03/25/09

AIG Exec: “Take This Job and Shove It”

A lot of feigned outrage over the AIG bonuses have led to the worst of extremes, ranging from mob protests to the unprecedented use of punitive taxation by Congress (which is also a Constitutional breach).

However, there are two sides to every story, and a moving resignation letter from one of the targeted executives says it all.

It is with deep regret that I submit my notice of resignation from A.I.G. Financial Products. I hope you take the time to read this entire letter. Before describing the details of my decision, I want to offer some context:

I am proud of everything I have done for the commodity and equity divisions of A.I.G.-F.P. I was in no way involved in — or responsible for — the credit default swap transactions that have hamstrung A.I.G. Nor were more than a handful of the 400 current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. Most of those responsible have left the company and have conspicuously escaped the public outrage.

After 12 months of hard work dismantling the company — during which A.I.G. reassured us many times we would be rewarded in March 2009 — we in the financial products unit have been betrayed by A.I.G. and are being unfairly persecuted by elected officials. In response to this, I will now leave the company and donate my entire post-tax retention payment to those suffering from the global economic downturn. My intent is to keep none of the money myself.

I take this action after 11 years of dedicated, honorable service to A.I.G. I can no longer effectively perform my duties in this dysfunctional environment, nor am I being paid to do so. Like you, I was asked to work for an annual salary of $1, and I agreed out of a sense of duty to the company and to the public officials who have come to its aid. Having now been let down by both, I can no longer justify spending 10, 12, 14 hours a day away from my family for the benefit of those who have let me down.

To those in Washington who displayed such phony and hypocritcal outrage that sparked an unnecessary witch hunt: Shame on all of you.

It’s bad enough that those targeted had to perform a thankless job to fix a problem with assurances of contractual compensation THAT WAS APPROVED BY BOTH THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION AND CONGRESS are being shafted, forced to give up their rightful earnings, played as pawns in a game of class envy, and subjected threats of violence and death.

Today it’s AIG; tomorrow it could be a private, non-financial firm that didn’t need or didn’t ask for goverment aid.

It never was about rescuing institutions that were considered “too big to fail”; it’s about nationalization and government-led extortion.

02/19/09

The Rant Heard ‘Round the World

CNBC’s Rick Santelli rips the O-Team a new one — and rightly so.

“President Obama, are you listening ?!?!?”

Update (2/22): Americans are taking Santelli’s suggestion for a Chicago Tea Party to heart — and are now organizing nationwide to make sure the President listens.

Fellow Nevadans, are you game? If so, drop me a line to help get the ball rolling.

02/5/09

A Moment of Common Sense

In light of the political whirlwind brought about by the Obama Administration (and to make up for the lack of posting due to my day job), a moment of wisdom and common sense is warranted.

If the Obamaholics really want to get something done, it would behoove them to put down Rules for Radicals and The Audacity of Hope, and pick up Capitalism and Freedom and Free to Choose.

Or, if time to sit down and read is lacking, they should at least go to YouTube and do a search on Milton Friedman.

From Keynes to Krugman, “progressive” economists have and always will be trumped by Friedman. Were he alive today, he would never sign on to such a high-pressured, intimidating sales pitch masquerading as a “stimulus” package that a majority of Americans are now opposing in its current form.

01/30/09

A Message From Your Boss

The following has been making its way around the Internets (h/t: Boortz), and should be required reading for everyone in light of the current economic circumstances.

To All My Valued Employees,

There have been some rumblings around the office about the future of this company, and more specifically, your job. As you know, the economy has changed for the worse and presents many challenges. However, the good news is this: The economy doesn’t pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is the changing political landscape in this country.

However, let me tell you some little tidbits of fact which might help you decide what is in your best interests.

First, while it is easy to spew rhetoric that casts employers against employees, you have to understand that for every business owner there is a back story. This back story is often neglected and overshadowed by what you see and hear. Sure, you see me park my Mercedes outside. You’ve seen my big home at last years Christmas party. I’m sure; all these flashy icons of luxury conjure up some idealized thoughts about my life.

However, what you don’t see is the back story.

I started this company 28 years ago. At that time, I lived in a 300 square foot studio apartment for 3 years. My entire living apartment was converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by the way, would eventually employ you.

My diet consisted of Ramen Pride noodles because every dollar I spent went back into this company. I drove a rusty Toyota Corolla with a defective transmission. I didn’t have time to date. Often times, I stayed home on weekends, while my friends went out drinking and partying. In fact, I was married to my business — hard work, discipline, and sacrifice.

