A 0.075% Joke December 11, 2013Posted by hslu in Congress, Economics, Politics, Taxes.
Tags: Economic, Patty Murray, Paul Ryan, United States federal budget
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The “bipartisan” budget deal agreed by party leaders Tuesday achieved this:
$23 billion saving, on paper, in 10 years.
My question is this: how can Paul Ryan and Patty Murry keep their straight faces when presenting this so-called “saving” to the American people?
It was a joke; a 0.075% joke!
This translates into this to something you and I can understand:
“Time is tough. We have to work multiple part-time jobs when they are available out there. Yet we are spending like there is no tomorrow because we are borrowing 20 cents of every dollar we spend. Don’t laugh, that ratio used to be 40% a couple of year ago. In fact, we have been using our credit cards for many years because we like to spend, Period.
In fact, we owed a lot of money to many people but they are not chasing us down to get their money back. In that sense, we don’t have a problem yet!
But, since we are nice parents and we like to leave you two with a bright future, we decided to come up with new ways to reduce our spending. We worked hard and long and we fought tooth and nail. We have finally reached a new milestone and that’s why we called you in for the good news.
We are happy to let you know that we have come up with a saving of $2.25 a year for the next ten years.
How do you like that, huh?”
Some people call it “Kicking the can down the road.” I call it “The demise of the Democracy” which roughly translates to ” Let the other guy cut the benefits.”
These people call themselves the representatives of the people. But they are not. They only represent people who vote the most or people who has the most of money to hire lobbyists. They next generation does have a representative at the table.
In the end, they will get the can .
U.S. standing in the world is falling fast December 5, 2013Posted by hslu in China, Economics, Global Affair, Islam, Military, Muslim, Obama, Politics.
Tags: Arab, Bashar al-Assad, 百足之虫，死而不僵, Great Recession, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Middle East, Obama, United States, 挂羊头卖狗肉, 了无羞耻也
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The survey said it all (chart below from Pew Research.) It is sad to watch but it was inevitable. The US empire is heading into sunset with Obama leading the charge. The process will be slow and Chinese has a saying for it too: ”百足之虫，死而不僵.“
For almost seven decades since the end of WWII, the US has used two powerful weapons very effectively to bring other countries in line: US dollar and its military. it is still true but they have been less effective to say the least.
Don’t get me wrong, the United States still has a lot of money not because the US is the largest creditor in the world but because the US dollar is world’s reserve currency. Here the landscape is slowly changing and the US isn’t doing anything about it, yet: the US owes a lot of money to other countries and is running a trillion dollar or so deficit every year. Its $17 trillion dollar federal debt, unfunded liabilities and other government debts will break American tax payers’ back soon. In short, the US is broke and is fast running out of money to give it away.
The bigger problem is that the US dollar’s reserve currency status has been challenged by IMF and many other countries who don’t want to hold a currency with declining value. The push to move away from the US dollar as the world reserve currency is accelerating with IMF readies its Special Drawing Right (SDR) or some other form of currency to take place of the US dollar. Something will happen within the next decade and when it happens, the glory days of the US empire are numbered. it will be ugly. And whoever had assests in US dollar better be prepared for its demise.
America still has the most powerful and advanced weapons in the world. No other countries has any hope of over taking US’s leadership position any time soon. However, the lead is shrinking with Al Qaeda and related organizations regrouping in many parts of the world and China slowly building up its navy and air force in recent years. Many other countries, India, Pakistan, North Korea, etc. have their own nuclear arsenals too. Besides, where will the US going to come up with money to keep its lead in the never ending arm race? With more debt of course. But it can’t be sustained in the long run. Remember, America is broke.
America’s foreign policy is a mess.
Hillary didn’t do a lot other than taking expensive trips all over the world making speeches. Nothing of any significant consequence got done under her.
