Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Herman Cain's 9-9-9 Plan Explained

It's no secret that I am a big supporter of Herman Cain.  If someone were to ask who I was endorsing, I would say Mr. Cain and there are a number of reasons for that.  I think he is the most qualified candidate in the room to fix the economy, get us out of debt and lead us in the right direction.  Fellow blogger Ted Belman over at Israpundit lays out Cain's impressive resume of accomplishments.  To put it simply, he has the educational pedigree of Obama (a Masters in Comp. Sci), better business experience than Romney, the family background of Santorum, the TEA Party fire of Bachmann and dare I say it the gall to say what he means that Ron Paul has!  What he DOESN'T have, are the chains of a lifetime of politics dragging him down.  He doesn't have the baggage of  being a politician.  He's been a citizen, a problem solver, a military man and yes, he's been a rocket scientist!  So while it doesn't take a rocket scientist to solve our problems, I'd feel better having someone who is one working on the solutions!

With that said, Cain's often attacked over his controversial 9-9-9 plan by people who either don't understand it or are misrepresenting it for political gain.  While I don't have the credentials to pretend I know everything, this plan is one that I feel comfortable speaking about because it's just that simple.  For many years now, our government has increasingly tried to make things more complicated than they are in an effort to get us to turn away and "leave it to them to deal with".  The fact is that it's really NOT that complicated.  The economy of the nation is no different than the economy at home.  They've over time convinced us that deficit spending is OK, that we don't need to even have a budget and that our nations credit would never be questioned.  Well that wall of straw came crashing down when America lost her AAA rating with S&P.  While the politicians will demonize S&P for their downgrade, the real fault lies with those politicians who have run up $18 Trillion in debt, treated our Constitution like a wet rag and played fast and loose with the rules.  Cain's plan is not a political plan, but a practical business solution to the problem.  He started by identifying the problem, which we will do below.

In our homes, if the bills come up off and we owe more than we take in, maybe we get away with that for a month or two but eventually the bills come due.  It's no different for government, no matter what they say, the rules of physics, mathematics and accounting are the same.  At home, when you see debt you look for ways to pay it off, either you cut down on spending to even it out or you have to find a way to make more money, either with a second job, a raise or some other increase in "revenue".  For government, "revenue" (what we call "income" at home) is taxes and fees that citizens are charged to ensure that the bills are met.  Government has to take in enough to provide a benefit to the people and cover the cost of the projects.  What's happened over time is that as government has convinced us that deficit spending (a.k.a. running up credit card debt) is OK, we've added another cost to the list, interest.  So now, government has to spend enough to provide a benefit, cover costs AND pay interest on the debt.  Their answer?  Borrow more money.  It's like at home, instead of cutting back on spending or picking up that part time job, you went out and got another credit card with a higher limit.  When it gets really bad, they authorize the Fed to print more money (which we would go to prison for) which really is just borrowing from one hand to pay another, a little like using your rent payment to pay your electric bill.  The rent will still come due, you've just kicked the can down the road except when you print MORE money, you decrease the value of it and so you need more of it to pay your bills.  Fast forward a little and what you have is the equivalent of the government maxing out credit cards at all of the nations banks, the major international banks, local credit unions and now looking for even MORE.  If it sounds insane, it is.  This is what the government has done behind our backs and NOW, when their scheme is finally exposed, they look at the banks (credit card lenders) and say "Why did you give us all this MONEY!?" or they look at big business (which eventually becomes small businesses) and say "HEY!  You're stealing from us because you have money and we need money!"(like demanding a raise from your boss because you're overspending at home).  One day they will look at all of us as taxpayers and demand a raise.  So we know the problem, spending, debt and an inability to make the tough choice due to moral and ethical bankruptcy.  Why is 9-9-9 such a great solution?

