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“Blah, blah, blah Obamacare”. say Republicans. I say “Get over it.” This day the House is going to vote on Michelle Bachman’s House Bill Number One, to completely abolish Obamacare…..
Of course it is ridiculous. And if the entire Republican contingent votes to undo it, the entire Republican contingent as I have said all along and most of America agrees, is ridiculous…. The best thing Republicans can do for their party is censure Michelle Bachman by having this bill go down to inglorious defeat…. Because this will bludgeon them in 2014.
My title said “Cherries”… So here is the cherry… an account from someone upon getting insurance for the first time… and reflecting upon how it feels…
“Financially, I’d be maybe $100 a month poorer [without coverage]. I would not be monitoring my blood sugar. I would not be paying as much attention to my cholesterol. I probably would have lost some weight but I don’t think I would have lost so much, and I don’t know if I would have been so good at keeping it off. I’d be much more anxious about what could go wrong. [...]
And there’s something about just feeling like you’re part of regular life. There’s a lot of emphasis on how everyone should be healthy and everyone should live longer, and you don’t want to be a burden on society. If you don’t have medical insurance, you’re kind of not part of that. It’s hard to explain, but there’s an element of participating in society that being able to go to the doctor gives you. Everybody always asks everyone how you’re doing, and to be able say “My doctor says I’m doing really well,” that’s nice, instead of being in a group of people and saying, “Well, I don’t really go to doctors.”
Obamacare is good. People want it. We need it badly. We have it. No one is going to take anything away from the American People that they want without losing the fight….
Partisan Politics Above The Nation’s Good... That banner hangs in the RNC’s Washington DC Lobby…. and is the first thing one sees upon stepping in….
Forget about the deficit. Forget about class struggle. Forget about intra-class equity. Forget about soaking the rich….
“Just forget about it…..”
Our current tax base inequity is killing our economy….. Not just ours, but the global economy as well. The solution to the worlds economy is our tax rate, right here in the USA….
Imagine all the wealthy in the United States. It is here. It is full of one color.
Now, let us show you how that wealth was divided just before 1980. That was the beginning of the Republican Party (you know what I mean).
Now, let us show you how wealth is divided with the closest available figures today.
Now let me show you how the US dominates the worlds wealth.
It is pretty clear to everyone that the economy is driven by demand. If there is demand, then investment flows into options to create more supply. When supply is higher than demand, cutbacks have to occur until both are closer in alignment. Right?
So the big global economic problem is…. in America there is a lack of spending!…. Unfortunately it has been going on 5 years. and a lot of this lack of spending comes from the collective behavior across this country now put towards paying down individual debt from what we once spent in our past….
The solution is to spend more. The burden on spending more must lie with those who have money to spend.
This group failed us. The trickle down theory never trickled down. Seriously? Why would it? Who except the Mother Theresa’s of us, would simply give our money away to help the poorer and downtrodden?
Our forefathers lived through this a hundred years ago. If you want to see our future, study the economy from the Civil War to the Great Depression. Business and the wealthy could not be trusted to look out for anyone’s interests. There had to be another way.
We stumbled upon it funding WWII. Tax wealth. Use that as seed investment money. Build things.
Has anyone ever thanked our forefathers for their investment into the building of a vast network of interstate highways? Imagine if we had counted upon the private sector to make this improvement to our lives?
Highways were paid for by taxing those “with money”. As seen above, in the past the middle class had money and chipped in accordingly. Today that money is no longer in middle class hands and is instead of being reinvested it is now getting siphoned off-shore where it does no good what so ever.
Until Americans return to the good habit of spending, the soft economy will continue…. To get that quick transfusion which will jump start our economy, our nation needs to put money back into the hands of the middle class, so they will again start buying things that employ people….. The middle class likes to spend. They are the gas that runs the economy’s engine.
The simplest method accomplishing this, is to increase the taxes a little bit on those who have way too much money. …
Studies show that for every penny in increased tax, there is 99 times that economic benefit as that penny circulates through the system until it again finally settles into the pockets of the rich. From there, it needs to be recycled again so we can again create the type of pie chart above showing the golden days when wealth rested in the hands of those who would run right out and spend it….
