Friday, September 30, 2011

Thank you Senator Durbin...

For those of you that have not heard the wonderful news Bank of America, the nations largest bank, is soon to be adding a new $5 a month usage fee for actually using the debit card you they offer. To me it seems the same as buying a gym membership and then charging you to get in to the gym each time you visit, or paying for cable TV only to find out every channel is pay per view. If you don't bank at Bank of America don't worry nearly every single bank has plans to follow suite as well. If this doesn't upset you I'm sure many of the NEW fees banks are preparing to institute will sure to hit a nerve.

The problem is, as usual, congress is sticking it's nose into things it has no clue about, rarely does regulating anything ever save the consumer money in the long run. One industry leader compared it to mandating restaurants give away free soft drinks with the purchase of a cheeseburger, we all know the restaurant would simply charge more for the cheeseburger, did you really save anything from the free drink? The rule going into effect Saturday, known as the Durbin amendment after its sponsor Senator Richard J. Durbin, is a crucial part of the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law. Where Congress was looking to cut into the profits banks are making on the backs of every consumer. At the time the law was enacted stores paid banks .44 cents on every transaction, now they pay .24 cents and the additional loss revenue to the banks is made up by the consumer with the brand spanking new monthly fee.

Please congress, create a few jobs, balance your budget, bring our men and women home from over seas, but please don't try to do me any more personal favors like Dodd-Frank, I'm sure I can't afford any more of your help.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I'm not rich but...

OK 75% of ALL taxes are paid by the top 10% of the wage earners in this country, 47% of the people don't pay a single penny of federal taxes. In fact not only do 47% of the people pay zero federal taxes most get a return of more than what was actually collected from their weekly checks, so why is Obama starting class warfare?

With these sobering facts that the upper income folks, the ones responsible for creating most jobs, have to deal with is it no wonder so many have moved their business into countries with more more favorable tax structures? A smart man once told me, "It's not how much you make, but how much you keep".  Maybe it's time for a complete overhaul of our tax system? I really like the idea of a user tax in the form of a national sales tax. Low income folks spend less and would pay less, high income folks spend much more on expensive items and would pay much more in taxes, but everyone would contribute regardless. This would allow for doing away completely with federal income tax collection and eliminating the IRS, just imagine what that would save us annually alone. Some suggest that a national sales tax would even allow for eliminating corporate taxes all together and would result in many companies moving business back to our shores and stop the mass exodus we're experiencing currently. My one fear is having BOTH a national income tax and a national sales tax, even if it starts off as low i'm sure future politicians would slowly grow each one until we boil the death in taxation like a fog boiling in water.

Let the blogging begin!

I've been absent from my blog this summer taking time off to camp, hike, travel the state, and recharge my brain a bit. I was afraid my blog was becoming a bit too political and really I just want to provoke thought and feedback to gain a perspective I might not have considered. My issue , I know,  is I'm opinionated to a point of making others crazy. Maybe I need the blog to help keep me focused as the coming election year will possibly be the most important election in my adult life so far.

So without apology I'm giving fair warning, this is no holds barred blogging from here on out :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Why not "The Donald"?

Over the last couple of weeks there has been increasing speculation, fueled mostly by Donald Trump himself, that he may go for a run at the presidency in 2012. Of course this has drawn scorn and laughter from the far left and the late night talk show host as he basically represents everything they feel is wrong with America, the rich only getting richer and the poor getting poorer. I myself being fiercely independent in my voting am holding off my judgment of him until I get a much clearer choice of one, who’s running, and two, what do they stand for.
It’s safe to say that the next presidential election will between president Obama and “whoever”, I’d like to know who that “whoever” might be before jumping on the Trump Bandwagon. Part of the reason for “The Donald’s” great polling numbers at this time is he only slightly polls higher than Obama vs. “X”, meaning basically anyone polls better than Obama as his recent lack of leadership in dealing with Libya, the budget, and the looming fiscal crisis we now face has many second guessing their vote in 2008.
Many of us are tired of the same ole’ same ole coming out of Washington and “The Donald” offers at least a fresh perspective on several issues import to fiscal conservatives like myself. He supports having the Iraqi government, that we spent one and half trillion dollar putting in place, repay at least of portion of our war debt seeing how we basically handed them over 14 trillion dollars in oil that they are now marketing throughout the world. He supports “fair trade” not “free trade” practices with countries we do business with, and making our borders safe and secure. I have to say these ideas appeal to me whether they are realistic or not we’ll all know in the coming months as the election process is underway whether we like it or not…

Friday, April 1, 2011

Wondering why some folks are so dead set against gay marriage?

