Sunday, December 31, 2006

Saddam RIP

Yesterday, I was listening to a talk show where the topic was why wasn't the media showing graphic details on the Hussein execution when they (especially CNN) where more than willing to show the graphic shooting and dragging American serviceman throughout the streets of Iraq.

Toria Tolley ( an ex CNN reporter ) got on the air and to listen to her non-sequitor logic was beyond belief.

After all the discussion, I was amazed that no one brought up the reason that came to me immediately; they are chicken.

It's the same reason no one would print the Danish comics mocking Allah, and yet had no problems showing a Piss Christ museum exhibit. Media executives know they are in no danger from a mob scene of Christians yet they fear for their lives for anything that may be insulting to Muslims, even the execution of a mad man.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Bush Lied

Over the past couple of years, I've gotten kind of tired of the "Bush Lied" about the Iraq war and our reasons for being there.

If you are one of those people who truly believe that "Bush Lied", please answer these questions for me.

1) Why would he go into Iraq knowing that there were no WMD's and risk re-election failure and the perception that he was a competent commander in chief? Why not wait until after he was at least re elected?

2) Why were Tony Blair, John Howard, et al willing to put their own political careers on the line for a "Bush Lie".

3) What is the motivation for the Lie? Afterall, if it was strictly about oil, he could have simply lifted the UN sanctions and let all the US oil companies make big time deals with Saddam.

4) If Iraq was never a terrorist haven/threat why is it that terrorists such as Abu Nidal were living there and Musab Al-Zarqawi went there after we invaded Afghanistan?

5) Do you really believe that Bush would have invaded Iraq if the Towers were never attacked? (note, I'm not saying that Iraq was responsible for the WTC attacks I'm just suggesting that the invasion was a direct response to terrorist activity in general and part of an overall terrorist strategy)

6) If Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove et al knew there were no WMD's, Don't you think they would have had people plant them to justify the war?

I've just listened to a news report regarding Bob Woodward's interviews with Gerald Ford prior to his death. According to Woodward, Ford suggested that the invasion was wrong since there were no WMD's but we should have increased sanctions on Iraq.

What for? If they had no WMD's, why would we increase sanctions? How would we get the UN to bite on that one?

By the way, in case everyone forgot, we already had sanctions Hussein refused to follow already, why would we just add some more?

I do believe there were other reasons we went into Iraq besides WMD's. I'm sure that there are many other geo political reasons for going in, the least of which is to be right next door to Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria with an established political presence.

However, it really bothers me there is so much criticism of Bush's hadndling of the war yet no one in our media ever holds any critic up to challenge with these types of questions and now we have the head of the House Intelligence Committee who cannot tell you if Al-Queda is a Sunni or a Shiite led organization. How can this party really be the judge of Bush's motives when they can even pass the basic test on knowledge in the region?

Who are you?

Information lose and identity theft are becoming bigger and bigger problems as more information about ourselves is floating around in cyberspace. Identity theft insurance is now available and will likely become as common as home owner's insurance in the coming years. It's estimated that nearly a third of all Americans has had their personal info or identity compromised in the last year.

Here's a list of some of the most recent large information lose disasters:

Boeing: Stolen laptop containing employee HR records - 382,000 records

Aetna: Customer data stolen - 130,000 records

UCLA: Database compromised containing student and faculty information - 800,000 records

Starbucks: Lost multiple laptops containing employee HR records - 60,000 records

GE: Stolen laptop containing employee and HR records - 51,000 records

Circuit City : Lost tapes containing customer credit card records - over 2.1 million records

US DOT: Laptop containing license records stolen - 132,000 records


John Edwards, Democratic 2008 Presidential candidate, says he wants to "create tax fairness by rewarding work". Isn't it ironic when liberals praise hard work but then tax people's butts off when they start making the money that is often a result of that hard work?

He also want to provide "universal health care for all Americans". Think of the last time you had to visit your local Bureau of Motor Vehicles, the Social Security Administration offices, the Department of Job And Family Services, the unemployment offices or any other kind of state or federal government run agency. Now imagine the same experience and service every time you visit your doctor or the emergency room. That's universal health care.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

European Secular Socialist

A while back, I wrote about the ultimate struggle for world vision between three opposing visions of the world; those being European/secularist/socialism model, a US/Judeo-christian/capitalist model and a Arab/Islamic/totalitarian model.

The first world view is a belief in man over a deity. The belief that all opinions have value and that there are no moral absolutes. The best way to aid mankind is through government sanctioned redistribution of wealth.

Unfortunately, this world view cannot gets it's arms around a social contract that believes that evil truly exists in the world. It's why most of Europe has abolished capital punishment and why entry into the EU requires abolition of capital punishment. After all, how can you sentence someone to death when there are no moral contracts saying that something is absolutely wrong.

The other aspect of this core belief is that there really is nothing worth fighting for. It always reminds me of the cliche "when you stand for nothing, you'll fall for anything."

On those rare occasions I listen to the talking heads of Air America, I'm always dying to ask one of them what they are willing to sacrifice to protect their freedom of speech. They don't recognize that freedoms are only as valuable as the sacrifice you're willing to make for them.

I bring all this up because of a report in Little Green Footballs regarding the Islamic take over of France. For years, the French have failed to assimilate immigrants into the French culture.

Of course how do you require a assimilation of culture when there is absolutely no agreement as to what the national culture should be. One only look at the relationship between Quebec and the rest of Canada to visualize a day when the southwest wants to secede from the rest of the states.

For years, the French and the rest of Europe, have been able to piggy back off of the US defense to prevent an outright attack from many of these hostile countries. What has ultimately happened is the gradual erosion of culture to the point that every thing it means to be French is imploding from within.

It's why I'm big on establishment of a national culture in this country; that being language, work ethic, education, etc. To not do so, means that everything it means to be American means nothing.

Why even have a border. The Islamic Fascists understand this. They understand that the infiltration of American culture into Iran, Saudi Arabia, ET AL means their culture will go away and they are willing to die to prevent that from happening.

I know it's easy to pick on the French, but really isn't our country just a few years behind when we cannot or will not secure our borders, require full immersion education, or put an end to the fallacy of multiculturalism?

So our country has a question as it relates to the fascists in the middle east. What are we willing to fight and die for?

Jon Cary

Here's a picture of John Kerry eating at a military mess in Iraq. Notice the abundance of military people eating at the table.

Read the entire article at Powerline

Illegals addendum

After reading Midas' Illegal post, it reminded me of something I heard on the radio regarding the Swift meat packing raids.

Apparently, the Swift company suspected many of their applicants of having forged documentation, yet because of privacy issues, Swift was not permitted access to the social security system to document the legal status of the applicant. In addition, when they challenged some documentation, they were threatened with discrimination lawsuits.

Near many of the meat packing plants, a cottage industry of identity theft has been going on in which brokers are selling illegals stolen identification.

Swift reported this to the Labor Department which did nothing on the case, they even testified in Congress regarding their suspicions. Lo and behold an ICE raid.

I guess that's where I differ from Midas on immigration, if businesses find individuals to work for "x" dollars an hour and they have the appropriate documentation, they should be able to hire them. It should not be incumbent on business to be document experts; that's the government's job.

It's also the government's job to provide a secure border so that any average person can reasonably assume that anyone in this country is actually here legally.

I've always been a proponent of guest worker cards/visas. It would provide people with safe entry and exit into and out of the country. In addition, anytime these people board planes, buses, trains, rental cars, etc., we can monitor their whereabouts at all times.

