Blog Entry

Gag reflex has been triggered! Spit it out!

Posted on: January 7, 2009 2:07 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2009 2:23 pm
 

Hard to swallow, may have to spit this one out.

Another stupid person(s) to point out per my New Year's resolution.

I was eating my lunch today with a friend of mine in a crowded bistro. The fellow next to us was reading out loud to his table mate the virtues of Obama's economic stimulus package from his newspaper. Both these gentlemen were excited about the prospects of tax relief and the immediate impact to the economy. These fellows are dyed in the wool Obama supporters and they were gushing about the proposal as if it were revolutionary and just what we need to get the country started in the right direction again. They actually said, "Damn George Bush!" Amazing.  (Didn't W send us all $500 or $1000 checks last summer?)

How does it taste to you, America?

Obama's plan is for a two year tax relief that amounts to $500 per worker or $1000 per couple for each year. Depending on the number of paychecks you get, either 24 or 26, this amounts to roughly $20 per check for a single. Let's see, that buys about 10 or 11 gallons of gas (at today's price) every couple of weeks. Or about 8 coffees at Starbucks. Or a round of drinks for a few friends. Maybe a box of condoms, a six pack of Keystone Light and some mints. Might cover the co-pay for a doctors visit (might not). Covers the cost of a month's supply of birth control pills. Good for 5 beers at a Piston's game. I can get half a new bra at Victoria's Secret or a week's worth of thongs.

Now I don't mean to sound like I won't accept the money. I will of course. But let's be real. Is $10 bucks a week gonna cause you to go out and spend our way out of recession? Is it going to make a dent in your credit card or mortgage payment? Is it going to restore consumer confidence? Anyone rushing out to buy an American car with the extra $40 a month? Maybe with all those rebates GM and Ford are throwing around you can get one for $40 a month (get real folks).

Who is the stupid person here? I will let you decide.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: democrats
 
Comments

Since: Oct 14, 2006
Posted on: January 13, 2009 6:26 pm
 

Gag reflex has been triggered! Spit it out!

If the DOT wants to straighten out the mess....ditch CAFE, and impose a federal gas tax that would make us wince when we buy gas guzzlers.  If that is unappealing how about instituting the CAW Standard.  Corporate Average Weight Standard.  Eventually all the heavy vehicles will go away.  There are more than one way to skin a cat.

Smorgie...your comments are all spot on....I disagree with absolutely nothing you have posted or suggest...I really don't...

But before you can look to change legislation..you need as a business to fix the buisness model. The goverment is not repsonsble for The Auto Makers being just unbeleivably  bad buisness people...

This case study remind's me of  The Jack and the Box disaster. Kids die of E-coli...Jack and The Box blames the MSD,  The MSD blames the meat supplier...The Supplier blames the Farmer...The Farmer Blames the USDA for not inspectiing the product well enough and the USDA blames you and I for not paying enough taxes to put enough USDA inspectors in the field to prevent it.....It is called below the line management.....instead of managing above the line and looking for solutions .  In the Automakers case since the Oil Crisis in the 70's they have really done little in 30+ years to change their business model....except look for cheaper ways to continue what they do like by building plants in non-union country's or states as if labor is the only issue that they have...far from it actually....not core the root problem like improve their processes or improve the product.....

It needs to start there....it has to in any buisness to stay alive. Then come back to cause and effect from policy's put in place to use the "cattle prod" technique to assist in moving that industry forward....my guess they would get that from the government if they show a sustainable and viable buisness going forward.  If you take a look at GM's current outline..I think they may be on to something... I am certain Obama would rather review those types  of policy's that have been more of a barrier than helpful than give billions of dollars in bailout at this time....all cards should be on the table everything should be put in play moving forward...

 




Since: Feb 18, 2008
Posted on: January 12, 2009 2:13 pm
 

Gag reflex has been triggered! Spit it out!

Well I disagree with you view.  I agree that "cheap" gas is gone forever, but the last thing we need is more taxes on it.  I really don't want the federal governemt regulating American behavior through taxes.  People cry about Exxon/Mobil profits, but fail to realize the Government makes more money off a gallon of gas than they do.  But like you said, Washington does real good and responsible things with that money.  CAFE was the wrong approach, but so isn't taxing.  All this said, I will continue to live my life as I do regardless of gas prices.  I will own my SUV, travel, and fish.  There is a cost involved, but one I am willing to pay.  I would, however, rather pay it to an actual business than in the form of a regulatory tax. 



Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: January 12, 2009 12:48 pm
 

Sorry Gas - tropod!

Serious suggestions?  The answer is yes they were.  When CAFE was passed it was ostensibly to increase fuel efficiency.  And it has had a negative impact on the Big Three from a competiveness point of view.  IF the desired behavior modification was to have people drive less or drive more fuel efficiently, then there are other ways.  Specifically through weight reduction.  For those who need trucks for work function those costs can be deferred as the cost of doing business or through other tax abatements.  The problem is we transitioned from a car driving population to a truck driving population for everyday driving.  Now I have nothing against recreational trucking or towing as there is nothing more American than that.  But when the F-150 or Silverado or Tundra became family trucksters it became a problem both environmentally and in terms of safety.  In order to keep up with the Jones' one had to have a truck or SUV to offer the same safety in a crash with another behemoth.  Unfortunately, a truck traveling at 35 mph hits another truck also traveling at 35 mph and someone is going to get hurt or killed.  A car hitting a truck is bad news for the car. 

Let me correct my statement, MOST of the heavy vehicles would go away.  Those who need them will still have them.  However, it will cost them.  We have to evaluate the total cost to the economy, to the environment, and to our foreign policy. (Oil, Oil and Oil).

20 years ago a truck that would tow all you wanted cost $15k and was austere in its interior.  Now they can cost $60K and as finely appointed as most luxury cars.  Even mighty Toyota has taken the bait and have built their own behemoths which are deeply discounted on their lots right now.  Is it a coincidence that Toyota posted it's first ever loss this year?

The point is - cheap gas is gone forever.  Had our Government had the foresight 30 years ago to have passed a federal gas tax instead of CAFE we would have changed our behavior before it every got to our current situation.  And we probably would not be in as much debt - oh wait, my bad, the feds would have found a way to spend it at least double.




Since: Feb 18, 2008
Posted on: January 12, 2009 12:03 pm
 

Gag reflex has been triggered! Spit it out!

If the DOT wants to straighten out the mess....ditch CAFE, and impose a federal gas tax that would make us wince when we buy gas guzzlers.  If that is unappealing how about instituting the CAW Standard.  Corporate Average Weight Standard.  Eventually all the heavy vehicles will go away.  There are more than one way to skin a cat.


I hope this was not a serious suggestions.  From  your postings I would assume not, but Americans do have needs for those "Gas Guzzlers".  There are always going to be people who do contracting work and landscaping as side job to earn supplemental income.  These people depend on trucks.  In New England, try getting around in the snow.  Sure front wheel drive cars are great, but not when there is 8 inches of snow on the ground.  Myself, I fish competitive Bass tournaments.  Can't tow a boat with a Focus.  Should Americans get hammered with higher gas taxes for this?  Getting rid of the big vehicles will kill other industries with it.  I will keep the skin on the cat. 

On a side note, it was fun traveling with a boat in tow and filling that boat when gas was pushing $4.50/gallon.  I still did it, but many could not.  Tournament participation was about half of what it has been in previous years.  May not seem like a big deal to the average person, but many of the smaller communities depend on the business these tournaments bring.  Hotels, restaurants, gas stations, etc.  In the town of Ticonderoga, N.Y., we depleted the town's entire supply of gas forcing them to bring in additional shippments, booked nearly every room, and swamped the local restaurants so much that the Town's chamber of Commerce donated a check for several thousand to the organization.   Now you have states like California with special motor restrictions that prohibit older boats from using their waters.  It sounds like a good idea, but as these new standards pass, it is the average people who suffer the economic repercussions.




Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: January 12, 2009 11:32 am
 

Gag reflex has been triggered! Spit it out!

However...My consutling group was one of 15 hired by the DOT to try to sort out the mess in Detroit....it certainly by no means indicates that I am expert...but someone thinks I may have some idea....( Boy do we have them fooled...LOL)

You underscore the point I am trying to make Sla.  Government  (DOT) has regulated the bejesus out of autos.  And now they want to "fix" it with more help.  We are from the government, we are here to help.  Nice.  No one is excited by the prospects of more help from the government. 

An example, I had a car in 1995 that got 40 mpg on the highway and 33 around town - now we get that with hybrids at a huge cost.  Since then the average weight of a car has increased in weight due to government regulations.  Airbags, crash safety, vapor capture during refueling, side impacts, etc. have resulted in an increase in weight of more than 500 pounds per vehicle.  As the weights increase on cars and trucks so to does the safety requirement.   The energy in a crash is proporsional to the mass of the objects involved.  The higher the mass, the higher the energy, the more energy the safety equipment must dissipate.  Sort of causes a runaway problem.  However, we fear light cars in a crash situation, except an Indy car weighs 1000 pounds and dissipates far more energy quite safely.  The makers of race courses have figured out ways to absorb the energy of crashing cars instead of depending on the chassis to handle the whole event.   The point here is - make the vehicles as light as possible and have the environment around them absorb the energy.  The result is safety for the occupants and extreme fuel economy.

The vapor capture system was imposed on the auto industry instead of putting it on the gas filling stations which would apply to ALL cars driven in the country.  Instead it took a period of time to gain the benefits for the environment because it depended on the fleet being replaced over many years.  And it imposed a weight penalty to the cars.  Nice work DOT.

If the DOT wants to straighten out the mess....ditch CAFE, and impose a federal gas tax that would make us wince when we buy gas guzzlers.  If that is unappealing how about instituting the CAW Standard.  Corporate Average Weight Standard.  Eventually all the heavy vehicles will go away.  There are more than one way to skin a cat.




Since: Oct 14, 2006
Posted on: January 10, 2009 2:51 pm
 

Gag reflex has been triggered! Spit it out!

You don't work in the car industry do you? 

LOL!!..Absolutely not!!!.....nor so I ever want to!!

 

 I don't know of any in Maryland

Yes..there is.....here is a link to GM"S plant here...

Yet you proclaim to be an expert.

Hmm....I don't beleive I have ever said I was an expert....you my friend feel the need to give your resume' everytime you post...LOL!!

However...My consutling group was one of 15 hired by the DOT to try to sort out the mess in Detroit....it certainly by no means indicates that I am expert...but someone thinks I may have some idea....( Boy do we have them fooled...LOL)

still having a high ranking B3 executive as a roommate I feel able to comment better than you. 

If he is well versed as the other HIGH RANKING Execs my team has dealt with on this project....I would be surprised...LOL!!

Of course the government has purchased vehicles from the B3, you want your Marines pulling into battle in a foreign vehicle? 

You move from the sublime..to the ridiculous by that statment...you are better than that..

My point...making it crystal clear when that legistaltion was adopted the politicians were able to create money on the back side ....example this 50 billion for "R&D" to assist in fuel efficient alternative's was put in place for the  the potential revenue gap....add billions in new Defense spending...CARE is a smoke and mirrors effort...or at best some perception of someone in Washington minding the fort so to speak...

So the question inturn comes up....what is happened to the money?...how was it spent?...we will never know ...some fo the projects are classified...so they don't have to tell anyone anything...

Its like the Casino business in a way...no one really wants to telll you were the money trail really goes...can't fix what you don't know...

You win Sla, shut the B3 down.  They serve no purpose whatsoever.

I am not trying to win...just trying to voice an opinion things don't always appear the way they seem...off course we need this manufacturing sector to provide economic stability ...just like the airlines...but take a look at the difference in regulations between the two industries..one that is kept in check ..and the other where the inmates have run the asylum for too long...

So you end up with  cause and effect.......

These companies are no different than a Goldman Sachs or Lehman brothers playing a high risk poker game thinking they could not lose...or the government would give them a mulligan.....

 just lose the condescending Sorry it comes across that way....not my intent..




Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: January 10, 2009 12:55 pm
 

Gag reflex has been triggered! Spit it out!

You don't work in the car industry do you?  I don't know of any in Maryland.  Yet you proclaim to be an expert.  Having worked in that industry for a while and still having a high ranking B3 executive as a roommate I feel able to comment better than you.  Of course the government has purchased vehicles from the B3, you want your Marines pulling into battle in a foreign vehicle?  That sends a great message.

You win Sla, shut the B3 down.  They serve no purpose whatsoever.

Please feel free to disagree, just lose the condescending chastizing tone is all I ask.




Since: Oct 14, 2006
Posted on: January 9, 2009 3:50 pm
 

Gag reflex has been triggered! Spit it out!

 

You always seem to be chastising me Slaton, but you respond with a conspiratorial cryptic note about defense contracts.  Sorry but I do not see the relevance. 

 


 

Hmm....well the links below may clear your blurred vision....BTW they are only 3 samples of several others....The Auto Makers get taken care of on the back end....you roll up earmarks and pork behind what they get behind the defense contracts you may not see the relavance but others should...

Lobbyist's and PAC groups do what they do because they get paid for it...all smoke and mirrors...if it was the be all end all..or the silver bullet to fix their problems then it would have been addressed already....

Chastising??..this is a NATIONAL SPORTS BOARD!!!..NOT the Ann Coulter's Radical Right Wing Conservitive Propaganda page....and on top of that you are writing a BLOG!!...I would assume that would mean you are looking for discussion or disagreement....but I guess what you really want is for everyone to toe the line and agree with your thinking  whole heartedly.....if you don't want the feedback...I would suggest a diary instead...

 

 




Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: January 9, 2009 2:58 pm
 

Gag reflex has been triggered! Spit it out!

Slaton - I wrote an entire blog on the subject a few weeks back.  I wrote a position paper on CAFE as a case study of unintended consequences 11 years ago when I was working on my Master's degree.  I can site a myriad of papers written by many experts on the subject of CAFE.  In the past two weeks one such was in the Wall Street Journal calling for the elimination of CAFE.  The automakers and their PACs (Political Action Committees - read lobby) have worked for years to influence the CAFE standard in their favor but to no avail.  Most (all?) of the PAC's have lobbied hard to keep CAFE standards as low as possible.

The Automakers have made out pathetically as a result of CAFE.  Market shares have been fractionalized as imports, free from CAFE, have taken their market. Hard to argue the point Slaton.

You always seem to be chastising me Slaton, but you respond with a conspiratorial cryptic note about defense contracts.  Sorry but I do not see the relevance. 




Since: Oct 14, 2006
Posted on: January 9, 2009 1:38 pm
 

Gag reflex has been triggered! Spit it out!

By forcing the B3 to produce their fuel efficient cars in the US at union labor rates instead of low cost countries like others do so that they will count against the CAFE average.  If the sole purpose of CAFE was to increase fuel efficiency then why the requirement that the cars must be built here to count? 

Oh Boy.....Smorgie....Why do you look at things only on the surface and take them for face value.....

You think The Auto Makers had no say in how CAFE was set up?.....You would  need to dig a little deeper to see how the AutoMakers made out on this one....start with Defense contracts and work your way from there....



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