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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Coupe De Grace

Like many Americans, I spent most of my life distracted. Busy making a living, busy with a wife and kids, spending what time I had on leisure activities. The last thing I thought about back then was politics or the housing crisis. That all began to change in 2007. By 2008, about the time Congress and Hank Paulson ripped our country off, government and politics became the focus of much of my life. It absolutely drew my attention.

I came to believe that like me, most Americans were busy living their lives. Too tired and distracted with the trappings of everyday life. In fact, that apathy if you will, is precisely what has enabled our government to enslave us. If it doesn't have a painful and immediate impact, we simply don't notice.

People call aberrations like the housing collapse a "black swan" event. Perhaps. It has had a painful and immediate impact. People finally began to notice. They became angry. Government and the corporate robber barons that we refer to as "business" absolutely gutted this nation. They may have gutted the world. The incremental steps, and sly moves such as the repeal of the Glass-Steagall act, were hardly noticed. Once all of the roadblocks were removed, the great robbery could take place. Indeed, the repeal of Glass Steagall, is now the only thing holding the stock market up.

In life, it is a certainty that black swan events will occur. That is a given. What really matters is how we respond to those events.

Our response to the events since 2008 have been incredibly poor. So poor in fact, I give it an "F" grade. Fraudulent banks and bankers were allowed to continue. Not one criminal charge prosecution has taken place. Interest rates were slashed to zero- the biggest beneficiaries of that again- are banks.

Then instead of grappling with that series of mistakes, we made more. Piling on cap and trade, Obamacare, and flooding the marketplace with worthless currency. The precipice that we teeter on is here. If Ben Bernanke floods the market with another round of quantitative easing next week it will be officially over. Forget the elections, it is too late. Your anger, although certainly justified, cannot call back all of the events and mis steps of the 109th thru 111th Congress. Once QE II takes place, and a full on currency and trade war take place, our net importer status will leave us powerless. Is two hundred dollar oil possible? How about 3k gold and 50 buck silver? You better believe it. In fact, this coming week is potentially the greatest aftershock since 2008.

This will not be a black swan event. It is fully predictable. Savage austerity measures will be taken. In fact, the sad truth is that we are in no better shape than Greece. We are bankrupt, engaged in counterfeiting. That's all that's left. You are witnessing it now. Government and Ben Bernanke are simply going to counterfeit dollars to pay our bills. They call it QE. We simply lack the capacity to recover. We don't produce anything here.

Let me use a metaphor that is very appropriate. When housing consumers were left with houses that were worth half of what they paid for them, what did consumers do? They quit paying the mortgage. When people realized they couldn't pay their credit card bills, what did they do? They maxed out their cards. Why default on 3 grand when you had another 2 grand available on the card? What difference did it make if you were never going to pay the balance anyway?

That is the logic in play now. If we can't possibly pay our national debt of 20 trillion, why not just print up some more money and take on some more debt? We aren't going to pay it back anyway. Why do you think government would behave any differently than consumers?

I welcome a complete economic collapse, a chance to end the FED and rebuild. Anything is better than limping along and suffering through decades of misery like the Japanese. Paul Krugman, I truly hope you get your wish. I pray that Bernanke goes for the big one. Maybe two trillion. Let's not die a slow and painful death boys, an incremental death, give us the Coupe De Grace.

Man, this is going to be an interesting week. I can hardly wait.

Friday, October 29, 2010

If U.S. Taxes Codes Are This Fucked Up, Why Doesn't Congress Change Them? Hint...They Don't Want To.

Hat tip to ZeroHedge. 

Wouldn't you just love to have a tax rate of about 3/4s of one percent? Make a hundred thousand and pay about 750 bucks worth of Federal tax? How about a company that makes 639 billion over six or seven years and paid only 5 billion in taxes? ZeroHedge claims that the real tax rate is a shade over 3%, but you get the point.

Think that's not possible? Think again.

The best part about that company is that it is General Electric. The parent company of those stock touts and drones on CNBC. Think you'll ever hear them spill those beans? Not a chance in hell. See the story here:

Let me spin some numbers at you. We're going to keep it low and round and create a level playing field.