Obama drew a “red line” in the sand and warned Syria of grave consequence if it dared to cross it. Well, for a couple of years, Bashar al-Assad did it time and time again. Obama kept warning Assad but did nothing to stop him. Finally, Putin, among all foreign country leaders, came to the rescue and gave Obama a black eye for all Arab countries to see. Obama messed up on Arab Spring and didn’t know whom to back in Egypt and couldn’t even decide whether overthrowing its first elected president, president Morsi, by the military was a coup or not. Yet, foreign aid in the form of fighter jets and other weapons continued to flow to Egyptian military as we speak. The whole episode was simply comical.
Obama also projected an image of profound weakness in Benghazi where four Americans, including American Ambassador to Libya, were killed on September 11, 2012. There was talk of a video, justice for the dead, retaliation and finally a cover-up by the Obama administration, but nothing has happened either. It was all speeches and no action.
Then there was Snowden, the hijack and grounding of Bolivia president’s private airplane, the uproar against America throughout Latin America, Snowden’s one-year asylum in Russia thanks to Putin and the fall out from NSA’s monitoring of American citizens, world leaders and many other’s emails, social media activities and phone conversations. The worst of them all was the self-appointed human rights’ guardian, America, was totally exposed for its brazen disregard of other’s people’s privacy and human dignity. China has something for this too: 挂羊头卖狗肉。It is also called: 了无羞耻。The world now knows what America really is: a hypocrite. But it was a hypocrite with all kinds of weapons in its hands.
Of course, we can’t ignore Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran. So many American soldiers died for Iraq but the US was chased out of Iraq. Iraqis simply didn’t want America in their country. Obama nonetheless learned his lesson from the failure in Iraq and is trying to keep some US soldiers in Afghanistan enticed with more US foreign aids. The decision was to come at the end of the year but Harmid Karzai wanted to delay it.
Then there was Iran.
Kerry got Iran to talk and agree to curb its atomic activities in exchange for less sanctions. Yet, not much has changed because Iran insisted on continuing its uranium enrichment operation. Well, Iran certainly bought more time to work on a nuclear weapon and at the same time got the sanction monkey off its back. Kerry and Obama did well too: they took credit for contribute to peace in Middle East until one day Iran shows up with a nuclear weapon just like North Korea did under Clinton with the help of the worst American president in recent history: Carter. History probably will repeat itself and a war may be in the works. Well, what’s ironic with this whole thing was that many Democrats in Obama’s own party oppose the deal with Iran. We’ll just have to wait and see here.
And let’s not forget Israel since we are talking about Iran here. Contrary to all previous US presidents who have backed Israel in the past, Obama chose to isolate and humiliate Israel; I guessed, as a goodwill gesture to Arabs and Middle East countries. He definitely succeed in putting Israel in a precarious position and has truly demonstrated that he desperately wanted to be treated as a Muslim by other Arabs.
It appears that the US has very fewer friend in the world. Arabs don’t like the US other than its money and weapons. NSA has monitored Merkel’s cell phone for many years and Obama lied when he told her that he knew nothing about it. I don’t think Germans believed anything Obama said.Many European countries hate America because the Great Recession engineered by US Federal Reserve Bank, Wall Street, large US banks and many other financial institutions. The United States is solely responsible for the miseries many Europeans are facing now: 25% unemployment rate, five years recession in some countries, huge reduction is people’s living standards and massive destruction of people’s wealth, just to name a few.
Well, then there is Japan.
Japan is on the top of the list because the US is spending billions and billions of our tax dollars to defend the island country. Japan has to listen to the US because it has few military options. All Japanese leaders can do is to visit the Yasukuni Shrine which honors Japan’s war dead, including convicted war criminals and mass murderers from World War II. The US has to spend its own money to defend Japan because America bombed Japan with two atomic bombs during WWII. After achieving phenomenon economic growth in the 1980′s, Japan is currently in such a sorry state (The Lost decade,) primarily because of Plaza Accord engineered by America. Ever since that historical and unprecedented event in NYC, Japan took 20 years to sink its country into a debt hole so deep that it has no way to dig itself out of. For that, a generation of Japanese people have no one but America to thank for. What puzzles me was that Japan still call America a friend. Having a friend like this who was responsible for its demise for the past 20+ years, Japan doesn’t need an enemy at all.
