Saturday, April 30, 2011

BloggeRhythms 5/30/2011

Just saw a blurb on Fox saying records released yesterday show Trump "dodged" the Vietnam War. Don't know if it's true or not, but in any case it looks like he set himself up for some hardball with Obama.

In the meantime, since there's no real news other than stormy weather, I'll add something I should have said yesterday about Trump's epithet filled tirade in Nevada, but then the entry would have been far too long.

First some background. I spent my formative years on New York's Upper East Side, Park Avenue and 93rd, then the heart of the city's premium real estate, and still is today. So, in a way I spent my youth the same way he did, as far as surroundings go, and the area where he's built many buildings he now formerly owned. However, regardless of where I resided, I still spent plenty of time all over Manhattan, attending school, sports in the park, hoops in the "Y", socializing, all the events of city life.

In later years, among other things I worked in shipping rooms and warehouses, spent time on the Jersey docks, drove trucks and encountered scads of real street people, including lot's of teamsters, stevedores and longshoreman.

In fact, if you read my books you'll find that the hero, Bobby Cole, is a bodyguard who works primarily in New York. He gets into all kinds of fights and scary scenes with all kinds of tough guys because it's part of his occupation. And a lot of what Bobby goes through protecting his clients is stuff I've gone through myself. That's how I know what goes on in those fights. Except for the guns -I made just about all of that up.

But, the point is I've met lot's of different kinds of really tough guys in my life. I've even gotten to know some pretty well. And there's one thing I've noticed that the best of them have in common in any kind of fights. As a matter of fact, I do it myself. They rarely raise their voices, they rarely scream and holler, they don't even make threats very often. They just step up, wipe the opponent out and quietly move on. It's generally the empty suits, weaselly wimps, sissified little sisters and paper bag punks who make all the threatening noise and then get their tail whipped, which is what I expect from Trump.

That's it for today folks,


Friday, April 29, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/29/2011

I hate to give Trump any more credence than I already have, by mentioning him in this blog, and I know I should know much better, but he really gets on my nerves in the same way that fingernails do on a blackboard.

I actually thought we'd be rid of him this week when the president "trumped" him by finally showing his long-form birth certificate. But now that that world-shaking event's passed, Trump's come up with more issues.

And, that's why I'm typing about him today. Because his list of ills affecting the country are not only yesterday's news, I've been writing about the same problems for the past two years. In fact, I believe I've made far better cases about the administration's failures than he has, and I'm just some non-political guy who likes to project his thoughts in a blog.

But the thing that got me going today was that apparently Trump was addressing an audience in Las Vegas last night, and among other stale items said that the Supreme Court should decide the dozens of lawsuits challenging the healthcare legislation and urged district courts not to waste their time on it. Well, somebody ought to tell him that that was tried this week, and the Supreme Court's already said "No," because at this stage the justices feel it's a matter that first has to be adjudicated by each of the states.

He also complained about the horrendous condition in education and demands something be done about it by spending more money on building schools. And perhaps he was educated in that system himself, because he knows very little about business if you look up his long list of failures, and also doesn't realize that there are plenty of schools now. However, the problem isn't the schools, it's the vacuous teachers, the watered down curriculum's the unions and especially...tenure!.

In conclusion, I think he has much more in common with the present administration than he thinks, because no matter what comes out of his mouth in speeches, his track record shows one overriding factor that's exactly the same as those now in office. They're all always a day late and a dollar short just like he is.

That's it for today folks.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/28/2011

Woke up at about 2AM this morning and didn't go right back to sleep. Flipped some channels instead, and came across a conference with Major General Richard Mills, regional commander for the Marine Corps in Afghanistan since 2010. He oversees 30,000 U.S. and coalition troops in Helmand Province. The segment was about his experience there. Since this show was all talk, I turned the sound up for once, then I looked him up on the web and here's what I found out.

He's from Huntington, New York, graduated from Franklin and Marshall College with a BA in political science and a minor in history, and was commissioned in 1975 as a Second Lieutenant via Officer Candidate School.

The reason I'm writing about him is, while most folks I hear about in the news put down the military as oafs and heathens, and huge numbers of youths today think folks in uniform are society's dregs, the more I learn about these dedicated warriors, the more I admire them.

While the forces in the Middle-East are tasked with military objectives, it's not until you learn all their responsibilities that you realize the enormity of their jobs. Because, aside from whatever fighting may be involved, which is extremely difficult and of great risk by itself, they must also become expert in the culture of their surroundings.

So, while General Mills was commanding his forces, trying to win a shooting war, at the same time he needed to consider those civilians whose lives were being disrupted by the events. Beyond that, he also had to take steps to see that the population's needs were either satisfied or eventual solutions were put on the right tracks. And as he mentioned often, those needs were usually basic yet critical in the long run, most often coming down to health, rehabilitation, education, employment and extremely importantly...women's rights which barely exist. He faciltated that by tasking numerous female miltary from his ranks for interfacing.

So, without rewriting the whole interview, I simply wanted to mention that I think it's shortsighted, foolish and frankly, immature and outright stupid to simply write our military off as mindless, robotic, thugs because that's 180 degrees polar from the truth.

To illustrate my point further, I suggest looking these folks up like I did. I think you'll find their resumes and achievements quite impressive. And, beyond that, I think you'll conclude that those looking out for our safety and welfare in uniform are in the best of hands, the top of our miltary command.

That's it for today folks.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/27/2011

It looks like the Trump campaign for the presidency took a huge hit today. The president finally released his official birth certificate, which clearly shows he was born in Hawaii in 1961. And since Trump's main issue has been that he believes the president isn't a citizen by birth, he's got little left to talk about.