The genius is in the simplicity.  The current tax code is more than 60,000 pages of loopholes, legalese and special interest giveaways that confuse, confound and distract from the fact that there are a dozen major federal taxes not to mention the fees charged to people and businesses as a result of our regulatory climate. Cain's plan doesn't tinker around the edges of the code, delete a few loopholes or monkey around with the language.  It throws the old system out (and good riddance!) and replaces it with 3 simple taxes for us to follow.  No more chasing the other hand and looking for the many hands.  It's divided up into 3 parts, a corporate tax of 9% which lowers our current corporate tax from the highest in the world at 35% down to one of the lowest in the world and which will stimulate growth (more on this tax later); an income tax of 9% (currently those making between $0 and $8,500 are taxed at 10% so EVEN those Americans get a tax cut); and finally a 9% national sales tax (this seems to give people the most heartburn but as I'll explain, this is actually far closer to the principles of America's founding than the income tax is).  That's it folks, all other taxes go away, no Capital Gains taxes, dividend taxes, death taxes, payroll taxes, medicare taxes, social security taxes, zip,zilch NADA.  It's GONE!  And we are left with just 3 taxes to keep an eye on.  So let's look at those taxes and how they compare to the current system.

9% Corporate Tax
As I mentioned above, America's corporate tax rate is 35% which makes it the highest in the world.  This is a tax put on businesses of a certain size that basically allows them to do business in America.  It's also the main factor behind these corporations "shipping jobs overseas" (well this and regulations like Obamacare...but I digress) and putting Americans out of work.  So next time Barack Obama starts yapping about the evil corporations, ask him why the country taxes them so high as compared to the rest of the world and what he would do if he were running that business.  Another thing we know about corporate taxes is that they are "regressive" and passed along to consumers in the price of goods and services.  This is a word you'll hear Ron Paul supporters and the left use a lot to frighten the poor (we'll cover regressive taxes later when we talk about the national sales tax).  So we know that 35% corporate tax gets pushed through on the price of everything you buy, which means there is an automatic 35% markup in pretty much everything you buy.  Cain's plan slashes that tax rate from 35% down to 9% which will make it one of the worlds lowest rates and encourage businesses to return to America and employ American workers.  That will strengthen the economy, widen the tax base, put more people back to work and generally create MORE revenue and more prosperity.  It will also lower the cost of goods, no longer will there be a 35% markup on every product, it will be reduced to 9% which will make everything you buy cheaper and lower the threshold for poverty.  These are improvements we can all get behind.

9% National Sales Tax
Now let's talk about he boogieman in the room, the National Sales Tax.  As I said above, the far left AND the far right, the Obama supporters and the Ron Paul supporters are already running around calling this a "regressive tax".  Basically, a regressive tax is one that affects the poor more than the rich and it's usually used to discourage sales taxes.  The idea is that the poor spend a higher percentage of their income on necessities than the rich do.  Perhaps this is true on paper BUT in reality the rich spend far MORE in terms of dollars (and often percentage as well) on products than the poor do.  The rich buy bigger and more expensive houses, cars, boats, etc.  They often spend more on their clothes, eat more expensive food and require more (and higher costing) utilities than the poor.  With that said, keep in mind that the slashing of the corporate tax will also drive down the PRICE of goods and stretch American dollars that much farther.  Now, a national sales tax is a scary proposition, especially with a Congress like we have.  With that said, almost every state in the nation has a state sales tax and have since the beginning of the country so it can't be too bad for the poor or no one would live in a state with a sales tax!  The reality is that the corporate taxes DO get passed on but really a sales tax is fair, not regressive.  It allows each of us to contribute to our nation's future and with the boost to the economy that the corporate tax reduction would grant, the impact would be far less than it might be if say they were to institute it now with no other changes.    Given the savings of all the other taxes that are being dropped completely, this works out in almost every ones favor.  In fact, without loopholes, the only people who might be hurt by this are government and the corporations who rely on loopholes to dodge their tax burden today.

