“Pressure is what you feel when you are not prepared”
Who could have guessed back in January that Vanguard stock mutual funds would have performed as well as they have year to date?
No, this is not an oxymoron. Over 200 people that make over one million dollars per year are asking, practically begging, the leaders in Washington to raise their taxes. I have never seen anything like this in my life.
To counter the image that most if not all wealthy people are greedy and only care about their own self interest, this group of citizens are determined to shake things up and let us all know that they deeply care about the social contract we have with all our fellow citizens and that they are deeply passionate about our collective common good.
I'm a big a fan of former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, so I wish I could have been on the steps of Sproul Hall at UC Berkeley last night where Reich gave the annual Mario Savio Memorial Lecture.
Reich called his speech "Class Warfare in America," and he talked about the concentration of wealth in the US at the top of the economic pyramid, and what he called, "the irresponsible use of wealth to undermine our democratic system.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m disgusted with the politics surrounding the increase of the debt limit. This is routine housekeeping work that has turned into hostage taking. Republicans seem to have lost any interest in the belief that we’re all in this together and that we should be looking out for the common good of all and not just the few at the top.
Burn the village to save the village. Let the country default on its debt. The rhetoric being touted by Republicans is dangerous and corrosive to our society as a whole. Those of us in the silent majority that are fed up with this lack of compromise and putting our country first need to let our voices be heard.
When national polls and surveys are conducted on the subject of retirement planning, the question that’s inevitably asked is: how well prepared are you and your spouse or partner for retirement? The results are usually pretty alarming.
Many of us are procrastinators by nature, but place money, financial planning and the big Kahuna - retirement planning on the to-do list and many of us could win a gold medal at the annual Procrastination Olympics. You know who you are. That retirement planning to-do list grows year by year and the amount of money you think or imagine you need to accumulate grows exponentially each year along with your stress level.
On Thursday, I watched in shock and horror as the US House of Representatives failed to approve a bill that would have authorized additional insurance for the long-term unemployed. The unemployed do not have lobbyists in DC fighting for them. They are in fact politically disempowered. Yet against this backdrop of events, there’s wide agreement among most economists that UI insurance helps the economy and provides many a chance to barely keep their head above water.
But think about what’s going on here. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, 237 members of Congress are millionaires. That’s 44 percent of the body-compared to (CRP) about 1 percent of Americans overall. CRP says California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa is the richest lawmaker on Capitol Hill, with a net worth estimated at about $251 million. And in the Senate, it’s even more out of whack with 60 out of our 100 Senator’s multi-millionaires. Out of touch much?
As someone that majored in tax accounting during college, it always amazed me how President Reagan and the majority of the Republican’s were able to sell the concept of trickle-down economics to the American people. Yes it was the 80’s and by the mid to late 80’s the economy started to really take off. But then as now, most of the benefits accrued to the wealthiest in our society. Even the first President Bush labeled it voodoo economics.
If you’re a believer in supply side macro-economic theory, then you believe that lowering tax rates on the wealthy is the engine that will drive economic growth and prosperity. If all goes according to plan, money will “trickle” down to the less affluent and all will be well. I couldn’t disagree with this more. Exhibit A-President George W. Bush who was a huge proponent of this economic theory.