Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Item From My Mailbox: Thanks Bonnie

Lets quit trashing President Obama & start to recognize his accomplishments! 
After all, it is an impressive list..........

First President
to apply for college aid as a foreign student, then deny he was a foreigner.

First President
to have a social security number from a state he has never lived in.

First President
to preside over a cut to the credit-rating of the United States.

First President
to violate the War Powers Act.

First President
to be held in contempt of court for illegally obstructing oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

First President
to defy a Federal Judge's court order to cease implementing the Health Care Reform Law.

First President
to require all Americans to purchase a product from a third party.

First President
to spend a trillion dollars on 'shovel-ready' jobs when there was no such thing as 'shovel-ready' jobs.

First President
to abrogate bankruptcy law to turn over control of companies to his union supporters.

First President
to by-pass Congress and implement the Dream Act through executive fiat.

First President
to order a secret amnesty program that stopped the deportation of illegal immigrants across the U.S., including those with criminal convictions.

First President
to demand a company hand-over $20 billion to one of his political appointees.

First President
to terminate America's ability to put a man in space.

First President
to have a law signed by an auto-pen without being present.

First President
to arbitrarily declare an existing law unconstitutional and refuse to enforce it.

First President
to threaten insurance companies if they publicly spoke-out on the reasons for their rate increases.

First President
to tell a major manufacturing company in which state it is allowed to locate a factory.

First President
to file lawsuits against the states he swore an oath to protect (AZ, WI, OH, IN).

First President
to withdraw an existing coal permit that had been properly issued years ago.

First President
to fire an inspector general of Ameri-corps for catching one of his friends in a corruption case.

First President
to appoint 45 czars to replace elected officials in his office.

First President
to golf 73 separate times in his first two and a half years in office, 100 to date.

First President
to hide his medical, educational, and travel records.

First President
to win a Nobel Peace Prize for doing NOTHING to earn it.

First President
to go on multiple global 'apology tour

First President
to go on 17 lavish vacations, including date nights and Wednesday evening White House parties for his friends; paid for by the taxpayer.

First President
to have 22 personal servants (taxpayer funded) for his wife.

First President
to keep a dog trainer on retainer for $102,000 a year at taxpayer expense.

First President
to take a 17 day vacation.

So, how is this "CHANGE" working out?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Slumdog Millionaire Next Door

One of the reasons humanity has so many problems is that deception can be beneficial for the deceiver. This is nothing new. Mark Twain is attributed with, "a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." That was before high speed internet connections. Halfway around the world? Twain was so dial up.

Let me call your attention to the map provided by a leftist group. It's very power to the people. It is also highly deceptive. It deceives the viewer because it does not factor in government benefits as income or property. The Occupants might be repulsed at the sight of button down accountants, but they are not repulsed by their trickery. They lovingly embrace the staid profession's methodology.

If you receive $3,333/month in government benefits, you are a virtual millionaire. Applying the 4% rule of thumb of withdrawals, it would take ONE MILLION DOLLARS of capital for a working person to duplicate this feat. Your position is actually better than most fools who try to duplicate your life of leisure using old fashioned methods.

Why is your position better?

1. You don't have to worry about fluctuations in the stock market (or anything else for that matter.)

2. You don't have to research or manage your portfolio. That can be a part-time job in and of itself. More time for you to savor "Springer" or "Judge Judy" or "Law and Order."

3. Every bennie you receive is tax free. This cannot be underemphasized.

4. There is such a thing as present value of money. Simply put, money received today is worth more than money received tomorrow, EVEN WITHOUT INFLATION.

5. Your enjoy the benefits of wealth without many of its pitfalls. If you are so unfortunate to be sued, your bennies are off the table. You can run up tabs all over town and never pay a dime. You enjoy institutional privilege that working people can only dream of
6. Oh, and let us not forget that your life of leisure is vastly superior to your friends in the workforce. Your commute is also probably less hectic.

So how many Americans are virtual millionaires by virtue of government benefits? I can't do the research right now but I think it's safe to say that there are millions of them. Millions. Refer to the map above. If we calculate the virtual wealth of welfare millionaires, the map gets skewed. That little red dot might morph into the Alaska and Hawaii missing from the Occupants' map. This is like guessing how many jelly beans are in a jar. The area assigned to our slumdog millionaires might actually be the size of Mexico or even Canada!

