The “Physical” Cliff, Writing Checks My Ass Can’t Cash

fiscal-cliff

The “Physical Cliff”

I kid around about reaching the “physical cliff”, where my body reaches the point whereby I can no longer sustain my anatomy.   If I don’t start getting back on the bike it could be I’m heading for a period of hyper-inflation (around my middle) and resulting in my declaring my own “ass warfare.”

Getting serious about the next time I get a “physical” what is it going to cost me and other taxpayers?  While everyone is paying close attention to the “Fiscal Cliff” what is happening to taxpayers right now and has been happening to us since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed?

What we had shoved down our throats, we’re now going to being paying for with taxpayer money.  Money our proverbial asses can’t cash.

Talk about subsidizing “Big Oil”, what about “Big Medicine?”  Now my Doctor’s fingers spend more time on the keyboard than they do with an exam.  My prostrate is getting jealous!

CMS – Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, in case you haven’t heard, has bragging rights to all of 8 Billion and more, so far, and rising rapidly, they are giving to hospitals and professional service providers for EHR – Electronic Health Records expenditures.

Supposedly the Obama Administration’s theory is that Hospitals and Professional Service Providers are too stupid to invest in technology, so they decided to give them a push.  Right over the Fiscal Cliff with the rest of us.  Well apparently Big Medicine isn’t as stupid as they think, because CMS is writing big checks and proud of it!

You can’t make this stuff up (Source :CMS).

  • More than $4.4 billion in Medicare EHR Incentive Program payments have been made between May 2011 and October 31, 2012.
  • More than $3.7 billion in Medicaid EHR Incentive Program payments have been made between January 2011 (when the first set of states launched their programs) and October 31, 2012.
  • More than 326,000 eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals are actively registered in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs

Here’s your road map: (Source: HealthIT.gov)

Map of payments to providers by state.

Let’s not for get the EHR Vendors.  The government again’s picking winners and losers.

Unfortunately, the legislation was funded in a way that benefits large companies instead of promoting competition to improve software quality and lower overall cost.

Once the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) were signed into law, the “gold rush” was on (as described by one of our competitors²), or as The Onion News reported it: Recession Plagued Nation Demands New Bubble to Invest In.

Whether or not you are in favor of giving taxpayer money to executives to fly around the country in private jets, the stimulus money is starting to flow – and many providers are eligible (and a lot more deserving).

Source: AmazingCharts

²“I literally rent [an] airplane every Tuesday morning, and I hit five cities by Thursday night, every week. I’m cold calling . . . that’s my life now. It’s like any government fiscal stimulus thing — it’s a gold rush.’’

Jonathan Bush, CEO, Athenahealth Inc. (from Boston Globe 8/5/2010)

Maybe we need the Mainstream Media (MSM) to pick up on this story.  They could report on on all the hospitals and doctors that needed to upgrade their IT infrastructure or close their doors.  Heaven forbid, we would have to outsource our patient care to foreign soil.

Save Small Business from the Fiscal Cliff – Letter to US Legislators from the NFIB

capitolAs a small-business owner, I urge you to act now to prevent the tax increases that will impact small businesses if action isn’t taken to avoid going over the Fiscal Cliff.

Several tax rates that affect small business are set to expire at the end of this year. Some of the changes that will impact small business include:

● Individual income tax rates would rise; the 15 percent bracket would become the lowest tax rate. The 25, 28, 33 and 35 percent brackets would rise to 28, 31, 36 and 39.6 percent

● The estate tax rate would increase from 35 percent to 55 percent, and the exemption would decrease to $1 million from $5 million

● The capital gains rate would increase to 20 percent from 15 percent for top earners and rise to 10 percent from zero for those with lower incomes

● Dividends would be taxed as ordinary income rather than capital gains

● The Section 179 expensing limit will fall back to $25,000 and real property will no longer be included

● The start-up deduction for businesses will be reduced from $10,000 to $5,000

● An estimated 31 million additional taxpayers would be required to pay the AMT

This adds up to an almost $500 billion tax increase for 2013 alone. This is a major concern for small business owners like me, since I do not know what my tax liability will be next year. The uncertainty this creates is already having an impact on my ability to make plans to grow my business or add jobs.

Most small businesses are organized as pass-through entities, where the business owner reports their business’s income on their individual tax returns. Allowing the current tax rates to expire will increase the taxes that small businesses pay, directly impacting the ability of small-business owners to invest money back into their businesses.

