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Jim Cook



Every once in a while I switch the TV channel from Fox to CNBC to see what the liberals are saying.  After listening awhile I get a deep sense of hopelessness and foreboding for our country.  The most important thing for the left is giving money to people.  They are happy to see the growth of food stamps, disability payments, housing subsidies, free healthcare and all the other welfare benefits.  They utterly fail to see the damage it is doing to the recipients.  Whole cities that once flourished have deteriorated into rotting eyesores populated with shambling hulks of chemically dependent drones.  These people are no longer employable.  They have become incompetent and helpless and the liberals can’t see that it’s their doing.

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The Best of Jim Cook Archive

Best of William Histed
September 28, 2011
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Those of us on the record for many years that the United States was headed to an economic
debacle were scoffed at.  Here we are.  And much of the world is blaming us for taking their economies down with us, though many of the other nations have been doing the same things for years.  The United States will get blamed for this yet, and it won't be pretty.
 You would think the general public, including government leaders, the Wall Street and international banking types would at least go to the people writing these columns for Investment Rarities and seek answers.
It's very simple to see what it would take to help restore jobs, savings and economic activity to the United States.
These remedies are so simple that anyone taking Economics 101 should understand them.
But to implement these ideas, some special interest oxes will get gored and some people won't like the withdrawal pains.
The United States, even much of the world has been on a debt kick. It appeared easy when governments and their paper central bankers simply "expanded the money supply."  Want more and more government programs and regulations. Want more wars all over kingdom come?  Just print more paper money or add more blips to "credit" creation out of thin air.
Currently, the United States has the second highest corporate tax rate in the civilized world. And Japan, at number one, is going to be lowering its rate, so the U.S. will soon have the highest corporate income tax rate in the industrialized world. How's that for trying to encouraging investment and risk taking?
Another area we need to scrutinize as a nation are our serial wars.  I know this is sacred ground for some who call themselves "conservatives," but I see nothing "conservative" about the results we are getting from many of the wars we have fought for the last 60 years.  Take national ego, pride and even arrogance out of it and I don't see where we have gained much by our meddling all over the world. I know that's controversial to some, but if we are serious about ending this economic catastrophe we are going to have to look at what results our foreign policies and war policies are getting us.  A friend send me a clipping the other day which said, WAR--which stands for Wasted American Resources."
Tremendous U.S. regulation of business is also holding down the chances for more jobs and investment in this country.  I spoke recently with an executive of a multi-national company and he told me of six countries his firm is in, the United State has the highest cost for litigation, the highest cost for regulation and the highest cost for taxation. He asked me, "Where would you expand if you were us?"
There is an entire encyclopedia of government social programs in the United States.  Our County Sheriff has stated he is amazed at how many people arrested on drug charges are on various federal welfare and benefits programs paid by the taxpayers.  In one drug raid recently, the Polk County (Florida) Sheriff's Office told the media that nearly every one of 32 people arrested were getting some type of taxpayer "assistance."  Yet, as one local newspaper noted, these same drug criminals had the energy and health to be up and running at all hours of the night season to buy drugs---yet some claimed they were "disabled" and getting paid by taxpayers for it.  Their  "disability" didn't seem to stop them from running up and down the roads at all hours being involved in illegal transactions.
As Jim Cook has stated so well, a few generations now as a huge, costly welfare nation has backfired on us.  All of the "good intentions," usually with someone else's money, have flopped.  We have one of the highest divorce rates in our nation's history, our nation keeps going down in the ratings as number one for this and number one for that.
The other day, in an local consignment store, I saw an antique pin from the 1896 U.S. presidential campaign. It was gold in color and it supported the successful candidate, William McKinley of Ohio. The pin simply stated, "SOUND MONEY."
That says a lot of what has happened to our great nation.
You would think with all of the economic pain tens of millions of Americans are in, there would be a huge clamor to TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT!
Borrowing from a movie title some years ago, how about "Back to the future?"  When the U.S. was making its greatest strides, we have very, very limited government, a high savings rate, frugal people and business that was not hamstrung at every turn.
Yet, our President calls for more and more government spending programs, the very thing that has gotten us in trouble. 
As a side note, one of the most bizarre statements I have read and heard in my lifetime was recently uttered by multi-billionaire Warren Buffett who feels he and other billionaires are not paying enough taxes to the government.  I have studied Warren Buffett's mostly successful career and I respect some of the things he has done. I own three books about him.
He also has used various techniques to legally keep his taxes as low as possible. This is one of the reasons he got into insurance investments, because of tax advantages insurance companies have.  And he has already committed much of his wealth to trusts, including a Bill Gates trust, which legally permits tremendous fortunes to stay in force by avoiding most of the taxes.  Only the form of the holding vessel changes. Great fortunes over the years have been kept intact through various "trusts."  While there are some stipulations and regulations on trusts, charitable trusts escape a lot of the punishing taxes that impact wealth that goes through the estate tax grinder.
I have much respect for Mr. Buffett, but if he truly feels he has not paid enough taxes, the solution can be settled for him in a few minutes.  He can simply send in the money to the politicians to spend.

Anyone who feels they are not giving enough money to politicians should not wait around to see what others will do.  Just get out your checkbook, your credit card or send a bank wire.  Then, hopefully you will feel much relief to know your money will be so well spent by someone else.