Gary Cohen, Gary Cohen – Why Is That Name So Familiar

Recently, the new administration took aggressive steps to roll back Dodd Frank – legislation meant to protect consumers from aggressive banking practices.  Not being any expert, at all, on Dodd Frank I did figure out one thing – part of it mandated the retention of certain level of funds to protect the bank from going under, and from us losing all of our savings.  I did note that it appears this regulation wasn’t really good for anything other than another banking calamity.

Let’s look back to the banking / real estate collapse of 2008.  Here we have people lying to get loans; underwriters on commission playing loose with the rules; bankers who would take any loan and then sell it off, and bank regulators who turned a blind eye to it all.

Goldman Sachs, a main player in this mess, made a huge fortune.  Then, bang they were about to go out of business.  What??  One of the world’s largest banking institutions soon to be defunct.

Oh no, no, no says the government.  We can’t let a cornerstone of our financial industry go down (why not, I ask).  So, let’s give them 10 billion of tax payers hard earned money to bail them out.  You know, when you have to work two jobs just to pay that mortgage and still have your taxes paying it too.

Gary Cohen, the head of Goldman at the time, would make roughly $9.1 million in compensation.  That’s right, your tax dollars used to save this “institution” and give him a nice little bonus.

Fast forward to last week.  Trump beaming with his new National Economic Counsel advisor.  And rather than bolstering Dodd Frank to support weaknesses in the regulation, he dismantles it and leaves us all exposed to another 2008.

And smiling behind him is that new National Economic Counsel advisor – Gary Cohen.

So, Let’s Think This Through (Vouchers and the New Secretary of Education)

Our new secretary is all about vouchers and charter schools. Her argument is lower income families will benefit by bringing their tax dollars with them to a school of their choice. 

My counter argument / thought: (all figures made up for this example) let’s say my real estate taxes include school funding at $3,000 per year for my district. Let’s also assume real estate taxes at another district are $1,500. Why am I being punished by having to pay $1,500 more for the same service?  

Potential solution: the tax carrying student has to pay $1,500 out of pocket to attend a school in my district. 

Is that what the voucher is?  The missing $1,500 that comes out of my general taxes?  So, I get double taxed??  How is that fair?

And now, charter schools. Again, all numbers made up. Let’s say my district calculates it costs $10,000 per year to educate a single student. If charter schools, FOR PROFIT entities, are going to educate that same student, how are they going to do it for less?  The only way is to slash and I mean slash expenses. Our new secretary already admits she was unfamiliar with federal regulations regarding special education.  What programs, classes, accommodations etc are going to be slashed?  What poor teacher is going to have to work at a cut rate salary with limited benefits because of these slashed expense initiatives?  There is no counter argument – unless the parents are paying costs and fees to make up the amounts between the $10,000 and the slashed budget, that child is not being properly educated. But don’t worry, the corporate owners and paid chronie board member friends will make out just fine. 

But wait, isn’t that what these super rich, company empire owners want??? – an uneducated work force that ends up being indentured servants!!!

Let’s not go around saying we have the best education system in the world. We don’t. And I’ll be happy to debate anyone who says different. 

The Bowling Green Massacre

Alternative facts, lying and outright creating “false news” is becoming a theme of this administration. 

I’ll accept that there was some confusion on Ms Conway’s part as the two bad guys were nicknamed The Bowling Green Terrorists or something like that. But there was no massacre. 

Considering the White House Spokesman is demanding accountabilty and responsibility for reporting facts, there had better be some comment from Ms Conway correcting her error. 

Hmm, Just Like You and Me

I live in Arizona. I am one of the most viral anti-illegal immigration people you will ever meet. HOWEVER, here is my personal experience regarding encounters and observations of this populace:
1. I never see them sitting on a traffic corner begging for money. I see them standing in home improvement parking lots seeking out work.
2. I see them take their entire family to church on Sundays. Very family and religiously oriented.
3. They are profoundly respectful.
4. They can take a joke – i.e. when you try to speak Spanish and end up offering them “squid salad on the roof of my dog’s head”.
5. I never see one guy working while five others stand around leaning on their shovels. They work their ass off.
6. They, like MY ancestors before them, take lower skilled, perhaps even, menial jobs to support their families.
7. They absolutely help our economy. After all, who can you get to cut down a tree, break it up, and haul it away for $100 bucks. They just saved you $400 bucks and now you can buy groceries and gas for another week, maybe two.
8. Finally, they’re actually very nice people just trying to make it through another day. Hmmm, sort of like you and me.
Here is my solution to the illegal immigration / illegal “staying here” situation. Like everything else in our society money talks. Let them pay a fee to get EXPEDITED green cards or citizenship. I don’t know what that fee should be. People will argue they are too poor to pay a fee. Well, 1. let’s make the fee reasonable and 2. if they are willing to pay some piece of shit mule thousands of dollars, they can afford our fee and cross the border safely rather then 120 degrees in the desert. Finally, a path to citizenship makes them tax payers, contributors to our society, loyal to our country and based on my observations above: brings back a strong work ethic, strong family ties, nice neighbors.
Just a thought.