The Way I See It
By cj pollick
Merry Christmas - We will remember the Christmas of 2008. It will be remembered, unfortunately, as one of the worst financial years since the 1930's.
When you hear Pastors in our churches explain deteriorating church reserves and planned cut-backs for 2009, you know that American families are facing even tougher financial times. The really bad news is that things are not getting better and many people are hoping that president-elect Obama will fix our nation's financial problems. Yet, most of us know that Obama can't get us out this national financial dilemma within the next few years; thus, we must work as best possible to weather this deep recession.
The good news?
Christmas and Hanukkah.
We have more to consider than just our financial gains and losses. Our good health, for example. What price can one peg on good health? What price for family good news? What price for peace? Religious freedom? Yes, we are truly blessed to be Americans.
Yes, but not as bad as some earlier times in American history. We will recover from these difficult times much like our grandparents and great-grandparents, after all, we Americans are resilient. "One truth stands firm. All that happens in world history rests on something spiritual. If the spiritual is strong, it creates world history. If it is weak, it suffers world history," stated Albert Schweitzer. The spirit of the American people is strong, and that is the message to our enemies.
We wish all of our many readers and newspaper associates a safe and Merry Christmas. Thank you for your support. We encourage you to visit our advertisers over the holidays and keep your shopping local--those small business owners are a part of our local community and need your support.
Merry Christmas to all.
Belleair Beach 2008/09 Fiscal Surprise – When Belleair Beach city officials learned that the small bridge on Harrison Avenue needed major repairs, suffice to say that it came as a financial surprise (and without a city reserve fund.)
Expected cost of repairs?
About $350,000 - $400,000.
Several Belleair Beach citizens had recently asked if city funds were established to handle this emergency.
The answer is yes.
According to Belleair Beach City Manager Nancy McCollum, the city council did appropriate funds for repairs in the current city budget.
Where Did The Money Go? - Dozens of US banks received government bail-out funds over the past months. Billions of dollars of taxpayer funds were granted to large US banks in hopes of stabilizing the banking industry and helping people re-negotiate mortgages. The government loans, one would have thought, would have some basic financial reporting of what was actually happening with taxpayer money. One might further assume that standard banking reporting would follow the taxpayer loan
How have the banks handled the billions of taxpayer bail-out funds?
"We can't discuss that," said some bank officials at Sun Trust, Regions Bank and the other banks that received taxpayer funds, "We don't separate our funds for that type of reporting." Thus, the banks are not talking about how they have used, or will use, bail-out funds from the government.
Is that the type of accountability our leaders in the US Congress expected when they lent the money? Minority Republican leaders in Congress are outraged with the manner in which Democrat leaders in Congress have lent taxpayer funds without any form of reporting where or how the bail-out funds would be used by the banks. How does House Speaker Nancy Pelosi feel about this reporting issue? No response, just a big California smile because she is too busy for those types of questions while preparing for inauguration balls for president-elect Sen. Barack Obama.
Can't Blame The GOP In Illinois - How bad is Democrat leadership in Illinois?
292 killings in the last 6 months. 221 killed in Iraq during this time period.
Senators? Barack Obama and Dick Durbin. (Both outspoken critics of President Bush.)
Representative? Jesse Jackson Jr. (Potential senate candidate number 5.)
Governor? Rod Blogojevich. (Recently indicted.)
State House Speaker? Mike Madigan.
State Attorney General? Mike's daughter.
Chicago’s Mayor? Richard M. Daley. (Of the Chicago Daley fame.)
How is that for Democrat leadership?
Middle Class Will Shrink - As we prepare for the new year, it should be noted that due to the past two years of a national recession what is commonly referred to as the “middle class,” is shrinking.
One news source stated that the former middle class has lost their jobs, lost their 401 (K’s), lost their pensions, lost their investment plans, lost their health insurance, lost their homes and have lost their standing as being referred to as “middle class.” MBA’s are out of work, law firms are laying-off young attorneys, accounting firms are cutting back on hiring, restaurant owners are trying to make it through declining revenues, auto dealers are … worse, newspapers are hurting due to declining advertising, banks and insurance companies are in financial trouble, credit card companies are trying to increase fees and cut credit, etc., etc.
Yes, our leaders believe it wise to print more money in Washington and take our country into trillions of dollars of new debt; yet the same elected leaders are asking working people to try and get out of debt.
Florida Legislature Calls For A Special Session - Forget the large cost to taxpayers for a Special Legislative Session, there is a $2-4 billion financial problem in the State of Florida budget and they need to increase taxes or cut spending.
Where do our leaders think they might find some of this money?
Tobacco tax increase and cut of several state budgeted items.
Of course, all of that budget talk has city mayors in Florida wondering if state budget cuts would affect city budgets.
Elected officials in all of our small communities had better follow budget cuts in Tallahassee, they are likely to result in less city funds.
A Good Read – Have some leisure time over the holidays? May I suggest A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity by Bill O’Reilly.
This book is very entertaining and humorous, especially if you are a “baby boomer.” (My wife was laughing so much she had tears running down her face.)
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