Random musing on the news

It’s been an interesting week.  I thought I’d take it easy this week, but of course, the news just spurred my creativity.   Lots of things, besides Libya were happening around the country, but sometimes overlooked.  So, just some quick thoughts.

GE apparently didn’t pay any federal income tax, in fact, ended up with a big tax credit which it can use next year.  They were very, very profitable.  There are reports which state that 2/3rds of the Fortune 500 also didn’t pay any federal income tax.    Which makes me wonder why the Republicans are still saying that tax cuts are needed to create jobs.  One would think, in light of these reports, that the unemployment rate would be as close to zero as possible.   I’d still like to see their explanation of how not having an income tax bill at all – or even having a negative bill – means that these businesses are “overtaxed.”    I somehow think you’d have to actually pay taxes before the argument has a leg to stand on, but that’s just me.

There’s a congressman from Ohio who told a reporter to stop asking about jobs.  Which is funny, since the whole thing the Republicans ran on this past election was “job creation.”  It was supposed to be their #1 priority, if I recall.   Which is interesting how nothing in their legislative actions to date have actually related to … jobs.

There’s another congressman from Wisconsin who said that he’s struggling along on just $174,000 a year.  Pity.  Maybe he’ll suck it up and leave office to get a non-government job.  I mean, nobody forced him to run for office.  Oh, and while he’s at it, it doesn’t help to tell all the people you represent, who make  less than 50,000 a year your hardship, and that they’re overpaid.  They’ll turn out to be remarkably lacking in sympathy.

Ah, Florida!  What would we do without Florida!  Fresh off his gutting education spending and canning a high-speed rail system for his state, Governor Rick Scott remembers the truly important things in life.  Making sure he lines his pockets.   After all, if you’re going to shift where Medicaid money is spent in your state, it might as well be to the Medicaid business you own.

Texas is busy cutting its budget, and its own budget analysis estimates that the cuts are going to cost the state some 600,000 jobs.  Meanwhile, Governor Perry is touting how this will make Texas a model for the country, and grow jobs.   Texas used to be considered one of the worst educated states, and apparently is trying to head back to that range.  It’s obvious that Governor Perry is a product of the old system.    Oh, he also claims that “abstinence works,” because he has “personal experience in it.”   Unfortunately for him, it looks like not many young people in Texas are following his example, given that it’s ranked fourth in teen pregnancy rates.  Helpful hint:  Yes, abstinence works, if someone is abstinent.   From the evidence, they’re not being abstinent.  Oops.

I saw pictures of the Tea Party “rally” (which didn’t get many people) in DC.  Interesting how many seniors were there.   I guess they don’t think that the budget and program cuts they’re advocating will affect them.  I also guess they’ll be really pissed off when they find out it does.   I’m sure the Republican Party will be happy to recommend brands of pet food that are suitable.

I get nostalgic on occasion too.   Yes,  I think it isn’t a good idea for young people to drink, smoke, use drugs, have sex, or do any number of illegal, immoral, and dangerous things.  My parents thought so too, and made sure that I knew they thought those were a bad things.   Somehow, that didn’t stop me, and I’m not stupid enough to think that my moralizing about it is going to stop today’s youth.  Then again, I’m a liberal, not a conservative.

Now that I think about it, the saddest part of this?  Even though today is April 1’st, and it’s April Fools Day, none of the above is a joke.



Filed under Business, Politics

7 responses to “Random musing on the news

  1. I Love OCD

    Texan here! In a way I think this is all good, in spite of the pain and suffering engendered. It seems to take an extreme example before people climb out of their private bubble and start noticing that there’s a problem. Texas might actually inflict enough pain on ordinary citizens this time out to make them start asking What Was I Thinking?

    My Fave move from the lege to date: cut all funding for education, the poor, children, health care, etc but make sure the Formula 1 Race Track has an infrastructure provided by Texas taxpayers. That could be the proverbial straw.

    • I think that if schools in Texas have to cut football, there will be mobs with pitchforks and torches in the street.

      • Interesting you should say that because I think that Wisconsin would do the same thing. I had a conversation with a coach from one of the schools near Madison and he said that if the school districts started shutting down sports to pay teachers, then Scott Walker would see the rest of the 4,000,000 people in Wisconsin in his front lawn.

        Whack a teacher? Yawn. Whack sports programs? SCREAMS

        • Yup. Frank Deford had a column a little while ago, talking about that. He called them “SAM cuts.” Sports, art, and music. What most people who complain about school taxes don’t realize is that virtually the only real discretionary spending in a school budget are those.

          I wrote about it earlier, but most spending is constrained by state and federal standards. In NY, there has to be English, Math, Sciences, History, and other courses. It doesn’t matter if I have one student or one thousand. The teachers have to be certified in those courses. They have to offer a set of services, and transportation. All of which add up to a “fixed cost,” that no matter what you do, is going to stay right there. So, if you’re planning on reducing costs, about the only real spot to make a cut is … the thing that most parents think their kids should have, particularly sports.

  2. Alan Scott

    Norbrook ,

    If tax cuts were the only factor unemployment would be zero . As far as GE, that is one of your boys . As far as corporate taxes overall, there shouldn’t be any . Corporations eventually pay out their profits to their owners, who then pay taxes . Now corporations and their owners are double taxed on the same money . Well not GE, Immelt is buddy, buddy with Barack.

    Tea Party people are a mixed coalition . They have in common the knowledge that you cannot tax and spend your way to prosperity . If it could be done, New York and California would not have a care in the world . It is humorous to see the Democratic Governors of both those wasteful states take on their own political bases to cut spending . Cuomo even reduced taxes on the rich . Now I ask you, why would he do it ? Sold out to the Republicans ? Maybe he is a DINO ?

    • TrumpDog

      As far as GE, that is one of your boys .

      How is GEone of Norbrook’s “boys”?
      And even if that were so, so what? Does that mean Norbrook should not call the no tax cuts out as being unfair or ridiculous?

    • Alan, since when is GE “one of my boys?”

      I would point out that there is a difference – a huge one – between paying for what you already have, versus just cutting necessary services. There’s also a big difference between paying your fair share, and having someone else pay for it. You want a balanced federal budget? Then that means we have to cut things like the military. Big time. It means you don’t get roads paved. It means you don’t get airports kept up. If a plane falls out of the sky, or there’s a tainted food problem, it’s just tough luck. You need Medicare? Tough.

      Here’s the point about that: Every business, every millionaire, every Republican and Tea Party group, has been screaming how “high” their taxes are. That they need to be cut to “grow jobs.” Well, here’s the thing. They’ve been cut. They’ve been cut on them since Bush started cutting taxes. You know the actual job growth? The actual economic boost? It didn’t happen. Now you have figures that show that one of the most profitable companies in the world didn’t pay a dime. There are other figures which show that other very profitable corporations didn’t pay much, if anything at all. Which leads to the very obvious point that you cannot claim taxes are too high if your tax bill is zero. Here’s the other thing. Do you know what corporations are doing right now with the trillion dollars in cash they’re sitting on? Yes, that’s a real figure. They’re buying back their stock, when it’s sitting at a high. In other words, instead of buying stock when it’s low (which would make sense) they’re buying it when it’s high, and not using it to grow or hire.

      Yes, Cuomo sold out on that point. Happy? Now, here’s the thing about the Tea Party. Mostly, they’re white, fairly well-to-do, and Republican. Most of them are in a situation where they’re financially comfortable, or they don’t think that government cuts will impact them. Hey, they can afford to send their kids to private schools, they have good health insurance, they “don’t need” all the government services. Some, particularly the elderly members, think that their social security and Medicare services are pre-paid, that they “deserve” them. So, it’s easy to rant about it, because it’s “someone else” who’s getting the shaft. Until they find out that they’re the ones getting it.