1.) Isn't this just a tax increase? - The answer is no.  This is not a tax increase.  Let's do some simple calculations.  As we discussed, you pay a 35% tax on everything you buy today PLUS your income tax of at least 10% (I know that SOME people pay 0 tax but those are anomalies easily dealt with) so your total tax burden is a minimum of 45% of your total income and expenses.  Under Cain's plan, with the 9% sales tax, 9% income tax and 9% corporate tax, your total tax burden is just 27% which results in at least a net 18% cut for even the lowest paid Americans.
2.) Won't the politicians just increase the taxes from say 9-9-9 to 15-15-15 and drive our burden up? - The answer is maybe.  See, the reason our taxes are so high today is because we have allowed them to get out of control and take more and more and spend more and more without holding them accountable.  Our government is not designed to run on auto pilot.  We MUST be vigilant and while that requires work on our part, the upside is that WE have the power and control to get them OUT of office.  So theoretically, yes they could increase the taxes but with only three to look at, it would be hard to hide an increase and protections in Cain's plan make it harder.  #1 Since this is Cain's plan, he would be President and thus would have to sign any increases.  Veto anyone?  #2 It requires 2/3 majority in both houses to pass and as we've seen in 2011, you try herding these cats to do anything by 2/3rds majority!
3.) How will the poor be protected? - Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry all brought this up during the last CNN debate and quite honestly I think Cain missed an opportunity here.  He talked about the fact that there is no sales tax on used goods and since poor people buy more used goods than new goods (cars, houses, etc.) there is less opportunity for those folks to pay the sales tax.  He also talked about the Empowerment zones which will be areas in which his plan would focus to rebuild struggling communities.  I'm thinking about places like Detroit and other such places devastated throughout the years.  What he missed hitting on was the simplest face of all.  His plan will drive DOWN the price of goods DRAMATICALLY.  Think about this a second, the difference in the cost of an item under his plan in terms of the corporate tax is this, under the current system an item worth $100 ends up being marked up 35% ($35 for every $100) and the total cost to the consumer is $135.  Under Cain's plan, the markup drops to 9% making that same $100 item cost $109.  That's a savings of $16 in this example.  The results are even better in almost every case, when you factor in all of the current taxes vs. Cain's whole plan.
4.) Will this affect Social Security/Medicare revenues? - No, these revenues will be collected from the pool created by the 9-9-9 plan so the only difference will be that they are not going to be separate taxes.  Also, Herman would lock those funds back up and make sure Congress stops spending them on wars, roads and welfare. 
5.) How will this affect underground consumer markets? - It will bring underground markets back into the tax fold.  How?  Consider this, today, an illegal immigrant worker is paid under the table where they pay no taxes on the income.  They can then go to a state with no sales tax and buy a product off the shelf only paying the 35% markup meanwhile, you and I pay10% percent on income, then the additional 35% markup.  Under Cain's plan, the incentive for companies to hire illegal workers under the table is reduced and these illegal workers are then paying into the national tax system via the national sales tax.
6.) What about states who don't have a sales tax like New Hampshire and Delaware? - This is another question that came up in the debate that I think ALL of the other candidates are disingenuous about.  #1 - Cain is right when he says that comparing the national sales tax to the state tax is like comparing apples to oranges.  They are entirely different things and state taxes will ALWAYS exist.  They will exist with the current plan OR with a new plan and so there is no reason to count them.  With the national sales tax or without it, Delaware for instance, will not show a state sales tax on the receipt but Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey all will.  The price of products will STILL be lower.  In fact, there is some talk about not itemizing the national sales tax on the receipt but that will be fleshed out as we go along.
7.) How come no one else has thought of this if it's such a good idea? -These are not necessarily brand new ideas but what Herman has that the others don't is a a lack of political fear.  He is not, as I said earlier, shackled to politics like the others.  He's a business man and a problem solver and he designs programs to solve problems.  9-9-9 is not a perfect end solution and Herman freely admits that he wants to transition to a Fair Tax system, eliminate the corporate and income taxes all together and get America's engine humming again.  This is a stepping stone that takes the best elements from the Flat Tax, the Fair Tax and corporate taxes  (if there are any) and rolls them together in a transitional ball.
8) Can this pass the Congress? - The answer is yes.  Such sweeping changes to the current system have met with opposition from both sides yes, but there is enough support on the right and among moderates that an election mandate would allow Cain's plan some traction.  That's not to say that he would force it through or that he would need a super-majority to pass it the way Obama did to pass his healthcare bill (but it wouldn't hurt to swing the balance of power to the GOP!) but rather that he would be able to present it.  Sure the plan will be argued, debated and potentially modified but the upside to that, with Herman Cain in the White House, if it doesn't make sense, he ain't signing it!  And, if we don't like it, we throw the bums out and move on!