Meanwhile, my friends got jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made a modest $50K a year and spent every dime they earned. They drove flashy cars and lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes. Instead of hitting the Nordstrom’s for the latest hot fashion item, I was trolling through the Goodwill store extracting any clothing item that didn’t look like it was birthed in the 70’s. My friends refinanced their mortgages and lived a life of luxury. I, however, did not. I put my time, my money, and my life into a business with a vision that eventually, some day, I too, will be able to afford these luxuries my friends supposedly had.

So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9am, mentally check in at about noon, and then leave at 5pm, I don’t. There is no “off” button for me. When you leave the office, you are done and you have a weekend all to y ourself. I unfortunately do not have the freedom. I eat, and breathe this company every minute of the day. There is no rest. There is no weekend. There is no happy hour. Every day this business is attached to my hip like a 1 year old special-needs child. You, of course, only see the fruits of that garden — the nice house, the Mercedes, the vacations… You never realize the back story and the sacrifices I’ve made.

Now, the economy is falling apart and I, the guy that made all the right decisions and saved his money, have to bail-out all the people who didn’t. The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed a decade of my life for.

Yes, business ownership has is benefits but the price I’ve paid is steep and not without wounds.

Unfortunately, the cost of running this business, and employing you, is starting to eclipse the threshold of marginal benefit and let me tell you why:

I am being taxed to death and the government thinks I don’t pay enough. I have state taxes. Federal taxes. Property taxes. Sales and use taxes. Payroll taxes. Workers compensation taxes. Unemployment taxes. Taxes on taxes. I have to hire a tax man to manage all these taxes and then guess what? I have to pay taxes for employing him. Government mandates and regulations and all the accounting that goes with it, now occupy most of my time. On Oct 15th, I wrote a check to the US Treasury for $288,000 for quarterly taxes. You know what my “stimulus” check was? Zero. Nada. Zilch.

The question I have is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over
2,200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single mother sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check? Obviously, government feels the latter is the economic stimulus of this country.
The fact is, if I deducted (Read: Stole) 50% of your paycheck you’d quit and you wouldn’t work here. I mean, why should you? That’s nuts. Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, I agree which is why your job is in jeopardy.

Here is what many of you don’t understand … to stimulate the economy you need to stimulate what runs the economy. Had suddenly government mandated to me that I didn’t need to pay taxes, guess what? Instead of depositing that $288,000 into the Washington black-hole, I would have spent it, hired more employees, and generated substantial economic growth. My employees would have enjoyed the wealth of that tax cut in the form of promotions and better salaries. But you can forget it now.

When you have a comatose man on the verge of death, you don’t defibrillate and shock his thumb thinking that will bring him back to life, do you? Or, do you defibrillate his heart? Business is at the heart of America and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate it, not kill it. Suddenly, the power brokers in Washington believe the poor of America are the essential drivers of the American economic engine. Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of change you can keep.

So where am I going with all this?

It’s quite simple.

If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, my reaction will be swift and simple. I fire you. I fire your co-workers. You can then plead with the government to pay for your mortgage, your SUV, and your child’s futu re. Frankly, it isn’t my problem any more.

Then, I will close this company down, move to another country, and retire. You see, I’m done. I’m done with a country that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, will be my citizenship.

If you lose your job, it won’t be at the hands of the economy; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country, steamrolled the constitution, and will have changed its landscape forever. If that happens, you can find me sitting on a beach, retired, and with no employees to worry about….

Signed,

Your boss

01/29/09

Global Warming is a Crock

Now that I have your attention, read the following by meteorologist and Weather Channel founder John Coleman:

The key players are now all in place in Washington and in state governments across America to officially label carbon dioxide as a pollutant and enact laws that tax we citizens for our carbon footprints. Only two details stand in the way, the faltering economic times and a dramatic turn toward a colder climate. The last two bitter winters have lead to a rise in public awareness that CO2 is not a pollutant and is not a significant greenhouse gas that is triggering runaway global warming.

How did we ever get to this point where bad science is driving big government we have to struggle so to stop it? The key players are now all in place in Washington and in state governments across America to officially label carbon dioxide as a pollutant and enact laws that tax we citizens for our carbon footprints. Only two details stand in the way, the faltering economic times and a dramatic turn toward a colder climate. The last two bitter winters have lead to a rise in public awareness that CO2 is not a pollutant and is not a significant greenhouse gas that is triggering runaway global warming.

How did we ever get to this point where bad science is driving big government we have to struggle so to stop it?

We can thank in part the alarmist “global whiners”, including Al Gore; Coleman’s op-ed delves even deeper — going back to half a century.

01/28/09

House GOP Grows A Pair

177 Republican members of the House and 11 Democrats stood up to President Obama and voted against his tax-and-spending plan.

Kudos to those who refused to go along with the President’s socialist agenda and didn’t give in to his warped definition of working together (with a special shout-out to NV Congressman Dean Heller) .

