Posts Tagged ‘Obama’
Sunday, February 10th, 2013
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on February 10th, 2013
In the wake of soaring temperatures that made it impossible for some residents in the Australian outback to pump gas, really good news is coming to the energy market….just in time for Obama’s State of the Union Address possibly where the likelihood of green energy talk is almost a certainty. A report by Bloomberg New Energy (BNEF) found that unsubsidized renewables are now cheaper sources of electricity than newly built gas or coal plants. The team also projected that new wind farms could supply electricity at $80 MWh compared to $143 MWh for coal and $116 MWhr for new gas-fired plants. The rates account for carbon emissions, but even without CO2 numbers wind would still be 14% cheaper than new coal and 18% cheaper than new gas.
Tuesday, December 4th, 2012
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on December 4th, 2012
As the Democrats and Republicans ‘negotiate’ a deal to avert the FISCAL CLIFF, we are again reminded at how very different elected government officials are to the real world. They have the luxury of time I guess? The world around them can crumble, jobs can be lost, productivity can be beaten up, and they still can take their time to make proposals that don’t add up. Neither side has submitted a plan that truly addresses the big picture issues at hand, offers some measure of real compromise, and these plans they have submitted are coming ONE MONTH after the election. What have they been doing for the last 30 days? Did they do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING before the election on this subject?
When compared to a real estate negotiation, any foolish buyer knows that submitting a bid that does not address certain realities of the markets is almost certain to be rejected. It’s simply a waste of time. In fact, a foolish low bid often angers the Seller to a degree that makes them not want to do business with this foolish buyer. In this FISCAL CLIFF negotiation there is only one buyer and one seller, so I guess the ‘seller’ cannot wait for another, better, more realistic buyer to come along. So lets imagine this negotiation is a sale and the sale MUST happen otherwise foreclosure is a certainty and the buyer and his family will be on the streets. How would we negotiate this in the real world? My experience in negotiations, verifiable by numerous self-help books and cheesy seminars on the subject, is to submit a proposal/offer that offers a win-win for both sides. Thats called compromise. Thats what we have to do in the real world.
But our dear government, those elected officials paid for with our tax dollars, do not exist in the ‘real world’……they are different. They can negotiate in fantasy land. And we have to watch in disgust and bewilderment. What would you do if your broker was not performing his or her duties in a professional and rational manner, in a way that represented your needs and wishes? Maybe its time to start firing some of these ineffective, inefficient, self-righteous elected officials to remind them they were hired to do a job. I propose that both Boehner and Obama are impeached if a deal is not reached by December 31st. A little bit of real world reality could go a long way in Washington DC.
Sunday, November 11th, 2012
Posted on November 10th, 2012 by Leonard Steinberg
In all the discussions about THE FISCAL CLIFF both parties are revealing to the world just how incompetent (and corrupt?)they really are when it comes to identifying what ‘rich’ is. Both are behaving in a discriminatory fashion that is pretty astounding. I know I keep repeating myself when I say this, but when Obama claims that ALL Americans EVERYWHERE who earn more than $ 250k are equally rich, I have to wonder about his brain capacity or worse, his intentions. If earning $ 250k per year in New York is viewed the same as earning $ 250k in Tulsa (without any adjustment for cost-of-living), then I am afraid we have not all been created equally in the eyes of this President. Surely if affirmative action was designed to help those disadvantaged by a system based on race, the same should be true for cost of living?
Just in case Obamanomics does not understand this simple economic fact, or chooses to ignore it, here are the FACTS about the difference in the cost of living as provided by BANKRATE.com:
||New York-White Plains-Wayne NY-NJ Metro Div. – New York (Manhattan) NY
||Tulsa OK Metro
|Payment + Interest
|Half Gal. Milk
The reality is, housing is a massive percentage of all American’s cost of living. Ignoring this fact is outrageous and discriminatory. So if the average home in Manhattan costs 6x more than in Tulsa, surely President Obama should acknowledge this somewhere in the new tax legislation?
And just when you thought I was done with my rant, lets cross over to the other side of the aisle where BOEHNOMICS imagines all wealthy paying the same taxes. Really? Why does he not address the fact that someone who earns $ 1million per year in salary often pays double and tripe the taxes that someone self-employed? Why are the Republicans ignoring (or choosing to ignore) this?
Both parties need to remember that not all Americans are idiots and that by enacting laws that discriminate and ignore facts, they are both opening up the door widely for a THIRD PARTY to enter this system and throw both of them out of office. PLEASE Mayor Bloomberg, be the voice of reason here and help us form a third party to either remove the idiots or encourage them through political force to act more responsibly.
And in case anyone reading this thinks I am whining on behalf of the rich, they are simply wrong: I believe a combination of tax increases and spending cuts AND efficiency implementation (has either side mentioned this little inconvenient fact?)are critical to correct our debt crisis. Doing so intelligently and with the fairness ALL Americans are entitled to is what I am yelling about.
Wednesday, November 7th, 2012
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on November 7th, 2012
As the second super-storm “Athena”, a strong nor’easter, approaches our shores with the expectation of super-strong winds, rain, snow and storm surges, we have to look towards a potentially bigger storm…..THE FISCAL CLIFF. Unlike nature, this is a $ 7 trillion storm we can actually be prepared for and ward off……but only if our beloved politicians join forces, make some compromises (on BOTH sides), and get to work immediately.
Already, businesses around the country are making contingency plans for this ‘cliff’, and they are not pretty. They include large cut-backs on spending and investment, lay-offs, and a strong potential for economic decline in 2013, more than likely leading to another recession. Chances are real estate sales, construction and financing would be cut back sharply. We cannot afford this. The fiscal and human toll would simply be too great. And knowing that all it requires is compromise on both sides of the aisle to formulate practical, intelligent solutions makes it all the more important for all of us to join forces and apply maximum pressure on our elected officials to do the right thing.
Our President, Congress and Senate need to get to work to-day on this: not doing the right thing now (with urgency)would be in my opinion very un-American and worthy of impeachment. We know what to expect from ATHENA, just like we knew what to expect from SANDY. We have a very good idea what the consequences are of THE FISCAL CLIFF will be: If Governor Christie and President Obama can work together on ‘Sandy’, there is hope for this 3rd Storm too. Now lets get down to work!
Wednesday, November 7th, 2012
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on November 7th, 2012
New American households are being set up at the fastest rate in more than six years: is this an indication that recession anxiety, which prompted adult children to move in with their parents and single people to postpone marriage, is starting to ease? Is this an indicator that we are entering the beginnings of the real economic recovery?
1.15 million households were added in the US in the 12 months that ended in September, according to a recent Census Bureau data. That is a significant rise from the past four years when an average of 650,000 households were formed annually. Household formation is still running lower than the average 1.25 million added annually during the boom years, yet this is an important shift. Rising household formation is tied to employment growth and means more students are finding jobs when they leave college, more adult children are leaving their parents’ homes and more couples feel confident enough about the future to tie the knot. It could also mean that immigration is picking up.
With four more years of Obama, we hope this is the beginning of a stronger economic growth surge, to counter the tepid recovery that plagued our economy for the past 4 years. Now comes the essential ‘getting down to business’ moment of the election……the moment when hard, critical decisions have to be made and policy has to be agreed on to get the economy growing at a faster stronger rate. Regardless of whether you are Democrat or Republican, strong growth is the key to higher revenues and lower spending. The minute housing is healthy again, we will know the economy is back…..and all indicators are that we are heading there.
Sunday, October 21st, 2012
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on October 20th, 2012
“You cannot balance the budget without raising revenue and cutting expenses. There is no reputable economist that remotely thinks you could do this without doing those two things — one of which is anathema to the Republicans, and one of which is anathema to the Democrats.”
No, you will never hear these words uttered by either presidential candidate Obama or Romney…..because this is the reality. And reality has all but bypassed this horrific election campaign. Both candidates should be embarrassed. These are the words spoken by the only politician who is not indebted to the radical elements of both parties that have hijacked the system, provide the scandalous sound-bites that get the most air-time (as they fuel ratings), and are probably largely to blame for the stalemate in government……Mayor Bloomberg. This week Bloomberg announced the creation of a Super-Pac to promote the Centrist perspective, the most lacking thought process in politics to-day. Independence USA PAC has pledged to spend up to $15 million in the next two weeks on state, federal and local candidates.
Bloomberg raised real estate taxes in New York, and cut expenses a few years ago: the results are a rather healthy economy. Practical solutions work. Taxes can easily be lowered when that revenue is not needed, provided the radical left-wing agenda for limitless, wasteful, inefficient spending is simultaneously curtailed. The majority of US citizens are ready for a practical, centrist government that enacts legislation that actually works.
Just like so many US households have had to be practical in the past few years, its time too for the USA to pay down its credit card bill!
Monday, October 8th, 2012
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on October 8th, 2012
Both presidential candidates are arguing over regulation: Romney says we have too much and Obama says we don’t have enough. What about SMART regulation: efficient regulation that actually works? David Rubenstein, the co-founder of The Carlyle Group and the ‘king’ of private equity, made the point the other day and it is abundantly clear just how stupid some of the regulation is in place when you apply for a mortgage these days. I am re-financing a mortgage, and some of the regulations I have experienced are so incredibly idiotic, one has to wonder how this legislation passed the muster of so many elected officials in government? Are two really bad appraisals done by two really inept appraisers better than one solid appraisal? Should the mortgage broker not be allowed to speak to the appraiser……really? What about a recorded conversation that was transposed into text and became part of the closing documentation? Dodd-Frank is an obviously flawed piece of legislation….it’s too complicated, too messy and while it does address some of the underlying causes of the previous lack of regulation in the mortgage industry, it is not nearly as effective as it could be. It does not need to be repealed, and it does not need to be expanded. It should be simplified, refined and made SMARTER. It should have more PRACTICAL, clever checks and balances installed into it that are devoid of politics, and address more effectively why this legislation was passed in the first place.
It still amazes me how both candidates don’t address the one thing that is a huge factor in all government: EFFICIENCY. Neither candidate mentioned once how in 2009 roughly $750 billion was wasted on unnecessary services, excessive administrative costs, fraud, and other problems in the healthcare system. $ 750 BILLION in one year? Thats almost as much as TARP, most of which has been paid back….with interest…..yet neither candidate addressed how inefficient, corrupt and inept government is. Both candidates talk lovingly about the underprivileged, yet neither mention a plan to address the fact that forty percent of food in the United States is never eaten, amounting to $165 billion a year in waste. Add up all the waste and inefficiencies in our systems and we’d all be amazed at how little extra revenue is needed to balance our budgets. Neither candidate addressed the silent ‘hidden tax’ on all Americans…..the cost of gas: the price is dictated by the efficiency of refineries, production and demand (not to mention our little friend OPEC)…..so if we have given up control of pricing, why not focus with a passion on efficiencies? Could smart regulation cut fuel consumption by 15% quickly? At least we have control over that. Remember, when every US consumer has to spend an extra $ 15 per week on gas, thats about $ 800 a year per person (almost $ 100 billion collectively) taken out of the spending pool. We are a consumer driven economy and both candidates refuse to acknowledge that the primary reason for slow growth is WEAK DEMAND.
Maybe its time for the PRACTICAL PARTY, a political party that focuses on what works best for the country at large, not just the extremist thugs/idiots/incompetents/self-serving lunatics on both sides of the aisle. This party would not muster up more than 10% of the country’s vote but it could be the deciding entity in all legislation, breaking gridlock in Congress and the Senate, driving both sides to become more pragmatic in their legislating efforts.
Friday, September 21st, 2012
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on September 21st, 2012
Interest rates are at record lows, so financing a property today is more affordable than ever. Here are some disturbing facts to absorb:
1) Is everyone who has a mortgage and takes the tax deduction part of Mitt Romney’s 47%?…..the mortage deduction is a government subsidized handout….basically. I know many New York real estate owners who take this ‘handout’ who would never vote for Obama…. How disgraceful and stupid of Romney not to see this and a host of other government handouts and ‘breaks’ that benefit more than just Obama voters….and how absurd of Obama to ‘feel’ for the poor 47% when so many of them are not poor at all. Both look ridiculous!