I know this is long and so I won't take up anymore time.  If I haven't convinced you by now, I'm not sure what else I can do BUT if you have a question, drop a comment and I'll get back to you.
10/20/2011 - My good friend Charlie Copeland, who is widely considered one of the smartest guys in Delaware, looks at the 9-9-9 plan from the perspective of economic growth and the drop in prices as a result of the reduced costs on business.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Recap of my Speech to Founders Values

On Wednesday September 28th I gave a speech about our rights and responsibilities as citizens. If you missed it, you can click here to read a copy of it. To summarize, I called on each of us to look at the life of our First President, George Washington who served his God and his nation for the majority of his life, even when he didn’t want to. Below is an excerpt from the speech:

“Each of us has the responsibility to take charge of our government and to ensure that those around us are doing the same. We MUST go where we are called even when we don’t want to. Washington didn’t WANT to serve but he did and at great personal cost. It’s in the teachings of the Bible, the Torah and Qur’an to obey God’s Will and His commands even when it conflicts with our desires. This goes for politics too. We HAVE to get engaged. We can no longer be the “Silent Majority” we must be the active and vocal majority. We have a responsibility to go out and find our inner George Washington It’s time to actively find people to run for office who think like we do or…if we can’t find someone where we live …we have a responsibility to do it ourselves. We have a responsibility to run for office if no one else well. Even when it isn’t something we WANT to do.

I don’t say this with anything short of a direct engagement myself. As some of you know, I have relented to the pressures from within and from without and decided that I can no longer sit on the sideline as a bystander. I can’t watch anymore as jobs drift away and companies stop hiring. I can’t stand by as our children continue in failing schools. I can’t allow the corruption in Dover to continue unopposed any longer. I have decided to stand; I have decided that I must put my case forward. I have decided to run for office.”

And so I have decided to run for the 11th District State Senate seat currently held by Senator Tony DeLuca. Senator DeLuca is also the current President Pro-Tempore of the Senate and the 3rd most powerful person in Dover. I do not enter into this race alone. My family will be by my side, as well good and close friends but I am also counting on you. As supporters of Founders Values, you have given me the courage and the strength to stand up and be counted. You’ve shown me that I am indeed NOT alone and that the values and principles that I hold dear are valued and held by many Delawareans.

When I go to Dover in 2012 I will not just be opposing Senator DeLuca, I have goals. I will work to restore fiscal responsibility, fix education, enable job creation and demand open and ethical government. I will spotlight the corruption in deals like the Bloom Energy debacle, Delaware’s very own Solyndra and I will fight to reduce the size and scope of government. You can read more about what I plan to do when I go to Dover by visiting my website here.

Your commitment to our cause has given me hope that we can indeed turn Delaware around and now, I’m asking for one more commitment. Will you help me defeat Tony DeLuca in 2012? Will you join our team as we go door to door, make phone calls, send letters and contact local businesses for support? Please click here to join my campaign mailing list. Also, if you can help with a donation of as little as $5, any amount will help me to get the message out, I would be grateful. My opponent is a powerful leader in Dover. He is connected to special interest groups, backed by unions and will get much of the lobbyist money in Dover. I will need every dollar that I can raise to defeat him. I can assure you that I will be careful with every dollar and make sure that it goes to defeating what I consider to be the poster boy for the problems in Dover and “The Delaware Way”. If you’re willing and able to contribute as little as $5 (or as much as $600) to help me defeat Delaware’s 3rd most powerful Democrat in Senator Tony DeLuca, please consider clicking her and contributing what you can. Together, we can take back Dover and reclaim Delaware with common sense and conservative values.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Rebuttal To An Occupy Wall Street Protest Supporter

This is a copy of a letter I received from a fellow conservative who has been swept up in the Occupy Wall Street Protests and my response to his statements and assertions (My comments are in Red).  Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Subject: Occupy Wall Street Has Some Bad News For The Rich Residents Of The Upper East Side

There's a lot here today, and I hope it's not too much. A few short videos and some musings, that's all.

Look at Occupy Wall Street's 33-sec TV commercial on YouTube. Quite frankly, I don't find anything objectionable about it, and I agree with a lot of it.  

I want to make a couple of points here Tim, first let me say that I can make a 33 second commercial that makes dog poo look appetizing.  Please look a little beyond the rhetoric.  Here are my direct points in reference to the video:
1.)    These are the least vomit inducing members of the protests but still they clearly lack some fundamental knowledge about what’s caused the problems we see today.  I will explain in detail what I mean as we go.

