The Bain Report

Rifts Threaten Tea Party Movement One major group in the Tea Party movement — named after the famous Boston Tea Party — is set to host its first convention in February, with former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin as its keynote speaker. But there are fractures in the movement that threaten its future. And if history’s any guide, such movements tend to flame out. Tea Party Movement Threatened by Internal Rifts

Downturn Forcing Private Companies into Cost Cutting, Layoffs New analysis of privately held companies released by consulting firm Sageworks, shows small privately held companies have tightened cash reserves, are taking longer to collect payment from customers and have inventory lingering on their shelves longer than in previous years. Such trends don’t suggest much of a recovery is taking place among these companies, and if current conditions persist, the firms would be forced to implement another round of cost-cutting that could lead to additional job losses.
Downturn Forcing Private Companies into Cost Cutting, Layoffs – AOL Small Business

Bedford moves on road tax Just what the people need another tax at a time when we can least afford it. If all our tax money that we have paid through the years would have been spent for roads instead of the old rob peter to pay Paul shell game we wouldn’t need another new tax! Is the city of Monroe far behind? Is the whole county far behind? The state of Michigan is already wanting to raise the gas tax, just how much money do these so called elected officials think we have? I say, vote all of them out and get fresh ideas and accountability. The Monroe County Commissioners after the 2008 election voted to give all elected officials a 6% raise, 3% in 2009 and 3% in 2010. To top that off they voted in 2009 to rob the pension fund to balance the budget! This has to stop. We the citizens of Monroe County and the state of Michigan have been bleed to death in poor representation! We have to make the necessary cuts to balance our own budgets but our elected officials keep taxing and spending like drunken sailors all at our expense! Bedford moves on road tax –

Public Pension Funds Face $2 Trillion Deficit Even in a world of massive deficits and rising national debt, not many problems come in packages that are in the trillions of dollars. The deficit facing the U.S. public pension fund will grow to $2 trillion. Public Pensions Face $2 Trillion Deficit – DailyFinance

Fannie and Freddie Get a Huge Christmas Gift from Uncle Sam Just more taxpayer money for huge bonuses for failing businesses! So much for the U.S. Treasury announcing its much-anticipated exit program for government support of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Instead, on Christmas Eve, Treasury said the federal government would provide both with unlimited support for three to five more years. Fannie and Freddie Get a Huge Christmas Gift from Uncle Sam – DailyFinance

Fannie and Freddie’s CEOs Score Big Paydays, and Pay Czar Can’t Interfere We all know the deal: Big firms which got government bailouts and haven’t paid back the money are supposed to be subject to pay restrictions. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both borrowed tens of billions, and haven’t repaid it yet. So how is it that their CEOs will make eye-popping sums for their work in 2009? Fannie and Freddie’s CEOs Score Big Paydays, and Pay Czar Can’t Interfere – DailyFinance

Mortgages Delinquencies and In-Process Foreclosures Jump Americans’ mortgage woes continued to get worse in the third quarter, with more than one in eight home loans past due. Mortgages Delinquencies and In-Process Foreclosures Jump – DailyFinance

Jobless Decade May Loom The decade ahead could be a brutal one for America’s unemployed — and for people with jobs hoping for pay raises. At best, it could take until the middle of the decade for the nation to generate enough jobs to drive down the unemployment rate to a normal 5 or 6 percent and keep it there. At worst, that won’t happen until much later — perhaps not until the next decade. Even as Economy Mends, a Jobless Decade May Loom –

Lost decade for U.S. economy, workers For most of the past 70 years, the U.S. economy has grown at a steady clip, generating perpetually higher incomes and wealth for American households. But since 2000, the story is starkly different. There has been zero net job creation since December 1999. No previous decade going back to the 1940s had job growth of less than 20 percent. Economic output rose at its slowest rate of any decade since the 1930s as well. Aughts were a lost decade for U.S. economy, workers –

Coming to America: An Argentina-Style Bust Failure to Embrace Free Markets Has Doomed Argentina In the early 20th century, Argentina was one of the richest countries in the world. It was blessed with abundant agriculture, vast swaths of rich farmland laced with navigable rivers and an accessible port system. Its level of industrialization was higher than many European countries: railroads, automobiles and telephones were commonplace. But changes such as mandatory pension insurance, mandatory health insurance, and support for low-income housing construction to stimulate the economy. Put simply, the state assumed economic control of a vast swath of the country’s operations and began assessing new payroll taxes to fund its efforts that led to it’s downfall. We’ve seen this movie before. The Democrats’ populist plans cannot possibly work, because government bankrupts everything it touches. History teaches us that ObamaCare and unfunded entitlement programs will be utter, complete disasters. The Greenroom » Forum Archive » Don’t Cry For Me, America

How the Commercial Real Estate Bubble Could Trigger a Double-Dip Recession Reports that commercial real estate (CRE) is suffering from a double whammy of soaring vacancies and declining valuations have been making news recently with sobering regularity. But a bigger, often-overlooked, risk is the potential for CRE to remain a drag on the U.S. economy for years to come, or its potential to trigger a slide back into recession — the so-called double dip that many fear.
How Commercial Real Estate Could Trigger a Double-Dip – DailyFinance

