Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day

Happy 235th birthday to the United States of America!

This Independence Day, we wish happiness to all our readers. The United States is the greatest nation on Earth and a place where everyone has an equal chance at happiness and prosperity. Every American is privileged to be a citizen of this great country.

Today, and every day, we must remember that the freedoms we have are not free. We should remember the  sacrifices made by our fellow Americans in defense of this great nation and to expand freedom and democracy to others around the world.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Supreme Court Weakens the American People

The Supreme Court of the United States yesterday sided with Walmart by derailing a class action lawsuit stemming from allegations that the company discriminated against women by paying them less than male counterparts and not giving them advancement opportunities.

The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled that the plaintiffs failed to show that Walmart policies denied them pay or promotion. In a unanimous decision, the court deemed the class in the class action was too large.

This is outrageous.

No class should be considered too large. In some cases, a class should consist of every American. The Supreme Court should have allowed the class action to move forward and for a decision to be rendered by a jury of average Americans. Instead, nine appointed justices weakened the power of the American people. While Walmart may have not discriminated against women, the case deserved to be heard so that a jury could make the decision and the arguments could be made by both sides in open court.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

No Freedom, No Money.

Saudi Arabian authorities yesterday released Manal al-Sherif, a woman arrested for driving, an activity forbidden to women in Saudi Arabia.

Such laws are utterly ridiculous and go against American ideals of freedom. The United States needs to take a stance against such policies and tell countries that they need to move forward with reforms in order to provide equality and freedom. Countries that fail to do this should be ineligible for any United States aid or protection. Saudi Arabia is protected from attack because the United States will come to its aid and defense, such as how the United States defended Saudi Arabia from Iraqi attacks in the early 1990s. Such protection should not exist for countries that are not willing to align themselves with the objective of furthering freedom.

The United States spends billions of dollars a year on foreign aid and defense. With a major deficit, the United States needs to ensure that it is not spending money to help countries that are not working to further freedom. That money is better spent reducing the United States deficit or helping countries that want to advance freedom.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

The Report hopes that all of its readers had a great Memorial Day holiday. We also remember the men and women who have died in defense of the United States, freedom, and democracy. They made the ultimate sacrifice for us, and we are forever indebted to them.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Republican 2012 Strategy

The best Republican strategy for the 2012 Presidential election can be summed up in a single sentence. While the pundits and others will devote hours of air time to the topic and write dozens of pages of editorials, the best strategy is the following:

Put forth a candidate who will defeat Barack Obama. 

The Republican Party, if it wants to take back the White House, cannot put forth a candidate who only will appeal to the Republican or Tea Party base. They must nominate a moderate Republican, who is open to negotiation with Democrats in order to move the United States forward. This does not mean a candidate who is willing to tax more, spend more, and continue the mistakes of the Obama administration, but rather a candidate who can appeal to the American people, win a general election, and win electoral votes in swing states such as Florida, Ohio, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Two Massachusetts Mayors Way Out of Line

Another story of government officials going too far has popped up in liberal Massachusetts. This time, two mayors want to ban Lazy Cakes Brownies. The brownies are made with a non-medicinal, non-narcotic, herbal dietary supplement that helps people relax and even helps them fall asleep.

In Fall River, Massachusetts, Mayor William A. Flanagan has called the brownies "despicable" and wants them banned. Meanwhile, in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Mayor Scott W. Lang wants the brownies banned from town. The two Mayors cite critics who say that the product appeals to children.

What we have here is another situation of the government going too far. Lazy Cake Brownies, on their box and on the product website, state that the product is for adults. While it might make sense to ban the product from sale to minors, like tobacco, alcohol, and pornography, it is absurd to ban it from an entire city or town.

Adults should be free to purchase the products they want to buy. What the two foolish Massachusetts mayors have done is simply given more attention to Lazy Cakes Brownies, which will likely lead to more sales for the manufacturer. (Case in point, had they not made the absurd decision to try to ban the product, The Report would not have written a piece mentioning the product. Our piece will be read by hundreds of readers, many of which may have never heard of the product before and might become curious and decide to buy a box of Lazy Cakes Brownies for themselves.)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Is Obama A "Food Stamp President?"

Newt Gingrich was recently accused of being a racist for calling President Barack H. Obama a "food stamp President." Unfortunately, for President Obama and the left, Gingrich is not only correct, but also not racist.  Gingrich has rejected the allegations that he is racist, as he should. Food stamps are a government entitlement that Americans receive based on their income. Race does not play a role in obtaining food stamps.

President Obama has failed to wholeheartedly support economic policy that would create jobs and get people off of food stamps. Instead of discussing how entitlements can be reformed or phased out, the left attacks fiscal conservatives by using scare tactics, telling the elderly that if they vote Republican they'll lose their Medicare and telling those in poverty that they'll lose their food stamps and subsidized housing. Rather than enable people to have jobs and make choices in a free market, the left would prefer for government to hand out entitlements. Entitlement spending is putting the country on the path to bankruptcy. The President's solution, it appears, comes from the story of Robin Hood, where he would like to take from the "rich" middle class and redistribute income to the "poor."

Americans will be happier, and feel a stronger sense of accomplishment when they are able to find jobs and buy things with their own money instead of using government entitlements. The success of entitlement programs for the poor should be measured, as Ronald Reagan suggested, by how many people leave the programs. With a stronger economy, fewer Americans will need food stamps. Instead of being a "food stamp President," President Obama needs to be a "jobs President", who puts Americans into jobs instead of entitlement programs.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Romney A Viable GOP Candidate

Many conservatives believe that former Governor Mitt Romney (R-Massachusetts) is not a viable Republican candidate for the 2012 Presidential Election. They cite Romneycare, a 2006 set of healthcare reform programs signed into law by Romney in Massachusetts which forced many residents to buy insurance, forced college students to drop out of school, and actually lead to increased healthcare costs in the state.

Despite the mistake of Romneycare, Mitt Romney is still a viable candidate for the Republican nomination. Romney recently came out well ahead of other potential Republican candidates in a New Hampshire poll. Regarded as a more moderate Republican, Romney has potential to secure independent votes and even the votes of Democrats. Additionally, he is able to present a stronger family values image than other candidates, such as Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump, who have had multiple divorces and even affairs. When it comes to healthcare, Romney has advocated keeping the federal government out, using free markets to keep costs down, and giving people more choice in healthcare. Romney has learned from his mistakes, and in a speech today and an op-ed in the USA Today, Romney outlined how he would handle Obamacare if elected President in 2012:
If I am elected president, I will issue on my first day in office an executive order paving the way for waivers from ObamaCare for all 50 states. Subsequently, I will call on Congress to fully repeal ObamaCare.
While repealing all of Obamacare may not be necessary, as some portions of the bill such as the new young adult coverage provisions and the disallowance of "pre-existing condition" denials are good for the American people, one path to proper healthcare reform in the United States would be be to fully repeal Obamacare and start over from scratch ensuring that new reform doesn't include the higher taxes, unconstitutional individual mandates, and increased costs that Obamacare had.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Presidential Recall

People make mistakes. Sometimes, the American people as a whole make a mistake and elect a leader who fails to deliver. President Obama was a candidate who managed to attract many voters from the center, including many independents and even Republicans. Unfortunately, some of these people now regret having voted for President Obama, and some even have said that they will vote against him in the 2012 election.

When someone is elected President of the United States, the American people are stuck with that person for four years. Only if the President engages in impeachable conduct is there an opportunity for Congress to remove the President from office. Otherwise, the President has to be convinced that he should resign or would need to die. It is obvious that the death of the President is not a legitimate, moral, ethical, or legal way to remove him from office. Anyone who assassinates the United States President should be executed for the criminal act. Convincing someone to resign because they've failed to listen to the will of the people could be difficult, and leaves the ultimate decision in the hands of the person the people might want out of office. Impeachment, while a method of removing the President in the Constitution, requires the President to engage in treason, accept bribes, or commit a crime.

The American people deserve a legitimate means of removing the President should he or she fail to follow the will of the American people. That is why a recall process should be made available. Should a simple majority of the American people desire the President to be recalled, then a special recall election will take place. The President will have the opportunity to defeat the recall and be elected again, but if the American people believe someone else can do the job better, then they can vote someone else into office.

Many states already have recall procedures. California and Wisconsin, for example, empower the people to recall elected officials. In 2003, California Governor Gray Davis was recalled and the people of California replaced him with Arnold Schwarzenegger. In Wisconsin, a recall effort is currently being considered by union leaders and others who believe Governor Scott K. Walker has failed to adhere to the will of his constituents.

