Most people in Washington believe that the Sequestration will happen. Conservative sources like Fox News are busying the bandwidths by calling President Obama a liar and stating that the Sequester will not be all that bad. Conservatives like Rand Paul are backing them up by saying the President is fueling the fire and that it won’t affect public safety or travel, despite Secretary of Transportation La Hood saying otherwise.
Meanwhile, Governors like Governor McDonnell of Virginia and Governor O’Malley of Maryland have both implored the President to do all in his power to keep the sequester from happening. They fear the impact on their states, especially because of hits to the defense contact industry. The governors fear job losses, unemployment and billions taken out of the economy. Both states avoided major unemployment during the financial crash because of location and business from the federal government. In particular, in Virginia, both the Hampton Roads area and Northern Virginia remained solidly employed. Prince William County was hard-hit by foreclosure but that had nothing to do with the federal government.
This Friday, March 1, unless Congress overturns the Budget Control Act of 2011, that authorizes the Sequester, things will start to roll downhill. Federal employees can expect furloughs, no raises.
Two different plans-killing AHA and Big Bird or reducing programs and asking the very wealthy to pay a little more?
Which would you chose?
What will all those young people coming off their parents’ policies do? What about those wo have pre-existing conditions? Will those people be dropped?
If financial burdens are dumped back on the states, as suggested by Mr. Romney, who pays then? How about the poorer states? You and I will pay. Pay me now or pay me later. You heard Mr. Romney–these responsibilities will be returned to the states. I ask, should the pay come from the big national pot of the smaller state pot? It sounds like an invitation for the states to go bankrupt.
It sounds real good, especially to those states rights people. You might want to check with some of Civil War records and all that money. Where did it go? In my family it was all Gone with the Wind.
The question becomes, is the 15% tax rate on capital gains fair? Mitt Romney says yes, because it is all investment money which has already been taxed. For instance, if you own stock in Exxon, and you get a dividend, it was $.57 on each share you own. Supposedly, that money has already been taxes. But has it? I thought the oil companies were always slithering out of paying taxes. How about your dividends on GE? Last year it supposedly didn’t pay corporate taxes.
Mitt Romney doesn’t have an income. He isn’t paid a salary. He lives off his investments. He pays taxes on other things…like capital gains from dividends and from profit made on sale of investments. So is it fair?
I say yes. We all pay what Mitt pays on capital gains. Now he can do fancier things to protect his assets than I can. He has more to play with by about a million billion times. But I am going to defend him…mainly because *I* don’t want to pay more. I wouldn’t have a problem bumping up the rich cats a percent or two once they hit $500,00 but I don’t think Mitt has cheated us.
“He will not. Could I be more clear?” Carney said. “He will not support an extension of the upper-income Bush tax cuts. He could not be more clear.”
Clinton suggested on Tuesday that the cuts on higher-income earners should be extended temporarily to allow the economy more time to heal. But Obama has repeatedly said he wants them to expire as scheduled at the end of this year.
“President Obama has been clear about his position and it has not changed: We should not extend and he will not extend the tax cuts — the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of the American people,” Carney said Wednesday. “It’s bad policy. It’s bad for the economy.”
I haven’t figured out why middle class republicans are protecting the upper 2% like it was their own money. Someone is selling you a bill of goods. Who is better able to take increase? You or them?
On another note, while protecting the rich, it seems that the Republicans threw the American women under the bus:
President Obama railed against a Tuesday Senate vote where the chamber failed to approve the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill designed to Read more…
Verizon came out yesterday or the day before with a plan that was just bound to piss off the masses. Mid-January, those paying their bill by credit or debit card would be assessed a $2.00 fee for the convenience. Customers could save 2 dollars by using an electronic check, money order or mailing in a payment where real people who get salaries and benefits would have to be hired to process the payments. Apparently the Verizon masses rejected the plan quite vociferously and as of today, Verizon announced it had listened to input from customers and would not implement the plan.
I guess Verizon Wireless (who has you locked in with their contracts) remembered none too fondly what happened to the darling of the stock market, Netflix. It restructured its pricing plan and divided into 2 branches–one streaming and one for hard copy dvd movies and blue ray. In some cases, the cost of belonging to Netflix went up by 60%. People left like rats off a sinking ship. CEO Reed Hastings took the heat but it didn’t help. In 2 month’s time Netflix lost over 800,000 customers. The stock has plunged 75%. According to Huffington Post:
Hastings has repeatedly taken the blame for mismanaging the announcement of the price increase in July and then making things worse two months later by trying to spin off Netflix’s DVD-by-mail rental service into a separate website called Qwikster. Since scrapping that idea in October, Hastings has been trying to repair some of the damage.
