Monday, September 15, 2008

We regret to inform you...

...that I will be taking an indefinite leave of absence from the AR, due to an issue of a personal nature.* In the event that AR is not resumed, please know that I feel lucky to have had the great fortune to have so many of you read this blog over the past 3 years. I hope you've enjoyed doing so and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming back, again and again. To all, God Bless and Godspeed.


*Humanist, this has nothing to do with our recent, not so tete-a-tete, disagreement. However, I regret to inform you that I cannot engage further with you on the subject. (though I'm sure you'll no doubt rejoice over this news. )

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Who are these teams?

As many of my dear readers know, I am a huge fan of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team. Prior to last weekend's opener, I was a bit concerned about the fate of the team this year, what with last season's abysmal 3-9 record. However, after yesterday's dismantling of Michigan, I found myself saying, "Who the hell are these guys?" Yes, Notre Dame finally looks to have a defense, strong special teams play, and an offensive line. Now let's keep them together for the next couple of years and see what happens when they become upperclassmen. I have been equally surprised by the Buffalo Bills. W-O-W! What the hell did they eat in the offseason? Very proud of the hometown boys, keep it up!

-In other news, I'll finally have time this week ot go see Tropic Thunder, a movie that's been on my list for quite a while now. Stay tuned for my comments/review!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remember...


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

...but then hypocrisy and doctrinairism aren't too great either...

Well ladies and gents, fear not! The Humanist is here for your protection from "conservative lies." Not to be outdone, and crowing about his self-ascribed prowess to "sniff out bullshit" Humanist posted his "rebuttal." What a masterful argument it was too, wasn't it kids?

To begin, he completely goes off topic and chides me for a post I placed in April of this year regarding a satirical, racially based joke. I laughed so hard at his attempt to chastise me for this, especially after I noticed one of his favorite films, as listed in his profile, is the brilliant, Blazing Saddles. Oh Humanist, your hypocrisy is of a unique brand, I'll give you that! Now I'm sure some bullshit will inevitably fall out of his mouth regarding what he thinks my intent was, how it's different that Mel Brooks's masterpiece, or some other "ivory tower" crap, but that's really about par for the course for him. (Don't read, try to understand, or converse with someone, just blurt, and condemn before you think.) But I digress... (I just found that far too amusing, thanks for the good laugh!)

Let's move on to the skill with which he addressed my response to him. Wait a second...no we can't, because well...he really didn't address yesterday's post.(9-9-08) Oh there was some passing references to be sure, but once again, it was a failure to read, no attempt to develop an understanding, and a general disavowment of the information I posted to you, my dear readers. He mentioned the "conservative nutjob" media I read, but then cites TPM.com and the Huffingtonpost.com on a near daily basis. What's next, that paradigm of sanity, the Daily Kos? Yes Humanist, way to show that pharisaical flair once again! Are you serious with this? Really? Because if so, this act of yours has to go on the road, you'll crack people up.

Humanist notes that Snopes and Factcheck 'debunked' the e-mail in large part by citing Obama's website, yet unsurprisingly, when I quoted Obama's words, and how those ideas of his would affect the numbers, Humanist had no reply...So are Obama's words less accurate than his website?

Speaking of numbers, we can't forget that Humanist quipped that I 'strangely' did not provide notations of my sites directly. Gee Humanist why could that be? Well I guess it was because the info. I gathered from those sites involved laws regarding Washington's tax policy and procedure, the tax codes themselves and the numerical data therein which all happens to be public knowledge. Well at least public knowledge for those wanting irrefutable fact. Why the hell do you think I left out the data from the spam e-mail that was 'absurd'? It was because obviously nothing supported it. However, the other info, I felt should have been examined through current, actual, statistics not 'debunked' through reliance of a campaign website espousing a candidate's plans. And I'm the 'numbnuts?' How's your glass house?

Look, here's the bottom line, the original post of 9/8/08 did not have any supporting data, I understand that. Yes it is a spam e-mail, and those who started it would have done well to show, as I attempted to in my 9/9/08 post, exactly how our nation's laws and codes would most likely come to those conclusions it stated, under an Obama presidency. Again, the problem is, Snopes and Factcheck, in their 'debunking', failed to apply the laws, codes, and procedures of Washington, and relied almost entirely on the campaign's website which states in theory what the candidate would like to do. But this fails to mention any of the reality of what would statistically happen.

