Thursday, May 28, 2009

No Faith in the Great Healer

As I started eating my healthy, home-cooked lunch today at my desk (Hooray, Mrs Citizen Zane!), I took a look at Yahoo and came upon this article where President Obama is starting to claim some credit for the economy looking like its finally hit rock bottom and headed toward recovery.

Whew, the Great Man has pulled us back from the brink! Good for Him. Actually, I think that the President is in an enviable position right now. If anything happens to go right in the world, he can grab all of the credit. Anything that turns out poorly...well, that was a President Bush mistake. Imagine having that situation at your job? If you were an investment banker, you could lose a billion dollars on sub-prime mortgage backed securities and still get an 8 figure bonus while pointing to the guy who held your position the year before. Hmmm, I've heard that story actually.... I imagine about 25 years from now, some Democrat president of the future will still be blaming Bush for not reforming a bankrupt Social Security system or something along those lines. Hopefully, Dick Cheney is still ticking so we can get some comedy relief out of his inevitable response.

Anyway, forgive my skepticism about the economy being "rescued" by the government, but I just don't see how all of this out of control spending is going to lead to a lasting economic recovery. I am a regular reader of Bill Fleckenstein on, who I have found to be remarkably insightful about the markets and macroeconomic environment. Recently, he posted some material from Jeremy Grantham, where the author predicts a VL shaped recovery, "in which the stimulus causes a fairly quick but superficial recovery, followed by a second decline, followed in turn by a long, drawn-out period of sub-normal growth."

Why subnormal growth? Because government stimulus doesn't magically appear out of nowhere and enrich us all. It comes from taking wealth from citizens and companies and using it to pay for government projects and programs. Maybe I should take that back...the current plan seems to be to print more money...but I regress. Anyway, what happens is that the real producers and innovators are pushed aside by the government, which picks its champions based on political agenda, not on merit. When the government takes a bigger bite out of my boss's earnings, he has less opportunity to hire another worker to generate even larger income. He may go to the bank for a loan, but the government needs to borrow and is sucking up money that would otherwise be available to lend. Is this making sense? I stumbled across this article that articulates much better than I...

The bottom line is that all of this government stimulus does not produce steady economic growth because it is not sustainable. Creating a bunch of new government jobs will juice things for as long as the stimulus keeps those jobs going - and then it will be gone. I like the idea of the government stimulating the economy with long-term investment projects in PRODUCTIVE activities that will generate benefits later, such as the power grid, bridges, roads, etc (sounds like somebody's campaign promises). The current administrations plan to invest in energy is also excellent in principle, but I fear that we will get carried away in the search for green alternatives that have dubious prospects and ignore nuclear and fossil fuels which we know work. Let's be honest here and not liberal dreamers, we still need those fuels to carry us for the foreseeable future.

If I thought that the stimulus money was actually going toward legitimate investment projects to be filled by open bids from private firms, this blog would not exist. Unfortunately, I am pretty dang sure that only a small percentage of our money will be well spent. The vast majority will be slop for the hogs who keep the Democrats in power. The resulting debt of course will be shouldered by you, me, our children, their children, and anyone with the audacity of hope for self-made success - Citizen Zane

Monday, May 25, 2009

Money Trouble? Its Your Own Fault

I saw this headline for an article by Liz Pulliam Weston, a writer for MSN Money and just had to read it.

In the article, the author pretty much comes out and tells people to quit whining about this or that causing your financial problems and to take responsibility for them. She notes that on the MSN message board that she often sees people writing "I should be living better than this," as they complain that the high cost of living is at fault for their woes. Finally, she provides a list of decisions that people make that directly affect their financial situation. Ask yourself - did you:

- Spend more than you made?
- Fail to have a rainy day fund?
- Try to get by with too little insurance?
- Fail to pay attention to the terms of the loan you were getting?
- Figure "something will work out" rather than having a plan?
- Procrastinate dealing with an issue until it became a big problem?

