$800B Cut in Deductions; Which Specific Tax-Deductions Are Being Eliminated?

How do you permanently eliminate $800B in Tax-deductions? It is possible and it is easy to provide the specific answer. Where are the specifics?

I for one am encouraged that we will get a bevy of specific answers over the next 30 days. I am glad to see the public negotiations going on between the elected officials because this means there are substantive private negotiations taking place as well.

Recently two plans for deficit deduction were presented publicly. Both plans have a revenue component. One asks for $1.6T in revenue by allowing the current temporary tax-rates to expire and return to 1994 levels. If this happens , presto , new revenue appears! As long as there are no new tax-cuts, the new revenue can work to reduce the deficit.

The other plan leaves those tax-rates in place and instead seeks to raise revenue by eliminating $800b in tax-deductions. By keeping all of the tax-rates in place, the deficit grows by $1.6T so the elimination of $800B in deductions still requires $800B more in savings or cuts or deduction eliminations from somewhere else. The result of this theory produces zero net new revenue. Not a dime since the $1.6T would be used to pay for $1.6T in tax-cuts.

In the words of Sesame Street: ” … one of these things (revenue plans) is different from the other”.

Today, I am going to focus on the revenue-only portion of the the new House plan since the President’s revenue plan is already very specific – return to 1994 tax rates on all income over $250k. Let Capital Gain, Dividend , and Inheritance tax rates return to 1994 levels as well. We all understand how he gets to $1.6T. What we do not know is how the House Speaker gets to his new revenue target. Let’s see if we can gain more clarity.

I would like to focus on the area of deductions being discussed since one of the plans has now provided a written revenue target of $800b over 20 years. The simple concept is to eliminate deductions totaling a specific targeted amount. What is not clear is which deductions are being eliminated and which taxpayers is being impacted.

In order to assist you, I am providing an excellent tool created by the Washington Post. This tool allows anyone to see the specific value of all of the current deductions – broken down by IRS tax sections. Within about an hour of using this tool, you will have answers to just about every one of your questions related to what is normally a complicated discussion.

[Update: Here is a link to a great resource which details all 172 tax deductions. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/tax-code-break-by-break/ ]

The total value of all 172 individual and corporate tax deductions is approximately $1.1 trillion per year. Which deduction must be cut in order to achieve the goals of the House Leaders new plan without retarding growth, cutting jobs, or driving up the national debt?

The value of the top 25 deductions for corporations, investors and business interests is approximately $460 billion or nearly 42% of the total value of all available tax deductions, tax credits and tax loopholes -($1.1 trillion).

You do the math.

The top 25 tax deductions enjoyed by individual non-business specific taxpayers by random order of value are:

1. Mortgage Deduction – $ 88.7 billion
2. Earned Income tax credit – $ 62.5 billion
3. Employer Plans. – $ 42.2 billion
4. IRA Plans – $ 15.0 billion
5. Charitable Contributions – $ 39.6 billion
( non-health )
6. Charitable Deductions – $ 4.5 billion
( health only)
7. Medical Savings Accounts – $ 1.9 billion
8. Capital Gains Exclusion – $ 27.6 billion
on home sales
9. Credit for homebuyer expense – $ 10.4 billion
10. Step-up basis of Capital Gain $ 50.9 billion
at death
11. Additional Deduction for elderly – $ 2.5 billion
12. Capital Gains (except agriculture- $ 37.6 billion
timber, iron ore and coal
13. Exclusion of interest on Life – $ 21.2 billion
Insurance savings
14. Property Tax Deduction. – $ 19.3 billion
15. Parental personal exemption – $ 3.0 billion
for students age 19 & older
16. Charitable contributions – $ 4.5 billion
( education only )
17. Exclusion of scholarship and – $ 3.0 billion
fellowship income
18. Credit for child & dependent – $ 1.9 billion
care expense
19. Making work pay tax credit – $ 44.0 billion
20. American Opportunity tax credit – $ 14.4 billion
21. Lifetime learning tax credit – $ 3.9 billion
22. Child Credit – $ 42.5 billion
23. Exclusion of taxes/benefits for – $ 13.3 billion
Armed Forces personnel
24. Deductibility of non-business – $ 37.7 billion
state & local taxes
25. Discharge of mortgage debt – $ 1.4 billion

The value of the top 25 deductions for individuals is approximately $460 billion or nearly 42% of the total value of all available tax deductions, tax credits and tax loopholes -($1.1 trillion).

The top 25 tax deductions enjoyed specifically by corporations or specifically high-earning businesses and investors by random order of value are:

1. Employer contributions for health – $173.0 billion
Insurance premiums
2. Employer Plans – $ 42.2 billion
3. KEOGH IRA Plans – $ 15.0 billion
(self employed)
4. Credit for small business. – $ 2.6 billion
health expenses (additional)
5. Interest exclusion on – $ 3.6 billion
hospitable construction bonds
6. Self Employed Medical. – $ 6.2 billion
Insurance Premiums
7. Additional Deductibility of – $10.0 billion
Medical Expenses (large)
8. Energy Production Credit. – $ 1.6 billion
9. Alcohol Fuels Credit. – $ 3.1 billion
10. Special Credit -Oil & Gas. – $ 4.2 billion
11. Credit for low-income. – $. 6.0 billion
housing investments
12. Accelerated Depreciation for – $17.5 billion
machinery & equipment
13. Exclusion of net inputed – $47.0 billion
rental income
14. Graduated corporation – $ 3.3 billion
income tax rate
15. Deduction for US production. – $13.8 billion
activities
16. Exemption from passive loss – $10.9 billion
rules for rental loss
17. Carryover basis of Capital – $ 4.8 billion
gains on gifts
18. Expensing of certain small – $ 6.7 billion
investments
19. Graduated Corporation – $ 3.3 billion
Income tax rate
20. Treatment of qualified. – $23.6 billion
dividends
21. Accelerated depreciation on – $13.0 billion
buildings other than housing
22. Exclusion of interest on bonds – $ 2.4 billion
for educational facilities
23. Employer provided child care – $ 1.4 billion
exclusion
24. Credit for increasing research – $ 3.9 billion
activities
25. Deferral of income for foreign – $41.4 billion
controlled corporations

The value of the top 25 deductions for corporations, investors and business interests is approximately $593 billion or nearly 55% of the total value of all available tax deductions, tax credits and tax loopholes -($1.1 trillion).