A national recall process for the President of the United States would serve to give more power to the American people, and enable the people to keep the President in check. A President who fails to adhere to the will of the people will find themselves serving an abbreviated term, while a President who listens to the American people would serve their four years, and perhaps even see re-election for four more.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Paul Ryan Has A Better Idea for Healthcare

With many states, individuals, businesses, and politicians opposing the "individual mandate" to buy health insurance included in Obamacare, you would think someone would propose a better solution. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) has. The Republican behind A Roadmap for America's Future has proposed that the American people be given a tax credit of up to $2,300 if they buy their own insurance. That means that Americans can pay less tax by buying insurance, and if they choose not to buy insurance, their taxes would not go up/down nor would they be fined.

Rep. Ryan's plan encourages Americans to buy their own health insurance, while allowing people to make their own financial and health decisions instead of having the government force insurance on them that they might not want or use. Further, Rep. Ryan's plan is likely a legal plan, whereas Obamacare's "individual mandate" provision was already ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

New Laws Aren't the Answer

The St. Petersburg Times reports on a movement to restrict alcohol consumption on Sunset Beach in Florida. An ordinance there would ban drinking alcohol between 8:00 AM and sunset on Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays, and those in favor of it argue that crowds drinking or partying get rowdy.

Unfortunately, this is nothing more than a case of government gone too far in restricting the people's freedom by attempting to pass unnecessary ordinances or laws. The problem that Sunset Beach faces is not alcohol, but rather rowdy people. Existing laws against causing public disturbances or nuisances simply need to be enforced. Passing a law that will prevent someone from having a beer on the beach isn't the right answer, and is a continued migration towards making the United States a nanny state instead of a nation based on freedom.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

In Obama We Trust?

Yesterday, United States President Barack Hussein Obama in a 60 Minutes interview said that he would not be releasing the photos of recently eliminated terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.

While most Americans trust President Obama's word that Osama bin Laden was killed, there are those who doubt that the terrorist is really dead. Some say President Obama faked the death in order to gain political advantage. It would be great if everyone felt they could trust the word of President Obama. Unfortunately, that is not the case. In the past, the American people have been faced with political leaders who failed to tell the truth, and they have reason to believe President Obama may be deceiving them.

President Obama's credibility would be stronger were he to say that he was telling the world the truth when he announced Osama bin Laden was killed, and that there is evidence available to back it up. Unfortunately, no hard evidence exists given the decision to dump Osama bin Laden's body at sea. A better way of dealing with Osama's body would have been to bring it to the United States for independent examination and analysis. Then, a decision about disposal of the coward's body could be made. In lieu of having the body, the President should release what evidence does exist, that being the photos of the body and the video of the raid. Additionally, any documentation such as the DNA tests that were run should be released and if there are DNA samples still available, they should be provided to an independent organization for verification.

President Obama could once again prove those who do not believe him wrong as he did last week when he released his long-form birth certificate, putting an end to any argument or legitimacy the "birthers" had. Unfortunately, he has decided to hide evidence and as a result the "deathers" now have can make legitimate claims that there is no proof Osama bin Laden is really dead. It is also factual that there is no evidence that the "deathers" have that proves that Osama bin Laden is alive. Still, one must wonder what happened to the idea that President Obama was going to run the most transparent administration in American history?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The War Isn't Over

The elimination and defeat of terrorist Osama bin Laden is clearly a good thing. Osama bin Laden will never kill another American, nor will he ever kill any of his fellow Muslims again. As President Obama said on Sunday, "Osama bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims."

However, Osama bin Laden's elimination does not mark the end of the War on Terror. Al Qaeda members, and other terrorists that wish to harm the United States, restrict freedom, prevent democracy, and kill innocent people are still at large. The War on Terror, for the United States, will not be over until every last terrorist is dead or in jail. The elimination of Osama bin Laden is merely a victory in one battle in the War on Terror.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Natural-Born Failure

Yesterday, President Barack Hussein Obama released his full "long-form" birth certificate, proving that he was born at the Kapiolani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961 at 7:24 PM, making him a natural-born citizen of the United States of America.

Indeed, the "birthers" were wrong, and the President made them all look like fools today. We knew the President would be wise to release the full birth certificate, and wrote so last month. Unlike Donald Trump, we won't claim that the President's actions were our doing, but we applaud him for his actions.

Unfortunately for the country, President Obama's birth certificate doesn't help the economy, nor does its release prevent President Obama from failing the country. If anything, the American people can simply be reassured that a natural-born American is the one who wants to hike taxes, won't make job creation a priority, has no problem with $4/gallon gas, doesn't mind inflation, and wants to force you to buy health insurance. Should President Obama fail to change his policies, he will be remembered as a natural-born failure.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Royal Wedding and Marriage Thoughts

The world is excited with the upcoming "Royal Wedding" between Britain's Prince William and his wife-to-be Ms. Katherine Middleton. The marriage will be watched on TV by millions, and the economy of the United Kingdom has been helped by the buzz and travel around the wedding.

Why is it then, that in the United States, the government discourages marriage, putting those who are married at a disadvantage and sucking more tax dollars out of them? People getting married helps the economy. More marriages mean more business for wedding planners, facilities to hold a wedding or reception at, and more business for hotels and airlines as people travel to weddings or take honeymoons.

Yet, getting married has negative effects on a couple. Their income will be combined when the government looks to give welfare and other aid to the children. If an unmarried woman or man only made $15,000 a year on her own, her/his kids would get free lunch and free healthcare, and he/she would receive government aid such as food stamps. However, if married, the income is combined together and so a higher value is used. Many married couples would financially be better off if they had never gotten married. Further, marriage results in paying higher taxes for many couples. This marriage penalty, combined with the way that government aid programs work, disincentives marriage.

The disadvantages of marriage carry over to same-sex couples as well. If same-sex couples are given the same rights of marriage as opposite-sex couples, they also will be given the same penalties. For many homosexuals, getting married doesn't make financial sense, just as it doesn't make sense for non-homosexual couples.

The United States economy will be better off if marriage is encouraged, rather than punished. To do this, the marriage penalty should be eliminated, and government aid programs should be structured to either consider only one parent, or consider both parents, regardless of marital status.

Back to Britain: The Report wishes Prince William and Ms. Middleton will have a happy marriage that will last until one of them should die. After all, the vows say "'till death do we part."

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ending DUIs

Frequently on the news, we read or see cases of idiots driving ridiculously drunk and causing deaths or injuries out on the road. We suggest that there is a better way to solve the problem of drunk driving: simplify all the DUI (or OUI, DWI, etc.)  laws into one law that makes it a capitol offense to cause injury, death, or damage as the result of driving drunk. Further, the execution should be public and used as a deterrent to those who think about drinking and driving.

If someone drives drunk and doesn't hurt anyone, then "no harm, no foul" should be the policy. But, if they do cause injury, death, or damage, they're publicly executed. Most Americans wouldn't want to take the risk, and after the first few are executed for taking the risk and causing injury, death, or damage, then more Americans will realize drinking and driving is a bad idea.

Some would say there are other crimes that should get the death penalty, such as rape, before drunk driving that causes injury, death, or damage. They're right. We should execute violent rapists to ensure they don't rape again. However, this isn't a situation where one or the other should be made a capitol offense: both crimes should be made a capitol offense.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Betting Against President Obama

Gold has been in the news lately. The University of Texas disclosure that it has been buying gold as part of its endowment investment put gold in the news. Further, the news of gold futures breaking the $1,500 an ounce mark put gold in the news, as did reports that investors were looking to gold due to the weakening of the U.S. dollar and the Standard and Poor's downgrade of the United States fiscal outlook to negative.

Why invest in gold? Gold is considered a safe-haven for investors. When the dollar weakens, when uncertainty rises, and when the economy weakens, the price of gold tends to rise. Essentially, the worse the financial situation becomes in the United States, the more valuable gold is. The same applies to silver and other precious metals.

Investing in gold, essentially, is a bet against President Obama or the Congress taking action that will greatly improve the United States economy. When President Obama suggests hiking taxes, doesn't want to cut spending enough, won't eliminate unneeded regulation, and continues to side with big unions instead of trying to create conditions that will create jobs, grow the economy, and grow revenues, it's a sign that the future of the country's economy is at risk. An economy at risk means that investors look to buy safe-haven investments. Gold has low risk, because it has intrinsic value. Unlike buying stock in a company, there's no risk of gold going bankrupt. You can't make something out of stock. On the other hand, with gold, you could make jewelry or decorations. Some people even have replacement teeth made out of gold.

Were the United States to have its Aaa rating cut or default on obligations, economic havoc would take place. Stocks would decline in value, the dollar would weaken, and then we would see job loss and greater unemployment leading to a cycle of economic slowdown and progress away from prosperity instead of progress towards it. Meanwhile, the price of gold would go up. If the United States dollar were to weaken by 10 percent today, another $150 an ounce would be added to the price of gold making it worth around $1,650. In our recent interview with a middle class American who has invested in gold, she alluded President Obama's failure to stop the weakening of the United States dollar:
The Report: Some say President Obama is weakening the dollar and that sends gold higher and stocks lower. Do you agree?

Nicole: I bought gold when we were seeing a price of $1,000 an ounce and I still have the gold investment. I could make a profit of over $400 an ounce right now. Barack Obama doesn't seem committed to stopping it. However, the economy is recovering and so my strategy is to have stocks and to have gold because I think both will go higher.

Investors who are hoping to earn a profit by buying gold now and selling it later are essentially expecting President Obama to fail, and the price of gold to go up as a result, earning them a profit. So far, they've been right. When President took office, gold was under $1,000 an ounce. An investor who bought gold on the day of President Obama's inauguration could sell it now for a 50% profit. Betting against President Obama worked for over two years, and there's a good chance that it will continue to work for the remainder of his term in office.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Balance It Now

While Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) has good intentions in proposing a balanced budget by the year 2040, his plan would simply balance the budget too late. The country cannot continue to operate for 29 years by spending more than it brings in.

Yesterday's announcement by Standard & Poor's that it was cutting the United States fiscal outlook from "stable" to "negative," should be a wake up call to Congress and every American that the country cannot continue to operate as it has in the past. Major budget cuts must be made, and tax reforms must be made to provide for growth, and thus a greater collection of tax revenue by the government. The Report is no fan of tax hikes, of course, but we understand that you can collect more tax revenue with lower tax rates and a simpler tax code. Collecting, for example, 35% of $1,000 gives you $350. If you lower that rate to 20%, but increase the amount of money to $2,000, you'll get $400. Earlier this year, we wrote about how even President Obama seems to somewhat understand the concept. Unfortunately, his recent proposal to hike taxes shows that he is allowing the far-left to push him towards making bad decisions for America.

Standard & Poor's downgrade of the United States' fiscal outlook was made, in part, because the firm believed that the United States has a 1-in-3 chance of having its debt rating cut from the top Aaa rating by 2013. This cut would be devastating for economic growth. To prevent such economic damage, it is imperative that Congress take action to pass a balanced budget this year, to take effect in 2012. Starting in 2012, the government must not spend more than it brings in. "Less is more," is the way to achieve the balance -- through less spending, less regulation, and a less complex tax code.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I Wanna Be A Billionaire...

Do you want to be a billionaire? Great news! You can now be considered a billionaire by earning just $250,000 a year. That's right, earn 0.025% or 1/4000th of a billion dollars and President Obama will lump you together with the billionaires and charge you the highest tax rates!

When he's acting more moderately, President Obama will simply lump you in with the millionaires for making 25% (1/4th) of a million dollars.

Last time we checked, a millionaire was defined as someone with at least one million dollars and a billionaire was someone with at least one billion dollars. The majority of Americans who are "thousandaires" don't deserve to be lumped in with millionaires and billionaires, nor do they deserve tax hikes.

Luckily, President Obama's ridiculous proposal to hike taxes doesn't affect your tax filings/payments due to the IRS today, so have a happy Tax Day and hope that Congress will not allow him to damage the United States' economy with tax hikes that were previously rejected by the American people.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Interview: Bulls Make Money, Bears Make Money...

Nicole is a 29-year-old woman living in Florida. Married in 2009, Nicole and her husband are expecting their first child this summer. While many Americans have a negative view of Wall Street, Nicole has made over $30,000 from Wall Street in the last two years. She plans to use the money to help her and her husband pay off their mortgage ahead of time, and also to set aside money so her child can attend college. In our first original interview, we asked Nicole a few questions about her success and how someone who is just an average American can make money off Wall Street.

The Report: Can you give us a little background on your education and what got you into investing?
Nicole: I graduated in 2004 from the University of Florida. I was a biology major and now work in corporate communications. I got into investing as a kid when my parents opened a savings account and I realized that I could make more money by saving up and collecting the interest. What got me into more investing in stocks, though, was when I saw that the stock market had fallen so much and I thought that there could be an opportunity just like how people made lots of money in the boom after the 1980s recession.

The Report: So you had no formal education in finance or business and didn't work on Wall Street?
Nicole: I took a college math class that involved some finance, but that was all. I lived in Florida my entire life.

The Report: You made $30,000 in two years. How did you do it?
Nicole: People sold out of their stocks during the recession and I think the average person kept hearing on TV about the bad things the Wall Street bankers were doing and about how the economy was terrible. I felt like it might be a chance to make some money.

The Report: How did you know what stocks to buy?
Nicole: I felt like the successful companies would be ones that kept people buying during the recession. People cut back on travel and eating out so I avoided airlines and food companies. But I saw that iPods and iPhones were flying off the shelves. So I took around $5,000 and bought shares of Apple stock at around $100 in 2008. I also noticed people were getting more into being fit and exercising, and Lululemon was a company that fit into that boost and so I bought shares in 2009 for $8 a share. I sold off at $85. I've made some mistakes, though, and taken some losses, but overall I've made money.

The Report: You oct-tupled your money on a stock?! 
Nicole: I did. I bought 250 shares at $8. That cost around $2,000 and then when it hit $85 I sold it and the profit there was $15,000. Apple I sold off at $200 a share, so I made $5,000 on it. I should have kept it, because I could be up over $10,000 that way.

The Report: Why do you think many Americans look at Wall Street as evil and blame economic problems on big banks?
Nicole: Investing can be scary. A couple months after buying Apple, the shares were down over 10%. I held onto the shares thinking it would go up later. Really, I should have bought even more. What Americans need to do is read into investing and learn what they can do. Watch CNBC and FOX Business Network. Read the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times. Look at the public reports companies file. Our government forces public companies to file reports and you can get them on the internet and learn about the company's finances. Wall Street bankers are making money while you're sitting back missing out, so instead of missing out get into investing.

The Report: Some say President Obama is weakening the dollar and that sends gold higher and stocks lower. Do you agree?
Nicole: I bought gold when we were seeing a price of $1,000 an ounce and I still have the gold investment. I could make a profit of over $400 an ounce right now. Barack Obama doesn't seem committed to stopping it. However, the economy is recovering and so my strategy is to have stocks and to have gold because I think both will go higher.

The Report: Many of the big Wall Street investors are able to buy thousands or millions of shares. How can an average American have an advantage without lots of money?
Nicole: One strategy that I started to use last June was options. You basically pay a fee to control 100 shares and have the arrangement to be able to buy the 100 shares in the future at an expiration date and a set price. A stock that costs $50 a share, 100 shares would be $5,000. But if you can pay 10 cents a share for the right to buy that stock at $51 in 3 months, and the stock goes up to $52, you'll make a 90 cent profit on the 100 shares. That's $90 in profit without having to put up the $5,000 for the stock. So using options lets you control a lot more in terms of shares with less money.

The Report: You suggested we title this post "bulls make money, bears make money." Why?
Nicole: One of the shows I watch is Mad Money with Jim Cramer. There was a phrase he says of "bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered." It means that you can make money when the market goes up, make money when it goes down, but if you are greedy you'll lose.

The Report: Gordon Gekko tells us greed is good. But greed will make you lose money?
Nicole: It certainly can. A stock that you buy for $10 goes up to $15. You could sell it and profit $5. But if you get greedy thinking it'll go to $18 and you can make $3 more a share, you'll might end up a loser if the stock falls instead of going up. It's better to take a small profit than a small loss when you invest.

The Report: What do you say to those who claim that Wall Street is a sham, rigged so that the rich get richer. Have you heard of Michael Moore's war on Wall Street and capitalism?
Nicole: I don't listen to Michael Moore because I don't think he understands how the world works. Wall Street isn't a sham. It's just that people think it's too complicated or too elite for them when it's really not. You don't need millions or billions of dollars to make money.

The Report: What was your biggest loss in investing?
Nicole: I bought 300 shares of Borders for over $4 a share and the company went bankrupt. Had I realized book sales were shifting to online and e-readers, I would have bought Amazon stock.

The Report: What are your political leanings?
Nicole: I like a hands-off government. The American people are smart and resilient, we don't need people telling us how to run our own lives. I'm a big fan of the Tea Party movement's agenda of cutting back taxes. If people have more money due to paying less tax they can invest more into American business and make more money. In 2004 I voted for George W. Bush, but then in 2008 I voted for President Obama. I didn't think John McCain could represent younger voters as well. I'm registered as an independent.

