Who Wants To Rape Grieving Families?
I got the following in an email this Wednesday.
Whether it’s a water tax, a gas tax, a payroll tax … a utility tax, a cable tax, or a property tax … we’re taxed from the minute we wake up in the morning with that first cup of coffee to the minute we turn off the lights to go to sleep. And when we die, we even pay a death tax.
This absurd tax tells every American that no matter how hard you work or how wisely you manage your affairs, in the end the federal government is going to take it away.
The death tax raises minimal revenue yet it depresses savings and discourages entrepreneurship, leading to smaller business investment, weaker worker productivity, lower wages and less wealth creation. It is double and, in some cases, triple taxation and has been destroying businesses and ruining lives for four generations.
I am reminded of a case in Williamson County, TN. I know of a family there that inherited from their dad the 167 acre farm that they grew up working on. The kids considered keeping the farm … until they got the "inheritance tax" bill, which typically runs 40 to 50% of the current market value of a property in excess of $1 million.
The children needed to come up with hundreds of thousands of dollars within mere months of their dad’s death. Like so many other families who inherit the family farm, they simply couldn’t do that without selling the land.
This tax is flat WRONG, so tomorrow, Thursday, June 8, I will have the Senate vote on a full and permanent repeal of the death tax.
I urge you to sign my petition by clicking here and then call your Senators and let them know where you stand. If we work together, the death tax will become a disgraced relic of the past.
It turns out grieving families are now protected from the Financial Necrophilia of Government until 2010, but there lacked 3 votes to end a Filibuster so that the action could be permanent.
So 57 Senators voted to do the Right Thing, but there were 2 Republican Senators missing, which means 4 Democrats crossed the aisle and are to be honored. Voting against over 90% of your Party is nothing to take lightly.
Send the word to Congress in the same manner and with the same message that American Family Business Institute
addressed Senator McCain. Ask John McCain to keep his promise
and vote to end the Death Tax. Tell him, we're Watching, tell him, we'll Remember.
So exactly which Senators are Ghouls
(A grave robber.
An evil spirit or demon in Muslim folklore believed to plunder graves and feed on corpses.)??
Well it appears the entire Democratic Party with the exception of, Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont., Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., Ben Nelson, D-Neb., and Bill Nelson, D-Neb. from Farm Futures
remember those names they Shine in Honor.
Now for two names that Slink in Infamy, "Lincoln Chafee, R-RI, and George Voinovich, R-Ohio, voted with a majority of Democrats against cloture."
A number of senators on the fence ended up voting against the motion to proceed, including Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Mark Pryor, D-Ark. Two senators were not present, Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.. Rockefeller is still recovering from back surgery, and it is not immediately known why Schumer was not present.
Senate leaders are meeting later today (Thursday) to explore other avenues of bringing permanent relief of the death tax. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has indicated the Senate will again try to vote on the repeal before the end of the Congressional year.
Question: What does a Progressive Socialist Politician look like when waiting for the owner of a Family Farm or Business to Die?
One thing that recent events have made painfully apparent. We cannot depend on the Left to Represent the Harkworking, Citizens of this Nation.
Tell them:We're Watching, We'll Remember.
An Inflection Point In China's Banking Problem
By George Friedman
The month of May witnessed an interesting phenomenon: a spate of reports on China's nonperforming-loan problem. What is most intriguing is that these reports did not come from organizations like Stratfor -- minor outfits that have been talking about this for a couple of years.
Like yours truly in The Lusty Chinese Economy?
It came from real, solid, serious mainstream organizations that were, and continue to be in some cases, quite positive about China on the whole. What is important here is not that China has a serious problem with bad loans in its banking system. That's old news. What is important is that mainstream analysts in the West now are taking official notice of it. The wide divergence between the Western perception of Chinese economic health and the realities of China's economy is beginning to close. There will be consequences to that.
The first report came from Ernst & Young, which released a study saying that China had a substantial problem with nonperforming loans (NPLs). We have to confess to not having seen that report, because the accounting firm withdrew it a few days later. The Chinese government blasted the report, using words like "ridiculous" and "distorted." Ernst & Young, which has a substantial practice in China, denied having retracted the report because of pressure from the government. Whatever their reasons for doing so, we wish we had been faster in asking for a copy.
