Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Connecticut's Energy Induced Recession

Connecticut's State Department of Public Utility Control truly amazes me. Whatever any utility wants in the state gets from this supposed balanced commission. With yesterdays United Illuminating ruling of an incredible 50% increase in rates, we can see from an economic point of view that Connecticut will be going into an energy induced recession from this ruling. The comedy of the whole situation is that Connecticut's do nothing legislature has help create this mess by forcing both UI and Northeast Utilities out of the generating business for electricity. Thus by buying electricity on the open market, this deregulation has forced prices through the roof. It has not have the intended impact of our feel good legislature thought it would have. I give UI credit for its total disregard for its customers by asking for and receiving this astronomical increase. I am sure that UI's management staff will receive its annual performance bonuses, stock options and the like.
Thus Connecticut will be going into an energy induced recession. The blame for it can be equally shared by the electric companies, the Connecticut Legislature and last but not least the Connecticut DPUC. Consumers will be doing without to pay for their incredibly high electric bills, businesses will be moving out of our state due to high electric costs and sadly the same stale politicians in Hartford who supposedly represent us will be back yet again in 2008 saying what a great job they did.
I just hope that the last person who leaves Connecticut will turn out the lights once and for all.

Monday, December 11, 2006

I thought Iraq was a free country?

I thought Iraq was a free country? I guess I am mistaken after looking at new commission report which was developed by a group of experts(?)and their findings. I have always wondered why influential individuals seem to lose their common sense when acting in a group or committee. In this case the report makes no sense to me what so ever nor can be applied to the conflict. We as a nation need to remember that many terrorists wish to murder us all and eliminate our freedom. We must realize that terrorism loves to embrace our economic system to fund its activities. Yet their hatred of us is ironic. 9/11 still remains in our history due to the murders of many innocent US citizens whose only crime was that they went to work that day. Negotiating with terrorists is not an option.

Terrorists have a great hate of themselves and others in our world. That is why they wish to continue their terrorist activities. Our American freedom has been fought for since before 1776 and will continue to be fought for in the future. How many people throughout our world crave freedom? And are willing to give their lives for it? Iraq is a developing free democracy in the Middle East. And one day with our help it will remain free. It is a lesson that other countries should understand.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

No thanks but I won't vote for Lamont

I am still confused by the current Connecticut Senate election. I really need to know who Ned Lamont is. No, I am not going to vote for him or support him, but I really can’t see how he could possibly represent my family or anyone else in Connecticut. As far as I can see the reason why he won the primary by a slim amount of votes is because he is anti-war candidate. Joe Liebermann lost because he has taken a view point that we need to finish what we started in Iraq and allow those people freedom.
Does this mean that all people in Connecticut are anti-war? I don’t think so.
Trying to understand Lamont’s other stances becomes more difficult. He is in favor of many liberal causes which in my opinion have failed our economy miserably. He is very wealthy and here we have just another example of a multi millionaire liberal trying to dictate to our state what we can and can not have. I guess the economic system is ok when he was trying to make his fortune and now that he has it the hell with it.
I believe that there are many voters like me here in Connecticut, who are middle class and conservative in our beliefs and life styles who dislike this candidate for all of his liberal stances. We are tired of the ranting and raving of how bad things are and the excessive costs of the liberal fixes that a candidate like Lamont wants.
Ned Lamont reminds me of Lowell Weicker – an opportunist with an ego that does not seem to be satisfied. No, I will not vote for Ned Lamont, nor do I feel a majority of Connecticut residents will either.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Correction on the Secret Connecticut Gross Earnings Tax

Now everything makes sense to me. I need top correct my last blog regarding Connecticut's Secret Gross Earnings tax levied on all fuel in the state. It is now 6.724% not 5.8% as I thought it was. I got conflicting information regarding it. Also two more secret taxes that are now charged include a Lust Tax (Leaky Underground Storage Tank) which is .001 per gallon and a Federal Spill Fee Record tax of .0012. The reality of this tax in addition to the State tax of .25 cent per gallon and a Federal tax of .184 cents per gallon and bingo you have one of the highest tax rates in the country! The Secret Gross Earnings tax adds from .17 to .21 cents per gallon more in costs. I guess our clueless State Legislature did not think the oil companies were going to pass on this tax to the consumers. Guess again. Now I see that the Legislature may go back into special (and maybe secret) session to come up with answers to Connecticut's energy problems. I do not see why they should as they have yet been able to come up with anything since 1973 except to raise taxes. Here is the solution-get off our dependency of foreign oil and use less. The State I am sure wastes energy everywhere, from State employees in State vehicles going faster than 65 miles per hour, lights on everywhere in State Buildings, and the list goes on and on. Let us face up to it, there is no thought for either taxpayers in our state nor for energy consumers. And now State taxpayers will foot the bill for this useless special session.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Again higher gas prices, again higher gas prices, again...

