tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:/posts Cory + Politics 2015-05-29T04:09:13Z Cory Watilo tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/610101 2013-10-17T18:39:49Z 2013-10-17T18:39:49Z This guy for 2016

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/606142 2013-10-04T01:48:02Z 2013-10-08T17:30:58Z We can't live without government

In light of the government shutdown, I thought I'd share a couple things we can't do without government.

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/583577 2013-06-10T22:58:03Z 2013-10-08T17:26:17Z When people say Obama is a puppet, this is what they mean

Go watch this video: http://nation.foxnews.com/2013/06/07/%E2%80%9Cuhhh%E2%80%A6uh%E2%80%A6uhhh%E2%80%A6people%E2%80%9D-obama-total-loss-words-when-staff-forgets-his-speech

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/477102 2013-01-22T19:58:00Z 2013-10-08T17:03:40Z Chris Christie on Congress

It's why the American people hate Congress. Unlike the people in Congress, we have actual responsibilities.

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/477121 2012-12-31T04:23:00Z 2013-10-08T17:03:40Z California School District Owes $1 Billion On $100 Million Loan : NPR

More than 200 school districts across California are taking a second look at the high price of the debt they've taken on using risky financial arrangements. Collectively, the districts have borrowed billions in loans that defer payments for years — leaving many districts owing far more than they borrowed.

In 2010, officials at the West Contra Costa School District, just east of San Francisco, were in a bind. The district needed $2.5 million to help secure a federally subsidized $25 million loan to build a badly needed elementary school.

Charles Ramsey, president of the school board, says he needed that $2.5 million upfront, but the district didn't have it.

Why would you leave $25 million on the table? You would never leave $25 million on the table.

- Charles Ramsey, school board president, West Contra Costa School District

"We'd be foolish not to take advantage of getting $25 million" when the district had to spend just $2.5 million to get it, Ramsey says. "The only way we could do it was with a [capital appreciation bond]."

Those bonds, known as CABs, are unlike typical bonds, where a school district is required to make immediate and regular payments. Instead, CABs allow districts to defer payments well into the future — by which time lots of interest has accrued.

In the West Contra Costa Schools' case, that $2.5 million bond will cost the district a whopping $34 million to repay.

'The School District Equivalent Of A Payday Loan'

Ramsey says it was a good deal, because his district is getting a brand-new $25 million school. "You'd take that any day," he says. "Why would you leave $25 million on the table? You would never leave $25 million on the table."

But that doesn't make the arrangement a good deal, says California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer. "It's the school district equivalent of a payday loan or a balloon payment that you might obligate yourself for," Lockyer says. "So you don't pay for, maybe, 20 years — and suddenly you have a spike in interest rates that's extraordinary."

It's so irresponsible, that if I were on a school board — which I was, 40 years ago — I would get rid of that superintendent.

- Bill Lockyer, California state treasurer

Lockyer is poring through a database collected by the Los Angeles Times of school districts that have recently used capital appreciation bonds. In total, districts have borrowed about $3 billion to finance new school construction, maintenance and educational materials. But the actual payback on those loans will exceed $16 billion.

Some of the bonds can be refinanced, but most cannot, Lockyer says.

Perhaps the best example of the CAB issue is suburban San Diego's Poway Unified School District, which borrowed a little more than $100 million. But "debt service will be almost $1 billion," Lockyer says. "So, over nine times amount of the borrowing. There are worse ones, but that's pretty bad."

A Statewide Problem

The superintendent of the Poway School District, John Collins, wasn't available for comment. But he recently defended his district's use of capital appreciation bonds in an interview with San Diego's KPBS Investigative Newsource.

"Poway has done nothing different than every other district in the state of California," Collins told the program.

And he's right. In some cases, districts are on the hook to pay back anywhere between 10 and even 20 times the amount they borrowed.

But Lockyer says it distresses him to hear school officials defend these bonds.

"It's so irresponsible, that if I were on a school board — which I was, 40 years ago — I would get rid of that superintendent," Lockyer says.

Back in the '90s, the state of Michigan banned capital appreciation bonds altogether. But Lockyer says California needn't go that far. He supports a series of reforms such as capping the payback of debt to four times the amount borrowed. Otherwise, says Lockyer, these bonds will be paid well into the future, by the children of today's students.

via npr.org

Unbelievable.