Tension has been high in Eastern Pacific recently. The big question is this: Will US send its soldiers to fight for Japan over a few islands in the Pacific Ocean? Japan certainly likes that idea but I don’t think Americans are ready for another war after Iraq and Afghanistan. Besides, the US has almost ran out of money and time until the world decides to dump US dollar and go for something else.
If that happens, anyone who holds American dollar will become poorer probably overnight and the once mighty empire will forever lose its glory.
Even though the show has just started, we already knew what the ending will look like.
History will repeat itself and we all knew it too well: Rome, Portugal, Spain, France and Great Britain.
The next one will be the United States.
Hold me Accountable October 31, 2013Posted by hslu in Congress, Obama, Obamacare, Politics.
Tags: ACA, Democracy, Obama, Obamashame, Sebilius
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In the US federal government, “hold me accountable” means lateral transfer to another job and then get a promotion a few months later. It also means that the person was instructed to take the heat from the opposition, i.e., the Republicans, and do everything he or she can to protect the president at all cost.
Sebelius declared at Congressional testimony that she’s the one to blame and, reading between lines, Obama is not to be touched.
She was embarrassed in public for one day but she became the hero in the Democrat Party and the White House because she did her job at protecting Obama. There was no demotion. There was no salary cuts. There is no firing from her job. There is no elimination of her pensions. There is no punishment at all.
As such she’ll have the full confidence of the president and will stay in her job because no one can touch her. Republicans can say whatever they want, they have no say at all.
This is what “hold me accountable” mean in the US Federal Government.
What can we concerned citizens do under the democracy system?
Nothing! Nothing at all!
You are told that you have to wait 4 years until the next election cycle. American people get to exercise their scared “rights” and elect the next president, Congresspersons and Senators. Well, only about 55% of all eligible voters vote and a little more than 50% of the votes had put Obama back to the White House: that’s less than 30% of American people dictates the direction of the government of the US in the next 2 and 4 years.
That is scary!
This is what American people are overwhelmingly proud of: Democracy. The liberals think this is the Holy Grail of governing!
I say that “It is a joke!”
Democracy is broken in the US!
US not trustworthy October 25, 2013Posted by hslu in China, Economics, Euro, Global Affair, Obamacare, Politics, stocks, Taiwan.
Tags: Bolivia, Currency war, deficit, NSA, Snowden, US National Debt
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Foreign countries will no longer trust America no matter how many times Obama calls Merkel. It’s like an egg on American’s face which can’t be washed off easily.
Obama’s order to force Bolivia president’s private airplane to land in Austria has already caused serious consequences in its relationship with many South America countries. These countries will think twice before doing business with the U.S. again.
NSA’s monitoring of domestic and international communication has stirred up hatred towards American’s policy. This kind of action is simply not acceptable according to international laws. No amount of denying from Obama will ease other countries’ concerns. Even France and Germany are leery of American’s action and they will not be satisfied with whatever Obama or American ambassadors told them for a long time.
US federal government shutdown and debt ceiling impasse has became a joke among financial markets and other countries in the world. America’s credibility has been seriously damaged too. QEs by US Federal Reserve has other countries worried and countries like China, Russia, Korea and Germany will re-evaluate their foreign reserve policies. They will likely diverting some of their foreign currency holdings to other currencies such as Euro because Europe has started to emerge from financial ruins created by America five years ago. It appears that Euro as the single currency for EU countries is no longer in question and there is even some talk of creating a de facto central bank for EU countries.
China will speed up its move to create more direct currency swaps with other countries, especially in South America, in an effort to increase their acceptance of Renminbi in bilateral trades. As such, the status of American dollar being the world reserve currency will be in question.