The answer is not socialistic, that is to take money away from the wealthy. Oh no. Instead, it is to temporarily borrow it, to force their investment into the economy so all again reap the benefits, not just the 1%…. Seriously, we should all get rich together, and we will, once we raise taxes on ”Those Few Who Will Not Spend…..”
Astra Zenica is closing out 1200 jobs. Just think if the Port of Wilmington was going to be losing jobs as well?
Corporate entities are one thing. but good old fashioned labor unions are what provide stability to an entire city.
So it appears the Markell administration was so confident they would sell off their port, they put no money into the budget to cover it….
The answer is rather simple. If you need $20 million a year, write a new tax that begins at levels over $1 million dollars and get the $20 million from them….
How hard is that?
or you could increase port fees a few cents per ton…
Then, ask Siemans who they would recommend as a consultant if you were interested in finding a European buyer for our port…..
Whatever your opinion may be of charters, there’s no question that the District has failed to explain its inconsistent approach of allowing charter expansion without regard to expense or academic quality while insisting on draconian and widespread sacrifice among District schools. This despite the fact that many of the District schools targeted for closure outperform some of the charters that the SRC renewed and expanded last spring.
Is this a “Damn The Public” boondoggle in the making? Are we running roughshod over evidence, children, teachers, structures, reality, in order to promote Charter Schools?
When something like this usually happens, it is the result of someone being on the take.
The Charters countered with this…. “The closings are inevitable for a district that must manage within the framework of a harsh fiscal reality. Given this scenario, the good news is that not only are charters educating children at a fraction of the cost, but they in turn are able to channel more money to children remaining at district schools.”
Philadelphia charters have more than 40,000 students on waiting lists. It is tragic that only a very small percentage of families ultimately “win” a seat. It is especially disheartening to turn away thousands of children and families seeking a quality education.
Recently I documented a comparison between 2005 and now, and illustrated that now there were only 950 fewer students (both public and charter) in Philadelphia less than the public school’s seating capacity, and that half as many graduates today were as college prepared as were those back when public school supplied over 88% of Philadelphia’s educational needs.
If using the criteria of judging education by how well it educates students, the Charter experiment has failed in Philadelphia.
…. said Rick Jensen as Liz Allen finished and hung up the phone before Rick could answer….
I usually drive in silence but I laughed out loud when I heard that. Seriously glad I was not drinking coffee that very second…
To set the background, Rick was trying to pin the blame on unions like would a normal corporate shill and Liz called in and was objecting…
Basically her argument was that there were a lot of things wrong with this Kinder Morgan Deal. Most of you know, I’ve outlined many. Al Mascitti has outlined some. Nancy Willing outlined some. Norinda outlined some. Bobby Marshall has outlined some. John Kowalko has outlined some. The News Journal writers and editorialists have outlined some. Even Alan Levin truthfully outlined some…. And of course, Liz Allen was Delaware’s voice. She outlined many…. And don’t even mention that the entire House of the General Assembly, both Democrats and Republicans unanimously voted for General Assembly oversight on this strange thing happening, despite the Governor and Alan Lavin saying…”shouldn’t do that!!!”
THE ENTIRE HOUSE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY VOTED FOR SENATE BILL 3 YET KINDER MORGAN IS SINGLING OUT A LABOR LEADER, JULIUS CEPHAS? ? ?
All of these people are more to blame for swaying public opinion than Julius Cephas. However, truth be told, without Julius, none of these people would be swaying public opinion…. He didn’t harangue, he didn’t bash, he’d didn’t twist arms…
All Julius did to persuade this wave against Kinder Morgan, was speak the “truth”. The letter paints Julius as a feisty uncooperative fiery personality… Anyone who’s sat on a panel with Julius finds that hard to believe. That is not how Julius handles adversity. He digs down and works.
Of course as we all age we come to realize that anything is possible. But if we are going to allow ourselves to consider even the most outrageous items, what I find far more possible, and far more probable, was that Kinder Morgan was seriously planning on cutting jobs. Furthermore, it probably had it’s eye on the DRBA portion of the state pension fund… Speaking strictly as a vulture capitalist here… who wouldn’t?
