Archive for November, 2011
Posted by 5etester on November 28, 2011
A story out from Bloomberg yesterday, which you can read here, helps to shed some light on the behind the scenes theft ring, otherwise known as the Federal Reserve, and the role it played in assisting banks worldwide earn billions in profits during the recession at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer.
The Federal Reserve and the big banks fought for more than two years to keep details of the largest bailout in U.S. history a secret. Now, the rest of the world can see what it was missing.
The Fed didn’t tell anyone which banks were in trouble so deep they required a combined $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008, their single neediest day. Bankers didn’t mention that they took tens of billions of dollars in emergency loans at the same time they were assuring investors their firms were healthy. And no one calculated until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income by taking advantage of the Fed’s below-market rates, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its January issue.
According to this report, the Federal Reserve had committed $7.77 trillion to rescuing the financial system as of March 2009. It’s actually much, much worse. According to this GAO (Government Accountability Office) report issued in July of this year at the request of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the Federal Reserve was tapped out for $16.115 trillion by July 21, 2010. Check out Table 8 on page 131 of the report to see for yourself. Keep in mind, all of these loans were only to go to ‘healthy’ banks. Also be aware that included are Central Banks from around the globe.
Posted by 5etester on November 20, 2011
I would ask that all who read this blog take just a minute and say a prayer for one of our own who needs a boost right now. Best wishes Jim.
Better batteries: New technology improves both energy capacity and charge rate in rechargeable batteries
Posted by 5etester on November 19, 2011
A team of engineers has created an electrode for lithium-ion batteries — rechargeable batteries such as those found in cellphones and iPods — that allows the batteries to hold a charge up to 10 times greater than current technology. Batteries with the new electrode also can charge 10 times faster than current batteries.
I say it can’t get here fast enough because my ‘smart’ phone battery life sucks!
Posted by 5etester on November 18, 2011
Just read another great post over at Conservatives on Fire provoking discussion on capitalism working despite a stacked deck against it. The subject was energy which got me thinking about what is really going on with the Obama Keystone pipeline. He punted on the decision to get it delayed until after the 2012 elections. Consensus is that this is to appeal to his climate change base. However, he’s doing this at the expense of big labor which supports it for the jobs. Why? Isn’t this a zero sum game?
Here’s what we know for sure. The reason for the pipeline is that the U.S. midwest refineries can’t handle the proposed capacity requirements. The EPA certainly isn’t going to allow the necessary expansion of those refineries, so getting the oil to the Gulf Coast refineries is the next best choice. There are lots of ancillary arguments being bandied about which have nothing to do with what is really going on here. Potential pipeline breaks. Re-routing the pipeline for a ‘safer’ route. Canadien oil companies taking advantage of us by utilizing our refineries for tar sands oil that is targeted for foreign markets and won’t reduce the U.S. foreign oil dependency. Etc., etc.
Even the jobs argument is not the end all. To be sure, thousands of jobs would be created temporarily to construct the pipeline thus the interest of the unions. But the pipeline itself is not even necessary. The U.S. State Dept. conducted a study which determined that rail and truck could easily handle the 700,000 proposed barrels per day the pipeline was going to transport to the Gulf Coast. No question that lots of jobs would be created through those industries long-term.
This all comes back to the climate change crowd and their influence on Obama. They hate fossil fuels and particularly the extra ‘dirty’ tar sands version. It doesn’t matter that the mining process isn’t on U.S. soil, the fact that our transportation system and refineries are involved in the process used to put more fossil fuels on the market is reason enough.
This isn’t really a jobs issue at all. Jobs will be created, however, sans pipeline they won’t be construction jobs, they’ll be transportation jobs. Transportation unions have taken a public stance of no support for the pipeline, but you bet that they’ll gladly take the additional workload if the pipeline never happens.
Posted by 5etester on November 16, 2011
How is success measured? In the eyes of the Obama administration, cost plays no role in that equation. It was a year ago that Obama was on a chest-thumping tour to proclaim the great success of the auto bailouts. The Treasury Dept. has revised the amount of the taxpayer’s ACTUAL losses upward by over $9 billion dollars. Not the amount used to bail them out, actual losses. Read the story here.
I’ve also posted on the concocted story about GM and Chrysler repaying their bailout debts early, which is just smoke and mirrors by using accounting tricks shifting funds from one government slush fund to another. Story here.
The Treasury report also expands into the cost of TARP going up due to the revisions. All further evidence that bailouts don’t work. That government shouldn’t be in the business of picking winners and losers (Solyndra anyone?).
Do you have a liberal democrat friend and fervent Obama supporter? Ask them to explain to you why it is OK to bail out failed companies, such as the automakers, yet successful companies are now the target of scorn and jealousy? They don’t mind taking billions in losses through bailouts, but absolutely resent companies that have succeeded and have been providing jobs to Americans. Do you suppose these people would have a problem with the fact that their tax dollars were used to bail out a foreign automaker? That’s what we’ve done in the case of Chrysler now morphing into Fiat.
The bailout nation will soon be taught an unbelievably costly lesson. We are watching it unfold on a smaller scale right now in Europe. The EU is frantically attempting to bailout countries even further to delay the pain and ensure that the fallout is even greater. We here in America will pay that price someday. It’s inevitable.
One can only imagine how much healthier the auto companies would be today had they simply went through the standard process of bankruptcy. Failure would have led to renewed companies being formed without the baggage and the billions of taxpayers money thrown away. The stakeholders who lost their shirts wouldn’t have been discriminated against because they weren’t affiliated with the ‘proper’ political connections. The new companies, with the same workforce hired by the way, would not be empowered with the culture of failure and the knowledge that they can act as irresponsibly as they wish and it doesn’t matter. The U.S. taxpayer will be there for them again.