In the meantime, I was thinking about what, if anything, Trump is actually qualified for as president, and the only thing I could come up with is his taking over the Eastern Airlines shuttle back in 1989. Because that experience might give him some kind of thread to tie to the Air Force, and even though it's quite a stretch, I can't conceive of anything else he's done that even comes close to presidential credentials.

But, while thinking about his running shuttle, some memories came back because for almost eight years I flew the NY/Boston round trip about forty or more weeks a year. By my rough estimate it was somewhere around 700 flights. And the thing that sticks in my mind the most about those flights was that the vast majority of passengers were business folks like me, and I don't think any of us cared about the planes we were on...we just wanted to get where we were going ASAP.

But, I guess Trump didn't ask his patrons about their greatest concerns, because the first thing he did was to upgrade the upholstery in the cabins and put gold faucets on the lavatory sinks. Now, as far as I was concerned, for the time I was on those planes I couldn't care less about what kind of leather I was sitting on, I just wanted to land. And, I know he didn't do any better than Eastern, US Air, Delta or anyone else to get me down when I was stuck in a holding pattern, circling for hours because LaGuardia was fogged in.

So, when you add it all up, he ran the shuttle for about three years as I recall and then, as usual, creditors and banks took it over again and that was that. But, maybe that venture taught him what he needs to know about running our Air Force, and I know our pilots will be much happier when they're bombing Libya in outfits made of gold lamet.

That's it for today folks.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/26/2011

You've got to hand it to politicians, because they really have their finger on the pulse. Nothing ever gets by them at all. That's why as the oil giants posted their huge first-quarter profits, John Boehner said it's time to scrutinize the benefits enjoyed by the country's biggest oil firms. "It's certainly something that we ought to be looking at," Boehner said. "They ought to be paying their fair share." I wonder exactly where this turkey's been for the last ten years?

In the meantime, according to ThinkPogress, "the nation's five biggest oil companies—BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Shell— are feeling no pain, despite the ongoing economic doldrums." Booming crude-oil prices and improved refining profits have set the stage for big oil's first-quarter earnings while year=end results could come close to rivaling the industry's record year in 2008.

First-quarter crude prices averaged about $100 a barrel, or about 20% higher than a year ago, pushed there by oil-supply concerns about political unrest in the Arab World and a recovering global economy. That spike is expected to lift earnings by about 50% at Exxon Mobil Corp., and about 33% each at Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips, compared with their prior year.

However, while this humongous rip-off of everyone who uses oil continues, Republicans, are still playing around with proposals that would overhaul Medicare and Medicaid, and Boehner himself continues to threaten to hold up a vote on raising the debt ceiling unless GOP demands for spending cuts are met.

He did say though, that with the price of gas topping $4 a gallon in many towns across the nation, oil companies are a popular target. But he disputed the notion that they get "extra benefits." However, he said they bear some of the "blame" for high costs and suggested the major firms might not need the help in the tax code they currently get.

So here's my question for today. Why would these giant corporations who are making money faster than they can count it getting any tax benefits at all? And how can anyone in office brush the situation off with meaningless comments? Do you think perhaps it might be the lobbies?

For quite some time now, I've been waiting for the Obama/Soros Brazilian oil loan guarantee scam to be exposed. I actually thought it was only them. But now I guess it's everyone in Congress who's got some reason to let us all leave more and more of our hard-earned dough at the pump. Wonder how much of their own cash they'll spend driving to unemployment.

That's it for today folks.


Monday, April 25, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/25/2011

At a family dinner yesterday, I got embroiled in a short argument about what else? Politics of course. And what came through most was how folks disagree so vehemently, but have so little real information. Yet, there's a programmed, knee-jerk, reaction from both sides, immediately tearing their "opposition" verbally to shreds.

Now, although I write about the political scene quite often, I do so because it's the subject that almost always heads the news, and above all that, so much of what goes on here, and all over the world, depends on those in office. Nonetheless, I really couldn't care less about politics itself, and certainly don't give an iota of a damn about anyone holding any elected office. To me, they're all the emptiest of empty suits.

But, having typed my opinion, my real life takes place in the business arena and therefore, what politicians do has significance in that way, so when push comes to shove I naturally tend to vote economics first and foremost. And frankly, that does give Republicans an edge. However, they've cluttered their platforms up with so much stuff over the years that isn't even any of their business, I have to hold my nose even when voting for them.

Nonetheless, I'm a firm believer in people being far smarter than folks inside the beltway give them credit. And when the public's fed up, though it takes some time to take effect, they take those that displease them to task. So, while all these phonies in office on both sides give lip service to the country's disastrous financial condition, there's a beating of drums throughout the population. And one of the indicators is, the most recent polls.

According to the Rasmussen Consumer Index, consumer confidence has fallen to the lowest level in seven months, just one point above the lowest level measured in the past two years. Only 21% believe the economy is getting better while 60% believe it is getting worse.

As far as Congress goes, only 9% think its doing a good or excellent job, while among unaffiliated voters, the figure's even lower at 6%.

Then there's the president himself, where overall, 46% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of his performance, but fifty-two percent do not.

All this leads me to believe, as I've mentioned quite a few times in the past, future elections aren't going to be as rigidly along party lines as they have in the past, and any politician who doesn't measure up is going to get booted out. And the reason's simple. People just can't afford them any more.

That's it for today folks.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/24/2011

Just got back from over-eating and realized I'd not yet done today's entry. Then, a quick glance at the news told me it really didn't matter much, because there's really not very much new.

