A CPA’s take
President Obama was honest when he said he wanted to remake America. Now that both conventions are over and the surrogates have spoken, please evaluate the performance of the president without the partisan homily.
Mr. Obama ran on a platform (2008) to fix the economy, fix health care, bring both sides closer together, and have a transparent White House. In my opinion, this has not been accomplished.
Mr. Obama was elected with a mandate to fix the economy. Yes, he inherited a horrible mess, jobs were being hemorrhaged at an alarming rate, Wall Street greed was out of control, the housing market was plummeting and the middle class contracting.
However, we currently have the smallest labor force in over 38 years and the lowest labor participation percentage in history. That is hardly fixing the economy.
In Charlotte, President Clinton stated no prior president could have fixed the broken economy. That said, President Obama signed up for the task and you can make your own judgment if it is fixed. Can we afford another four years of bailouts, stimulus, social engineering, substantial increases of families in poverty and increasing unemployment lines?
Instead of focusing on the economy, Mr. Obama opted for a go-for-broke pursuit of progressive social legislation. His focus on Obamacare polarized the faithful and Mr. Obama endorsed the effort to abuse Congressional procedure to ram the bill through. So much for “working with the other side.” That entitlement passed by a very narrow partisan margin, hardly an overwhelming mandate. Healthcare and Medicare still need to be fixed and neither side has made even a minimum effort. To finance the healthcare bill, he moved over $700 billion from Medicare, currently underfunded by $83 trillion (see www.usdebtclock.com). And we continue to borrow more money to finance our broken economy from anyone who will lend it.
There is a current proposal to increase taxes on the wealthy, or the Buffett rule. Non-partisan evaluation says this will result in $99,000,000,000 of additional tax revenue. The budget deficit for 2012 is anticipated to be over $1,000,000,000,000 and our national debt is over $16,000,000,000,000 (yes, lots of zeros).
To put this in perspective, if you have a credit card debt of $16,000 and you pay $99 per year on that debt, how many years will it take to reduce the credit card balance to zero (with no interest) – 161 years. That is the effect of the proposed tax increase will have on the national debt without any future annual deficits. Do you think the government will have a balanced budget? Not likely anytime soon.
The Republicans have resisted the new social legislation and have resisted any new tax increases. But according to FactCheck.org and the Congressional Budget Office, the only group for which tax rates did not reach a 30-year low was households in the top 1 percent of all earners. Meanwhile, rates for those in the middle dropped to a 30-year low of 11.1 percent.
The nation’s current string of trillion-dollar deficits ris a result of historically high spending and historically low revenue. President Obama’s spending levels are near the highest level since WWII, measured as a percentage of the nation’s gross national domestic product. And, the tax receipts were the lowest since 1950 as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product.
Mr. Obama is requesting voters elect him to a second term to finish the job. After his [convention acceptance] speech, his agenda appears to be a continuation of the first … more government spending (investment?), more failed subsidies for Solyndra (taxpayer guarantees), cap and trade (higher energy costs) and support for Obamacare at any cost.
To support European-style socialism, the Republicans may need to agree to a value-added tax to finance a permanently larger welfare state.
Politics, in America, is a full contact blood sport and the American people are suffering because the two sides cannot come together to solve the enormous problems facing this great nation. Most elected officials are only interested in the next election, not the next generation and we continue to accept that dangerous behavior due to our apathy. The general population feels impotent.
If the elected officials are not doing the job they were hired for, it is time to put them in the unemployment line. Maybe then they will get the message-fix the mess you created or we will replace you with someone who will.
Greg Lippincott, CPA
Carolyn Crawford’s worst nightmare
At first I was like, here comes another letter (penned by Carolyn Crawford in the Aug. 25 issue) promoting bigotry and more obnoxious, so-called dialogue. Then I read it again. I must say that I feel much more enthusiastic about Paul Ryan than I did before. As a man, I can only say, “Go Packers!”
Unfortunately, there is a bit of misinformation in Carolyn’s letter, titled “Your Worst Nightmare.” Much like political gaffes, which take issues out of context, the aforementioned “Let Women Die Bill,” also known as the “Protect Life Act,” is taken completely out of the political context. The context is Obamacare. Obamacare in this context is understood as having infamously disregarded individual’s consciences and moral choices, so this Republican legislation is, I believe, a reaction of gross power against an aggression of gross power. However, whether one policy is good or not is true and regardless of which party said so. The real question to ask is what Pontius Pilate asks, “What is Truth?” -John 18:38
I agree with Carolyn that we should not have abortions done in the alley. She says she is old enough to remember “the days of back-alley abortion deaths.” I am old enough to remember them, too. They go on today, just in a different form; women getting killed or infected from the abortion facilities which do not meet health standards. Just because it is legalized, does not mean it is safe or good to do. I also agree with Carolyn that in the case that a pregnancy which would kill both the mother and the child, as in rare ectopic pregnancies, there ought to be an opportunity for an abortion. (I suggest that readers research this valuable topic, because I do believe that this is the only one that both sides of the pregnancy debate could possibly agree on.)
What I find most strange about her letter, is that women’s reproductive organs are called “hoo-ha” and “glands.” I do not know if this is how normal people talk about the body, but I cannot think that such language allows one to think that the body is sacred or even good.