The Report: We recently wrote about how President Obama is losing independent voter support and many who voted for him in 2008 regret it. Do you regret that vote?
Nicole: I don't. I think Barack Obama had a tough situation, but I don't agree with everything he has done. I would like to see good candidates run against him in 2012 and I will vote for whoever will be best for the nation.

The Report: Any final tips for our readers?
Nicole: Don't be afraid to invest your money. The possible gain is far more than what a savings account or savings bonds will give you. Start off small to build your confidence. That wasn't really something I did, but you can start off by buying your stocks in small lots. Something like Citigroup, 20 shares can be purchased for under $100, for example. The Wall Street bankers got rich because they weren't afraid to take risk and they invested their money into stocks while most Americans just put theirs in the bank with an interest rate so small that their money was losing value because of inflation.

The Report: Thank you for taking the time to chat with us. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Taxing Their Imports: Could It Bring China In Line?

Potential Presidential Candidate Donald J. Trump has suggested that a huge problem for the United States is that China has taken away jobs and manufacturing, while gaining an economic advantage over the United States through abusive practices such as currency manipulation. China is a nation that has engaged in oppressive conduct, including censorship, socialism, and restrictions on academic freedom. Before Trump, many have brought up concerns with China taking jobs away from America and sucking money out of the economy.

Trump's solution, which he voiced in an interview this week, is to slap a 25% tax on all Chinese imports if China were to not get in line. But would this work?

The answer, likely not. China would likely be able to maintain cheaper prices than American manufacturers even with a 25% price hike caused by an import tax. In China, a factory can operate without worrying about adhering to strict occupational safety standards, environmental regulations, or even paying a decent wage to employees. For the price of one minimum wage American worker, a dozen or more can be had in China. Further, the country's movement to embrace more free-market capitalism has led to new entrepreneurship and investment in China while the United States makes the mistake of moving backwards towards the socialist concepts that failed in the Soviet Union.  Further, the Chinese would likely figure out methods of tax evasion. A Chinese company might send products to a company in Canada, and then the Canadian company would take advantage of free trade agreements to bring the product to the United States.

What can the United States do? Part of the answer, but not the complete answer lies in spreading freedom and democracy, education and immigration reform, and the American consumer.

If the people of China were to stop working for such low wages and demand pay in line with what American or European workers get, Chinese companies would no longer have a labor cost advantage over American companies. The United States should make effort to help the people of China advance, thereby weakening their own country's economy.

Many young Chinese come to the United States to get an education -- and then they go back to China and help grow its economy. The United States should adopt a policy of giving students who graduate with at least a Bachelor's Degree the option of remaining in the United States and instead of working for a Chinese company, working for an American company and helping grow the American economy. Enable these students to work for a few years and then obtain citizenship and become supporters of American freedom and democracy for life. Additionally, the higher education industry in the United States needs to stop giving scholarships and admissions to Chinese students while turning away American students. By educating the Chinese, the United States loses competitive advantage.

Finally, the American consumer must stop buying from China. The reason the Chinese make money is because they put their products in American stores and Americans go out and buy them. Instead of buying Chinese-made products, American consumers should buy American-made products. If a Chinese company can't sell its product, they won't be able to hurt American business and kill jobs in America.

What is the complete answer to China? The Report knows the complete answer is very complex. It's a solution that will require much thought, the support of the American people, strong leadership, and an understanding of the large number of players, conditions, and variables. One thing that is NOT the solution to the China problem is to maintain the status quo. If the status quo is maintained, then the United States will find itself no longer the world's strongest economic power and the situation shown in this video could become reality.

We invite our readers to comment on what they think the solution is to the China problem by posting a comment on this post. Remember, The Report has comments enabled on all of its posts. We do not censor comments, unless they are blatantly spam, pornography, or attempts to "flame" others, in which case we may remove them.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Banned in Boston

In the early 20th century, the term "Banned in Boston" was applied to works that were prohibited from being sold, performed, acted, etc. in Boston, Massachusetts due to unconstitutional censorship and abuse in the city. Today, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, a liberal Democrat has brought the banning back to Boston with a plan to ban beverages from city property. We're not talking about banning people from drinking liquor on the job, rather the ban is on the sale of "non-diet sodas, pre-sweetened ice teas, refrigerated coffee drinks, energy drinks, juice drinks with added sugar, and sports drinks." The Mayor has moved forward on this ban with the issuing of an executive order, meaning there was no democratic process or ability for the people of Boston to object.

What Mayor Menino is doing is blatantly attacking the right of the American people to make their own choices and decisions. While it is known that eating/drinking excessive amounts of sugar, whether in beverages or elsewhere, can lead to taking in more calories than recommended which can lead to weight gain or even obesity in the long-run, the choice on what to eat or drink should be left to individual Americans.

Drinking sports drinks or a soda in moderation doesn't lead to obesity. At a gym, you'll see many people who drink a sports drink while exercising. Some of them are obese, trying to get in shape, but many are not. Likewise, many who drink refrigerated coffee drinks, energy drinks, or non-diet soda aren't obese. Some are, but that's because of their own personal choices and bad decisions, not because the government allowed the sale of food and beverage with sugar in it.

Canned and bottled beverages contain nutritional data, including the amount of sugar/carbohydrates and calories on the bottle. Many even prominently feature this information on the front as a result of a movement by the beverage industry to make it easier for Americans to make their own decisions on what beverages to buy or drink. Unfortunately, the Mayor of Boston thinks that he should be able to decide what Bostonians can drink instead of allowing individuals the freedom to make their own decisions.

If you want to let Mayor Thomas M. Menino know that Americans are smart enough to make their own decisions, you can contact the Mayor's Office:

Mail: Mayor of Boston / 1 City Hall Square, Suite 500 / Boston, MA 02201-2013
Phone: 617.635.4500
Fax: 617.635.2851

Friday, April 8, 2011

Are We Overtaxed?

The question often comes up: Are the American people overtaxed? Well the answer, according to the American people themselves, is yes. In a new poll by Rasmussen Reports, 64 percent of Americans believe that the people are overtaxed. The poll reiterates 2010 findings that a majority of the American people feel that they are overtaxed.

The Report has written many times before about taxes. We've written about how fewer than one in five Americans want taxes to go up. We've also written about how President Obama has talked about using supply-side economic theory to actually generate more revenue for the government with lower taxes.

Unfortunately, it seems that all the talk has yet to amount to any actual tax reform or tax cuts. Could President Obama be holding off on pushing tax cuts until just before November 2012 with the hopes of gaining back the independent voters and the Obama Republicans? Many independents and even some Republicans voted for President Obama enabling his 2008 victory of Sen. John McCain. However, the President's support with independents and Republicans has fallen. Many who voted for him now regret that decision, and without their support he cannot win in 2012.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Eliminating Oppression in Higher Education

As the debate continues over allowing students, faculty, and staff at institutions of higher education to protect themselves from criminals, the Huffington Post has a slideshow highlighting a few things that should be allowed on college campuses before firearms. Some of the ridiculous prohibitions colleges and universities in the United States have had:

  • Christmas Trees: A ridiculous prohibition that infringes on a student's ability to freely express their religion.
  • Lobsters: An absurd prohibition that prohibits people from cooking fresh seafood.
  • Snowball Fights: An absurd prohibition on clean, relatively-safe fun.
  • Bubble Machines: Another absurd prohibition on clean, safe fun.
Some other institution of higher education have come up with almost oppressive student codes of conduct. At some schools, students are prohibited from drinking under the age of 21, even if they are in a country where it is legal. Others curb free speech, and some even try to curb sexual activity amongst their student body.

It is pretty clear these these restrictions go against the American ideals of freedom and democracy. They restrict personal choice and are an attempt to indoctrinate young American voters into the idea that they can and should be told what they can and can't do without due process or proper representation. 

In order to stop colleges and universities from these ridiculous, left-wing practices, the government should mandate that no school that engages in these practices will be considered eligible for federal funding of any sort. This includes research grants, but also would prohibit financial aid or loan funds from the government to be used towards attending these institutions. Schools would either need to change their policies, or they would find students transferring away to places where they can use federal financial aid and loan money.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dodd-Frank Bad for Consumers

One of the consequences of Congress passing the Dodd-Frank "reform" bill is that consumers are now finding themselves losing out as banks cut debit card rewards programs, increase consumer fees, can no longer serve young adults independently, and now are forced to tell people that their credit and debit cards can be declined by merchants who don't want to accept them for small purchases. Dodd-Frank was positioned as a way to curb so-called "abuse" by banks, but in reality it limits the free market and hurts consumers. 