Raising taxes on small businesses, especially in the current economic environment, hurts our ability to grow and create jobs. I encourage you to give small-business owners the certainty we desperately need by extending all the current tax rates across the board and fighting to avoid the Fiscal Cliff.

Message delivered to:
Senator Bill Nelson
U.S. Senate
716 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 205100001
Fax: (202) 228-2183 via fax

Message delivered to:
Senator Marco Rubio
U.S. Senate
317 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 205100001
Fax: (202) 228-0285 via fax

Message delivered to:
Representative Gus Michael Bilirakis
U.S. House of Representatives
407 Cannon House Office Building
Washington DC 205150001
Fax: (202) 225-4085 via fax

Lick of sense?!

Hugh, what were you thinking?!

I wish we could all afford to be like Newt Gingrich.  Gingrich is obviously someone who is used to getting what he wants.  If he doesn’t get it, he throws a childlike tirade.

He threw a fit when Romney ran an attack Ad that derailed his bid for the Iowa primary win.  If you are from Iowa and you haven’t seen it, you’re a Democrat and you don’t watch TV.  Suffice it to say, it was a pointed attack on Gingrich, labeling him as a corrupt politician, using his influence for personal enrichment and it is accurate.

He subsequently launched Obama’s campaign for re-election by producing and running an Ad against Romney, his years at Bain, a private equity firm and Romney’s involvement in some of Bain’s less successful ventures, costing people jobs.  NEWT, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!?  First, you, as a business owner, know full well there are good reasons and bad, to get into bed with a private equity firm.  The good is personal enrichment and potential for tremendous growth and success for your business.  The bad is accountability.  Once you make a deal and accept their money, it’s produce results or die.

Everyone with a “lick of sense” as my granddad used to say, knows that. So here’s the bottom line in a capitalist society in capitalist term, “like it or leave it.”  Go live in Greece.

The Gingrich’s wife No.2 goes on TV and says he wanted an “open marriage.”  OK guys?   If you are a regular guy,  you may look twice, conjure up the thought and move on.  Not Newt.  Newt thinks so highly of himself, he thinks he’s “entitled” to an open marriage.

Now Newt claims he’s found religion.  He’s sorry for his past indiscretions.  I think Newt knows Newt in current form wouldn’t find a woman willing to enter into an open marriage unless he paid for it.  So when the mainstream media calls him out for his delusional behavior he throws a fit on national TV and gets an ovation!  I don’t agree with ABC for airing his former wife’s claims against him, but once said, who is going to blame the media or for that matter the voters to question his judgment.

We can criticize a man, Romney, who has been married to one woman, a Mormon, for over 35 years and makes lots of money and we consider that shameful, but a man who takes money for political favor, an influence peddler and pays alimony is suddenly the new messiah for the Republican party?

I can’t help but think about the famous interview Jay Leno did with Hugh Grant when he cheated on his beautiful wife, actress Elizabeth Hurley.  Jay Leno simply said, “What were you thinking!?”

It’s been a long 3 years!  We need some R&R.  Romney and Rubio for President/VP!

Got Wood?

We have MoveOn.org in support of Occupy Wall Street.  Well what exactly do they do now?  Move On or Occupy?  Occupy or Move On?

Just for fun let’s look at these two organizations thinking M&A?  Which law firm would represent them?   Think IPO.  Which Wall Street firm would they choose? 

I tried to figure out which of these movements or occupations is best to follow.  Honestly, I’m not sure.  They both have valid arguments and serious flaws, like how they hurt small business.

A merger between MoveOn and Occupy could be a lesson to Microsoft and Yahoo, like oil and water.

If you go on the Move On website there are too many Move this and that movements to follow.  If you try to understand the Occupy this city, that State or country’s position, well… it gives one pause.  So we’re at a standstill.

So to get this impasse, one would assume most activists would prefer movement to being at a standstill.  Going nowhere is boring.  Rhetorically speaking one could say both MoveOn and Occupy Wall Street are consistently incongruous and therefore not helpful? 

What one can be sure of is whether they are moving on or standing still, neither position is creating jobs. 

“Back in the day sonny” he croaks, from his Easy Boy recliner, “when all we knew was black and white, if we needed to make a point, we did it in a demonstrative, albeit sometimes incoherent fashion.”  Think Woodstock.  Joe Cocker’s With a Little Help from My Friends was a classic Joe Biden sound bite.  Incoherent!  Just kidding Joe!??  No need to insult anyone?