Humanist, you did shock me though by being humble enough to admit you weren't an expert in economic matters. But then you had to add that you can "smell bullshit" and can "use a search engine". You can "smell bullshit" yet still are completely enamored with a politician and his 'great ideas for change'? God love you! Further... Did you ever think, Humanist, if you used that search engine to research the statistical, economic and procedural information I posted yesterday(which again, is public knowledge) you might actually learn something? What the hell, let's give it a shot!

Now had you used your trusty "search engine" to expand your knowledge you'd have found that economists and market analysts have seen through the "plan" as nothing more than redistribution, not a "tax cut". In fact, here's a quote from 9/9/08 in The Wall Street Journal

"For both candidates, the fine print of their economic plans presents some messiness they'd prefer to avoid talking about. Sen. Obama's middle-class tax cut would take the form of a tax credit of as much as $1,000 per family, which his campaign says would eliminate income taxes for 10 million Americans. He'd also launch a potentially expensive new government health-insurance plan, continuing to rely on employer-provided insurance but providing a big government safety net."

The WSJ a little too "nutjob" conservative for you? Ok, how about a poll by Reuters conducted in July, 2008 which stated the following:

"The U.S. stock market would fare better after a victory by Republican presidential candidate John McCain than by his Democratic rival Barack Obama, according to a majority of economists at U.S. banks and research groups polled by Reuters."

Yeah, you know Reuters' research probably isn't as valid as that of Snopes or FactCheck when applying Obama's plan to the real world, so how about this. from Grover Norquist at Politico?

Sorry, sorry, I know that was a tough read, So let's try this one last article that I think addresses the points I was trying to make very succinctly.

See what you can learn with that "search engine" of yours when it's used to find actual applications of Obama's plan? Amazing isn't it? Now most likely you'll go out and find economists that support Obama's plan. Well big surprise, naturally a candidate will have supporters and detractors. The point is not what angle you get the knowledge from Humanist, it's that you go out and actually find something concrete.

Am I surprised that you spoke/wrote out of your ass? No, I've grown accustomed to it by now. The worst part? You actually believe that by consistently acting doctrinaire about topics you know nothing about, the rest of the blog-reading world will just follow lock step with your pathetic arguments...and you talk about things that are "never a good idea?" Hilarious...

After school soundtracks...

A friend and co-worker of mine were engaged in discussion yesterday regarding the very important topic of what 80s cartoon theme songs were our favorites...Perfect lunchtime conversation topic, right? Well here's what I had as my top ten...


#10


#9


#8


#7



#6



#5


#4


#3


#2


and the #1



Now mind you, I'm not saying this is the order of my favorite cartoons, merely my favorite theme songs. Have any that you liked that didn't make the list? Let us know!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Ah self-righteous indignation...Wonderfully droll isn't it?

So I get this comment from The Humanist today...

You're such an "expert" that you cut and pasted a false spam e-mail that's already been debunked by snopes.com?http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/taxes.asp

Just of kicks, let's take the income tax claim of this nonsense...as snopes noted, Obama does not favor extending the tax cuts for households with incomes of $250,000 or more per year. None of the brackets you listed apply to that level, so their inclusion is not only irrelevant, it's a flat out lie about Obama's tax policy.
In fact, the taxpayers in the brackets you listed would see a greater reduction under Obama's plan than they would under McCain's "let's make the Bush tax cuts for the rich permanent" plan.

So much for the information having been "researched and verified". It's full of shit!

I would hope that you don't reproduce this same shoddy, lazy effort for your clients.

P.S. You can either publish this comment as is or it's going up verbatim on my blog


Now why didn't I bother to post this as a comment? Well the repsonse to educate the economic neophyte known as The Humanist just would have taken too long. Yet, now I have to do it anyway. Did I claim to be an "expert"? No. In fact, once again The Humanist has shown his lack of actually reading before opining. In fact, as my dear readers will note, I actually claimed not to be the world's foremost authority on economic matters. Did I post from an e-mail I received? absolutely. I wanted to try to make my post as compact as possible. Was it a bit lazy? perhaps, though not "cut/paste". Look again at the article Humanist and read closely this time. You'll find I ommitted the claims I felt were absurd, and kept the ones I felt were worthy of query. At any rate, I'm not an accredited journalist so who the hell cares what I write? God knows. However, is Snopes completely correct in its 'debunking'? well not exactly...The Snopes article itself uses a treatise published by The Tax Policy center, which states clearly that they did not have all of the hard details of either plan and thus had to make assumptions on key elements. So much for Snopes using 100% reliable sources.* Did I have other verification? Absolutely. Where you ask? How about The New York Sun, the book Fleeced by Dick Morris, as well as the "mouth that roared" Sen. Obama (just to name a few).

So here we go folks, free of the miasma that The Humanist would have you believe to be fact, because the omniscient Snopes "Debunked" something.

Under Obama:

-The top bracket of income taxation would be raised to 39.6 % up from 35%.

-Social Security Taxes (FICA) would be imposed on all income, not just earnings under $102,000 (remember that as part of the "new taxes" Obama would institute. New government programs such as socialized medicine aren't going to pay for themselves folks)

-Raise capital gains taxes from the curent 15% to 28% (or just about double)
Now Obama has stated it would go no higher than 28%, which means he'll pick a lower number than that. Riiiight...I'm sure.

-Nearly double the tax on dividends from 15% to 28% (see above).

-End the planned elimination of the estate tax and lowering the threshhold of which estates can be taxed, maybe to $1 million.

To begin with, let's examine the Humanist's wonderfully thought out challenge of "the illustrious" Sen. Obama's statement that he'll only raise taxes for those making $250,000 or more...Washington, by law, has to project 5 to 10 years ahead in any tax program. Because the Bush tax cuts are slated to expire in 2010, the 10 year projection shows that a big tax increase across the board is waiting for us. This increase is obviously theoretical until passed into effect by Congress, thus making Obama's proposed "tax cuts" nothing more than illusory ones. What that means is, the numbers, if Obama is elected, will likely revert back to what they were under Clinton, (aka the numbers provided in my last post) if not higher. Now why hasn't Obama said this? Well Humanist, are you really that naive to think that a man running for president is going to tell voters that in a year and a half they're all getting a tax hike?


Let's examine Obama's proposed capital gains/dividends tax hike: Where or where did I verify that from Humanist? Hmmmm, why it was from the "illustrious one's" own mouth. During the Democratic debate in Philly on April 16, 2008 Obama said in response to Charles Gibson, "Well Charlie, what I've said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness" Okay, then a hike from 15% to, let's be conservative and say 23%, is an 8% hike on investors of which 52% of Americans are. Let's also take into account that those investors already paid taxes on the money they are investing. How in God's name is that "fair"? This has economists projecting a decrease of about $250 billion of private investments/year. That comes out to about 2%/year in less economic growth. Why? Because what investor or homeowner is going to sell when they have to pay more in taxes? Quick numbers: When capital gains taxes were cut in 1981,1997, and 2003, govt. revenue rose by 49%, 49% and 88% respectively. When the same capital gains taxes were raised in 1986...revenues fell by 44%.


The worst? Let's look at Obama's brilliant plan for the payroll tax. Again Humanist, where on Earth could this come from? Oh that's right, it's from Sen. Obama. "If we keep the payroll tax rate exactly the same but applied it to all earnings and not just the first $97,000...we could eliminate the entire Social Security shortfall" What would that mean? Well...if the top bracket is up to 39.6% and the FICA tax is up to 12.4% (6.2%) and Medicare remains unchanged at 2.9%, 6% of Americans would be paying anywhere from roughly 50-55% in taxes Federally. Now let's throw in another 5ish% in state taxes, (even after deductions) and we're now up to about 55-60% in taxes. Moreover, Obama would lift the cap on benefits paid to people once they retire, but only on the taxes they pay into the fund while they are working. Taxes=not capped, Benefits=capped. Now is that kind of like "new taxes" on retirement accounts that my previous post mentioned? Hmmm, sounds like a duck, walks like a duck... What's the message in all of this? If these taxes are raised, what employer in this country is going to have any incentive to pay an employee $100,000? The answer: zero. So is that going to help or hurt the economy and the taxpayer in the end? Is it going to create new, upwardly-mobile jobs, or slowly push everyone into the same sub-100k boat ? Is it really a "fair" situation when the richest 10% in this country make one third of the total income but pay almost 70% (67%ish) of the total tax for the nation?? Meanwhile the bottom 50% pay 3% of total income tax payments.

