Linswritings

Archive for September 2011

According to The Hill article, Warren Buffett said that Obama’s plan to tax the rich was not his “Buffett rule.” He also said, not so fast about taxing him. Buffett said he advocated a tax hike only on what he termed the “ultra-rich,” making a distinction between his suggestion and Obama’s proposal to raise taxes on millionaires. It isn’t [my idea] to have the rich pay more taxes. It’s to have the ultra-rich pay more,” he said on Bloomberg Television Friday.

Buffett explains that what he was talking about would probably apply to 50,000 people out of 310 million in the country. It would simply mean that if you made tens of millions of dollars, and your tax rate was 16 or 17 percent, you would start paying like the person who made $100,000 or $10 million who paid normal tax rates.

But he also called Obama’s bill a “stimulus plan” and added that he doubted he would agree with all of it. Obama has called for higher tax rates on millionaires as part of his proposed deficit-reduction plan. His proposed tax increase, called the “Buffett rule” in a nod to Buffett’s call for higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans, would apply to those earning annual incomes of $1 million or more.

However, Buffett estimated that raising the tax rate on ultra-rich multimillionaires would raise about $20 billion and go a long way to
solving the deficit issue.

But Buffett is not too keen on raising his taxes. What Buffett actually wrote was he would raise rates on “taxable income” for those making $1 million or more while those making $10 million or more should have “an additional increase in rate.”

From his op-ed: “For those making more than $1 million — there were 236,883 such households in 2009 — I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more — there were 8,274 in 2009 — I would suggest an additional increase in rate.”

The key to Buffett’s plan is “taxable income,” and as we all know Buffett probably has a hundred accountants to make sure all of his money is not shown as “taxable income.” This is just another farce from progressives.

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According to an article on CBS News, Joe Biden said in a live interview with Miami public radio station WLRN Thursday that the Obama administration – not the Bush administration – now has ownership of the struggling U.S. economy.

Let me repeat what he said because there are still people blaming Bush for this economy – Biden said: “..the Obama administration – not the Bush administration – now has ownership of the struggling U.S. economy.”

He further said, “Even though 50-some percent of the American people think the economy tanked because of the last administration,  that’s not relevant. What’s relevant is we’re in charge.”

Wow, did Biden have an epiphany? I always knew Biden loves to bloviate, but at last he is telling the truth this time.

He further said in the interview that it is “totally legitimate” for the 2012 presidential election to be “a referendum on Obama and Biden and the nature and state of the economy.” He said Americans will need to make a choice between what the Obama administration is offering to address the problem and what is being offered by the eventual Republican nominee.

Here is the latest and very interesting article from Tom  Benson on Town Hall today. Not only did Obama get a detailed briefing of  the chances that Solyndra would go bankrupt but also that the company was  spending recklessly on extravagant goodies and services. Here is just the tip  of the iceberg on this company.

“The glass-and-metal building that Solyndra LLC began  erecting alongside Interstate 880 in Fremont, California, in September 2009 was  something the Silicon Valley area hadn’t seen in years: a new factory. It wasn’t just any factory. When it was completed at an estimated cost of $733  million, including proceeds from a $535 million U.S. loan guarantee, it covered  300,000 square feet, the equivalent of five football fields. It had robots that  whistled Disney tunes, spa-like showers with liquid-crystal displays of the  water temperature, and glass-walled conference rooms.

Commercial real-estate agents in the region wondered why a  new factory was being built in the Silicon Valley region, the epicenter of some  of the priciest real estate in the country, where most new construction  consists of office space.”

But wait, there’s more.  “Not only did Solyndra receive a massive taxpayer-funded windfall thanks to a fast-tracked political decision that flew in the face of federal  bookkeepers, the company also received a favorable (and convenient!) ruling  from the IRS.

Solyndra not only received a $500 million loan guarantee, it  also got a favorable ruling from the IRS. According to “California  Watch” — a unit of the Center For Investigative Reporting — the IRS  decision gave Solyndra’s customers a 10-percent tax deduction and it was later  increased to 30 percent.  And the timing  of the ruling, just weeks before getting the stimulus loan, raises questions
about whether the White House pulled strings for Solyndra, at other agencies.

“The DOE then faced a difficult choice,” Silver told the  committee. “(A) to refuse the restructuring terms . . . ensuring the company
would close, or (B) to allow the restructuring, giving it and its more than  1,000 workers a fighting chance and the government a higher chance of recovery”  of taxpayer money.  The Energy Department  pushed for the restructuring despite preliminary warnings from OMB staff  members that restructuring Solyndra could cost taxpayers $168 million more than  liquidation.

The Energy Department’s argument eventually won out, and  taxpayers got hosed.  Again.  In yet another damaging revelation — this is  getting exhausting — the Wall Street Journal reports that Solyndra actually violated the terms of its loan guarantee agreement in 2010 by defaulting on  required payments (!)”

So there you have it. Details are seeping out slowly on this  green energy debacle by the Administration. I’m sure the executives took a nice  compensation from this company and now are hiding out in Costa Rica.  As I said before, will this be Obama’s “Watergate”  moment? Or will it be covered up and ignored as so many of his Administration’s  problems are today – i.e. Operation Fast and Furious.