Apparently Julius Cephas was in the way… We all owe him a thank you.
I know Texas gas firms. This deal is not off. What we have here is a lighter being held up to Delaware’s foot. To scare us a little, try to get us to move things up, to get us to concede… They sharply deduced that to have a successful operation here, they need to do away with the union. Hence, instead of excoriating Bob Marshall’s leadership, which they would have done if they truly were to pick up and go, …knowing they might need him later instead they chose to focus on Julius Cephas…
Can they turn the state into an out-roar against Julius and the Longshoreman’s union, so much so that we offer them a counter-offer with “the union” completely eclipsed out of it?
In their minds they think they can. They’re Texans… Look at Governor Perry. (Hope you weren’t drinking hot coffee right there… )
What they don’t realize is that to convince Delaware to come aboard, they have to accomplish all these four things…
A. Convince us first on the concept of privatization; Trust us, our state is completely against it.
B. Give us $5 billion for 50 years.
C. Promise us the Longshoreman’s Union will be around forever .
D. Expand business so the outside businesses will grow…..
I think this is more money than they want to bear right now…. But if they are willing to agree to these propositions, send us an offer….
Us Delawareans are a little stronger negotiators, with a little more backbone, than is Alan Levin…. I’m sorry from a honesty point of view, if his actions sort of misled you.
There are two ways to do business. One is do what is best for the business by being selfish.. The second is to do what is best for the customer and community, which in our view, turns out to be what is best for the business.
Delawareans (minus Rich Heffron) subscribe to the latter…..
Most of you missed this, but Alan Levin and Senator Bob Marshall stopped by coincidentally at the same time to visit Rick Jensen of WDEL, and smooth as he was, Rick convinced both to sit down for an hour and go head to head over the topic of privatizing the Port of Wilmington….
First Alan Levin; Delaware Economic Development Office….
a. Delaware river will be dredged to 45 feet.
b. Panama canal will open to new big ships from the Pacific, which will be coming up the Delaware River.
c.. Ships if not coming here, may go to ports north to Philly, Paulsboro, Newark NJ, Norfolk.
d. If we don’t accommodate these larger ships, jobs will go elsewhere taking 3000 jobs. By 2016 we should start seeing them.
e. Was not a sweetheart deal. Competing bids were proffered. Local ILA (International Longshoreman) even asked the state to search out new private/public partnership bids back in Sept 09
f. Turns out that the Bank of Montreal was advisor for port transactions, the division was located in San Francisco. It’s job is to just finance ports. Sent out 70 inquiries 17 expressed inquiries for further information, 4 actually made bids. 2 were called non responsive. leaving 2 good. Kinder Morgan and one private equity group financed by local individuals.
g. Of the two bids received, the Kinder Morgan bid secured workforce. The other group said they would rob workforce pension and union bust to squeeze their profit out of efficiencies.
h. Kinder Morgan bid grants a three year guaranteed security, to the ILA, to the teamsters, to the businesses outside.. What other business gives you a three year guarantee?
i. Kinder Morgan would grow profits by increasing tonnage. They want to add 3 additional warehouses 200,000 square feet each, and 28 additional jobs. The other bidder, made up of local cutthroats, would cut the workforce to squeeze out its profit.
j. Kinder has the ability to bring in additional volume, to negotiate and bring other companies in. The other bid doesn’t. Improvement costs are substantial. $12 million per crane. It costs between $60-70 million to replace berth 5 and 6, just the repair of which will cost $8-10 million. We need the long term lease. Companies want return over time. they won’t do it for 5, they won’t do it for 10. That’s why it is a 50 year lease. The people of Delaware want commitment as well. They don’t want someone saying “we’re outta here” after 5 years.
k. BDO did an independent audit. As does the State Senate they also show a $ 3 million yearly loss. Reports are posted in their auditor’s office. BDO is independent and won’t jeopardize their reputation by lying about the port of Wilmington. It is bottom line business. Net profit in the end, is minus $3 million dollars. The General Assembly is putting in $10 million a year for improvements. That $10 million doesn’t get us past where we are. It doesn’t get us out to the large ships. We need to get out into the Delaware and that will cost $100′s of millions of dollars. Kinder Morgan has considered expanding the Delaware River auto berth, built 20 years ago to accommodate Volkswagon. The berth goes southward. Kinder would go northbound, and put two berths, with two cranes which will service the 3 warehouses being built.l.