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/477142 2012-08-29T17:11:00Z 2013-10-08T17:03:41Z Things we have now that we didn't have 100 years ago
  • Accounts Receivable Tax
  • Building Permit Tax 
  • CDL license Tax 
  • Cigarette Tax 
  • Corporate Income Tax 
  • Dog License Tax 
  • Excise Taxes 
  • Federal Income Tax 
  • Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA) 
  • Fishing License Tax 
  • Food License Tax 
  • Fuel Permit Tax 
  • Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon) 
  • Gross Receipts Tax 
  • Hunting License Tax 
  • Inheritance Tax 
  • Inventory Tax 
  • IRS Interest Charges
  • IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax) 
  • Liquor Tax 
  • Luxury Taxes 
  • Marriage License Tax 
  • Medicare Tax 
  • Personal Property Tax 
  • Property Tax 
  • Real Estate Tax 
  • Service Charge Tax 
  • Social Security Tax 
  • Road Usage Tax 
  • Recreational Vehicle Tax 
  • Sales Tax 
  • School Tax 
  • State Income Tax 
  • State Unemployment Tax (SUTA) 
  • Telephone Federal Excise Tax 
  • Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax 
  • Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes 
  • Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax 
  • Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax 
  • Telephone State and Local Tax 
  • Telephone Usage Charge Tax 
  • Utility Taxes 
  • Vehicle License Registration Tax 
  • Vehicle Sales Tax 
  • Watercraft Registration Tax 
  • Well Permit Tax 
  • Workers Compensation Tax 

And you thought I was going to say skyscrapers, planes and Starbucks.

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/477165 2012-06-28T15:19:00Z 2013-10-08T17:03:41Z It's the largest news story of the decade and CNN gets the verdict 100% wrong

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/477184 2012-06-23T07:04:00Z 2013-10-08T17:03:41Z "I'm not going to make any excuses."

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/477205 2012-06-06T23:50:00Z 2013-10-08T17:03:41Z Taxes you pay when you buy a car

When you buy a new car, you pay "tax and license." But did you know you're paying a lot more than just sales tax? Lumped into the "tax" are a bunch of little taxes, likely going to bogus government programs that likely have little to no oversight as to how the funds are spent. This is why I always vote against tax increases. And thanks to this litany of fees, you're likely to pay 10% more than the negotiated price when buying a vehicle.

Here's the full list of taxes that California drivers pay when purchasing a new vehicle:

  • California Highway Patrol Fee
  • County Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies Fee
  • Fingerprint ID Fee
  • Smog High Polluter Repair Fee
  • Smog Abatement Fee
  • Alternate Fuel/Tech Smog Fee
  • Alternate Fuel/Tech Registration Fee
  • Auto Theft and/or DUI Crime Deterrence Program
  • Air Quality Management District Fee
  • South Coast Air Basin Fee - really??
  • City Sales Tax
  • Reflectorized License Plate Fee (shouldn't this be covered by registration?)

At some point, I'd love to look into where this money actually goes and how it's really spent. My guess is there would be a lot more outrage if people actually paid attention to where they don't even know their money is going.

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/477227 2012-06-06T16:52:00Z 2013-10-08T17:03:42Z Has CNN given up on breaking news?

I find it laughable that when the Scott Walker recall results came in last night, it took CNN eight minutes to break the news. Rather than breaking down election results, they were re-airing the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. I'll just assume Wolf Blitzer was in the bathroom when the results came in.

Here's a breakdown of what the networks were saying when the results were released.

source

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/477262 2012-05-31T23:28:00Z 2013-10-08T17:03:42Z "It's okay to ban large sodas, because they made me fat."

Coca-Cola Co and McDonald's Corp fired back at New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg on Thursday for proposing a ban of large-sized soft drinks at restaurants and other food service outlets.

"New Yorkers expect and deserve better than this. They can make their own choices about the beverages they purchase," Coca-Cola said in a statement.

...

The statement from Coke comes a day after Mayor Bloomberg said he was proposing an amendment to the city's health code to prohibit food service outlets from selling sugary soft drinks larger than 16 ounces.

But as long as the ban only limits the size of the container, and not what is actually in it, some people think it is OK.

"I don't necessarily think it is such a bad thing," Sean Cashin, 47, told Reuters at a McDonald's restaurant in Manhattan. "(Soda) is my drug of choice and I am dealing with the consequences of it," Cashin said, referring to a struggle with his weight.

source

It's unbelievable that Mayor Bloomberg is trying to limit the size of soft drinks sold in New York City, even more sickening that some Americans are okay with the plan.