To my knowledge sexual organs are not sugar-free and guilt-free candy, rather I am told they are an integral and intimate part of the human person. It does seem that in calling something a “hoo-ha” it is a pleasure object, but I don’t believe women are pleasure objects, which is why I object to such language.
Carolyn did acknowledge that this
“debate” was about reproduction (or the lack thereof) when she wrote: “anti-choice zealots could wipe out decades’ worth of your reproductive rights.” However, I must disagree with her statement for two reasons. First is the term “anti-choice.” You can always choose to do something if it is
physically possible. Physical ability is there whether something is legal or not. What choice means is about a possible choice, but a moral right to assert actions against another party.
Second, is the term “reproductive rights.” Reproductive refers to reproducing. But abortion refers to not reproducing. Abortion refers to aborting as in ending or terminating. Ergo, “reproductive rights” really means “non-productive rights.” So what is really meant is the protection by law to choose to abort the consequences of reproduction.
As I end, please allow me to say what drives me to write such an article. First, I believe that babies are people. Second, that these people are being murdered legally and publicly. And If I believe that a mass genocide is going on, one worse than World War II, then I must ask am I doing enough? Should I not be fighting tooth and nail against this potentially satanic cult of children sacrifice?
I was once a fetus. I was once two, four and then eight cells. There is nothing that makes me different from that fetus in any dramatic sense. Peter Singer even said so in his book, Practical Ethics. Singer is logically consistent when he notes that there is nothing very different from a one month baby to a one year-old baby. He says kill both of them if you feel like it. But if I can vote to kill babies, why can’t someone else vote to kill me? Can the government kill me when it wants to?
I entirely agree with Humanae Vitae, and encyclical letter from Pope Paul VI on the Regulation of Birth (July 25, 1968), where it says, “A man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.”
After being used, a woman has two choices: accept the wrong or push it off onto the child.
Rudder corrects Dahlgren
I happened to see the letter in your paper from Dick Dahlgren. In it, he described the landmark decision by the California courts which prevented LADWP from de-watering Rush Creek.
He then went on to congratulate some guy on his CalTrout board, an attorney in Southern California, for his “brilliant’ strategy in suing LADWP et. al, and getting a restraining order against them, preventing the dewatering and setting the stage for a great victory for the Eastern Sierra and the trout. Well, here’s where age has caught up with Dick and his memory; his facts just aren’t straight.
How do I know? I was there.
It was about three o’clock in the afternoon one day, and my office got a call from Bill Murano, then Judge of the Mono County Justice Court, who wanted to know if someone in the office would take on LADWP pro-bono and try to prevent them from turning off Rush Creek.
My long-time partner, Ed Forstenzer, an outdoor guy and no flunky
for the establishment, allowed as he would. Ed immediately set to, meeting with Dick and Doc Randol and doing the research and crafting a complaint and a request for a writ of mandate that would be, if granted, the first such restraining order ordered against the LADWP in about 100 years. All this was done in 24 hours to avoid the fish being killed.
At this point, SCE unleashed its hordes of lawyers, but, when the dust settled, Ed had won the day, Rush Creek would live, and history was made! The rest was pretty much mopping up, as LADWP took a beating the likes of which it couldn’t believe would even happen. Imagine our surprise when this McInerney guy, Dick’s lawyer in Southern California, leapt into action with every media outlet in the state, taking credit for work he never did.
Ed shook his head at the “gratitude” he was shown for saving CalTrout’s bacon, but, modest as he is, he never raised a word in protest at the time. So, the myth goes on in the minds of Dick and others, but, for those of us who were here, I’m pleased to set the record straight. It was a local “hero” that won the day, our very own soon to become judge, Ed Forstenzer; not some stranger from Southern California.
Best Summer Ever
You’ve been hearing a lot about the “Best Summer Ever” and how many local businesses are reporting visitations above previous years. Word from festivals, events and restaurants are reporting record attendance. Several new events were added to this summer’s lineup, and trails are busy with happy outdoor enthusiasts; the list goes on.
While mother nature plays a significant role in Mammoth’s successes and failures, I’m confident that this past summer, “The Best Summer Ever,” was not a coincidence, and that it was attributable directly to the efforts of a community that has united together in the face of paramount adversities, making purposeful exertions to change.
Plans are already in the works for Summer 2013. Two new sporting events are being coordinated to bookend summer: a Half Marathon in the month of June and a weeklong resurrection of the Kamikaze Mountain Bike event with a festive twist.
Both events will incorporate the entire community of Mammoth Lakes and both will work to encroach on our shoulder seasons. These events should be made official in coming weeks and when they are, we will need everyone’s help to promote them early and often.
I encourage every local business, non-profit, event, individual citizen, etc. to make continued efforts to update your clients/visitors/friends as to what is happening in Mammoth Lakes. If you have not done it already, call or email Mammoth Lakes Tourism and ask them to add you to the Tuesday email update. This update provides a professional and consistent message of current events in Mammoth, and you can cut-and-paste it into your own letterhead. Many letters of “thanks” have been received by those using this email update.
Finally, I want to offer a heartfelt “thank you” to all the individuals and businesses working behind the scenes to drive the Best Summer Ever message home. Our entire community should be proud of the great service and hospitality they offered our visitors this summer; we cannot underestimate the importance of word-of-mouth marketing.
Mayor, Town of Mammoth Lakes
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