I would just love to shove this list up the a** of every person in Congress and every stinking state legislator in every state that is having financial problems, because I know the answer to every one of those questions. "Figure something will work out rather than having a plan" ought be the name of that ridiculous stimulus bill if it was an honest attempt by Congress to get the economy on track rather than a payoff to those who vote Democrat. And "Procrastinate dealing with an issue until it became a big problem" is the hallmark of government greatness in action.

Here we have the national debt piling up to absurd numbers, states begging for bailouts, and the dollar ready to become worth less than the paper that its printed on, but is government making sound financial decisions? Nope, they hear every lazy-assed person out there whining that "I should be living better than this!" and they feel like they have to right all of the wrongs that these poor saps have been forced to endure at the hands of the evil rich. THAT IS WHY WE ARE BANKRUPT!! And guess what? All of those nincompoops who borrowed more money than they could pay back - THIS FINANCIAL DISASTER THAT WE ARE FACING IS YOUR FAULT TOO!! Yep, all those mortgaged-back securities that are dragging down our banks...those were people borrowing more than they could pay back. Hey everybody - Quit your F***ing whining and get to work. Earn your own keep, live within your means, and stop asking me for a handout.

Speaking of living within your means. I keep reading about the government is going to protect us all from the evil clutches of the credit card companies and is calling the new law "credit card reform". Whenever I hear the word "reform", I immediately know that the government is playing musical chairs with winners and losers in whatever is being reformed. The new winners? People who can't live within their means or are too irresponsible to pay their bills on time. The losers? The financial services industry and the people who pay their cards off in full every month who are going to be charged more fees or get less rewards.

Now I agree that some of the practices in the industry were a bit harsh on consumers, but nobody held a gun to cardholders' heads and asked them to borrow money on the terms of their lending agreements (see "fail to pay attention to terms of the loan you were getting") and then forced them to carry a balance. I need some government "reform" that doesn't cost me more money. I also apologize to all of those who have balances on their credit cards for reasons of job losses or health problems that truly are not their faults - and not for overspending. To everybody else and their Santa Clause impersonating Representatives - get your house in order through hard work, sacrifice, and smart decision making. I've left you a list courtesy of Ms. Weston - Citizen Zane

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Throw it On the Pile

Yep, the mountain of debt caused by government idiocy just keeps getting bigger. This time its the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp (PBGC).

I like how they named this agency "Corp." so it looks like its being run by responsible folks rather than by the government. The PBGC was set up to guarantee pensions for retired employees of companies who have promised to take care of retirees, but somehow fell out of business and are unable to pay. I don't know the mechanics of the whole thing, but I suppose the pension plans pay some sort of insurance premium to help cover the ones in the group that go belly up. Leave it to the government actuaries and oversight committees to have miscalculated the premiums needed - the fund is swelling up to some $22 Billion in shortfalls. The article mentions that the "Company's" acting director, a certain Vince Snowbarger, reassures people receiving cash currently that the fund has plenty of money for current payments. Wooooo, thank goodness for that! We can leave the unfunded portion to our spoiled children and grandchildren. Way to go Vince!

Hard Medicine from Citizen Zane:
I hate to say this, but we have one of two choices: 1) We take a piece out of everyone whose pensions are guaranteed under the PBGC to fund this problem and current pension holders get by on less; or 2) The rest of us who are funding our own pensions have to pay the difference. Neither of these prospects is going to make many people happy, but it is a hard decision that has to be made (hence, Congress is pushing it off to the future when they don't have to take the heat for it). I propose that the people getting the pensions take the hit. But Citizen Zane, those people don't deserve to lose their pensions, many will say. I say tough - I don't deserve to pay for their retirement since I am paying for my own and funding someone else's Social Security payments too.

And this leads us to crux of the problem. Defined benefit pension plans (the kind where you are promised certain payouts and health care for life) have become obsolete. Think I'm wrong? Here are the following examples: The airlines, the auto makers, and the employees of every state in the Union. Pension costs are dragging these venerable institutions into the pit of no return. Back in the days when we manufactured our own goods and actually exported a lot of them, and lots more people smoked and died earlier, maybe we could afford these outdated plans. Now, we have to save and invest as we go. Its time for government to realize that their modus operendi is bankrupting all of us and adjust with the times. The problem is, it would take real courage and commitment for somebody to step forward and tell the truth and take the heat for it all. Who in Congress has shown any courage since Davy Crockett climbed the walls of the Alamo? Somebody let me know - I'm sure that its happened somewhere.

