Sunday, October 21, 2012

Main Street Small Businesses

I've been thinking about the real small businessman on 3rd Street in a small town in New Jersey. He bemoans that he does not understand why everyone says the small business community is doing so well when he isn't. Of course, this self proclaimed Independent blames it on President Obama and the fact that he cannot secure a line of credit. Perhaps his mens clothing store would be doing better if the GOP led House had been busy fulfilling its 2010 promise to work on jobs, jobs, jobs - or if the Senate GOP wasn't more worried about making President Obama a single term president. Maybe the line of credit would be easier to obtain if his community banks were given the same favorable treatment as the too big to fail national banks. Perhaps he could have heeded the Randian philosophies the GOP was adopting and realized his little town no longer needed his haberdashery and opened a frozen yogurt shop in its place.

 Instead of making it his fault for not fully analyzing the situation and the roles played by the GOP that affected his overall well-being I'd like to focus on the common misunderstanding of a single term - "small business".

This term, by many, is assumed to mean just the mom and pop type of businesses but this guy is playing in a division that includes the Koch brothers and many others we would commonly call big business. In fact, despite the Kochs not being on this list, the top 10 on Forbes 100 for 2009 had revenues between $197.8m and $181.8m - not a revenue complaint in the bunch. So when the main stream press uses the collective referred to as "small business" they do us all a disfavor by blurring the difference between the real Main Street small business man and the privately held behemoths like Koch and the publicly held companies listed in the Forbes list.

So may I suggest to the Main Street small business people that are too busy working to make the American dream a reality in their lives that they can't look at the facts on the ground. Don't be swayed to vote for Romney just because hes made a ton of money stealing other people's dreams and he talks about small businesses. Remember small businesses were on the menu for Bain Capital and that a vote for Romney doesn't fix the economy in a way that will benefit you. As long as the middle and working poor have less money to buy a new suit or frozen treat you will not benefit.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Benghazi Madness

Wow - has it really been almost a year since I felt I needed to get some thoughts off my chest?

Since I last sat at a keyboard the major event in my life is the loss of my mother and father-in-law within a few days of each other. Allow me a moment to acknowledge the lives of these two people that would never be considered wealthy in a monetary sense but were wealthy in ways that make every life most meaningful - yes there is more than just a little bias on my part here.

I've not been far from my Twitter account - publishing my pithy 140 character comments almost daily during my commutes to and from my job at a large, urban hospital struggling in today's economy. My opinions are mine and most likely wouldn't be appreciated by my bosses - or the president of the university that owns the facility. Hopefully I'll never hear from the bosses how a vote for Obama could mean my job or how my internet activities have made me expendable. So let me begin...

Today I replied to this tweet...

For the AM crowd: My op-ed for on : Is it a Watergate-style "coverup"?

My response was...
shameful conflation of Benghazi w/Watergate & the need to politicize a tragedy by Obama's opponents w/o all the facts. 

Little did I realize that I would be inundated by the largest response to any of my prior tweets - ever.  None of the responses sent made any sense or to my knowledge were from Mr. Rosen. Instead of trying to address all the various shades of bullshit directed to me by Rosen's Trolls - I'll try to make my comment clearer for his troops.

So far - the information surrounding the horrors of the Benghazi incident continue to develop and be discovered by several ongoing investigations. The GOP leaning conspiracy corps ought to realize if there is any there there it will come out in time and that reacting in a knee-jerk fashion to every new revelation serves nothing but the politicization of a national tragedy. 

As to the thought that this is a Watergate-style coverup the conflation is dishonest as it is just plain stupid. We all know that the coverup is always worse than the transgression - and as I have said if there is any there there it will be discovered in time. The conflation only serves to confuse the situation - Watergate was not a Democratic Party nightmare - it was brought on by nefarious activities planned by people in a GOP White House close to the President and is now seen as an attempt to subvert our democracy. Until proven otherwise  Benghazi was not brought on by any White House activities. 

I will not play the game of conjecture on what conspired on 9/11/2012 in Benghazi since I do not have any more information than the rest of the general public. I do know that I will not make this a political issue or jump to conclusions or conspiracies as others have. As noted by many of the responses on Twitter four good people died during that terrorist attack. They were noble in they chose to serve their country in an unstable part of the world. A part where many of our country's enemies have many advantages but have certainly signed their own death warrants.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Broken Promise

It’s been awhile since I’ve felt up to writing anything as I’ve been mired in a situation that so many others have found themselves. The situation of an elderly parent that has just been diagnosed with cancer and what it means to the remainder of their life. How this still terrifying news will affect my mom and the relationships that remain in her life is still unclear. I pray for her recovery but fear that she doesn’t much care how things turn out as she longs for the day she meets her Maker. Additionally, I find myself questioning my motivations for her recovery as being little more than selfish on so many different levels – all of which I will keep as personal at this time.

My mom and I have stood on opposite sides of the political divide for some time now. A split that threatened to end an already tested relationship due to the trials of growing up in a single parent home in the 70’s and my move across country more than 20 years ago. A bond between a mother and son that should never be broken but has nevertheless sustained some moderation in the recent past.

I was really surprised when she started to include her political commentary that was so contrary to what I thought was a shared belief – after all she did have a big hand in my development. We chose to work out our differences by focusing on the non-political aspects of our shared lives. Telephone calls that where once dominated by me touting a liberal/progressive viewpoint became more about how she was feeling and any news she thought I should hear about the lives being carved out by my brothers and sisters.
As I learned more about our divergent beliefs the less care I took with maintaining my relationship with mom. I was no longer a teenager being scolded over a curfew infringement or a profane sense of humor; I was a grown man with a family, responsibilities and a growing sense of my own self-importance. I stopped making as many calls as infrequent as they were, justifying my inaction by thinking that the phone lines worked both ways thereby making her an accomplice in the wreckage of our bond. A weakness I regret but I had been setting up for too many years.

Just a few days ago I was stunned as our political truce seemed to come to a sudden end when mom told me she was afraid that recovery wasn’t possible and it was going to be due to Obama-care. I truly had not seen this coming and found myself looking for the words that I could share to dissuade her from these fears. Of course I could spend the rest of this post knocking down all the reasons that this fear is totally unfounded but I will close with the following thoughts about my mother.

She has led a life in service to others and her children. She was brought up at times by her mother and other times in a Catholic orphanage. When it was time to leave the orphanage she tried life as a Catholic nun.  After leaving the convent she worked with kids and found herself drawn to a scrappy, recently discharged sailor. They soon started their family – 5 kids – before he died and left her to raise that family. She did not remarry or date until she was in her 70’s. She watched as her oldest daughter was left for dead in the street after a hit and run driver on Mothers Day– thankfully my sister is still with us but has lived with mom ever since. She has quietly supported each of her children as we traveled on our paths to the lives we have today. She has had good times but many more trying times – I am thankful for the way she shepherded me through my much less trying times.

My mother, whatever her secret desire is about her prognosis, doesn’t deserve a moment’s unrest about what Health Care Reform means to her future. This worry about the fictional death panels or the rationing of care is the fault of people that would prop up the current for profit model of health care over a more humane system of health care delivery. The likes of just about any Republican with (or without) a microphone and Tea Partiers that have linked patriotism with unfettered capitalism – all of whom have an aversion to progress and a love for the immoral status quo.  They have now set the stage for additional stress with which any person facing a severe health issue needs not to deal.

Sorry mom, I just had to get political one last time and I hope I get to keep my promise not to let politics enter our relationship for many more years.  I love you.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sometimes it's what is not said...

I’ve been trying to shake off something I heard Bill O’Reilly say on his insipient show a couple weeks ago.  I almost had it out of my system but find myself wondering why what I heard didn’t seem to get any notice - anywhere.

According to Mediaite they cite this quote from Billo’s Talking Points segment originally aired on September 19, 2011:
“If you tax achievement, some of the achievers are going to pack it in. Again, let’s take me. My corporations employ scores of people. They depend on me to do what I do so they can make a nice salary. If Barack Obama begins taxing me more than 50%, which is very possible, I don’t know how much longer I’m going to do this. I like my job but there comes a point when taxation becomes oppressive. Is the country really entitled to half a person’s income?”