A couple of years ago I was at a hockey game and when I ordered a beer, the vendor swiped my license and here pops up my name and age right on a screen. Somehow if a beer vendor can have access to this documentation surely we should allow the same access to employer's and, for that matter, airports, rental cars, & boards of elections.


I just read an article regarding the Microsoft Vista operating system.

Billed by Microsoft as their "most secure O/S ever" many corporate accounts have already found security flaws in the system. Microsoft claims in the article that someone needs to have their hands on the actual computer (they couldn't use remote access) in order to seize any information.

I feel better already.

I wonder if Microsoft has ever considered hiring a bunch of fourteen year old geeks to beta test their O/S before they actually put it out on the market; or maybe they could hire some geeks from Apple.

I have already recommended to clients that they hold off in upgrading to Vista for this reason. In addition, I already received informtation from Intuit that their older applications will not work on Vista.

Be aware


For some stupid reason, I found myself watching Tom Brokaw's news show last night. The topic of the show was the huge increase in the numbers of illegals (specifically near Carbondale, Colorado) and the impact which it is having on the schools, businesses, etc. in the community and state.

One of the arguments you always hear, especially from business owners, is that if all the illegals were sent packing they wouldn't be able to find enough workers to fill their jobs. This is a lie! What they should be saying (if they want to be truthful about it) is that they would not be able to find enough workers, at the rate they would currently like to pay, to fill their jobs. In most cases, if the employers increased the salaries of the positions they are looking to fill, they would have plenty of hard working, legal workers to choose from. Whether it's cleaning hotel rooms or working in construction, the legal workers will come if you pay them well enough and what the market stipulates. It's the same model used for jobs that are dangerous and risky. You can always find someone willing to do it if the money is good.

I realize that this could lead to higher costs for the business owner and eventually the consumer. I'm all for business owners finding ways to keep prices down by legal means. But hiring people who are in our country illegally only encourages the offense. Many of them do not pay taxes, send much of the money they make elsewhere and are burdens on the education, health care and criminal justice systems. I like it when employers try to save a buck... because it might help be save a buck too. But do it legally.

Someones going to say, what's the difference between hiring illegals at a lower rate of pay here versus shipping jobs off to India? There's a big difference... sending a job to India isn't illegal. At least not yet.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas

With Christmas so close to New Year's, it's always felt like a great time of year to review our lives for the past year and then to commit to something big for the coming year.

As a person of faith, I believe to the core of my being that God always calls us to be something bigger than anything we could have dreamed of for ourselves.

As illustrated in the stories of Abraham, Moses, Noah, Ester and Paul, he has always called for the extraordinary from largely ordinary people.

Whenever I'm confronted by the question of why does God allow bad things happen to good people my response is always "God put a solution to every problem on this earth and for every problem you see he also sees it (through your eyes) and, chances are, he's already nudging you to tell you that you are the perfect person solve it."

Moses had no idea how to emancipate millions of Jews from the throngs of slavery; Noah had no idea what an ark even looked like before he started building. However, they all trusted in God and trusted that he would provide them with the tools needed to make a difference.

So as we enter this Christmas season, consider that whether you are brick layer, a president, or an accountant, God has a mission for each and every one of us to make a difference. While those missions may seem overwhelming, consider that God uses these tests to see how much we trust in him.

Have the Merriest of Christmas'.

God Bless

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


I read a very unflaterring piece today by Joseph Rago about the role of blogs in today's news media.

Rago claims that there isn't much in the way of breaking news in the blogoshpere. I agree with that premise, but how much "true" news is there in normal 24 hour news cycle when an evening that Brittney Spears decides not to wear underwear dominates the headlines.

Quite frankly, I get more information from the various blogs I visit than from the Mainstream Media (MSM). What I find extremely arrogant is the position by news editors and publishers that bloggers can't be serious journalists because 1) most didn't go to journalism school and 2) there are no fact checkers on staff.


For some reason, all those J-schoolers and fact checkers somehow couldn't seem to find the errors and outright frauds of Jason Blair, Rathergate, et al.

As a product of the first amendment, anyone in this country can call themselves a journalist simply by saying it. There are no licensing requirements, no ethics standards in which they need to abide and no governmental oversight. By all accounts, Thomas Paine might have called himself a journalist despite the lack of a J-school degree.

The bottom line is main stream media has lost it's way. In an era of streamlining editorial budgets, the NY Times is no more reliable or informative than Drudge or Lucianne. It makes me sick when I watch or listen to the news and a story starts "according to reports from WYZZ, Joe Coach has taken a new job with X school" What exactly is the news? The rumor that so and so coach is leaving or the fact that the station just got scooped?

I could put that crap on this blog and call it "News".

The way I view the news business, the longer it takes to deliver information the more accurate & thorough it needs to be. For instance, internet news is faster and less thorough & accurate than radio news, which is quicker and less accurate & thorough than TV, which is faster and less accurate & thorough than a newspaper.

Unfortunately, the crap I read in the daily newspaper has no more depth and accuracy than the stuff I read on Drudge 32 hours before.

Remind me again why I should pay $.75 for a Useless Today.

economics of political speech

This week the FEC fined Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and for campaign violations related to the 2004 election.

This is the product of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law which is, in my mind, a totally unconstituional infringement of free specch rights.

McCain-Feingold sought to take money out of the political process by limiting dollars to candidates themselves. The net effect of the law is that thrid party groups got hold of the money and has turned the whole political process into a giant pissing contest; none of which adds anything to the political debate.

Before any meaningful campaign finance law can be instituted one needs to truly ask themselves the question "why is there so much money in politics".

The answer is "because there is so much money in government to get".

Think about it. On a daily basis, I receive at least five sales calls for a little two person accounting shop. Do you think Procter & Gamble receive more sales calls than I do on a daily basis? In addition, once a week I get a representative from a bank, payroll service, brokerage houses, etc. that drop off little gifts (coffee mugs, candy, publications, etc.) in the hopes that we'll refer potential clients to them.

How much money do you think is spent on meals & entertainment, gifts, junkets, etc. on decision makers at P&G as compared to me? My guess is that it's exponentially more.

Why would that be Gordon? Well..... maybe it's because P&G has a gizillion more discretionary dollars than my little old accounting practice.

Now take a an entity more than 3,000 times the size of P&G and guess what. People are going to spend money to buy influence on that entity... lot's of money.

I spent a weekend in DC a few years back, and I couldn't believe the number of pimps and whores (I don't know if I mean that literally or figuratively) that populate the DC suburbs. It's disgusting.

If you really want to take the money out of campaigns you need to take the money out of Washington, plain and simple. Really, how much do you think a congressman would be able to raise each year if he had absolutely no money to appropriate?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Little people

Has anyone else noticed the latest trend in TV commercials? Seems like more and more commercials, especially the holiday type (for obvious reasons) have little people (i.e. midgets, dwarfs) in them. Not pretend people that look like elves or Santa's little helpers, but real humans... little people. They're showing up all over the place: Verizon, Home Depot, Burger King, et al... Maybe I've just not paid attention in previous years. But it seems to be all the rage to have little people in your commercials these days.

Monday, December 18, 2006


I saw a great quote today in the newpaper

Ben Franklin "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch"

government seizures

Last week I had another good conversation with a liberal friend of mine.

We were talking about the Ohio Non Smoking law and his comment was "I'm a non smoker but I think it's wrong for the people to dictate what a private business should do inside their business... Why should a person in Cincinnati be dictating what happens in a bar in Toledo".

To which I answered, "it happens all the time... when a government steals money earned in the private sector from an Ohio resident and gives it to a bunch of Alaskan contractors to build a bridge to nowhere".

