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

Paul Ryan VP Full Acceptance Speech, “If You Have a Small Business, You Did Build That!” Full YouTube Video and Text

File:Paul Ryan, official portrait, 112th Congress.jpgPaul Ryan VP Full Acceptance Speech, “If You Have a Small Business, You Did Build That!”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrRBXKgAxSs

Congressman Paul Ryan today delivered the following remarks in Norfolk, Virginia after Mitt Romney selected him to be his Vice Presidential running mate:

Thank you Governor Romney, Ann. I am deeply honored and excited to join you as your running mate.

Mitt Romney is a leader with the skills, the background and the character that our country needs at a crucial time in its history. Following four years of failed leadership, the hopes of our country, which have inspired the world, are growing dim; and they need someone to revive them. Governor Romney is the man for this moment; and he and I share one commitment: we will restore the dreams and greatness of this country.

I want you to meet my family. My wife Janna, our daughter Liza, and our sons, Charlie and Sam.

I am surrounded by the people I love, and I have been asked by Governor Romney to serve the country I love.

Janesville, Wisconsin is where I was born and raised, and I never really left it. It’s our home now.

For the last 14 years, I have proudly represented Wisconsin in Congress. There, I have focused on solving the problems that confront our country, and turning ideas into action; and action into solutions.

I am committed, in heart and mind, to putting that experience to work in a Romney Administration. This is a crucial moment in the life of our nation; and it is absolutely vital that we select the right man to lead America back to prosperity and greatness.

That man is standing next to me. His name is Mitt Romney. And he will be the next president of the United States

My dad died when I was young. He was a good and decent man. I still remember a couple of things he would say that have really stuck with me. “Son you are either part of the problem or part of the solution.”

Regrettably, President Obama has become part of the problem,…and Mitt Romney is the solution.

The other thing my dad would say is that every generation of Americans leaves their children better off. That’s the American legacy.

Sadly, for the first time in our history, we are on a path which will undo that legacy. That is why we need new leadership to become part of the solution – new leadership to restore prosperity, economic growth, and jobs.

It is our duty to save the American Dream for our children, and theirs.

And I believe there is no person in America who is better prepared – because of his experience; because of the principles he holds; and because of his achievements and excellence in so many different arenas – to lead America at this point in its history.

Let me say a word about the man Mitt Romney will replace. No one disputes President Obama inherited a difficult situation. And, in his first 2 years, with his party in complete control of Washington, he passed nearly every item on his agenda. But that didn’t make things better.

In fact, we find ourselves in a nation facing debt, doubt and despair.

Whatever the explanations, whatever the excuses, this is a record of failure.

President Obama, and too many like him in Washington, have refused to make difficult decisions because they are more worried about their next election than they are about the next generation. We might have been able to get away with that before, but not now. We’re in a different, and dangerous, moment. We’re running out of time — and we can’t afford 4 more years of this.

Politicians from both parties have made empty promises which will soon become broken promises–with painful consequences–if we fail to act now.

I represent a part of America that includes inner cities, rural areas, suburbs and factory towns. Over the years I have seen and heard from a lot from families, from those running small businesses, and from people who are in need. But what I have heard lately troubles me the most. There is something different in their voice and in their words. What I hear from them are diminished dreams, lowered expectations, uncertain futures.

I hear some people say that this is just “the new normal.” High unemployment, declining incomes and crushing debt is not a new normal. It’s the result of misguided policies. And next January, our economy will begin a comeback with the Romney Plan for a Stronger Middle Class that will lead to more jobs and more take home pay for working Americans.

America is on the wrong track; but Mitt Romney and I will take the right steps, in the right time, to get us back on the right track!

I believe my record of getting things done in Congress will be a very helpful complement to Governor Romney’s executive and private sector success outside Washington. I have worked closely with Republicans as well as Democrats to advance an agenda of economic growth, fiscal discipline, and job creation.

I’m proud to stand with a man who understands what it takes to foster job creation in our economy, someone who knows from experience, that if you have a small business—you did build that.

At Bain Capital, he launched new businesses and he turned around failing ones – companies like Staples, Bright Horizons and Sports Authority, just to name a few. Mitt Romney created jobs and showed he knows how a free economy works.

At the Olympics, he took a failing enterprise and made it the pride of our entire nation.

As governor of Massachusetts, he worked with Democrats and Republicans to balance budgets with no tax increases, lower unemployment, increase income and improve people’s lives.

In all of these things, Mitt Romney has shown himself to be a man of achievement, excellence and integrity.

Janna and I tell Liza, Charlie and Sam that America is a place where, if you work hard and play by the rules, you can get ahead.

We Americans look at one another’s success with pride, not resentment, because we know, as more Americans work hard, take risks, and succeed, more people will prosper, our communities will benefit, and individual lives will be improved and uplifted.

But America is more than just a place…it’s an idea. It’s the only country founded on an idea. Our rights come from nature and God, not government. We promise equal opportunity, not equal outcomes.

This idea is founded on the principles of liberty, freedom, free enterprise, self-determination and government by consent of the governed.

This idea is under assault. So, we have a critical decision to make as a nation.

We are on an unsustainable path that is robbing America of our freedom and security. It doesn’t have to be this way.

The commitment Mitt Romney and I make to you is this:

We won’t duck the tough issues…we will lead!

We won’t blame others…we will take responsibility!

We won’t replace our founding principles…we will reapply them!

We will honor you, our fellow citizens, by giving you the right and opportunity to make the choice:

We can turn this thing around. Real solutions can be delivered. But, it will take leadership. And the courage to tell you the truth.