Other than the obvious celebrations the thought of Billo taking himself off the air voluntarily caused in the world in which most of us live – one of common sense and a normal sense of self importance. Additionally - is he so out of touch that the current tax structure isn't oppressive to many at the lower end of the scale - perhaps they should quit and leave Mr. O'Reilly without a gardener, housekeeper or one of the other scores of people getting paid a "nice salary".

However, earlier in his lecture addressed to the President and Warren Buffett he states that he pays 35% on his take home pay and some of it is invested and the profits therefore should be taxed at a lower rate – currently 15%. (See the complete video at )

Well it would be a fine world in which to live if we all made enough to risk a portion of our take home in a financial market that has been proven to be a toy for the extremely wealthy to play with and manipulate. Those well off individuals are telling us through Mr. O’Reilly and the politicians they have bought that their risk or “gamble” deserves treatment better than the income those less fortunate need to make ends meet.

Some of us are still lucky enough to be partially and voluntarily funding our 401k or 403b for a future that may not include the entitlements we have been paying for throughout our work lives through mandatory payroll taxes – Social Security and Medicare. A burden paid on 100 % of our income at this end of the spectrum but vanishes after the first month of work by those making a mere $1,000,000 a year. The 0.2% and many at the top of the ever dwindling middle class may not have to worry about the golden years but most of us still do. 

“Over the past 15 years, there has been a major change in the way that American executives, particularly CEOs, are paid. For many executives, annual stock-option grants are now greater than cash compensation (salary and bonus). Annual changes in CEO wealth from revaluations of stock and stock-option holdings completely swamp cash compensation, and provide substantial pay-to-performance sensitivity. All of this is a dramatic change from the early 1980s, when the median stock-option grant to top executives was zero.”

This difference in tax treatment of income – either due to ones honest labor, good investment or compensation structure – should not be treated unequally. This inequity has led this country into the financial trouble we face today as more of the wealth generated migrates upwards to the high earners in remunerations that are more favorably taxed as investments instead of routine income – starving our Government of revenues needed to maintain services at current levels. So due to the lower rates the top earners have a playing field tilted to promote continued and ever higher accumulation of wealth at that end of the scale. This puts to lie the oft repeated charge of the GOP and Tea Party that we have a spending problem only. We have a series of issues that have found root in our country over the past 30 years (yes including the Clinton Administration) that were further exacerbated with the undisciplined spending of the George W. Bush years.

As President Obama has stated this is “math not class warfare”. There are many of our fellow citizens who for one reason or another choose to demonize the less fortunate and blame them for all the nation’s troubles. This is the same group that cries “class warfare” when a compelling but different view of our national finances are stated. Instead of reaching out to the more than gracious hand offered by the elected President to fix our problems they repeat their mantras and spin wildly untrue accusations imagined or based upon a twisted view of reality.

OK – so I’ve traveled a bit from where I started but will try to pull it all together. Sometimes it isn’t’ what Bill O’Reilly and his Fox colleagues  say over and over and over – it’s what they don’t say in a cynical attempt to mislead people. What I have just gone over isn’t what Billo said but what he didn’t say. That some income is more equal than others and that the US tax code should treat investment as something other than disposable income used to gamble in our over Capitalist society.

Hopefully we will be able to come together and re-elect a President who has done a lot and has more to do instead of electing those willing to pander to single issue voters or demonize their fellow countrymen or have made their fortunes by buying up companies and selling off the hopes and dreams of others.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Everyone should listen to @Floridaline

From Twitter
Ryan’s Wrong —We Need ‘Medicare for all' (May 2011)
For anyone that can't carry a thought out more than one or two steps this comment may appear to be totally un-American. However, the concept of the single payer and the use of the Medicare System to administer it should be ballyhooed by everyone. The Medicare System with a few tweaks can ensure health care for everyone while controlling costs, improving outcomes and ensuring a reasonable return on investments. Health care as it is delivered today ensures only the best care to the wealthiest fraction of our population while ignoring the poorest until they are in crisis and the vast middle portion just hoping that calamity doesn't make a call to their home and if it does you are lucky enough that it is covered by the plans offered by employers that shop based on cost not care.

