per diems, status on airlines and hotel chains, mountains of miles and company sponsored booze events made it more tolerable.  The parallels don't end there, the lead up to the jobs, the campaign and recruitment phases, were awesome; auditoriums packed with screaming fans who faint from your pure amazingness or company sponsored booze trips to FL or CA.  Then the honeymoon ends when you are sourcing 2 ply toilet paper to get the best price in Billings, MT or being held accountable for the complete failure of your 1 Trillion dollar stimulus and getting pantsed in the mid term elections.

That being said, I thought his speech about Tuscon was the most presidential thing he has ever done.  Granted his call for civility came after almost a week of attempting to pin the murders on Sarah Palin, the Tea Party and anyone who thinks they have a right to keep anything more than half of what they make had completely failed, but I am anxious to hear how our new arbiter of tone reacts to this.  Or this, which ABC tried to squash even thought it happened at their town hall, must have not fit the narrative or something.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tuscon Revisited

I know I have referenced the blog before in my fundraising days but you really should read Ace's take on the Tuscon shootings

He is absolutely knocking it out of the park on the double standards and hypocrisy of the left and the media (redundant? I know) towards violent rhetoric

Illinois Stuck on Stupid

Money Quote:
"We're saying to the people of Illinois, 'For eight years we've overspent, now we're going to make it your problem,'" said Rep. Roger Eddy. "We're making up for our mistakes on your back."

Well done Illinois, welcome to the fiscal death spiral.  Everyone knows when you are in financial trouble you follow the tried and tested method of taxing and spending your way into prosperity.  In no way is that crazy and there is absolutely not a myriad of examples of the end game of this strategy.

I touched on this in the previous post on the topic but why on Earth would anyone start a new business in Illinois right now?  Corporate and private income taxes skyrocketing while E-commerce taxes takes the state out of play for one of the easiest arenas for new businesses.  I am the tax payer they want, or will be when I start working again and I am having a really hard time justifying staying in the state where I have spent the majority of my life. This situation is only going to get worse, this, like every other tax increase, will not bring in the revenue it is projected to bring in and the fiscal insanity of the public sector salaries, benefits and pensions are not being addressed by anyone (except Rahmbo, Christ, good for him) so they are just going to need more money down the road which will lead to more punitive tax hikes and so on and so forth.

This brings me to my larger point.  It is in vogue to call yourself fiscally conservative and socially liberal, or, even better, libertarian.  People love to straddle the line and appear to be cultured and the best of both worlds.  We saw this most prominently in the 110th Congress with the "Blue Dog Democrats."  Allegedly conservative on issues such as Abortion, Gun Control and spending, these Democrats rode the wave of disgust against Bush into offices representing traditionally Republican districts.  The problem is, when push came to shove every one of these Blue Dogs toed the Pelosi line on every major vote.  From bailouts to Stimulus to Health Care they rubber stamped the most liberal pieces of legislation imaginable, which is why after the recent election cycle, Blue Dogs went from being a myth to being extinct.

This was also a factor in the Illinois gubernatorial race.  Brady lost to Quinn due largely to a nasty campaign run by Quinn over the issue of abortion.  I know multiple people that identify as fiscally conservative and socially liberal that said that Brady's pro-life views were the reason they voted for Quinn.  People can vote however they want (restricting the vote to only people who pay taxes and or have served in the military is another topic) but this seems inane to me.  Even if every Republican in the state office was on the same page as Brady (they aren't) there would be no way he could change the current laws on abortion in Illinois because the Democrats control both houses in Springfield, as evidenced by their passing these taxes hikes without a single Republican vote.

Basically people have to decide on one thing or another.  The disagreement with one candidate on one issue that the candidate, if elected, will not even be able to change from the status quo is enough reason to vote for someone who is promising to lead your states economy down the primrose path to fiscal insanity.  How is this a moderate or even handed position?

From Ace of Spades, read the whole thing

Oh and Illinois Democrats? Yeah, don't count all that new money just rolling in. Behold what Oregon's massive tax increase did for the state's coffers.
In 2009 the state legislature raised the tax rate to 10.8% on joint-filer income of between $250,000 and $500,000, and to 11% on income above $500,000. Only New York City’s rate is higher. Oregon’s liberal voters ratified the tax increase on individuals and another on businesses in January of this year, no doubt feeling good about their “shared sacrifice.”Congratulations. Instead of $180 million collected last year from the new tax, the state received $130 million. The Eugene Register-Guard newspaper reports that after the tax was raised “income tax and other revenue collections began plunging so steeply that any gains from the two measures seemed trivial.”
One reason revenues are so low is that about one-quarter of the rich tax filers seem to have gone missing. The state expected 38,000 Oregonians to pay the higher tax, but only 28,000 did.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Arizona Tragedy

First condolences and prayers for everyone affected by this maniac going on a rampage.  From what I have read these are the deranged acts of a sick man who never should have been allowed near firearms.  As someone who is a staunch second amendment supporter, I do not think anyone with a criminal or mental heath record should be eligible to own a firearm at all.  I think being able to protect yourself is a right, but one you can lose, like voting.