No matter, because May also brought studies on the same subject from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), McKinsey Global Institute, and Fitch. Each said the same basic thing: that Chinese banks have enormous NPL numbers on their books. The PWC report was issued by a group within the company that specializes in making markets in NPLs. Their news was that the water in China was fine and everyone should come in. McKinsey focused on inefficiencies in the Chinese banking system that should be cleared up, so that NPLs could decline and the Chinese gross domestic product could surge. Fitch was the harshest of the three, but that firm also argued that the Chinese had the tools in place to handle the problem. The bottom line was that all three acknowledged that NPLs were a big issue for China, but they took different approaches in trying to put the problem in perspective. In other words, they gave a warning without yelling "Fire!" Some of the reports were criticized by the Chinese, but none were blasted. Meanwhile, Moody's Investors Service has told us that they will be releasing a report in a couple of weeks. It will be interesting to see what their take is.
Let's begin this analysis by looking at a couple of quotes from these reports. McKinsey, for example, writes:
"Underlying these reforms, however, is capital misallocation by the system. Nonperforming loans are the most conspicuous outcome of this misallocation, but our research shows that the much larger volume of loans to underperforming ventures that don't go bad but yield only negligible returns are potentially more costly to China's economy."
Fitch's report states:
"Summing all of these figures, we come up with total official nonperforming loans of US$206 bn and other estimated problem loans of over US$270 bn in the banking system. We would reiterate, however, that a large portion of this latter figure is comprised of estimated Special Mention loans or loans that currently are not classified as nonperforming [emphasis Fitch's]. At the same time, there is an additional US$197 bn in NPL carveouts still remaining on the balance sheets of China's asset management companies, which no longer represent direct losses for banks but are a future liability for the government."
Fitch also states:
"Beyond this, estimating a rate of flow of new nonperforming loans is not an easy exercise given Chinese banks' extremely weak historical data and ongoing deficiencies in accounting and disclosure. Few banks report data on NPL flows, and those that do show recent flow rates in the extremely low single digits. We believe these numbers understate the likely level of ultimate credit losses, given what we know to be the slow evolution of a strong credit culture and risk management practices and our suspicion that China's over-reliance on investment-led growth comes at a cost to bank credit quality."
Fitch is estimating China's bad-loan situation (our term, lumping all these categories together) at $673 billion, but it warns that -- given Chinese accounting and reporting, and the fact that what reporting exists is not credible -- $673 billion is a low number. That's important. If $673 billion was the final number, then measures that are put in place could limit the ultimate losses to a level below that figure. If, however, the total number of bad loans is substantially higher than $673 billion -- which is our view of the situation -- then the system would be lucky to have to write off only this amount.
There are numerous ways to measure the magnitude of the problem, but one of the simplest is this. China is said to hold nearly $819 billion in foreign reserves. Fitch's conservative estimate of the bad loan situation comes close to matching that number, and a more liberal calculation would swallow those reserves up and then some. Put very simply, the Chinese banking system is in deep trouble -- and with it, so is the Chinese economy.
It has become an article of faith that China's economy is booming. The economy certainly is growing rapidly. But growth and size alone don't tell you how healthy an economic entity is. During the Great Depression, the U.S. economy was enormous, but it was crippled. Japan's economy was growing at a phenomenal rate in the 1980s, all the while heading for its disaster. Size and growth are but two measures of an economy -- or of a business. They do not tell you how well it is doing.
The basic problem of the Chinese economy, as in many Asian nations, is that the banks have not made loans with business considerations in mind. They made loans for political reasons and to maintain social stability. In many cases, loans were seen as being more like grants. As a result, they were invested in enterprises that did not make enough money to repay (or even attempt to repay) the loans. Frequently, rather than bankrupting the business or writing off the loan, the banks lent more money to the business -- so that it could repay old debts, and there was an appearance that the loans were viable. Loans went into land speculation or to investments in areas that were already overbuilt. (And this does not attempt to take into account ancillary problems, such as corruption and embezzlement, which also have been significant issues for the Chinese government.)
In the first part of 2006, there has been a huge surge in lending in China. With the economy already growing at rates of more than 9 percent, it would seem structurally impossible to grow it any faster. Shortages in skilled workers, management, buildings -- all these limit the rate of growth. The truth is that a substantial portion of the loans that went out were issued to keep bad loans floating, like using one credit card to pay the monthly payment on another. You can do that for a while, but you can't do it forever.