Ok my friends, you now have the exact same data the politicians have. You can now decide exactly what to keep and what to cut.

You may have heard some in Congress have already stated they will not cut Mortgage interest deductions, child education deductions, employer healthcare deductions, dividend income deductions, or charitable contributions. As you can see, it gets much harder to achieve $80B per year in tax-deduction savings (approx $800B over 10 years), if you do not affect the aforementioned deductions.

You may have also heard about a concept that Congress would have a limited deduction “bucket” of $17k, $25k, or even $50k. This means an individual or Corporation can only take a maximum of deductions in a single year. This idea is not in writing anywhere so it is nothing to be taken seriously at this point. Only when Congress settles on a real number in the bucket can anyone evaluate whether the bucket is big enough to work.

You now understand the value of the top 50 deductions which make up over 90% of all 172 deductions. I would be nice to specifically see how those offering an $800B plan to eliminate or cut deductions are getting there. To be very clear, cutting $800B in deductions while leaving all tax-rates in place still adds at least $800B to the deficit so we still have not solved the deficit challenge.

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Posted in "We-the-People - 1 Business Dude's Perspective on Current Political Theatre, 4 Year Comparison, Are You Better Off, Conventions, Election Promises, elections, Energy, Fiscal Cliff, flip flops, Jobs, medicare, Politics, Presidential Debates, Sequestration, tax avoidance, tax loopholes, Tax Rate Discussion, truthfulness, two faces, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sequestration – How To Get $1.2T Without Killing Demand In The Economy

Demand is what drives business growth, opportunity and economic prosperity.  Over the past few years, demand has contracted in many industries, yet over the past 24 months, we have begun to experience a slow and measurable path towards real GDP growth.  Demand is increasing in the US and American businesses are in fact responding appropriately by slowly and carefully increasing investments.

In 2011,  Congress (The Super-fail Committee) created a self-inflicted wound commonly referred to as Sequestration.  With December 31, 2012 fast approaching, Congress has turned the situation into what is commonly referred to as the” fiscal–cliff”.  If Congress has its way, it will attempt to destroy growth for the foreseeable future by inaction and stupidity.  And to think, these folks are getting paid to reach this conclusion.

First, let’s start off with a baseline.  Sequestration.

Congress wants to reduce the deficit by $1.2T over the next 10 years by implementing across-the-board cuts of $600B from Defense and $600B from the Discretionary budget.  VA, Homeland/National Security, Medicare and Social Security were excluded.  Sequestration is how Congress refers to this process.

To be clear, the Discretionary budget includes the FBI, National Institute of Health and Farm subsidies to name just a few; while Defense includes Pentagon, spending, weapons systems and troops.  Each of these budgets represent jobs and demand.

For the people that say government does not create jobs, the sequestration reality clearly contradicts that assertion.  Observe the gnashing-of-teeth going on as defense contractors and Congress warn of massive job losses if the government reduces spending.  Government not only creates many jobs of its own, it creates the demand for solutions that unleashes the private-sector to satisfy that demand.  The private-sector responds by creating innovative solutions, products and services – which in turn creates value for the entire nation.  This is how private industry and the public sector work together in a healthy symbiotic manner that can create economic prosperity for all citizens.

However, cutting $1.2T out of the economy in the manner outlined in Sequestration will negatively impact demand to the point where the cascading effect will be major job loss, de-funding research and development, elimination of valuable services, and further consumer/business contraction.

Yes, there are expenditures in the discretionary budget and the defense budget that can be trimmed; however, by practicing the naive concept of straight-line cuts without any departmental input or strategic logic, we put efficiency at risk.  In other words, I might be willing to cut 100% out of a low-priority program while needing to invest 5% more in another program to make it more efficient.  Cutting both programs by the same percentage is not prudent.  As long as a department can achieve the ultimate cost-reduction goal while preserving the effective deployment of the mission, why would we want Congress to tell them exactly how to do it?

While they dither, let’s see if we can find our own solution which can be implemented over the next 30 days.

Solution:

1.  Issue a directive for the individual departments to identify spending cuts totaling  $550B (not $1.2T) in spending and give to the appropriators in Congress by December 30.  $275B in discretionary, $275B in defense.  Since these departments have been staring at $1.2T in cuts for the last 12 months, they have already determined how to cut $550B and can provide those answers quickly.

As a business person, I understand that allowing the individual departments to budget to a net goal (scalpel)  is preferred over an across-the-board (hatchet) cut since it encourages the departments to prioritize and build performance-based budgets. The economy can handle $550B in spending cuts if done in a strategic manner.

2. The President has offered $450B in savings from Medicare.  Don’t be an idiot – take it.

3.  Tax rates are returning to Clinton-era rates.  We can hate it/fight it/deny it but everyone knows that after this particular election, tax revenue is going to be on the table.  If you can get a deal to permanently exempt the first $250k in adjusted income from taxation – for all Americans –  don’t be an idiot – take it.

Some might feel it best to let these tax cuts expire for everyone and they may be right.  However, that plan does not seem to be in vogue.   However, the tax cut will cost the Treasury $650B.

This means upper-income rates are going up to 39%.  Treasury savings will be $450B.

4.  Fight to limit the increase in Capital Gains rates to 25% versus 40% and keep Dividend rates at 25% as well.  By the way, neither capital Gain or Dividend income is ever “taxed-twice”.  What is taxed is the gain, not the principal.  If you earned $100k in adjusted income and paid taxes of $35,000, you are left with $65k.  If you then invested your $65k in stock that either dispersed a dividend of say $5k or sold your stock and earned $5k, you are taxed on the $5k not the underlying principal of $65k.

To be honest with you, if you lost the $5k and lost the entire $65k, you can actually take that loss against your future gain/earnings.  In America, we reward “capital and investment risk” … twice.  So in reality, you are only taxed once on principal and once on gain but if you lose money, you actually are credited for losing principal.  Treasury savings will be $300B.

5.  Make this all happen the first week of January so those finding it impossible to ever support a tax-rate increase can be freed from their self-imposed restriction.  Since the rates expire on December 31, 2012 and that expiration was approved by a previous Congress, any rise in rates is actually the fault of the previous Congress.  “Yeah … that’s the ticket .  This allows the Congress in place in January to go on record as permanently lowering taxes for current and future generations of tax-paying Americans.