That was one of the biggest transformations I made from a social liberal/economic conservative to a true libertarian... as soon as you think it's OK for a government to dictate a social policy (such as smoking/trans fat bans) then why wouldn't it be OK to seize your hard earned money and give it to someone else. It all centers around a group of intelligencia who think they know how we should live our lives better than we do.

Friday, December 15, 2006


A friend of mine came down with the NIMBY virus last weekend when he found out that Kenton County was planning to build their new 600 bed jail about 2000 feet from his back yard. The NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) virus shows up anytime a landfill wants to expand, a new jail is planned or sewer plant needs to be built.

Kenton County must build a new jail (a federal judge actually mandated it) but you have to feel for the people who's property and schools are near by.

Just last month, Rumpke had to stop plans of expanding it's landfill (since it running out of room) because of all noise the neighbors and local government raised. But the trash has to go somewhere, so the same process will probably repeat itself in the coming months.

I feel bad for my buddy and would be just as angry myself. But someone's feet and property values are always going to get stepped on whenever something like this happens. Image trying to build a new nuclear power plant in this country? I'd say, "Go for it.... but just not in my back yard!"

Want to reduce poverty? Lower taxes.

Matthew Ladner has a great article today about taxes. It's a shame that this message has to be repeated over and over again, but there's a lot of people who don't understand how economics work. The U.S. Govt isn't good at doing anything, except maybe running the armed forces. Why would anyone think they could handle the poor and dealing with poverty? Their answer is always the same: redistribute the money. That's a bad idea... because it never has and never will work.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Illegal workers

I haven't posted for a while because I've been catching up on some continuing education this time of year.

One of the topics discussed in the seminar this week was the issue surrounding the hiring of illegal immigrants. It looks like no matter what happens in the immigration debate, it appears t one of the things that will inevitably be a part of significant immigration changes will be increased penalties for employers who hire illegals.

Let me make sure I have this right. I was under the assumption the government was the one responsible for regulating immigration and securing the border. Yet, if someone comes into my office looking for a job, I am supposed to be a document expert and should be able to discern what are fraudulent documents and what are not.

People want to know why I'm a libertarian. Well maybe it's because I get fed up with a government that cannot do it's job so they pass it off to private companies to do their job for them. If that's the case, why do we need government at all.

Let the state collect it's own sales tax.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

And the pork goes on...

What is it about Washington that causes politicians to spend taxpayer's money like drunken sailors? Is it the power of playing with someone else's money? Well, it sounds like it ain't gonna change much just because the Dems are running the show now.

Robert D. Novak: The sterile, confused lame-duck session of the Republican-controlled 109th Congress ended with a quiet victory by reformers that staved off an estimated 10,000 earmarks. But it could not be called a farewell to pork. Last Thursday, as the House neared adjournment, Democrats signaled they may countenance a return to free and easy spending ways when they assume the majority Jan. 4. More...

Friday, December 08, 2006

Iraq Study

The retired "statesmen" Baker, Hamilton, O'Connor, have come out with their "recommendations for the Iraq war.

I've heard some of the recommendations and have not read any of the report myself but I don't need to to form the following opinions.

Why was there no military representation on the committee?

Second, apparently, a key piece of report is to encourage more diplomacy with Iran, Syria, et al. When will these duffuses ever come to the realization that diplomacy only works when the opposition knows there is a price to be paid if a resolution cannot be reached.

Iran and North Korea both know that the US will never invade their respective countries so what is their motivation to alter the status quo?

When we pull out of Iraq with our tail between our legs, the middle east leadership will all be fully aware that we will never go back in there to protect our national interest.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


As a UC football, fan I get somewhat perturbed by the media complaining about UC's lack of attendance.

Unfortunately, with OSU just north, there is a perception that all college football games must draw 90,000 plus per game, when in reality the OSU's are more the exception than the rule.

So I took it upon myself to look at the statistics for all division one footballs schools that share an audience with an NFL team and here are the results.

U. of Washington 57,483
Arizona State 54,562
Minnesota 52,206
Georgia Tech 50,617
Pittsburgh 43,305
Miami U. 41,908
Boston College 38,843
Vanderbilt 34,861
South Florida 30,222
San Diego State 29,227
Northwestern 27,996
Houston 21,910
Cincinnati 20,373
Tulane 18,942
Univ. Of Buffalo 16,417
Temple 15,810
SMU 15,428

Of particular interest to me is Miami University. A perennial power they drew a whopping 41,000 fans this year. That number includes the FSU game that drew 71,000 people. If you kick that out they drew a paltry 37,000/game.

Many of the schools on the top of the list draw as a result of large fan bases from the opposition attending games (ie OSU & Michigan fans going to Minnesota)

It's apparent that teams that share football space with the NFL face a difficult time in attracting fans to the games. Maybe the Bearcats need to follow the lead of the Reds and host a Dave Curry bobblehead night; they would probably draw 35,000 to the games

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Who really gives?

I mentioned, back on Thanksgiving Day, a conversation my brother-in-law and I had about who is more giving.... liberals or conservatives.

John Stossel has a great article today about just that. Check it out...

"Americans are pretty generous. Three-quarters of American families give to charity -- and those who do, give an average of $1,800. Of course that means one-quarter of us don't give at all. What distinguishes those who give from those who don't? It turns out there are many myths about that.

To test them, ABC's "20/20" went to Sioux Falls, S.D., and San Francisco. We asked the Salvation Army to set up buckets at their busiest locations in both cities. Which bucket would get more money? I'll get to that in a minute."

Taxes, taxes, taxes

Just as a fun little exercise. Occaisionally I will review the statistics for my tax practice, here are some of these factoids

Our office prepared 551 individual income tax returns. These clients paid 5.4 million in federal income tax alone. In addition, these clients paid 1.1 million in state income tax.

40 clients had to pay Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). 333 itemized their deductions, 201 had capital gain income and 13 qualified for earned income credit.

When you break things down within a small little practice, it makes you think how large some of these numbers really are.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Trans Fat

For those who found it acceptable to escentially ban all smoking in the state of Ohio, Guess what? The health nazis will be coming after your vice soon.

Today, the NY health department banned cooking in all trans fat cooking oil effective July 1, 2007.

Doesn't it bother anybody that a government bureacracy with no voter accountability can establish such regulations.? Doesn't it bother anyone that the whole concept of personal freedom/personal accountability gets flushed down the drain with each and every one of these bizarre gov't actions?

By the way, has anyone watched a Hogan's Hero's re run recently? I was just wondering if they've edited out the prisoner's Red Cross packages because they included chocolate and cigarettes.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Christians v. Muslims v. Secularists

Having read pieces by a number of prominent futurists, I've come to the following conclusion regarding the current state of the world.

Right now I truly believe the world is in a struggle between three factions of world view. There is currently a European secularist/socialism world view, a Judeo-Christian, free market world view and an Islamist/totalitarian world view. In subsequesnt posts, I will posit the distinctions between all of these.

The fact of the matter is, within the next century, one of these world views will dominate the geo politcal landscape. With the attacks on 9/11, the United States was forced into deciding which of these world views they will espouse and fight for; George Bush decided it was a Judeo- Christian free market world.

If you are the type of person that questions the value of the war and thinks our differences with Islamic fundementalists can be resolved through talking and "diplomacy"; you fall into the European secularist camp.

My prediction is that within the next 20-30 years most of Europe will be run by Totalitarian Islamic regimes.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Where charity begins

This tends to be a common theme this time of the year, but it's worth repeating. Charity and giving begin with individuals, and it's good to hear that we, as a nation, continue to give year after year. Regardless of what the media and the rest of the world says, Americans are a caring and benevolent people! This article, in the Christian Science Monitor Online, is a great reminder.