A quick review of how easy it is to become a virtual millionaire. http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/quickfacts/stat_snapshot/ Here we see that Social Security pays 8.7 million people a monthly income of $1111.17 for disability benefits. STANDARD DISCLAIMER:  I don't begrudge a dime to people who are legitimately disabled and are unable to work. But every day I see people who are gaming the system. This is the easiest way to scam the government and ultimately it will hurt people who really need help.

What is the value of lifelong free health insurance?

The Kaiser Family Foundation puts out some good data on employer-based coverage. According to them, the average cost of employer-based health insurance for a single person in 2011 was $5,429 per year, of which the employee paid only $921 and the employer paid the rest. Divide that out by twelve if you want a monthly premium amount. http://blog.ehealthinsurance.com/2011/12/what%E2%80%99s-the-average-cost-of-health-insurance-consumer-qa/

The above covers individual health insurance. The cost for a family plan is substantially more.

YORK (CNNMoney) -- Health care costs for a family of four rose again in 2011, with employees paying a much larger share of the rising expenses, according to a new industry report Wednesday.
American families who are insured through their jobs average health care costs of $19,393 this year, up 7.3%, or $1,319 from last year, according to independent actuarial and health care consulting firm Milliman Inc.
More significantly, employers are making workers shoulder an even bigger share of total health care expenses.
Of the $1,319 annual increase, workers' out-of-pocket costs this year rose 9.2%. That was more than the 6.6% increase the prior year.
Payroll deductions for insurance coverage rose 9.3% this year, also more than the year before.
However, employers' share of workers' health care costs fell 6% in 2010, compared to 8% the year prior.
Of the $19,393 overall annual cost, employees' share is inching closer to 50%, said Lorraine Mayne, principal and consulting actuary with Milliman.
"Employees are paying $8,000 of the $19,000. That's a decent amount much larger than other areas of consumer spending," said Mayne.
"What we've observed in the past few years is employers have increasingly been offering health plans with higher deductibles and co-insurance, co-payment limits," she said.


$19,393 + $13334.04 ($1111.17 x 12) = 32,727.04(Actually, the disability benefits would probably be greater for a family of  four.) We need a nest egg of just over $800,000 to make this happen on an annual basis. And we just figured two benefits. I don't want to get too tangential here. Let's not figure both family of four and individual. For brevity, let's concentrate on the individual.

So, $13,334 + $5,429 = $18,763.  Let's add food stamps. http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=1269

The individual is now entitled to $200/month or $2400/year. A family of four can collect $668/month or roughly $8,000/year. The family of four has now crossed the $40,000/year mark that would require a one million dollar nest egg. The individual is halfway there. Let's turn our attention to housing.

How much one pays for housing is largely dependent on geography. It is hard to uniformly apply the value of a housing subsidy. But if one lives in Boston or New York and receives housing assistance, one probably receives at least $1000/month in assistance. At these rates, the individual now receives about $33,000 in annual benefits.

We can skip over niceties like free or reduced utilities, free or reduced transportation, and free cell phones. How much money would it take to replicate the lifestyles of our fellow Americans? The independent variable is housing. But if an individual wanted to construct a financial plan whereby he was able to receive a monthly stipend of $1111, a monthly payment that covered his health insurance expenses ($452.41/month using the numbers above) and $200/month in groceries, he would need to set aside at least $528,900 and hope his preferred financial vehicle met with rising tides.Throw in rent subsidies and we are close to one million dollars. In some parts of the country, the individual would need to exceed that amount.

Remember, these figures are for individuals. The proverbial family of four can easily collect annual benefits of $40,000, not including rent subsidies. That is, the prudent investor would need to accumulate $1 million in assets to provide for his family as well as the benefited family is provided for. And he would need another chunk of cash to pay his family's rent every month.

This is a hasty, armchair analysis of the true nature of wealth and poverty. But the snapshot captures the essence. Despite the facile propaganda of the Occupants, America is teeming with people who live like millionaires. They would be the economically elite in most countries. What do we call them? We call them poor people.