Archive for December, 2010

“The Truth About the ‘Death Tax’”

This has been posted this afternoon, 12/31 on The Huffington Post . Click on the link to read it on the Huff Post web site.

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Someone once said, “Nothing’s Certain But Death and Taxes

In a political environment where lying has become the norm rather than the exception there is one axiom that is self-evident—death. Though taxes seem to be inevitable the depth and effect remain uncertain.

This was never more graphically displayed than in the recent fight over the sunsetting Bush Tax Cuts. Republicans and Democrats fought over taxing the rich or taxing the poor.

But, returning to the inevitability of death and taxes—behold the lie when the two are coalesced by a disingenuous political party and Frank Luntz.

The term ‘Death Tax’ is one of the most egregious prevarication’s perpetrated on an uninformed American public over the last few decades.

Despite being UnAmerican, it is fraudulent to rename the ‘Estate Tax,’ yet the Republicans continue to use the deceitful misnomer to the detriment of a struggling nation.

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Posted in Economy, HuffPost Articles, Taxes | 3 Comments »

“Georgia Loses 21 Banks This Year!”

Georgia has now lost 51 banks in the crisis which began in ’08.

Chart of Bank Failures

Three Years of the Bank Crisis

On Friday, Georgia lost three more banks and has seen no let up in the foreclosure process. Georgia has suffered the most of any state during the crisis.

Three other states have also struggled over the last three years. Florida (45), Illinois (39), California (33), and Georgia (51) account for 52% of all the FDIC foreclosures since the banking crisis began. Georgia lost 21 banks this year, but Florida lost 29 in 2010. The four states have lost 168 banks of the 322 seized by the FDIC since the beginning of 2008.

The six banks closed this past Friday will cost the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) $267 million. Weekly losses have declined from the billion dollar levels in mid-year, but are still significant hits to the Fund.

For the 4th quarter foreclosures will total 30 after a loss of only 21 last quarter.

What will be interesting to observe is the ‘watch list’ which grew to 860 last quarter. Another increase could determine the direction we’re headed in 2011, the 4th year of the crisis.

Despite the recovery 2011 could be accelerating for the FDIC.

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“The Weakest Majority in History?”

Posted on The Huffington Post on December 19. Click on link to view article at Huff Post.

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As an unrepresented Independent voter I feel betrayed by the Democratic Majority!

Members of the Pejorative Party joined Republicans to advance a weak and compromised Tax Bill—a bill that will both stimulate and destroy the economy.

On Monday 83 Senators voted to bring the compromised tax legislation up for debate on the floor of the Senate leading to a vote, and 81 voted to pass the bill with only 13 Dems voting nay despite the non-stimulative giveaways to the wealthiest Americans.

Democrats have proven over and over that despite their ability to govern, they’re no match for the pugilistic Republicans in getting legislation passed or formulating the message.

At what point does having a majority translate into acting like a minority?

In 2008 the electorate reaffirmed their desire for change by giving the Democrats an even larger majority in Congress than in 2006, and the executive office; a clear referendum of the mood of the country.

Expectations were high!

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“Bank Closures Hit 150 This Year!”

Two more banks, number 150 and 151, are shut down by the FDIC.

With only on more week for bank foreclosures till the end of the year, 2010 will be only slightly worse than last year when 140 were closed by the FDIC .

There should be some concern, despite the slower pace of losses since August, with the size of the ‘watch list’ which ballooned to 860 last quarter.

Additionally, of the 12 states that had avoided bank foreclosures through 2009, four states, New Mexico, Massachusetts, Mississippi, and Arkansas succumbed to the FDIC, leaving only eight states without a bank failure.

If this slowing trend continues it will be good for banks and the economy. But, the whole banking system is on fragile footing and the economy friendly trend could change at any time. Many of the banks have yet to pay back TARP and commercial real estate has, somehow, stayed in the shadows.

The two closures on Friday cost the DIF only $110 million, but loss-share provisions between the two assuming banks and the FDIC is $300 million which both banks and the FDIC hope to avoid. Or, hopefully, the losses will be minimal.

Though the foreclosures have slowed, credit is still tight, unemployment is still high, and people are de-leveraging. All three elements affect banks and must be viewed with a watchful eye.

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“Sanctimonious Commander-in-Brief”

This article has been posted at The Huffington Post and is available by clicking on the Huff Post link here.

The Tax Reform compromise may be President Obama’s Swan Song!

The release of the compromised tax bill, negotiated between the Administration and Republicans, has resulted in acrimony between Obama and the congressional members of his party.

His uncharacteristic display of anger over his tax deal was misdirected at Democrats who feel the agreement struck between the President and the GOP is bad on several levels. His anger should have been leveled at the Republicans who shamelessly held crucial parts of the tax bill hostage.

He insists that this compromise is “a good deal for the American people.”

Is it such a good deal; the only deal he could obtain?

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Posted in Election 2012, HuffPost Articles, Jobs, Obama, Politics, Taxes | 2 Comments »

“In Lock Step, Senate Republicans Snub the Middle-Class!”

This important article was just posted on The Huffington Post, Tuesday, December 7 and can be accessed by clicking on the link here.

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On Saturday, the extension of tax cuts for the middle-class hit a Republican wall!

In a crucial vote to extend the Bush Tax Cuts for hard-working Americans, Senate Republicans voted NO!

The unpaid for Bush Tax Cuts are due to expire on December 30th which will return all taxes to Clinton era levels.

Republicans are holding middle and lower income families hostage to secure deficit increasing tax breaks for the wealthiest in this country, including the banksters and other executives that taxpayers bailed out. The failure of Democrats to break the Republican filibuster could end up being another American financial tragedy created by the GOP.

And there are numerous!

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