The above quote from Sean Cashin is disappointing. Simply because he's overweight, due in part to his soda addiction, he's okay with the proposal. He is essentially saying, "people shouldn't drink large sodas because they made me fat." Last I checked, the idea behind America was that other people couldn't tell us what to do.

I haven't had a sip of soda since my late teens. That's a personal choice because I care about my health and recognize just how terrible soda is for the body. Thanks to recent campaigns, nearly all Americans are aware about the health ramifications of drinking large sodas every day for an entire lifetime. But you know what? That should be a choice we make individually. It's not the role of government to tell us what to drink or how much we should have of it. They shouldn't be telling us what we can and can't consume and how much of it we're allowed to put in our bodies.

The really worrisome part is the limiting or banning of items is a slippery slope. Right now, Bloomberg is only trying to legislate the size of drinks, but he's already banned things like trans fats. We can all agree that trans fats are bad, but what happens when he decides to ban ice cream, artifical sweeteners, or other things that aren't so black and white?

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/477290 2012-05-01T00:01:00Z 2013-10-08T17:03:42Z Why I like the 2nd amendment

There's a lot of controversy about the 2nd amendment and if people should be allowed to own guns in America. I recently saw a pro-2nd amendment email forward, and while I'll spare you from most of it, I picked out a few of my favorites to share. These should sum up why I'm anti-gun control.

I was once asked by a lady visiting if I had a gun in the house?  I said I did.  She said, "Well I certainly hope it isn't loaded!"  To which I said, "Of course it is loaded, it can't work without bullets!"  She then asked, "Are you that afraid of someone evil coming into your house?"  My reply was, "No not at all.  I am not afraid of the house catching fire either, but I have fire extinguishers around, and they are all loaded too."

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/477305 2012-04-12T19:31:00Z 2013-10-08T17:03:43Z Top Obama campaign donor accused of fraud

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A major donor to President Barack Obama has been accused of defrauding a businessman and impersonating a bank official, creating new headaches for Obama's re-election campaign as it deals with the questionable history of another top supporter.

The New York donor, Abake Assongba, and her husband contributed more than $50,000 to Obama's re-election effort this year, federal records show. But Assongba is also fending off a civil court case in Florida, where she's accused of thieving more than $650,000 to help build a multimillion-dollar home in the state - a charge her husband denies.

Obama is the only presidential contender this year who released his list of "bundlers," the financiers who raise campaign money by soliciting high-dollar contributions from friends and associates. But that disclosure has not come without snags; his campaign returned $200,000 last month to Carlos and Alberto Cardona, the brothers of a Mexican fugitive wanted on federal drug charges.

Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt declined comment to The Associated Press. He instead referred the AP to previous statements he made to The Washington Post, which first reported the allegations against Assongba in its Sunday editions. LaBolt told the paper 1.3 million Americans have donated to the campaign, and that it addresses issues with contributions promptly.

Assongba was listed on Obama's campaign website as one of its volunteer fundraisers - a much smaller group of about 440 people.

Assongba and her husband, Anthony J.W. DeRosa, run a charity called Abake's Foundation that distributes school supplies and food in Benin, Africa. A photo posted on Assongba's Facebook page shows the couple standing next to Obama at a May 2010 fundraiser.

In one Florida case, which is still ongoing, Swiss businessman Klaus-Werner Pusch accused Assongba in 2009 of engaging him in an email scam - then using the money to buy a multimillion-dollar home, the Post reported. The suit alleges Assongba impersonated a bank official to do it. Pusch referred the AP's questions to his attorney, who did not immediately return requests seeking comment Sunday.

Meanwhile, Assongba has left a trail of debts, with a former landlord demanding in court more than $10,000 in back rent and damages for a previous apartment. She was also evicted in 2004 after owing $5,000 in rent, records show.

In an interview with the AP on Sunday, DeRosa said the allegations against his wife were untrue, although he couldn't discuss specifics because of pending litigation. He said he and Assongba were "very perturbed" by the charges, and said the couple's charity does important work in Africa.

Assongba has given more than $70,000 to Democratic candidates in recent years, an AP review of Federal Election Commission data shows. Her larger contributions include $35,000 to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee between Obama and the Democratic Party, and $15,000 to Democrats running for Congress. DeRosa also gave $15,000 to Obama's victory fund in April 2011, records show.