A large amount of America is ignorant to the true cost of a bailout. It’s not just the wasted taxpayer money. It’s the culture it breeds. Will they recognize it when GM fails again in the future? Not likely as the blame will be shifted somewhere else.
Posted by 5etester on November 15, 2011
Seems like a good day for some conspiracy talk. Have you seen this video?
Did Israeli intelligence have prior knowledge of 911? Involved? Don’t have a clue but that mural is beyond a coincidence. The NYPD and FDNY radio transmissions seem to corroborate that the van wasn’t photoshopped. Interesting to say the least.
Posted by 5etester on November 9, 2011
The 2011 federal tax revenues were $2,302.5 billion dollars. Sounds like a lot of money, right? Unfortunately, that was $1,298.6 billion dollars less than your U.S. Congress spent. In fact, the deficit spending exceeded the entire $1,272.6 billion collected from individual income taxes. Spending problem or tax problem?
The so-called debt super committee is taking over the headlines as the Thanksgiving Eve deadline approaches. Drama queens. No deal and the $1.1 trillion in automatic spending cuts don’t even kick in until Jan. 2,2013. Obama has already made it clear he won’t even consider any of his symbolic committees recommendations. This whole debacle is just a dog and pony show without any merit IMO.
So are all the tax reform plans making the rounds. FAIR, flat, VAT, 9-9-9, whatever. They all have a common defect. They leave the power in the hands of the federal government who can alter any good intentioned plan however they wish in the future. This is the key point to any tax discussion. No real tax reform can occur unless the power structure is also changed. Ron Paul is pushing for a return to excise taxes and tariffs to fund the federal government. Never going to happen. No level of government will support this and the establishment reigns supreme.
I give you the Spellchek tax reform plan. It has a core principle. Strip the federal government of its ability to tax and spend us into oblivion. Don’t make this a primary objective and you are wasting your time.
My plan is quite simple, yet virtually impossible due to its complexity. My intent is to focus on the enumerated powers and restore the power to the states and the people. We need to repeal the 16th Amendment and eliminate the IRS. We need a balanced budget amendment. Told you it was virtually impossible.
Posted by 5etester on November 5, 2011
If I asked you what was the most important aspect taken away from the entire process of the establishment of the United States of America, how would you answer? Hopefully, you would say liberty. More importantly, individual liberty. Liberty means freedom. Freedom to live your life unbound by the constraints of others. Freedom is a virtue and the two are inseparable. However, liberty and individualism are mutually exclusive. You can have one without the other. I fear that has become commonplace in today’s society.
America is still considered a free country. You can move about virtually as you wish, speak your mind and many other aspects associated with freedom. Accordingly, when one makes the claim that our liberty is being stripped away, it can fall upon deaf ears. A gradual erosion of liberty is not easy to detect. Taken away in small bites can make it more palatable to the average American and that has been occurring since the Declaration of Independence was written. Yes, even the Constitution was a compromise document that played into this process of eroding away our liberty.
It has been puzzling as of late to understand why so many are so willing to forego liberty in exchange for the implied security of the state. Why would so many voluntarily surrender liberty seemingly aware of the implications in doing so? For example, they may feel it is a fair trade in exchange for safety as in the case of the TSA. A nanny state requires the perception that only an entity as large as the federal government can provide a social safety net. To many, that is not only acceptable, but desirable. Perhaps they have a poor work ethic or feel oppressed due to race or religion. Perhaps economic conditions have instilled a sense of despair. The dependency nation has come to thrive and prosper for one main reason that I can see. Individualism is dying.
Posted by 5etester on November 4, 2011
Corporate greed. Just what is corporate greed? At what point does a corporation cross the line from a healthy profit into excessive profit and greed? Corporate critics have no answer for you. No percentage or dollar amount. Of course, this is true of all of the claims of the OWS. They don’t want to be held to account for any specifics.
What is very clear is that certain things that are done by relatively unprofitable or failing corporations are viewed as acceptable, yet when the very same things are done by profitable corporations, they are considered greed. This has always been a subject that the dependency nation won’t address. Why is it considered good when failed corporations are bailed out by taxpayers, yet when successful corporations take advantage of legal tax loopholes that is considered greed? Apparently it’s OK to spend billions in taxpayer money to prop up a failure despite the reason they failed. Could be risky investments or just a failed business model, it doesn’t matter. Bad behavior rewarded by bailouts of course just breeds even more bad behavior.
However, if you haven’t been a failure and you take advantage of existing legal U.S. tax code to minimize your tax burden, that is considered greed? For example, a new report is out from the liberal Citizens for Tax Justice website that highlights exactly that. It examined the 280 most profitable, keyword profitable, U.S. corporations over a 3 year period from 2008-2010. Read the report here. The report summarizes with this statement.
Washington, DC – A comprehensive new study that profiles 280 of America’s most profitable companies finds that 78 of them paid no federal income tax in at least one of the last three years. Thirty companies enjoyed a negative income tax rate over the three year period, despite combined pre-tax profits of $160 billion. These are among the findings in “Corporate Taxpayers and Corporate Tax Dodgers, 2008-2010,” released today by Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.
“These 280 corporations received a total of nearly $223 billion in tax subsidies,” said Robert McIntyre, Director at Citizens for Tax Justice and the report’s lead author. “This is wasted money that could have gone to protect Medicare, create jobs and cut the deficit.”