Thursday, January 28, 2010

5.3 million Toyota's recalled

How in the world did it get to this point? First a recall in Europe and now in the US. And now, they stop all manufacturing. And no one really knows for sure if it's floor mats or something else that causes the car to speed up. It will take years for Toyota to completely recover from this, if they can't identify the problems. How fortunate are we that it wasn't Ford, Chevy or Chrysler, as it would probably break a US maker with that many cars recalled.

Deval shows his cards for 2011 budget game

Deval has submitted a budget 28.2 billion dollars for 2011, which includes increase taxes on candy, soft drinks and tobacco. He will trim tax incentives to the film industry and eliminate hundreds of jobs. Based on an expected revenue increase of 3.2%, Deval has increased the budget by 3%. His budget relies on one time federal money, revenues keeping pace with projections and legislative approval. The one time federal money is 1.9 billion. The Feds would have to approve another round of stimulus money for Deval's budget plan to work. He would also take another 175 million from the reserve account.

Taxing candy would generate 52 million in revenue, taxing smokeless tobacco would generate another 15 million, (a 2 dollar cigar jumps up to $4.46), 20 million would be raised by a .5 cent deposit on bottled water as well as coffee based and sports drinks.

The 800 million in spending cuts, include, 5 million from the Quinn Bill, 3 million from State Parks and 9 million in job training.

Deval and the dysfunctional State House partners and all his rivals will line up to take shots at him over this and I still contend, local aid will suffer at some point during these negotiations. DeLeo will fight Deval at every possible point as he said today on TV, he's not sure local aid will not be cut. We have until July to see how many of his proposal will fly and if the economy doesn't pick up as he thought, this budget may just be a waste of time and paper it was written on and the duck and cover crowd will hang Deval out to dry, along with the challengers.

State of the Union

I'll bet ratings for this event last night hit all time highs. This Amercian has and will continue to be impressed with the President and his speech writers. He still remains our best hope for recovery and is the countries best cheerleader. I think he called out the R's and the D's as he should have, called out the SJC as he should have and highlighted the continual big money influence that has stalled his attempts at any meaningful reforms of any kind.

I liked what he said about jobs creation in green energy, tax breaks for middle class, college dept exclusion, ending the war in Iraqi bringing our troops home and tax breaks for businesses that hire new employees.

It was very telling and reflective of the deep divisions that separate the two parties and one should question why the R's didn't stand up and applaud job creation. And while some, including this American, feel a halt to spending increases for discretionary funding is way past due.

Overall, his plans seem to be what we need to move away from this recession and he seemed to throw out a carrot to the R's on several fronts, none that I believe in, like more nuke plants, more offshore and public land exploration of oil and gas and he did remind us all, of what he inherited. Americans seem to forget that quickly.

The most pathetic, scripted, left wing response from the R's last night, talks a familiar talk, with all the key phrases and bullet points, and references to our founding fathers, working together to find answers to our problems. But the reality is that the hard left and hard right, can't get anything done for the people.

The biggest question, who's answer may not be clear for several years, do we buy our way out of this mess or do we just give tax breaks to the already rich and let trickle down economics restore millions of jobs?.