Anyway, back to the PBGC. Well fair reader...who do you think is going to end up picking up the tab for this nonsense? Hmmmm.....let's see......could it be......might it be.....YOU??? Damn straight! That's right folks - while your own personal 401(k) shrinks 30% and your social security goes up in smoke. Those lucky folks already collecting social security are getting pensions paid by this very fund that YOU will have to pay for too!

I suppose that Congress is jumping all over this injustice. Some right-minded Representative has got to be standing up and pulling the fire alarm. Right? Do ya think????? Remember that part about courage and commitment? I'd settle for some plain, old-fashioned representation - Citizen Zane

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Could Walking on Water be Far Behind?

I started to read the attached article on President Obama's plan to implement new fuel and emission standards for automobiles - which I don't necessarily think is a bad idea, having lived in Los Angeles and been party to the smog that accumulates in the inland valleys. The thing that made my jaw drop were the words "Carol Browner, the White House energy and climate director"

Holy Smokes - we have a climate director???? Guys, I hate to break this to you, but you can't control an economy and you sure as heck can't control the climate. The crazy thing about the current administration - and it could be that they are actually believing all of their press clippings - is that they honestly think that they can. Just as we are flushing a good trillion down the toilet to "save" the economy, I fear that we are going start flushing billions into the hole in the name of preventing global warming. Global warming? Obviously those knuckleheads didn't spend the last winter in New York. Hell, it was 45 degrees yesterday morning when I left for work and its almost Memorial Day! I WANT warmer temperatures!!!!

But Dear Citizen Zane, what about the polar ice caps that are melting? Our green house gasses are ruining the planet! Yeah, and we used to have an ice age when the polar ice cap extended down half of North America. Was that because prehistoric man all turned their air conditioners up too high? Then drove their Flintsone-mobiles around too much and melted the damn thing back down? Come on people, climate changes because climate changes. Any one who thinks that they can control the climate is even more delusional than someone who thinks that they can control an economy the size and scope of ours.

So when I hear the words "cap and trade", I think of a bunch of well-meaning folks who are going to put the clamps down on what's left of our manufacturing base and squeeze the life out that too. Not only is this going to be horrible policy from a pure waste of time and money, but its going to be a real job killer. You can invent a bunch of government jobs that push paper to move Federal money from one pocket to the next, but when you lose your manufacturing base completely, then you are really not producing anything. Those are real job losses! And here is the problem with having a bunch of well-intentioned liberals running amok with our money and setting policy. They crowd out the real producers and innovators who would bring the economy back and choke them with red tape and regulation so that the government, those brilliant elite among us who know much better than we do how to spend our money and live our lives, can really be in charge! I suppose as soon as they gum the economy up, they can always throw out another stimulus package to prolong the agony through the second term of the Great One. Holy S***! I just proved myself wrong - you can control the economy!

Citizen Zane's solution: We should skip cap and trade - in fact, we should lower our emission standards, cut the red tape, and kiss the collective a** of anyone who manufactures in our great land. Think about it liberals...for every factory that produces here, that's one or more less factories in the third world where there are NO EMISSION STANDARDS really polluting and inefficiently using the world's resources. Want to cut green house gasses? Build it in the US and not in China. Wow, that may actually lead to some real weath-creating jobs too! Some of them may even be union and people will pay more taxes for you to waste - a liberal dream come true. Set your Fantasy-Land policies to make it easier to make it here than import it. Which country do you think will waste less energy and spew the least amount of crap into the environment in the manufacturing process?

Oh, I kind of flew off topic there. I like the idea with the cars though - Citizen Zane

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Health Care Reform or Musical Chairs?

A regular reader (making him or her one of the more intelligent people on the Internet) passed on this link which is remarkably balanced considering its source.