We need to get the government out of the charity business. First, because they always do a horrible job at it. And secondly, because all they know is "Robin Hood" charity: taking from one group of people and giving it to another. Nothing shows love for neighbor more than sincere, un-forced giving by one human to another. The government is a poor substitute.

Walmart, bah humbug!

Why is Walmart always under attack? No one has a gun to anyone's head. No one is forced to shop or work there. There's plenty of other options when it comes to where we buy things. Walmart has low prices, they stock everything under the sun and millions of Americans have chosen to work and/or shop there. They must be doing something right? Oh wait, they make money, a lot of money. And that's bad! Only in America...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


The original conception of this blog was to help educate people as to economic issues as they arise in day to day life. I really wanted to stay away from too much political conversation since the market is already saturated with political screaming.

However, I read a piece today by Thomas Sowell

that I think really encompasses political as well as economic issues. The basic treatise regards who gives more time, money, resources.... liberals or conservatives. It's an excellent analysis of the world view that separates liberals and conservatives.

It's a great read for everyone.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Cost of employment

A few years ago, I was invited to speak at a class at the Ford Sharonville plant.

The class was titled "How to Start Your Own Business". I was told by the person teaching the class the course was designed for workers in the plant and the company provided an entire diverse curriculum for the plant workers. The courses could be taken on company time with no fees.

I inquired as to why Ford would offer such a course on starting a business. The instructor told me the company has told the employees at the plant that the plant would not be open forever; that eventually they needed to prepare themselves for a life after Ford and that the company would help train the employees for their future.

While it seemed odd to me, I did offer to do a class on the costs of having employees.

During the class, I went through the mandatory taxes and benefits that company's are required to pay on behalf of their employees.

FICA match
Medicare Match
Federal unemployment
State unemployment
Workers comp.

I also discussed issues like benefits such as vacation, sick days, medical insurance, OSHA standards, ADA requirements, even the costs of non productivity like the class they were currently taking, etc., etc.

In the middle of my presentation, one of the guys asked an observant question; Why in the hell would anyone ever want employees?

I counsel clients that, depending on the business, employees need to generate 3-4 times their salaries in net income. For instance, if you pay a worker $10.00 an hour you need to get $30-$40/hour in revenue generation or other expense reductions.

So when wages go up, it's not as simple as just a wage increase, it runs all the way through the cost of production.

I just affirms my theory that when we artificially increase cost of production, company's will always outsource the production to the true "market" value.

UC Football

I have never understood the total lack of interest in UC football. Even my freshman year at UC, I was amazed that my roomates went over to Nippert to see Elder/Moeller on a Friday but I couldn't pay them to go over the next night to watch UC.

Even when the Bengals wore absolutely abysmal, you couldn't find a fan with a search warrant.

With that said, if Dantonio leaves, it will be yet another set back for a program just seems to always be "just around the corner" to big time.

It was all set up, a coach building a program long term, a respectable finish in the Big East, a nice turn out and win for the Rutgers game, probably the best bowl bid in a long time.

I have a tendency to blame the administration for this. I'm always advising clients that my services will only be as important to me as it is to them. And in that sense, the fans will only follow the university lead on big time college football.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Generosity Index

PITTSBURGH, PA -- I had an interesting discussion with a brother-in-law this morning. He claimed that Democrats (or, to be more accurate, liberals), were more generous than Republicans (i.e. conservatives). I contended, based on some stats that I recalled reading one time, that people from conservatives parts of the country gave much more to charities than the liberal parts of our nation.

The proof is in the pudding... check out the stats, notice how few blue states are listed in the top. Red states (states that Bush won in 2004) blow away their counterparts when it comes to generosity. 17 of the 20 "least generous" states are blue states that voted for Senator Kerry (including all 7 of the "least generous" states). What's really funny is that my brother-in-law's home state, Massachusetts, is at the bottom of the list, next to last.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone... blue and red!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

I want to wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving.

For me, I am thankful that I am surrounded by awesome family, friends and clients.

I'm also thankful that every morning I get to wake up in a country where the fruits of my efforts knows no bounds and that I can speak my peace without fear of tyranny. For these things I am blessed.

God bless you all.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Prescriptions drugs Part Dos

One of the things I've never understood are the patent laws as they pertain to the pharmaceutical industry.

The copyright for "Hey Jude", I believe is 99 years and yet patent protection for a pharmeceutical drug is 15 years, which means that the pharmeceutical companies are under extreme pressure to get out their drugs and, if necessary, promote additional uses of the drug.

I'm no apologist for the pharmceutical companies. If I have to see another commercial telling me there is a drug to cure my toe nail fungus, acid reflux, or for my right butt cheek that sags a little more than the left, I'm going to puke.

Nonetheless, I don't think there is an orchestrated conspiracy to poison the American public.

I remember a guy telling me head and shoulders shampoo made your hair fall out. My only response was if that was true, P&G couldn't sell me any more shampoo. What would be the motivation in that?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Ending Poverty?

It makes me wonder what people are thinking when they say they want to "end" world-wide poverty.

Unless everyone in the world is earning the same amount of money and has the same quality of life, there will always be someone making less money and living is worse conditions than someone else. And even if we were able to set a world-wide, monetary benchmark to define what poverty is, and brought everyone's earnings up over that value, all that would do is requalify what equates to poverty. The word itself is too relative to even use on a world-wide scale: everyone would agree that living in poverty in the U.S. is a lot better than living in poverty in India. It's a waste of energy to even suggest that it's possible.

Now don't get me wrong... there's nothing wrong with trying to help and teach people to make a better living for themselves. But try to stop using meaningless, feel-good, cliches to describe it.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Why do the liberal Democrats continually attack the pharmaceutical companies (i.e. big drug companies)? Like I mentioned in a previous post about oil companies -- there’s always going to be bad seeds in any industry. But, look at all the good that comes out of their line of work. They have saved or extended countless lives. They’ve improved the quality of life for countless more. They continue to look for ways to better people’s lives. But because they also make money doing it, they are frowned upon by the liberal Democrats.

One of the Democrats goals for next year’s session of Congress is to allow the federal government to negotiate directly with the pharmaceutical companies for lower drug prices for Medicare patients. This is clearly a way to begin the road back towards federalized medicine, something Bill and Hillary Clinton already tried back in the early 1990’s.

The way I see it, if you remove the incentive of making money from the pharmaceutical industry, you will see less research, which will lead to fewer discoveries and fewer new medicines.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Libertarian Effect

I've always been mixed on my opinion of the value of voting for independents in major elections.

On one hand, voting for an independent can sometimes lead to a worse outcome than just voting for the party you usually support (e.g. a vote for Perot was a vote for Bill Clinton). But, on the other hand, sometimes both major party candidates are worthless so why not make a political point and vote for something new (e.g. Dewine and Brown)? I guess the pragmatist in me says, "Why waste your vote? Isn't a bad Republican better than a good Democrat?"

According to this article from, votes for the Libertarian Party in Missouri and Montana cost the Republicans the Senate.

answer to question

Below is my answer to John Public's tax liability for the year 2006

Federal Tax Liability $314,422
FICA liability 5,840
Medicare 14, 500
Ohio state income tax 68,400

If he worked in the city of Cincinnati, you can tack on another $21,000 for a tax income tax liability of $424, 162.

These figures do not include sales tax paid, taxes paid by his employer, real estate taxes (even if paid indirectly through his rent, etc.

As a comparison, in 1998 using the same fact set, John's federal tax liability would have been $361,074 (a difference of $46,652) and the state $64, 738 (a difference of $3,642).