Mitt Romney is this kind of leader. I’m excited for what lies ahead and I’m thrilled to be a part of America’s Comeback Team. And together, we will unite America and get this done.

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!

Yes We Did! We Built From the Ground Up (Mr. President)!

The oldest living Live Oak in Pinellas County

What does “shovel ready” really mean to a small business owner?  It means building a business from the ground up!

Are you sick of this class warfare?!  Do we want to elect a President that knows more about how to spend OP’s money or one who knows how to cut spending and increase revenues?

Memo to the President: I started my own business over 24 years ago and I built it from the ground up.  My business has gone from a one man band to well… suffice it to say,  we have increased full-time employment (FTEs)  significantly, private sector jobs and without government assistance.

As a community organizer, President Obama certainly can appreciate the value of a grassroots movement.  In other words, contributions made from the ground up can have a very positive effect on the community.  In President Obama’s case, that would pertain to social issues and how he was able to help people who were impoverished and disadvantaged.  Admirable, but the money he raised had to come from somewhere, most likely charitable contributions and local, state and federal government tax revenues which to a significant percentage, come from small businesses.  A vote for conservative principles, capitalism and common sense regulation, is a vote for small business.  So get on our bandwagon!

In my case, contributions to my small business came in the form of personal sacrifices; from my personal savings; taking no salary for some time, taking less salary for some time and mind you, no vacations for many years.  I had to continue to pay my bills, feed my family and keep a roof over our heads.  When my saving ran out I took a second mortgage on my house.

I chose to go it on my own.  I took all my savings, borrowed from family, friends my home and started my own business.  My kids saw me on weekends.

The President refers to Middle American’s like it doesn’t include small business owners.  Most small business owners take a significant portion of what their small business earns and they reinvest in their business. The President knows how small businesses earn income and chooses to ignore it.  Small business people “pay it forward.”  Our income goes back into our business, meaning jobs and if for no other reason, in today’s economy, it’s grow or die! 

I’m offended by the President’s misguided belief that wealthy Americans are the problem in this divide between Republicans and Democrats. 

At the end of the day I’m “bone tired” and the threats of higher taxes, more regulation and Obamacare chill me to the bone.  Most wealthy Americans are hard-working, who have their own plan on how to spread the wealth around.  I have much more faith in free enterprise.

President Obama just doesn’t care.  How could he?  He’s never walked in a small business owner’s shoes.  Mr. President, you will never walk in my shoes or the shoes of millions of small business owners.  Here’s how it works:

  1. Believe in yourself
  2. Take a huge chance.
  3. Put your own money behind it.
  4. Believe you can do better.
  5. Commit yourself, your family and your friends to get behind you.
  6. Repeat Numbers 1 –5.

As the expression goes, those are pretty big shoes to fill.  Free enterprise and small businesses come from the ground up.  Powerful stuff!

 

From the Ground Up!

The oldest living Live Oak in Pinellas County

What does “shovel ready” really mean to a small business owner?  It means building a business from the ground up!

Are you sick of this class warfare?!  Do we want to elect a President that knows more about how to spend OP’s money or one who knows how to cut spending and increase revenues?

I started my own business over 23 years ago and I built it from the ground up.  My business has gone from a one man band to well… suffice it to say,  we have increased full-time employment (FTEs)  significantly, but not by this President’s standards.      

As a community organizer, President Obama certainly can appreciate the value of a grassroots movement.  In other words, contributions made from the ground up can have a very positive effect on the community.  In Obama’s case, that would pertain to social issues and how he was able to help people who were impoverished and disadvantaged.  Admirable, but the money he raised had to come from somewhere, most likely charitable contributions and local, state and federal government tax revenues which to a significant percentage, come from small businesses.  So get behind us!

In my case, contributions to my small business came in the form of personal sacrifices; from my personal savings; taking no salary for some time, taking less salary for some time and mind you, no vacations for many years.  I had to continue to pay my bills, feed my family and keep a roof over our heads.  When my saving ran out I took a second mortgage on my house.

I chose to go it on my own.  I took all my savings, borrowed from family, friends my home and started my own business.  My kids saw me on weekends.

The President refers to Middle American’s like it doesn’t include small business owners.  I’m a small business owner and a 99%er unless you add what my business earns and reinvests in the business.  The President knows how small businesses earn income and chooses to ignore it.  Small business people “pay it forward.”  Our income goes back into our business, meaning jobs and if for no other reason, in today’s economy, it’s grow or die! 

I’m offended by the President’s misguided belief that wealthy Americans are the problem in this divide between Republicans and Democrats. 

At the end of the day I’m “bone tired” and the threats of higher taxes, more regulation and Obamacare chill me to the bone.  Most wealthy Americans are hard-working, who have their own plan on how to spread the wealth around.  I have much more faith in free enterprise.

President Obama just doesn’t get it!  How could he?  He’s never walked in a small business owner’s shoes.  Mr. President, walk in my shoes and the shoes of millions of small business owners.  Here’s how it works:

  1. Believe in yourself
  2. Take a huge chance.
  3. Put your own money behind it.
  4. Believe you can do better.
  5. Commit yourself, your family and your friends to get behind you.
  6. Repeat Numbers 1 –5.

Free enterprise comes from the ground up.  Powerful stuff! 

 I think Mitt Romney knows how to cut spending and raise revenues.  Romney-Rubio would be my ticket to defeat Obama.  Say yes to R&R!

 

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.”

Feel free to agree, disagree or simply ignore me.  Express “yourself.”  Leave your comments, share or  spread the word with Stumble Upon button below.  Subscribe or come back often to visit.

%d bloggers like this: