Franchisors Warn Obamacare Will Halve Profits

Franchisors warn Obamacare will halve profitsby Paul Bedard
The International Franchise Association held a convention in Washington this week where most of the Radio Shack, Dunkin Donuts, Curves and other franchisers were grumbling about new federal regulations, especially the impact of Obamacare.

Most, said Atlanta Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken franchiser David Barr, presumed that the reports about how hard Obamacare will hit them were overblown. “They had their head in the sand,” he told Secrets.

That is until he pulled out his powerpoint showing how funding Obamacare will cut his –and likely their– profits in half overnight. [Read more…]

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Win an Olympic Medal, Pay the IRS

Win an Olympic Medals, Pay the IRS by Chris Banescu –
What better way for the U.S. government to “thank” our Olympic athletes for all the years of hard work, enormous efforts, and many personal and financial sacrifices in pursuit of excellence, than to compel them to pay taxes on their Olympic medals and prize money. Yes, my fellow Americans, U.S. Olympians must pay income taxes on both the medals and the prize money granted for gold, silver, and bronze.

Besides the actual gold, silver, and bronze medals given to the top three Olympians in each event, prizes are also awarded. For the London Olympics athletes receive $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze.

According to the IRS, American medalists must report as income not only their prize money but also the market value of the actual metal in each medal they win. [Read more…]

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What I Learned About Natural Gas from Boone Pickens

T. Boone Pickens
T. Boone Pickens
by Rich Karlgaard –

Last week I interviewed the Texas energy baron T. Boone Pickens four consecutive nights in front of a live audience. Pickens would talk for 40 minutes and then I would interview him for 50 minutes. (Full disclosure: I was paid a fee to do this, not from Pickens but from the event’s owner.)

The Pickens presentations had an interesting underlying tension: Texas billionaire, oilman and Republican trying to convince earnest San Francisco Bay Area liberals about the virtues of natural gas. How did Pickens do in front of liberal, vaguely hostile audiences? Surprisingly well. He made his case with numbers.

Here is what Pickens said:

– Global demand for oil is 86-88 million barrels per day. It will be 90 million by the end of the year, due to global growth. [Read more…]

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America Slouching Towards Fiscal Armageddon

America Slouching Towards Fiscal ArmageddonAmerica is in grave danger. Our government’s out-of-control spending and our politicians’ refusal to implement meaningful budget reforms are leading us towards a fiscal crisis that can undermine our very way of life. We are spending ourselves into oblivion. With each passing day, we are $5 billion in deficit spending closer to the edge of an abyss that can cripple our economy, destroy America’s wealth, and lead to catastrophic social consequences for all current and future generations. Yet our leaders in Washington refuse to face reality and continue to play political games while the country’s budget crisis deepens and the threat grows exponentially.

In February of this year the US federal budget deficit grew by a record $224 billion; the biggest one-month increase in history. Worse still, the 2011 US budget deficit is forecast to reach $1.5 Trillion.  According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) this annual deficit represents the largest budget gap in our country’s history, equivalent to approximately 10% of America’s total economic output.  This follows the enormous $1.3 Trillion deficit racked up for 2010 and will be superseded by an equally disturbing $1.65 Trillion deficit forecast for 2012. [Read more…]

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Want doctors to innovate? Free them!

Doctors Innovate Free 10/11/2010 – Steven Goldfien, MD –

Peter Orszag, formerly the Director of the White Office of Management and Budget, appears to have found a new career as a pundit for the NYT. The fact that he’s chosen to admonish doctors in a recent sermon at least means that the new preacher and his chosen pulpit are well-matched. The contempt for the medical profession shown by Mr. Orszag — and his boss — during health care reform is readily apparent, as he begins his editorial by stating that

[d]octors, like most people, don’t love to work weekends, and they probably don’t enjoy being evaluated against their peers. But their industry can no longer afford to protect them from the inevitable. Imagine a drugstore open only five days a week, or a television network that didn’t measure its ratings. Improving the quality of health care and reducing its cost will require that doctors make many changes – but working weekends and consenting to quality management are two clear ones.

[Read more…]

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Economic Lunacy

9/13/2010 – Larrey Anderson –
I know logical lunacy when I see it. I may not be an economist, but as one trained in logic as a philosopher, I have been horrified by the recent economic policies of both Presidents G.W. Bush and B.H. Obama.

Let’s start with Bush and the first TARP bill. My heart broke when Bush announced the TARP program. I understood that the $750-billion blank check (to be spent at the discretion of the next Secretary of the Treasury — who turned out to be tax-cheat Timothy Geithner) might well trigger the end of our constitutional republic. [Read more…]

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Ronald Reagan: Whatever Happened to Free Enterprise?