It seems that our grand elected officials are going to go out and reform health care to provide universal coverage for all. It's a truly noble idea - which means that it has to be coming from the liberal leaning side of the isle. And, as with all noble ideas from the left, its going to cost a fortune and we aren't going to worry about paying for it.

I, for one, would actually really like to see universal coverage. A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to do some consulting work in an area where I thought that I could maybe carve out a nice little niche for myself and start my own thing. Realizing that if I left my company at the time, that my family would be without health coverage, I asked a friend who is a building contractor about what he was doing for health care. "Paying out of my a**!" he grumbled back. I got the lowdown on the coverage and its cost and that pretty much put an end to my attempt to go solo. Maybe if there were universal coverage....well, I'd probably be in the soup line, but that is another story.

I listened to President Obama give a speech today on the issue, while my co-workers debated back and forth about what we could do to fix the system, and just about all of us had different ideas, but the person who made the most sense said, "If we could just take the politicians out of it and get a team of industry stakeholders together to hammer out a workable plan...." No, that makes too much sense. One Kool-aid drinking liberal came up with, "The rich should have to pay for all of us," which is simply brilliant except that the rich are already the ones funding the health insurance that most of us have along with $4 trillion worth of other government spending. Rich as they are, they only have so much money.

The problem with the government getting mixed up in this mess is: 1) Its the government and we are facing another Social Security/Medicare disaster; and 2) The private sector - the people who actually profit by improving the system will be crowded out of the market and things will get worse. Its going to be like a giant game of musical chairs. The music will start and all of the stakeholders in the industry, including the insurance companies, drug makers, the doctors, the patients, the tax payers, employers, the illegal aliens, the lawyers who sue everyone else, etc. will walk around in a big circle and then the music will stop and only some of those people will get a chair and life will be rosy and everyone else will get seriously hosed. Here's guessing that Nancy and Harry will save a seat for everyone who votes for the Democrats. Great, you say, if you are a Democrat. Well, not exactly. Cause anyone who understands rudimentary economics knows that when the government picks winners and losers, we get these little things called 'externalities', or the negative side effects that pop up as a result.

Do we hose the drug companies and make them slash their prices? Well, who is going to pay for the research, development, and clinical trials needed to bring a drug to market. Do we slash the doctors' incomes? Well, who is going to go $250K in debt for education and training for 10 years to make as much as a school teacher? Do we burden all employers with mandatory coverage? Well, how many small businesses do we drive out of the marketplace. Make any sense? Personally, I'd like to kick the lawyers out, but we do need defenders for malpractice, and well, the trial lawyers support the Demos to the hilt, so they ain't going nowhere. Hmmmmm....who can we stick it to? Guess what, my friends, when the music stops, the only sure bets in the bunch are the currently insured and the taxpayers. If you fall into one of those two groups, look down at the little red laser dot jiggling around on your chest. That's Congress taking aim at you. Take it to the bank - Citizen Zane

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Insolvency Just Around the Corner

If this article doesn't scare the pants off of you, then you are either beyond apathy, have no prospects for ever accumulating a nickel in wealth, are just plain Stupid - with a capital S, or weren't wearing any pants to start with. Note: you may qualify for more than one above.

This folks, is government gone horribly amok for too long. Read this line from the article to get an idea of just what kind of trouble we are in:

"According to the Federal Reserve flow-of-funds figures for year-end 2007, our collective net worth as consumers was $62.7 trillion. By the end of 2008, the same figure had fallen to $51.5 trillion. Another year of growth for Social Security and Medicare liabilities would bring total unfunded government promises to about $46 trillion. That's nearly 90% of our net worth."

To the truly stupid out there, that means that the government is going to need to take 90% of everything that everybody has in the nation to keep its promises on those two programs alone. So do you think that you are going to enjoy these retirement benefits when you are an old codger? Let's just say that dog food consumption is going to go through the roof in the next 25 or so years and not because there will be more dogs.