2) Yes, mortgage rates are super-low….but QUALIFYING for a mortgage is much, much tougher (a good thing!)….so ultimately the beneficiaries of low interest rates are primarily the wealthy. Some of the requirements to qualify for a mortgage these days border on the absurd, and the appraisal process has become a bit of a joke.
Friday, August 24th, 2012
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on August 24th, 2012
Now that I am on vacation in the hot-hot South of France, I have had more time to absorb the world’s craziness and get a better global perspective. While watching the BBC this morning, I caught up on world events and wanted to compare the following to the statement I keep hearing again and again from sellers in New York: “Yes, but if we price it really, really high, I bet a rich Russian buyer will swoop in and pay the miracle price!”
I agree, that statement is crazy, but when compared to other crazy-thinking currently throughout our planet one may better understand the inspiration. Here are some examples:
1) Mitt Romney says its CLASS WARFARE to discuss the fact that he pays 13% in Federal taxes when other rich people pay double…..as do many upper middle class tax payers. Isn’t it class warfare to think you belong to a different country club that allows you to pay so much less in taxes than your (almost) equal neighbor? Why are YOU one of the chosen few who can do this? Who did the choosing? The same happens with real estate taxes in Manhattan, another class warfare, but not between rich and poor or middle class…..its class ‘war’ between the same classes where neighbors pay vastly different real estate taxes for almost identical properties, well, just because…..! This is not a partisan political statement at all as I consider those bilking the welfare system (legally of course) to be as guilty of moral corruption as Mitt. Both are abusing the system.
2) Ecuador, a country best known for its moral and ethical leadership (ranked 26th out of 29 countries in the South and Central America/Caribbean region: its overall economic freedom score is well below the world and regional averages), is demanding that Mr. Assange, the WIKILEAKS founder, be released immediately from Britain so that any charges against him related to having sex with under-age girls cannot be investigated. How moral. How ethical.
3) The GOP wants less government interference in our lives: I think thats a GREAT idea. Of course when it comes to abortion, many in the GOP want the government to insist that a 13 year old girl who has been raped, should bring the devil-seed baby to this earth through a 9-month pregnancy that is certain to wipe out any of the child’s youth that has not already been wiped out by the rape. Then of course because she is a child, this child should give up her child to adoption and once again experience more trauma through the separation. And then that devil-seed child whose chances for developing into a functioning member of society are slim at best should go out into society and thrive, probably requiring government assistance or better yet, a $ 100,000 per year jail cell….paid for of course with taxpayer dollars, that the GOP don’t want to collect.
4) Iran was on TV this morning, OUTRAGED that the USA is not providing the drugs its people so desperately need to save lives. This is coming from a country that is demanding the death of the United States. Surely when the USA is dead we will be unable to provide these drugs too?
5) Obama has spent nearly $59 million through his main campaign account — $10 million more than he raised, financial reports filed late Monday afternoon show. The cost of his campaign so far: more than $325 million, not counting spending by the the Democratic Party committees aiding his re-election. Does Obama think spending more than you earn, even for an election campaign, will lead voters to believe he can balance the budget of the USA?
6) Greece is OUTRAGED that the EU might want to oust it from the Eurozone. Outraged! Of course their contribution to the EU has been negative at best…. they have allowed a sector of their population to fleece and drain their economy, and another to rely entirely on government handouts….. but of course they DESERVE the gratitude and kindness of the other European countries. Surely Germany should foot the bill while the Greeks continue with their reckless practices? In Greece lies a good real estate twist though: the last thing the Greeks can turn to now in their desperate attempts to stay afloat is of course…..their real estate! They are seriously considering selling off some Greek islands (land leases) to pay down their mounting debts. REAL ESTATE TO THE RESCUE AGAIN!