Congress made mistakes, and they need to act to repeal these parts of Dodd-Frank. Here's why:
  • With the interchange rate caps, banks are moving to eliminate rewards programs and incentives on debit cards, and to a lesser extend credit cards. Consumers in the past could get rewards points or cash back when using their debit cards. Now, many debit cards are eliminating the rewards offerings and some credit cards are reducing their programs as well. The result of this is that consumers lose out. The way that the free-market system worked is that debit and credit card processing firms set rates for debit card acceptance, and merchants who decided they wanted to accept the cards would find the processor that suited their needs and charged a price they were willing to pay. Some merchants decided they didn't want to pay, and thus decided to remain cash-free despite data that shows businesses that accept more forms of payment are actually more profitable.
  • Since Dodd-Frank will curb the amount that banks can charge merchants for credit and debit card transactions, banks are now considering adding more fees to consumers to make up for the lost revenue. Imagine if you had to pay 50 cents every time you used a debit or credit card to your bank? That could add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars in a year. Some consumers would be forced to carry cash, increasing the opportunity for criminals to take advantage of them and losing out on consumer protections.
  • Dodd-Frank limits access to credit for people age 18-21. As a result, these adults, who are of sufficient age to serve the country in combat in a place like Afghanistan, are unable to obtain credit cards or loans on their own. This reduces their ability to build a strong credit profile while in college or when starting out on their own. Additionally, it places an undue burden on young adults. Booking airline tickets, checking into a hotel, or renting a car is much more difficult or inconvenient when you don't have a credit card, for example. 
  • One of the worst parts of Dodd-Frank is that it overrode the "no minimum" policies of Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. In the past, consumers knew their valid credit and debit cards had to be accepted by merchants whether it was a $0.49, $4.90, or $490 purchase. Now, merchants can set a minimum of as high as $10 to use a credit or debit card. This limits consumer choice in payment, and can force people to carry more cash making themselves a target for criminals.
All of the above make it more difficult for consumers to shop, and as a result consumers end up spending less leading to a negative impact on the economy. There are some ways that the American people can fight back against these portions of Dodd-Frank that hurt consumers:
  • Switch to banks that continue to provide rewards programs and do not charge absurd fees. Unfortunately, many banks in order to remain competitive are going to "follow the leader," giving consumers fewer options. 
  • Contact members of Congress and encourage them to repeal parts of Dodd-Frank that hurt consumers. Send letters, e-mails, tweets, and if you see your Congressperson talk to them.
  • Boycot any merchant that imposes a minimum sale. Additionally, if you encounter a minimum sale amount that was not disclosed to you, such as if a bar tells you you have to buy more drinks to close a tab, refuse to do it. Do not sign the receipt, and if you are charged more than what you actually bought then report this is fraud to your credit or debit card issuer. If the place holds onto your credit or debit card, report it as stolen so your bank can close it and issue a new one.
Dodd-Frank is a prime example of how government regulation and interference run amuck hurts the American people. We can only hope that parts of it are repealed. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Birth Certificates

While the burden of proof lies on the accuser, President Obama would be wise to release his full birth certificate. With many Americans questioning his place of birth or concerned the President has not made his full birth certificate public, it might be a smart move for the President to release it. This week, one of President Obama's possible challengers, Donald J. Trump, released his own birth certificate. By putting forth the document himself, Trump will preempt any controversy over his birth. Going into 2012, President could lose votes if people vote for his opponent on the grounds that they think he is an illegitimate President.*

*The author of this post does not believe President Obama is an illegitimate President. Like Speaker John Boehner of the House of Representatives, the author recognizes that the State of Hawaii has said that President Obama was born there and considers that statement good enough, especially given that the "birthers" have no produced any hard evidence to the contrary. However, many Americans have expressed concerns that President Obama is illegitimate, and their concerns could have an impact on the outcome of the 2012 election.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Some Democrats want to add additional regulation and limitation on oil speculation. They seem to think that oil speculation is driving up the price of oil. While most Americans want gas at a lower price, the Democrats' plan won't solve the problem. Oil speculation will continue in foreign markets, and the root cause of higher oil prices is increasing global demand combined with the United States' failure to increase its own domestic production. Additionally, the members of OPEC are able to continue collusions to keep prices high.

Oil speculation can be a lucrative business. If one invests in oil, they can make money in the short term or the long term. However, there can also be short term and long term loss. As with any commodity or other investment, there is risk. The price of oil comes down to supply and demand. As President Bush identified during his term in office, "America is addicted to oil." If Democrats want oil prices to go down, then they need to put forth solutions that will reduce our demand for oil, increase our supply of oil, or provide a combination of both supply increase and demand reduction.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Should Cigarette Taxes Be Lowered?

Recently the New York Times reported about a proposal in New Hampshire to lower cigarette taxes. Opponents of the tax claim that it will hurt revenues and encourage new smokers. They're wrong on the first claim, but might be right on the second claim -- which is actually good for the country.

It has been proven time after time that when taxes are reduced, increased volume will make up for the lower tax rate. If the opponents of a lower cigarette tax in New Hampshire are correct about a lower tax encouraging new smokers, then it means that these new smokers will buy cigarettes and increase the volume of cigarette sales, leading to increased government revenue in the long-run.

Greater sales numbers of cigarettes helps companies that make cigarettes. Companies like the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Philip Morris, and the Lorillard Tobacco company employ thousands of Americans. More sales could give these companies a need to expand production, and a need to hire more employes creating jobs. With 8.9% unemployment, the country could use these these jobs.

To give American companies an advantage, an idea that states should look to is to keep taxes the same on imported/foreign cigarettes, and reduce the tax on American cigarettes. This would provide an incentive for smokers to switch brands from foreign to American, and incentivize new smokers to go with American-made cigarettes instead of foreign made ones, helping the economy.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Kill Qaddafi (Updated)

Update (8:55 AM, 21 March 2011): A report from FOX News indicates that the coalition did attack Qaddafi's compound with missiles fired from a British submarine. However, the coalition maintains that the attack was not targeted at Qaddafi, but was done due the military significance of the compound. Further, The Pentagon has said that the coalition is not going after Qaddafi. The Report believes this is a mistake, and that hunting Qaddafi down is something that the coalition should do. Unlike the hunt for Saddam Hussein in Iraq, however, the hunt for Qaddafi should be done without ground forces. If a location of Qaddafi is determined, then missile or air strikes should be called in.

Original Post
Leaving dictators in power, while curbing their military capabilities, has almost never been a successful strategy in the long-run. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein was allowed to remain in power for over a decade following the Gulf War. Hussein, despite embargoes and a no-fly zone, continued massacring civilians and oppressing the people of Iraq.

In Libya, coalition forces are enforcing a United Nations authorized no-fly zone and have attacked Qaddafi's military forces. Yet, Qaddafi remains defiant, believing that in the end he will prevail.

What should happen is Qaddafi should be told that he has until Noon on Tuesday to order his forces to stand down and then give up power in Libya or leave the country. If he complies, then freedom and democracy can prevail with greater ease. If he does not comply, then he will be forced out of power. If Qaddafi says he will fight to the death, then that means he gets to die. Coalition warplanes should obliterate Qaddafi's palaces, and obliterate his car, his plane, his bunker, or any location he might be hiding in, too

Libya will be a better place without Qaddafi. The people there deserve freedom and democracy, and with Qaddafi out of power, they will be be able to achieve it. A free, democratic Libya will benefit the United States and the rest of the world, as well. The investment of military action in Libya, in the long run, will pay back the American people with greater security, cheaper oil, and a stronger economy.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pornography Creates More Jobs than President Obama

Last week the Obama administration expressed its disappointment that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) granted approval to a new top-level domain of .xxx. The new domain would be aimed at the pornography industry, similar to how .edu is aimed at the educational institutions. The Obama administration sides with religious and "pro-family" groups that claim the new .xxx domain legitimizes the pornography industry.

However, the pornography industry is already a legitimate industry. In 2007, the pornography industry generated over $13.3B in revenues in the United States alone. This is more revenue than the 2007 revenues of Molson Coors ($5.9B), Marriott International ($12.1B),  OfficeMax ($8.9B), or Constellation Brands ($4.6B). Globally, the industry generated over $95B in 2007. The pornography industry creates tens of thousands of jobs in the United States, providing people with paychecks so they can make an honest living without relying on government aid programs paid for by the taxpayers. With hundreds of thousands of jobs created, the pornography industry is better at providing people work than President Obama. Under the Obama administration, unemployment rose from 7.6% in January 2009 to 8.9% in February 2011. Millions of jobs were actually lost under the Obama administration.