However, I did see a quote from NYC Mayor, Michael Bloomeberg who praised Democrats and Republicans alike for offering plans aimed at reducing the deficit and stabilizing the debt. But he then went on to say that letting the Bush tax cuts for households earning more than $250,000 expire, was a mistake at this time. But if Washington ultimately agrees to raise rates, it should be accompanied by "meaningful cuts" in spending.

Now, this is the same argument that's been going back and forth for quite a long time now, and maybe it makes for good headlines. But, as I've been mentioning for just as long, the tax cuts really don't matter either way. Because most of those earning in top brackets are pretty astute folks to begin with, that's why they do so well financially. So all they need do is to study whatever revised tax codes are employed and then they'll quickly figure out how to minimize their exposure within them.

Thus, maybe tax cut revision will look good in the news and perhaps convince some part of the population that government's working for them. But, as a practical matter, its not really going to cost any high earners a dime.

That's it for today folks.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/23/2011

Someone sent me the following email, which is intended as one that you forward to contacts to circulate the message, and ask them to do the same thing. However, I thought this one was worth reproducing intact as a daily entry.

The email reads: "Thoughts Of A California Teacher off from the Los Angeles Unified School District. They are $650,000 over their annual budget and an English teacher helps to explain one area that looms large over California's educational crisis.

The teacher writes: I am in charge of the English-as-a-second-language department at a large southern California high school which is designated a Title 1 school, meaning that its students average lower socioeconomic and income levels. Most of the schools you are hearing about, South Gate High, Bell Gardens, Huntington Park, etc., where these students are protesting, are also Title 1 schools. Title 1 schools are on the free breakfast and free lunch program. When I say free breakfast, I'm not talking a glass of milk and roll -but a full breakfast and cereal bar with fruits and juices that would make a Marriott proud. The waste of this food is monumental, with trays and trays of it being dumped in the trash uneaten (OUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK) I estimate that well over 50% of these students are obese or at least moderately overweight. About 75% or more DO have cell phones. The school also provides day care centers for the unwed teenage pregnant girls (some as young as 13) so they can attend class without the inconvenience of having to arrange for babysitters or having family watch their kids.(OUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK)

I was ordered to spend $700,000 on my department or risk losing funding for the upcoming year even though there was little need for anything; my budget was already substantial. I ended up buying new computers for the computer learning center, half of which, one month later, have been carved with graffiti by the appreciative students who obviously feel humbled and grateful to have a free education in America. (OUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK)

I have had to intervene several times for young and substitute teachers whose classes consist of many illegal immigrant students here in the country less than 3 months who raised so much hell with the female teachers, calling them "Putas" (whores) and throwing things, that the teachers were in tears.

Free medical, free education, free food, day care, etc., etc., etc. Is it any wonder they feel entitled not only to be in this country but to demand rights, privileges and entitlements?

To those who want to point out how much these illegal immigrants contribute to our society because they LIKE their gardener and housekeeper and they like to pay less for tomatoes: spend some time in the real world of illegal immigration and see the TRUE costs. Higher insurance, medical facilities closing, higher medical costs, more crime, lower standards of education in our schools, overcrowding, new diseases, etc., etc., etc. For me, I'll pay more for tomatoes. Americans, We need to wake up. The guest worker program will be a disaster because we won't have the guts to enforce it. Does anyone in their right mind really think they will voluntarily leave and return? It does, however, have everything to do with culture: A third-world culture that does not value education, that accepts children getting pregnant and dropping out of school by 15 and that refuses to assimilate, and an American culture that has become so weak and worried about "political correctness " that we don't have the will to do anything about it.

The teachers email goes on to say: If this makes your blood boil, as it did mine, forward this to everyone you know including your Congressmen and Senators.

CHEAP LABOR? Isn't that what the whole immigration issue is about? Business doesn't want to pay a decent wage. Consumers don't want expensive produce. Government will tell you Americans don't want the jobs.

But the bottom line is cheap labor. The phrase "cheap labor" is a myth, a farce, and a lie. There is no such thing as "cheap labor." Take, for example, an illegal alien with a wife and five children. He takes a job for $5.00 or 6.00/hour. At that wage, with six dependents, he pays no income tax, yet at the end of the year, if he files an Income Tax Return, he gets an "earned income credit" of up to $3,200 free. He qualifies for Section 8 housing and subsidized rent.
He qualifies for food stamps.
He qualifies for free (no deductible, no co-pay) health care. His children get free breakfasts and lunches at school. He requires bilingual teachers and books.
He qualifies for relief from high energy bills.
If they are or become, aged, blind or disabled, they qualify for SSI. Once qualified for SSI they can qualify for Medicare...all of this is at (our) taxpayer's expense.
He doesn't worry about car insurance, life insurance, or homeowners insurance.
Taxpayers provide Spanish language signs, bulletins and printed material.
He and his family receive the equivalent of $20.00 to $30.00/hour in benefits. Working Americans are lucky to have $5.00 or $6.00/hour left after paying their bills AND his.
The American taxpayers also pay for increased crime, graffiti and trash clean-up. Cheap labor? YEAH RIGHT!


Since the preceding entry speaks for itself: That's it for today folks.


Friday, April 22, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/22/2011

According to Washington Whispers, which is featured in U.S. News & World Report, the president declared today's 41st annual Earth Day proof of America's ecological and conservation spirit.

Then he completed a three-day campaign-style trip which logged 10,666 miles on Air Force One, burned up about 53,300 gallons of fuel at a cost of about $180,000, which doesn't even include the fuel consumed by his helicopter, limo, or the 29 other vehicles that travel with that car.

