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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

How much more in tax will Apple Pay?

Posted by olemike on 01/25/2012

After listening to the SOTU speech last night, I began to wonder how much more in taxes the President would have Apple pay.  It seems they just had a very profitable quarter and they definitely have about 20,000 employees in other countries.  They doesn’t seem to bode well for them under the President’s new tax proposal.

While I do agree that we should use the tax code to motivate companies to keep their manufacturing in the United States, I am anxious to see if the government really follows through.  Somehow I doubt that the President will be as harsh toward Apple as he is toward oil companies.


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Wanted – Politicians who tell the Truth

Posted by olemike on 01/10/2012

The current state of politics remind me of the line from “Julius Caesar” where Caesar tells Brutus “The fault dear Brutus is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.” As long as we the public play the fool and allow our elected leaders (or would be leaders) to lie to us about what they believe, will do, have done, want to do, etc., we will get the exact type of leadership and government that we deserve.

Both political parties are guilty of telling lies to us and about each other and are basically saying just about anything that will enable them to get elected or reelected. I, for one, am sick of it. Reading this article this morning set me off.

The country is so polarized around politics right now that it is almost impossible to imagine how we will ever solve the ever-growing problems which we face. Our debt is ballooning, our education system is becoming second-rate, we have millions unemployed, and most of the country think we are heading in the wrong direction.

The best answers we get from Washington are to either spend more and raise taxes or spend less and cut taxes. Surely a better answer is somewhere in the middle. Unfortunately, we seem to be out of deal makers. Most of either retired or given up. Even the President, who should be leading the way, has given up and is strictly in campaign mode.

We are in big trouble if things don’t change. We must demand honesty and integrity from those we elect.

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American Made or Bust !

Posted by olemike on 11/27/2011

My primary New Years resolution (beginning now) is to buy as many “American Made” products as possible. That is something we as individuals can do (be we conservative, liberal, independent) to help improve our national economy. I suppose we could go out and protest, burn a few buildings, and bust out a few windows, but I’ll leave that to someone else.

Leona and I went to Costco today. We were lucky that most of our purchases were produced here in the good old U.S. However, there were two exceptions: 1. Folgers Coffee – Their coffee beans come from South America. Hawaii does grow coffee beans but I’ll have to research where they are sold, etc. 2. We did buy some blueberries from Argentina. I know blueberries are grown in the U.S. so we’ll have to make a different purchasing decision in the future. I don’t expect to be perfect at this right from the get-go. It’s an evolving process.

I invite all of my Facebook friends to join me in this effort. If we share our experiences, we can help each other with ideas and hopefully, help in some small way to improve the unemployment problem we have.

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Class Warfare

Posted by olemike on 11/07/2011

Here is a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln which I think perfectly fits our issues today.

“You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage
payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away people’s
initiative and independence.
You cannot help people permanently by doing for
them, what they could and should do for themselves.”

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments »

Occupy Washington

Posted by olemike on 11/06/2011

The “Occupy Wall Street” crowd are protesting in the wrong place.  Almost all of our economic problems can be blamed on Congress, both past and present.  The loopholes that allow large corporations or wealthy people to avoid taxes have always been created and passed by Congress.  Both political parties are guilty of this.  For many years, Congress has used loopholes and various deductions in an attempt to social engineer.

Fixing many of our current problems will require a substantial overhaul of the Internal Revenue Code.  Many, if not most, of the current deductions should be eliminated.  If loopholes are eliminated, then rates could be lowered, and equitable income tax payments would be more easily achieved.  The rich would still pay a much higher percentage and many of the poor would pay nothing at all.  Isn’t that really what most people think should happen?

Reforming the tax code is one action that would provide far-reaching impact on the future economic health of the nation.  Isn’t it about time we get started?

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I’m Hoping for Change

Posted by olemike on 09/22/2011

I’m starting to believe that it is good that President Obama seems to want to continue growing our dependence on the government.  His economic policies continue to be unsuccessful and with the recent huge losses in stock market values, I and many others will need to live on the government dole very soon.