6.   Spending for the budget actually fell  last year lowering the need to cut the full $1.2T.  The spending reduction is projected to save $50B over 10 years; therefore lowering the Sequestration goal to $1.150T

Goal : Achieve $1.2T in reduced spending or new revenue.

Solution: Achieved a combination of cuts, reductions and revenue valued at $1.2T.  ($1.2T -$550b – $450B + $600B – $450B -$250B – $50B = $0).

This resolves the dollars necessary to stave off Sequestration.

This does not deal with the “BIG DEAL” of $3T more in deficit reduction but it does take us off the cliff and add certainty to the marketplace.

This does not deal with the expiration of the Unemployment benefit extension , the Medicare tax-holiday or the Doctor-fix for Medicare; which represent a cost of close to $130B.  However, I have also not accounted for the change in the Inheritance Tax once the rates expire on December 31, 2012.  The 10-year value of the Inheritance-Tax change is over $120B .

I have also not added any new spending for infrastructure and education as the President has requested in his $4T “BIG PLAN”.  He is asking for at least $80B in new spending.

Nor have I attempted to capture the elimination of any deductions at this time since i am not exactly sure how long it will take for everyone to be honest about which to eliminate   As you know, the total value of all deductions – individual and corporate, is over $100B per year.

Nor have I accounted for the savings related to ending the wars.  Many have panned the President for using spending related to the wars in his savings calculations.  Unfortunately, many in the public do not recall the Bush Administration purposely excluded the cost of the wars from their budgets and Congress did not add the costs either.  These costs were considered extraordinary expenses and were treated as an off-budget line item.  Supposedly, since no one knew how long the wars would last, no one thought they should actually include the spending in their 10 year budget projections.  The GAAP gods were not be happy.

The off-balance budgeting process made the budget appear lower yet everyone knew we were still going to spend the money for the wars because no one was talking about ending them.  Long-term deficits forecasting would not include the wars.

Obama included the wars in his budgets – immediately creating deficit spending in his first budget.  He took a lot of heat for his “on-budget” war model because it added and compounded the deficit.  However, now that he is out of Iraq and getting out of Afghanistan, (date-certain), he is removing $1T from his 10 year budget forecast.  This is how he can claim $1T in budget savings.

When it is time to negotiate the BIG DEAL, as you can see, there are a number of opportunities.

However, for now, we are focused on the $1.2T related to Sequestration and we appear to have a solution for that particular problem.

 

Posted in "We-the-People - 1 Business Dude's Perspective on Current Political Theatre, 4 Year Comparison, Are You Better Off, Conventions, Election Promises, elections, employment report, Energy, Fiscal Cliff, flip flops, Jobs, medicare, National Security, Politics, Presidential Debates, Renewable Energy, Sequestration, tax avoidance, tax loopholes, Tax Rate Discussion, truthfulness, Uncategorized, unemployment report | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Fiscal Cliff Issues Will Be Solved … We Have The Plan

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The fiscal cliff will be solved. Stop fretting, my friends because the solution is not only logical, it is imminently doable.

The Fiscal-Cliff components are:

a). $1.2 trillion in mandated spending cuts to Domestic and Pentagon programs.
b). $ 44 billion in the unemployment-benefit extension.
c). $100 billion in the temporary payroll-tax reduction.
d). $ 6 billion in the medicare-doc reimbursement fix ( currently a one-year fix).

Oh me, oh my … what to do??

Before I spill the beans, let me first correct a few inaccurate statements made by “the undertakers”. These are the folks that see “Big Foot Riding A Unicorn” whenever they seek to confuse facts with their own fiction.

Statement:
“President Obama increased the federal government deficit by $1 trillion in his first year”.
Lie. The CBO reported on January 7, 2009 that the 2009 budget deficit was projected to be $1.2 trillion. This was 13 days before President Obama took office. By the end of Obama’s first year, the deficit grew by an additional $290 billion. Obama deserves the fault for the $290 billion increase but the rest of that deficit was all from the prior administration.

The $1 trillion deficit statement is often quoted because people don’t realize the Fiscal Year 2009 budget is for the the period October 1, 2008 – September 30, 2009. The 2009 budget was President Bush’s budget not Obama’s.

Statement:
“The current administration is spending more as a percentage of GDP than at any point in history”.
Lie. Since 1947, (the first year this data was tracked), the average government spending to GDP was 20.2%. The Reagan Administration averaged a spending level of 20.7% of GDP.

Under the Obama spending, spending has averaged 19.2% to GDP.

Statement:
“Government spending has increased in every year of the current administration”.
Lie. Government spending peaked in the second quarter of 2009 and has fallen in every year since. Government spending in Fiscal Year 2012 is $billions below Fiscal-Year 2011.

Statement:
There is no way to reduce the cost of government by $1.2 trillion over a 10 year period without destroying the country”.
Too pessimistic and completely inaccurate.

I found these sites very valuable and they are the source of the attached charts;
http://www.factchecker.org/2012/06/obamas-spending-inferno-or-not/
http://www.economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/27/big-government-isnt-so/

http://www.economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/27/biggovernment-isnt-so/
www.economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/27/biggovernment-isnt-so/

www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/revisiting-the-cost-of-the-bush-tax-cuts/2011/05/09/AFxTFtbG_blog.html

OK, enough of that crud. Let’s move forward and start solving problems. How do we resolve the “self-inflicted” Fiscal-Cliff?

Here is the plan:

Congress created the “Super-Committee”,(which I refer to as the “Super-Fail” Committee), to devise a way to cut $1.2 trillion in government spending over a 10 year period. Unfortunately these knuckle-heads politicized the make-up of the committee and filled it with too many people empowered only to say NO.

As a result, this group of Fiscal-Einstein’s concluded they would force across the board cuts in Domestic spending and Pentagon spending equaling $600 billion each. $1.2 trillion over 10 years. They would exclude Medicare, VA, National Security, and Social Security. The concept was that no sentient being would take this kind of hatchet to the budgets of the Pentagon and all Domestic spending. Surely saner minds would intervene and save the crazy folks from the crazy folks. This would be a terrible time for anyone in Congress with a mirror, (“I have seen the enemy and them is us”).

These elected officials gave themselves 12 months to negotiate a better solution to find the $1.2 trillion in savings. Well, with 1 month to go, these folks still have not done their jobs!

Therefore a real plan will be presented this week by the newly elected President and many practical folks in the Senate. With the election over and the President granted the authority to get the country moving forward, tomorrow he will present his solution to the “Super-Fail” Committee’s failure to do their jobs.

