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Friday, November 2, 2012

Relationship between tax and job creation debunked by CRC

The top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top
of the income distribution. The share of income accruing to the top 0.1% of U.S. families
increased from 4.2% in 1945 to 12.3% by 2007 before falling to 9.2% due to the 2007-2009

The evidence does not suggest necessarily a relationship between tax policy with
regard to the top tax rates and the size of the economic pie, but there may be a relationship to how
the economic pie is sliced,  according to.Thomas L. Hungerford, Specialist in Public Finance, Congressional Research Center dated September 14, 2012. 

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Romney: a President or a Boss

Do the people want a President or a Boss? That's the question James Lipton, of the Actors Studio, asked after reviewing the Tuesday night presidential debate.

It was clear that President Obama was Presidential, whereas Mitt Romney was his same old arrogant, bossy, and rude self.

Regardless, how one feels about Romney, there is no excuse for disrespecting the President of the United States as Romney did during the second debate.

As Lipton, correctly identified, there were two people in the debate. A President, i.e. Mr. Obama, and a Boss, i.e. Romney.

There is a big difference between a President and a Boss. From the board-room, Romney can bully the employees, demand obedience, deny-health care and equal pay. He can enjoy firing people and sell-out his employees and transfer jobs overseas when it would put more money in his pocket.

A President, on the other-hand, must represent all the people, all the time. While he can replace his political employees, he cannot fire civil servants on a whim, nor can he deny equal pay for equal work. Most importantly, a President must understand that economics is more than a profit and loss sheet, and diplomacy requires an understanding of other cultures, and that we are a nation of mixed races, and cultures how minorities.
A President knows there is a difference between the private sector and the govenment, and knows what those difference are and how to address those difference.  Romney hasn't a clue.

It was inexcusable for Romney to treat the President-of-the-United States, as he were simply a low income worker, of a different race, who dared to disagree with him and his opinions as he did during the Tuesday debate.  

Romney acted the same way, during the first debate, and his behavior is disgraceful. We need a President, not a boss. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

I Prefer My Dog

Mesquite Nevada Number One Online News Source Mesquite Citizen Journal:

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I Prefer My Dog
Posting Date: 10/15/2012

My dog “Cocoa (pronounced KoKo) is sick and tired of all these robo-calls and negative ads on television. I know that is true because she is constantly barking at the door and wanting to go outside and take a whiff of a sweet smelling plant and rub her ears against a cactus plant.

Dogs have wonderful senses and when something smells or sounds bad they notice immediately. If you haven't noticed they will try any number of new scents to get the bad odor out of their sensitive nostrils and rub their ears with their paws when they are bothered by sounds.

When it comes to political debates people sit in front of the television-set, drinking beer or colas and dipping chips in spicy sauces while waiting for their favorite candidate to make some innocuous point that they perceive as some great accomplishment in a sporting event.
Dogs are genetically designed to manipulate the behavior of their masters. One bark and the master jumps to meet the dog's demands for the benefit of both. Politicians jump to meet their contributors' demands even if it demeans themselves and endangers the general public interest.

However, dogs and politicians are alike in some important ways. Both are animals and both are breed for specific traits. Dog groups are defined by the American Kennel Club (AKA). Politicians are defined by party affiliations.

Both politicians and dogs have genetic characteristics which define how they will look and behave. These traits can be measured and categorized.

Traits, also called heritabilities, can be measured. For dogs, their behaviors include willingness, fighting the lease, hare tracking and obedience .

Those traits are not much different from what we want in politicians. A willingness to follow the majority, avoiding the urge to fight the leash imposed on them by the majority, and obedience to a set of rules and regulations that benefit more than the most wealthy among us. Very few politicians track hares these days. Instead they track money.

If we can genetically engineer dogs, it's time to think about re-engineering our politicians. Until then, I prefer Cocoa.

Berkley vs. Heller (Mike vs. Mike)

Mesquite Nevada Number One Online News Source Mesquite Citizen Journal:

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Mike McGreer's turn

I support Democrat Shelley Berkley because of the positions she takes on issues important to me and my family.

Karl Rove's American Crossroads is paying for ads that distorts Berkley's congressional work in 2008, to safeguard the kidney transplant program at the Las Vegas University Medical Center. The ads are designed to present Berkley as benefiting monetarily from her work in behalf of the kidney program because her husband is a kidney doctor.

It was the Republicans that presented the issue to the House Committee on Ethics in order to use it against her during the 2012 campaign. The Committee has agreed to hear only one issue, i.e. should she have recused herself from supporting the program. The entire Nevada delegation, including Dean Heller, supported the issue. Berkley argues that it was a health issue pure and simple.