President Ronald Reagan
President Ronald Reagan

From the archived pages of Imprimis, the monthly speech digest of Hillsdale College, President Ronald Reagan reminds us that economic freedom is an absolute necessity not only for political freedom, but for all freedom. That freedom must be fought for and protected in every generation. That the business community must join this fight and not remain passive.

“It all comes down to this basic premise: if you lose your economic freedom, you lose your political freedom and in fact all freedom. Freedom is something that cannot be passed on genetically. It is never more than one generation away from extinction. Every generation has to learn how to protect and defend it. Once freedom is gone, it’s gone for a long, long time. Already, too many of us, particularly those in business and industry, have chosen to switch rather than fight.”

President Reagan clearly understood that government action is the biggest threat to our economic freedom and personal freedom. He correctly identified the government as the problem, not the solution: [Read more…]

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The New York Times, Cheerleader for Higher Taxes

The New York Times Cheerleader for Higher Taxes
In what can only be described as a partisan, pro-Obama puff piece, The New York Times has now proclaimed on its Economix Blog that tax increases are the best way to “stimulate” our economy and help America reach “fiscal sustainability”:

The single biggest step our government could take this year to address the structural deficit would be to let the tax cuts expire. And a credible commitment to long-term fiscal sustainability should reduce interest rates today, helping to stimulate the economy.

[Read more…]

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The Death of the Dollar

Death of the Dollar8/6/2010 – Vasko Kohlmayer –

Nothing can save our financial system in the long run. It is doomed to collapse. This is inevitable, because our government controls and manages its very foundation — the dollar.

The federal government began its takeover of the dollar in 1913 when it established the Federal Reserve Banking System. Prior to that, the dollar was a real store of value. In the period from 1783 to 1913, there was a long period of currency stability with virtually no inflation. If you saved one dollar in 1800, your great-grandchild could buy roughly the same amount of goods with the same dollar one century later. [Read more…]

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Steve Wynn: No Common Sense in Washington

Steve Wynn
Steve Wynn

Steve Wynn, the American entrepreneur and casino resort/real-estate developer, was recently interviewed by CNBC for the opening of his new Encore Beach Club in Las Vegas. During the questions and answers session with the correspondent, the billionaire business owner addressed some of the most serious problems American companies face and the incompetent manner in which politicians in Washington, DC are handling the economic situation and the unpredictable manner in which they continue to aggressively punish US businesses.

In the interview Wynn talks about the lack of common sense that has disappeared in Washington and the completely out-of-control spending that is fueling the massive national debt:

“It’s common sense that’s disappeared in Washington DC. It’s common sense that’s disappeared in the years of 7 and 8 in America. We’re inheriting the awful results, both in our government … of wild, uncontrolled spending, unbelievable, unsustainable debt.

And yet, here we are, doing it again, $20 billion a month to the FHA. On top of what happens to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We’re doing it again today for $20 billion a month! We’re destroying the housing market, again; under the name of a stimulus, phony misrepresented names.”

[Read more…]

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Tax Hikes and the 2011 Economic Collapse

Economic Collapse 20116/6/2010 – Arthur Laffer –

Today’s corporate profits reflect an income shift into 2010. These profits will tumble next year, preceded most likely by the stock market.

People can change the volume, the location and the composition of their income, and they can do so in response to changes in government policies.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the nine states without an income tax are growing far faster and attracting more people than are the nine states with the highest income tax rates. People and businesses change the location of income based on incentives.

Likewise, who is gobsmacked when they are told that the two wealthiest Americans—Bill Gates and Warren Buffett—hold the bulk of their wealth in the nontaxed form of unrealized capital gains? The composition of wealth also responds to incentives. And it’s also simple enough for most people to understand that if the government taxes people who work and pays people not to work, fewer people will work. Incentives matter. [Read more…]

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Across America 15 Million People Still Unemployed

US Unemployment Situation Grim
US Unemployment Situation is Grim

Across America 15 million Americans are still out of work and unable to find jobs. The latest numbers from the Labor Department indicate that only 41,000 private sector jobs were created last month. Of the 431,000 new jobs added in May, 411,000 were temporary census workers hired by the government. Despite Obama’s assertion, made just days ago, that “the economy is improving and that the economic stimulus legislation passed a year ago was having a positive effect” there is little to cheer about. The president’s unrealistic predictions that “the economy is poised to start adding the jobs people need” were clearly misguided and off the mark.

These are predictable results given how aggressive this administration and the Democrat controlled Congress have been in promoting socialist policies that stifle economic activity and unreasonably punish responsible corporations and businesses. [Read more…]

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