I remember when President Bush tried to do something to reform Social Security back a few years ago and the public and congressional outcry was overwhelming to the point that old Alfred E. had to back off. Oddly, the outcry against the Iraqi war didn't seem to be so forceful, even after it turned into a disaster. Instead, we kept hearing the same old rhetoric from our elected officials that Social Security was "safe". Yeah, like they care. If I remember correctly, they have their own retirement plan and are exempt from Social Security. This is the same government that is putting Bernie Madoff away for running a similar ponzi scam, but on a much more limited basis. He is small fry. The fact is, Congress does not have the political will to make the hard choices that we need to make because they fear that the short-sighted stupid among us will throw them out of office. Instead, they hand out more goodies and take in more money and get re-elected because people are too stupid to throw them out of office. It is time that we demand those self-serving fools represent us or get the hell out of Washington. VOTE THEM ALL OUT!

Right now, as Citizen Zane types away, your government is making plans to expand their programs to "benefit" us all. They are even BORROWING more money to get those plans rolling? Based on their track record with Social Security and Medicare, how can so many people actually think that all of this spending is a good idea? - Citizen Zane

Monday, May 11, 2009

Wow, This is a Revelation!

Don't look now, but the White House is forecasting higher budget deficits than first calculated:

Well no s**t Sherlock! Jeez, does this come as a surprise to anyone? I could have told you that the deficit was going higher than first forecast, and I am going to make a bold prediction here that it is going to go up from here. All right, I understand that the economy is slowing and there are going to be lower tax revenues and some higher social costs - that I get. What doesn't make sense to me is that the President and Congress are choosing NOW to try to institute a bunch of dips**t liberal policies that are going to cost us a fortune! Hey guys, how about getting things back on track to where we are generating some revenue and reducing some costs somewhere BEFORE you attempt your expensive social (socialist) experiments that are going to put us in an even deeper hole - and have about a one in 7,600 chance of actually working without creating an even bigger social/financial disaster? Hmmm, if I lose my job and have to take a 50% pay cut, should I contemplate buying a new house and asking my fellow unemployed neighbors to eat at my kitchen table every night too? Should I stand at a fuel pump and fill up every tank that rolls through if the person tells me that they can't afford to fill their SUV on their own?

I may be disgusted with the government right now, but here is what really gets my goat. Whenever some stupid, politically motivated, outsized spending bill comes up now, the excuse that I hear from the President and Congress is that its to help the economy or because the prior administration spent a lot of money and left a mess, blah, blah, blah. At least come clean - you are pushing some stupid left wing social movement to entrench yourselves deeper in power. The other thing that is irking me is that people all over are piling up on the rich and capitalists as being these evil guys who deserve to be taxed into oblivion. Citizen Zane is far from rich, and I do think that the prior administration gave the wealthy a few too many breaks, but without the people who take risks and generate large amounts of income that we all enjoy as employees and fellow taxpayers, we are going to choke the goose who lays the golden eggs. Hey lazy rich-hating moron, go out and make your own money. You are not entitled to your neighbor's wealth because he/she is successful. Stop embarrassing yourself - Citizen Zane.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dick Chooses the Windbag???

Sorry, the actual content of this post is not nearly as exciting as the title implies. As all three of my faithful readers know, my purpose for this blog is to toss all incumbents out of Congress. However, this article just made me want to gag so I threw it up here (literally).,0,6685850.story

Here we have Republican heavyweight Dick Cheney saying that he would prefer to have Rush Limbaugh lead the party over Colin Powell. Hey Richard, are you out of your F***ing mind???!!! I'm trying to think of who in the nation I would vote for over Powell. Hmmm...Michael Bloomberg...I'm still thinking...nope, can't come up with anyone else. Who's the Libertarian candidate in '12? When Powell says, "Trust me." I do. I didn't think it could get any dumber out their for the GOP, but they consistently exceed my expectations - Citizen Zane

Friday, May 8, 2009

Smack in the Fannie

I have heard some on the far left argue that its is capitalism to blame for our current economic disaster and that a turn toward socialism is actually a good thing. Well this story ought to set them straight - well except that they are COMPLETE MORONS to begin with.,0,3211158.story?track=rss