Now, I really don't care how much presidential travel costs, after all the guy's the "leader" of the free world so he has places to go, people to see and so on. But, at the same time, I don't want to be hustled into believing that because I don't want to drive some foreign tin can that gets 200 miles to the gallon, but can't survive a crash with a bike, I'm some kind of subversive.

Furthermore, if we all actually do go out and buy some environmentally friendly pieces of junk that use almost no gas because they have almost no engines, what will happen to the president's pal Soros? Because after all they've done to practically guarantee that Soros' investments in oil rich Brazil pan out, what would happen to both of them financially in the future if nobody needed much gas?

That's it for today folks.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/21/2011

I asked my wife, as I usually do, what she thought of recent entries and, as expected, she told me the truth. She said they were okay writing-wise, but as far as the subjects go, they were also quite boring.

And, her response made me realize that she'd hit upon something that's a major part of our current fiscal problems. Because although the financial future of the country is in real jeopardy due to being so grossly mis-managed, the subject isn't one that most of the public understands or cares to learn. And that's how politicos usually get away with wholesale ineptitude, or perhaps, actual harmful planning. Because, if very few are watching them, they can do whatever they want.

Except, this time around it may not be so easy, because we're not in a situation right now where one party or the other might have done a better job, yet the country still took matters in the moment we're all in very serious trouble.

So, with unemployment still remaining high, debt being piled upon debt beyond anything seen before, the dollar weakening against all foreign currencies, small businesses still unable to borrow, and gasoline soon to surpass its highest historical prices I'd have to think that this is the worst job done by any administration ever, including Jimmy Carter.

And I think it's really a shame that what I've just typed is as boring as boring gets, but if folks don't start reading about the horrendous condition their country's in and try to do something about it, they may find more exciting things to do, but won't be able to do them at all, unless they cost less than a quarter. Because that's just about all they'll have left.

That's it for today folks.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/20/2011

According to the Associated Press, Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey, today called for public school teachers to be evaluated based equally on their classroom performance and student achievement.

He's been preaching anti-unionism for a while now and referred to the New Jersey Education Association as a bunch of "bullies and thugs" who pressured the Democrat-controlled Legislature to resist reform, and said of them, "I don't know how they sleep at night."

Naturally, a teachers union spokesman called the governor's evaluation plan an "educational disaster."

So, this is another situation where a group of people immediately rebels at the suggestion that their individual accomplishment be measured. And much like the revolt in Wisconsin, they want to use their combined strength to overcome any threat to their livelihood and tenure, whether they're worthy of either or not.

But, their attitude isn't really all that odd, because I think most folks would like to have their jobs protected regardless of whether they were competent or not. And I'm sure they'd like to have the security of knowing they can't be fired just about regardless of results. However, for most folks who work for a living that's not how the game is played. Because in almost any other endeavor, you've got to produce or you're out.

Then again, if push comes to shove, and failures at teaching are actually ousted, it's not really over for them. Because they can always run for office, or get some other kind of job in government, where incompetency seems to be a trait that's not only welcome, I think it's actually required.

That's it for today folks.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/19/2011

I don't know if it's just me that has trouble figuring out all the verbiage coming out of the administration about the debt ceiling, and perhaps I need some help in understanding what they're saying, because it's all very confusing to me.

Just yesterday I wrote that when it comes to commercial loans, the first thing any lender wants to know is exactly how the borrower is going to pay them back. Because, if the lender can't collect for any reason, they've got a bad deal on their hands. And, if there are too many non-paying borrowers on the books, the next thing you know, the lender's out of business. A very simple way to confirm that premise is to simply look back at what happened recently to world-wide banks. Scads of them went broke due to bad or uncollected debts.

Now, when it comes to the debt ceiling, the U.S. has clearly demonstrated that it can't maintain it's budget on what it collects in the normal course, so it supplements the shortfall with borrowed funds. At the moment that amounts to more than $14 trillion bucks. However, with all the money the government spends, seemingly without rhyme or reason, they have to come back to the trough again and again or else, they say, the nation will financially go belly up.

So, how does the administration believe it can solve its current financial dilemma? By borrowing more of course. And this is what they said according to Fox News: "the White House has warned that failing to increase the (debt) limit in the coming months could be ruinous for federal finances and the economy as a whole, because the nation's creditors may lose confidence in the United States' ability to pay its debts."

Now this where I get confused. Because if I understand the White House's message, they fear creditors might become concerned if the nation can't borrow any more money, thus risking a default on loans, because access to more borrowed funds will be cut off. So, that says to me that a government that can't afford its obligations right now, forcing it to borrow, can't pay back what it owes without more loans. And that's an incredible financial catch-22 which will keep growing until the real issue is faced. The debt limit isn't a problem at all, what needs to be stopped is the thoughtless spending.

That's it for today folks.


Monday, April 18, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/18/2011

Maybe it's karma, or coincidence, or simply plain old common sense. But just yesterday this blog was about the incredibly bad job government was doing by its gross mishandling of taxpayer's money. And then today, Standard & Poor's Ratings Service, no less, warned that politics may be getting in the way of a budget compromise. In an announcement that started sending traded stocks down the chute, S & P said it was lowering the outlook for U.S. sovereign debt to "Negative" from "Stable" due to the growing deficit.

It reaffirmed the investment-grade credit ratings on the United States' long and short-term debt, saying the U.S. has a high-income, diversified and flexible economy that has helped it to encourage growth while containing inflation. But also said the country's ballooning deficit could offset those positives over the next two years, noting that the deficit grew to 11 percent of gross domestic income in 2009, much higher than the average of 2 percent to 5 percent in the previous six years.