Someone please explain to me how paying over 42% of your income regardless of how much you earn is fair.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Payroll taxes

A couple of choice things are happening in the employment rich state of Ohio.

Starting in 2007, the state unemployment wage base has been raised to $9,500 up from $9,000 for as long as I can remember. So.... assuming a base rate of 2.7%, you'll be paying another 13.50/employee to go along with that increase in the minimum wage.

Not to be outdone, Ohio worker's comp. increased it's minimum fee from $10.00 semi annually to $50.00. The minimum fee is usually charged to sole proprietors that have no employees but wish to have a certificate so companies they contract with are not liable for their coverage. Note, these companies receive no worker's comp coverage from exempting themselves. So $100.00 a year just goes right to the worker's comp fund.

In comparison, Kentucky's base unemployment rate $8,000. So for the average company, you'll pay about $40/more per employee for the "privilege" of doing business in Ohio.

Most people do not realize that nearly in every state in the country, employers can buy worker's compensation insurance from their insurance carrier, essentially allowing the private sector to competitively price their insurance. In Ohio, all employers are required to purchase their workers comp through the state and the state dictates the rates for all professions.

As a result, coverage costs are extremely high in this state as compared to others.

At least our business environment is better than Michigan and North Korea; and so is our football.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Just as a curiosity, I just received my 2006 tax software. If you are reading this post please answer these questions in the comment box. Your comments will be posted confidentially.

John Public is a 20 year old internet game maker and is filthy rich. In 2006, he received a W-2 form in the amount of $1,000,000. Since he's still young, he rents an apartment and has no deductions (charitables, real estate taxes, mortgage interest, etc.)

How much will he pay in federal income tax?

How much should he pay if he paid his fair share?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Democrats: Enemies of the middle class

It amazes me how well the liberal Democrats (and their cronies in the press) have done marketing themselves. Or, maybe the real problem is that the Republicans have done such a poor job explaining themselves.

Take for instance a short conversation a co-worker and I had this morning. The topic of high taxes came up and I mentioned that now that the Democrats are running Congress, taxes could very well go back up. To which my co-worker explained, "No way! The Democrats care about the middle and lower class. All the Republicans care about are the rich." (Is this not the most overused cliche in the Democrat's sound-bite arsenal?)

Now think about this: If the Bush tax cuts "for the rich" are allowed to expire, as Chucky Rangel and the House Democrats are suggesting, do you think it will benefit the middle-class and those with lower incomes?

If the child tax credit is reduced from the current $1,000 per child back to $500, do you think it will help or hurt the middle and lower class?

If the marriage penalty, which was reduced, kicks back up, do you think it will help or hurt the middle and lower class?

If the expansion of charitable deduction for Americans that don't itemize is reduced, do you think it will help or hurt the middle and lower class?

If the lower tax rates go back up to the pre-taxcut rates (15, 28, 31, 36, and 39.6), do you think it will help or hurt the middle and lower class?

Now don't get me wrong... I think high taxes on the "evil" upper class is just as stupid and morally misguided, but that's another post. If the Democrats let the tax cuts expire, it will speak volumes towards what they really think of the "working class".


Last week, one of the posts noted that conservatives who ran as conservatives and had a track record as such always win.

One of the readers had the interesting comment.

"Santorum stayed consistent and had his lunch handed to him."

After reading numerous post election articles, I noticed how many analysts mentioned the Terri Schiavo case as a big turn off for economic conservative/ social liberals.

When the Schiavo case was in the headlines I really didn't pay that much attention to the whole spectacle. My only comment at the time was that anyone who thinks her "quality" of life was so bad that withholding her feeding tube was an appropriate course of action then those same people should be willing to hold a pillow to her face to end her life. How many people would be willing to do that?

With that said, one of the things about the whole spectacle was how many national Republicans were willing to get involved in this traditionally states' rights issue.

I think that's where I've underestimated the Schiavo issue and how it impacted candidates like Santorum.

A large majority of the electorate are hell-bent traditional; low taxes, small gov't, law and order, gun rights, strong defense & states' rights, conservatives. A lesser majority are social conservatives... anti- abortion, gay marriage, etc. While states are overwhelmingly passing gay marriage legislation, the South Dakota complete abortion ban (which lost about 55-45) shows even the most conservative of states are not willing to out right ban abortion.

With all this background info, here's how it applies to Santorum. First, Casey ran as a conservative democrat. His father was a well known anti abortion Democrat in the 80's. Democrats, accurately or inaccurately, painted Santorum as a way right religious zealot. Given a congress that could find the time for a 11th hour Terri Schiavo intervention but somehow couldn't manage to draft decent immigration legislation or reduce the government "bloatacracy", it appeared that gays and right to life issues were more of a manipulation of the base than a true priority of the party leadership. Candidates like Santorum suffered the consequences.

Even in Ohio - 2, Jean Schmidt never endeared herself to fiscal conservatives after voting for tax increases in the state house. Her last TV ads beating on Wulsin and gay marriage seemed to be milking a cow that was full of chalk dust; hence her very slim victory.

The lesson is prove you're a conservative on government spending and religious people won't believe that your gay marriage stance isn't a manipulation.

Issue 12

Voters in Hamilton County, Ohio voted down issue 12 which would have increased the local sales tax by .25%.

As a person who is big time law and order, many people were surprised that I voted it down.

Here's why...

As a libertarian, I believe that government should perform finite functions; law and order, fire and roads, everything else is a misuse of government power.

This jail is important... vitally important. Crime is rampant in Cincinnati and way too many people on the street should be behind bars.

This jail is so important it should be number one on the county expenditure list. Instead they spend money on a bunch of crap that should be way down on the priority list and the citizens are blackmailed into voting in a jail that should already be up and running out of the existing general fund.

Here's a look at the actual expenditures for 2003 (the most recent I could find on the auditor's site)

Total Expenditures 239 Million

General Govt 49 M
Public Safety 82 M
Judicial 92.5 M
Social services 1 M
Public Works 2.5 M
Debt Service 13 M

You can't tell me that the county couldn't pair out the money from that budget... especially out of the "general government" budget over 5-10 years.

Maybe this vote will put some smelling salts under the noses of the commissioners and they'll get this jail built under the existing tax structure.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Al Qaeda gloats over U.S. election results

We already knew that the New York Times, the liberal news media, Dan Rather and the Hillary '08 campaign were rejoicing in the Republican's demise on Tuesday night... but the terrorist organization al Qaeda and the nation of Iran?

This article ought to worry anyone concerned about the safety of our troops, our nation and our way of life.

Now that we know exactly what al Qaeda wants, is it a good sign for the Democrats that our nation's enemies are delighted in their victory?

Imagine how happy they'll be when the Democrat led U.S. House begins possible impeachment hearings against President Bush next year!

Friday, November 10, 2006

A New Direction?

I can't figure this one out... maybe someone can clarify it for me?

Nancy Pelosi, Charles Rangel and the liberals in Congress keep saying they want to stop "rewarding" companies that outsource jobs from the U.S.

I would be interested in getting a copy of and reading the law that's currently on the books in Washington that states that the U.S. Treasury will cut and mail checks to any company that sends jobs overseas.

Or... could it be that what the liberals in Congress are calling "rewards" is actually: lower taxes, lower wages and costs, less government regulations and no unions to deal with? If that's the case, than the "rewards" to ship jobs overseas will, if anything, be more enticing come January 2007 when the new 110th Congress is sworn into office.

Issue 2 maybe a positive?

I was listening to a talk show last night on the issue 2 subject.