If anything, the government and President Obama should be acting to encourage the growth of the pornography industry. More pornography industry revenues and profits will lead to increased tax collections, and more jobs in the pornography business will lead to a lessening of the burden on taxpayers of having to pay for the unemployed to receive government aid and government benefits. While some disagree with the products that the pornography industry offers, in the free market economy individuals have the right to make a decision for themselves about what they purchase. While pornography may be manufactured and sold, people do not have to buy it if they don't want it.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Ending The Lies

It is known that public officials often fail to tell the truth to their Constituents. Unfortunately, they often get a away with it. The solution is to create a strong punishment for public officials who do not tell the truth to the people: removal and disqualification from office.

It should be an amendment to the United States Constitution that any public official who does not tell the truth is automatically removed from office and shall be ineligible to hold office in the United States, provided that their failure to tell the truth is proven by hard evidence. This means that video or audio of their failure to tell the truth would be required, and there would need to be evidence that their words were untrue.

The idea behind this amendment is not to interfere with free speech, but rather to ensure that those elected to serve the people tell the truth. If a public official says on television that a bill will lower the people's taxes, but there is no provision in the bill to reduce the people's tax burden burden, they would be subject to removal from office and disqualification. If a public official backed a bill that would add taxes, and was asked "will this bill hike taxes" in an interview and responded "yes," they would not be affected because they are telling the truth. If they lied and said "no," then they would be removed from office and disqualified from holding office ever again in the United States. Honest public officials who tell the people the truth would have nothing to fear. The people would benefit greatly because lying would be greatly reduced if public officials knew that lying would lead to removal from office and an end to their public careers.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A House In Denial

While House Democrats deny the proven concepts of supply-side economics and that Washington has a spending problem, a panel of House Republicans today denied that the world's temperature has risen over the past 150 years. While one cannot prove that climate change is the result of human action (or inaction), the fact is that if take a graph and plot temperatures and years, as we move towards today the points on the graph move higher and higher. Below is such a graph (click it for a full size / clear view):

The blue dots are the data points, the x-axis year, the y-axis is annual mean temperature (degrees Celsius), the solid red line is a trend line, and the bold black line is the 25-year moving average. When the trend line and the moving average both show upward motion, that is a clear indication that the temperature has been rising.

The far-left, scientists, environmentalists, fellow conservatives, and even fourth-graders who have learned how to make scatter plots / trend lines have made a mockery of the Republicans for their inability to understand simple mathematical concepts. While it can be argued that the government should not be concerned with climate change, you can't really argue against the laws of mathematics. How can Representatives be taken seriously when they push for deficit reduction when they screw up like this?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

In Favor of "Right To Work"

In the workforce, there are good workers and there are bad workers. Good workers perform their job duties well. They get expected results, they get work done on time, and they do competent work. Bad workers, on the other hand, miss expectations, miss deadlines, and provide incompetent work. In teaching, good workers are those who educate the children in their classroom well and bad workers are those who fail to provide a good education to the children in their classroom. As a public company's CEO, increasing shareholder value in the long-run is good work and destroying shareholder value is bad work.

In order to encourage and reward good work, incentives are often used by organizations. Good workers get raises, bonuses, or promotions. Bad workers miss out on raises or bonuses, might be demoted, or might be shown the door. One system that has been successful in many areas is to constantly cut the bottom 10% of the workforce. The bottom 10% is replaced with new hires, and the process is repeated yearly. Eventually, the quality of the workforce increases. In a public school, this would mean students get better teachers.

Unfortunately, large unions oppose such a merit-based system. Rather than reward good employees and get rid of bad ones, they would rather have every employee get the same compensation regardless of their performance. Imagine three employees (A, B, and C) who start a job the same day. Two years later, employee A, in the top top 5% of the organization has received a 25% pay increase and a promotion. Employee B, in the top 25% of the organization has received an 6.5% pay increase but is still in the same job. Employee C, in the bottom 5% of the organization, has been shown the door and replaced with someone more competent. In this system, good performance is rewarded and employees strive for it. However, in a system based on union ideals, after two year employees A, B, and C would all just have a pay hike of 5%. The best and the worst employee would be equally compensated, leaving no incentive for good performance.

The good workers, who would receive compensation based on merit, are getting hurt by the unions. The bad workers get helped, but the organization overall is hurt. In the case of public schools, good teachers are hurt by the unions and the most competent will look to other jobs where their skills can be better used. The bad teachers, on the other hand, will stay put and continue to provide a poor education to students in the classrooms. Many union workers actually oppose the unions that they are members of due to the unions opposing merit-based compensation. In some states, where "right to work" does not exist, people are only union members because they were forced to join unions that actually negatively affect them. For the good of the country, "right to work" should be a right afforded to every American.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Regime In Libya "Will Prevail" Because The President Is Weak

"The regime will prevail," were the words from United States National Intelligence Director James Clapper today speaking about the situation in Libya. Indeed, Muammar Al-Qaddafi will prevail if President Obama keeps up the policy of simply sitting back and watching while Qaddafi massacres civilians, oppresses the people of Libya, and destabilizes the region. Qaddafi's actions have has already sent oil prices up, leading to pain at the pump as Americans face gas prices significantly higher than one year ago and expected by some to reach $4 or $5. Already, airlines have added new fuel surcharges due to the higher prices.

President Obama must realize that the United States, in order to help the people of Libya, ensure national security, and protect economic growth, must take action in Libya. The establishment of a no-fly zone is a first step, and the United States must move forward. Support from other countries, especially those in the Middle East, would be good to have, but if support cannot be brought together then the United States must use its air superiority to establish a no-fly zone alone. Next, the United States must provide support to the opposition to Qaddafi. The opposition will be the new leadership of Libya, a leadership that will provide freedom, democracy, and prosperity. It must be made clear, that the United States' support is contingent on leadership that provides freedom, democracy, and prosperity to the Libyan people. In return, the United States should receive cheaper oil from Libya. As The Report has written about before, "America is addicted to oil," and while the country can move towards energy independence in the long-run, in the short term, the country would benefit from cheaper oil.

If President Obama fails to act, and simply sits back as if his objective as President is to be remembered as being weaker than Jimmy Carter, it will come back to hurt the United States. Oil prices will continue upward, and gas will hit $5, seriously hurting the economy. From a national security perspective, Libya will continue to be a country led by the man behind the Pan Am 103 terrorist attack and from a humanitarian perspective, the people of Libya will continue to be oppressed instead of living in freedom and being able to pursue prosperity.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The "Buy American" Credit

Many Americans do not pay attention to where the products they purchase come from. Frequently, Americans are buying imported products that, if they are purchased in lieu of American-made products, can cost jobs here in the United States. In order to encourage the purchase of American-made products, a "Buy American" tax credit should be put in place. The tax credit would be equal to the amount of sales and/or use tax paid for goods produced in America, and services provided by American citizens. By implementing the tax credit, Americans would have incentive to pay attention to where the products and services they purchase come from. At the same time, there would be incentive for companies producing goods outside the United States to begin producing them here, in the process hiring American workers and helping grow the economy.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The War On Obesity

First Lady Michelle Obama's efforts to reduce obesity in America have come under fire by many. While a good initiative for the purposes of national security and health, the problem is that the efforts have become connected to left-wing ideas such as taxing foods with high fat or sugar content or restricting access to certain foods. Further, Ms. Obama's proclamation that the American people don't have a right to eat desert didn't help her cause as it presented a position that the government wanted to take control of what you could and could not eat.

The best way to fight "the war on obesity" is not through greater government intervention in the average American's life or new taxes. Rather, the government should incentivize healthy eating through tax breaks. There are two ways to do this:

Method #1: Allow Americans to deduct the cost of all food they purchase within certain dietary guidelines from their taxes each year. No cap on the deduction or income level should phase the deduction out. In practice, this means if a family spends $9,000 a year on food, with $500 spent on "unhealthy" food that don't meet the guidelines, they would be able to deduct $8,500 from their taxes. It would provide an incentive to eat healthy.

Method #2: Similar to a healthcare flexible spending account (FSA), a food savings account should be available for Americans to set aside pre-tax income for food purchases. As with the tax deduction idea, only food items meeting certain dietary guidelines would be eligible for the account, providing an incentive to purchase healthy food.