2 “  "I want to see more serious political conversations starting to happen.” – Right, because discussing whether we want to be a debtor nation or a nation who lives within her means isn’t serious?  I think that the TEA Party has exposed the “serious conversations” in this country but this is a slogan that the “Occupiers” have been using and it means something specific.  What they want is to have a “conversation” in which they intend to ignore the conservative position and focus on not IF we should redistribute wealth but HOW MUCH wealth we should redistribute.
3.)    “I want corporations out of the government and I want people back in.” – Well I don’t necessarily disagree with this in principle except…corporations are governed by laws as much as people are and so I’m not against them having A SAY…what we have now is them BUYING POLITICIANS…now, the problem is that the politicians are corrupt…because if they didn’t take the money and didn’t act on behalf of their cronies…there wouldn’t be any problem…we elect our representatives, no matter what the corporations do, they CANNOT vote…WE THE PEOPLE can and so the people ARE in the process.  WE should be electing people with the spine, integrity and ability to do the right thing.
4.)    “I want peace rather than militarization.” – So do I…BUT I recognize that there are people out there who don’t like us very much.  There’s some debate on what caused that dislike but for me, the overall theme is just our success and our way of life.  More than anything else that we do, living free, having equal rights and tolerance and creating a prosperous nation that exposes the evils of leftist countries is the source of most of the hate directed at America. Knowing this, I would prefer to be over prepared for an attack rather than under prepared.  There are some strategic withdrawals and moves that our military leaders have suggested that we can do.  Further, focusing on missile shields and other hi-tech responses as opposed to ground troops is more cost effective and less invasive and potentially more beneficiary.
5.)    “I want the top wealthiest Americans to be taxed higher and that money to go to education.” – The top 1% of Americans pay 38% of the taxes in America and the top 10% pay 70% of the taxes.  I’m sorry Tim but for me THIS IS MORE THAN ENOUGH!  In fact, they should have spoken up for themselves a LONG time ago and asked the bottom 50% of earners in this country to pay THEIR fair share.  And by the way, we don’t have a spending problem on education in America.  We SPEND more than enough but we get crappy results.  Our problem isn’t a lack of money, it’s a lack of results.  I contend it’s because we no longer teach out kids HOW to think but rather WHAT to think.
6.)    “I want economic justice.” – Oh let me count the ways that this is wrong.  Anytime you hear anything with “justice” in it you should be concerned, economic justice, environmental justice, social justice, etc.  In this case, economic justice means that those who HAVE succeeded and made more money, should have that money taken and given to those who “need it”.  It’s redistribution of wealth plain and simple.
7.)    “I want to be able to speak my voice without jeopardizing my job.” – When this kid stands up for Hank Williams, I’ll buy his crap.  There’s nothing stopping anyone from speaking their mind outside of work.  Now, you can’t wear lip rings and mohawks at every job and I think employers have a right to determine if that is acceptable or not.
8.)    “I want a greater regulation of the banks and the markets.” – Ok, I get it that the CDO’s were a big cause of the meltdown BUT this was NOT due to “deregulation” as these leftists want you to believe.  Banks and other major corporations were/are regulated by the Sarbanes/Oxley bill which requires compliance and testing for NUMEROUS things from finance (assets, receivables, etc.) to IT (including number of user accounts, disaster plans, backups and power supplies, etc.), facilities maintenance and even more.  These companies are probably OVER REGULATED and not under regulated.  The problem is that the regulation is in the wrong place.  It’s not on the financial products that the bankers are selling but rather on the minutiae of corporate governance.
9.)    “I want my kids to have a job and healthcare.” – So do I BUT it’s not the government’s job to provide it.  It’s THEIR job to provide it for themselves.  Government should get as far out of the way is it can and allow my kids to follow their dreams and realize success.  Government should make sure that IT is not the cause of job losses (which it currently is).
10   “I want true Democracy for the 99% of us who don’t have it anymore.” – Well I disagree with this on fundamental levels.  1.) America has NEVER been a true Democracy…we’ve been a Republic.  There is a difference.  A true democracy is majority rule, the 51% get what they want and the 49% can go pound sand…bupkis!  We have a representative republic where we elect people to represent us in a Congress where each of them get a vote.  By that consensus we get our say in the laws.     2.) We’ve never LOST our representative democracy, we’ve just failed to follow through on OUR PART which is the voting out of those who don’t represent us.

And that’s all I have to say…about that.