Abake's Foundation is listed by the IRS as a registered nonprofit organization; its financial reports were unavailable. A representative who picked up the phone at the foundation's Benin office declined to answer questions, and instead referred the AP to Assongba.

Obama's campaign declined to comment on whether its vetting procedures were thorough enough, or whether Assongba's contribution would be refunded. All told, Obama has raised more than $120 million this election, not counting millions more from the Democratic Party - giving him a financial advantage thus far over any of his Republican challengers.

How come this stuff never makes headline news?

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/477321 2012-04-12T19:18:00Z 2013-10-08T17:03:43Z Paul Ryan: "Obama's partisan speeches are an attempt to distract from his own failure to lead."

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/477336 2012-04-12T19:10:00Z 2013-10-08T17:03:43Z Warren Buffett’s Company Owes Nearly $1 Billion in Taxes

Update: Warren Buffetts Company Owes Nearly $1 Billion in Taxes

On Monday, The Blaze reported that Warren Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, owes back taxes dating to 2002. The news is significant because in a recent op-ed column for the New York Times, Buffett, one of President Obama’s staunchest supporters, stated that, to now, the “super wealthy” have been coddled and deserve to be taxed at an even higher rate than they currently are.

When Buffett made his revelation earlier in the month, most assumed his company was up-t0-date on its taxes. That assumption has turned out to be incorrect, however — and to a substantial degree perhaps.

According to Berkshire’s 2010 annual report, the company has been in a near decade-long struggle with the IRS over its own taxes. Using public documents, a certified public accountant detailed Berkshire’s tax problems to Americans for Limited Government researcher Richard McCarty, revealing the damage could be close to $1 billion. Netright Daily adds:

According to page 56 of the company report, “At December 31, 2010… net unrecognized tax benefits were $1,005 million”, or about $1 billion. McCarty explained, “Unrecognized tax benefits represent the company’s potential future obligation to the IRS and other taxing authorities.  They have to be recorded in the company’s financial statements.”

He added, “The notation means that Berkshire Hathaway’s own auditors have probably said that $1 billion is more likely than not owed to the government.”

$1 billion is not an insignificant chunk of change, even for Buffett, representing about 0.2 percent of the company’s $372 billion in total assets.

The annual report goes on to state: “We anticipate that we will resolve all adjustments proposed by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (‘IRS’) for the 2002 through 2004 tax years at the IRS Appeals Division within the next 12 months. The IRS has completed its examination of our consolidated U.S. federal income tax returns for the 2005 and 2006 tax years and the proposed adjustments are currently being reviewed by the IRS Appeals Division process. The IRS is currently auditing our consolidated U.S. federal income tax returns for the 2007 through 2009 tax years.”

Meanwhile, McCarty believes Berkshire‘s current issues may be consistent with the company’s long-time history regarding taxes, noting,  “this is not the first time that Berkshire Hathaway has tangled with the IRS.”

“They fought a 14-year battle over the dividends received deduction. That case was just resolved in 2005,” McCarty said.

Before knowing just how much Buffett’s company owed, the press were quick to blast the mogul for his apparent hypocrisy.

On Monday the New York Post reported:

Obvious question: If Buffett really thinks he and his “mega-rich friends” should pay higher taxes, why doesn’t his firm fork over what it already owes under current rates?

Likely answer: He cares more about shilling for President Obama — who’s practically made socking “millionaires and billionaires” his re-election theme song — than about kicking in more himself.

While the site Mogulite jumped into the fray:

Ironic, isn’t it? When Warren Buffett penned that op-ed demanding he be taxed more, we assumed that meant he had actually paid his taxes. Not quite the case. Buffett’s famed company, Berkshire Hathaway, owes taxes that are nearly a decade old.

[...] They promise they’ll work it out with the IRS within the next year. Can’t Buffett just take a little out of his piggybank and pay up? For a man who so actively preaches honesty and integrity, we’re a little baffled as to why Berkshire won’t just fork over what it owes.

If the press came down hard on Buffett before — for merely learning his company owed back taxes at all — one can only imagine how the tycoon might be disparaged now that we’ve learned just how much his company could owe the IRS.

Interesting, especially since he wants to raise taxes on others. Maybe he should pay his own tax bill first?

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/477339 2012-03-10T20:10:00Z 2013-10-08T17:03:43Z Is this the dumbest person in the Obama administration?