Mary Miller, assistant secretary for financial markets at the Treasury Department, issued a written statement saying "Both political parties now agree that it is time to begin bringing down deficits as a share of GDP. We believe S&P's negative outlook underestimates the ability of America's leaders to come together to address the difficult fiscal challenges facing the nation."

So, maybe the folks inside the Beltway are finally being awakened as to the miserable money-management job they're doing, and that knowledgeable institutions are watching them closely. Because, as I wrote here yesterday, at present no prudent lender on the planet would willingly lend this government a dime.

That's it for today folks.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/17/2011

For most of my business life, I've been involved in equipment financing and leasing. And throughout that time, if I've learned nothing else, when working with any borrower of any kind, needing funds for any reason, when all is said and done, the question that matters most are you going to pay us back?

There's nothing invasive or intrusive about the question, and it certainly isn't asked simply to fill in a spot on a form, because as any lender can tell you, if borrowers don't pay them back, the lender's themselves will soon be gone. In fact, you don't have to know a thing about finance at all to realize that non-repayment of debt has recently caused a worldwide disaster that won't be resolved for years to come.

So, now our country is in debt up to its eyeballs, and has no visible means to pay it back, yet the government's insisting that more be borrowed. In terms of fundamental financial prudence the premise is insane. Even the banks, who've never been very good at lending at all -that's why outside financial providers exist- now understand that you can't keep shoveling money down a bottomless well and hope somebody pays you back.

A large part of the problem is that the whole arena of lending and borrowing funds isn't a familiar subject for the general public. That's because, except for mortgages which individuals don't need too often, vehicle financing and credit cards, there's very little need to learn the subject, and consumer financing's become so cut and dried it almost takes care of itself.

So, when the government goes out to borrow a few trillion dollars (that's with a T) very few who aren't finance or news junkies likely even notice what's going on. But, as a practical matter, if the majority of the public really understood the risk involved in the government's borrowing funds they have no current way to pay back, my guess is they'd object. What's worse is, if they really looked at what it was going to be spent on, they'd likely revolt.

That's it for today folks.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/16/2011

Listening to the same old noise about taxes and how the "rich" should be forced to pay more, since I had no clue as to who pays what I looked it up.

According to wiki answers,, at present the upper 50% of wage earners pay 97% of all tax collections, while the lower ones only 3%. The top 1% of earners equal 37% of taxes paid, the next bracket 2-5% pays another 20%, meaning about 57% comes from the top 5%. Furthermore, since this is Personal Income Tax only, many of the more wealthy have much of their income taxed via returns from corporations they control or own.

What's more, the percentage of people whose income is below the amount where they have to file returns, due to deductions/exemptions and things like Earned Income tax credits, the number of those actually getting more back than they might pay, is huge...about 40% of the populace. And of course, lower earners pay at much reduced rates anyway.

In summary, The top 1% of earners pay 21.20% of all taxes paid at an average rate of 24%, the top 2-5% of earners pay 14.55% of all taxes at an average of 18%. The top 5%pay 36% of all tax, while the bottom 50% pay 3% of all tax collected at an average rate of 2.98%.

So, what it amounts to is a continual demonizing of those who already carry most of the tax burden on their shoulders, and a constant attempt to take more from them to be wasted by misguided parasites who throw billions away as if it were water.

And part of the problem now, is something that's been brewing for years. The political ranks are overflowing with zealots of one kind or another with no knowledge, experience or respect for the real world. Most have never earned a cent from practical labor, and wouldn't know where to begin. Their basic "expertise" lies in taking other's hard funds for distribution on hare-brained causes, and trying to make those who dissent appear to be self-serving thieves.

But, what's really funny about this issue is that the so-called rich actually go along with the game and already pay a considerable amount in taxes today, primarily due to a sense of responsibility to their government regardless how their money is wasted and thrown away. Yet, these top earners are the brightest, most gifted and clever folks on the globe.

So, what the government really ought to do is try to patronize and cajole these top producers instead of ticking them off. Because they're far smarter than anyone in elected office and if they keep getting squeezed by politicos, it won't be long before they'll simply devise ways to pay no taxes at all and thereby hang the parasites out to dry.

That's it for today folks.


Friday, April 15, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/15/2011

The House voted today 235-193, approving a health care plan by Paul Ryan, Republican from Wisconsin who's chairman of the House Budget committee. Under it, Medicare payments would no longer be paid by government for medical bills, but would let people under age 55 choose among private insurance plans that the government would then supplement. Those 55 and over would remain in the current system, but younger workers would receive subsidies that would steadily lose value over time. Ryan says those who can pay more will have to do so while lower income Americans will still be covered.

Now, whether this plan ultimately ever becomes law, what I thought most interesting was the opposition's immediately ballistic reaction, screaming about how the legislation would kill seniors in droves and leave ill elders out in the cold with nowhere to turn for help.

John Boehner, the House speaker then jumped in and said, "The changes being proposed would not affect one senior citizen in America, not one, because Paul's made it clear than anyone 55 and over would not see changes."

So, in summary, it likely doesn't matter at all what the proposed legislation really says when it comes to introducing change, because the other side doesn't actually care at all, it only wants to scream "no." And that means that something I've suggested before really ought to be tried.

Lawmakers should write bills containing everything their opposition loves and introduce that legislation early in the game. Then when their opponents takes the absolute opposite side, because they'll certainly never agree to something suggested by their foes, those who introduced the bill will get exactly what they want.