Obama wants to tax "wealthy" Americans. Those people making 250 grand a year or greater. Does he ever mention if that is a gross or net amount? What about those guys grossing 500k in some small company wherein the overhead eats up 425,000? Are they going to be subjected to some new tax hike? Or are we supposed to assume, those tax hikes only apply to federally adjusted gross income on a 1040 return?

You see I don't know. In fact, Obama and this Congress' lack of specificity on anything have us all running scared. This is a team that passed Obamacare without reading it. Now that the accountants have scrutinized it and seen all the misleading errors and omissions- well too bad. It's law. And this dude- and Congress- wonder why we are pissed? They are at best just stupid- maybe math challenged. Or perhaps apathetic. At worst, sinister.

So let's suppose GE had to pay 25% or 160 billion in taxes like the rest of us schmoes. Lets subtract the 5 billion they paid already. That leaves 155 billion owed. Now let's divide that by 7. That's roughly 22 billion a year they skated out on.

Now lets suppose that everyone making 250,000 a year had to pay the same amount of tax as poor GE. Or about 62,500. ( and they'd be damn glad to pay 25%) The question is, how many 250,000 dollar a year wage earners do we need to cover the amount of taxes GE is allowed to avoid? That yearly figure looks like this- 22,000,000,000.00.

I hope my math is correct here. We would need to add 352,000 workers making 250,000 every year for 7 years to make up for what GE was allowed to skate out on. Holy shit! I checked the math and the decimal point. (My calc didn't go that high) Are you getting the picture of just how ridiculous our taxing structure is? How could we possibly be broke? Can anyone in Congress pass a fucking math class?

That absolutely boggles my mind. It boggles my mind that GE is only one of thousands of companies pulling that shit. Is that GE's fault? Of course not. Just who has manipulated a tax code so complex and fucked up that the entire working class gets absolutely raped and thus allows corporate America to seize every available loophole-not available- to the schmoes? Who decides tax law?

Well of course. It has to be Congress. Those math wizards who devised a tax system that allows bankers and corporate America to find any available loophole and exploit it for maximum gain. To keep their friends and themselves in office and employed. The wealthy and the elite- greedy, fat, and happy. 

So why doesn't Congress impose a flat tax and make everyone pay 20%?? Why not do away with deductions and loopholes? That 2500 page monstrosity of a tax code and an army of IRS agents and accountants? Hint...THEY DON'T WANT TO. They like the system just the way it is.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Barney Frank, The Face of Collapse

One of the chief architects of the economic collapse of this country is Representative Barney Frank.

I don't care that he is openly gay. I don't care that the cops come to his house and let him off the hook for possession of marijuana. Barney Frank is an extreme libtard and it was his policies and influence that brought an end to discipline and good business practices. That this piece of shit has tried to cover up his tracks by co-sponsoring that banking reform bill makes me sick to my stomach. This is who bankrolls him. Scroll back if you wish- to prior elections.

Frank absolutely owns the collapse and 6 trillion dollar liability of Fannie and Freddie.

Barney Frank is the epitome of elitism. A career politician who has gained far too much political influence. I don't care about his home district pork barrel projects. This self serving POS has been using banking interests to bankroll his election campaigns. He is an arrogant little snob. It pains me greatly to know that we have to fund his retirement. More on him here.

Election races, such as Frank's, actually become national elections. That's what happens when somebody like Frank gains far too much influence. If he had just plunged his district into the abyss I wouldn't care so much...that he dragged all of us into the abyss is unforgivable.

Here's a big thank you to mother nature for gelding him. Divine providence. Here's a snip from the article.  "He'll never quit," said Whalen. "He'll be taken out of the Capitol on a slab."

I will carry that slab personally to any place on the globe. Thankfully.

Here's hoping that they send his ass packing. I am going to don my tin foil hat and try to channel positive energy to Massachusetts voters and Sean Bielat. On Tuesday night, you can damn sure bet, I'll be watching those folks in Massachusetts. If there is any justice in this world, may it be delivered in a landslide Tuesday night.

Super Hero Conspiracy Project

A model of efficiency. This is the same government that took over 1/6 of the annual GDP and is going to try and administer a health plan for 300 million people. Who say it doesn't pay to be in prison or dead?

