Archive for October 2009

Welcome AlphaInventions Visitors

October 31, 2009

To all of you finding your way to this blog via AlphaInventions, welcome and thanks for clicking through! I hope you’ll learn a few things and maybe start looking at things in a new way.

I do this blog in my spare time so sometimes it doesn’t get updated for a few days at a stretch, but come back often and leave comments when something interests you.

For those not familiar with AlphaInventions.com , it is an innovative web site & web app written by Cheru Jackson. It displays a continuous cycle of “screenshots” of recent blog updates published by a wide variety of bloggers, helping bloggers connect to each other and to find new readers. Check it out – you’ll see what I mean.

The best thing about AlphaInventions.com? It’s innovation brought about by an individual with an idea and the skills to carry it out. A brilliant example of what the free market can do when it’s allowed to function without government involvement.

 

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Ron Paul: Important News on Audit the Fed

October 31, 2009

Mel Watt – Fed shill, enemy of truth.

bernakewattcopy-1

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=114624

Further investigation through OpenSecrets.org reveals that the largest share of Watt’s campaign contributions in the 2008 election cycle came from the finance, insurance and real estate industries.


Breakdown of industries supporting Rep. Mel Watt’s 2008 campaign (graph from OpenSecrets.org)

In fact, of $609,072 given to Watt, $217,109 – or 35.6 percent – came from the money sector, including over $187,000 – or nearly 31 percent of his total contributions – from political action committees within the finance, insurance and real estate industry. The next highest industry supporting Watt was labor, which contributed only 14 percent of his total war chest.

Furthermore, the four largest contributors to Watt’s cause were Bank of America, Wachovia Corp., American Express and the American Bankers Association.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mel_Watt

Opposition to increased oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
In 2003 Watt vehemently opposed efforts by the George W. Bush administration and Congressional Republicans to increase regulatory oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.[7] “I don’t see much other than a shell game going on here, moving something from one agency to another and in the process weakening the bargaining power of poorer families and their ability to get affordable housing”, Mr. Watt said.[7] Watt said that “Brad Miller and I were at the forefront of that more than anybody else in America” in trying to prevent the financial crisis, despite the fact that Watt’s stated position was against an increase and more oversight for high risk lending.[8]

Record Nine Bank Failures Yesterday

October 31, 2009

2228036852_f9705e9266The FDIC shuttered nine banks on Oct. 30, 2009, bringing the total for the year so far to 115.

Yesterday’s closures will cost the FDIC an estimated $2.5 billion, combined.

According to an AP report (via Clusterstock):

Regulators shut California National Bank of Los Angeles and eight other banks as the weak economy continues to produce a stream of loan defaults.

The banks closed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation were in California, Illinois, Texas and Arizona. They were divisions of privately held FBOP Corp., a Chicago-based bank holding company.

As the economy has soured, with unemployment rising, home prices tumbling and loan defaults soaring, bank failures have cascaded and sapped billions out of the deposit insurance fund. It has fallen into the red.

Failures have been especially concentrated in California, Georgia and Illinois. While the pounding from losses on home mortgages may be nearing an end, delinquencies on commercial real estate loans remain a hot spot of potential trouble, regulators say. If the recession deepens, defaults on the high-risk loans could spike. Many regional banks, especially, hold large concentrations of these loans.

The 115 failures are the most in a year since 1992 at the height of the savings-and-loan crisis. They have cost the federal deposit insurance fund more than $25 billion so far this year, and hundreds more bank failures are expected to raise the cost to around $100 billion through 2013.

The 115 bank failures this year compare with 25 last year and three in 2007.

The number of banks on the FDIC’s confidential “problem list” jumped to 416 at the end of June from 305 in the first quarter. That’s the most since June 1994. About 13 percent of banks on the list generally end up failing, according to the FDIC.

Also, be sure to check out this interactive visual of recent bank failures from the Wall Street Journal. The graphics are great. They really help put the whole mess in perspective.

Mel Watt – Fed Shill

October 30, 2009

This man is an enemy of freedom, prosperity and government transparency. See my previous post for an explanation.

wattjoker

Urgent! Audit the Fed Bill in Trouble!

October 30, 2009

Federal Reserve Policy Audit Legislation ‘Gutted,’ Paul Says

By Bob Ivry

Oct. 30 (Bloomberg) — Representative Ron Paul, the Texas Republican who has called for an end to the Federal Reserve, said legislation he introduced to audit monetary policy has been “gutted” while moving toward a possible vote in the Democratic-controlled House.

The bill, with 308 co-sponsors, has been stripped of provisions that would remove Fed exemptions from audits of transactions with foreign central banks, monetary policy deliberations, transactions made under the direction of the Federal Open Market Committee and communications between the Board, the reserve banks and staff, Paul said today.

“There’s nothing left, it’s been gutted,” he said in a telephone interview. “This is not a partisan issue. People all over the country want to know what the Fed is up to, and this legislation was supposed to help them do that.”

continue reading

Urgent call to action! Contact your representative today, tomorrow, every day until HR 1207 is restored to its original form. Anything less is simply unacceptable.

Please help show congress we are dead serious about this audit.

New Health Care Bill Has a Tax for Everyone

October 30, 2009

From HotAir:

Americans for Tax Reform has culled the 1990-page Pelosi health-care overhaul bill to find the taxes that will supposedly collect over $540 billion in revenue over 10 years.  It’s quite an impressive list of new burdens on Americans and their health-care providers and producers — but that’s redundant.  After all, who do you think will end up paying for the medical-device taxes?  It won’t be insurers or doctors:

  • Employer Mandate Excise Tax (Page 275): If an employer does not pay 72.5 percent of a single employee’s health premium (65 percent of a family employee), the employer must pay an excise tax equal to 8 percent of average wages.  Small employers (measured by payroll size) have smaller payroll tax rates of 0 percent (<$500,000), 2 percent ($500,000-$585,000), 4 percent ($585,000-$670,000), and 6 percent ($670,000-$750,000).
  • Individual Mandate Surtax (Page 296): If an individual fails to obtain qualifying coverage, he must pay an income surtax equal to the lesser of 2.5 percent of modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) or the average premium.  MAGI adds back in the foreign earned income exclusion and municipal bond interest.
  • Medicine Cabinet Tax (Page 324)
  • Cap on FSAs (Page 325)
  • Increased Additional Tax on Non-Qualified HSA Distributions (Page 326)
  • Denial of Tax Deduction for Employer Health Plans Coordinating with Medicare Part D (Page 327)
  • Surtax on Individuals and Small Businesses (Page 336)
  • Excise Tax on Medical Devices (Page 339)
  • Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting (Page 344)
  • Delay in Worldwide Allocation of Interest (Page 345)
  • Limitation on Tax Treaty Benefits for Certain Payments (Page 346)
  • Codification of the “Economic Substance Doctrine” (Page 349)
  • Application of “More Likely Than Not” Rule (Page 357)

See the ATR post for detailed descriptions of each new tax. 

The Great Recession is Over!

October 29, 2009

celebrationThird quarter GDP is up 3.5%!

The media and the federal government today are reporting the Great Recession is over(maybe, sort of).

Never mind that the bulk of that growth came from Cash for Clunkers (which cost taxpayers $24,000 per vehicle). Never mind that the numbers of jobs “saved or created” by Obama’s stimulus was overstated by the White House. The recession is over!

More house buying credits for everyone! Even four-year olds! Go for it – the IRS doesn’t require you to prove you actually bought a house (shhhh).

And hey, while we’re at it – how about “free” health insurance for everybody! Read all about it here – only 1990 pages long!

So come on, people – let’s celebrate! The good times are rolling again!