If the government incentives eating healthy with tax breaks, the result will be that food suppliers will make changes to create healthier food options as customers will demand items that are eligible for the tax deduction or to be purchased out of their food savings account. The government should additionally allow a deduction or a tax credit for the cost of gym membership or exercise equipment made in the United States. This will spur an uptick in purchasing, which will help businesses that make or sell exercise equipment. The result will be that the government, without invasive intervention into the lives of Americans or expensive programs like Obamacare, can encourage healthier eating and reduce obesity while also helping the economy.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wisconsin's Options

Facing a $3.6 billion deficit, Wisconsin Governor Scott K. Walker proposed budget cuts that would balance the budget as well as a process to ensure that the people of Wisconsin are empowered to decide if state employees paid by their tax dollars would be able to receive pay hike beyond the consumer price index. As a result, big unions and public employees, focused on their own agenda and not that of the people of Wisconsin, began major protests in the state capitol of Madison. The protests have become national news, with national politicians such as President Barack Obama and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) chiming in. Pundits all over the cable news networks and columnists at national newspapers have also chimed in on the situation.

When it comes down to it, Governor Walker has three options for fixing Wisconsin's budget woes:
  1. Hike Taxes: Governor Walker could propose a tax hike to raise the $3.6 billion needed to balance out the budget. However, the people of Wisconsin sent a clear message last year that they would not accept tax hikes, and Governor Walker was elected on a promise to not raise taxes. In fact, many in Wisconsin elected Governor Walker because of his promises to reduce taxes, enabling the growth of small business and the creation of jobs. 
  2. Add Debt: Governor Walker could propose simply borrowing more money to finance unsustainable spending. Unfortunately, such a concept was rejected by Wisconsin voters and would lead the state into an even worse long-term deficit problem, as the debt would need to be paid back. Wisconsin would simply end up in a worse situation, such as what California is in.
  3. Curb Spending: Governor Walker could propose a budget that curbs spending, as he promised to do when running for office. In doing this, taxes would remain the same or be cut, and deficit would not grow. 
Obviously, Option #3 makes the most sense, and it is what the Governor is trying to pursue. The people of Wisconsin sent a message that new debt and new taxes were unacceptable, and Governor Walker must carry out the will of the people. Less than 10% of Wisconsin workers are members of unions. The interest of the over 90% Wisconsin workers who are non-union must be prioritized over the loud voices of the big unions.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

National Referendum Needed

The ability to elect legislative and executive leadership is one of the most important parts of democracy. Unfortunately, it is not enough. As shown by Obamacare, it is possible for a house of Congress or the President to act in a manner inconsistent with the will of the American people. The American people have little recourse but to wait until the next election and hope that leadership change can bring in politicians who will follow the will of the people rather than the party line. 

To fix this problem, a national referendum process should exist, where every year the American people have the ability to vote directly on an issue or legislation. If a majority of the people vote for something, then it should be enacted with no ability for Congress or the President to override the vote. The judicial branch, of course, could overturn something if it were inconsistent with the United States Constitution. 

Such a simple solution would require an amendment to the United States Constitution. The far-left would likely oppose this amendment, for a number of reasons, including their elitist attitude that the American people are not capable of making their own decisions and need people in government to do it for them. The truth, however, is that a national referendum system would be good for the country. Such a system would enable greater freedom and democracy by empowering the American people. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Winning The Obama Republicans

Presidential Races can be close. They can also be blowouts. Ronald Reagan's 1984 defeat of Walter Mondale was a blowout: every state except Minnesota went to Reagan. In contrast, the 2000 race between Al Gore and George W. Bush was so close that a single state going the other way could have changed the outcome of the election. In 2012, the Presidential race may be very close. It is likely that independent and moderate voters, which actually make up a majority of the American people, will be the group that decides the race. The far-left won't vote Republican and the far-right won't vote Democrat. The center, however, could go either way.

In 2008, nearly 1 in 10 Republicans voted for President Barack Obama over their party's nominee, John McCain. These so-called "Obama Republicans" or "Obamacans" helped the President secure the win. Likewise, in 1984 Ronald Reagan was able to win 49 of 50 states because of the support of "Reagan Democrats" and other moderate voters. President Reagan, after all, helped curb inflation, reduced taxes, grew the GDP, and helped create jobs in America. Moderate Americans support those principles, and if President Obama can do the same, moderate Americans -- including, yes, some Republicans -- will vote for him again in 2012.

It is clear that the number one priority of the American people is the economy. Financial issues, not social issues, are what Americans care about. For many Americans, it doesn't matter if something is a Republican solution or a Democrat solution, but rather if something is a working solution. If the far-left ideas of greater regulation and higher taxes created more jobs in America, raised the average families income, and improved the GDP, most Americans would be happy. Unfortunately, it has been shown in the past that the best way to bring prosperity to America is by embracing supply-side economics. As Arthur B. Laffer mentions in the Wall Street Journal, supply-side economics created 21 million jobs between 1982 and 1990.

Unfortunately, for President Obama, should he fail to America on the path to economic prosperity, the people will start to demand change. Not the "change" he campaigned on, but change to a different leader, likely a more conservative, Republican leader. The best way for President Obama to win an election in 2012 is not through charismatic campaigning and the support of large unions, but rather by bringing economic prosperity to the American people.

Friday, February 4, 2011

RedState Statement

In an effort to get its content more widely distributed across the Internet, The Report began posting blog posts over at RedState. RedState claims to be "the most widely read right of center blog on Capitol Hill." It's writing is led by Editor-in-Chief Erick Erickson, but RedState promotes that "anyone, however, can write at RedState" and notes that "the best stuff gets voted on by the community and the best of the best gets put on the front page for the world to see."

Yesterday, The Report blogged about H. R. 3 and its failure to create jobs as well as the fact that the bill would prevent a pregnant person on government healthcare from saving the taxpayers money by opting for a cheaper abortion instead of having labor and delivery of a baby. The post doesn't go into the morality of the decision-making, but rather focused on H. R. 3 likely costing the taxpayers more money and killing, rather than creating, jobs. Obviously, the subject is controversial so we looked forward to interesting debate through comment posting. Unfortunately, a RedState moderator decided that if he didn’t agree with something, it simply shouldn't be there. This person, Neil Stevens, deleted our post content and in a childish act replaced it with a YouTube video, a comment saying "get lost," and changed the subject of our post to "Scram."

An explanation from Mr. Erickson on was requested via Twitter, but he failed to respond. We even asked again, and still he failed to respond. Our guess is that we were just too fiscally conservative for Mr. Stevens' liking, so he decided that censorship was the solution. While it is unlikely that Mr. Stevens' is a supporter of the Third Reich, his censorship is more similar to what the Nazis engaged in than what American freedom represents.

It has been our observation that the environment at RedState is not one where the interest lines up with what is best for the American people, especially on matters of fiscal conservatism. At RedState, members attack and flame anything that does not follow the Republican or Tea Party line. Praising President Obama's move to use supply-side economics to lower the national debt, for example, came under attack at RedState -- not because the idea was a radical far-left idea, but because the community there values attacking President Obama more than it values moving the country in the right direction where jobs will be created so Americans can afford to feed their families and pay their rent without relying on unemployment checks funded by the taxpayer.

As a result of our observations and yesterday's events, effective immediately, The Report will no longer be involved with RedState. We will remain open, however, to posting our content at other websites. We will continue our posting on Twitter, and welcome reader suggestions about other websites to post our content.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Dear John, Where Are The Jobs in H. R. 3?

When the American people elected a majority Republican House of Representatives last November, they did so because they wanted representatives in Congress who would listen to the mandate of the people that long-term job creation was the most important thing to the American people. Additionally, the people mandated that they wanted the deficit to be reduced without hikes in taxes. The new Speaker, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he would make job creation a priority. Even President Obama, in The Wall Street Journal and in his State of the Union address, championed supply-side economic principles with a strength not seen since the administration of Ronald Reagan in order to to reduce the deficit and create jobs.

The Republicans started out pretty well. They read the Constitution aloud to start the 112th Congress and implemented new rules to ensure bills have to be Constitutional to be brought before the House. H. R. 2 was a measure to repeal an act passed by the previous Congress that would kill jobs and was not wanted by a majority of the country.

H. R. 3 is the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," and while it sounds like it would save tax dollars by preventing taxpayer funds from going to pay for abortions, it actually will cost the taxpayers more.

When a woman becomes pregnant, there are a few basic outcomes that can happen. The first possible outcome is that a woman carries the child for a period (usually around 9 months) and gives birth to a baby. The second possible outcome is a natural or unwanted failure of the pregnancy, such as a miscarriage. The third outcome is that the pregnancy is intentionally ended, which is known as an abortion.

While H. R. 3 would prohibit taxpayer funding for an abortion, it would still allow taxpayer funding for the labor and delivery of a baby. As illustrated below, using a low-range figure for the cost of labor and delivery, it is far cheaper for the taxpayers to fund a woman having an abortion, or even a dozen abortions, than to fund having a child:

From a pure economic sense, and for lowering the deficit, it seems that the government ought to actually encourage abortion instead of having children for people on government healthcare. It also is the case that many children who are born will have much of their costs not paid for by their parents, but paid for via government welfare programs, creating greater burden on the American taxpayer.