Without a doubt if you found yourself to be numbered amongst the misfortunate that will have to cope with a major health issue; before Health Care Reform (Obama-care) fully kicks in, one that drives your personal finances into bankruptcy you would feel some outrage. What portion of the bill that drives your now uncertain future was due to the record breaking profits large corporations are posting, or cash being passed  from lobbyist to any elected official, or the ubiquitous advertising cost of medical devices & drugs, or the highly inflated salaries and bonuses paid to high ranking corporate officers that you would feel it immoral.

There are plenty of other opportunities for business to earn outrageous margins and for celebrity CEOs to personally gain while denying a living wage to those they employ. It should be as distasteful to the healthy, lucky and well-heeled that maximizing profit margins enter into our national conversation regarding health as it is to those that are most negatively affected by that conversation. I’ve spent more than 30 years in health care finance – in California and Florida – in that time I’ve seen the number of bankruptcy notices increase at the same time financial pressures have grown on hospitals and doctors.

It’s a weird situation we have here – a country that has the best and worst health care the world has to offer.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Refiguring Congressional Salaries - Maybe They're Over Paid?

Recently we’ve seen a couple Congressmen publicly complain about how much they are being paid. Aside from the chutzpah displayed when so many of our fellow Americans find themselves unemployed or under-employed I believe their complaints should be viewed from a different paradigm. While I acknowledge that many will say that figures lie and liars figure I will risk the wrath of all those who were so unfortunately elected to office – only after they raised campaign funds and spent like mad dogs asking for your vote. Congress in this country should not be viewed as a way to make your fortune but as a way to serve the people of the country you profess to love – I’m looking your way Sara Palin (yes I know she was never in Congress).
 $    174,000
2011 Base Salary
 $        83.65
FT Hourly Rate - 40 Hrs / Week * 52 Weeks = 2,080 Hours
 $        19.86
24 / 7 Hourly Rate - 24 Hours * 365 Days = 8,760 Hours
 $        21.35
Mean Averge Rate 2010
2010 Days in Session - House
2010 Days in Session - Senate
Average Days in Session - ( 125 + 156 ) / 2
Weekdays in 2010 Number of days Monday - Friday in 2010
Federal Holidays in 2010
Days not in Session - ( Weekdays - Days in Session - Fed Holidays )
Weekend Days - ( 365 - Weekdays in 2010 )
OMG Days Off ! - ( Days not in Session + Weekend Days )
Percentage of Calendar Days Off - ( 203 / 365 )
 $      134.26
FT Adjusted Hourly Rate = $ 279,259 per year
 $        44.75
24 / 7 Adj Hourly Rate = $392,037 per year

The current Congressional base salary is $174,000 which is nothing to shake a stick at considering how much of the people’s work they aren’t getting done. If this were an episode of the Soprano’s we might even call this a “no show job”. Well based on a 40 hour work week this would equate to $83.65 per hour – but of course Congress will tell you that they serve 24 / 7 and the real rate in their mind is closer to $19.86 or 93% of the average mean of all workers in the United States in 2010. This may be true but can anyone recall when the Congress did anything for an extended period of time 24 / 7 – vacations or time off excluded? Additionally, I don’t believe the taxpayer should be left holding the bag for the time Congress takes to be wined and dined by lobbyist or working to fill their campaign coffers. After adjusting for weekends, Federal holidays and days not in session that leaves us with a Congressional workforce away from their duties 55.6% of the time. Quick check your benefit package from your job to see how you measure up to our Congressional yardstick. I would say that these people are under-employed and have time to find a good part-time job to help out with the family budget – perhaps send their significant other out to find a job that pays more than minimum wage.