I was aware that issue 2 allowed "interested parties" to review the payroll records of a particular company. It seemed to me like a forgone conclusion that this was a labor union ploy to allow unions to review payroll records of a company so they could develop an organizing strategy.

However, last night an alternative strategy was proposed. What if I want to leave Company A for Company B for a new sales job. I interview with Company B and they agree to hire me contingent on a review of my payroll file with the other company. As part of that review, they can discern my current level of pay, disciplinary action, etc.

Company B could use that information as a way of holding my compensation package down since they already know what my current salary is.... therefore the salary I might settle on.

Since too many companies refuse to provide a quality employment reference, it might be a way for a company to do more a thorough pre employment screening prior to hiring.

Year end tax plan

Since it appears I've exhausted the minimum wage lunacy, I thought I would offer up some tax advise regarding capital gains. I read an interesting piece in a year-end tax planning article about matching capital losses against capital gains.

The conventional wisdom when it comes to year end tax planning is to match any gains you might have against any losses thus "netting" out any capital gains against capital losses and thereby avoiding any capital gains.

I have a slightly different take on this planning technique. I always preach that most people would rather pay taxes on gains than deduct losses. Therefore, as you look through your investments I believe the question that should be asked about each and every investment you have is; "Is there a place where I could better have this money invested".

If the answer is yes you should reinvest it and move it to the investment you think is better... regardless of gain or loss.

An example. Assume you have a stock (let's call it XYZ Co.). the current market value of the stock is $2,500 and you believe that this value is about all this stock is going to do.

Let's also assume that you have a gain of $1,000 in the stock. You might hesitate to sell it because after capital gains tax you are left with a net of $2,300 (15% federal tax, 5% state tax on the gain).

However, let's assume you wait to sell it until February. Now the stock is worth $2,300. However, your investment is now only going to net you $2,140 after tax.

You just lost $160.00 do to the market swing you could have avoided in December.

Conversely, assume you have an investment worth $5,000 but you have a $2,000 loss imbedded in the investment. Many people will tend to want to hold on to the investment in order to recapture the loss on the stock. I would offer that if the stock is a dog and you have little hopes of getting that market value back, cut your losses and move the money into something with some up side. I'd rather see a taxpayer with a $2,000 loss on your tax return then waiting and having another $1,000 - $5,000 loss in the future.

Obviously, you'll never know what the ultimate point to sell will ever be but my point here is that investor should always be evaluating their portfolios independent of the capital gain or loss not yet realized. Work with your advisor periodically and see if they have any opinions as to the future gain or losses in your investment(s).

If you need further clarification about this feel free to call me. I can give you some better information as it pertains to your personal situation.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The consumer always pays!

Another obvious effect of Ohio's minimum wage increase: higher costs to the consumer.

In an article in today's Cincinnati Enquirer, Craig Maier, the president and chief executive officer of Frisch's Restaurants Inc., states that the measure will cost his company about $3 million dollars a year. And who do you think will cover the loss? "The guest will have to pay it," Maier said. Of course, the cost increases won't just be limited to Frisch's and the restaurant industry. Many other businesses will have to pass the costs on the consumer.

So if you notice that the cost of your brawny lad and hot fudge cake goes up soon, blame the voters who approved Issue 2.

Election - Part Tres

I had a conversation with a friend last night; an intelligent, good conservative, I thought, until he told me he voted for the minimum wage and Issue 5. Here's some of the conversation.

I asked him if the wage had been established @ $7.50 or $10.00/hour would he still have voted for it.

His reply; "I'm not sure where the cutoff would have been for me".

"How much should McDonald's pay for a pound of Hamburger?"

"I have no idea"

"But you seem to know much how much they should pay for labor?"

"Look... No one can live on $5.25 and hour"

"Then why shouldn't we make the minimum wage $20.00 with full benefits. I think everyone would be middle class then, wouldn't they?"

"Don't be ridiculous"

That conversation is exactly the point with the minimum wage... I wouldn't dream of telling McDonald's how much to pay their employees any more than telling them that they need to pay $4.50 a pound for high end hamburger. And yet, people somehow think it's OK to tell companies how much they should pay for their labor.

Even at $6.85 an hour, a 40 hour work week nets an annual income of $13,700.00; hardly a wage that could sustain a family. So this person hadn't even considered what the wage would be for the employee to have a sustainable wage.

Then our discussion rolled over to Issue 5 which he voted for. Of course he doesn't smoke so he has no problem telling businesses to not permit smoking on their premises.... 99.999999999% of which he will never visit. It smacks of the nanny state big time.

I'm no smoker, so Issue 5 has no short term, direct impact on me. I will actually enjoy going to bars and restaurants without the smoke.

However, in this country we have turned modern day smokers into the lepers of biblical times.

I think it's disgusting to walk through an airport and see huddled masses all bunched up smoking in a lounge... It's repugnant that our society treats people that way. In my mind it's the epitome of NIMBY, we can ban your vice but don't touch mine.

So if you clowns start coming after my Cheesburgers and Beer, I'm going to shoot you.... assuming you haven't already taken my gun.


Why are liberals so anti-business and anti-capitalism? No industry is perfect and there's bad seeds in every company. But if you're in one of the following industries, watch your back in the coming months because the liberals will probably come knocking:

Oil - This industry, as a whole, produces products that are needed for a vibrant economy and society to function and enjoy a high standard of living. They go through numerous processes and channels to make their product available to the customer. They often have to go to great lengths, deal with dangerous environments and spend large amounts of money to reach their product. They manage production and balance supply and demand across a global marketplace. They have to deal with high governmental regulations, oversight and scrutiny, environmental restrictions and geo-political conditions. Yet, they market their product at a relatively low cost to the consumer (considering what it takes to get to the marketplace) and with profit margins much lower than many other industries.

A future post... pharmaceutical companies.

Red state - Blue State

The above map is the Blue State/Red State comparison from the 2004 Bush Kerry race broken down by county.

As you can see, outside of a few isolated blocks in the Southwest, nearly all the country is red except for the various urban counties around the country.

While I don't have hard evidence handy, I believe most reasonable people can agree with the following comparison between the urban blue areas and the suburban/rural red areas.

The blue areas, in general, have higher taxes than the red areas
They have higher unemployment
They have more crime
They have bad schools

The question that comes to mind is... Why would a company locate its operation in one of these blue areas given the scenario noted above?

It also has me wonder about a couple of other questions. Is a democratic leadership responsible for the issues above? Meaning if we put conservative leadership in those areas would the economic circumstance change or remain the same?

Conversely, is a democratic leadership reflective of the values noted above? Meaning, maybe those communities don't care about reducing crime or having a healthy economic base so they vote for the leadership that doesn't make those things priorities.

When I listen to the liberal elites blast conservatives it always has me wanting to respond; "Look at the map, we don't want our communities to look like yours (high unemployment, high crime, bad schools, etc.) .... Maybe you should consider a change to our governance."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Economic Nationalism?

According to Pat Buchanan, yesterday's election results signify, "The return of the trade-and-jobs issue, front and center, to American politics."

I disagree with his premise, but one sentence in his article made me wonder about the mindset of Ohio voters: "Sherrod Brown, the Democratic challenger to Ohio's GOP Sen. Mike DeWine, also launched assaults on globalization and made the Bush trade deals a central feature of his campaign."

So, Ohio voters have a sense of humor. They voted overwhelmingly for a liberal Democrat who's campaign centered around jobs leaving the state and new job creation, but then they turned their ballots over and voted for Issue 2 (the minimum wage increase). As taxman notes in previous posts- Issue 2 will, no doubt, cost the state thousands of jobs over the long run.