I argue that Fannie Mae and her buck-toothed sister Freddie Mac are two of the biggest causes of the financial melt down. How, Dearest Citizen Zane, you may ask? I'll explain. You know all of those really stupid loans that were handed out to people who couldn't afford them? The ones that were supposedly forced upon them by predatory lenders? Well, no sane lender is going to give $400,000 to someone too irresponsible to pay it back. Step in the government and their little friends Fannie and Freddie. They will buy those bad loans from the original lender and hold them so that the borrowers, who have no business buying homes that they cannot afford, can get into houses!!!! Its a wonderful idea if you are a liberal. Lots of 'deserving' people who otherwise would not enjoy the benefits of home ownership can have a neat new house! However, the downside to any liberal make-us-all-equal program: now we are looking at as much as $400 Billion in taxpayer money to bail Fannie out of all of those bad loans.

This is the problem with letting the government get mixed up in capitalism. They tend to allocate resources toward their political agendas rather than sensible choices. And Congress is now budgeting trillions more to be wasted??? I remember our excellent public servant Barney Frank proclaiming to all that Fannie was financially sound. And this nitwit is a big gun on the Senate Banking Committee!!! If Citizen Zane had looked into Fannie's books, I would have screamed bloody murder. I saw recently that Barney Frank was blaming the Bush administration for Fannie Mae not being solvent because of a bunch of deregulation. Can you imagine the uproar if Bush would have cut off sub prime loans to the poor? Maxine Waters would have been screaming from one end of the weekend to Thanksgiving. She said that Fannie was good too. Sure Alfred E. Bush wasn't minding the store, but c'mon Barney & Maxine, accept some responsibility! If I lived in Taxachusetts, I would vote his stupid ass out. I wish I still lived in Cali so that I could vote against Maxine too.

So now, I read that the Senate is now working on a national health insurance plan:

Now I for one understand that the nation's medical care delivery system is ridiculous, but I can tell you right now what is going to happen if the politicians decide to run it. Click on that first link and read about Fanni Mae again. Citizen Zane would much rather leave the health care industry to Wal-Mart. Think I'm joking? Read this:

My guess is that if the government took over the health care system, we would be rationing care, have the bored and hypochondriach contingent overusing the system, and probably cost the tax payers at least three times the amount per visit that they could pay Wal-Mart to handle the same job. Hmmmm, maybe they could put Barney Frank, Maxine Waters, and Donald Rumsfeld in charge of the whole thing too. Just food for thought - Citizen Zane

Thursday, May 7, 2009

$17 Billion Down, $1.183 Trillion to go!

Wow, two posts in a row where I have to apologize to the President. He is showing fiscal restraint that would make Herbert Hoover proud. Thanks to an anonymous reader, I got a hold of this gem:

I know, I know...Fox News. Well, I'll just concentrate on the quotes. This from the President..."All across this country, Americans are responding to difficult economic times by tightening their belts and making tough decisions about where they need to spend and where they need to save," Obama said Thursday as he unveiled the details.
"The question the American people are asking is whether Washington is prepared to act with the same sense of responsibility," he said. "I believe we can and must do exactly that." Holy cow, I didn't make that up. Washington is going to spend wisely - the President even said so himself. He's backed up by Democratic Rep. John Spratt, chairman of the House Budget Committee..."While the Congress is unlikely to agree with all the changes proposed by the administration, the process and the resulting proposals are a step in the right directions, and a sign of fiscal discipline." It is a step in the right direction, like step one in a stroll from Idaho to Naples, Italy. Fiscal Discipline??? Cutting $17 Billion off of a $1.2 Trillion deficit is not exactly my idea of fiscal discipline - sort of like Imelda Marcos taking back two pair of shoes.

Call me a cynic, but methinks that the Spender-in-Chief is feigning some fiscal responsibility. The crazy thing is that his cuts are going to annoy some entrenched spending projects enjoyed by some members in Congress. Let's see how this august body reacts. Here's a bet that they give the President his moment in the sun and the media falls into line and proclaims him a careful spender of our money. I'm a careful spender too. I'm going to pay my credit card balance off this month. Match that Imelda - Citizen Zane

I Owe the President and Congress an Apology!

