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I’m Baaaack

I know, where the Hell have I been? I wrote an earlier post called “Musings From the Treadmill of Life.” This one should be called, “Ravings From the Other End of the Wormhole!” Jeeze, one can gut busy and, well, no excuses. All I can say is that casa Bonfiglio has been a beehive of activity since last I wrote, in a combination of do-it-ourselves construction, getting my cookbook, “Second Helpings” ready to be marketed, practicing law and attending to family, and…well you get the picture. In the interim, we (you, not me) re-elected Obama, got blasted by Mo’s real namesake, Hurricane Sandy, celebrated another Thanksgiving, have inched closer to the Mayan deadline of 12/21/12, and are in full Christmas preparation, amongst other things. Here’s my quick take on all of it.
I admit I was surprised (no, shocked is a better word) to see Obama re-elected, given the state of the economy and his lack of any clearly defined agenda for the next four years. I see the pundits blamed Romney for sitting on his initial debate win, but frankly, when you look at the numbers, it is very much a repeat of 2008, with the election actually being decided in a narrow group of counties in several States that remain doggedly Democrat, for reasons having mostly to do with entrenched entitlements. You can doubt that, but the reality is necessarily going to be exposed when we either go over the financial cliff, by not securing a deal to address the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and deal with the deficit; or, make some 11th hour deal that is guaranteed to not do anything but postpone the inevitable. I would counsel you watching matters unfold with an eye on what is happening in Europe, as they are the first domino in the game.
You can doubt my assertions, but I’m more confident in this unfolding as I see it than I was that Romney would win, as this isn’t about projecting voting patterns but the inevitable consequences of spending more than you take in. You can get on the band wagon and urge socking it to the wealthy, but if history is any guide, it won’t work. As I am old enough to remember, regardless of any attendant mental infirmity, the British had confiscatory tax rates at one time, and many of their millionaires, including several of the Beetles, went and expatriated themselves, and their assets. The French have just done likewise and are being met with the same results. It is good to be wealthy, not only because of what wealth can buy you, but because it is so damned portable, the wealth, that is. If we attempt the same thing here, it will fail for the same reasons. If you doubt that, go on the web and look at the asset drain that has hit California, then project that out to New York and the other Blue States that have a lot of millionaires in residence.
Frankly, if you accept that the top 1% pays almost 37% of all federal taxes and the top 25% pays 87.3% of all taxes, they’re already proportionately over-taxed. I mean, really, regardless of your income, is it “fair” to take more than half of anyone’s earnings? God only asks for 10% of your income — why should governments get more? Because they spend it better? On what? Solar power? Electric cars? Bridges to nowhere?
This is how it really works. Governments, even ours, are rated on how they appear to be able to repay their debts. Who rates them? Companies that get paid by investors to rate them. These investors include individuals, pension and other investment funds, State and local governments with money to invest and countries, like China, who has bought a ton of our debt. The rating services have already warned that downward rating of America’s credit rating is going to happen if we don’t address the National Deficit issue. If we get downgraded, the cost of borrowing goes up, and ultimately the pool of investors willing to buy our debt goes down. A double whammy, so to speak. Their willingness to buy our debt, and the rates they charge for it, are not a matter of national pride, or political affiliation, it is, as they say in “The Godfather,” “nothing personal, just business!” Indeed. You tell me, when we run out of money, whom will the government determine not to pay?
You can continue to doubt this, but I will tell you to look at Greece, where unemployment is now over 25%, it cannot borrow at decent interest rates and there is rioting in the streets, and things are just beginning to heat up. Before you say it can’t happen here, remember the French said that when Poland went down to the Germans. We won’t have to worry about China sending in troops in to repossess real property to pay off our debt. Just tell social security pensioners, or those collecting unemployment benefits or others getting regular checks from the government, “This month’s check will be delayed a bit. We’ll let you know when it’s on its way.” Can you picture in your mind’s eye what will happen next?
Well, enough of this good cheer, let’s move on to natural disaster. I’m happy to report Mo and I suffered no significant ill affects from Hurricane Sandy. Would that I could say likewise for many of our neighbors in Coney Island, Breezy Point, Staten Island, The south shore of Long Island and the Jersey shore. I don’t mean to exclude other areas severely affected, but we know of specific cases in all that I iterated, and they were all bad, and much worse than what got reported by our illustrious mainstream media, likely for the same reasons they didn’t have much to report on when our Ambassador to Libya was murdered. I can speak with some authority on the subject because my sister and eldest daughter volunteered to help out in Staten Island, and returned, tired, saddened and horrified by what they saw. I have mixed reviews on the efficacy of FEMA. Some of my clients reported receiving checks within days, others say they were given the paper-work run-around and still haven’t seen one. As this is a government agency, I would not expect anything remotely approximating that which we insist upon in private enterprise. I was disheartened to see some local thugs in Jersey actually telling volunteer electrical workers from North Carolina, to go home, and worse, simply because they were non-union. I suspect that rather typifies where we are at as a society and don’t expect it to improve any time soon.
One of the reasons I don’t is because of the now prevalent attacks on any municipality or school actually recognizing Christmas as a holiday and a festive occasion. Why? Because atheists are made uncomfortable by such displays of well meaning spirit? That is ludicrous. Putting up a Christmas tree or wreath on a government building is no more state sponsorship of religion than the Post Office issuing a stamp celebrating the religion of Islam. But it is apparently fashionable to bash any open displays of religious conviction, even in these difficult times, where a little more, dare I say, Christian charity, might go a long way towards comforting others? Well, it appears free speech, or at least free, conservative speech is also under fire, presently from my law school alma mater, Fordham University, where, recently Ann Coulter was dis-invited from speaking, apparently because of political views. As Fordham is not a governmental agency, free speech, as it is protected under the Constitution, is only as free as the administration desires to have it, and they’re not having any, this year. I take this as further indicia the Mayans may be right, but note also that NASA has seen fit to pronounce that all this publicity being given the alleged Mayan apocalypse, is making the youth of America fret. Me? I remember when they were a space agency, looking to visit the moon and other planets, and not a shill for the proponents of man-made global warming, and the re-distribution of wealth, globally. I’m believing they will still have a budget when Congress decides to pass one.
I can plainly see it was probably better that I was as busy as I was so that these diatribes had a chance to cool down and get less edgy, if indeed they did. I will do my best to keep up, from now on and get some good thoughts out there to ponder. Till then, Merry Christmas, to all who are un-offended by my saying so, and a very, Merry Christmas, to all who are!

This Post Has 96 Comments

  1. Uncle Will says:

    Certainly covered a lot of ground. I like the name of the cook book and hope it gets to print before I head up to the big card game waiting for me. The election is over as they say and I hope everyone who voted to keep this anti-American president in office get everything they have coming to them. I wonder what will be left in four years. Certainly the liberal press won’t report on it, Congress will still be appointing a special prosecutor and some of the riots might even make the nightly news. Maybe the Mayans considered this election as the end of the world. The GOP should find a couple of Mayans and hire them. Well Christmas is upon us even for those supposed unbelievers. I wonder what their final words are when the grim reaper arrives, I’m sure it won’t be there is no God, but rather God forgive me, just in case.

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