This woman apparently knows nothing about anything relating to her job.

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/477366 2012-03-07T03:57:00Z 2013-10-08T17:03:43Z The beauty of free market capitalism
On Saturday, Carbonite CEO David Friend released a statement on his company’s website declaring that Carbonite had decided to “withdraw” advertising from Rush Limbaugh’s radio show in the wake of his controversial remarks involving Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke because it will “ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse”:

Even though Mr. Limbaugh has now issued an apology, we have nonetheless decided to withdraw our advertising from his show. We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse.

However, it hasn’t done much to contribute to his company’s stock price. Since the market opened on Monday through its close today, Carbonite stock (NASDAQ:CARB) has plummeted nearly 12 percent, outpacing the drop of the NASDAQ index in that same time period by nine-and-a-half points. It was also one of the biggest decliners on the NASDAQ on Tuesday.
Capitalism at its finest.
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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/477389 2012-02-26T04:47:00Z 2013-10-08T17:03:44Z Government waste (and personal examples)

Our government is wasteful, and it permeates throughout all levels. (If you don't believe me, just do a Google search on the topic or read this.)

I have two minor, personal examples, one at the federal level and one at the local level.

IRS

Last year, I sent the IRS a letter contesting my taxes. Months later, I received a letter back that essentially said, "We received your inquiry. We haven't had a chance to read it yet, so we'll send you another letter once we do."

Not helpful. A waste of paper, envelope, and probably a stamp.

Here's my most recent example.

City Citation

A couple weeks ago, I got a ticket for an expired tag on my license. I mailed my check the last possible day I could, just because I like to hang onto my money as long as I possibly can. Today I received a follow-up letter telling me my ticket was still unpaid. So I logged into their payment processing website (another total scam - they probably take half of all payments in processing fees) to find my payment was actually received on time.

What happened? My payment was probably received the same day their follow-up letter went out. Had they waited a day, they would have processed my payment. It would have saved another letter, envelope, and probably a stamp.

Multiply these pointless letters, envelopes and stamps by the hundreds of thousands, plus add in the cost of the people we pay to stuff these letter, the ink used for these notices, the energy used by the printers, and the extra resources it takes the Postal Service to deliver these letters, and it all adds up.

I'm so tired of paying the ridiculous taxes I do when it goes to crap like this.

One day, I will fight to eliminate this kind of government waste.

Until then, I'll just complain about it.

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/477403 2012-02-24T00:18:00Z 2013-10-08T17:03:44Z What the 99% protestors fail to understand

The 99% protests going on around the country over the past few months have focused on a few specific points, one of which is the complaint that the amount of money CEOs of large companies make is "unfair" compared to the janitors for the same companies.

I recently heard a quote from the founder of Staples on John Stossel's program, and it summarized so perfectly what these protestors fail to understand:

Hard work should be rewarded. And generally speaking, if you meet the people who run these companies, they work their butts off. The perception of the public is these guys are flying around in private jets going from golf tournaments to fancy dinners. The reality is these are 80-hour-a-week - and these days in the internet age - 24x7 jobs with huge stress and... if anything good happens to you where you might get a bonus, you're subject to scrutinty in the media.

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/477410 2012-02-24T00:01:00Z 2015-05-29T04:09:13Z Typical liberal

I saw this on Facebook and it was too good to not repost.

source

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/477414 2012-02-09T05:25:00Z 2013-10-08T17:03:44Z Throw a frisbee on a Los Angeles beach and get slapped with a $1,000 fine

It seems like every day, more freedom is being stripped from us. In Los Angeles County, you can no longer throw a frisbees or football on the beach, nor dig a hole deeper than 18 inches. Violate one of these rules and you will be slapped with a $1,000 fine.

Today it was reported that Los Angeles County has decided to enforce a ban on "tossing, throwing, kicking or rolling any ball, tube or other...object other than a beach ball or beach volleyball" on all county beaches, unless you get a permit.

In passing the 37-page ordinance on Tuesday, officials sought to outline responsibilities for law enforcement and other public agencies while also providing clarification on beach-goer activities that could potentially disrupt or even injure the public.

I am at a loss for words. This is complete absurdity. What happened to America?