Yes, even Citizen Zane is wrong on occasion. Here I have been pounding our honorable elected officials about the stimulus money being wasted and such, when suddenly, I came across this article that proves that jobs are being created as a result.

It seems like counties, towns, and other government organizations need to hire help to handle the paperwork involved with securing a spot at the government trough. This newly created job mentioned in the article has inspired me to do my part to keep the ball roling. I plan to pay myself to mow my backyard this Saturday. That will create a new job too! Everyone, get off your lazy arses and get out and create some new jobs just like me! With all of our newfound production, we will have this economy back and rolling in no time - Citizen Zane

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Can We Make Taxes Voluntary???

Have you ever gone to dinner with a bunch of co-workers who know that the company is going to be picking up the tab? You will never spot a happier group of people. The last time my company got together for dinner on the boss's dime, it reminded me of the U.S. Congress in action. Bottle after bottle of expensive wine and imported beer, appitizers for everyone, more alcohol, steaks and chops, another bottle of wine, and then dessert. I think that Heineken actually sent us a thank you card afterward. It didn't help that the boss couldn't make it and would have no idea about who ordered or spent what. It made me sick.

If the pigs at that trough had actually been footing the bill themselves, how many bottles of $6 beer whould ol' Billy Bob have consumed? Yep, zero. That's like Congress. If their own states actually had to foot the bill for their largess, do you think that they would be spending us into oblivion? I have a solution for this freeloader problem: when congress wants to appropriate additional spending for some pie-in-the-sky project, the tax payers should have the option to vote on whether or not they would individually like to contribute to that project and their tax returns would be adjusted accordingly. Basic national defense, infrastructure (no not diverting infrastructure money to pet projects), and other essentials are mandatory, but everything else optional. Do you think that Jimbo Spender would propose useless pork-barrel projects if the tax payers had to approve individually? Me neither. The other benefit to this plan would be that all of the noble liberals could fund their silly utopian dreams and all of the conservative wing-bolts could pay for military action in the third world. Barbara Streisand can afford to cover Citizen Zane's health insurance. Maybe I'll move into her guesthouse too.

Now here's the secret.................We do have that power!!!! Yep, it is WE THE F**KING PEOPLE who still have power over Congress, though barely. We just have to USE it. Vote every last one of them out and send a message that WE are mad as hell, and we aren't going to take it anymore - Citizen Zane.

Monday, May 4, 2009

So Goes California, So Goes the Nation

Although I now live in New York, I still consider California to be my home state and I plan to have my ashes spread accross the sand traps at the Los Verdes Golf Course (where I spent about half of my time when I played there) when I expire. Its often said of California that it sets the trends for the rest of the nation. If this is true, then this article from Forbes does not bode well for all of us.

Although the article is about the worst cities for jobs, the author adds an editorial on the gross stupidity of the state's government that I felt like I had written myself. It should be manditory reading for all people who blindly vote Democratic. In case you have been living in a cave, California is now facing a budget crisis due to a multibillion dollar deficit that dwarfs the state budgets of all but a few other states. Here is the problem: The far left has taken total control over the state and implemented top notch liberal policies that have drained the state's coffers and driven away business. The lefties are supported by state employee labor unions, environmentalists, and the most dangerous of all, liberal elitists like Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, and Dianne Feinstein. Yeccchhhh, I cringe when thinking about that troika - I suppose hell would be if I were locked in the same room with them all for eternity. If I go OJ and kill someone, I expect that they will be wearing lingerie too.

You know all of that stimulus money that is supposed to go to create jobs and for investments? Well California is going to suck a bunch of that off to keep the state workers fat and happy. In return, they will continue to vote Democratic for life. Poor Arnold over in Cali is like the Little Dutch Boy with his muscular finger in the Dike trying to hold the state legislature back from turning the state into Soviet Union with better beaches. I just give thanks that Arnold kicked Gray Davis's useless ass out of the Governor's mansion before Mr. Davis could throw any more money to the state workers. I have some good friends who work for the state and they have his picture framed up on the wall for diverting so much money their way.