We need to vote this dolt out of office and elect someone who knows how to create jobs.  He certainly has no clue.

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Congress, Pass this Bill!

Posted by olemike on 09/19/2011

While I very seldom agree with anything President Obama wants to do, I do believe the “Jobs Bill” needs to be passed.  Perhaps small changes would be acceptable but most of the tax cuts should be favored by the GOP and much of the spending is for infrastructure and school expenses.  Per Mark Zandi, the Chief Economist for Moody’s Analytics, infrastructure spending has a multiplier effect of $1.44 for every dollar spent.  That seems like a pretty good result.  Our roads and schools definitely need work, we have thousands of unemployed construction workers,  and we need to do a better job of educating our youth.  Yes, it will need to be paid for and eliminating many of the tax loopholes used by the wealthy should do the job.  We could eliminate many loopholes, reduce rates, and still generate more revenue that we need.  Congressman Paul Ryan has such a plan.  Maybe he and Barack should talk.  If you agree with this proposal, write to congress and let them know of your support.

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“Winning the Crowd” with Real Leadership

Posted by olemike on 08/05/2011

The movie aficionados among you probably remember in the movie Gladiator where Proximo (Oliver Reed) told Maximus (Russell Crowe) that to win his freedom, he must “Win the Crowd”.   That is exactly what the Republican party must do over the next few months.  While I believe they have the better ideas about how to stimulate the economy and attack the nation’s debt problem, it will not be enough to be “right” or should I say correct in identifying good policies.  They must convince the public that they have good answers to current problems.  Thus, they must “Win the Crowd”.

The GOP has been lacking charismatic leaders who could lead that effort.  However, I believe one good example is Marco Rubio from Florida.  Watch this video and  you will see what I mean.  He is articulate, plain-spoken, and will appeal to independents who are looking for a good alternative to Barack Obama.  Unfortunately, I don’t think he will be a candidate in 2012, but he could be ready by 2016.  I hope so.  We need some new blood in the GOP.

We have big problems in this country.  We need good leaders who can get something done.  I think he might fit the bill.

What say you?

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments »

Who Wants to Pay More Taxes?

Posted by olemike on 07/11/2011

There is currently a huge debate regarding the merits of either raising taxes or cutting spending or both.  There is no doubt we need to cut spending.  Almost everyone agrees that at some point in the future, we will not be able to keep up with the debt interest payments unless corrective action is taken – preferably sooner than later.  I know that many of my liberal friends think that we need to raise taxes – specifically on the rich.  After all, who could mind having  “someone else”  pony up more cash? Lots of people think that the rich do not pay their fair share.  One question comes to mind – what is their fair share?

As you will see from the following data taken from the The Tax Foundation (a nonpartisan tax research group based in Washington, D.C.), the well-off do pay a pretty big chunk of change compared to most Americans.

Calendar Year 2008

As you can see, the top 5% income earners not only pay the most in total taxes but also pay the highest marginal rates.  Further, the top 25% basically carries the bottom 75% when it comes to income tax payments.  So, back to the original question, are the well-off paying their fair share?  I tend to think so.  I also think that if taxes are raised, they should be raised for most everyone.  My preference is to cut spending and leave taxes alone.


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Rise of National Debt

Posted by olemike on 06/24/2011

Talking about the national debt is all the rage right now.  I thought I would see who the big spenders really are.  Using data obtained from The Street, It would appear that George Bush had the biggest real number contribution (4.9 trillion) to the deficit but that President Obama has him beat by almost double (15.2% to 8.0%) when you look at the compound annual growth rate.  Their combined 8.3 trillion increase dwarfs the 5.4 trillion  by the previous seven presidents back to and including Lyndon Johnson.

Can we all now agree that both parties are responsible for the huge deficit, quit throwing stones, and get something done before the country ends up in the poor house.  If we don’t, we will all regret it soon.

Contact your congressman and/or your senator and let them know what you think. – Please!

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