That's it for today folks.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/14/2011

While the weekly report released today showed unemployment's up, and oil prices too, are likely to keep rising despite a couple of slips here and there, the president's new budget proposal includes up to $8 billion in clean energy subsidies next year.

According to Reuters, there's $3.2 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, $300 million in credit subsidies to promote those projects, and another $550 million dollars to support "game-changing clean energy technologies."

Now, out of a projected $3.7 trillion to be spent, $8 billion isn't very much, but I think it's the thought that counts. Because at the moment a significant part of the population spends serious time trying to decide whether to buy gasoline, or pay rent, perhaps even food while the government tosses their money away subsidizing projects it can't afford even when times are good.

So, maybe the funds ought not be spent right now, and maybe we ought to start using those bucks to drill for oil of own. Because for every dollar we send over to the sheiks in the Middle-East, somebody here can't afford lunch.

That's it for today folks.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/13/2011

I never saw the show or movie, Dumb & Dumber, at least I think that's the name, but just going by the title alone I think Nancy Pelosi could play both parts simultaneously. I've written about her before, for instance when she said she'd never read the new health care law, but was certain everyone would love it. And, that was one of her more bright spots (no pun intended.)

But remarks she made today are right up there on the chart as far as intellectual vapidity goes. Because according to the AP, after a few months back in the minority, she said elections "shouldn't matter as much as they do."

Speaking to a crowd in Massachusetts, about the importance of shared values, she seemed to urge Republicans to moderate their views so that the space between the parties wasn't so vast. Because then, she imagined, elections wouldn't be so determinative.

She reportedly said, "To my Republican friends, take back your party, so that it doesn't matter so much who wins the election because we have shared values about, again, the education of our children, the growth of our economy, how we defend our country."

Now, if I understand her correctly, what she's suggesting is forgetting about political differences in elections, because in the very important thing's that need to be done to fix education, the economy, national defense and so on, party doesn't matter.

That means its perfectly alright to continue supporting an educational system and teachers unions that are abject failures, because that's what her party wants and believes. It's also fine to keep increasing the budget deficit because no matter how they try to camouflage their intent, the results prove the point. And as far as national defense goes, her party's determined to keep the borders porous regardless of risk and cost.

On the other hand, as near as I can determine the other party is diametrically opposed to everything her party does.

So what am I missing here? Because I can't see any agreement at all. I guess I'll just have to keep re-reading her comments until I'm capable of grasping the meaning, and then maybe this coming season I'll root for both the Jets and their opponents, because they both play the same why should I care who wins?

That's it for today folks.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/12/2011

While the budget battle was still getting much of the attention of the press, the barrel price of oil was quietly climbing through the roof. Then yesterday and this morning, a slight decline began. But I think the most important point to consider is why prices began to lower.

It seems that the way folks ordinarily deal with rising prices of gas is to cut back on other things until the crisis subsides, but still use their cars pretty much as they normally would. That means, depending on their budget, they may eat out less, or stop going to the movies, or pursuing other things they can no longer afford whatever they may be. But this time around, polls show it's not happening that way. Right now, people are driving less, avoiding their autos as much as they can and spending far less time than they usually do at the wheel.

That means that although the crisis in Libya may be greatly incenting speculators, and causing barrel prices to rise, the increase is being offset by lower demand.

But, while all the international oil drama and uncertainty goes on, politicians here are focusing on budgets, debt ceilings and governmental spending, seemingly ignoring a subject that's of huge concern to all those who don't want to spend a hundred dollars every time they fill up their cars. Especially when they live in a nation that has just about as much drillable oil as the Middle-East, but can't utilize it because of ridiculous environmental laws.

So, I guess the message is, the folks in government better wake up and smell the fumes, because if they keep letting sheiks and sheiklets add more and more rooms to their tents at our public's expense, a major saving's going to be their salaries when they no longer have jobs.

That's it for today folks.


Monday, April 11, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/11/2011

Though I was completely surprised that Charl Schwartzel of South Africa won the Masters, as were most others unfamiliar with him, the contest coming down to the wire is what this event is usually about. On the other hand, as I wrote here yesterday, Rory McIlroy's collapse was certainly not unexpected by me.

Yet, one of the the things that stood out about McIlroy's self-destruction was the way it was treated by many commentators and reporters. Because there was a common theme among them about how tragic, heart-breaking, and sorrowful his game's disintegration was to them. And that sounds to me like another example of how touchy-feely compassion is pushed in sports today from Little League's and junior sports of all types and then all the way up from there. Winning has somehow become taboo, because it hurts and embarrasses losers.

In the meantime though, professional golf is as pure as real competition gets, because there's only one winner, playing alone, and everyone else fails. And that's how its supposed to be. Though there may be all kinds of reasons as to why any, or all, others didn't win, the fact of the matter is...they're all losers, and that's what the game's all about.

What I also though to be interesting is that one of the first sought out for comment about McIlroy's self-destruction was Greg Norman, who at Augusta and the Master's among many other important golf events, was the biggest choker under pressure that there ever was. So, I guess if you want to highlight losers, you might as well seek out the champ.

That's it for today folks.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/10/2011

Most of the big names have fallen by the wayside in Augusta, but Tiger's still close enough to win. And as far as the leader, Rory McIlroy, goes, to date he's folded every other time he's run up a lead. So, as usual, we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

In the meantime, I've been avoiding Trump's hype and smoke about his supposed presidential candidacy, because I think it's a joke. But perhaps his creditors have forced him to get his name in the news to increase the probability of ever getting paid back. But, no matter, because if he ever got seriously close, all his opponents have to do is highlight his performance record which clearly demonstrates how big a loser he really is.