Dean Heller, (R) is being attacked for his positions on health care and taxes. Heller voted against the Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012, popularly known as the Buffett Rule, and he voted against the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, calling it "another bank bailout." He opposed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 that created the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and the Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act. The Auto Act saved GM and Chrysler. Nevada banks, credit unions and housing authorities received $161.0 million from TARP. They have returned $140.0M plus another $20.6M in dividends, interest and other fees, leaving a net to date of $367.4K In contrast, Berkley voted in favor of both these bills.

Heller opposed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, and twice (once in the House and once in the Senate) supported Republican Congressman (now Vice Presidential candidate) Paul Ryan's budget plan. He also opposed expanding the Children's Health Insurance Program.

Berkley supports the Patient Protection and Affordable Care, the Children's Health Insurance Program and opposes Ryan's budget plan. She also co-sponsored bills improving services for people with autism & their families; co-sponsored establishing a national childhood cancer database; co-sponsored Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act and supported funding women's health needs.

Heller voted against increasing the minimum wage to $7.25 while Berkley voted in its favor.
Berkley voted for restricting employer interference in union organizing, and opposes discriminatory compensation and she signed Paycheck Fairness Act for stronger enforcement against gender-based pay discrimination.

Heller voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, but proposed an alternative called "End Pay Discrimination" which would prevent the government from collecting salary information and disbursing grants to help women better negotiate higher salaries.
Berkley supports the elimination of oil and gas subsidies. Heller supports oil and gas subsidies but is against subsidies for development of renewable energy, economic incentives to purchase fuel efficient vehicles, and Amtrak improvements.

Heller voted against making additional grants to states for the modernization, renovation, or repair of public schools, early learning facilities and charter schools. He opposed an additional $10.2 billion for federal education & HHS projects.

Berkley voted in favor of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. She also voted in favor of reauthorizing the America COMPETES Act in 2010 but voted against College Cost Reduction and Access Act. She voted in favor of $40B for green public schools; additional $10.2B for federal education & HHS projects; and $84 million in grants for Black and Hispanic colleges. 

Berkley adopted the manifesto to offer every parent a choice between charter schools and public. She co-sponsored an amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to reduce class size to 18 children in grades 1 to 3. She supported funding for teacher training and other initiatives.

Heller vote against a bill to set federal standards for how schools may restrain students believed at risk of hurting themselves or others.

Heller is against abortion but voted in favor of embryonic stem cell research. Berkley is "pro-choice" and also voted in favor of embryonic stem cell research.

Heller opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants, supports a border fence (at $25 million for each mile along the 2,000 mile border) and opposes the DREAM Act which would grant citizenship for young illegal immigrants if they attend college or serve in the military. He supports ending birthright citizenship. Berkley co-sponsored the More Visas for Families of Lawful Immigrants bill, supports building a border fence along the Mexican border, and supports the DREAM Act.

Heller is opposed to gay marriage and against the Employment Non-discrimination Act that called for prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Berkley supports the right of gay and lesbian individuals to get married. Berkley voted in favor of repealing Don't ask, don't tell.

There is an issue they both agree on and that is the right to bear arms.
In the final analysis, Heller is opposed to virtually everything that improves Nevada's economy and the health of the middle-class, the poor and the disenfranchised yet he wants to spend $50 billion dollars on a border fence that people can tunnel under and pole vault over.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mitt Romney was rude, arrogant, opaque, non-specific and out-of-touch with reality during his performance at the Presidential debate last night. His performance was certainly not Presidential.

President Barack Obama, was polite, commanding, open, specific and in-touch with the problems of Americans during his participation in the debate. He was Presidential.

Those looking for entertainment, instead of substance, may have been disappointed by the presidents approach, but a presidential debate is not entertainment. It is serious business.

Romney proved to the country that he cannot be trusted by pandering to the audience and pretending to be someone he is not.

Democratic strategists will have a field day showing videos of his flip-flops especially those related to health-care, taxation and economics. He was simply trying to make himself appear a caring silk purse instead of a dangerous sows ear.

He spouted the same old Republican nonsense that has brought the country to economic ruin. Tax breaks for the wealthy, vouchers (privatizing) for medical care, obscene amounts of money for the military and devolving important issues to cost strapped states.  

Romneys' rants against the President for the condition of the economy were intended to appeal to those who have forgot their fifth-grade civics. As a reminder, there are three branches of government: the executive, the legislative and the judicial.

The Republicans realized four-years ago that if they stopped the work of the legislative branch the economy would continue to crumble and they could then cast the blame onto the President. But the President doesn't control the legislative and Republicans would rather destroy the economy then see Barack Obama elected again. This is racism in its worst form.

Then there is the Citizens United decision by the radical right in the Supreme Court. That politically inspired decision gave organizations the same status as human beings. This allowed right-wing leaning organizations to shovel massive amounts of dollars into the campaign to support John Birch and Russia born Ayn Rand ideology.

Here is how it will play out. Both sides will turn exerts from the debate into campaign advertising, but the democrats will have the upper-hand since they can show Romney for being the pandering, wealthy ideologue that is already on tape. Vice-President Joe Biden will tear republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan apart during the next debate. The president will be on-the-road point out Romney's many defects and follow-up factual-based criticism n the final two presidential encounters.