What keeps the Chinese system alive is not domestic consumption, which is not rising in tandem with overall growth. What keeps China afloat is exports -- exports in ever greater numbers, and with ever-smaller profit margins. Surging exports are critical to China, as they were to Japan before it. They generate the cash that allows the financial system to continue operating.
This is also the Achilles' heel of the Chinese economy, as Fitch points out:
"Given the weaknesses already discussed, we believe Chinese banks remain acutely vulnerable to an economic slowdown, although the analysis above recognizes that much work has been done to tackle these weaknesses and at a minimum suggests that Chinese banks and the government are more equipped today than in the past to deal with problems that may arise."
Here is the problem. The official policy of the Chinese government is to cool off the economy. In fact, the Chinese are attempting to cool growth only in certain sectors, where they perceive particularly dangerous bubbles starting to form. For the most part, however, they are doing everything they can to keep the economy hot, in order to try to manage the financial problem. Now, Fitch argues in its report that the Chinese banks are better equipped than in the past to deal with their problems. We agree with that assessment; they were completely unprepared in the past and now are abysmally prepared. You cannot prepare to deal with a loan situation as bad as that in China. You simply keep cycling as fast as possible and hope that something turns up.
In our view, this spate of reports on China's financial situation marks a turning point.
One of the things that has kept the Chinese economy booming was cheap exports. But another was the perception in the West that, underneath it all, China was sound. This perception induced foreign banks to invest in Chinese banks. There have, of course, been studies detailing the Chinese debt problem for some time: Standard & Poor's, for example, estimated the bad debt in 2002 at $600 million. That part isn't new.
However, when "irrational exuberance" (to quote Alan Greenspan) is at its peak, it is hard to break through the noise. Markets continue to rise, even as bad news comes out. Last week, for example, we saw the Bank of China make its initial public offering and shares soar, just as these financial reports were emerging. That doesn't mean these reports are wrong or that the Chinese have things under control. It simply means the market is ignoring news and rising on its own giddiness.
Nevertheless, a turning point has been reached that will be difficult to ignore. Reports from Stratfor are, of course, one thing. Reports from a single credit agency are another. But when a series of reports from highly respected, mainstream analysts all come out within a few days of each other -- with each, in their own way, telling the same basic story, it becomes hard for the system to dismiss that. Western companies moving into China have CEOs and CFOs who must exercise due diligence. There are now too many reports out there to be simply ignored. All of them are caveated. None of them write China off. But a critical mass is forming that will cut through the froth in due course.
Obviously, this does not mean that China will implode, disappear or anything like that. It will remain an enormous economy and an important one. But this does mean that the dynamics of the Chinese economy are shifting. The debt issue represents a deep structural problem that China will either deal with -- as South Korea did -- or not, as Japan did not. (Japan reaped more than a decade of economic stagnation as a consequence. It is significant that China lacks the degree of insulation that Japan built up; the economy has more external exposures and would not weather a similar crisis as well.) The point is that, ultimately, the books have to balance everywhere. That means that the huge structural imbalance of China, which these debts represent, must be rectified. And that process, as in all such matters, will be painful.
It is not clear how much pain Chinese society can withstand before it fractures. This is clearly a concern for Beijing as it tries, simultaneously, to reform the economy and to crack down on dissent. The Chinese, like anyone in this fix, try to put the best possible face on the situation. Which is why they exploded at Ernst & Young. But even the government in Beijing couldn't shout down the ensuing tidal wave of financial reports; instead, they grumbled and pointed to the passages that said it could all be managed.
Perhaps it can. But if it can, it won't be easy -- and we doubt that it is possible. We have been writing about this problem for several years now, and people keep asking when the crisis will come. Our answer is simple: If this isn't a crisis, what would a crisis look like? The Chinese financial system is sinking under nonperforming and underperforming loans. Mainstream Western analysts are all writing about the problem and calling for reforms that the Chinese cannot possibly implement in time to make a difference. At some point, the weight of evidence will shift the behavior of the Western financial community, and that will be that.
In the meantime, let the exports flow -- for they surely will, and in breathtaking quantities.
Send questions or comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Distribution and Reprints
This report may be distributed or republished with attribution to Strategic Forecasting, Inc. at www.stratfor.com
We The People
of What Country?
GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell
sought to add to the bill a requirement that all voters in federal elections be required to present a valid photo identification.