Just as some people do with teachers’ salaries - I have recalculated your rates based on actual time in the classroom… I mean the House & Senate. Figuring that even the Representatives identified in the links above would agree that they should only be paid for the time they are “producing” something of value their rates would be $134.26 an hour or approximately $279 thousand a year or if we go by their 24 /7 argument it would be $44.75 an hour or approximately $392 thousand a year. Welcome to your new paradigm – the one that says the poor have stuff so they aren’t really poor and the wealthy actually create jobs.

So Representatives Duffy and Southerland cheer up – your financial plight isn’t as dire as you thought. I’m sure the annualized adjusted salaries are respectful enough even for you. If they aren’t you still have the option of not running for re-election and entering the blistering hot jobs market of which you did nothing to contribute to in this new Congress. Keep complaining and we’ll have to start taking a good hard look at your benefits too.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

My Changing Attitude Towards President Obama

The malcontents and haters are at it again blaming the President for the GOP’s incalcitrant behavior. The GOP have never made a secret that their goal is to deny Barack Obama at every turn and then accuse him of nefarious behavior when he is forced to play politics to get anything done. Despite the GOP’s efforts he has continued to outperform them politically and bring measured but undeniably progressive leaning measures to fruition but he has paid a steady price in his poll numbers.

Is there any doubt in anyone’s mind that circumstance beyond any man’s control have evolved or possibly conspired to meet the GOP’s stated goal of making him a one term President?  Big business continues to post record profits while refusing to expand the workforce with anything other than low paying and non-benefited positions. The national wealth continues to migrate upwards to the already wealthy and their obscenely low tax rates in effect driving down demand in the market, reducing government revenues and sequestering money that should be stimulating job growth thereby putting to lie the idea that they are job creators. The poor and middle class are blamed for the bad business decisions made in boardrooms of banks and investment houses by people far more savvy about financial instruments and economics.

All this continues while from the direction of the far right and those that pose in colonial costumes try to drown out any thought that President Obama’s programs could be working for all of us. No one that gathered at a Koch Brothers sponsored event or were spurred on by the delusional ravings of megalomaniacs with microphones will ever be hurt by the changes proposed and passed during President Obama’s initial administration. They are driven by something that they have tried to convince themselves no longer exists or to which they are somehow immune – Racism and Hate.

The thought that those in need of assistance are dishonest, lazy and don’t look anything like the typical Tea Partier – white, middle-aged and still employed or lucky enough to have a secure retirement future – drive their racist attacks against “them”. Taking a good look at a cross section of those affected by the George Bush Administration driven recession will show all sectors of our society have been hit; although, Blacks and Hispanics have borne a far heavier burden. The simple fact of the last statement should put to rest the racist nature of our society and this movement in particular. Without a doubt the invective which these statements will be met will support the hate.

We can continue to expect the right to hurl accusations that the left will only be happy when the American Experiment fails and we are left with a socialist or communist country. These comments along with the charge that the Left is waging class warfare are made in the hope of shaming people in light of their beliefs that this is what the Founding Fathers expected for this country. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

While there may be parties with purely socialist or communist ideals most people that identify with the left are at ease with a profit motive and the accumulation of wealth. However, we expect fairness in the marketplace and an open forum for ideas. We expect that the values that are identified as American are honored and upheld by the actions of our leaders. We acknowledge that not everyone will be successful but that does not make it incumbent upon those who are to berate or ignore them. Unfettered laissez-faire capitalism is not driven by morality thereby necessitating the imposition of morality through social policy and regulation of capitalism. Like it or not our founding documents do not mandate a market system but ideals for which we should reach.

Those that count themselves among the President’s supporters in 2008 - we are in danger of losing the progress for which we voted. I’ve noted the derision of how we speak of each other on the various social networks available to us. Everyone that supported the President with their vote needs to realize that he will need you to be there in 2012 with a friend or two in tow. Obama’s base needs to realize that the internecine feud being carried out is not a productive use of our energy. We all had our reasons for voting for the President in ‘08 and they have not changed.

We cannot allow further erosion of personal liberties and rights. The situations played out in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Maine, New Jersey, Arizona and Florida should give us all the motivation to ensure the President’s victory but we need more. A friendly soul pointed out to me recently that not only must we return Obama to the Oval Office but we need to send him more support in the form of Democrats in the House and Senate. I cannot tell you what to do but do something to counter any idea that more conservatives in Washington DC or any statehouse is the answer – it’s not.

