Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Will more people switch parties?

I think that more people will switch parties more frequently than in the past. People used to belong to political parties because everyone else in their family or neighborhood belonged to that same party. With better access to information, individuals are more likely to join a party because of its current platform and not because of its past history. With an increasingly dynamic political landscape, politicians may switch parties as often as they switch spouses. Seriously, I wouldn't be surprised if some folks change their party affiliation several times throughout their adult lives.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Advice to major league teams

The US government asserted that it has the right to make personnel decisions for private companies that receive taxpayer funds. Be very careful about asking state and local governments to build new stadiums. A legislature might grant your request, then decide that it simply isn't fair that the worst player on your team still makes more money than the best public school teacher.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Obama, when is the right time to cut spending?

Obama is quoted in this article as saying "The last thing a government should do in the middle of a recession is to cut back on spending."

Should the government cut back spending at the start of a recession instead? How about cutting back when the recession is over? If a program is unnecessary, it should be cut irregardless of the current economic situation. It's even wore vital to do so when tax revenues are down.

Monday, April 13, 2009

I Might Need Therapy...

To All,

I was putting together all of the numbers, statistics, and data that needs to be done for a reasonably accurate tax bill that we hand out every April 15th.

I try to keep things simple. #1) Pull out the old bill; #2) Go through it line by line to see what information is out of date; #3) update the information; #4) do the math and fill in the new data.

Simple, right?

Right.

So why do I believe I might need therapy? I think I might be the only American who has burst out laughing and giggling at a Congressional Budget Office Report. This is sadly true.

To clarify, I use the CBO report to determine deficit spending projections. I use this to show that not only are we being irresponsible today but that there is no end in sight AND our elected officials know this!

Last year the CBO was projecting deficit spending through fiscal year 2012. So I need to review their current report and see what madness lies ahead.

When I pull up the report (it is very easy to see) I just see negative projections for as far as the budget goes out (fiscal year 2019). This is when Doug starts his little giggling fit. I did not get hysterical, but I was definitely beyond a loud guffaw.

I do not know what I expected to see, I really do not. I was just taken so completely off guard by this insanity that I laughed for a good 60 seconds, maybe even approaching 2 minutes.

If you would like, here is a link to the CBO table I was looking at:

http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=10014

Look down at the bottom and click the link to "Budget Projections". Please let me know if you start laughing, giggling, cackling or making any other noise that might indicate that I am not alone.

What I appreciate about this is that you do not need a degree in Economics or an interpretation by a CPA to read it. This document is put together simply, concisely, and horrifically bleak if you consider the mess it will leave for future generations.

I giggle for us, I cry for our children and future generations.

With All Sincerity,

Doug

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Rail

When it comes to mass transit, nothing is more efficient at moving large amounts of passengers and freight than a train. Because of our manufacturing base, we have a lot of freight trains in Indiana. But because of our low population density, we have a very limited market for passenger trains.

Trains are great for traveling between large cities. But the number of people who travel daily from any two points in Indiana isn’t enough to justify the expense of a rail route. The catch behind mass transit is that its only more fuel efficient if people actually use it.

They can go faster than a car on a highway. But they aren’t as flexible as buses and planes. A common problem with trains in that another train is blocking the route. Ever come to a railroad crossing and notice that the train isn’t moving? Buses have an easier time finding an alternate route, and planes never have that problem. So even though they can go at a faster speed limit than a car, it can still take longer to get to your destination due to delays.

Passenger trains are more practical along the coasts, which have higher population density than the Midwest. Rather than arguing for trains that we do not need, Indiana’s congressional delegation should move to deny federal funding for rail lines that do not benefit us. The high traffic rail lines in New England and California are profitable enough that they can be privatized with no disruption in service.

For more rail bashing, click here.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Upcoming tax protests

We'll be having our annual April 15th tax protest to 4:30pm and until it gets dark in front of the Anthis Career Center parking lot, next to the parking lot.

Hoosiers for Fair Taxation is holding a "tea party" at the courthouse square from 11am to 1pm on the 18th.

Obama steps down as part of Chinese bailout package

President Obama stepped down on the request of Chinese Premier Hu Jintao as part of a mandatory restructuring. The United States government has 60 days to create a restructuring plan in order to qualify for more Chinese bailout funds. Government industry experts believe that as many as 400 Congressmen may be laid off.