The high drama of currency war has just started. America, being the bully of the world, will continue to enjoy the privilege of being able to print the world reserve currency whenever it feels like it.
With American’s national debt at 100+% of US GDP and with America government borrowing 40 cents of every dollar it spends, the day of reckoning for the imperial empire is just around the corner.
马英九 can teach Obama a Lesson October 23, 2013Posted by hslu in Congress, Global Affair, Obama, Obamacare, Politics, Taiwan.
Tags: Americans, Anthony Weiner, Barack Obama, Democratic, 马英九, Japan Nation Party, Obama, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, United States, 国民党, 民进党
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Of course, 马英九 can learn something from Obama too.
From 马英九 to Obama:
- Bow to American citizens on national TV for lying to American people on everything he said on Obamacare such as cheaper by $2,500 for everyone, keep you doctor if you want to and stay with the same insurance company if you so desire. He should admit that Obamacare the product has officially changed to Obamashame.
- Obama then should formed an independent but Democratic leaning committee to investigate who did what wrong; starting from Obama all the way down to project engineers and software engineers.. Obama should then set the records straight on national TV and tells American people what Obamashame really is.
- Obama should fire Sibelius for utterly incompetency and lie to the Congress.
- Obama should at Sibelius’s farewell party praise her for her loyalty and for taking the heat and protect Obama from being the target of the criticism.
- Fire everyone involved in this project starting from the government liaison to the contractors, his or her bosses, project engineers, project managers, section managers and division managers. Take out their retirement benefits and ask them pay for the damage too.
马英九 can learn these from Obama:
- Never bow to Taiwanese people on national TV. Once you bow, you are telling others that this was my fault. The case in point: Army corporal 洪仲丘 was tortured to death while serving his duty in July 2013. Someone else did it. Not 马英九.
- Don’t admit any mistake. 死不认账也 because once 马英九 admit he made a mistake, 马英九 will then own the hot potato and he’ll instantly become the target for 民进党。马英九 will 吃不完兜着走。
- 马英九 should go on national TV and start doing his best to preach the idea, sell the products or explain the idea to Taiwanese people. Remember your target audience is the ones who are on the other side of the fence; i.e., 民进党。
- Holding back on firing anyone in your party until it becomes necessary. Let your subordinates defend their positions until it requires your attention. You don;t have to everything yourself.
- Start focusing on something else. Have your spokesperson say that you will be on vacation, play golf, fly to South America or Africa on an unexpected visit.
- Tell Taiwanese people that your idea is the best one government has come up with. Tell them once. Tell them twice. Tell them three times. Have you people go on national TV too. After you tell them a thousand times, it will be a good idea. Lie if you have to. Obama did it all the time. Many, not all, liberals in America are very gullible. They don’t think. They follow because they are blind to the facts. Taiwanese people maybe like them too.
Now, this is what 国民党 and every 国民党员 can learn from the Democrats:
Democrats circle the wagon to protect their own; be it Obama, Obamashame, Sibelius, Dodd, Frank or Rangel. Until the last minute: such as Anthony Weiner of NY. Democrat is united. This is why they defeated Republicans all the time.
Of course, Republicans are fighting a losing battle because the liberal media, such as CNN, NYT, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, is not on their sides. Not even once.
Above all, when chief justice Roberts is on Obama’s side, misguided he maybe, Obama got it made. Period.
Poor 马英九，he always end up as 众矢之的 when someone else made The mistake。
HTC a goner？ October 23, 2013Posted by hslu in China, Economics, iPhone, jobs, Politics, Shanghai, Taipei, Taiwan.
Tags: Acer, Apple, China, Democratic Progressive Party, HTC, Samsung, Shanghai, Taiwan, 国民党, 国民党，民进党, 宏達電, 宏基
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I believe many Taiwanese have been 套牢了by this stock as well because they bought the stock as it was moving up in 2010 and are still holding them in their brokerage accounts after it dropped from the record high of 新台币 1,238 to 新台币 136 now: a drop of 89% in about two and half years.