Goal – Reduce the cost of government over a 10 year period by $1.2 trillion with a combination of cost reduction and new revenue.

1). Plan: First $600 billion

Effective January 2013, individual departments of the government will be told to work with their organizational structure and within the next 30 days, find $600 billion in spending cuts or reduced spending over the next 10 years. $300 billion in Domestic spending and $300 billion in Pentagon spending. Not $600 billion each. Instead of a hatchet or illogical across-the-board -cuts, these cuts would be logical and surgical. They would be driven by what will be best for the country and the function of the specific departments.

Believe me, these folks already know how to get to $300 billion because they have spent the last 11 months painfully trying to find a way to get to $600 billion each. They will be relieved to only have to hit $300 billion each without destroying their ability to serve the American people.

Now that Paul Ryan himself admitted that his own budget reduced the growth of spending and therefore counted the reduction in growth as “spending cuts”, the Republicans can accept the concept that reductions in planned spending are in fact “spending-cuts”. Happy days!

Ok, we have cut $600 billion. Good job. $600 billion to go.

2). Plan: Let all the 12 years of Bush and Obama tax cuts expire. Savings = $1.5 trillion over 10 years. The best data I can find shows the tax cuts cost between $1.8 billion-$2.1 billion during the combined 10 years of Bush and Obama. I am using $1.5 billion in order to be conservative.

The tax-cuts have to be allowed to expire since it is the only way many Republican’s can still claim to have never “raised taxes”. Once they expire, everyone will clamor for credit for new tax cuts.

Give them their wish in 2013.

Pass a new 2013 Middle-Class tax cut for those earning less than $200k in adjusted income.
Cost $700 billion.

$800 billion in new revenue remains.

Use $600 billion to pay down the remaining $600 billion shortfall.

What to do with the remaining $200 billion?

3). Well we could and should use it to pay down the deficit. However, it is more likely that we will use:

A). $44 billion to extend Unemployment Insurance for another 12 months. Jobs are coming back.
B). $55 billion to fix the Medicare Doc fix for 10 more years as Obamacare takes effect.
C). $99 billion to extend the payroll-tax reduction for 12 months. We need to end the payroll-tax extension sooner versus later since we do not want to negatively impact the sustainability of the system. However, there is a way to smooth the impact by gradually easing America back to pre-recession payroll tax rates after the first 6 months of the year.
D.) $2 billion to pay down the deficit. We have to start somewhere.

Fiscal-Cliff issue is solved.

Let me repeat, fiscal-cliff is solved.

I’m sure there are a plethora of ideas to deal with the fiscal-cliff; however, my position is if you are looking for a plan that does not wreck the planet, you are free to use mine. I’m being a bit goofy here but you see my point.

I believe on Friday at 1:30 PM eastern, President Obama will present a framework for resolving the fiscal crisis that will be imminently doable, reasonable and practical. It does not matter that some will fight against common-sense because it will be clear the leverage exists to solve the “self-inflicted fiscal-cliff. The tax-cuts are going to expire and everyone that watched this election knows full well the President told everyone exactly what he intended to do; he committed to let all of the tax-cuts expire and then pass new cuts on the FIRST $200k in adjusted income for EVERY TAXPAYER.

The fiscal-cliff issues will be solved because there is a plan that makes sense.

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Posted in 4 Year Comparison, Are You Better Off, Conventions, Election Promises, elections, employment report, Fiscal Cliff, flip flops, Jobs, obamacare, Politics, Presidential Debates, Renewable Energy, Republican Convention, Sequestration, tax avoidance, tax loopholes, Tax Rate Discussion, truthfulness, two faces, Uncategorized, unemployment report, Vice Presidential Debate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

4 Years Later, Are Americans Better Off?

4 years ago, was America in a better or worse position than we are in today? Let’s be very clear that I am not talking about anyone’s condition suffered under a natural disaster like Hurricane Sandy or any other individual tragedies like a house fire or the loss of a relative. None of these folk will ever be better off.

What I am talking about is are you better off after surviving the most destructive, policy-inspired, man-made disaster and financial tragedy in memory which culminated in 2008?

I believe I can partially answer this burning question by using 18 points of comparative data. I chose these specific 18 measures because they were important to me. Others may have chosen different sets do data; however my goal will be to use the same 18 measures until January 2013.

Last month I compared where we were – September 2012 to the same period in 2008. Please refer to my earlier post and use as a reference. Today I will revise my data to reflect the period covering the full month of October 2012 and October 2008.

The information I am sourcing is available in numerous places which are all publicly available. It seems most logical to use the sources that are fact-based and non-partisan; especially since these sources tend to be used by both political parties when the news favors their positions.

The test: Is America better off on November 1, 2012 than it was on November 1, 2008?
You be the judge.

Let’s look at 18 data sets I like to call, facts.

1. Stock Market close
2. Monthly job losses
3. Price of a gallon of gas
4. Price of a barrel of oil
5. Personal Savings rate
6. Mortgage Interest Rate
7. Number of troops injured/killed in Iraq
8. Value of dollar to euro
9. New Business Start-ups
10. Unemployment Rate
11. Number of net new jobs created full year (2008 and YTD 2012)
12. Average Hourly Wage
13. Inflation Rate
14. Housing Starts
15. Americans With Health Insurance
16. Illegal Border Crossing Arrests
17. Tax Rates – Capital/Dividend/Personal/Corporate
18. Middle-Class -Small Business Tax Rates

In the immortal words of Joe Friday : “… just the facts”.

(1) S&P 500 / Dow Industrial Average monthly close (Full month October).

10/31/2012; 1412 / 13,096
10/31/2008; 1253 / 9,465

Better or worse in 2012? Better. Your 401k, pensions, and capital investments have made 40% more money. This is much better than the value of your investments at the end of 2008 when they lost over 50% of their value. You are doing much better in 2012. Period.
Percentage better or worse in 2012? 35-40% Better.

(2) Monthly job +gains/losses

October 2012; +174,000
October 2008; – 496,000

Better or worse in 2012? Better
Percentage better or worse in 2012? OMG% Better.

(3) Price of a gallon of gas.

11/1/2012; $3.44
11/1/2008; $2.66

Better or worse in 2012? Worse for consumers and businesses but good for the gas industry. The US government does not own a gas station or a refinery so all price fluctuations related to gas prices are based on free-market principles and our capitalism. The state taxes related to gas prices are the same percentage in 2012 as they were in 2008. Higher prices are simply a function of what the market will bear. If the public wants lower prices they have to make their case to the for-profit industry not the government.