My final thought is that the President should hold his course. If the actions of the right cause him to change the far right might realize that by not working on the people’s business with Obama now they may unleash a situation that no one will control.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Thoughts about justifying a second Obama Administration

Before I get too far into the topic I'd like to commend Driftglass & Blue Gal for the work they do day in and day out. Since they are on my weekly things to do I prefer not to think of them toiling away in obscurity but sparking the thoughts that I share because I think they have merit and will no doubt not meet this definition by either of them. To their collective horror what follows did not have anything to do directly with any single podcast – available at their web sites, Crooks & Liars, Facebook and I Tunes (hope I got that right!) – but to a fairly prolonged exposure to their efforts. They are to be married soon and I promise to send a cash gift for that event but an additional amount to help promote their efforts and the internet kitties.

I have for a while tried to justify my support of President Obama for many reasons even though I am one of those “emoprogs” that seem to get no respect for our feelings.

I have tried to justify the President’s lack of fight for good and right causes due to the inevitable end of that process leading to defeat if not compromised.  This is due to the number of Democrats in the House and Senate not being sufficient to pass and hold more progressive desires and the rules these bodies have put in place. However, it does not console me when I see him start his negotiation from a point somewhat closer to the right than seems appropriate. This leads me to believe, despite the campaign rhetoric, that I was na├»ve and duped.

I have also tried to justify his turn to the right since the inaugural as the pragmatic move of a black man in this country. A country that claims to have made so much racial progress but ignores the institutionalized racism that is still afoot but just not talked about. The very thought that intelligent people in this country continue to use the ends of this racism as the very explanation of it. I could spend an afternoon writing on each manifestation of our secret racism but just take a look at how unemployment and voting rights reflect an unequal treatment of the races in our country. One of my fears for voting for him was the target I felt I was pinning to his shirt so that some nut job would seek his/her infamy.

I have lately taken to the idea that I would be protecting future Supreme Court selections.  Without a doubt in this area my President has proven himself with the selections he has already made. However, I am also concerned that any future selections will not meet the standards that he has set. It won’t be because we would suddenly want more Alito’s or Scalia’s on the Court but that the Republicans in the Senate will do just as their leader has stated. Everything will be a hostage situation and my President has not yet set a line on the political hostage taking as he did with the Somali pirates.

How do I justify voting for a President that knowingly put himself into a dangerous and difficult situation by asking for my vote in 2008 after the evidence is evaluated? Will he suddenly become the President I thought I voted for or negotiate from a position of strength which his office affords him? Do I have the right to demand of him more than he has already delivered and at what risk? I am torn by my feelings. If he asks for my vote he will get it but it doesn’t make me feel good about it.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Entitlements is not a 4 letter word

If you are making less than $106,800.00 a year then you are disproportionately paying for entitlements that you count on being there for your retirement or if you should become disabled.  Without a doubt the wealthiest 2% are set for any eventuality that comes their way but these are entitlements for which you were required to make contributions and therefore should not be discarded by the weasels in Washington today. To take your money with the promise of future benefits then not deliver is fraud and the only reason that Washington thinks of these entitlements as part of the spending problem is due to their mismanagement of the budgets since the Reagan Administration.  Do not misconstrue what I am saying here – this is a history lesson not a call for a Balanced Budget Amendment.

The people we sent to Washington decided to borrow money from the surpluses that our entitlements were generating and now do not want to levy the needed taxes to repay those loans. In lieu of repayment they want to retroactively change the terms of those loans and accuse us of being some kind of mythical welfare queen/king or malcontent.

To help with the problems with which these entitlements are saddled we need to understand that we have already paid for them outside of our Federal Income Tax responsibilities and the funds belong to us and were entrusted to the government so that games that are played on Wall Street would not negatively impact a secure future.

First – collect more from those making more than $106,800 a year. This can be done at a reduced rate and without an employer matching over that amount as to not further chill an already cold jobs market.