Now that I have that out of the way, the coverage that I watched made my head spin.  Compare it to the Times Square Bomber, where No Labels Bloomberg labelled the terrorist without a shred of proof as"Probably someone upset about the Health Care Bill" or the Fort Hood Massacre where Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey, Jr. said "I'm concerned that this increased speculation could cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers ... Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse."  After both of these events we were implored to not jump to conclusions, to not put two and two together about someone who murders unarmed soldiers at deployment center while screeching "Alluha Akbar."  As Obama says, let me be perfectly clear.  I agree with this sentiment, I think when something like this happens everyone should focus on those that need help before assessing blame and pointing at root causes.  The truth will come out eventually, without half baked accusations before anyone knows anything.  

My question is, why do the talking heads on the left give so much more leeway and benefit of the doubt to Islamic Terrorists and Mass Murderers than they do to conservatives?  In the immediate wake of this shooting CNN was talking about Sarah Palin's electoral map that had a target on this Arizona Congressional District, Krugman had a blog post up on about the "climate of hate" fostered by the tea party and Sarah Palin in particular and the Daily Kos had a "Mission Accomplished Sarah Palin" headline up.  Based on what?  This guy ranted about government mind control and killing cops on his youtube page while listins Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto as some of his favorite books.  Not exactly Milton Friedman, Hayek or Thomas Paine is it?  Where was the concern about a backlash against conservatives?  About not jumping to conclusions to judge all conservatives based on the actions of a nut they had just assumed to be a tea partier?  How come no one stressed how "The Tea Party is Peace?"


Instapundit says it better than I did here

To be clear, if you're using this event to criticize the "rhetoric" of Mrs. Palin or others with whom you disagree, then you're either: (a) asserting a connection between the "rhetoric" and the shooting, which based on evidence to date would be what we call a vicious lie; or (b) you're not, in which case you're just seizing on a tragedy to try to score unrelated political points, which is contemptible. Which is it?

read the whole thing

Friday, January 7, 2011


After seeing the lame duck session in Washington and seeing what is going on in a similar session in Springfield I am coming to a realization we should treat lame ducks like lame horses

Income tax up on individuals and businesses, e-commerce taxed and amazon affiliates shut down

Sorry for the hiatus, combination of too much holiday fun and technical issues, hard to blog from a smart phone with my stubby fingers.

(Before September) I was the exact kind of citizen a state wants.  I worked at a great job that paid me well, I owned property and paid my taxes on time.  I supported local businesses that serve whiskey and red meat.  I contributed exponentially more to the city and state than I consumed in terms of resources and services.  It was not an onerous burden, the state income tax was low and while I was offended by the city sales tax hike, it just led me to moving my purchases online, and got me to buy some AMZN stock because it I didn't think that I would be the only one, thanks Stroger!  The point is that the system depends on people like me to subsidize the out of control spending that our state and nation inevitably pursue.  They raise taxes and try and bleed the producers and job creators banking on the fact that they will continue to bear the burden and not either Go Galt or vote with their feet.

One of the great things about our political system, at least when the 10th Amendment still meant something, is it makes the states laboratories of democracy.  Proving grounds for ideas that provide models to emulate or shun.  Voters could look at our neighbors in Indiana with Mitch Daniels, an archetype on how to start to turn around and revitalize a fiscal basket case with smaller government and common sense or they could join in my unabashed man crush on Chris Christie for speaking to voters like adults about the realities of budgets and living within our means as individuals and governments, but instead Illinois decided to stay the course and elect Quinn, casting our lot in with California and New York in the "2011 Race to See Which State Can Get Turned Down For a Federal Bailout First."

A more coherent comparison on the views of states, using TX and CA as examples

The bottom line is that Illinois is scrambling to raise money by raising taxes on everyone as fast as they can.  The politicians have been making promises and need to pay for them and they don't know how and think a tax increase on earners and producers will get them there.  What does Illinois have that makes it indispensable? What is there to stop me from shifting my job search to Texas?  Nevada?  Florida?  Why does Illinois think that people and business will stay as they get squeezed to pay for the excess of mouth breathers in Springfield?  California has tourism, the best climate in the country with beach, mountains, wine, massive oil deposits and some of the most fertile farmland in the world (currently lying fallow because of the Delta Smelt but that is another conversation).  Illinois has Chicago, which is amazing in the summer but anyone who tells you the winters don't bother them is lying to your face, oh yes, also, Rockford, Stared Rock and corn.  What are they betting on?  Personal connections?  Inertia?  It is something that is a huge factor in my thoughts about my next job.  Sure my family is around, but the baby brother is already off at school, forgotten middle child will probably be living in a commune somewhere between taking his actuarial exams, the favorite is already exploring other options at her job and the parents will probably be snowbirds by next year.  I have a ton of great friends but to be honest I would like to get away from them for a while to dry out.  I have nothing tying me down here that I cannot visit for a couple weeks every summer for the price of a Southwest ticket.

This brings me to my last point, which my old boss made all the time.  The people that they are trying to squeeze and that they depend on the most to fund their progressive schemes, machinations and wealth redistribution fantasies are the ones who are able to do something about it and leave.  The more secure you are financially and the better job you have, the less tied you are to one spot.  These are smart people who are capable of high level cost benefit analytics and can decide when it is no longer in their self interest to subject themselves to the class warfare and selective economic attacks just for working hard and being successful.

My New Year's Resolution is to blog more, we will see how I keep up with it