Percentage better or worse in 2012 ? 30% worse.

(4) Price of a barrel of oil – Cushings OK Crude Oil Futures.

11/1/2012; $86.24
11/1/2008; “$67.81″

Better or worse in 2012? Better for America since America importing less foreign oil yet exporting more to international markets. Unfortunately because the global market is paying more, American consumers are paying more at the pump. What s really happening oil price speculation is what is driving up a lot of the cost at the pump. This is how capitalism works. At least the oil and gas industry is making lots of money even as consumers finance the profits through higher gas prices.

(5) Personal Savings Rate.

October 2012; 3.3%
October 2008; 3%

Better or worse in 2012? Better. Even though consumer spending represents 75%” of our economy, saving is smart for the long term fiscal sustainability of American families.

Percentage better or worse in 2012? +10% Better.

(6) Mortgage Interest Rate.

11/1/2012; 3.42%
11/1/2008; 6.46%

Better or worse than 2012? Better. If you have a job and you can qualify for a home loan, you’re going to save a lot of money in 2012. This is good for your family and the economy. You can either save more money or you can use the monthly mortgage savings to invest in something you want or need like a new business, college tuition or some other important expense. This is a very positive benefit for many Americans on 2012.

Percentage better in 2012? 90% Better.

(7) Number of US Troops killed in Iraq.

October 2012; 0
October 2008; 14

Better or worse in 2012? Better. A soldiers life is something we as a nation must value above all else.
Percentage better than 200? Infiniti better if you ask a soldier or their family.

(8) Value of US dollar to Euro.

11/1/2012; $1.245
11/1/2008; $1.247

Better or worse in 2012? Almost the same.
Percentage better or worse in 2012? Similar%.

(9) New Business Start-ups.

11/1/2012; 9.2% of businesses – 603,000 (First 10 months of 2012)
11/1/2008; 10.1% of businesses – 626,000 (Full year actual for 2008)

Better worse in 2012? Worse. With 2 more months to go in 2012 and the economy improving not shrinking, the trend for new business growth is positive not negative.
Percentage better or worse over 2008? 3% Worse, but trending more positive than negative.

(10) Unemployment Rate.

October 2012; 7.9%
October 2008; 6.5%

Better or worse in 2012? Unfortunately the job losses in September 2008 were 415,000. They got worse in October 2008 when they hit 496,000 job losses. In November 2008 – January 2009, over 1.5 million more jobs will be lost. By the end of 2009, the unemployment rate would exceed 10% The unemployment rate was trending upwards in October 2008 while it appears to be trending downwards as of October 2012.

(11). Number of net new jobs created.

Jan. 2009 – 10/31/2012; Gross – 5.4 million; net + 568,000
Jan. 2000 – 10/31/2008; Gross – 3.8 million; net -1.1 million

Better or worse in 2012? Better. America had zero net new jobs at the end of 8 years from 2000-2008. This performance was the worst job production in the last 40 years in America. Since 2009, over 4.8 million jobs were lost however over 5.4 million jobs were created. Today, there are more than 568,000 more Americans working. There are 3 more months of job creation numbers remaining under the current administration. The jobs numbers are trending positive for the remaining 3 months however Hurricane Sandy will have an impact.

Percentage better or worse in 2012? Significantly Better.

(12) Average Hourly Wage -Non-Farm Payroll.

11/1/2012; $23.58
11/1/2008; $21.82

Better or worse in 2012? Better
Percentage better or worse in 2012? 10%, Better.

(13) Inflation Rate.

11/1/2012; 2.0%
11/1/2008; 3.7%

Better or worse in 2012? Better. Lower inflation means lower consumer costs. Your money goes further.
Percentage better or worse in 2012? +90%, Better.

(14) Housing Starts.
11/1/2012; 798,000
11/1/2008; 520,000

Better or worse in 2012? Better. For many, housing growth is a bell-weather indicator since so many industries benefit from land-acquisition to the construction of buildings and the manufacturing of equipment. If this calculus is accurate, increased housing starts may lead to a positive economic trend as long as the crazy derivative markets and crazy financing does not return.

Percentage better or worse in 2012? 60% Better.

(15) Americans Insured/Uninsured.

2011; 48.6 Million / 15.3% of Americans Uninsured
2008; 50.0 Million / 16.7% of Americans Uninsured

Better or worse in 2012? Better. We do not have the numbers for 2012 as of 11/1/2012. I expect to have them by January 2013. Yet based on 2011 and the trend from 2010-2011, The Kaiser Foundation is projected the trend to continue into 2012.
Percentage better or worse in 2012? 5% Better.

(16) Illegal Border Crossing Apprehensions

YTD through 2012; 218,000
Full Year. 2011; 327,577
Full Year. 2010; 396,906
Full Year 2009; 516,992
Full Year 2008; 1,100,000

Better or worse in 2012? Better. Fewer illegals are attempting to cross as the border has been hardened. The nation increased the number of border patrol agents by nearly 50% over 2008. There has also been significant increases in spending related to border security infrastructure. It is harder for illegals traveling over land to get into the US. The fact that the US has a weaker economy than it did may be reducing the number of illegal immigrants however the economy is even worse in many other countries so the US would still be a major draw to anyone seeking a better life at any cost. Therefore the effectiveness of the enforcement strategy should be given a large portion of credit for the reduction in apprehensions and the illegal traffic at our borders.

The Justice department has also increased its enforcement of illegal hiring and increased the number of arrests and fines of those hiring illegals by 15% over 2008.

Percentage better or worse in 2012? Significantly Better.

(17) Capital Gain/Dividend/individual/Corporate Tax Rates over $200k in income.

11/1/2012; 15, 15, 35, 35
11/1/2008; 15, 15, 35, 35

Better or worse in 2012? Same; however some small businesses have seen tax cuts and tax deductions related to equipment and exports.
Percentage better or worse in 2012? Same.

(18). Additional Middle-Class & Small Business Tax Rates and Equipment Deductions
11/1/2012; Numerous tax rate cuts and expansion of depreciation credits
11/1/2008; Accelerated Depreciation on specific Equipment capped at $100k

Better or worse in 2012? Better?
Percentage better or worse in 2012? There are many new cuts and deductions so it was difficult to quantify specific percentages. It is estimated the savings average 6% or $3,500 per family.