"It is nonsense to suggest that somehow a photo ID for one of our most sacred rights should not be protected by a requirement that is increasingly routine in almost all daily activities in America today," said the Kentucky lawmaker, second-ranking Republican.
But Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., likened the proposal to a poll tax or a requirement for voters to pass a literacy test. "Now is not the time and this is not the place to consider an amendment that may disenfranchise a million or more poor, minority, disabled, and elderly voters -- all of them American citizens," he said.
Is it the million or more who might
be disenfranchised that worrys Leave to Die Teddy, or could it be the 12 million or more who might not be able to vote illegally? After all the Honorable(?) Gentleman from MA is not noted for his Loyalty, nor his Honor, is he?
One thing that has become painfully obvious in the last few weeks is that many of our Representatives nd Senators are NOT
representing the Citizens who have a right to it, but instead seem to be representing Citizens of OTHER
Nations.We The People of What Country?
Some maintain that we should boycott the coming election. I wonder. If Politicians elected as Conservative Candidates are not up to the Job will Liberal ones elected by default be better?
NO, I say. Vote for the least damaging choice but let them know they are on sufferance. Carry out the Good Fight in Primaries.AND
Demand a position from your City, County and State Representatives.
After all the next generation of Congressional Members will be coming out of the State Houses and Senates. unless their name is Clinton, I guess.
Don't WAIT until they arrive in Congress to find out a mistake has been made. Demand their position on illegal immigrations and the representation of Citizens, early, they will be easier to weed out at that level.
This will be a long battle.
The betrayal of the Citizens of this country by those we have elected is something we must not
The eradication of those who have betrayed us is something in which we must not
It is at task in which we must not
For those who have forgotten it is We The People of
THE UNITED STATES
**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email the coalition and let me know at what level you would like to participate.
The Open Trackback Alliance XXX
For your listening pleasure while you browse
"Der er et yndigt land" (There Is A Lovely Land)
Words by: Adam Gottlob Oehlenschlager
Music by: Hans Ernst Kr?yer
"Derer et yndigt land" was first performed for a large gathering of Danes in 1844, and became popular quickly with the Danish people. It was adopted later that year by the Danish government as a national anthem, but not the sole national anthem. This anthem is on equal status with "Kong Christian",which is both the national and royal anthem.
When the Danish anthem is usually performed or sung, the first verse is played in its entirety, then it is followed by the last four lines of the last verse. (This is true whether the lyrics are sung or not
Recentlty I have been posting music to Illustrate the Diversity of America, this week I have a different motive to express Solidarity with DENMARK
I maintain my Support of Denmark, and will later today, post links to and my thoughts about a Danish Editorial "We are being pissed upon by Per Nyholm "
I think I shall title my Post, "There is no "But" in "Freedom of Speech".
When I first started upon my journey through the blogverse I created a Statement of Purpose
Now upon reading it, one can realize that I did not hold to every detail of that original statement, but from it's basic premise, I have never swayed, in my belief that the Blogs are in fact the Committees of Correspondence of the Second American Revolution.
And that it is a Revolution of Information, no longer can we afford and allow elite gateways to control what we can see, hear and discuss.
For I believe that those bloggers who find their way, here and in particular from the Blogs associated with Sam.
HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY.
Some of us are more Serious, some of us are more lighthearted and some post the common ordinary things that make one smile and recall that Life without the simple things to treasure is meaningless.
And it is important that all have a platform from which to speak.
As I understand this process you can link to this post and trackback to this post on ANY subject or post you think important. It is open. I will repeat this every Monday.
The Committees of Correspondence welcomes your intelligent comments. And also welcomes you to join the
OPEN TRACKBACK ALLIANCE
This week I also have shortened my usual introduction for a more inportant message.
In it's struggle for Freedom of Speech.
Sign the Petition NOW!
JEG opstille hos Danmark!
44162 Total Signatures 0:38 AM CST 22 May, 2006 We can do better pass the word~!
From Agora a call to Support the Manifesto online
by signing another Petition, why not sign both?MANIFESTO: Together facing the new totalitarianism
Created by Mark Jefferson on March 1st, 2006 at 5:42 pm AST
After having overcome fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism, the world now faces a new totalitarian global threat: Islamism.
We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity and secular values for all. "
Blogs that Trackback to this Post:
I parlamentari eletti all'estero ci costano 100.000 euro al mese from Camelot Destra Ideale
Y'al come back now, Y'heah? ;-)