Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ways to Stop Smoking

The Legislature has raised the cigarette tax once again. This is good news to cigarette bootleggers and stores at assorted Indian reservations. These guys will see record sales and stores that do pay taxes will have lower sales. The bad news for the rest of us is that, one year from now, the tax receipts from cigarettes will have gone down. A few people might stop smoking but alternative – cheaper – sources are available to them so a big drop is unlikely. And lower sales at stores will not help the small business guy. This type of economic lunacy is what is expected. State and Federal legislatures just don’t get it – raising taxes does not mean there is more tax income. People will react – everyone has a different breaking point. They will buy cigarettes where it is cheaper, move homes and businesses out of highly taxed areas, and take whatever actions they can to keep money in their pockets. One guy wrote to the paper that liquer taxes should be raised too. Aside from the economic idiocy involved, apparently someone is not aware of how well Prohibition worked. PS: I don’t own a store and don’t smoke.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cuomo II

Andrew Cuomo was at HUD during the Clinton administration and played a key role with Barney Frank and Chris Dodd in encouraging Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to push 100% mortgages and lowering the lending requirements. These actions fed the housing bubble and are at the core of the economic problems we have. That is the reason that this Long Islander does not want to see him as Governor.

Barney goes to the banks

What could be worse than something named the Frank-Dodd Bill?

The geniuses who wrecked the mortgage market are now going to set prices that private companies can charge for their product.

The bill authorizes the Fed to set debit transaction fees that are "reasonable and proportional" to the cost of processing the transactions, a phrase that has yet to be converted into an actual number. In addition to setting interchange fees according to some "reasonable and proportional" “fairness” standard (whatever that is), it prohibits the banks for charging overdraft fees unless the customer has agreed to be charged (ahead of time) an overdraft fee and who is going to do that?. The simple result will be that the banks will no longer allow overdrafts. First, if you overdraft your account there should be a fee; second if you are not allowed to overdraft the account, when you buy something hoping that the deposit cleared and it didn’t, the charge will be rejected. Which is better: not being allowed to buy the gas you really, really (No money – too bad - the debit card is rejected) or paying a fee because you didn’t plan ahead? Trick question. You don’t have a choice. The government has determined that they are making the decision that it is better if you can’t buy the gas and avoid the fee.

So, financial companies, car companies, health care, endless regulation of everything - what is next? The government that can’t do anything right is telling everyone else how to do things. Where are the jobs supposed to come from if all the companies are put out of business? These people are crazy and so are all the dopes who support them.

Wonder how Bush gets blamed for this one?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Obama Motors

GM is encouraging lenders to lend and make leases to people with “poor credit” so it can sell more cars.
Giving credit to people with poor credit is what caused the collapse in the first place. Who is it that running GM and is encouraging this dopey policy?

Missed opportunity

Suffolk County missed the time deadline on earmarked funds. Classic government inefficiency in action - can't even get the money that they are given. But what is even dopier is that the money now “up for grabs”. Why? Money that the government had to borrow was not spent for the purpose it was intended. The government’s response to that situation is to look for a place to spend it ?? Obviously, wherever that is will have to be a place that is more adept at filling out government forms. The government is incentivizing municipalities to get really good pushing paper around. That will really help the economy.

Blame someone else - anyone else

A little girl drowned. It is a tragedy. But the incredible need to blame somebody for everything is misplaced. The next fay there are articles in the paper that the City of Long Beach is at fault. A kid who couldn’t swim ran into the ocean. Certainly understandable since that's what kids do and, again, it is a tragedy that she drowned. But twelve year old kids – as well as adults – do things that seem like a good idea at the time and have bad results. When a kid chases a ball into the street and gets hit by a car, is the town at fault for not catching the ball? For allowing ball playing? For allowing driving? And who didn't teach her to swim? Tragic accidents happen. No one is at fault.The City of Long Beach didn’t do anything wrong.

Further, the article - incredibly - says that she drowned when it was “a magnificent summer day”. Some how that means its the City's fault since the accident happened when the sun was out. Why is does the City’s responsibility depend on the weather?

Just dopey.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Finding Oil

This is easy.
1.)We need oil at least until the alternative sources come on line.
2.)We should not rely upon people who want to blow us up to provide the oil.
3.)The US has oil in places that are easy to get at.

So our geniuses say we can only drill in 5000 feet of water! If the easy places were to be utilized they would be less likely to have problems and if there was to be a problem it could be fixed - mainly because the wellhead would not be 5000 feet underwater!

The issue that should be investigated is: why are we drilling in the place that is most likely to have a problem? If this well was on land it would have been fixed in a day – if it happened in the first place. Which groups forced drilling into the place that is most inaccessible, the most expensive, the hardest to fix if something goes wrong? Why do we continue to listen to them?

Congress continues to ask the wrong questions.


A newspaper article on the teenage job market mentioned several possible reasons for the shortage. They said the main reason was that older people had these jobs. There was no mention of another reason.
Teenage jobs have historically been such things as stockroom people, bussing tables and other restaurant work, landscapers and other pick & shovel construction positions.
Those positions are in great part currently filled by immigrants – illegal and otherwise. It is clear that this factor plays some part in the availability of positions this segment of the job market. Count on the media ignoring things they don;t want to talk about. It hurts the credibility of any article - if it can be hurt any more.


President Obama spoke about the steps he is taking to respond to the spill. The second thing he said was to note the “increasingly forceful tone he has been directing at BP”. This is leadership? From his own words, he has been in charge since Day One. That was 50 days ago.

This is a complete lack of leadership. The government has done nothing – nothing - to stop the oil from reaching the shore. Gov. Jindal wanted to build the barrier islands the second day after this became known and BP would have paid for it. The government refused to approve it for “environmental reasons” – until now weeks later. Why was it a bad idea weeks ago and a good one now? They could have been finished and prevented oil from reaching shore. BP wanted to start burning it – and were stopped – same reason. They wanted to put PRP in the water to absorb it and be safely eaten by other organisms – government wouldn’t allow that – for reasons unknown.

The President has the Coast Guard there - Good. Where is the Army/Navy? There are (civilian) volunteers are the shore picking up oil balls. How about a few thousand military recruits policing the area too?

The man is worthless.