Is the Great Recession a Hidden Depression? With millions of Americans losing homes, searching for jobs and making do with less, it seems that our visual language of need is due for a major update. The face of 21st century economic suffering is every bit as powerful and eloquent as images of the Great Depression. Perhaps more important, it is familiar — and growing more so by the day. The Great Recession: A Hidden Depression? – DailyFinance

Struggling GMAC Gets Another $3.8 Billion in Aid; U.S. Boosts Stake The government gave GMAC Financial Services another $3.8 billion in cash and took a majority stake in the auto lender, aiming to stabilize the company as it struggles with big losses in its home mortgage unit. The fresh infusion is on top of $12.5 billion in taxpayer money Detroit-based GMAC has already received from the government. The new aid will boost the federal government’s ownership in GMAC to 56 percent, from 35 percent, and means the U.S. now holds a majority stake in three companies that it bailed out with taxpayer funds – GMAC, General Motors and insurer American International Group Inc. The government also has taken control of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. U.S. Boosts Stake in Struggling GMAC – DailyFinance

Lenders Write Off More Credit Card Debt As job losses continued to mount, more and more consumers fell behind on their payments in November. Lenders Write Off More Credit Card Debt – DailyFinance

Vermont state workers ratify contract with pay cuts MONTPELIER, Vt. -The union representing most Vermont state workers says its members have ratified a new two-year labor contract that calls for temporary, 3 percent pay cuts. Union members agreed to the pay cut in light of Vermont’s economic downturn and the damage it has done to state revenues. Vt. state workers ratify contract with pay cuts – DailyFinance

The Arabian Candidate “The Manchurian Candidate” He would lead America into a war against a country that posed no imminent threat. He would insinuate, without saying anything literally false, that it was somehow responsible for the terrorist attack. This unnecessary war would alienate our allies and tie down a large part of our military. At the same time, the Arabian candidate would neglect the pursuit of those who attacked us, and do nothing about regimes that really shelter anti-American terrorists and really are building nuclear weapons. Op-Ed Columnist – The Arabian Candidate –

AARP Sells Out Seniors to Support Obama Health Care The Congressional majority wants to pay for its $1 trillion to $1.6 trillion health bills with new taxes and a $500 billion cut to Medicare. This cut will come just as baby boomers turn 65 and increase Medicare enrollment by 30%. Less money and more patients will necessitate rationing. You would think that AARP would be up in arms. Nope. As Barack Obama proudly pointed out last night, AARP supports his plan. What Obama didn’t say is that AARP receives millions in federal funds, and hopes to get even more by becoming a vendor under his plan. AARP Sells Out Seniors to Support Obama Health Care | National Legal and Policy Center

GREAT LETTER TO AARP FROM ANGRY CITIZEN This letter was sent to Mr. Rand who is the Executive Director of AARP. THIS LADY NOT ONLY HAS A GRASP OF ‘THE SITUATION’ BUT AN INCREDIBLE COMMAND OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE! This has been authenticated by Snopes –

Campaign finance laws full of loopholes Politicians across the country keep finding ways to skirt campaign-finance laws, using ballot-measure committees and other avenues to raise millions in unregulated contributions, according to a report issued Tuesday by a California-based think tank. Legal defense funds, inaugural and leadership committees, donations to favored charities, contributions from political parties and reimbursed travel expenses are among the other “loopholes, tricks and end runs” used to thwart regulations.
Report: Campaign finance laws full of loopholes | | Detroit Free Press

U-M researchers say politics guided bank bailout allocations Researchers from the University of Michigan have confirmed what many have long suspected: Politics played a key role in deciding which banks received billions in government bailout money and how much each one got. According to a new study released banks with strong political connections were more likely to benefit from the government’s $250-billion Capital Purchase Program, part of its Troubled Asset Relief Program or TARP. The study found that banks fared better if they had executives holding board seats at any of the 12 Federal Reserve banks or if their headquarters was located in the district of a U.S. House of Representatives member serving on key finance committees. And the amount of government investment was “strongly related to banks’ political contributions and lobbying expenditures.” U-M researchers say politics guided bank bailout allocations | | Detroit Free Press

Tap Michigan water supply for education funds? This is just another end around or slight of hand in raising taxes on Michigan citizens! Does anybody really believe that this proposed tax on Business will not be passed along to the consumer? More specifically, businesses that make a profit by selling Michigan’s water should pay a fee of 10 cents per bottle. That money, in turn, could replace the recently-dismantled Promise Scholarship. Tap Michigan water supply for education funds? | | Detroit Free Press

Climategate: You should be steamed Now that Copenhagen is past history, what is the next step in the man-made global warming controversy? Without question, there should be an immediate and thorough investigation of the scientific debauchery revealed by “Climategate.” Climategate: You should be steamed | Viewpoints, Outlook | – Houston Chronicle

  1. Week in review « Craig W. Wright

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