Now Humanist, I could go on and on, I haven't even touched the AMT yet. But I'm tired, I can't believe I wasted 30 minutes of my life having to write a response to this and as I told you long ago, I agree that we disagree, and have left it at that. Believe me, you're not doing the world any great service by commenting on my blog in an attempt to, I don't know, "correct great wrongs" for America. It's a blog, a hobby, no-one cares. What is of concern though is you, once again, feeling the need to question things in my personal life, things that you haven't a clue of, and that are, quite frankly, none of your business. But as you've taken it upon yourself to assume you know all about my work, I must thank you for your concern with regard to my clients. You know you're probably right... I probably treat my career and people's financial health with the same attitude as one of my pastimes, that being, a blog... It only makes sense that I would be "lazy" and "shoddy" with upwards of now $50 million spread across 800 clients, school districts, unions, and corporations all over western and central NY. Of course, I would be...after all, it's not like there's any responsibility there. That was rather pathetic, even for you Humanist. I have left you alone, left your blog alone, and have refrained from commenting on your site after our last discussion. I would have hoped for the same courtesy but then there was the cute little, "You can either publish this comment as is or it's going up verbatim on my blog". What an excellent example of just how puerile you actually are...

*In the future might I suggest that using a website like Snopes or Factcheck to "debunk" information is not at all wise. It's kind of like one getting his/her news from websites like TPM.com or the Huffingtonpost.com...

Monday, September 08, 2008

Time to shed some light...

My Fellow Americans...As I am a professional in the financial services industry it should come as no surprise that I follow the economy, markets, taxes, etc...closely on a daily basis. The information I glean proves to be helpful to my clients and their investing. That said, by no means am I under the delusion that I am qualified to be the world's foremost authority on economic matters, I just happen to know more about it than the average bear. Now I've given this preface because the following information has been researched and verified and I've attempted to explain what this means for you the American citizen.


TAXES: MCCAIN VS. OBAMA

CAPITAL GAINS TAX

MCCAIN
0% on home sales up to $500,000 per home (couples). McCain does not propose any change in existing home sales income tax.

OBAMA
28% on profit from home sales. (How does this affect you? If you sell your home and make a profit, you will pay 28% of your gain on taxes. If you are heading toward retirement and would like to down-size your home or move into a retirement community, 28% of the money you make from your home will go to taxes. This proposal will adversely affect the elderly who are counting on the income from their homes as part of their retirement income.)

DIVIDEND TAX
MCCAIN
15% (no change)

OBAMA
39.6% - (How will this affect you? If you have any money invested in stock market, mutual funds, college funds, life insurance, retirement accounts, or anything that pays or reinvests dividends, {and 100 million of you do} you will now be paying nearly 40% of the money earned on taxes if Obama becomes president. The experts predict that higher tax rates on dividends and capital gains would crash the stock market, yet do absolutely nothing to cut the deficit. Why? Because, what sane investor is going to sell when the tax is higher? None, therefore he/she sells before the new tax increase, thus market crashes, and the govt. receives $0 increase in revenue and actually suffers from a decrease in revenue)

INCOME TAX

MCCAIN
(no changes)
Single making 30K - tax $2,756
Single making 50K - tax $6,606
Single making 75K - tax $12,856
Married making 60K- tax $5,512
Married making 75K - tax $7,762
Married making 125K - tax $19,462

OBAMA (reversion to pre-Bush tax cuts)
Single making 30K - tax $3,157
Single making 50K - tax $7,262
Single making 75K - tax $14,262
Married making 60K - tax $6,585
Married making 75K - tax $9,426
Married making 125K - tax $23,426

Now none of these couts the AMT which now encompasses more people than ever before.95% of Americans not falling under "the illustrious one's" tax increase huh? Riiiiight....