That will probably take a while. Netflix’s stock price has plunged 75 percent since mid-July to wipe out $12 billion in shareholder wealth. The backlash surprised and humbled Hastings, who revealed at an investor conference this month that he once thought Netflix’s stock would hit $1,000. Netflix’s stock gained $2.87 Thursday to close at $73.84, down from its July high of just under $305.
That maneuver just tells us how volatile some of the stock is to customer satisfaction. I had planned on purchasing more Verizon this week and decided to h0ld off, thinking of Netflix. Meanwhile, HBOgo, Amazon streaming which just happens to be free if you buy the Amazon Prime free shipping plan, and Best Buy all are vying for Netflix defectors. it all reminds me of that tragic error made by Coca Cola. New coke was just miserable. That CEO lost his job.
Is this what decline looks like? According to new supplemental data from the Census Bureau, nearly half of Americans—a shocking record number—have fallen under the poverty line or are classified as “low income” and barely scraping by. Many in the middle class have dropped to the low-income threshold, meaning they make less than $45,000 for a family of four, because of pay cuts or spouses losing jobs. They number 97.3 million, and together with the 49.1 million in poverty, they represent about 48 percent of the U.S. population, or 146.4 million. That’s up by 4 million from 2009 numbers.
That seems rather high for a poverty threshold. What defines ‘poor?’ What criteria is used? Does it vary from region to region? Many starting pay jobs in this area are below $45,000. Recently separated or divorced women often have to restart careers making this much money. Are they all living in poverty? Starting pay in Prince William County for a first year teacher is $43,615 for 195 days work. No paid holidays etc. That’s below the poverty level if that teacher has a spouse and kids.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think living on $45,000 would be picnic, but I think you can have a roof over your head and clothes on your back, even in Northern Virginia. Do we need to rethink what poor is? What does poor mean to you?
Will Northern Virginia suffer a financial relapse? If yes, what will cause it? What can we do to insulate ourselves and our families from it?
More than 60 percent of states pay their rank-and-file employees better than Virginia.
And when compared to the average salary among Virginia’s private-sector employees, the outlook for state government worker pay in Virginia is even worse, ranking 48th in the nation.
Those startling statistics come from a recently released report from the state’s Department of Human Resources Management using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The numbers are in stark contrast to this year’s analysis of compensation details for 104,552 state employees by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which shows the average state salary of roughly $52,553 — nearly identical to the average salary in the state’s private sector.
The Super Committee, charged with shaving $1.2 Trillion dollars off the federal debt, failed to answer their mandate and now admits defeat. The committee was comprised of 6 Republicans and 6 Democrats. They have met since August, 2011.
I haven’t followed them. I saw that all 6 Republicans chosen for the committee were tied to Grover Norquist pledges so the entire committee became a joke. Committees should consist of people who have a willingness to compromise. Those committed to a pledge won’t be able to do that. Why were people chosen who were bound to a pledge that technically could not involve any outcome that involved taxes being raised anywhere? Do we all just look stupid?
Hold on to your 401k and other investments today. The ride should be like a roller coaster….all going downhill. The pledgers are bound to destroy us to save us.
No person committed to a pledge should have ever been chosen for a committee that by definition will require compromise. Thanks R’s. Thanks for nothing, again. And you want my Independent vote because? Yea, I want to be broke. I want my social security, my medicare and my other retirement funds broke. That just gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. Let’s protect the rich from any tax increase at all and stick it to the senior citizens and the middle class.
Rachel Maddow warns us all about our 401Ks(authorized in 1978). Our nest eggs give us a false sense of security. They are riddled with hidden fees. Everyone needs to see this segment of Rachel Maddow. Meanwhile, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security.
Just a few tidbits about your 401k–it is only worth 76% of what you see. Why? Taxes haven’t been taken out. The 403B is its ugly evil twin (those often have annuity zingers attached that cost you money). That’s if you live in Virginia. Most people who contribute to a plan get some free money. That is good. However, if you don’t get matching funds, you are far better off using an IRA as a retirement vehicle. Why? More choices. Company 401k plans are usually limited in choices.