Romney may like to fire people, including last-nights moderator - Jim Lehrer - but he cannot fire us all.      

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mesquite council out-of-touch on sports complex issue

From Mike vs. Mike in the Mesquite Nevada Number One Online News Source Mesquite Citizen Journal:

The Mesquite City Council still thinks the proposed indoor complex is a good idea but voted unanimously that it is too expensive for the city to construct at this time. It's not a good idea since it does little to create jobs and increase the flow of money in the community. Those are the two basic elements of any economic redevelopment initiative.

You can't just build anything that comes to mind and think it will stimulate the economy. Both business and government people know that an investment must return a profit that exceeds what would be earned if the money was invested in low risk stocks, bonds or Treasuries.
The idea seems to be that visitors will come to town and spend. The truth is that there is little to spend on except in the casinos. And casinos do not stimulate economic growth for reasons that I have written about Ad nauseam.

For a community, any investment must go beyond business profits. Any investment must stimulate the flow of money in the community. This is done, for example, when a retail business or government purchases wholesale products from another business in the community.
Another example, is the hospital which meets the demands of the retiree community, receives income primarily from Medicare, Medicaid, or insurance premiums and pays high wages for professional personnel who then have disposable income to spend in the community if the community offered high-quality goods or services they desire.

The hospital example highlights a local problem. Simply put, the community lacks anything that people with disposable income wish to purchase. Instead they spend in Las Vegas, St. George, or any number of cities north, south, east and west of the city.

There is one example of a local businessman that deserves mention. He is Matthew John. He, and his wife, are individuals who have taken abandoned restaurants and turned them around. He took over a dead diner and turned it into Peggy Sue's. He took over a closed Mexican restaurant and turned it into Cucina Italiana. John also manages the Redd and Grill rooms at the Oasis golf course. Most restaurants purchase their food supplies locally and, in case of the Cucina Italiana, a lot of money was spent creating a welcoming ambiance.

Don Muse, a local advocate of downtown redevelopment also has the right ideas when it comes to investments. Muse, and others, argue that downtown needs to be redeveloped in a way that advances the cultural heritage of the geographic area. Done correctly this would draw visitors, and small business ventures that increase the flow of money in the community.

The Mayor and City Council should stop spending time, energy and money on pseudo-economics and task the City Manager to develop a marketable master plan for downtown redevelopment based upon advancing the cultural heritage of the community.

Mesquite Nevada Number One Online News Source Mesquite Citizen Journal:

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

(Note: A friend asked why the government failed to take against Nakoula Bessely Nakoula for his hate film “Innocence of Muslims.” We talked about the prevalence of hate speech in the world today and I told her I would give the problem some more thought. Here is the results.

Federal prosecutors should give serious consideration to filing felony hate crime and homicide complaints against Nakoula Bessely Nakoula for his alleged role in the killing of Ambassador Chris Stevens, information manager Sean Smith and former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.

Nakoula's amateurish movie “Innocence of Muslims,” slandered the prophet Muhammad and allegedly triggered protests at several U.S. government buildings in the Middle East, including the embassy in Benghazi where the Americans were killed. Additional charges should be filed for every additional Americans killed as a result of the hate-filled movie.

Hate crimes from, lynchings to cross burnings to vandalism of synagogues and mosques, have a long shameful history in the United States, and with advent of social media, hate filled messages can now spread from continent-to-continent at light-speed.

Nakoula did not directly kill the Americans, but the U.S. law of homicide applies when death results from any act by a person who shows a wanton and willful disregard for the risk to humans. Even if the actual killing was done by terrorists, under cover of the demonstrations, the case could be made that the terrorists were the instruments of Nakoula's disregard for the human risk.

If Nakoula's actions were considered a hate-crime felony and the homicides occurred during the commission of that felony, then the crime falls under the felony murder rule. That rule says that anyone committing a felony may be guilty of murder if someone dies as a result of his acts, regardless his intent (or lack thereof) to kill. It would be an interesting point of law if an American (Nakoula in this case) could instigate a criminal act in the United States that kills Americans in a American property (the Embassy) in another country.

I certainly don't know the answer but the law of murder does cover situations where an act is committed in one state but the victim dies in another. Of course, this is all speculation but the United States government needs to act aggressively to stop people from acting in such a reckless manner.

I am obviously a big advocate of freedom of speech in any media format. But, I also recognize that the right is not absolute in any country and it is commonly limited through libel, slander, copyright violations and incitements to commit a crime. The right to transmit information carries with it special duties and responsibilities including respect for a persons reputation, protection of national security and public health.

I realize that hate speech is used against Americans in foreign countries. One can only hope that authorities in those countries would act legally and responsibly and in a manner consistent with both the protection of speech and a recognition of its limitations.