So one can’t help but ask, “Who’s Got Wood?”   Woodstock?  A cause expounding peace and love that resounded worldwide over a single weekend or Occupy Wall Street that makes us wish Jimmy Hendrix was still singing “Hey Joe” to Joe and Joe was heading for Mexico.  You decide.

Woodstock.  1969.  Made into a movie.  Not a Michael Moore movie.

A movie that will live on in history.  Why?  Almost all of these people now have good paying jobs.  Most of them pay taxes.  Yes, some are dead, surprisingly fewer than one would think, like artist Keith Richards, the wrinkly rocker from the Rolling Stones.  OK, he wasn’t even there and surprisingly, he’s not dead.

These peace loving folks went home after a long weekend of demonstration and made a difference for America.

Most folks here in America and around the world applaud Occupy Wall Street for making a statement.  We hear you.  We hear all of you.  You can make a difference, just not standing still.  Not anymore. Now you are hurting the same people you should be trying to help, job creators.  Small business people.

Take all the creative energy you have and do something positive.  Like in the movie “Pay It Forward.”

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Herman Cain: The Next Sarah Palin

Herman Cain

I’m am and I have been a Herman Cain fan for some time now.  Like many of his fans, I underestimated him.  I still worry he will be destroyed by the liberal media….

Recently I attended the debate in Orlando and CPAC.  Herman Cain was a Fairtax.org proponent, now he has his own plan, called the 9.9.9 Plan.   

Herman Cain has spoken to everything small business owners are passionate about.

I predict he is going to be the next Sarah Palin with regard to the liberal media.  He’s already being called a racist (on CNN this evening– Anderson Cooper 09/29/2011).  See my first Blog post regarding Herman Cain: We Need More “Idea” Capitalists to Bailout this Economy

I predicted this type of treatment by the liberal media.  Cornell Belcher, on the Anderson Cooper Show repeatedly called Cain a racist and a bigot.  Anderson Cooper, who frankly appeared lost for words and dismayed, said nothing to dissuade the man.  You would think Cooper, an outspoken gay rights proponent, would have the courage to say something?

Then there’s Janeane Garofalo To Keith Olbermann: ‘Herman Cain Hides The Racist.  (scroll down the page for the video). You don’t want to miss this.

Soo…. if you like Herman Cain, you must be a racist and a bigot, too.  At least you’re not a terrorist!

So I say, “Herman Cain for President!”

Did I mention I’m an Irish-German Catholic?  So I must be angry, love to drink and think I can sing and dance!

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Resources | House Small Business Committee

Small Biz Open Mic – Check it out.

Resources | House Small Business Committee.

If You’re Going to Lay Pipe, Why Not Do It Right?

How Do I Mix Oil and Water?

These oil spills can be prevented, not to be confused with the term “Oil Sands,”but do I have your attention?

You don’t.   Not unlike capitalists and environmentalists.  

But if you’re going to lay pipe, why not do it right (twice)?  The Calgary-based TransCanada’s $7-billion Keystone XL pipeline is the dubious answer.  The proposed pipeline is a major infrastructure project that would create 20,000 unionized construction jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in tax and other revenues in the six states through which it would pass. How about we appease both sides of this controversy; the environmentalist hate it and the capitalists love it; by adding to the mix?  Add a water pipeline.  An irrigation pipeline.  Bury it right next to the oil pipeline.  Collect and dispense water from the pipeline as needed.

Send it down and dispense it through parched draught stricken lands and collect it from flood swollen, land dispensing and collecting water as needed, creating the most progressive irrigation system the world has ever known.  Where in the world are we experiencing droughts?  Think Texas.  Not to mention Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.  Check out Wall Street Journal Business article called “Facing Up to End of ‘Easy Oil’” by Ben Casselmann, dated May 24, 2011.

The sweetest part of all… the oil companies and the Canadian government and Canadian corporations can subsidize it.  Just ask Exxon.  They’re spending millions to advertise it.  Ask Canada’s ambassador to the United States, Gary Doer.  He can hardly refuse a slam dunk.  Don’t forget our environmentalists.  Ask Margot Kidder arrested for protesting the pipeline.  Is she going to deny the drought and flood victims the relief from water?  Water, life giveth, life taketh away.

Oil Sands!

Oil Sands

Now it’s up to our State Department.  They need to decide before year-end (2011).  Move over Bill!  Maybe it’s time for Hillary to lay some pipe.  How do you mix oil and water?!  Wired  Magazine has some ideas.  Maybe we lay less pipe?

In any case, nothing is ever easy.  Unless you’re Bill.

 

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