Archive for the economy Category

Let’s Not Call it a Federal Bailout, It’s an Investment

Posted in economy, government with tags , , , , , on May 15, 2010 by Bitch Slap Poli
Major Federal Bailout Participant - the Treasury Department

Bailout Bank - Department of Treasury

Seriously, if we looked at the ‘bailout’ as if the federal government was our broker, and we had invested in these ‘too big to fail’ businesses rather than just bailing them out with our tax money it would be much more constructive.

Not to mention we’ve actually made some money off the ‘investment’ already.

The New Power of the People

We the people finally have the power to hold CEOs feet to the flames after many years of letting them run loose without enough regulation. We have the attention of politicians who are sweating their upcoming elections and will listen to what we have to say.

So, why cry over spilled milk? Why keep complaining about the ‘investment’ happening in the first place? We’ve all had ample time to voice our opinions about the bailout enacted at the end of Bush’s presidency.  It’s now time that they we face down our problematic circumstances and ask ‘How can we make the best of this?’.

I’m talking about good ‘ole American gumption.

If We’re Investing, We Can’t Throw Our Money Away

We’ve entered a new era where the taxpayers could realize real profits if we could just realize the potential. Face it, we have invested in these companies like it or not. We might as well make sure that they get it right this time by holding them accountable with more oversight and helping them shape successful businesses that put their customers first.

If we’re smart shareholders we’ll not only have better businesses and a stronger economy, we’ll also make back our money and then some.

And we’re already seeing some gains.

So far we’ve gotten back $216.8 billion of the $536.3 billion spent on the TARP. Of that money we’ve received $29.9 billion has been revenue – money we’ve made off of our ‘investment’.

Too Big to Fail is Too Risky of an Investment for Our Economy

At the root of the whole problem, the reasoning for the bailouts in the first place, is that these businesses were ‘too big to fail’. And just why is that? Why is it imperative that these big businesses stay afloat?

Because changes were made to regulations over the financial sector which allowed for 6 banks to go from having assets that equal 17% of the GDP in 1995 to assets that equal 63% of the GDP today.

That’s right, 6 banks (Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, WellsFargo, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley) basically control the majority of our country’s economy. This gives them far too much influence over the financial well-being of us all. CEOs can potentially make decisions that affect your money more than the decisions you make. And we’ve all seen that they can make very bad decisions.

Our country’s GDP now depends on these too big businesses. Is there anybody who still thinks we don’t need more federal regulation over them?

So let’s get active as investors. Let’s make sure we’re informed on the risks and rewards of our ‘investments’ and correct the problems so that we the people have more control our country’s financially stabilility than 6 banks.




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Basic Economics for the Tea Party – Balancing the US Budget

Posted in 1, economy, government with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2010 by Bitch Slap Poli

In honor of all those filing their taxes late, Bitch Slap Politics is going to dumb down information on how taxes effect our greater economy and analyze whether or not the Tea Party members made any sense with their Tax Day arguments.

It’s time for another installment of – Smart S*** Gets Stupid!

A Look at What the Tea Party Wanted Tax Day 2010

The New York Times recently polled Tea Party members. Two initiatives near and dear to their hearts are, of course, reducing taxes and reducing spending by the government.

They were also asked in the poll:

If you had to choose, would you prefer reducing the federal budget deficit or cutting taxes?

The results:

  • Cutting Taxes – 49%
  • Reducing Deficit – 42%
  • Don’t Know or No Answer -9%

To be fair, the general public that the NYT also polled, which consisted of Democrats, Republicans and Independents, said:

  • Cutting Taxes – 47%
  • Reducing Deficit – 45%
  • Don’t Know or No Answer -8%

 

 

 

Taxes and the Federal Deficit

 Let’s take look at history and see what it tells us about taxes and the federal deficit – two big economic factors that go hand-in-hand.

In order to reduce our deficit we need to both increase the GDP and reduce spending. (We should be saving money in Iraq soon so Tea Partiers will be throwing a party to celebrate that, right?)

Reduction of spending is possibly the only goal I see eye to eye on with the Tea Party, sort of.

We need to make sure that our money isn’t being wasted. That means cutting spending on programs and projects that aren’t narrowly focused on fixing the biggest problems in this country. But, as discussed during the 2008 presidential debates, we don’t need to simply hack away at the budget. We still need to invest some in ourselves and allocate our money correctly.

However, the cutting taxes goal, while good in theory, shouldn’t be a priority. It just isn’t logical.

The following video is a visual of the information in text below. Feel free to watch then read or just choose a preferred method of receiving your economic knowledge.

Really, we should be happy about how much we pay in taxes at the moment. Taxes have been much higher than they were in 2009/2010 and they will surely be higher in the future at some point.

For a comparison here are the tax rates for 2010, 2005, and 2000

2010 tax rate

up to $8,375  —  10%

$8,375-34,000  —  15%

$34,000-82,400 —  25%

$82,400-171,850  — 28%

$171,850-373,650  —  33%

above $373,650  —  35%

2005 tax rate

up to $7,300  —  10%

$7,300-29,700  —  15%

$29,700-71,950 —  25%

$71,950-150,150  — 28%

$150,15o-326,450 —  33%

above $326,450  —  35%

2000 Tax Rate

up to $26,250  —  15%

$26,250-63,550  —  28%

$63,550-132,600 —  31%

$132,600-288,350  — 36%

above $288,350  —  39.6%

2010 tax day is looking pretty good, huh? Show of hands for all of the Tea Party supporters and Republicans who protested about taxes in 2005 and/or 2000. No one, really? Okay, we’ll move on.

Now let’s examine the federal deficit over the same period:

As you can see, as taxes get lowered the federal deficit has expanded. This makes sense when you consider the fact that since the 1950s taxes have made up about 20% of our GDP. GDP means Gross Domestic Product, which is basically a measure of our worth as a country based on what we produce.

Since 2001 our country has been spending like crazy, not producing as much and lowering taxes. Add to that an economic meltdown brought about by unscrupulous money pushers who were de-ruglated by President Bush and there’s a perfect storm scenario going on with our federal deficit and national debt.

Of course, the Stimulus Package, which included money for tax cuts, made up the bulk of the deficit in 2009, though there was already a very high $455 billion deficit when Obama came into office on Jan 20. Hopefully, the federal deficit will be significantly improved by the end of 2010, there are signs of hope.

Interest is Crippling the Efforts to Balance the Budget

However, in the mean time since the beginning of 2010 our country has paid almost $202 billion dollars in interest on the debt we owe. That’s billion, with a B.

That’s more than the cost of the Legislative Branch, the Executive Office of the President, the Department of Commerce, Environmental Protection Agency, NASA (saving money on that soon as well), the Department of Energy and many more combined.

So no, cutting taxes isn’t nearly as important as cutting the deficit and diggin ourselves out of this hole. Even if that means more of us pay more in taxes or getting a little less in our tax returns.

I don’t think enough has been said about the recent wins in growing the GDP, especially given the economic circumstances. We just experienced the largest GDP growth since before 2006.

And, no Teabaggers, it wasn’t because of higher taxes on main street. A whooping 47% of the workforce didn’t have to pay any income taxes this year, thanks in part to 2009’s Make Work Pay tax credit.

In short, please Tea Party members do us all a favor and take up a cause that can do some significant good for our country. Be problem solvers, not problem creators. We got enough of those already.

Green Energy and Green Collar Jobs Need to Get Going

Posted in economy, green with tags , , , on November 25, 2009 by Bitch Slap Poli

The economy is showing signs of recovery as far as banking, housing, and consumer confidence goes. Due to the natural order of economic recovery you have to start big and work your way down to the small, or in other words you have to stabilize banks and businesses before job creation can take place.

One way to speed up the job growth process – pass the clean energy bill and keeping throwing stimulus money at green energy job training and businesses.

Green Energy Can Be Our Next Automotive Industry

Just as the car industry was a manufacturing powerhouse for the U.S., green energy can rescue us from high unemployment rates, a sagging economy and a severe imbalance between imports and exports. Think about it:

  • Thousands of new “Green Collar” jobs.
  • Decreased reliance on foreign energy sources, i.e. oil.
  • Energy that doesn’t pollute the environment – who the hell doesn’t like clean air?
  • Energy that’s smarter, more efficient and cost consumers less over time, especially now that prices have started dropping.
  • Would keep the U.S. at the forefront of technology development.
  • Would put the U.S. back on the map as a goods producer, rather than consumer.

re losing market share daily and letting it happen. If you think borrowing a whole lot from China to keep afloat is bad, imagine paying them for renewable energy products we could be charging them for instead on top of repaying loans.

Everything that the car did for America’s culture and economy green energy can do for us today.

Americans Ask Yourselves – Do We Want to be Leaders or Followers?

Listen up people – we are already falling behind as far as the green energy movement is concerned. Not only is this killing our rep as the most innovative country in the world, it’s also costing our economy.

As prices drop new markets emerge, leading to a rise in demand which in turn increases the need for supply which can only be accomplished by increasing productivity which most likely will require more manpower. The real beauty of green energy production is its a necessity for a worldwide market.

Need and demand for renewable energy is increasing and more green jobs are going to be created, whether at home or overseas.

For those who say green energy won’t be that big of a job supplier because most of the unemployed don’t have the necessary skills I point you to the fact that more and more training is being offered to teach the needed skills. Besides we shouldn’t write off a new industry because the workforce hasn’t been fully introduced to it yet.

Some will also note that exactly what jobs are considered “green” is still fuzzy which makes it hard to determine how many green jobs the stimulus spending has actually created. However, a new study found that the term “green job” as its applied today fails to include non-white collar workers, so if anything the estimates are likely low.

Clean, green energy is the future and its change that should be embraced rather than rebuffed. Especially when you consider that the most vocal players against green energy are those that have a stake in its competition – oil. They have money to lose, what do you have to lose?