CONCLUSION
I see a lot of BETTER in these facts. You should go online and check multiple sources to verify these facts for yourselves.

It is hard to dispute the fact that America is doing better in 2012 than we were in 2008. We must keep in mind that the months that followed those shown above in 2008, (November 08 -January 09), produced results so negative, they plunged the nation into the largest and deepest recession since the Great Depression in the 30’s. In other words, 2008 got even worse than what is shown above.

It is reasonable to look at the aforementioned data and acknowledge these data points do not represent every measurable economic item; however the list is still a very powerful representation of items that do impact the economic lives of all Americans. It is also reasonable to acknowledge that not every-single American is impacted equally by these data points. Some millionaires have lost money over this period; some poor people have gotten poorer; some skinny people have gained weight. The point is this data may not impact every-single American the same yet I can say with confidence the data does impact a super-majority of Americans. Therefore we can use this data to draw useful conclusions.

Americans are very smart people and we tend to make excellent decisions when armed with the facts. Well, my fellow Americans, let me introduce you to a friend I like to call, THE FACTS . Now that the two of you have met, what is your opinion of what you have learned?

Is America (are Americans) better off in November 2012 ( of course we are not talking about those devasted by the recent hurricane) than America (Americans) was/were in November 2008?
You be the judge.

Now that you know, if anyone asks you THE QUESTION you should be able to answer the question with a resounding, YES!

Let me know if you want me to compare and contrast December 2008/2012 – January 2009 as well.

Posted in 4 Year Comparison, Are You Better Off, Conventions, Election Promises, elections, employment report, Energy, environment, flip flops, healthcare, Immigration, Jobs, natural disasters, obamacare, Politics, Presidential Debates, Renewable Energy, Republican Convention, tax avoidance, tax loopholes, Tax Rate Discussion, truthfulness, two faces, Uncategorized, unemployment report, Vice Presidential Debate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Deny-a-saurus; the World’s Last Dinosaur

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Brontosaurus, Stegosaurus, Tyrannosaurus; each were Dinosaurs who’s primary function in 2012 is as globular masses full of hot air and gas. These amazing small-brained creatures walked the earth millions of years ago and were the dominant force … or at least that’s what they thought. They were eventually wiped-out by a tiny foe they mostly ignored … climate. For reasons we believe we understand, the climate changed, the earth cooled, froze and the dinosaurs all died as a result. They did not stand a chance.

Small-brains never plan ahead nor are they ever proactive, curious, or insightful. Like many of the Dino’s , they seem only interested in conquest, feeding their pie-hole, and pooping like crazy. I’m certain these great beasts would have welcomed someone with a bigger brain to join their team and give them a better contingency plan to deal with a “worst-case-scenario” like … extinction. Well, help never arrived and now they are just “goo”.

However, we have discovered a new dinosaur that walks upright among all other humans, (homosapien’s). This Dino has a large brain yet amazingly, refuses to use it. The creature is purely consumption-focused and holds fast to a belief-structure that places emotion above science and reality. This Dino is never pro-active and is certain his tribe is the dominant force over the earth. This creature hates reality and will instead drink its own kool-aid before it will accept any implication it does not know everything. In other words, this Dino hates fact-checking!

Sound familiar?

This Dinosaur in human form has a name and the name is, “Denyasaurus”.

Theses folks are as useless as the dinosaurs that proceeded them and became extinct. The Denyasaurus’ are unwilling to accept their individual culpability and responsibility to deal with massive changes in their environment. Although they have thumbs and big-brains, they are not like many logical humans because the actions of the Denyasaurus could actually lead to the extinction of every other species on the planet. No logical creature or reasonable human would risk extinction when they could do something positive to reverse course. Unfortunately, the Denyasaurus is neither logical nor reasonable.

One of the more frustrating traits of the Denyasaurus clan is the rigidity of their belief structure. They do not believe in the 12-step process most addicts have to go through in order to save their lives. The process starts with the following acknowledgement: “I am an addict and can’t control my addiction”. If you find yourself “denying”, you’re never going to find yourself “solving”. The Denyasaurus refuses to acknowledge their impact on the earth itself.

In many instances, people can and should debate and challenge each other and their beliefs. When ones beliefs specifically impact that individual alone, most of the time it is best to butt-out and let them do what they want to do. However, if their belief turns into individual actions designed to negatively impact the lives and health of everyone else … well, it becomes time to butt-in.

Climate Change: “Is it real and do I have anything to do with it?”
What are the competing positions?

The competing positions are being argued every day in public as well as in academic circles. The arguments come down to two distinct positions that I will summarized in my own words:

Position 1- Global Climate Change is not happening and is over-hyped. Any efforts to mitigate Climate Change will destroy businesses and taxpayers. Your clan believes your actions have no impact on the environment or the climate and your world is naturally cooling and warming regardless of how you live, produce, or consume. You are free to consume at any level you can afford. You refuse to accept added regulation of pollutants. You are smart enough to voluntarily reduce how and when you choose to save or waste. You also refuse to invest in science that uncovers more about the human impacts on climate change. Your clan denies humans have any real impact on climate change because humans are simply not powerful enough to change the global climate.

Position 2- global Climate Change is real and smart investments to mitigate Climate Change will save businesses and taxpayers. Your clan believes humans may have a negative impact on the climate and the environment. You believe you have an individual and collective responsibility to improve the environment. You are working aggressively to make modifications to how humans live, produce, or consume, and believe it is possible to reverse the negative trend and improve the environment and the climate well into the future. Your goals are to stop emitting pollutants in manufacturing, mandate the reduction of pollution, increase recycling, develop neighborhoods in concert with the surrounding environment, and intelligently reuse assets. You are using peer-reviewed science to prove that humans can have a positive and a negative impact on the environment. You are then developing proven scientific methods to ensure humans act in ways that can produce a positive impact on the environment.

As a nation, which position do you want to bet the future of your Grandchildren on?

1). If the Denyasaurus is wrong, and humans make no changes in the way they impact the environment, lives will be impacted , property destroyed, costs could dramatically increase, and people could die.
2). If those that believe humans have a role in improving the climate, and by taking proactive steps, lives will be impacted in a positive way yet no one will die as a result.

The question to ask is: What happens to our country if either of these positions/concepts are right? More importantly, what happens to our country if either of these positions/concepts is wrong?

As a nation, I ask again, which position do you want to bet your future on?