Worse, H. R. 3 does not create a single job. There is no mention of the word "job" or "jobs" in the bill. If anything, it kills jobs because a reduction in demand for abortions will put abortion doctors, nurses, and counselors out of business. Jobless, they'll also seek unemployment benefits that are funded by taxpayers.

At this point, with unemployment still over 9 percent, H. R. 3 just is not the type of bill that Congress needs to pass. The American people need Congress to focus on passing job-creating bills, not job-killing bills.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Back to December

Perhaps watching Taylor Swift's latest music video convinced the Republicans of a great idea -- go back to the good ol' days of December. No, not December 2010. Rather, a glorious December... a December before before Barack H. Obama was President of the United States: December 2008. By restoring December 2008 spending levels, the GOP says it can save the American people billions of dollars.

It is clear that government spending needs to be reduced. The American people want to see the deficit reduced, but have also rejected tax hikes as a means of reducing the deficit. The government has two choices:   (1) increase its revenue without tax hikes using supply-side economic concepts; or (2) cut spending. Recently, President Obama has suggested the idea #1, and the GOP took back the House of Representatives on promises to implement idea #2. There's a third option -- combine #1 and #2 to increase revenue and cut spending, providing greater ability to reduce the deficit.

The perfect place to start on reducing spending is with Congress' salaries. Members of Congress received $169,300 in base pay in 2008. However, Congress took a raise of $4,700 to $174,000 in base pay for 2009. While millions of Americans were facing unemployment and tough economic times, Congress members ended up with a raise of over 2.7%. If Congress wants to cut spending, they can roll back their paychecks to December 2008 levels. Perhaps members of Congress will have to make tough choices like many Americans, and cancel, or give up buying a new television, or downgrade from buying a luxury foreign car to a Ford Focus.

An even better idea, Congress should make itself more representative of the average American by passing legislation setting its salary equal to what the average American made the last year - roughly $51,000. This system would provide monetary incentive to members of Congress to create jobs, since people who are unemployed have lower income and bring down the average for the entire country.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


The single word that can best describe Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) this week is "pathetic." Pathetic because Senator Reid doesn't care about ensuring that the Senate adheres to the will of the American people.

In the House of Representatives, the House and held a straight yea/nea vote on the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act." The House passed the bill with a vote of 245 YEA to 189 NEA. A majority of the American people supported the repeal of healthcare reform (also known as Obamacare), so it made sense that the House would take up the issue, hold a direct vote on it, and voted with the will of the people.

In the Senate, however, Senator Reid says that he won't allow a straight yea/nea vote on the bill, effectively killing it. Given that the Democrats have majority control of the Senate (51 votes) and the two independents in the Senate to lean left, many would wonder why Senator Reid is afraid to allow a straight yea/nea vote. It's because Senator Reid is a weak leader, and many moderate Democrats will follow the will of their constituents instead of that of Senator Reid and President Obama. If all Republicans in the Senate voted in favor of repealing Obamacare, only four Democrats or independents would need to join them to pass the repeal. With some Democrats having campaigned on promises to support the elimination of some parts of Obamacare, and other looking at 2012 races in districts with a large number of independents and/or conservatives, it is very likely that Obamacare repeal could actually pass in the Senate.  Senator Reid doesn't want that to happen, so he simply will use procedural tactics to stop a legitimate vote on the issue and prevent the will of the American people from being followed in the Senate.

Senator Reid is even more pathetic because he is playing a role as President Obama's protector. If the American people, the House, and the Senate all supported Obamacare repeal, President Obama would be forced to either sign the bill or veto it. If he vetoed the bill, which is the most likely outcome, then the President would be in a very bad position going into the next election, having blatantly and directly ignored the will of the American people and disregarded the votes of both houses of Congress. By preventing a bill from reaching President Obama's desk, Senator Reid is protecting the President at the expense of the American people who deserve the opportunity to have the Senators they sent to Washington actually vote on legislation that matters to them.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Democrat Accuses GOP of Blood Libel

When Sarah Palin referred to attacks against her as "blood libel," it set off a firestorm of criticism. While criticism was primarily from the left, it also came from the center and even some on the right. Oddly, the same level of criticism isn't happening following Representative Steve Cohen (D-Tennessee) using the term "blood libel" to refer to the Republican efforts to pass House Resolution #2, a bill aimed at repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. Here's what Rep. Cohen said:
They say it's a government takeover of health care, a big lie just like Goebbels. You say it enough, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, and eventually, people believe it. Like blood libel. That's the same kind of thing, blood libel. That's the same kind of thing. The Germans said enough about the Jews and people believed it -- believed it and you have the Holocaust.
It appears that accusing your opposition of blood libel isn't allowed when you're a conservative under attack, but that when you're a Democrat trying to defend legislation that has been ruled partially unconstitutional and is has its repeal supported by a majority of the country, then it's fine. Does anyone else see the problem with this?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Obama Must Be Listening

After reading President Obama's opinion piece in today's Wall Street Journal, Towards a 21st-Century Regulatory System, we're convinced that President Obama must be reading and listening to at least some of what we've said.

President Obama opens by praising free market capitalism:
For two centuries, America's free market has not only been the source of dazzling ideas and path-breaking products, it has also been the greatest force for prosperity the world has ever known. That vibrant entrepreneurialism is the key to our continued global leadership and the success of our people.
The President further went on to criticize excessive government intervention and regulation, calling them "unreasonable burdens on business -- burdens that have stifled innovation and have had a chilling effect on growth and jobs." Previously, we wrote about President Obama looking towards the concept of supply-side economics to help reduce the national debt. In reading his Wall Street Journal piece, it appears that he is embracing the supply-side economic concept of removing government hinderances to the production of goods and services, which can help lead the country to greater prosperity. President Obama then mentions his new executive order:
This order requires that federal agencies ensure that regulations protect our safety, health and environment while promoting economic growth. And it orders a government-wide review of the rules already on the books to remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive. It's a review that will help bring order to regulations that have become a patchwork of overlapping rules, the result of tinkering by administrations and legislators of both parties and the influence of special interests in Washington over decades.Where necessary, we won't shy away from addressing obvious gaps: new safety rules for infant formula; procedures to stop preventable infections in hospitals; efforts to target chronic violators of workplace safety laws. But we are also making it our mission to root out regulations that conflict, that are not worth the cost, or that are just plain dumb.
The executive order from the President makes it clear that he is interested in reducing government involvement in the free market and eliminating rules and regulations that are bad for business and bad for the economy. President Obama cites removing regulations that stifle job creation, making it clear that he somewhat understands the American people believe job creation should be a top priority for the country.

President Obama seems to also be taking a hint from Representative John Boehner (R-Ohio), the Speaker of the House of Representatives, in indicating that the American people must be listened to when developing rules and regulations. President Obama wrote that moving towards a better regulatory system for the country requires "writing rules with more input from experts, businesses and ordinary citizens." Additionally, the President suggests "using disclosure as a tool to inform consumers of their choices, rather than restricting those choices," indicating that he understands that the American people should be free to make their own decisions instead of having the government make decisions for them.

President Obama, who is the first United States President to be on Twitter and the first to utilize a smartphone (reportedly, a BlackBerry), also called for "means making sure the government does more of its work online, just like companies are doing." The President further noted that the federal government would focus on "getting rid of absurd and unnecessary paperwork requirements that waste time and money." In the private sector, using technology to eliminate paper has resulted in a savings of time and money, and also created new jobs. It is good for the American people that President Obama understands the need to utilize ideas proven in the private sector in the federal government.

As an example of fixing government regulation, President Obama pointed to the EPA and saccharin:
...the FDA has long considered saccharin, the artificial sweetener, safe for people to consume. Yet for years, the EPA made companies treat saccharin like other dangerous chemicals. Well, if it goes in your coffee, it is not hazardous waste. The EPA wisely eliminated this rule last month.
While many who make up President Obama's base on the left may balk at the idea of reducing government regulation and intervention in order to grow the economy, President Obama is wise to embrace supply-side economic principles. After all, they worked during the 1980s when Ronald Reagan was President.  As written about yesterday, former Vice President Dick Cheney suggested that President Obama will be a one-term President. However, if President Obama continues to listen to the American people, adopts more moderate positions, and successfully turns the economy around, he could win the votes of some "Obama Republicans" back and retain "Reagan Democrats." Indeed, if the President acts properly, American people might just vote in 2012 to give him four more years.