l. LNG is off the table, that has been committed to in the General Assembly and will also be in the lease. Can Wilmington accommodate LNG tankers? No! The port of Wilmington is not big enough to do LNG. And two, they will not increase coal over today’s level; our same level of 100,000 tons of coal is stipulated for the next 50 years.
m. Protests against the port are having negative effect. Both Mr. Kinder and Mr. Foster came with the understanding we were the ones seeking and they were not expecting negativity. They understand the ebb and flow, but were not prepared for this huge outcry. it was us. We invited them to the party. Had they come to us as a hostle takeover, the outcry could be right and proper… So far we’ve done what we thought was right. We got to find a way to stop the annual spending of the $10 million because the $10 million won’t get us out to the river. Kinder proposed and promised and has done it elsewhere.
n. Kinder Morgan if they have a customer who needs to get to the river, they then will build to go to the river; they can make the extension at that time. But Kinder (like any successful business) does not promise or commit to anything except what it is prepared to do today.
o. If deal falters, the future of port will be tenuous. It will continue to have great management, and a great workforce, but won’t have the proper resources to go to river.
p. If deal collapses, no, the port won’t go bankrupt. but collapsing the deal is not responsible. Being responsible is doing something to stop the $10 million bleeding.
Now… state senator Bobbie Marshall…author of Senate Bill 3 signed by Jack Markell, overseeing the lease of port….
a. Big problem is… we do not have details of Kinder Morgan. No written proposal,
b.Expansion is something we all favor. but deal receded into one of ” no expansion”, but we will now have to turn over the entire port. including the 300 acres owned by Delaware citizens, managed by Diamond State Port Authority to someone we don’t know.
c. Port is actually a profit making entity if you remove the depreciation yearly. Actual operation is profitable.
d. Port could grow jobs within the interior 250 acres if port grows and expands, and with new money, more employment opportunity exists if expansion occurs…
e. Point out that Julius Cephus (ILA) has rallied people, businesses, and elected officials, and has pointed out that this may not be beneficial in long term.
f. Preliminary proposal at this time, the due diligence will be present by end of month which will allow presentation to bond bill and bond bill will hold hearings on the proposal… Senate Bill 3 requires review by bond committee.
g. Members of legislature representing the state of Delaware, passed bill in 1994 to allow Diamond State to operate the day to day operations, but never was it place in the code, to give either Diamond State or the governor sale and total control of 300 acres of port property. General Assembly and its citizens are the tenant. Diamond State Port is the renter.
h. Port of Wilmington Directors are responsible to exercise “all function” of port….including the leasing of lands to companies…. That is different from” selling” the land of the taxpayers out from under them. The state taxpayer keeps ownership but leases to Kinder Morgan.
i. All interested parties, need to read Miami Herald and how expansion of Panama Canal will affect the ports of the east coast. We need to invest the Delaware river side of the port and that is not happening with Kinder Morgan.
j. This is a lease, this is not a sale to Kinder Morgan. The Diamond State board can do leases…. Alan’s understanding is if the bond bill committee approves Kinder Morgan deal, it goes to the House and Senate for up or down vote with no debate. But Marshall say debate will be impossible to quench.
k. Any one can appear before the bond bill committee… Alan will appear. Senators can appear. Kinder Morgan will be given total control of port. Diamond State Board will still be in place, will still have oversight, but not its running on a day to day basis. They make sure agreement is in force, and if not, they will take appropriate action.
l. Worried about control People getting laid off? Kinder Morgan will automate and cut employees down to one. Low skilled people will get shut out, Has happened all over the country. Failed private ports run by Kinder Morgan, cut people. (Which ones ask Jensen.)
m. Kinder Morgan is interested in the fruit business, Kinder Morgan is paying premium for fruit; they want to build three warehouses. Already they are seeking long term contracts with Dole, Chiquita, and the Chilean Pacific Seaways in order to get their fruit. They have to have to be given the chance.
