Friday, June 29, 2012

More unintended consequences with Obamacare

I was intrigued to read this article about Obamacare affecting the Restaurant industry. Kind of makes you think... this is only the 1st article I've seen of its nature; I expect we'll see more of the same (or we'll experience more of the same). Ouch...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Obama: Fuel Efficient Cars to the Rescue! Bo: HA!

I read this article today, noting that Obama is touting fuel efficient cars are 'the answer' to rising gas prices. Actually, lower gas prices would be the answer I am looking for. Let's put this into perspective here...

I am the 'greenie' in the family. I conserve water when I am able, recycle everything I can, turn off lights when I leave the room and keep the house cooler in winter and warmer (somewhat!) in summer. Likewise, if I had it my way, I'd have a lovely $25K solar array on my roof so the power company would owe ME credits on my summer cooling bills but the problem there is that I don't have $25K to make that happen!

I realize that we need to conserve energy and natural resources. I also realize that energy alternatives will be our future. HOWEVER (and this is a biggie) this is TODAY and NOW. Right now gas prices are too high; families are going to make proper choices with this new reality--do I go shoppping or do I fill up my tank so I can get to/from work? That's the TRUE reality today. Using ME as a case study, tell me how the new fuel efficiency standards are going to help ME? Oh, you say I need to buy a new car for that to happen? Sorry, that's not in the budget! SO now what? I am stuck paying for expensive gas! I cannot run out and buy that Gucci edition Fiat 500 (or better yet, an Abarth) or even a cool little Kia Soul like the other dancing hamsters.

No, while we are blessed to have 3 vehicles, the reality is something different than what Obama seems to realize. My commute? It's 57 miles a day. I can't change that (and remember that most of that 57 mile run will be spent sitting still or rolling at 5-10 MPH. As a closing attorney, I often close loans out of my office. Roundtrip to my Alpharetta client is around 38 miles (plus that lovely $1.00 in tolls on GA 400) but at least that's at speed-limit (or higher) speeds most days. What about those cars? 2 of the 3 take PREMIUM fuel and the other is a minivan that averages (on a good day) 19MPG. So what am I to do? NOTHING! I am expected to shell out almost $4 for premium and over $3.50 for regular. So again, how are those fuel efficiency standards helping ME? Cash for clunkers? No thanks. While the 1999 SUV has over 165K miles it's still running great; the 2000 sedan has over 151K and is still going strong. That 2009 minivan is the 'child' of our automotive family and is nearing 30K but no matter what we are unfortunately tied to the fuel pump.

So again I ask our current administration--what is that fuel efficiency doing for me? What does it do for 'Bubba' and his pickup? That single Mom with a car as old as mine? A working family who can afford only one vehicle? It does NOTHING for us all!

Why is gas so expensive? OIL prices are going up! Why are oil prices going up? Besides commodities brokers and Wall Street speculators (shame on you!) at last check the middle east is a mess and demand is through the roof in China and all over the world. How can you decrease prices? By lowering demand (NOT going to happen) OR to increase supply! Gee Bo, how can we increase supply? Why ask Obama why he didn't approve the Keystone XL pipeline (POLITICS of course!)? That would have increased supplies. What about drilling in ANWAR in Alaska? Again blocked by politics! Even though drilling today wouldn't result in oil production for at least a decade, it would put the world on notice that there are other sources coming on-line and as a result prices would DROP. But again, let's make the environmentalists happy at the expense of our National Security (yes, our SECURITY).

Bottom line, YES we need OPTIONS. But NO, right now gas prices are too high--a better Prius or a Ford Fusion Hybrid (41 MPG!) would be nice but that's not the answer. Not for right now, this second. More supply = lower prices! Give us more options for production!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

An open letter to President Obama about the State of the Union Address

Here is the text of an email I just sent to the White House (from

"In anticipation of the State of The Union Address this evening I want to put forth the following-I know your focus will be on the Economy and Jobs. With that in mind, I want to share something that doesn't make sense to me. I drive over 60 miles a day to get to and from work; I frequently have to drive to appointments as well. I have heard several predictions that gasoline prices will rise to over $4.50 this summer and with the saber rattling over the Straits of Hormuz I am not surprised by this. Couple that with the fact that my 1999 SUV with 165K miles takes premium my payments will be much higher. So why did you stop the Keystone pipeline project? This is something that will help OUR country and provide immediate jobs (I believe you have used the term Shovel Ready for several other projects that haven't yet started). I try to conserve and recycle and yes, we DO need to come up with other energy sources. But TODAY we need oil and that won't change. We also need JOBS. Please reconsider for the good of our COUNTRY (not political factions). Thanks for you time, good luck tonight!"

So why did he block the Keystone Pipeline project? For Jobs? NOPE. For the Economy? NOPE. For the safety of our fine Union? NOPE. He did it to appease environmentalists. They believe this pipleline to be a horror show for our country. Yes, there are risks involved and they need oversight to ensure they 'get it right'. We DO need alternative energy sources; I wish I could afford a solar array on my roof so I could thumb my nose at the Energy companies during our hot summer but I can't. We don't have enough wind and the more or less 'clean' nuclear industry (yes, I know it's not perfect) is also blocked by environmentalists. SO what does that leave us? OIL. We need oil NOW and it's time to approve this (Especially before CHINA inks a deal with Canada).

So in the interests of our country, why not approve this? OR are you interested in Elections and Polls? We will soon see. I am not so sure...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Chapter 11?

I just read an article about Hostess declaring bankruptcy. Why? To be able to truly bargain with their Unions and to ease some of their Pension pains. Look, I understand the problems of management versus workers but many of our unions have crippled their companies. It's pretty bad when such a well-known and well-loved company has to do something so draconian as to declare Bankruptcy in order to be able to negotiate! What's my thought on this? I am not a huge union fan obviously and I want to see more US companies be able to compete with foreign companies. Why did so many companies move offshore? Cheaper labor! I am sure the hourly wages are much different but if you add in all the governmental regulations PLUS the higher wages PLUS all the Union demands it makes for an easy business decision to relocate (not only that, compare rust belt Automakers vs. all the Southern US Plants--lower wages and benefits, yes, but people are WORKING). Look at all the new auto plants being built in the South--Kia, Hyundai, VW. Not only is it cheaper to produce here (due to exchange rates and shipping costs) we have a solid workforce. So I guess I'm just griping about unions today. Do I "applaud" Hostess' move? In some respects, I agree with it. However, no one wants to see someone 'fail' (at least that's how I see Bankruptcy). Will we see more of this? It all depends on the marketplace. In essence, both sides need to work together--pay a fair wage but work a fair amount. It's all in the balance! I wish Washington, DC worked like that... Cheers, Bo

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The US Budget defined

I got this from an email (so of course it's true :) SO even if the facts aren't fully correct, this is a pretty good depiction of why we're in such a mess. Have fun! (Sorry about the layout; don't know why Blogger won't let me format how I want it). Why the U.S. was downgraded: * U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000 * Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000 * New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000 * National debt: $14,271,000,000,000 * Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000 Let's now remove 8 zeros and pretend it's a household budget: * Annual family income: $21,700 * Money the family spent: $38,200 * New debt on the credit card: $16,500 * Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710 * Total budget cuts: $385 Got It ?