Fiscal Sanity Archive

Health Insurance Is Not Health Care

By John Lumbard, CFA. In late December movie mogul Michael Moore, writing in the NY Times, described Obamacare as “awful” and said that he’d known this all along---but didn’t want to say so because it would give comfort to the President’s “enemies”.  Maybe it’s time we stopped the hyper-partisan hyperventilating, and...
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Another British Invasion

By James Schaefer. "[If] you have to have to gripe," says Jim Ratcliffe of Great Britain, "[it is that America] has the highest corporate taxes in the world.  They're too high in my view, [at] nearly 40%.  And that's a pity because in most other parts of the world corporate tax...
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Common Sense

By James Schaefer A friend I knew many years ago used to say, "A little stupidity goes a long way."   Let's re-phrase that and say, "A little Common Sense goes a long way." Herewith are some bits of wisdom that have been shared with me over the years. 1)  Live below your means. No...
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Too Big To Jail

  “Attorney General Eric Holder, the top U.S. law-enforcement official, finally admitted this week that bank executives truly are above the law and may commit crimes with virtual impunity.” -- MarketWatch. If you ever wondered why banker bailout beneficiaries were treated with kid gloves after the financial crisis, it helps to understand that...
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Postponing the Pain

Economist Charles Wheelan writes occasionally for Yahoo Finance, and he's always terrific.  In a recent article he suggests that the President extend the current graduated tax structure, with a plan to balance the budget in 3 or 4 years (when the economy is stronger) by cutting spending and adding consumption taxes...
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Join Americans for a Balanced Budget Amendment

By John Lumbard.   As the months have rolled by we've worked to simplify our message, because nobody wants to stop partying long enough to think about bipartisan fiscal responsibility.  Most Americans are for it---probably by a massive majority---but most haven't even thought about practical ways to ensure that the Congress does...
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Taking the Long View

By James Schaefer. In America nearly everyone has the opportunity to acquire substantial retirement savings; it's simply a matter of applying self discipline (and some common sense) consistently over a very long period of time.  Starting at age 22, saving a million dollars -- or more -- in retirement accounts is fairly...
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How ’bout a Little Optimism? The American Promise.

By John Lumbard.   Investors are running scared right now, fearful that a slowdown in our economy means that we're headed back into a double-dip recession.  Stop worrying and enjoy a double dip in the ocean (a balmy 66 degrees at the New Hampshire shore today) or two scoops of ice cream at Annabelle's here...
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Sustainable Government

By Dan H.   As California goes, so goes the nation.  That has long been the case with fad and fashion, but lately California has been playing the role of canary in the coal mine.  The state budget is out of control, and there are no longer any easy answers.   Much...
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Consumer Debt-cutting

There is at least some good news on the personal finance front. Increases in "consumer debt" -- defined as total revolving and non-revolving personal debt -- are being more than offset by decreases in mortgage and credit card debt.  As a result, total personal debt is declining (see U.S. Debt Clock). It...
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