Saturday, April 04, 2009
Friday, April 03, 2009
Thursday, April 02, 2009
A woman walks into a post office to mail a letter. She notices a man standing at the counter with a pile of pink envelopes. She watches as he places a Love stamp on each one and then sprays it with perfume.
Her curiosity gets the better of her, so she approaches the man. "What are you doing?" she asks.
"I'm mailing 1,000 Valentine's Day cards signed, "Guess who?"
"Why would you do that?" asks the woman.
"I'm a divorce lawyer," was the man's reply.
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Washington solutions of more money for more government, more power for politicians, more debt, and more bureaucrats will not lead to real growth in jobs and prosperity.
We need a clear and decisive alternative that creates jobs and rewards work, saving, and investment.
1. Payroll Tax Stimulus. With a temporary new tax credit to offset 50% of the payroll tax, every small business would have more money, and all Americans would take home more of what they earn.
How about eliminating payroll taxes? There has been a call to place a temporary moratorium on payroll taxes for a period of three to six months.
2. Real Middle-Income Tax Relief. Reduce the marginal tax rate of 25% down to 15%, in effect establishing a flat-rate tax of 15% for close to 9 out of 10 American workers.
See my comment above, except eliminating payroll taxes permanently. Go here for more information.
3. Reduce the Business Tax Rate. Match Ireland’s rate of 12.5% to keep more jobs in America.
See above comment. Go herefor more information.
4. Homeowner’s Assistance. Provide tax credit incentives to responsible home buyers so they can keep their homes.
5. Control Spending So We Can Move to a Balanced Budget. This begins with eliminating Congressional earmarks and wasteful pork-barrel spending.
6. No State Aid Without Protection From Fraud. Require state governments to adopt anti-fraud and anti-theft policies before giving them more money.
7. More American Energy Now. Explore for more American oil and gas and invest in affordable energy for the future, including clean coal, ethanol, nuclear power and renewable fuels.
8. Abolish Taxes on Capital Gains. Match China, Singapore and many other competitors. More investment in America means more jobs in America.
9. Protect the Rights of American Workers. We must protect a worker’s right to decide by secret ballot whether to join a union, and the worker’s right to freely negotiate. Forced unionism will kill jobs in America at a time when we can’t afford to lose them.
10. Replace Sarbanes-Oxley. This failed law is crippling entrepreneurial startups. Replace it with affordable rules that help create jobs, not destroy them.
11. Abolish the Death Tax. Americans should work for their families, not for Washington.
12. Invest in Energy and Transportation Infrastructure. This includes a new, expanded electric power grid and a 21st century air traffic control system that will reduce delays in air travel and save passengers, employees and airlines billions of dollars per year.
(Ya think there might be something out there that covers all of this?)
I can't stress how important it is for each and every one of us to understand that the American economy is in trouble. I'm not really sure anyone knows how bad the situation really is. Some days I think it's not as bad as it's being made out to be, other days I wonder if we're being told all the Administration knows. On those days I also wonder if we really want to know how bad it is. Growing up, one of the things I learned was don't ask if you don't want to know the truth. Attorneys learn in law school, don't ask questions you don't already know the answers to. That's because they might get an answer they don't want the judge or jury to hear.
I also think that the Government doesn't tell us all it knows for several reasons. One, that they feel it's too stressful for the public to know everything. Complete knowledge would lead to an economic meltdown that may be avoided. There is always that old bugaboo, that if the public knew what was really going on, there would be a massive recall movement against public officials. And honestly, I think some officials might be in fear of their very lives if the whole truth came out. There are people out there who are not necessarily holding onto sanity with both hands. Some news could cause some of the less tightly wrapped among us to decide it's the fault of this one or that one and "something must be done."
We've been finding out for over a year that there are serious problems our economy is facing. Here are some possible solutions:
Ignoring it: That's what the Bush Administration basically did when the cracks started showing. Let Free Trade work and the economy will eventually heal itself. That was also what the Hoover Administration did in the late 20's. That lead to a depression.