Minimum wage question

To those who voted for the minimum wage, I have a question for you.

Would you have voted yes to an increase to $7.50/hr?

How about $10.00/hr?

What about $22.50/hr?

In my mind, to vote for a minimum wage increase is to suggest you know how much an employer should pay it's workers for a particular job. Specifically, a job that requires little to no job skills.

So where do you draw the line?

I'll bet there isn't one person who voted for the increase who pays that wage to a babysitter, lawn mower, gardener, etc. along with the employment taxes related to the pay.

Unfortunately, too many people think companies have this big pot of money available to pay people. That money would either go to the managers or the poor working guy, but that's not how companies operate.

The cold hard fact is; every job pays "x". The "x" is determined by the law of supply and demand. The larger the pool of potential employees, the less the job pays. In a global economy, why would a manufacturer pay "x + $5.00/hr" when they can farm out the job to China where someone will do it for "x"

Every time a government passes some bill that increases the cost of doing business in the city/state/country, they encourage more business to find labor elsewhere.

If you look at a current map of the US and look at which states are growing the fastest, you will see the following. Fewer unions, no minimum wage laws & fewer employment regulations.

If you think it looks different I will leave you with this question; Why hasn't one foreign auto maker moved into Michigan where there is a huuuuuuge surplus of workers available from the old Big Three automakers?

I'm just bummed that a bunch voters thinking they are helping the little guy just voted to do the opposite.

Post mortem comment


Some will argue that we lost our majority because of scandals at home and challenges abroad. I say, we did not just lose our majority, we lost our way.

While the scandals of the 109th Congress harmed our cause, the greatest scandal in Washington, D.C. is runaway federal spending.

After 1994, we were a majority committed to balanced federal budgets, entitlement reform and advancing the principles of limited government. In recent years, our majority voted to expand the federal government's role in education, entitlements and pursued spending policies that created record deficits and national debt.

This was not in the Contract with America and Republican voters said, 'enough is enough.

Our opponents will say that the American people rejected our Republican vision. I say the American people didn't quit on the Contract with America, we did. And in so doing, we severed the bonds of trust between our party and millions of our most ardent supporters.

As the 110th Congress convenes next year, Republicans must cordially accept defeat and dedicate ourselves to advancing our cause as the loyal opposition knowing that the only way to retake our natural, governing majority, is to renew our commitment to limited government, national defense, traditional values and reform.

In 2004, the advice to the Republicans was "Great election, kid. Don't get cocky." They did.

Mike Pence (hopefully the next minority leader)

I couldn't have said better myself

Predictions - the aftermath

The results are undeniable... the GOP took a beating yesterday. If you want anymore of my Nostradomus like prognostications, take the Bengals to win the Super Bowl.

Outside of my underestimated pounding, a couple of things of note; In Ohio, it appears that while the GOP lost the big elections they did not get totally trounced. Steve Chabot, despite being in a 50 - 50 district won by a bigger margin than Jean Schmidt, who looks like she'll barely win in a largely GOP district. Once again, it proves to me that officials who are consistently conservative will always beat a liberal despite any national referendum against the ruling party.

Somehow, people understood enough of Issues 4 & 5 difference to vote their conscience which I believe was to ban smoking statewide.

People in Hamilton County were also astute enough to combine Heimlich and the issue he help craft, issue 12. Unfortunately, they both lost. Just as a note to Heimlich, those Robocalls are obnoxious and are counter productive.

Overall, while I'm disappointed the democrats took over the House & Senate (can you imagine Air America in Washington). The fact of the matter is, I do believe the GOP is in desparate need of a total cleansing. These guys never knew how to govern. As a result, the electorate took it away from them.

Hopefully it will be a lesson learned for the next two years while they get to eat cake.

George Voinovich - Did you watch last night, because you're probably next.

Help Wanted

National political party is currently seeking applicants to run in it's 2008 elections. Candidates need to be able to consistantly articulate conservative values such as low taxes, faith in God and the individual over government and vote accordingly.

If you are a Liberal, your name ends in Taft, Noe, Foley, Ney, Abramhoff, or Cunningham, are likely to take bribes, or can only run a campaign against gay marriage, you need not apply.

Send all applications to Ken Mehlman, Chair of the RNC.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


I know the polls say the GOP is going to take a beating today but I think all the polls have an institutional Democratic bias. Not because of anything nefarious by the pollsters but because I think Conservatives are so much less likely to talk about their politics with pollsters or if they are like me, they lie.

I've noticed this with yard signs. I believe fervent Democrats will always be more willing to post yards signs than Republicans. Republicans just always show up at the poll the counts.... the voting booth. I will never put a political sign in my yard or a bumper sticker on my car for fear of being vandalized (it happened at a Bush rally in '04).

This year I believe there will be a lot of Republicans holding their noses as they cast a vote for Dewine, Blackwell, Montgomery, et al. But they will show up and there will be some that won't show up at all because they're tired of the choice between crap or vomit.

Despite a better GOP turnout than the polls are predicting. I do think the GOP in Ohio is in for a bad day. Of course, the way Ohio Republicans have governed for the past 14 years, we can take solace that 2 years from now we'll still be one the worst business states in the union.

None the less, here are my predictions.

Governor Strickland
Senate Brown
House GOP loses 10 seats
Senate GOP loses 4 seats

Issue 2 passes
Issue 3 passes
Issue 4 passes
Issue 5 passes

In other words, I'll be drowning my sorrows tonight.

Monday, November 06, 2006


One of the things I can't stand is the view point that if you are a conservative you need to vote for Mike Dewine over Sherrod Brown even though Dewine is a "moderate"... whatever that means. Anything else would be a wasted vote.

The fact of the matter is I consider any vote for Mike Dewine a wasted vote. He knows full and well that conservatives would never abandon him when push comes to shove. But as far as I'm concerned he abandoned us. Quite honestly, I don't really know how the voting would be much different if we had Celeste, Metzenbaum and Glenn v. Taft, Voinovich and Dewine.

Dewine's ANWAR vote was the final straw for me. Who exactly was he catering to on that vote?

I know most people think that not voting for Dewine threatens Senate leadership and potential Court appointees. I say that it's time that conservatives send the message "Conservatives win", moderates can be Democrats and lose.


My endorsements for tomorrow's elections

Issue 2 No
Issue 3 No
Issue 4 No
Issue 5 No

Governor Blackwell
District 1 Rep Chabot

All other reps and senators are all varying degrees of socialist so I won't waste an endorsement on them.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Issue 2 redux

Below is a piece about Issue 2 from Wizblog, a much better articulation of why Issue 2 needs to go down.

Ohio Issue 2

Issue 2 supporters would hang out a "No New Business Wanted" sign at the Ohio border, and hurt the very category of workers they purport to help. But hey, they'll feel good about themselves. For a state that already has a poor business climate and high income tax rates, I think a 33% hike in the minimum wage, with additional escalators, will function to hurt the jobs situation more than it helps. Jonathan H. Adler of CWRU, writing at NRO today, says the minimum wage hikes and future built-in increases would be a job-killer for the state.

The economic case against a minimum wage increase is well known. Raising the minimum wage slows job growth by increasing the cost of labor. It is a basic economic truth that when the price of something goes up, the amount demanded declines. So, when the government mandates higher wages, unemployment rises as a direct result. Those workers who keep their jobs may earn more, but this comes at the expense of those who are left without jobs.