Per the AFL-CIO’s Pay Watch the average salary and bonus of the S&P 500 CEOs is $1,345,402.00 which is an hourly rate of $646.83 or $153.58 per hour 24-7. For comparison’s sake the poor shlub making $106,800 per year would only be making $12.19 per hour 24-7. At the CEO’s rate he would be done making any contributions to Social Security and Medicare before the end of the first month. 
“In 2010, Standard & Poor's 500 Index company CEOs received, on average, $11.4 million in total compensation— a 23 percent increase in one year.[1] Based on 299 companies’ most recent pay data for 2010, their combined total CEO pay of $3.4 billion could support 102,325 median workers’ jobs.”

Using numbers reported by Forbes the average compensation for the top 500 averaged $8,000,000 which means by lunchtime on the third working day of 2009 the CEO has stopped all contributions to Social Security and Medicare. Is there any wonder why these essential programs are being starved to death as compensation continues to grow at the higher end of the scale and not so much at the lower end?

Special Report
What The Boss Makes
Scott DeCarlo, 04.28.10, 06:00 PM EDT
Our analysis of executive pay shows which big bosses made the most and which deserved what they made.
In total, these 500 executives earned $4 billion in 2009, which averages out to $8 million apiece.

Second – do not vote for anyone that would fraudulently take away from you what you have already paid for when they refuse to fix a problem instead of killing your benefits off.

The Debt: GOP, Tea-Partiers and my children

Help me understand why the GOP and Tea-Partiers are concerned about my children and grand-children and the debt…

They say we can no longer pile up the deficits and debt that have become all too commonplace since the days of President Ronald Reagan. Yes I know – they don’t recognize any debt or deficits before 2008 – you know – when that foreign born Kenyan socialist (communist) melanin enhanced fellow usurped our country’s government by declaring himself president. Please note the sarcasm - I support and voted for President Obama.

They say we have a spending problem that begins with the very programs that most of us have been paying a disproportionate share for since their inception. Let’s clear up one thing up front: these are already paid for entitlements and failure to honor them is the same as any fraud perpetrated by Bernie Madoff or Florida Governor Rick Scott when he was in charge of HCA.  Since the wealthiest of us get some relief from the payroll related taxes for Social Security and Medicare after they have banked the tidy sum of $106,800 in earnings. You have to be earning more than $51.35 per hour to earn that break – and the wealthiest of us are sending those jobs off shore where they can be compensated at an even lower rate and starving those programs of funds – as the pool of salaries for the less affluent is redistributed upward to the more affluent (definitely not socialism!). A large part of compensation to the wealthiest has also magically become investment income instead of salaries or wages and therefore the payroll taxes do not apply.

Well since the moneyed class seems to be doing very well these days as, evidenced by the news that more luxury items are flying off the shelves than ever before, perhaps they can kick in a few extra bucks to help pay for the deficits and debt that threaten our future. Perhaps the industries and corporations that benefit from doing business in the United States can give up a few of the tax breaks they’ve enjoyed and which never seem to trickle down to the consumer can build some goodwill for the future. Perhaps these same companies – with the same rights that I enjoy (maybe a little less since the Patriot Act)  - can pay their taxes instead of finding creative ways not to.

What’s that? The yell of the wounded orange-hued Speaker of the House and his evil laryngeal prominence enhanced troll Majority Leader and their human-turtle hybrid sidekick Senate Minority Leader say “HELL NO! We cannot ask of these mythical job creators share in the solution to the problems we’ve created within our lifetimes. No. Let the poor and middle class – who are already used to sacrificing do more sacrificing (along with their future progeny)”.

So if the upper 2%, corporations, GOP and Tea-Partiers don’t see this as a shared problem to be fixed with a shared solution that includes more revenue – why do they care about my kids and grandchildren? Are they afraid that their future generations will eventually understand the problem is shared and act like the grownups their parents and grandparents couldn’t? Their kids would want to be part of the solution instead of the problem? Perhaps they are just wishing for the USA to crumble under this debt so that their family and corporate fortunes can be taken into their new Eden – the Free Trade Agreement-land in the Global Economy.