HTC is short of cash and has experienced disappointing sales in the US and China. The company may disappear or it may be taken over by someone else.
Another Taiwanese stock that is also facing difficult time is Acer.
The reduction of PC sales worldwide hit Acer particularly hard. Its newer version of notebooks and tablets just couldn’t compete with tables from Apple and Samsung. It is losing market shares fast and the company probably doesn’t have enough cash to turn it around now. It once spent millions to hire CEO from foreign countries to run the company but Acer’s market share didn’t improve with foreign management. Unless the company can come up with something significantly new, it, along with HTC, may follow Nokia and Blackberry into sunset and cease to exist soon.
Two of Taiwan’s once brilliant technology companies are experiencing such a difficult time in the market place is very disturbing. To many Taiwanese, it probably feels like that the legs which were supporting Taiwan’s future was severed at the knees. Lack of funds to promote its products in the US and China may be one of its problems even though its products are on par or even better than those came out of Apple and Samsung. When a company’s market share is shrinking, it negatively impact its cash flow which hurts everything from research, innovation, product development and marketing. When we were in Shanghai about a month ago, we went to The Bund and saw Samsung’s Galaxy S4 was prominently marketed on the big screen in Pudong.
I am certain that the top management of both companies is responsible for misjudged the competitions from Apple and Samsung. I also wondered out loud that the in-fighting between 国民党 and 民进党 in the name of democracy probably bears some blame as well.
Maybe the outflow of top-notch professionals and professors to China in search for a decent salary had something to do with this too.
The bottom line is this: Taiwan’s problem is structural and is deep-rooted. It has rocked Taiwan’s foundation and has affected Taiwan’s GDP growth. Everywhere we go, Taipei’s streets and shops are filled with well-dressed and fashionable teenagers and people in their 20′s and 30′s. The restaurants are crowed and busy. TPE airport is busy with tourist groups to China, Japan, Korea, other countries in Asia and Australia. The younger generation is spending their parents’ wealth because they can’t make it by themselves with Taiwan’s GDP growing at 2%. If Taiwan’s government is still sitting on its hands and if 马英九 is still fighting with his own party’s members, there will be more companies like HTC and Acer going down the drain. Jobs will be lost and confidence on the ruling party will be undercut too.
Maybe 马英九 should throw the government’s weight to help these tow companies. Just a thought.
October 16, 2013 – Point of No Return October 16, 2013Posted by hslu in Congress, Economics, Energy, Global Affair, Health Insurance, Military, Obamacare, Oil, Politics, Taxes.
Tags: Congress, Conservatives, Democratic Party (United States), Democrats, government debt, reserve currency, Shale gas, Shale Oil, Trade deficit, United States, United States Congress
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The war against big government in the United States was lost today. Conservatives are defeated. They are out-numbered. America will collectively pick up its steps toward a big and socialist government for decades to come. Obamacare will be even more difficult to repeal, Democrats will rule the Congress and national debt will pile up year after year until the entire nation is crushed under its weight with no means to ever pay for it.
The fundamental problem is this:
Democrats are like Santa Claus; they pass out free gifts to Americans every month of every year. The majority of Americans like handouts and they will keep Democrats in power. They do not care whether the nation can afford it or not. Everyone wants to have a piece of the pie and they will leave someone else to pay for it.
The surge of shale oil and shale gas productions will delay the day of reckoning because the way America goes about it is like someone is spending his or her inheritance money. The domestic productions will reduce trade deficits, stimulate the economy and help with taxes. Once the inheritance money starts to run out in 10 to 15 years as shale oil productions peak, the rapid build up of national debt will continue and the United States will forever pay a larger share of its taxes to service the debt.
If the status of the reserve currency of the green back is in doubt, which will come someday as other nations lost confidence in US’s ability to pay back its debt, the death knell will sound and the empire will fade away along with its 10 air carriers floating in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
The drama has begun. It can not be stopped. It has reached to the point of no return.