n. (Jensen) Depreciation needs to be on the form to comply with IRS. Depreciation is where the loss of the port is coming from. Without it, the port is profitable according to Marshall.
o. Kinder Morgan is a bulk and liquid bulk company. (John Vitale): Concerned this deal will cost him money; his business is on the outside of the port. Container experience is limited to one 10 acre container port in Florida. Taht is all the experience they have. Products generating most jobs in ports are containers, breakable containers as in fruit, and automobiles. Handling bulk products are the least job creators. The outside area around the port has grown because the conscious decision not to handle bulk, because they didn’t mix with fruit and automobiles… .
p. Ok, (John Vitale) With Kinder Morgan switching to bulk, we could end up out on the river, but we still would have 20 percent of today’s jobs.
q. Flat out,(John Vitale) bulk products are far more profitable and will drive out costlier containers which are labor intensive, forcing the outside businesses to go out of business. High number of jobs at the port are there because of fruit, these will be lost by not sticking to containers…. A for-profit company will not be in the best interest of the existing port.
r. Ferrous alloys, fertilizer, liquids are not competitive with the outside businesses. (Alan). We can promise this: employees will last three years, we will get an income stream to the people of Delaware, and that capital improvements will happen. Check out Vancouver where Kinder Morgan has spent in last two years, $140 million spent on improvements for cargo bulk containers, something they didn’t anticipate when they leased it two years ago. …They are willing to pay a premium for our expertise. They think fruit is good business.
s. Concern that we are putting too much faith in hope. Kinder Morgan is a Wall Street for-profit stockholder company. Delaware’s General Assembly’s support is contingent on growing business to the river. Legislators are very worried about the external businesses existing outside the port. i
t. Bonds $7 million owed to the city (Roger Roy) .. In 1994, we made two deals with Wilmington: one to pay them over time, and the other was to take over the bonds they owed, which is to pay off their bonds which they currently have. State still owes city close to$7 million..
u. (Kowalko). We will debate the bill on the floor. … Alan is saying the Bond Bill Committee will debate the pre proposal proposal… not the proposal because at this time, there is no proposal. Issue is not about Kinder. … The bond bill was to discuss t he ethics of privatization of the port, not the deal itself. Therefore when it goes on the floors, that will be the only time to debate the actual Kinder Morgan proposal.
v. (Liz Allen) Vancouver contract shows Kinder Morgan is not liable or loss for any cargo, not liable for any delay, strikes, fires explosions, or acts of god, and Kinder Morgan is indemnified from all losses…. Both (Alan and Rick) spoke up that sounded like a standard hold-harmless contract, one required for all business. So who is responsible if there is an explosion (Liz)? Responsibility goes to Kinder Morgan, they have the liability(Alan), their insurance covers that, and we are not absolving them of liability. All obligations go to the person leasing the deal, not the lessor…
w. (Rick) Emotion doesn’t make sense. Why so much negative emotion?. (Bob Marshall) Those interested and raising concerns are those who work in the port, work in businesses around the port. Kinder Morgan is a profit making company, former operator working as Enron officials, that raised a red flag. Rick asks: is everyone at Enron a criminal? No.
x. (Alan) Trepidation is about change to what we know. We have tried to mitigate that concern on everyones issue. Bottom line is people of Delaware can no longer afford putting $10 million a year to upgrade the port.
y. (Alan)we take money away from everyone else in the state to bolster the port. We have an obligation to the port of Wilmington, but we can’t take anything away from Seaford, and Laural, and education and public safety….
So, you who have put your faith and service into the United States of America, who have sacrificed a lot for principle, and enlisted or volunteered in the armed forces, are now, about to get a 20% cut in pay?
- How will your family live?
- How will you pay your bills?
- How long until the Sheriff puts your home up for auction?
And why it this?
Because Republicans don’t want billionaires to pay one more penny per dollar earned on all income OVER a million dollars……...
There is no other reason you are taking a 20% cut in pay for serving your nation in the most patriotic fashion….
You just got bumped by millionaires…. Thanks to the Republican Party of the United States of America……
So, how do you feel now?