From Ed Morrissey’s article on HotAir tells us that the Administration wants more money for solar power companies for Obama’s green energy programs. In fact, the DOE announced a $727 million loan guarantee to help finance construction of the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, a 110-megawatt solar-power-generating facility in Nye County, Nev. The project is sponsored by Tonopah Solar, a subsidiary of California-based SolarReserve.

Guess who is one of SolarReserve’s “investment partners” from Pacific Corporate Group? Why it is Ron Pelosi PCG’s executive director. If that name sounds familiar, it should. Ron Pelosi is the brother of Nancy Pelosi’s husband.

But this gets even better. The Energy Department said the project will result in 600 construction jobs and 45 permanent jobs. Forty-five permanent jobs?  That puts the cost per permanent job at over $16 million, a figure that could employ perhaps a hundred people had the capital remained in the hands of the private sector that produced it.  Whatever else these green-tech loans are, they certainly are not job-creation stimulus.

It seems to me that this is just another scam and pure political cronyism. This sounds just like the push by the Obama administration
to approve a loan to a failing Solyndra backed by one of his big campaign bundlers.  That’s exactly what’s going on with this program, and with Barack Obama’s demands for more blank checks for stimulus.  The only thing Obama’s stimulating is the pockets of his cronies.

Last week, Dancing with the Stars started a new season. For those of you who follow me on my thoughts about this show, I’m not going to do a weekly blog on it. I’ve watched too many seasons with Dancing with the Stars and find that each season is the same.

Same old celebrities with “issues” – not good enough, don’t want to fail, crying because they are tired and weary. Oh please, enough is enough. You know they get paid to do the show and I think they get paid handsomely – around $100,000 maybe? I would do that in a heartbeat.

With these tough economic times, I just don’t want to hear sob stories and crying from people who “have” everything going for them. Suck it up and just do it. For those of you who don’t “have” everything, I’m sure you would jump in and replace them.

I’m just going to watch the show in the light of entertainment and ignore the drama of the show. There is enough drama today for all of us and we certainly don’t need a nonsensical show to add to our drama. I may make comments from time to time so stay tuned to my “little drama” of watching Dancing with the Stars!

First Obama talks about 57 states, and then he slips up and says “jews” instead of “janitors” now his brilliant White House administration can’t even get geography right. Someone in his press office issued credentials to reporters and photojournalists who are covering Obama’s trip this week – his jobs campaign – to Washington State, California and Colorado.

The credentials even provide a nifty looking graphic highlighting (in white) which states the president will visit. You know for
those who are dumb and don’t know geography of the Western states. But it seems the actual dummies are the press office in the White House.

Instead of highlighting Colorado, which the president is visiting today, it shows Wyoming. Even a third grader can figure out the difference between Wyoming and Colorado. Once again, the White House is showing their intelligence – somewhere south of dumb.

As a Coloradoan I am enraged to see this kind of mistake. We Coloradoans are proud of our state and don’t want to be mistaken for Wyoming. Maybe the press office is missing Dick Cheney – you know he is from Wyoming!

Here is the picture of the credentials.

As you may know, there are 16 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized medical marijuana. Colorado is one of them. As I mentioned before in one of my previous articles, that state medical regulators may face federal sanctions, now there is another dilemma facing medical marijuana dispensaries.

Banks in states where marijuana is legal for medical purposes won’t do business with dispensary owners for fear that regulators will target them in federal investigations. Federal regulators maintain banks which do business with dispensaries are supporting activities that, even if legal in the state, are illegal at the federal level.

In a memo the Department of Justice issued to U.S. Attorneys last June, the federal government made its stance on federal marijuana law clear: “The Department is committed to the enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act in all States,” the memo stated.  “Congress has determined that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that the illegal distribution and sale of marijuana is a serious crime that provides a significant source of revenue to large scale criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels.”

This wording was intended to clarify an earlier memo from October of 2009, which had given the appearance of leniency in enforcement of federal laws prohibiting marijuana. That memo instructed U.S. attorneys that regulators “…should not focus federal resources in your States on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.”

This recent intensification from the Justice Department in its intent to prosecute violations of the Controlled Substances Act is scaring banks away from opening and maintaining accounts for medical marijuana dispensaries.

As a result, medical marijuana dispensary can open a business but they can’t do any type of banking in their community. But dont’ worry Congressman Jared Polis (D-Co.) has introduced legislation into the U.S. House of Representatives that would shift regulatory responsibility for medical marijuana businesses away from the federal government to the state governments, and would eliminate the need for financial institutions to report medical marijuana businesses’ activities to the federal government. Maybe he should also introduce legislation about states having the right to stopping illegal immigration. Wouldn’t that be a novel idea?

Polis cites medical marijuana dispensaries as a “fast-growing” industry With the $7.34 million the state of Colorado has already received in licensing fees from medical marijuana dispensary applications, Polis argues that roadblocks to the success of the industry need be removed so these businesses can get back to “providing jobs and tax revenues right when our economy needs it.”

So now it’s all about jobs and tax revenues. The heck with the drug being illegal, all politicians want is more money for them to spend.
Will the federal government one day end the prohibition of this illegal drug?

Only time will tell.