INHERITANCE TAX
MCCAIN
- 0% (No change, Bush repealed this tax)
Though it is set to revert in 2011, there is a movement to keep it as is.

OBAMA
Restore the inheritance tax
Many families have lost businesses, farms, ranches, and homes that have been in their families for generations because they could not afford the inheritance tax. Those willing their assets to loved ones will only lose them to these taxes.

*NEW TAXES PROPOSED BY OBAMA
New taxes on natural resources consumption (heating gas, water, electricity) New taxes on retirement accounts, and last but not least....New taxes to pay for socialized medicine so we can receive the same level of medical care as other third-world countries!!!

Hope this clears up the tax plans of the two candidates...These are just cold, hard numbers that can't be spun.


-In other news...We at the AR headquarters are absolutely delighted to hear that Keith "FMKIA" Olbermann and Chris "Lips Manlis" Matthews have been demoted by their own company NBC. Apparently, people were sick and tired of the former sportscaster pretending to be a non-biased journalist, a venture that last week he failed miserably at. You check it out yourself here. Finally, NBC has done something right.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I wouldn't be able to respond either Barry...

So let me get this straight...After the thorough shit-kicking delivered by Rudy and Sarah last night, Team Obama, the media and scores of Liberals have decided on the following reason to claim Obama has enough experience to be President. Ready? It's because he ran for President...Wait? WTF!?! Soooo because someone runs for President, wins 18 million votes in a primary and can speak and write about issues, that makes one qualified to be the leader of the United States? Are you guys serious with this shit? That's the most illogical, sophomoric response I've ever heard. As Rudy so beautifully put it, Obama has, in fact, accomplished nothing, zero, nada...

My Liberal countrymen, I know it's tough having to recognize that, I know you were hoping no one would call the "illustrious one" out on it, and I'm sure it hurts right now, but that's the truth.

-Acting as a "community organizer" is not an experience-building accomplishment,
-Voting "present" 130 times is not an experience-building accomplishment,
-Writing two memoirs instead of meaningful legislation is not an experience-building accomplishment,
-Serving as a virtual absentee US Senator for less than half a year before running for President, is certainly not an experience-building accomplishment.
-Being able to deliver a speech is not an experience-building accomplishment, nor is winning votes, nor is running for office.
-Age, Race, Physical Appearance, are most definitely non-accomplishments...

These facts harken back to the question I've asked in this forum from day 1. "Sen. Obama, what have you accomplished that you feel makes you qualified to be President?" Looks like even his campaign doesn't have the answer...

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Oh wow...

After the speech given by this great man...





And this AMAZING woman...





I think the only thing left to say to the "illustrious" Sen. Obama is: B.O.H.I.C.A. baby!!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Class...Class...Class...

Ladies and Gents I give you Don Fowler former head of the DNC on a flight back from "The Island of Misfit Toys" (The Dem. convention)



Yeah, I guess natural disasters are hilarious for some reason...though I don't know what that is. "God is on the Dems side"? Really? Not too sure the Man upstairs has chosen a "side" Dandy Don..

Then just when I thought it couldn't get any more ludicrous there's this... Yes Gov. Palin's daughter is pregnant... My response, "Who the hell cares?" She's decided to keep the child and marry the father. End of Story. But for left-wing blogs, that couldn't be the end of the story...Nooooo there has to be some conspiracy, right? So let's see, Palin faked her pregnancy to cover for her daughter, the Down syndrome child, Trig, is actually Palin's grandson, oh and then Palin's daughter went out and got pregnant again? Assanine at best, purely repugnant at worst. Sounds about typical for these far-left whack jobs. However, why am I surprised? Palin's announcement wiped out any further coverage or mention of what was the "greatest political speech EVER" (Please..) and energized the GOP campaign even further, so natually the misfit toys are going to be throwing hissy fits, and believing their "investigations" are more thorough than the RNC. Yes of course they are...It'd be hilarious if it wasn't so pathetic.

-In other news, stay tuned for some economic statistics that may interest you...

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