Archive for May, 2009

Two Congressmen Charge Taxpayers Big Bucks for Their Foreign Cars

May 31st, 2009


It is a sad day with our automobile industry fading. Some look to Washington for help, but what if they not only don’t care, but were actually charging the taxpayers for their foreign made automobiles? It is an unfortunate fact. According to last Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, these two representatives both charged over $20,000 in 2008 for the lease of their foreign made cars:

Rep. Alcee Hastings from Florida’s 23rd district Democrat, charged the taxpayers $24,730 in 2008 for the lease on his Lexus GS450H (made in Japan by Toyota). According to Answers.com, Rep. Hastings also has a interesting past, having been impeached as a U.S. Federal Judge in 1988 and convicted of perjury surrounding a scam intending to give mobsters lighter sentences in exchange for cash. His Fort Lauderdale office number is 954-733-2800 and Washington office is 202-225-1313.

Rep. Rodney Alexander of Louisiana’s 5th district, switched to the Republican party in 2004. He charged the government $20,000 last year for his lease of a Toyota Highlander. How can a Highlander possibly cost $20,000 for a lease for one year? It should be more like $6000 to $7000, but of course this is a congressman. His Monroe office number is 318-322-3500, and Washington office is 202-225-8490.

Let’s give them a call and let them know how we feel about their supporting Toyota imports rather than American-made cars AND having the audacity to charge it to the American taxpayer! This is a disgusting example of congress run amuck.

Their opponents in next Fall’s election are going to get some special help from me…

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Memorial Day – Let’s Remember The Heroes of The USA

May 24th, 2009


This Memorial Day is about far more than a three day weekend. It is about the sacrifices of generations of men, women, and their families have made to create and preserve this great nation.

In 1776 our founding fathers had a plan and declared our independence, but it was through the sacrifices of tens of thousands of volunteer soldiers and their families that a free American nation was born.

Nearly every generation since has been challenged and all have stood their ground. It has not been easy, or even in some cases appreciated, but the soldiers of the USA have always come through.

Today we face our own generation’s issues with our American men and women in the service across the globe and far from their families. To make matters worse, when they do come home, America now hardly has a decent job available for our returning heroes. It is a sad state of affairs when many folks have not only forgotten, but would rather save a few cents and buy something from countries that have no freedom, than buy something made in the USA and employ our returning troops.

We can make things right again. Let’s take this important time to remember our heroes from every generation and do the right thing for those making those same sacrifices today.

Todd Lipscomb

Founder of MadeinUSAForever.com.

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S&P Downgrade of Britain’s Debt Likely: USA Not Far Behind

May 22nd, 2009


Standard & Poor’s the debt rating service just warned Britain that with its surging national debt, a downgrade in their debt rating is likely by early next year.  That would at least make it a lot harder and more expensive for them to borrow, and could limit their future ability to spend.

This is also a warning to the USA our federal government deficit well more than doubling to over $2 trillion this year that we are not far behind.

We cannot borrow and consume our way out of a recession without real changes to our economy, like encouraging USA based production. This treatment of the economy is like giving a cancer patient caffeine – you may wake him up, but that does nothing to treat the cancer.

The British economist John Keynes, has been used to justify massive deficit spending by many politicians of both parties (yes, President Obama has one thing common with President Nixon).

In fact Keynes philosophy is just a convenient excuse to allow politicians to turn-on the floodgate, but has never been proven to have the intended positive effect. When asked what the long-term effect of large government deficits, Keynes replied to the effect “…in the long-term we are all dead”. Implying leave the problems for the next generation, but eventually someone really does have to pay the price.

My concern is that right now our federal government owes $36,872 per citizen – yes, every citizen, and this account will increase about $8,000 per citizen just this year alone. Before too long, the USA’s S&P rating will also be cut, after which borrowing costs will rise by billions, and within just a few years we may not be able to borrow nearly enough.

There is a debt-free way to stimulate our economy – just buy what we make. As I discussed at more length previously, if every American would simply switch one $30 purchase from a foreign made product to American-made, we would create over 115,000 jobs. All of those people would be working and paying taxes here, rather than unemployed.

Todd Lipscomb

Founder of MadeinUSAForever.com your source of products made in America.

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Chrysler Forcing 789 Dealers to Close Is Destructive & Foolish

May 15th, 2009


Chrysler cancelled agreements with 789 dealerships yesterday, effectively forcing these independent businesses to close. As the average car dealer employees about 50 people, that means roughly 40,000 jobs lost in 49 states.

The blow to a small community is heavy, not just in losing those jobs, but also in that these dealerships were big contributors to local charities, bought from many local businesses, and were a significant source of sales and property tax revenue.

Were these small dealers costing Chrysler money? No, actually they were usually locally owned businesses that purchased cars from Chrysler, and did not receive support or subsidies. They might get a rebate based on the number of cars they bought, but again, that is based on sales volume, and not a subsidy. Some of these dealerships had been open for 90 years or more, and some of those passed down through the generations. All these decades they have loyally purchased vehicles from Chrysler.

To make matters much worse, many of these dealerships stepped up when Chrysler begged them to take more cars just a few months ago. They bought hundreds of thousands, in some cases, millions of dollars worth of cars beyond what they needed at that moment in an effort to help prop up Chrysler. Unfortunately, Chrysler will not take any of these vehicles back, meaning these small dealerships who have already lost so much will be forced to auction off their inventory to other dealers or consumers at a huge loss – this can only mean bankruptcy for many, further damaging these communities.

Why is this happening, particularly in that these dealers were independent businesses that cost Chrysler nothing, and were actually a source of revenue for them?

The question moves beyond logic and common sense as Chrysler is now a semi-government controlled entity in bankruptcy court. However, the premise is that with fewer dealers, the remaining ones will sell more cars, make more money, and be able to provide “better” service than the local dealers who have closed. The hope that folks will drive 40 miles to buy their next Chrysler after having seen the one down the street close, which used employee their friend, is a pretty weak assumption. In fact, it was those deeply engrained relationships with that local community that kept those customers buying Chrysler products long after other folks moved along. Ending that local community relationship, particularly by treating the local dealer so poorly, will only lead to a backlash among former customers. Chrysler and the government are expecting most Chrysler customers to just change to the next closest dealer, but in fact they will be very lucky if 40% of former customers buy a Chrysler product next time.

Besides, as dealerships are independent businesses, their numbers have already been shrinking as the weaker ones close. Chrysler and government suddenly playing god with the dealership agreements and deciding who gets to live and die will come back to bite them in the near future.

Had they given the dealers time to wind down, merge with other dealers, or at least time to sell off vehicles in an orderly manner, the damage would have much less. Instead of questions like “Is it right?” the questions have become “Is it legal?” It is very naïve to believe that just because some lawyers can find a way around doing the right thing, that this is better for the economy. One of the costs they cannot see is a rising political risk that is being created here in the USA. Political risk is an uncertainty like in many third world nations. We are moving into a time where contracts, certainty, and doing the right thing is replaced by expedience. Should businesses or entrepreneurs invest or hire in this kind of environment? It becomes a much harder choice to make, which is in turn a huge cost on our economy that the lawyers who drew up the plan to kill these 789 businesses cannot conceive of.

GM is to announce 1100 dealer cuts today…

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