Now to see if the Senate Republicans have any courage left to stand on fiscal conservative principles…

01/26/09

Bipartisanship Defined. Seriously.

Rush Limbaugh, whom many Republicans in Congress have chosen to ignore for years prior to the recent Obama remarks, makes a serious, sincere effort to reach out and work with the majority party.

The following is an excerpt from the proposed Obama-Limbaugh Bipartisan Stimulus Plan of 2009:

Mine is a genuine compromise. So let’s look at how the vote came out, shall we? Fifty-three percent of voters in this country — we’ll say, for the sake of this proposal, 53% of Americans — voted for Obama. Forty-six percent voted for Senator McCain, and 1% voted for wackos. Let’s give the remaining 1% to President Obama, so let’s say that 54% voted for President Obama and 46% voted for Senator McCain. As a way to bring the country together and at the same time determine the most effective way to deal with recessions, under the Obama-Limbaugh Stimulus Plan of 2009, $540 billion of the one trillion will be spent on infrastructure as defined by President Obama and the Democrats. The remaining $460 billion, or 46% that voted for Senator McCain, will be directed towards tax cuts, as determined by me.

These tax cuts will consist primarily of capital gains tax cuts and corporate tax rate cuts. So Obama gets $540 billion to spend his way. The other people of this country who did not vote for his way get $460 billion spent the way they would like it spent. This is bipartisanship! This is how bipartisanship really works. Okay, Obama wins by a 54-46 majority, so he gets 54% of the trillion bucks. Spend it his way. We get 46% of the trillion bucks to spend our way, and then we compare. Then we see which stimulus actually works and works the fastest, and I will guarantee you that if this plan is adopted, just the announcement that $460 billion will go toward paying for tax cuts, capital gains, and corporate tax rates — we could throw in some personal income tax rate reduction in order to make sure that the voters don’t think it’s all about helping the big guys. But we need jobs, do we not?

Who hires people? Businesses! Businesses need tax cuts. The US corporate tax rate is obscene. It is the highest of all industrialized nations. It’s 35%. Cut it. Cut it in half. Make the capital gains rate go away for three months, and then get out of the way to see what happens on Wall Street. And once Wall Street starts ticking up 500 points a day, you watch what happens to the rest of the private sector. It will follow right along. This would ensure a bipartisan compromise bill, as Democrats have said that they’re always about. It would satisfy the American people’s wishes, as polls currently note; and it would also serve as a test, going forward, as to which approach best stimulates the growth of jobs — and it can be measured side by side. It could be determined where the new jobs are coming from.

Read the whole thing.

01/23/09

So Much For Bipartisanship

President Obama promised to work with Congress in a bipartisan way. Today, he told the GOP to go pound sand.

President Obama listened to Republican gripes about his stimulus package during a meeting with congressional leaders Friday morning – but he also left no doubt about who’s in charge of these negotiations. “I won,” Obama noted matter-of-factly, according to sources familiar with the conversation.

The exchange arose as top House and Senate Republicans expressed concern to the president about the amount of spending in the package. They also raised red flags about a refundable tax credit that returns money to those who don’t pay income taxes, the sources said.

In practical terms, he did win; he also has the majority votes in his party to back him up, too.

Right now, the GOP is currently experiencing what I’d like to call The Queen Amidala Situation:

“There are things I cannot do.
I cannot watch my people suffer.
I cannot sit when something must be done.
I cannot judge those who are different.

There are things I cannot do.
Run. Hide. Ignore.

There are things I cannot do.
But there are certainly things I will do!”

What the GOP must do is to fight the good fight of the opposition. Party leadership in both houses of Congress must not roll over to the Democrat agenda at all costs, and they can start by voting against the “stimulus package”.

Who cares if the MSM is in the Obama tank? Get the message out loud and clear with the tools and resources of the new media. Blogs, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, and Twitter are great tools to have. USE THEM. On the Sunday talk shows, on talk radio, and at Congressional press conferences, talk about the consequences of pork spending and present good counterproposals.

Demand that moderate Republicans side with fiscal conservatism and common sense. If the McCains, Grahams, and Specters want to act like Democrats, they can join the other side and consumate the tryst once and for all.

If President Obama wants to bring Chicago-style politics to Washington, then the GOP needs to grow a pair and do what must be done to fight back and remain relevant in the years to come. Stand with him when he does right, but also stand against him when does wrong — and tell the nation why he’s wrong.

Yes, he won. But may we be damned if we resign ourselves to being losers.

(h/t: Say Anything, Hot Air)

01/21/09

Cause and Effect

Cause:

“For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act — not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. All this we will do. [...]

“Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control — and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart — not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.”

President Obama, 1/20/09

Effect:

Joel Samuelson