I spent a good part of today working on this silly clip. The action figures had a tough time saying anything beyond two syllables. I am going to post it here for no other reason than I got tired of editing it and I'll be damned if I am gonna waste 3 hours and not post it. I am giving it an R rating and if you happen to be a lefty, you might just want to pass altogether. I really should get a job.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

We Didn't Get Here Because We Were on a Winning Streak

People are truly nuts. I took a second look at that video from 60 Minutes with all of those unemployed and highly educated 99ers in California. Folks who can't find work. Folks who have been deprived of their "standard of living" and "motorhomes."

To say that these folks are spoiled would be like gazing upon a pile of dogshit and calling it health food. I just can't describe that level of unconsciousness. I will embed the video at the bottom. Have a box of Kleenex handy.

But first this snip from the comments of Zero Hedge. Too funny to pass up.

A man was sent to Hell for his sins. As he was being processed, he passed a room where an economist he knew was having an intimate conversation with a beautiful woman.
"What a crummy deal!" The man complained. "I have to burn for all eternity and that economist spends it with that gorgeous woman."
An escorting demon jabs the man with his pitchfork and shouts, "Who are you to question that woman's punishment?"

Let me tell you how I spent my life up until the summer of '07. I owned a house with no 2nd. I never owned a new vehicle. I had no credit or revolving debt. Everything was paid for. And no, I didn't think I deserved all those lavish things the neighbors had. Four wheelers, new diesel trucks, motorhomes. The reason I didn't have any of those things is simple. I hate debt. Call it an obsession. But financing someone elses profits by stacking on additional profits to a middleman just doesn't make any sense. In '07, I had put together enough dough to ride out this whole miserable depression without food stamps and unemployment. And because I lived so leanly, I am supposed to get all misty eyed when a bunch of spoiled Californians, living in houses 4 times what any intelligent being would pay, start whining? This while I was driving my 12 year old truck and they blasted around in BMW's and Escalades.

You see, I was priced out of California years ago. I am unwilling to pay the highest tax rates in the U.S., the highest insurance rates, and some of the highest infrastructure costs. Two years ago, I saw a 500 a month water bill on a 3 acre ranchette near Santa Barbara and nearly had a heart attack. Location, location, location. Who pays that shit? Are you people nuts? And one last thing. The public employees retirement system is beyond comprehension. The benefits are so lavish that it would take the GDP of 1/2 this country to pay them- and when California tries to take it back- to actually get austere- the shit is gonna hit the fan. They have absolutely screwed the pooch. I don't give a fuck how many gadgets Apple invents. Nobody can pay that freight.

The best part of all- is long held real estate and California's taxing structure. When that real estate gets sold, the taxes reset to the new appraised value. Since values are so artificially inflated STILL- I've seen starter homes with taxes of one thousand bucks a month.  

This country is in an economic nightmare. We got marketed to death by corporate America. Greedy bankers were willing to finance everything on the planet and a bunch of spoiled and entitled people thought they deserved that shit. Money is created only as debt. Who the hell would make a loan to someone, liars loans, (think Indymac and Countrywide) knowing full well they could never afford to pay for that loan? And then have Paulson and the dumbest Congress in history bail out the crooks?

We are in a depression facilitated by all that lunacy. Those folks with masters degrees working at Target for 9.25 an hour. It is the classic ant and grasshopper story and now that thieving FED is trying to raid my savings account by printing money and making my existing savings worthless. We are in the midst of a Great Depression. We are here because this is precisely what happens when people behave the way that they have for the last 30 years. We didn't get here because we were on a winning streak...and now our only hope is that this same class, the entitled class mentality, must take the awful steps to get solvent. To embrace this mess that they alone caused. Personally, I don't think they can do it. They are too mired in self pity and blaming the exterior world. As evidenced by this video. Kleenex time.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Short Bus Cometh

I have seen this quote of President Obama's in three or four different commentary pieces. This is Obama's summary and conclusion of OUR problem AS he sees it. I'd like you to read President Obama's "analysis." Then I will offer up my "analysis." In all fairness, the term "analysis" was offered up by the original writer. Analysis being a much more palatable and enriching term than "opinion." The term "opinion" is reserved for dunderheads; those of us who can only aspire to be analysts.