Issue Two proponents argue that the majority of minimum-wage workers are adults (over 20) — and thus deserve a raise. The fact is that most minimum-wage earners are between the ages of 16-24 — and two-thirds only work part-time. People in their early twenties are certainly adults, but they are also more likely to be students or living with their families, and are rarely a household’s primary wage earner. A high-school student delivering pizzas, a 23-year-old graduate student who works in a coffee shop, or and a parent who works part-time to supplement his or her spouse’s income while leaving time for family obligations is more likely to earn the minimum wage than a family’s primary wage earner. Indeed, the average family income of minimum-wage earners is over $60,000.

Those who think minimum-wage increases are a matter of social justice ignore the fact that increasing the minimum wage cuts off the lowest rungs on the ladder of economic opportunity. Forty percent of workers earning the minimum wage were unemployed a year earlier, and the typical minimum wage earner does not earn the minimum for long. Most minimum-wage earners receive a raise within a year of employment. As young workers learn new skills, their productivity rises, increasing their value to their current and other potential employers.

For about half of my 29 year career in the employment and job placement industry, part of my job was managing a multi-office temporary services company in the Akron-Cleveland-Canton marketplace. We had a varied practice, with clerical and skilled hourly workers, but in terms of sheer numbers of employees, the biggest segment was what is called "light industrial", what you might call the bottom rung of the employment ladder.

I know conditions vary around the country with farm workers and large immigrant populations, but our market would never support paying minimum wage. And even at starting wages well over minimum, the problem was one of supply, never demand. We're talking about the labor pool after the jobs at the pizza and fast-food joints, mall stores and landscaping companies are taken. The work is often more physically taxing than taking tickets at a theater, or ringing a cash register at Orange Julius, but unlike much of the mall work, the need for labor with these companies is not temporary or seasonal.

Here in the Midwest "Rust Belt", from the mid-eighties into the 00's, we were not paying minimum wage to our unskilled workers, because they were hard enough to find and retain even at significantly higher pay rates. The marketplace was working, and it continues to work. In a job like assembling parts, or packing items in boxes, or taking plastic parts out of a machine, our clients wanted one thing from us as a service provider. Reliable workers. Some of them defined that as loosely as people who show up for work on consecutive days. And you wouldn't believe how often it was difficult to deliver even that. Anyone who owns a business large or small, or who is chartered with hiring entry level, unskilled workers of any sort, will tell you the same thing. It's hard to find people who want to work.

Issue 3

If you saw the ads for issue 3 you would think that we were voting on a tax levy to assure that all Ohio kids will be able to go to college.

There is absolutely no mention of legalized gaming in the state of Ohio.

As a fervent libertatrian, I have no qualms about legalized gaming. However, as that same libertarian, I have a huuuuuge issue with establishing a gaming cartel which sets up geographic and business gaming syndicates much like the Ohio lottery.

A good gaming law would permit localized governments to decide if they want casinos or not.

If Marietta want casino gaming, they should be permitted. If Columbus wants to limit gaming to horse tracks they should be permitted as well.

This law stinks; as it was set up by some individual land owners around the state and to get the public to bite in they wrote the law to sucker voters into believing that there would not be a gaming parlor in their corner of suburbia. In addition, the Argosy people put language in to prohibit Cincinnati from having a Casino thereby limiting competition to their Lawrenceburg shop.

Vote it down.

Capital Gains

There have recently been a number of articles related to the large capital gain distributions being kick out by mutual funds this year.

If you have a large amount of money invested in mutual funds, you may want to call your financial advisor or mutual fund company to see what the capital gain income is going to look like this year.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Issue 2

Imagine that you own a business. After years of operations, you receive a notice from the utility company stating that because of a new state law, your utilities in the state of Ohio will be doubling.

What do you do?

Option 1 You could simply raise your prices and pass along the additional costs to your customer. If you used this option, you must understand that companies in neighboring states are not subject to this law. Therefore, your product will be less price competitive and you will ultimately lose market share.

Option 2 You could cut costs in other areas such as wages or other expenses. Again, this may make you less competitive since you have less to reinvest in the production of your company.

Option 3 You could take less for your return on investment. A viable option but what business owner wants to take less for their efforts when there is yet a better option available.

Option 4 You could move your company to Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana where you could keep your profits and not sacrifice customer service and/or lost business.

This is the exact impact that issue 2 will have on businesses in the State of Ohio. Ohio is already one of the most employee protectionist states in the union and what do we have as a result of that protection?

We have an unemployment rate over 1.0% higher than the national average. You can practically see the moving vans hauling people and goods out of the state to reside in employer friendly states like Tennessee and North Carolina. Manufacturing expansion in this state is practically non existant already.

States, like companies, have to make themselves competitive for employers to want to locate there. This issue makes Ohio tremendously less competitive than our neighboring states. So I'll rephrase the question that I have in recent posts.

Would the passage of issue 2 make it more or less likely that the Honda plant going to Greensburg Indiana would come to Ohio? I'm sure the average Ohio would rather have those jobs than pizza delivery jobs in their communities.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Tax cuts

Let's assume you are rich and as a result of the Republican "tax cuts for the rich" you had an extra $10,000.00. What would you do with it?

I figure that you would have one of three choices.

You could spend it. Let's assume you put an addition on your palacial estate that would spur jobs for the tradesmen and contractors all of which are notoriously middle class.

You could save it. Let's assume you put the money in the bank that would increase the amount of capital the bank would have thus lowering interest rates for middle class home owners.

You could donate it to charity. A wild one since we all know that rich people don't give to charity. But since you're not rich, you decide your tax cut would go to charity. what would be wrong with that.

In fact, what would be wrong with any of these uses?

Can anyone out there give me a good reason as too how a tax cut for the rich is a bad idea? If so please email me at

Influential blogs

I'm still working out some of the nuances of posting and linking....

A few of my favorite blogs

Check them out.

From Liberal to Libertarian

I'm often asked how does a guy who voted for Mike Dukakis manage to become a flaming libertarian?

The answer is, once one understands that a government that arbitrarily confiscates wealth from one person and gives it to another, regardless of how benevolent the intent, a new moral code has established by the state.

For instance, if the government can steal a $100.00 from me and use it for health care for the poor, then why can't I steal a $100.00 from you on the justification that I can use that money for a better purpose than you might have. It's the exact same rationale.

Growing up in a union home, I was constantly bombarded by messages about "the man" and how the rich were out to hold the working man down. It wasn't until I started meeting "rich" people that I started to get that the "rich" have the same hopes, dreams, and aspirations as others for their children. They tend to be of equal, if not higher, character than the average working class individual. They don't have the time to hold anyone down..... they're working.

If I need to reach my richest clients on a Saturday morning, they won't be on a golf course... they'll be in their offices and factories working. In fact, of my ten wealthiest clients I believe that only one actually owns a set of golf clubs.

Why should someone else have claim to the wealth created by that work and dedication?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Blackwell for governor

For the state of Ohio, I find that this election may be the most important election in the state's history for the long term viability of the state's economy.

There are several issues that will define our state as a continued expansion of a welfare/socialist state or define it as a pro-business, 21st century, state. I intend to be more specific down the road but there is no doubt that the choice for governor will be a pro labor anti business candidate, Ted Strickland v. the anti gov't, pro business, candidate Ken Blackwell.

As someone who has been an Ohioan his entire life, there is nothing I hate more than to continually see quality jobs leave this state for Kentucky, Florida, Mexico, or China because of the tremendous burden (both tax and bureacratic) this state places on employers.

As you vote next week I ask everyone to ask themselves one question, will this candidate or issue make it more likely to start or relocate their business in Ohio and vote accordingly.


Initial post

Today is my initial posting to my blog. Hopefully it works

Taxman 10/30/06 4:04 pm