Friday, January 04, 2008

Shabbat Shalom 26 Tevet 5768

Putting Iowa in Perspective
Money won't buy an election

The results are in and a few surprises have emerged from Iowa. Congratulations are in order to both Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee for their victories last night. Their wins aren't big surprises, but the margins of their victories, especially Huckabee was not predicted by anyone. Both races were believed to be tight, but the only close finish seen yesterday was for second place among he Democrats and third for the GOP.

With Edwards squeaking out the number 2 spot over Clinton, both campaigns have to be disappointed. Edwards in reality needed an Iowa victory. His organization in the upcoming primaries are weak at best and his money can't compete with Obama and Clinton. Hillary on the other hand has to be devastated. She had the largest organization that ever existed in an Iowa Caucus, spent a ton of money and finished third. She by no means is finished, not even close, but when you have an ego larger than your husbands "people I had sex with list," you have to feel demoralized this morning.

Mike Huckabee is probably still jamming on his bass this morning celebrating his huge win. A nine point victory over Mitt Romney was not expected and undoubtedly a huge blow to the former Massachusetts Governor. In hindsight I'm not sure why I thought Romney would win Iowa. In the past few weeks, every Evangelical I know has jumped on the Huckabee bandwagon and all of them have told me they would never support Romney. Most Catholics I know are supporting Giuliani and also would never support Romney. Yes, it's the Mormom factor.

For Huckabee the question is can he take his new found momentum and ride it through February 5Th. Also a winner last night for the Republicans was John McCain who appears to be finishing third basically tied with Thompson. A good finish for both men, but better for McCain who is looking strong in New Hampshire and is neck and neck with Giuliani in many national polls with Huckabee coming up and Romney possibly on his way toward the back of the pack.

The Democrat side is not nearly as interesting. Edwards is toast and should hang it up. Obama should enjoy his win, but he has much work ahead. With the exception of a tie with Clinton in South Carolina, he is way behind in most polls in all the upcoming primaries. Simply put, it's still Hillary's to loose.


Comrade Edwards
OK, I won't call him a Socialist

Did you catch John Edwards victorious concession speech last night? All I can say is Wow! For my friends on the left who hate the fact that I continuously refer to Democrats as Socialists, I promise not to ever call Edwards a Socialist ever again. He is a Marxist in the true sense of the word.

Everything is the fault of Big Business mainly the insurance, drug and oil companies. The wealthy are evil and it is up to men like him through government regulation and social programs to make decisions for the working classes who are apparently not capable of improving their own lives.

The fact is he became a multi-millionaire exploiting the poor and has greatly fueled insurance and drug costs due to the sue-happy culture he has helped promote for the past 25 years. Edwards uses class-warfare to divide people preying on the masses by promising them Filet Mignon, while delivering a sh*t sandwich. Sound familiar.

Go find a Karl Marx or Vladimir Lenin speech on the Internet and substitute a few old words for modern phrases and they are frighteningly similar to last nights speech by Comrade Edward.

Economic Fears Real or Media Driven
What are people really concerned about?

I have only heard a few sound bites from yesterdays phone call into Fox News by talk-radio guru Rush Limbaugh, but I understand he called in to Greta Van Susteren show and ripped the media for driving non-existent economic fears. He mentioned a recent Pew poll that shows that 84% of Americans are satisfied with their lives and that contradicts the unfounded economic woes.

Is Limbaugh right? To a limited extent he is, but he also is missing the real picture. I believe that many of the supposed economic problems facing America is not nearly as serious as the media is trying to portray. Today for example a report came out stating that unemployment is at a 2-year high. That is correct, but the fact is that the rate they are talking about is 5%. Our economy is not structured to have 100% employment. However a rate of about 4 1/2% is perfect in our society. 5% shouldn't scare anyone, but as you can see searching the Internet, most media sources are harping on the new report, trying to create a negative news story that really doesn't exist.

The other day crude oil hit $100 a barrel. Terrible right? Definitely not good news. However, have you noticed that at the pump you are paying less per gallon then when oil first hit $60 a barrel. Leftists media organizations are driving fear into the average home by reporting how horrible the barrel price is and will of course blame oil companies for charging you $3.10 at the pump. Gas is high, but it still isn't $3.50 or shall I say $5.00 a gallon, which was the price we were supposedly going to pay if gas hit the $100 mark.

What Limbaugh does miss the boat on is that there are very legitimate fears regarding economics that are plaguing the average household. Health care is on the mind of millions including those who have decent insurance. Costs per family are extremely high and fear of losing benefits because the price for employers is growing, weighs on the minds of many. Sadly our political leaders talk about health care, but refuse to do anything about it, except for many Democrats who want to Socialize medicine, making the system much worse.

Gas prices are also worrying families. They are still traveling, but they are not buying new cars and as we can see at the grocery store that food staples such as Eggs and Milk are rising again. They are not outrageous yet, but there is a concern amongst the average family.

Finally there is the credit crunch. Even with the Fed lowering rates, credit is not easily obtainable. Have you gotten your credit card bills from your holiday shopping? Notice the days of a $20 minimum payment have been exchanged with $40-$90 minimum. Three or four cards like that can decimate a family. Take note that I am not talking about the housing market. 96-97% of homeowners are paying their mortgage bills on time. The housing woes will improve on their own, but it will probably take another year.

The bottom line is that the economy is strong, but it is by no means great. Bond rates are too low, the dollar is very weak and the stock market willl always prevail, but currently it's not stable. We have had a record 52 months of continued job growth and that alone is a great sign. Jobs going overseas are not negative, but a long term positive allowing better jobs to be created in the United States.

My suggestion. Another cross the board tax cut would do wonders for our economy right now. Trust me on this one.

Paulie

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