The notion that the Occupy Wall Street protest was somehow organized by obama and the democrats is misguided. The dumbocrats and the unions joined just recently. The protest was announced several months ago by the "AdBusters" group from Canada, that was soon joined by the "We Are Anonymous" group of worldwide "hacktivists", a group who initially began as a support group for WikiLeaks. Here's the AdBusters Campaign page from their website:

Ok so AdBusters is an “anti-consumerist” (Anti-consumerism refers to the socio-political movement against the equating of personal happiness with consumption and the purchase of material possessions.) from Canada who is leading a political movement in America and you’re ok with this?  Anti-Consumerism itself is an anarchist movement here is a list of some of the folks associated with anti-consumerism: Adbusters · Freecycle · Ralph Nader · Green party · John Zerzan · Noam Chomsky · Ron English · Naomi Klein · CrimethInc. · Thorstein Veblen · Hugo Chavez · Abbie Hoffman · Guy Debord · Michael Moore · José Bové · Michel Foucault · RTMark · Rage Against the Machine · Jello Biafra · The Yes Men · Fidel Castro · Democracy Now · Reverend Billy · Vandana Shiva · Bill Hicks.  Not exactly a list of people or groups that I would want to be associated with.  AdBusters is also pro-environmentalist which is fine I guess except that the whole point of environmentalism is to use government to fight things like global warming which have no basis in fact.  Like most liberal ideas, there’s not clear cut plan for HOW to go about striking an “ecological balance”.  Besides, it’s short on real evidence anyway (hockey stick graph?)  Anywho, this group you promote, AdBusters, is HEAVILY entrenched in the Obama Administration AND The DNC and any number of leftist causes. As for the assertion that the Unions and others joined do you explain this? or this

"We Are Anonymous" has expanded from its original beginning into financial and government malfeasance. They have released many videos on YouTube. Here is a 1-min, 41-sec video aimed at obama that was released on Feb 6th, 2011. As you can see, they do not support obama.

And now we sing the praises of Anonymous, a worldwide collection of hax0rs and 1337’s who spend their time breaking down the Pentagon’s Internet security, hacking municipal and state governments, stealing customer data from Fortune 500 companies and generally causing Internet havoc all over the world.  They’re technological terrorists and Internet anarchists.  They’re dangerously brilliant on the one hand and complete morons on the other.  They engage in theft, identity theft, treason and even in some cases murder (they’ve been rumored to have disrupted communication networks that led to the deaths of American troops in combat) and you really think they are someone we ought to be championing?  (Your mention of Wikileaks is likewise concerning to me…I do NOT believe that our Classified military documents ought to be leaked to outside groups and then released to the public en masse in such a way as to endanger our men and women (and it has in many ways)…that’s TREASON and an act of espionage). 

Also, today "the Occupy Wall Street protesters will leave Zuccotti Park at 11 AM and head to the Upper East Side to see how "the 1%" live. They're calling it, "NYC Billionaires Walking Tour" and they'll start marching at 59th and 5th Avenue around 12:30 PM."

 You can check out the link to their Facebook invitation. Here's a snippet...
Wanna "see how the 1% lives"? Then join us on a walking tour of the homes of some of the bank and corporate executives who don't pay taxes, cut jobs, engaged in mortgage fraud, tanked our economy.....all while giving themselves record setting bonuses!
Occupy wall street will join community groups fighting for economic justice.

#1 The 1% DO pay taxes, they pay more than the bottom 50%, I’ve addressed this above
#2 Government regulations cut jobs, profits create them
#3 They engaged in mortgage fraud and indeed it tanked our economy BUT they did it with the willing partnership of Fannie and Freddie, ACORN and SEIU who all FORCED these banks to make risky loans to people without verifying employment or even collecting IDENTIFICATION in many cases.  How about you recognize THAT?

You can meet at Liberty Square/Zuccotti Park at 11:00 am and we will take the subway together or you can meet at 59th and 5th ave at 12:30pm. (please indicate if you will travel with us from the square)

We'll be meeting at 59th Street and 5th Avenue at 12:30 pm, and then march from house to house, demanding accountability for Wall Street crimes, and an extension of the Millionaire's tax
Hmm...59th & 5th. I think that's where Tiffany's flagship store is located, right on the SE corner, if I'm not mistaken. A great place for them to begin. They can spread-out in a northeasterly direction. Just like a plague on the Upper East Side. Perfect.