Throw money and resources at the problem: that's the solution the Obama Administration has chosen. It's too soon to say it's working or not. History shows that's not the best solution. Economists point to the Great Depression and say that the economy was beginning to pull up and that FDR's tactics only lengthened the Depression. It's generally agreed that WWII is what finally ended the Depression. People were needed to fill jobs that were created by war time needs - defense factories were started, factories already in existence got government contracts to provide military equipment, women replaced men in factories and jobs when the men were called to military service.
I know I don't have the answers. I'm not an economist, just a citizen with a brain. I have to think about one definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting and different result. Why does the Administration think that throwing trillions of our tax dollars at the economy will work when it didn't stop the Great Depression of the 1930's?
Look at your own personal economy. If you are in economic crisis, your house is about to be foreclosed, your car about to be repossessed, credit card companies breathing down your neck, do you go out and spend more money? Can you buy your way out of debt? That's essentially the national economy. The government is borrowing money from China and printing money like crazy.
Most of the programs the Obama Administration has proposed to help won't begin for more than a year. The economy and the taxpayer need help now. We have to do something that will have an immediate effect.
The Government gave the public money last year, but doesn't think it worked. They expected us to use that money to buy "stuff" - tv's, cars, clothes, and so on. Instead, many people used it to pay down debt or to save. The taxpayer realized that the economy was poor, so they banked the money in the event it would be needed later. Other people used it to pay for gasoline so they could go to work, or to buy groceries - remember last summer when gas prices hit record highs?
The Government says that because we didn't buy "stuff", the money didn't go into the economy and the stimulus plan failed. I beg to differ. Any time money leaves my hands it goes into the economy. It's not sitting in the bank, with a sticky note on it with my name on it. It becomes a figure on a ledge sheet saying that the bank has this much more money available to me or to other customers. Sure, the amount I put in the bank is still available to me. But combined with the thousands of others who have made deposits to this bank, my deposit can do a lot - in the economy. It might be part of a loan to buy a house, or a car. It might become part of some one's paycheck or retirement pension. The only time money doesn't go into the economy is when it's not spent - when it's buried in a mason jar in the backyard or kept under the mattress.
In any case, check out the American Solutions site and see what you think.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
New Virus/Worm Threat
I've just heard that there is a new worm set to deploy on April 1. That's tomorrow. Seeing that the date is April Fool's day, I don't know whether to believe this or not.
It could be an April Fool's joke. The joke could be that it's real. Who knows?
If your computer virus program isn't up to date, do it now! If you don't have virus software installed, you're just asking for problems and probably won't listen to me anyway. Whether or not this worm is for real, there are people out there who write these programs for fun and yes, for profit. Don't take the chance, get the software.
There are several free programs that are excellent. AVG and Avast come to mind. I have not used Avast, so I can't comment on it on way or the other. One of my coworkers used to be a computer tech and prefers Avast. I have Norton running on my computer, but I prefer AVG. Norton was installed on my computer when I bought it, and I still have a few weeks left on the free trial. When that runs out, I'll install AVG. It's a good program, I'm familiar with it and the price is right (free!). The free AVG program provides updates just like the paid program, so there are no worries there. Your choice is a matter of preference.
Just because you pay for a program doesn't make it better than others. The bad part of freeware is that you usually don't get any support services. If you are relatively computer savvy, you may not need to pay for the full ride. I'm not a computer expert by any means, but I can usually handle the problems that come along. I found that out when I had to call Bright House to come out and try to figure out a problem with my Internet connection (it turned out to be a Vista problem). Turns out, the tech did everything I had already tried (thank you for trying, Bright House!). That proved to me that my computer skills are better than I had thought.
Another thing you might try is a trick I learned from a friend. Years ago, another virus was set to be released on a certain date. My friend simply changed the date in his computer. So I changed the date in my computer to April 7 - after the supposed release date of this new worm. If this is a real threat, it may not protect my computer from computers infected on April 1, but my virus software should catch anything that comes in after April 1. And it gives Norton time to write an update (if they haven't already) and my computer time to download the update.
I chose April 7 because it's one week from today. That means that any programs I have scheduled for say, Wednesday, will still do whatever they are supposed to do, right on schedule.
Anyway, whether this is a true threat or not, it's a warning that you need to take care of your computer business.
Monday, March 30, 2009
"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
~~~~ Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931