A million years from now, the remains of the Denyasaurus will be found. They will be as completely useless then, as they are today.

Posted in 4 Year Comparison, Are You Better Off, Climate Change, Conventions, Election Promises, elections, Energy, environment, FEMA, flip flops, Global Warming, hurricane Sandy, Jobs, National Security, natural disasters, Politics, Presidential Debates, Renewable Energy, role of government in disaster relief, Tax Rate Discussion, truthfulness, Uncategorized, Vice Presidential Debate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Hurricane Sandy’s Potential Impact on the Election Narrative

Hurricane Sandy’s rude arrival may create an even larger picture of the role of big and small institutions in all of our lives. The narrative had been: It’s all about the economy, stupid!”. Well, I beg to differ and I have felt this way for a while during this election cycle. “This time it may not be the economy, stupid!”

What happens when something larger than the individual completely knocks a neighborhood, business, city, county and even an entire state to its proverbial knees?

In the words of the Ghostbuster theme song… “Who ya gonna call?”

This time it may not be the economy, stupid!

I spent some time this week trying to answer a very pertinent question related to the upcoming election. The question: Who’s got your back?

When you find yourself in a pinch, who might risk something of their own in order to help you out? Who ya gonna call?

I realize that as a good capitalist, being benevolent or acting the role of social service provider is not my first priority. It is for this specific reason I am glad there is a private-sector and a public-sector. The relationship guarantees that when the country needs a solution most appropriately dealt with without a profit-motive, the public-sector can play its role. In areas where risk and reward are key, survival of the fittest is the only goal , and the profit opportunity is high, the private-sector can play its important role. There is a synergy and it has served our economy and our nation well for many, many decades.

I say all of this because although American families experience debilitating localized disasters every day, Hurricane Sandy, Katrina, Andrew and Irene reminds all Americans that from time2time, we are all going to need help that does not come with the “strings” associated with a profit-motive. Times like this have us all looking to heaven for guidance, to neighbors for moral support, and to public institutions to save our property and our lives. There is synergy when we’re all in it together.

I wrote the post that follows back on August 10th and I thought it might be appropriate to re-post a portion of what was written. I’m hoping you find the irony in the post. As commonly stated, this election had to be singularly about the economy. However, when people find themselves acting like Wildebeests running with the herd, something always comes along and snaps them back into acting like individuals with individual needs. Something like Hurricane Sandy has a way of resetting life’s priorities and the priorities of an entire nation.

[August 10, 2012 -post- “This time it may not be the economy, stupid”]

When asked a question related to Gov. Romney’s statement regarding only needing 50.01% of the vote, I replied:

“I do believe he has made a strategic decision to be the guy we see before us because as we heard from his own mouth , (when he ad-lib’d to reporters on his campaign plane a month ago), he just needs 50.1% of the vote and he will do whatever he needs to do to get it. Personally, I’m not sure that this is the strategy I would employ for this particular job and this particular time.

I do understand the business logic that a win, even by the smallest of margins, is still considered a win in many circles. I’m just not sure the model is the best plan if you are going to lead the entire country.

We live in a great country and it deserves tremendous respect from all of us. It is much more respectful for candidates to tell voters their specific tactics not their generic strategy.

I say this because the generic phrases are not strategy -even though they do sell to some. It’s the tactical plan the people deserve to see. How many things are you adding/cutting? What is the demonstrable measurable benefit? What roadblock stands in your way and what is your plan for removing it? What happens if you are wrong and what will be your recovery plan if your projections do not pan out? How does your specific solution benefit me and my neighbor/family? C’mon , people can make much better decisions when they know the details.

Any challenger has a very good chance if they are much more tactical. We-the-folks are not as shallow as the consultants tell the candidates we are. We are willing to be engaged as long as we are informed. However, what I am saying flies-in-the face of any advice given by political consultants. The reason politicians seem to avoid being exactly who they really are is because they believe the general public will be turned off by the details or their details will be successfully challenged. So what if they are challenged. It’s not hard to defend “right”. It is clear to me that the voter apathy demonstrated by weak voter turnout is specifically tied to the fact that “blah, blah, blah, sound-bite, blah, blah is not a plan that motivates the majority of Americans. They hunger for more.

Is driving an incumbent or a challenger’s negatives in the summer the strategy the public is yearning for? Probably not, but in many circles negative campaigns do work. Unfortunately the tactic is probably less effective if the incumbent already has negatives known to the public. In this case, the incumbent is already either loved or hated – if they start with negatives they can’t fall off a dime. The negative strategy may actually backfire.

Once the incumbent’s favorability hits bottom, it is always easier for the incumbent to go up. The incumbent has the easier challenge because he/she only needs to keep his/her voters from staying home in the fall because he already won once. It is easier to say yes to what you know than yes to an unknown once you’re in the voting booth. It may not always be true but if the incumbent can convince 85% of his previous supporters that the other guy is going to hurt their gains, and if they pick up just a few new folks with a specific program, they win – especially if the challenger does not have “warrior-level” rabid supporters.

Yet a challenger need not despair because elections are about choices and an effective challenger can offer a better choice by being specific. It is the challenger that has to work harder, change minds, and present a solid plan specifically and demonstrably better than the incumbent. A plan that turns a supporter of the incumbent into a supporter of the challenger. Just hating the incumbent is not enough. Voters have to want to fight for, aggressively support and invest their time, talent, and treasure in the challenger. There can be no apathy in the ranks of supporters if the challenger is going to win so frankly 50.1% is not a plan. A plan is to win ALL of the voters by giving them all a significant reason to specially vote for you. I’m realistic enough to know ALL is not possible but why set your sights at .1%? You will not win them all but playing “margin politics” is a loser because the penalty for being even slightly wrong is too painful.

Here is my prediction. This election will NOT be decided on the economy. The contrasts are too great between the direction of the country and there are serious differences that will make for excellent debate. 8.2% unemployment sucks but my gut feeling tells me this is not the single issue for the 91.8% of those working. When something is so obvious and everyone is aware of it, the mystery is gone and it begins to get fixed. No one out there believes either of these candidates is going to ignore the economy so the people will turn their attention to issues much more internal and specific to their needs. There are too many things that are actually working in the economy in spite of all the negatives. I know everything is not perfect and growth is weak but this is still the country of choice for so many around the globe and the number 1 choice for a nearly all Americans. None of us are planning on leaving the country regardless of the results of the next election. This is our country and we own it – warts and all.