These protesters are walking to the HOMES of the bank executives and you think this is OK.  This is an acceptable means of protest?  At their HOMES?  Where they can frighten their wives and children who’ve done NOTHING?   Not only is this tasteless, I find it rather disgusting that you would support such a strong arm tactic.  And who are these protesters to judge who is guilty of these crimes?  None of these folks were convicted, who did what?  What about the guy who DIDN’T participate in the bundling of mortgage backed securities trading?  Does he get a pass or is he guilty because he’s a banker?  (Reminds of that old movie “Nothing but Trouble” with Dan Akyroid and Chevy Chase except a lot less funny when you consider the terrified wives and children)

Read the below article from "Business Insider", a site that I stumbled upon 3-1/2 years ago when I was researching the collapse of Bear Stearns. It's run by former Wall-Streeters who now post news and who write blogs about business in general, and about Wall-Street corruption in particular. I like it, and I'm on their mailing list. Look at all the anti-Wall-Street comments.  Financial people visit this site; it's not very well known outside that community.

I particularly like this comment: "Now that is awesome... bring it right to where they live... I love it."

Business Insider is a lefty version of the Wall Street Journal and a weak one at that.  It was started with the intent to compete directly and “expose Wall Street” but really it’s just a place for the radical left to refine and regurgitate their talking points in the hopes that Libertarians and moderate-Liberals will pick up the lexicon.  Henry Blodget is the CEO and Editor-In-Chief, a Yale graduate who previously worked on Wall Street before being barred from the securities industry after a conviction for securities fraud.  Hmmmm securities fraud…yea that’s the guy I’m gonna trust.  Especially when he owes the exchange $4 million for his crimes.

BTW, I am in solidarity with the "Occupy Wall Street" crowd in three respects:

1) The need to punish Wall-Street criminals by taking-away their freewheeling, gambling casino that consists of Naked Credit Default Swaps and Unrestrained, Commodities-Futures Speculation. Neither of these so-called investments is readily available to the retail investor. Call your investment advisor and see if you can buy some Credit Default Swaps. They're the things that killed Bear Stearns, Lehman Bros, Merrill Lynch, AIG, and that are also what the $787 Billion, Too-Big-To-Fail, TARP bailout was used to pay for, back in Sept 2008. Currently, the European debt crisis has the hoof prints of Credit Default Swaps all over it. I challenge anyone to tell me I'm wrong about this.

I agree with the idea of killing off the CDO’s (Credit default swaps) and extreme futures speculation.  Now, speculation is and always will be PART of the market.  Anyone who invests in anything from Orange Juice to Gold to a start-up company speculates.  The problem is that while it was definitely immoral, it wasn’t ILLEGAL to do some of these things.  Those things that ARE fraud, should be prosecuted as such but that is up to the Federal Justice department NOT the banks.  So tell you what Occupiers…take your protest to 950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, D.C. 20530-0001 then I’ll join with you.

2) The need to induce Corporate America to stop closing factories in America and to stop sending jobs overseas, and then to encourage Corporate America to bring those Jobs and Factories back.

Want to induce corporate America?  Protesting for them to have MORE of their profits taken isn’t going to do that.  How about you lower the corporate tax rate from 35% (which the HIGHEST IN THE WORLD) to say 10% and see how many jobs and factories come back to America.  How about you repeal Obamacare and reduce the gazillion regulations foisted on American businesses that NO OTHER NATION saddles their businesses with?  How about you simply back down government so that business tomorrow can transact the way it does today without variation and provide CONSISTENCY?  THAT will bring jobs FLOODING back to America.

3) The corrupt, tone-deaf politicians in Washington DC, who have been enabling the greed and amorality of Wall Street and of Corporate America all along, must stop enabling the scum.

100% agree but you don’t do THIS on a street corner.  The TEA Party found this out in 2009-2010.  You do THIS at the ballot box.  These people are uninformed and radically WRONG in their thinking which is why they continue to support Obama, Reid, Schumer, Pelosi and the rest of those GOONS in Congress that keep in turn ramming the ever growing arm of government into the American gut.  In 2010, we got rid of bank supporter Mike Castle who over the years actively helped these banks and financial institutions gouge the American people and along the way we replaced a good chunk of lefty Democrats AND Republicans who did the same.  2012 will be no different DESPITE the efforts of these Wall Street goons to diminish the power of the TEA Party movement.

When you add in anger at the clowns in Washington DC, who have enabled the greed and the amorality of Wall-Street criminals and big-business opportunists, and who have allowed them to flourish and to thrive unchecked, you have a potent mix of intense anger on Main Street. The expression,"Crony Capitalism" just about sums that up.