Seems odd to me the almost violent way that some people speak about how gay marriage is a threat to traditional marriage. Politically I definitely lean to the right but when we live in a world where so many far more important issues seem to effect everyone’s life on a daily basis like, the price of oil, unemployment, illegal immigration, or in my area the growing Meth problem, I find it hard to feel personally threatened by gay marriage. Saying that because the two people buying the marriage license, which helps local government budgets, happen to be of the same sex cheapens or somehow makes heterosexual marriages less valid or important makes me think that someone is feeling a bit self conscientious about the true strength of their own commitment.
Now of course the bible thumpers will be quick to point out the various evils of the gay lifestyle with numerous examples in the holy bible but at the end of the day, if they are right, wouldn’t it be the gay person’s problem and not theirs? Doesn’t that same bible speak of “love they neighbor”, “judge not least ye be judged more harshly”, “we all sinners”, and of course “God loves all men”, or how about this classic “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”? So from a religious standpoint I’d call it a draw with as many scripture passages for and against gays.
If gay marriage doesn’t affect my marriage, is a split as far as God is concerned, and provides income in the form of additional marriage licenses sold then I say let them get married and be as miserable as most of the other married people I know.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

State of the Union

The state of politics in our country at the present time can best be described in one word “turmoil”. On one hand we have the Democratic left, which funds most of its successful election campaigns with millions of dollars from public and other various unions.  On the other hand we have the right wing Republican Party determined to do away with the power of the unions. Both parties are treating us like we are oblivious to the “real” motivations that are driving their most recent actions.
For years the public employee unions have threw their money and support in electing the very people it in turn has to face off with across the bargaining table. Someone point out the benefit to the average American how makes sense? We have the deck stacked against us when the parties that “should” be on opposite sides of the bargaining table are sitting hand in hand on the same side. The result of this has been years and years of unchecked increased wages and benefits, to the point where it is bankrupting several states.  
Enter the Republican Party, blowing their trumpet and claiming they have all our best interest at heart in gutting long standing union rights in these financially troubled states. What is their “real” motivation, saving states from financial ruin or trying to eliminate the largest source of funding for the only real competition they have in about every election, the Democratic Party? I guess as non union worker I want to believe they are looking out for my future but in the end we’ll all have to do some soul searching as to what we believe and how we will vote in the future.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The role of "social media" in our world today?

What is the role of social media in our world today? Used to be when I thought of the word term ”social media” I thought of MySpace or yahoo and it was just a way to communicate with friends and family for the most part. Today however, through my business contacts, I’m learning if I’m not communicating with my peers or even potential clients through social media outlets I won’t only not do well professionally, I may not even be able to keep my business afloat. So I’m running the gauntlet of social media sites, some aimed at business contacts, others are just to show we have an online presence.
Consider world events of the past month, in the Middle East so called “Facebook revolts” are taking place. People are gathering to protest in groups as large as a million people even at the potential cost of their very lives.  Even in our own country states like Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana, normally almost painfully conservative are making the evening news nightly with massive protests towards their state government’s actions.
So with all the changes going on around us, in our businesses, in our person life, and in the world in general, it’s easy to say social media has changed our world forever.  I think it brings to us all in a single word “communication”. Our Founding Fathers saw the value of communication in guaranteeing the right to have a free press, the right to assembly, and the right to free speech. Today access to the internet and to social sites like Facebook have connected us all as one people and given people in some parts of the world a new freedom to communicate and make changes just as our founding  fathers before us did. The world is vastly more populated than it was in 1776 and its politics much more complicated, but the heart of the people hasn’t changed. As the Middle East reshapes its future governments by people that want what we have enjoyed for generations, and as our own state governments battle to find common ground with their own people, let’s remember to do one very important thing “KEEP COMMUNICATING”.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Obamacare what?

U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson, appointed to the bench by Republican President Ronald Reagan, ruled that the reform law’s so-called individual mandate went too far in requiring that Americans start buying health insurance in 2014 or pay a penalty.

  “Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire act must be declared void. This has been a difficult decision to reach, and I am aware that it will have indeterminable implications. Regardless of how laudable its attempts may have been to accomplish these goals in passing the Act, Congress must operate within the bounds established by the Constitution,” the judge ruled.