The date is October 16, 2013. This is the day the Conservatives are marginalized.
Obama and big government win.
When politicians lie and mislead October 9, 2013Posted by hslu in Congress, Economics, Health Insurance, Muslim, Obamacare, Politics, Small Business, Taxes.
Tags: Health Insurance, Health insurance exchange, Obama, ObamaCare, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Tea Party, 因果, 一报换一报, 不是不报只是时辰未到
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Obama on June 5, 2008 promised that he will put in place a health care program in his first term and it will: “ lower (health insurance) premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year…”
Are US voters so shorted sighted or are they too gullible to believe something thing like this?
This was kind of misleading information and empty promises candidates will say and hope someone will vote for him or her.
People who voted for him will suffer the consequence of their action by paying a higher premium and possibly a smaller paycheck because their hours have been cut to 29 hours per week.
Do you know why companies got a one-year delay to pay for their employees’ insurance; itself illegal because the original law didn’t authorize this?
And do you know why individual mandate is not delayed?
I tell you why:
Companies have one more year to dump their employees from companies’ health insurance plan so that these people have to sign up with the exchanges if they don’t want to pay for the find.
The twenty-something will wait and probably pay the fine because it is much cheaper to do so. They are healthy. They don’t need health insurance. They also know that once they sign up with the government, they will in essence subsidize sick people’s insurance and insurances of those with preexisting conditions – a reverse wealth distribution scheme, if you will.
I am sorry, it is not a fine. it is a tax as defined不 by the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice Roberts; a huge mistake by Bush.
You may not know it but the seeds have been sowed: the seeds to accelerate the decline of the United States and the once all mighty country will eventually become a second tier nation.
The reason is very simple: the US has suffered two heavy punches since 2011: the first punch was 9-11 and the second punch was Obamacare. The results are two new taxes that the country will pay forever. Unfortunately, these taxes are burdens to the businesses and people alike.
Well, Chinese keeps telling people that:
因：Many people voted for Obama; some twice;
果：The United States was pushed to the left by Obama and Democrats.
果：A socialist country is forming fast and the inefficiency of anything government will soon show up in Obamacare. Cost overrun will happen just like what’s going on with Medicare and Medicaid. Quality of health care will suffer. Rational for seniors, say 85 and up, may become the norm. Research in medicine and medical instruments may suffer because government will limit how much the drug and medical instrument companies can make.
Talk about government inefficiency: after three years to get the exchanges open, people are still having difficulty signing up and buying insurance. These people have been waiting because they couldn’t get insurance before either they were too sick or too poor.
We will see how it goes;
I will keep an eye on Obamacare because I may be affected by the exchange in ways I may not know until it is too late.
The younger generation will have to pay for it in the form of higher taxes to keep Obamacare going. Remember, there are 47% of Americans who do not pay any federal taxes. Some of them will even get subsidizes from the federal government to pay for their health insurance premium, You know where that is from, don;t you?
Are you kidding me? October 8, 2013Posted by hslu in Congress, Economics, jobs, Politics.
Tags: CNBC, Government shutdown
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Tge headline reads: Government workers the real victims of shutdown”
Give me a break, please.
They are taking a paid vacation now. They will get paid once they go back to work. 100%. Not a penny less.
The middle class families are the real victims. They earn their money the old fashioned way but they paid their taxes through the nose without a break. They are supporting the bottom 47% all the time and almost all tax breaks were taken away from them.
They are paying for the government workers too and they are having a great time of their lives now: in the coach and watching TV.
No show Obama at APEC October 8, 2013Posted by hslu in Global Affair, Obama, Politics.
Tags: APEC, Obama, Putin
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Chinese has this saying which can be used to describe why Obama tried to avoid Putin at APEC:
Government shutdown is an excuse.
He would be a nobody there anyway.