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/477418 2012-01-25T23:52:00Z 2013-10-08T17:03:44Z Why Warren Buffett doesn't pay less in taxes than his secretary

Last night, for the seemingly millionth time, President Obama said that Warren Buffett's secretary paid more in taxes last year than Buffett, himself. Obama is comparing apples and oranges, and it's not a fair comparison. I was going to write my own comparison, but I found one that explains it perfectly:

Buffett is comparing two different taxes. One is a tax on income, one is a tax on investments. They are two different taxes on two different things. Warren Buffett has already been taxed on that money. Here’s an oversimplification to explain what I mean.

You earn $100 in salary.

TAX #1: Uncle Sam takes $35, leaving you with $65.

You then invest that $65, and that investment earns 10% or $6.50.

TAX #2: Of that new $6.50, Uncle Sam takes another $1.

Now, add up the earnings: the original $100 + $6.50 = $106.50.

And, add up the taxes: $35 + $1 = $36.

On $106.50 in earnings, you were taxed $36, or 33.8%,– about double the rate Warren Buffet claims he’s paying.  This gets more complicated with margin, outside investment, and a million other variables, but this how it works in general.  (Dividends are worse: you get taxed on initial income, the company gets taxed on their profits, then when they give you a slice, it gets taxed again.)

So, how does Buffett justify his low tax numbers? He acts as if TAX #1 never occurred. Then he tells you that the rate of TAX #2 is too low. It’s a completely disingenuous shell game.

source

There are also other variables involved, like how Buffett's secretary likely paid a much lower tax rate for her income bracket after deductions and other factors.

I was shocked to see Obama try to use this example to his advantage last night. The article I quoted was written over 3 months ago. This is an old argument that's been disproven over and over again, and yet he still gets away with it because most people simply haven't looked up the facts for themselves.

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/477421 2011-11-02T16:12:00Z 2013-10-08T17:03:44Z "Can Irvine be duplicated elsewhere in the future?" An interview with Donald Bren.

The City of Irvine is one of the best examples of a successful, master planned community in the United States. Recently its owner, Donald Bren, was interviewed about land planning and development. The following answer was one I found interesting.

Can Irvine be duplicated elsewhere in the future?

Donald Bren: The government regulatory and environmental restrictions have become so overwhelming for large-scale projects that they are not feasible going forward… There is little opportunity to problem solve and get on with the business of new development. Government regulatory and environmental restrictions at the local, regional, state and federal level are just overwhelming, not to mention the numerous legal challenges that follow.

The entire interview is pretty interesting. You can watch it here.

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/477152 2011-10-27T22:57:00Z 2013-10-08T17:03:41Z Border patrol agent gets 2 years jail for lifting handcuffs of uncooperative drug smuggler, smuggler set free

What's wrong with our government and our judicial system? I'll tell you.

There's something wrong when an underage drug smuggler is set free because his civil "rights" were violated when a border patrol agent supposedly lifted the handcuffs of the uncooperative smuggler, forcing him to the ground. And instead of the smuggler going to jail, the border patrol agent is sentenced to 2 years in prison.

Texas border patrol agent Jesus Diaz has 6 children, one of which he has never held since they were born after his sentencing. Governor Rick Perry has done nothing to help.

Our government and judicial system are siding with the "rights" of illegal aliens over the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect our borders. That is what's wrong.

Absolutely disgusting.

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/477175 2011-10-12T18:02:00Z 2013-10-08T17:03:41Z Three out of the past five Camden mayors have been sent to prison for corruption...

 CAMDEN, TWO NJ TOWNS ABOUT TO GO BROKE

Stacy ProebstleAn analysis by Moody's examines the nine towns with the worst credit ratings, and three are from New Jersey. Camden, Harrison and Salem are on the brink of going broke.

Coming in at No. 9 on the list is Camden. The city has been beset with money issues for quite a while, highlighted by a mass layoff of its police officers and firefighters earlier this year. 

Moody's notes that "more than half of Camden's real estate is tax-exempt, hampering already weak tax collections." The city has had a speculative grade credit rating since 1998. And it doesn't help that three out of the past five Camden mayors have been sent to prison for corruption, the most recent in 2001.

Camden isn't the sole Jersey city on the list. It is joined by Salem and Harrison, coming in at Nos. 6 and 4, respectively. Both towns have stumbled financially in part because of bad investments.

Scott Rothbort, Professor of Finance at Seton Hall University, says its not hard to figure out why Camden is on the list. "That town has not done much in terms of attracting industry or business in the last decade or more."