But then it dawned on me that perhaps he might be the most experienced person for the current job in the White House. Because if anyone on earth knows how to survive when everything one touches goes bankrupt, its certainly him.

Yet, as I think it through, I'm not so sure he really could be of help after all. Because if by some miracle the country became financially sound again he wouldn't have a clue about what to do. Because being successful economically just isn't his forte.

That's it for today folks.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/9/2011

For many folks, yesterday was unnerving, for others it was exciting. But, no matter which side of the coin they were on, the day proved to keep them on edge to the end. Because many expected a complete shutdown, while others thought that there would be a last minute surge to keep things moving in the right direction.

And that's exactly what happened.

Because with his back to the wall and to keep his hopes of a title alive, Tiger shot five under par over the last eight holes at Augusta to finish the round tied for third in the Masters. So, whether you're a Tiger fan or not, he'll be around for the weekend and likely in contention all the way. And for golf fans, maybe it will come down to Tiger, Phil and Freddy late Sunday afternoon. And what that means is...I'll probably wind up in intensive care from the tension.

As far as the other thing goes, the budget soap opera played out to the end. And as anyone with half a brain knows, the government was never in danger of closing, the whole shebang was an act likely agreed to by both sides some time ago.

When you look at what was finally accepted, it was $38 billion in cuts to the budget which sounds like a lot to you and me. But for a country that's close to 15 TRILLION in debt already as I type, the cuts aren't even chump change.

However, the most astounding thing to me, because I never heard the number before, is how many Federal employees there are. Had 800,000 been furloughed due to funding loss, there still would have been 1.5 million of them employed by exemption. So, my question is: What on Earth do all these people do? While I realize that it takes two, three four or more government employees to do the work of one in the real world, that's still a lot of bodies occupied. And, what's worse, we're all paying their freight.

So, I guess the only thing we can hope for is that next election there'll be enough votes to shut them down completely by booting every last one of them out.

That's it for today folks.


Friday, April 8, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/8/2011

I wanted to wait as long as possible before typing today's entry, because I was sure my subject would be that the fact that the government "shutdown" was miraculously averted. But that hasn't happened yet because they seem to be prolonging the charade right down to the wire, and I have something much more important to do than worry about a meaningless political ploy. The Masters telecast from Augusta begins to air right about now. Freddy had a great morning round and is at 5 under, pretty good for a senior golfer.

The inside word on the budget though, is that, supposedly, both sides are "very close" to agreement, but some sticking points remain. And apparently the major stumbling block is funding for Planned Parenthood. So that means these so-called leaders are willing to cease government operations over an issue that's none of their business to begin with, and will disrupt people's lives in order to make a point that isn't even political, its as personal as you can get.

In the meantime, if the government really does shut down, there are so many protected functions and services exempt from ceasing operations that there's practically nothing of importance affected, unless perhaps you're visiting a national park. But, there is one thing that's really disturbing. Military payrolls are suspended.

So that means that folks will get paid who don't deserve a dime to begin with because they're permanently worthless, such as Congress and the Administration, yet those who are invaluable because they protect us all with their lives face interruption of income. Now, I don't know about you, but I think there's something seriously wrong with priorities in this situation and they seem upside down to me.

As for now, I'm going to stop discussing politicos, switch on the set, and watch the guys tee it up in Augusta. And I know one thing for sure, this afternoon I'm going to be viewing guys who weren't elected to their positions. These are pros' who above all, really do know what they're doing.

That's it for today folks.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/7/2011

While the farce of the pending government shutdown continues, I had a sudden flash of understanding. And the thing that surprised me the most was, that I hadn't thought of it before.

Because what's really at issue here are a significant number of people who actually do nothing at all, but must survive nonetheless. So some call themselves party "A" and others call themselves Party "B," but whichever faction they're in, they receive their livelihood and more from the tax-paying public. Therefore, they've at least got to appear as if they care about issues concerning their constituents.

Consequently, when something occurs like the so-called "budget battle," it really has to go down to the wire to have its greatest effect in terms of making it seem like these parasites are really at odds. Yet, when push comes to shove the vast majority of them have only one desire -remaining in office.

So, since that's the case, neither side can simply acquiesce and say "okay," amid apparent disagreements because then their worthlessness would be glaring. Thus they've got to go through the charade. And we the public are expected to buy the story that these leeches really care about us. And that's why it's critical that next time around every one in office must be voted out, regardless of party, until we finally elect some folks worthy of our hard-earned dollars.

That's it for today folks.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/6/2011

The more the ball gets bounced back and forth in the government shutdown game, the more ridiculous the players look. And, the more information that comes out about who'll be affected should it actually occur, the more you realize that a shutdown hardly matters at all. With all the special exceptions and emergency procedures nothing will really stop at all, unless perhaps you should need a passport in the middle of the night.

As for me, I dearly hope the shutdown happens. And although we'll never find out who's really responsible for government not doing its job properly to begin with, at least there might be some public backlash for once, putting both parties on notice. But I guess that's too much to pray for, because the probability is the event won't take place. And even if it does, they'll fix it fast and smooth it over, then back to non-business as usual again.

But whatever the case, since this situation focuses on the budget itself, I have a suggestion for everyone. Though I'm not even attempting to highlight any items on the list of what taxpayer's actually fund, because that would require hundreds of pages...I think each of us should look up that information themselves. And what will be discovered is an incredible bottomless pit where dollars are thrown without any apparent thought. The redundancies of programs alone likely runs into billions.