Out on the campaign trail, Barack Obama has given us his analysis of why his party is headed for significant losses in the election nine days hence.
"Part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now," said the president for whom politics did not seem so tough in 2008, "and facts and science and argument do not seem to be winning the day all the time is because we're hardwired not to always think clearly when we're scared. And the country's scared."

By the way, does Harvard teach people to talk like this? Is this what a quarter mill buys you? To talk to people in such a veiled and diminishing way? Think about his choice of words for just a minute...
Just what facts, science, and argument is our President referring to? That must mean the real, credible facts- the ones us slow types don't have access to or if we did- we couldn't comprehend anyway.

We are not "hard wired" to think clearly. Only Obama and the Party have access to the magic wiring that makes people think clearly. We are smarter than you seems to be his message.
Just how does a country get scared? Are all of those slow, cloudy thinkers, just pussified? Hiding in the dark, filling out convenience store applications? Warily sneaking out of their trailer houses when the short bus arrives to give them a ride to the polls?

Politicians love vague and non specific statements like this. They can always back out. "That isn't what I meant." It is impossible to make conclusions or assumptions about millions of people or what they are collectively thinking. Quite honestly, voters have been provided a target rich environment. Nor can I offer an opinion in good conscience because the sad part about being brilliant such that I am, is that I am smart enough to know that I don't know shit. This high level of frontal lobe function is the direct result of me having made the same mistakes Obama does and getting them shoved up my ass. At some point, the resultant pain of having an ass the size of a breadbox brought about the realization that given enough pain- we eventually are able to see our mistakes and make adjustments. Pain motivates us. This I did of necessity.

To that end, by all means Mr. Obama...please keep making these vast, simplistic, and non specific characterizations, litter them with your opinions, judgments, assumptions and conclusions. Disguise those disparaging remarks. Please President Obama, do not self examine or take any measure of responsibility for the mood of the country. For as certainly as you do, it will delay that day when your ass swells to such an extent that you will be forced to make adjustments or suffer in pain. Any potential postponement of that day will ultimately delay and prolong our rebuilding process.

And while Obama purports to know why the country acts the way that it does, I cannot. All I can tell you for certain is how I think and feel. So I've addressed those generalities from above as I see them.

That someone holds a similar view might be possible...

We are bankrupt. The bankruptcy of the U.S. and the transfer of what little wealth remains might have been JOB #1. The utmost priority. This does not include 15 vacations, 26 golf outings, or photo ops of you and the children licking ice cream cones or peddling around Martha's vinyard with a helmet on- the outlines of which are mindful of the Creature From the Black Lagoon or that critter in "Enemy Mine."

I am hardwired to sense bullshit at 1000 yards. This occurs anytime I hear someone making vague and non specific judgments and conclusions. Opinions do not become facts despite the self declared expertise of the speaker. Calling "opinions" analysis- is just a clever way of calling an asshole a rectum. This type of verbal alchemy fails when somebody hardwired to sense bullshit at 1000 yards points it out or heaven forbid, asks the speaker to be specific and support his argument with facts. I think being specific and citing facts is responsible. In fact, I generally accept that people who do so, "are thinking clearly."

I am not scared. I am angry. I am angry that a bunch of statists, including you, are busy spending money on bills they haven't read and thus ordering me to purchase a product that I do not want. This at a time when we are bankrupt. Threatening me via an illegal law that has no legal precedence. Stealing my freedom- using my money like it's yours. Letting the FED inflate my savings out of existence and allowing thieving banks to get whole. Trying to bullshit me that there is nothing wrong with the economy via the jerry-rigged and manipulated BLS numbers I see each month. Letting banks buy stock and creating the illusion of healthy markets. I could name a few other things like canning that Inspector General, making recess appointments and statist appointments to the bench. Still kinda like to see that disappearing passport and a few other missing documents.

The short bus is coming. It is filled with people like me. People sick of being lied to, tired of looking for jobs, weary of getting hosed by bankers and the Fed. Some of us are tired of watching you take vacations and not coming up with a plan. Eloquent speech works for a bit but at some point, you have to roll up your sleeves. Us slow types are waiting. So characterize us as you will- it won't change a damn thing. I think I hear the short bus coming.