Ironically, Judge Vinson used Obama’s own position from the 2008 campaign against him, when he argued that there are other ways to tackle health care short of requiring every American to purchase insurance.
“I note that in 2008, then-Senator Obama supported a health care reform proposal that did not include an individual mandate because he was at that time strongly opposed to the idea, stating that ‘if a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house,” Judge Vinson wrote in a footnote toward the end of the ruling.
Now the question is do states continue to plan for the pending 2014 startup of Obamacare, or set to work on a REAL solution to the increasing cost of healthcare and making affordable coverage available to every American?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Socialized Healthcare?

Many of your average working class folks really don’t understand the new Healthcare Bill. Terms like “socialized healthcare” get thrown around and most people really don’t have a clue what that means or how it will affect them in the future. The bill basically over time drives us all into a government run healthcare exchange, our government is getting into the insurance business!

The way that we will be driven into the plan is quite simple actually. Your employer will pay a fine if they do not provide you with health insurance, the fine will be so much less than the actual cost to insure you that they would be silly if they just didn’t pay the fine and save big bucks. Everyone that has an employer that is opting to not cover their employees can join the “government run insurance exchange”. Now if you are self employed like me or you simply like to have a say in your healthcare coverage options and cost, the requirement to cover everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions will drive the cost of it so high you will have to let it go and join the much more reasonably priced “government run insurance exchange”. So as you can see as time goes by and more and more employers find it more acceptable to not insure their employees, and the more and more people get priced out of private health plans, we will all eventually be a part of a massive “government run healthcare exchange” insurance plan.

With the changes made to Medicare coverage this past year we will all be faced with some level of "cost sharing", that's a polite way of saying co-pays and deductibles. Also people entering nursing homes on Medicaid often are told where there is an available bed, taking away their options to choose a better or closer nursing home. There would be no reason to think that your choices in doctors or hospitals in this new government plan will be any better.

Even the doctors will be faced with many uncertainties. Doctors will be required to be wired into a national data base, that we will all be a part of, which will guide them and limit them as to what their options are to treat each patient. The cost to maintain the network, computers, and staff falls on the back of every physician treating patients out of a private office. Having their ability to decide for each patient the proper course of action for their care and having to shoulder even more mandated expenses is already driving many doctors close to retirement out of business and changing the minds of many med students to choose a different career path.

What kinds of co-pays, deductibles, networks, and personal choices we will be faced with are not completely known yet as we will be paying for this plan for four years before the first benefit is ever paid. If I had to pay for a car for four years before I got to drive it, or pay four years on a new flat screen TV before getting to watch it, I’d say the salesman was crazy, says a lot about how intelligent our government feels we are? One more scary thought, isn't the current government run healthcare plan, called Medicare, about to go under according to them?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Right speech, at the right time, at the right place?

Put yourself in their shoes. The scene, a memorial service, mourning family and friends in attendance to remember the fallen victims of the AZ shooting earlier this week, a solemn occasion for sure. Up steps our President and delivers a rousing speech full of promises of unity and pleading for more understand between people with opposite political belief's. The crowd cheers and claps on several occasions, all the while you thought you were here to remember the fallen ones, the people that lost their lives. Am I the only one who felt the location and timing of this, much needed, speech was so inappropriate it almost defies words?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sticks and stones....

....may break my bones but words will never hurt me. How many times did we hear this growing up and still the childish liberal media has attacked anyone on the right that may have used any kind of negative metaphor for the left in the last two years. The thing that bothers me is they were blogging this within the hour after the shooting in AZ, way before anyone knew anything about the shooter. Had they been correct it would have been bad enough, using the shooting as a way to make a political statement, but they were wrong and even now days later are not willing to retract any of the hurtful inaccurate statements they made as fact. Congress has much to do in the next two years and both sides have promised to work together. I wonder if the liberal media that helped get them elected will even allow it to happen?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Nativerobin: my New Year

Nativerobin: my New Year: "The New Year is upon us, full of promise and new opportunities. So I guess it’s time for News Year resolutions? This year is a turning point..."

my New Year

The New Year is upon us, full of promise and new opportunities. So I guess it’s time for News Year resolutions? This year is a turning point in my life for many reasons, the biggest of which is it will be the first full year of me working my new business.  The past few months for my Insurance agency I’ve spent time sorting companies, fine tuning presentations, composing brochures and letters. My next task is to come up with a plan of attack for daily activity and ways to improve on prospecting; lots to do, lots of hope, and lots of promise for yet one more New Year.