And when we're all informed, perhaps the magnitude of financial mismanagement in government will start to become understood by the public. Because this country didn't sink itself monetarily, it had a huge amount of help. And I know I take great consideration when it comes to what I earn and spend, and if I want to throw my money away, at the very least, I want to do it myself.

That's it for today folks.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/5/2011

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, Republican from Wisconsin, presented a budget plan that would overhaul Medicare and Medicaid as well as impose caps on government spending. He says steps have to be taken now to prevent financial collapse in the future. His plan contains about $6 trillion in cuts over the next ten years.

Now, whether there will be any kind of spending bill passed or whatever happens regarding changes in legislation, I doubt it really means anything because those on both sides of the budget battle are politicians. That means there's little chance that anything said or proposed by either side is true. The only reason I brought it up at all is because the Democrat response and renouncing of Ryan's ideas was issued by Nancy Pelosi.

When I saw her name, I did a double take because I'd forgotten all about her. In fact, it took me a moment or two to realize that she hadn't left the House altogether, only lost the Speaker's position.

And that made me feel good. Because that reassures me that no matter how bad things seem to be while they're happening, there's always hope for the future. And even when a nagging pain haunts you every day for what seems to be eons, as was the case when Pelosi ran Congress, there's light at the end of the tunnel. And better than that, as soon as I finish typing this entry, I can forget all about her again, this time hopefully forever.

That's it for today folks.


Monday, April 4, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/4/2011

Over the weekend, some political commentator or other was talking about the president's actions in Libya because it was so un-Obamalike to willingly get involved militarily, except for Afghanistan where he's stuck. I don't recall who it was that I heard, but it really doesn't matter because plenty of broadcasters feel that way. But then I did an on-line search for information and the whole thing made sense.

It seems that George Soros' name surfaced again as the primary funder and key proponent of a global organization "Responsibility to Protect," that promotes the military doctrine used by the Obama administration to justify the recent air strikes targeting the regime of Moammar Gadhafi in Libya.

The Soros-funded global group that promotes Responsibility to Protect is closely tied to Samantha Power, the National Security Council special adviser to Obama on human rights. She's a champion of the doctrine, is deeply tied to the doctrine's founder and is reported to have been instrumental in convincing Obama to act against Libya. The group is said to promote global governance while allowing the international community to penetrate a nation state's borders under certain conditions.

Putting all this together, it looks like Soros sees an opportunity to knock out a Middle-Eastern supplier, reducing the amount of available oil world-wide. And, I guess, if that happens the worth of his Brazilian supply goes up. So, once again he's told the guy he owns in the White House to step and take action because a deal's a deal. And Soros knows what he paid for when he bought the last election, so now he wants the results.

That's it for today folks.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/3/2011

Busy day today. Lots of chores. Nonetheless, I'll still have some time to watch the Houston Open. Scott Verplank who's been around a long time, is battling with Phil Mickelson half-way through the final round at the top, but plenty of other greats are still in contention. Should be a spectacular finish.

And, as far as the continuing budget "battle" goes in Congress, the whole things now just a joke. At this point the Republicans could easily work out a satisfactory solution, but they're much more worried about their image than they are in doing what's good for the public. So, once again, politics are what counts and good government doesn't matter a whit.

That's why the drumbeats getting louder every day, and huge numbers of incumbents on both sides of the aisle are going to get voted out. As for me, I wish November was tomorrow because we've still got some of our country left.

That's it for today folks.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/2/2011

From what I can gather, if the government actually shuts down this week the vast majority of the population will be unaffected. The military, policing, border patrol and similar essential services remain in effect, and in fact, Congress and the administration don't cease operating either. So all the noise about the terrible loss to the public, is exactly that...noise.

I myself wasn't sure of how a shutdown works, so I looked it up. And I was disappointed. Because I thought for sure that Congress would be locked out for the duration. That was important because I believed it would prove that no one would miss them at all, and the country would keep moving along without a hitch, likely even smoother.

So, if a shutdown doesn't work I guess we'll all have to find another way to get them out of the picture, because keeping them around is quickly destroying the nation.

That's it for today folks


Friday, April 1, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/1/2011

The news was good for unemployment this morning with the rate at 8.8% and 216,000 jobs added in March, according to the Associated Press. Gallup says their data shows 10% for jobless and underemployment 19.3. Whichever is accurate, the trend still seems to be turning positive.

Nonetheless, I think there's much more to this than simply one or two statistics when it comes to whether or not the economy's actually improving that much. Because a major factor in the lower unemployment rate is all those who've stopped looking for work during the downturn. They're not counted as unemployed now, but will if they start looking for work again. Thus, the unemployment rate could go up even if the economy is adding jobs.

Then there are the local governments with budget shortfalls. They cut 15,000 workers last month and are expected to shed more. Beyond that, home prices are falling, sales are weak and foreclosures are reaching a record. Consequently, construction spending dropped to a 12-year low in February. Food and gas prices are higher which leaves consumers less disposable income to spend on other things.

Additionally, workers paychecks were flat in March, hourly earnings holding steady at $22.87, unchanged from February. And over the past 12 months, wages have lagged behind inflation because workers have little bargaining power in demanding big pay raises because the job market is still healing slowly.

So, when you add it all up, the government's going to promote the good news, avoid the hard questions and will likely go on doing business as usual frittering tax dollars away because pressure might be lessening somewhat. And when speaking to the public, they'll move the mirrors into different corners, dim the lights and tell their spokesman to "turn on the blue light, Cecil. The man wants a blue suit."

That's it for today folks.