If there's one problem, Rothbort says, its that New Jersey is made up of too many small towns. "There are too many individual political units within the state and I think that is something that will probably come back to haunt New Jersey."

Rothbort says a good way for towns to get out of the red would be to merge. "A lot of these smal towns should seriously consider about merging, a lot of them have tried to share services but I think you have to go beyond that."

source

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/477211 2011-10-07T16:53:00Z 2013-10-08T17:03:42Z Is it okay for anti-corporate protesters to use corporate products? via @georgepwood

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/477232 2011-08-06T16:58:00Z 2013-10-08T17:03:42Z On the rise and fall of superpowers

Much has been written about how complicated the downfall of Rome was, but the recipe was actually pretty simple, and has since been replicated countless times: A great civilization arises. The state encroaches on freedom and demands more power. People take less responsibility for themselves and want more handouts from the government. Taxes go up to pay for the handouts. The size of government explodes and economic growth slows. The government seeks to divert the public's attention from what is really going on to "bread and circuses." Collapse, economic or otherwise, ensues.

- Glenn Beck in Broke

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/477252 2011-08-04T22:30:00Z 2013-10-08T17:03:42Z Obama Turns 50 Despite Republican Opposition

Gotta love The Onion.

Obama Turns 50 Despite Republican Opposition

AUGUST 4, 2011 | ISSUE 47•31

WASHINGTON—After months of heated negotiations and failed attempts to achieve any kind of consensus, President Obama turned 50 years old Thursday, drawing strong criticism from Republicans in Congress. "With the host of problems this country is currently facing, the fact that our president is devoting time to the human process of aging is an affront to Americans everywhere," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who advocated a provision to keep Obama 49 at least through the fall of 2013. "To move forward unilaterally and simply begin the next year of his life without bipartisan support—is that any way to lead a country?" According to White House officials, Obama attempted to work with Republicans right up until the Aug. 4 deadline, but was ultimately left with no choice except to turn a year older.

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/477286 2011-07-28T23:32:00Z 2013-10-08T17:03:42Z What happens when the government runs things like Amtrak

Attorney Lee Doren tells a story of the mismanagement and operation of the Amtrak train he tried to take (where, among other things, the train he and other passengers board actually didn't have an engine). The segment ends around 4:05 when he changes topics.

He explains how a frustrated woman on the train exclaimed, "If a government entity were in charge of this, this would never happen. It's all because it's a corporation." Unfortunately what this woman clearly doesn't realize is that the government DOES run - own and operate - Amtrak. Lee tried to set her straight, but she was convinced Amtrak was privately owned and operated and not run by the government.

Lee went on to say, "This is what we have to deal with, and these people vote."

But it's true. If a non-government entity ran Amtrak, do you think any of the people responsible for the misoperation of the train he was on would still have jobs? It's doubtful. Private corporations run operations much smoother because the performance of their employees can be directly tied to whether they keep or lose their job. But when the government funds and runs things? Well, there's less of a threat anyone involved is going to lose their jobs because when the government is funding your operation, you don't have to worry about pesky little things like actually having customers.

source

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Cory Watilo
tag:politics.corywatilo.com,2013:Post/477316 2011-07-28T15:36:00Z 2013-10-08T17:03:43Z Rick Warren tweets about taxes, gets in hot water

I'm quite impressed Rick Warren tweeted about taxes. Unfortunately, he deleted the tweet shortly after posting, but not before his tweet was recorded and rebroadcast by many. Since he is the pastor of one of the largest churches in America, I can understand why he deleted it, since the model for pastors is to not publically share a political opinion. But part of me is also glad he took a stand.

I recently bought a bumper sticker that says "No representation without taxation." It's a bummer that those who pay no taxes are so willing to raise taxes on those of us who do.

The reality is that about half of Americans don't pay taxes. (Here's an article from last year that explains how and why.) Rick happens to be one of those who does pay, and probably gets hit hard from his income from book sales and speaking events (he no longer takes a salary from the church and, in fact, paid back what he had earned in the early years). Rick Warren is one of the most charitable men around; just imagine what he could do if he was able to keep even just a fraction more of the money he earned. He would put it to good use all around the world! Instead, too much of it gets sucked up by our behemoth of a government who really has no concept of economics and where money is best spent. Our money is best spent in the hands of those who work hard to earn it in large quantities; in the hands of people like Rick Warren.

read the full story here

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Cory Watilo