Courtesy of Wikipedia.
After all the bluster dies down, Historians will revisit this era and come to this conclusion.
In order not to tax the top 1% an additional $85 billion dollars, the 99% was made to suffer for it….
Cost = $85 billion.
Let us compare that to wealth, not income, to see how that $85 billion stacks up….
The current household wealth of the United States is listed between $64 and $65 trillion dollars…. We are going to draw the line at at the top 20% and bottom 80% of the population.
The top 20% owns 89.9% of the nation’s wealth. The bottom 80% owns 11.1%…. In dollars that stacks up as follows:
- Top 20% owns $58 Trillion in net worth.
- Bottom 80% has $ 7 Trillion of net worth.
Ok. now we have the dollar figures. Let us break down the population. Since we are dealing with government services we must assume that affects everyone, so we are going to use the 315 million population figure for our calculations.
- Top 20% of population equals 63 million people.
- Bottom 80% of population equals 252 million people.
So now let us see how that works out per person. For both income levels we are going to divide the total wealth by the total persons and get the total wealth per person…
- 58 Trillion divided by 63 million people gives a per person average of…$841,269 per citizen.
- 7 Trillion divided by 252 million people gives a per person average of … $27,777 dollars per citizen.
Ok so here is what historians will find. If we tax the existing revenue for the $85 billion difference it will only hit the top group of 20%… If we sequester or cut out of our national budget, it will only hit those in the bottom 80%…
To see what the average hit will cost, we will take the $85 billion and divide it among the number of people in that income range. Then later we will apply that to their wealth and see who has the greater and who has the less percentage…
- $85 Billion sequestered spread over 63 million 20%’ers comes to $1349 each.
- $85 Billion sequestered out of the 252 million 80%ers comes to a tiny…. $337 each…
So here is the fun part.
- That $1349 is this percent of $841,269… 0.16% of one percent.
- That $337 is this percent of $27,777…. 1.2 percent…
Each person in the bottom 80% is paying roughly 8 times more of a burden to their wealth than paid by those in the top 20%……. When our economy fails and historians look back and say, didn’t anyone crunch the numbers? Well, yes? Someone did..
And if fairness is truly an America virtue, then once we know that a 8 to 1 ratio exists, it become easy to figure out how to divide the costs equally… (8x +1x = $85B) then we should have a tax hike of $75 billion and sequester or cut of $10 billion to give every America an equal percentage bite out of their wealth….
Photo courtesy of Disney Productions
Just reading Jack Markell’s advice on sequester, loosely translated, it means “no growth for that”; “no growth for that”; “no wiggle room for that.”
The entire Sequestration is being caused by the shrunken Republican minority’s refusal to accept higher taxes on the wealthy. As proven earlier, the $85 billion for the Federal Sequester could easily be raised by taking income over $1 million dollars one more penny per dollar… None of this would have to occur.
Currently Jack Markell proposes a cut in taxes on the top marginal rate of Delawareans. Almost all are registered Republicans. Their rates are to be reduced from 6.95 to 6.75. Initially in better economic times this was deemed to cost the state $8 million the first year, and $15 million the second year it goes into effect.
With the Federal Government pinpointing $15 million of Federal Aid being cut because Tea Party Republicans won’t raise taxes, the idea of cutting taxes on the wealthy here in Delaware had better now be dead in the water.
As has been mentioned many, many, times here and elsewhere, when you have oodles of more money than you can keep track of, whether the state tax rate is 6.75, 6.85, 6.95, or even 7.95 concerns you not… only 3 out of every 10 voters are Republicans. Only 1 out of 10 of Delaware’s general population, both voting and non voting, are Republicans..
The man behind the tree, is now a republican… He is the one who needs to pay for the Republican caused sequester…. It is time we implement a Republican Donation Tax. A surcharge tax equal to the amount donated to the Republican Party, that gets slapped onto any other assessments by law.
We tax tobacco to pay for the harm tobacco causes. We tax liquor for the harm liquor causes. We tax gasoline for the harm gasoline causes…. ‘Bout time we tax Republicans for all the harm they’ve cause us….