 In summary, I’m not sure if any of these insights are going to matter to you or make sense but when I strip out your name and publish it on the web.  I HOPE and I PRAY that it does matter to someone who is looking at these protests as if they are really helpful or encouraging.  I hope it wakes someone up.

Evan Queitsch

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The New French Revolution

For 3 weeks now, protesters have converged on Wall Street under the banner of Occupy Wall Street.  The protests began with a handful of hippies, college students and anarchists who demonstrated, chanted and marched near (the NYPD had blocked off Wall Street itself) Americas financial center.  There were no clear demands, no leaders and no definition to the movement but there were some themes.

1. The banks are to blame - Nevermind that it's the politicians, from both party establishments who give the "banksters" the power and access.  Also, they're not limiting their angst to those who are responsible for the crisies we face.   Their calls are to bring down ALL of the banks.  And not just bring down the institutions but "behead the bankers" too.

2. Capitalism is the problem - They're only partly right.  Pure Capitalism could NOT have caused these problems, only crony Capitalism can.  That's the corrupt, pay to play that we have seen throughout the years from the establishment progressives in both parties.  Ask them what they'd replace Capitalism with and they'll say that they don't know BUT press them some and you will find them talking about things like " a more equitable system", "maximum salaries", "wealth redistribution" and "a system based on empathy".

3. If we don't go willingly, force us - While the organizers and spokespeople call for "non-violence" at the protest, the means to their fluid ends include the use of force.  This force includes but is not limited to: beheading bankers who do not cooperate, forcing the wealthy to give "their excess" to the middle class and "taking down Capitalism".

Now, some of what these protesters are saying makes sense.  They say it's time to "end the Fed" and return to sound money backed by gold and you know what, they are right but then they jump to "and we should bring down Capitalism too!" and we have to stop and say...No...don't bring it down, FIX IT! You see, this is the difference between the Wall Street protesters and the TEA Party.

The TEA Party began in 2009 with a call to return to the principles of American liberty through political and ethical reform.  THIS is why it mirrored the American Revolution.  The war against England came only as a last result and only after England had repeatedly murdered American colonists.  Heck, some of our founders would have had us remain the King's subjects if only he'd listen to our grievances and act to rectify them.   The TEA Party likewise didn't seek to destroy the American system of government or replace it.  It sought to rebuild it and strengthen it by improving ethics, getting the fiscal house in order and returning the power of the government to the people where it belongs.

By contrast, the Occupy Wall Street protesters are seeking to tear down the current system, break the new bourgeoisie (as defined by the Marxists, the 19th century French would have combined the bourgeoisie (capitalists) and the aristocracy to create what we consider to be the "new bourgeoisie" today) and implement a centrally planned economic and governmental system.  This is EXACTLY why it mirrors the French Revolution.  The French saw what happened in America and the lower class, led by radicals, socialists and budding communists led a revolt that they intended to be based on the American Revolution.  Americans like Thomas Paine and to a lesser extent Thomas Jefferson supported the early stages of the French Revolution because the fires of liberty burned so strong in them.  The problem is that there was a difference, the American Revolution came about after an enlightenment and a religious awakening while the French Revolution was a result of chaotic anarchy. So while the French Revolution may have had the same goal of liberty as the American Revolution, the means were different and the devil is in the details.  Even the details of the Occupy Wall Street protests mirror the French Revolution:
  1.  Accusations tossed about with little or no proof or as out right lies - Like the protestor who claimed Chase Bank was "taking" his parents home when in fact they are choosing to sell it and move on their own.
  2. Storming or "Occupying" cities and buildings to force the system to shut down until their demands are met.
  3. Maximum earnings limits with the rest being redistributed to the populace by central planning of the government.
  4. Violence if their demands are not met - including the specific act of "beheading" which was a staple of the French Revolution and has been touted by supporters of the Occupy Wall Street protests.
So you have to ask yourself this question, do you believe in tearing down the system with no clear replacement but presumably one based on the Marxist/Communist routes of the protesters?  Do you agree with storming and occupying buildings and shutting down the system a la Wisconsin and Wall Street?  Do you agree with capping an individuals earnings and beheading them if they choose not to participate?  If your answer is yes, join the Marxists on Wall St.  If your answer is no, REFUSE to stand with them.  The enemy of my enemy is NOT my friend.