Yes we can bo better. Yes Americans are nervous about keeping their jobs. Yes, even they realize any President of the whole country will never purposely destroy their job. I know both sides claim the other as a job destroyer as a fact, but history only says that if you focus on building the middle , you grow the lower (I hate the word lower) and the upper -regardless of party. Either party is capable of managing the economy as long as the specifics of their plans can be measured and scored for historical effectiveness.

This election is going to turn on this question: “Which one of these people cares about my life and my unique circumstances and what specifically are they going to do to improve it?”. This question is so much more than the economy; it’s life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Heady stuff. Intimately personal. Impactful. Neighborly. Telling people they are on their own is good tough-love but is not going to resonate with a voter looking for the candidate with a heart -especially in a tough ecomomy. I know it sounds wispy and emotional but we’re dealing with peoples lives in this challenging times. Everything is personal. Every decision specific. These voters are in play and they are ready to place their bets on the right candidate. They deserve specifics and they deserve measurable results not grand statements.

I know this sounds like something out of the “Age of Aquarious” but it is true. 11 fathers died when the BP oil rig blew up. 46 US soldiers were killed in Afghanistan last month. The drinking water near a well was contaminated and sent 5 people to the hospital in the Midwest. It’s so hot and dry that people are dying. 23 people were murdered in one US city in one week. A domestic terrorist shot up a movie theatre. Another domestic terrorist murdered 6 people in a Sikh place of worship. Another asshole raped and mudered an ex-wife/girlfriend. Too many people are out of work. A weather event destroyed the livelihoods of 50 families. Children with 4.0 grade-point averages can not afford to attend college. Entrepreneurs can’t open new businesses because they can’t get a loan – even though they have assets. Some stupid regulation forced a good business person out of business. All of this and more happened over the last 30 days and affects real people and real lives.

As you can see, the issues facing people are broad and each of these issues may be facing only one voter or may be facing every voter. A successful candidate needs to start caring about how our world is impacting the lives of our citizens and focus on developing specific plans to improve. Otherwise, Americans will continue to opt-out of engagement and lose any voice. I will not stand for that because I think we have a history of fighting for what is right and I see no reason we should relent and be so frustrated that we quit. Regardless of what the ads tell us, I could care less about generalizations – I want/demand specifics. I am not offering the specifics today because I want the candidate to make the case to all of us. We deserve it.”

This time it may not be the economy, stupid. Whichever candidate figures this out wins Ohio by 5 points.

Posted in 4 Year Comparison, Are You Better Off, Conventions, Election Promises, elections, FEMA, flip flops, healthcare, hurricane Sandy, Jobs, National Security, natural disasters, obamacare, Politics, Presidential Debates, Republican Convention, role of government in disaster relief, tax loopholes, Tax Rate Discussion, truthfulness, two faces, Uncategorized, Vice Presidential Debate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Picasso’s for Elected Office – Men of Many Faces

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Just how many positions can a person have and still be considered principled? It is one thing for a person to evolve their position based on well researched information, or even have a new life experience that changes their perspective. It’s equally understandable for a person to have a position as a young person that evolves as they age. These changes occur over years and it is normally very difficult to find the one element that actually inspired the change; yet when you do find the singular event that can be life-changing, it becomes very clear why a position was changed.

The point is this: principled people do not have flippant changes of deeply-held positions.

What is not acceptable is for a person to go from a strong and firm position in one month and then change to a firm position that is the exact opposite one month later. It may be even more unacceptable for a person to take a firm and confident stance on a position they have held for 5 years in front of one audience and then take a neutral or passive position in front of another audience just to make their previously firm position appear to disappear without actually reversing the position.

It is clear everyone changes their mind from time-2-time for a variety of reasons and sometimes for no discernible reason at all. Frankly, under most circumstances what a person feels or thinks is simply not any of our business; unless that person controls your liberty, is running for a judgeship or is running for an elected office.

Therefore, it really sucks when a person changes or claims to have changed their minds SPECIFICALLY as a strategy to confuse, conflate, obfuscate, and simply pretend to appear as one kind of person (which they are not) to a specific audience. It is simply not fair that “we-the-people” can’t get to the whole-truth regarding what these people really stand for and will actually do AFTER THEY ARE ELECTED.

There is still much work to do over the next 10 days. This election is going to require all Americans to get off the couch and really do their homework.
My advice:

1. Do your research and use multiple sources.
2. Don’t trust one source without challenging the source.
3. Learn the history of the people running for office because you and I both know, real people do not change. At their core everyone has a past and they are bound to repeat their past regardless of what they pretend to say.
4. Believe your gut when you see or hear something that sounds like a lie or purposeful omission.
5. 2-good-2-b-true is actually 2-good-2-b-true
6. Use your common sense.
7. Look out for Bigfoot Riding A Unicorn and kick him to the curb if you see him.

Understand that the folks running for office are your “employees”. You are hiring them and giving them a job with great pay and great benefits. You are paying their salaries. The job comes with immense power to impact your life and the lives of your family and friends. You are not hiring these folks to LEAD YOU, you are hiring these elected folks to do your bidding! You are their boss. Start acting like it.

Also, stop putting words into their mouths. In other words, when a person says something with their own mouth, they actually mean it. Stop trying to interpret what you think they meant, listen to what they actually said and how you felt the first time you heard it. That moment was real and that is exactly what they meant for you to feel. They have not earned the right for you to put your words and interpretations into their mouths. You should not be trying so hard to forgive them for doing and saying what they actually believe at their core. You do not need to be willing your beliefs onto them because they are sure to let you down in the future. As I have said, people do not really change at their core.

Therefore, their ability to tell you the whole-truth and nothing but the truth is a pre-requisite of their consideration for employment.

Yet some seeking elected office are playing “we-the-people” for suckers by pretending to either be people they are not or be people you want them to be … just to get elected.

For goodness sake, don’t give your vote to the person that lies to get it. If avoiding the whole-truth is rewarded by getting elected, you’ll never get the whole-truth from anyone ever again.

What visual would you use to illustrate a person that has changed their positions so completely, so often just to do anything at all to win your vote and get the job?

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Posted in 4 Year Comparison, Are You Better Off, Conventions, Election Promises, elections, flip flops, medicare, Politics, Presidential Debates, Republican Convention, tax loopholes, Tax Rate Discussion, truthfulness, two faces, Uncategorized, Vice Presidential Debate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment