SO FIRED UP, SO MUCH TO SAY

AFTER ALL THE CHURN, WE’RE BACK TO WHERE WE STARTED
BEFORE THE PREDATORY LENDERS STUCK IT TO US

 According to Bloomberg.com, the American homeownership rate has fallen from its high of 69.2% in the boom year (my term) of predatory option arms, 2004, back to 65.9%, the level it was in 1998.  That was about the time, oddly enough, when a bunch of scoundrels started making big bucks ripping off lower-income and minority households.  So, we’re back to where we started.  Lots of working-class folks got ripped off, while Wall Street, the mortgage brokers who got away without being prosecuted (not all of them did) and a bunch of real estate agents made off with the victims’ money.  Irony – don’t you just love it?

 And it brought down the international economy.  That’s all.  

SO I HAD THIS CONVERSATION WITH A BANKER, AND I THINK YOU
SHOULD KNOW ABOUT IT

 We have all heard reports of American companies stockpiling mountains of cash, too afraid to reinvest in their companies, new job growth or their country.  I’m starting to wonder if there isn’t more to the reason than fear or anxiety.

 I recently had a conversation with the top commercial lender in the area for one of the regional banks.  I had heard from a former subordinate of this banker that he (the subordinate) left the bank because he couldn’t get any of his (the subordinate’s) loans approved, because the exec was so bearish on the economy. 

 In my conversation with the aforementioned executive, I expressed frustration with the stubbornness of the recession and the previously mentioned accumulation of cash.  His response:  “And there won’t be any investment until 2013.”  I suspected what he meant but couldn’t resist pursuing this.  He went on:  “Until the Marxist cabal in the White House is removed, companies are holding back,” continuing from there on his irrational rant.  I pointed out that the president is a moderate and his policies closer to Richard Nixon’s than Lenin’s (the Bolshevik, not the Beatle). 

 If this guy is killing deals to make some kind of political point, it sounds like he’s not alone.  Folks, these are bizarre times.

WHINING ABOUT TAXES

 According to the Globe and Mail (a Toronto-based newspaper), the total tax burden on Americans for 2009, as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product, was 24%.  Apparently, that is such a sacrifice that radicals in the Congress believe we should stop supporting urban redevelopment, feeding kids in school so they perform better on tests, and stop taking so much money from those with an ability to pay.

So, how does that tax burden compare with other modern, industrial democracies?  Here it is:

                        Canadians                         31%
                        Britons                             34%
                        Germans                           37%
                        French                              42%

Seems other modern democracies get that we’re all in this together.

6 Comments

  1. Rocky Balboa

    They are all socialist economies. If you like them so much, move!

  2. Christopher Cocca

    Alan, thanks for sharing this!

  3. The Dwindling Middle Class

    As things now stand a mind boggling amount of our tax dollars are going towards corporations that include banks, oil companies, and war profiteers. The more we supplement them with our tax dollars the more influence they have over our courts and our politicians. I would rather have my tax dollars go towards education, health care, infrastructure building, fire fighting, and upholding the law than towards creating a shadow government for the extremely wealthy. You can call it socialism if you want. However it also reflects an Eisenhower era tax structure in which there was actually a concern for the middle class.

  4. Stephen K. White

    It is deeply disturbing that undercutting the ability of the President to be effective on the economy and in foreign affairs has somehow become acceptable. Consciously damaging the U.S. to hurt a President’s chance for re-election used to be known as treason.

  5. Lorraine Clute

    Good point Stephen. It’s unfortunate that the only time we hear the word “treason” uttered by the main stream media is when they’re breathlessly covering a right wing talking head’s latest temper tantrum. Too bad there’s there’s no coverage when treason is actually occurring.

  6. Christine Bongiorno

    I wanted to make you aware of a FREE, educational, Constitution Day Workshop called “Everything You Wanted to Know About Obamacare (But Didn’t Know Who To Ask”) being held on Sept 17th at DeSales University from 1pm-5pm. Questions/info and registration at: http://www.meetup.com/Lehigh-Valley-Coalition-for-Health-Care-Reform/events/27077301/

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