Here is where I get into big trouble, but I think that what I am about to say is the truth. State workers are bankrupting every state in the nation. California is an extreme case, but here is my case: State workers retire in their fifties or early sixties with most of their salary intact for life, plus super generous health benefits. My parents were both state employees and together they make six figures and have health insurance - retired for 10 years now. They are both in good health and should last another 10 years easily. This means that the state is paying them about $2 million in salary, and probably another $300K in medical in retirment for NOT working. That's $2.3 million!!!! Anybody have that left in the 401(k)? Here's news: neither do the states. Now multiply my parents by a couple of million and you start to understand the scope of the State budget crisis epidemics roaring through the land. Now consider how productive state workers tend to be...did someone say DMV? Boy this rant is getting off topic in a hurry.

Anyway, take a look at what is happening in California and you get an idea about where the rest of us are headed. I think that liberals are nice, well-meaning people, but their absolute stupidity with what is realistic as they build their liberal utopias is absolutely mind boggling. We saw what happened when a bunch of right-wing policies got stuffed down our throats all at once and I shudder to think what would become of us if the religious right came to power (full disclosure: Citizen Zane attends a very conservative Christian church, but he doesn't think that Sunday School should be manditory for non-believers). Instead of healthcare debates we would be kicking Darwin out of the textbooks. Even with that, I admit that the liberals scare me worse. With our representitives holding on to these ridiculous ideologies rather than looking for pragmatic, balanced policies that might actually work, they will continue to run the country into the ground. They have to go -ALL of them. Citizen Zane

The Slopfest in On!

With the stimulus money being fed into the national trough and the Presidents proposed budget lining up right behind, the pigs have come runnin' to eat from miles around. I ran into this gem of an article that notes that cities and counties from around the nation are hiring lobbyists to help them get what they all seem to describe as a "fair share" of the overflowing supply of federal government slop. Sooo-eeeeey!!!!

Now I don't blame the town of Podunk, Mississippi for making a grab at the money. Its available for anyone who can get a piece. I do blame Congress. Is it just me or wasn't the stimulus money supposed to go toward upgrading our infrastructure, investing in energy, and in creating new jobs??? Wasn't there a plan in place for targeted spending BEFORE we allocated that money? Thank God that Joe Biden is there to make sure that the money is appropriated in a judicious manner! I can only imagine the trucks that we are going to need to haul the slop when the Presidents budget passes.

Guess what folks, with all of this slop going to the pigs of Farmers Obama, Pelosi, and Reid, what do you think is going to happen to the other farms out there that actually operate efficiently, are run by judicious landowners, and have producing employees who earn a fair wage? Yep, they are going to be crowded out - and have to send a few sacks of their hard won feed and some of their water rights over to Animal Farm as tribute. This porky pandemic is far worse than the swine flu that may take a few of us - it is going to drag us all down into the mud. Am I redundantly becoming redundant by saying the same things over and over? It is because I am fed up - time to stop the pork. Vote 'em all out - Citizen Zane

Sunday, May 3, 2009

This is so sad that its almost comical....almost

How bad are things going for the Republican Party? Well, it looks like they are going to try to rebrand the party - by actually listening to the public. What a novel idea that is!

Fortunately, they were wise enough to send former President, G.W. Bush's brother Jeb of as part of their blue ribbon panel that met folk at a pizza joint in Virginia. That's what America wants, another Bush! While I give the party a little credit for actually thinking that representing the public might be a good change, simply rebranding the name is going to be an uphill battle. I think that the Republicans have shot themselves in the foot about 7 times too many at this point. Fellas, you shoulda been listening to the voters all along! DUH!!!

Their only hope, in my opinion, is if the Democrats manage to shoot themselves in their collective feet at least 10 times - which I don't put beyond their capability. Fortunately for the Demos, they will just blame whatever disaster they create on the previous president and every voter with the IQ of house plant will believe them.

Here is my advice to the Republicans: Get behind Citizen Zane! Because I advocate voting out every incumbent Representative, just based on the fact that you are so outnumbered in Congress means that you would probably actually pick up a few seats. Other than that, I suppose that you could just hang on hope for the best. Enjoy the pizza - Citizen Zane