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.