Over the weekend, former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski spoke the following when he accepted the Jury du Prix Tocqueville Prize in France:
The foregoing observation is especially relevant to our understanding of the challenge facing contemporary America. Though a democracy, it is becoming a country of socially ominous extremes between the few super rich and the increasingly many who are deprived. In America today the top 1% of the richest families own around 35% of the entire nation’s wealth, while the bottom 90% own around 25%. It should be a source of perhaps even greater concern that the majority of all currently serving Congressmen and Senators, and similarly most of the top officials in the executive branch, fall in the category of the very rich, the so-called top 1%.
At the same time, though still a unique super-power, America finds it difficult to cope with the consequences of the increasingly accelerating global changes that are spinning out of control, both on the socio-economic and on the geopolitical levels. Socio-economically, the world is becoming a single playing-field in which 3 dynamic realities increasingly prevail: globalization, “internetization”, and deregulation.
By now, everyone is familiar with the Wall Street protesters. All sorts of folks have commented on who they are and billing them as anti capitalists. I am not so sure that is correct. The protesters have not delivered their message well.
To be fair, the reason why some mainstream news journalists and many of the audiences they serve see the Occupy Wall Street protests as incoherent is because the press and the public are themselves. It is difficult to comprehend a 21st century movement from the perspective of the 20th century politics, media, and economics in which we are still steeped.
In fact, we are witnessing America’s first true Internet-era movement, which — unlike civil rights protests, labor marches, or even the Obama campaign — does not take its cue from a charismatic leader, express itself in bumper-sticker-length goals and understand itself as having a particular endpoint.
So who are these protesters? We do we think vs what do we know? Are these simply people who want reform? Wall Street isn’t innocent so they should not be playing the victim. Is CNN right in its assessment?
It all started with a tweet from an SMU student to ABC news asking for help finding Made in America products for her dorm room. It seems that the college catalog for dorm shopping had NO products that were made in America. So the search began.
Diane Sawyer reported some amazing figures. If colleges and universities had Made in America products in the catalogs they provide the nearly 3 million new students entering college this year, a half million jobs would be created. $46 Billion dollars are spent each year to outfit new rooms. Over 800 colleges use this catalog and all the schools got money back for distributing the catalogs to incoming freshmen.
Will the colleges switch? Probably only if students and taxpayers insist! Why are we peddling foreign made products?
Good job ABC News for ferreting out this glaring problem. Good for SMU for agreeing to change. No one had asked. Therefore, no one knew.
So why is President Obama the villain in all of this? At what point are the Republicans going to admit their culpability in extreme debt over 8 years? Any time it is brought up, Obama is accused of trying to blame Bush. Well…we need to stop blaming anyone. However, facts are facts.
Financing 2 wars and a drug program and cutting taxes caused the problem. There was more going out than coming in. It is a relatively simple math problem. I liked having a tax cut. Who wouldn’t? But it contributed largely to our current situation, given our expenditures during the Bush years. Let’s all just be honest where it came from and come up with solutions to fix the problem rather that racing right up to the edge of the cliff over ideology.
The S & P also needs the American people to collectively give it the finger. Where was that agency before the Crash of 2008? Obviously playing switch.
Tea Party Senate candidate Jamie Radtke apparently isn’t practicing what she preaches. On Friday she stated on her website that she was running for office because of the fiscal “ineptitude, mismanagement and irresponsibility” of the nation’s current leaders. However, it appears her own house isn’t in order.
The larger problem for Radtke emerges further down in her report. As of June 30, she had $46,000 in the bank and $84,000 in debt. While about $6,000 of that total is money Radtke owes to herself for campaign expenses, roughly $70,000 is money she owes to various consulting firms.
Asked for comment, Radtke’s campaign turned its guns against Allen.
“Here are the facts: When this campaign is over, Jamie’s debt will be paid and gone,” said Radtke spokesman Chuck Hansen. “Meanwhile, the $3.1 trillion in debt George Allen voted for while senator is still on our books.”
It’s not uncommon for campaigns to owe money to vendors, but it’s relatively rare for candidates to have more debts than money in the bank. And given that Radtke isn’t nearly as well-known among Virginia voters as Allen is, it’s widely assumed in state political circles that she will have to improve her fundraising if she hopes to mount a strong challenge in the GOP primary.
I don’t care if the lady is in debt or not. Campaign financing is obscene to me anyway. It takes one’s breath away. But isn’t Ms. Radtke a little on the hypocritical side to be in debt herself all while telling us that the current national leaders are inept, irresponsible and mismanage their financial responsibilities?
Radtke needs to learn to run with the big dogs or stay on the porch. She also needs to tell her IT staff to check for code error mistakes on the website. Ouch.