Again higher gas prices-I just read a nationwide survey that we have the third highest average prices for gasoline in the country. We are only behind Hawaii and California. $3.19 is the average although I know of a few stations that I can buy cheap gas at $3.09.9. I always hear the stories of supply and demand as a long time instructor of Business and Economics classes I have difficulty with some of the same arguments that I hear over and over again. Connecticut has one of the highest gas taxes in the country and I do believe that the long run implications of this high tax is both a state recession and people once again leaving in droves from our state. Our elected officials passed a secret increase in the gross earnings tax up now to 5.8% (and please do not let anyone kid you, motorists pay for this tax-making an average of .54 cents a gallon with federal taxes thrown in).
I know that you and I have an unlimited amount of income to pay for higher energy costs and higher taxes here in our state. We receive constant cost of living increases in our pays to offset these higher costs. Wait you don't believe me? Again higher gas prices...Again higher gas prices...Again higher gas infinity.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Legislature that can't

I am still trying to figure out what the Connecticut State Legislature accomplished this past session. I really do not know. There are many pressing problems in the state and it seems once again that our legislature shortchanged taxpayers.
What happen with tax reform? There were some great concepts which may have been mentioned however I guess time just runs out and the net result is that we are still the second highest taxed state in the country. I also must be happy then that no known new tax taxes were passed (I am sure some technical ones were and will be passed on to consumers in some way i.e. CT Gross Earnings Tax on fuel)
What happen with judicial reform? Or does anyone care how secret our court and judge system has become? Why is this system fearful of applying the freedom-of-information law to all judicial functions? Are they afraid that the taxpaying public will see the charade that is going on masked as justice in Connecticut?
What happen with transportation reform? We know there will be many new trains in service but what about our archaic highway system with projects that just goes on forever and ever? Obviously none of the legislators use our highway system because if they did they would have done something about it already. Anyways we as taxpaying commuters are stuck with it, just deal with it, when did the state legislature care about commuters anyways?
Connecticut’s legislature needs to be reformed. Terms should be made 4 years with term limitations of 2-4 year terms being allowed. Pay should be increased to $52,000. a year so a wider range of individuals from our state may serve and actually come up with solutions to our state’s problems rather than the current bunch of lawyers who are creating greater laws to perpetuate their own self interest. Also after their terms ended they would not be allowed to become lobbyists until five years later. This would eliminate a lot of the problems that we currently see with lobbying in Hartford today.
So once again another session has ended and golly gee nothing got done. Oh well, who cares anyways, taxpayers have an infinite amount of money to support our state government.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Energy independence without big oil dependence.

As energy prices continue to escalate, energy consumers must start to face the reality of these excessive costs. It seems to me that energy consumers have an abundance of extra income to pay for the high costs of gasoline, heating oil and electricity. Since I do not believe that consumers have this abundance of extra income, severe cuts in other areas of their personal budgets will occur. Inflation which is apparently non existent in our economy depending upon whom you believe will only skyrocket in the future.
We as an economy and as a nation just do not seem to get it. We need to collectively decrease our use of energy and switch to alternative sources of energy such as solar power, windmill power and hydroelectric power. The solutions are simplistic and realistic. We need to take charge of our won futures if we wish to survive as a nation for the next two hundred years. Energy independence without big oil dependence. The cry of 2006.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Can Connecticut survive?

Why are there no solutions to Connecticut’s budget problems? As an instructor of business and economics I feel that I should grade the State of Connecticut on two serious issues so as our elected officials may be able to improve their job performance. In an election year it is critical that they do this so that they may get re-elected yet again (maybe some of them who have opposition will actually lose).
For lowering of one of the highest tax burdens in the country- F. You may have thought you saw some tax relief with the elimination of the property tax on vehicles but that was an illusion. If we cut that we might have seen some relief. But why cut taxes here in Connecticut? We all know that taxpayers have an unlimited source of funds to continue to pay the ever increasing burden that our state legislature puts us under. For businesses there is no relief at all. Besides coping with all the increases in input costs, workmen’s comp and energy, I am surprised any business at all can compete here in Connecticut.
Transportation issues- F. I guess most individuals who represent us do not travel on the state highway system. If they did they would come up with a realistic plan to improve the system or privatize the Transportation Department. Commuting in our state is a sickening experience. The roads are in lousy shape, construction projects have unlimited time and funds to be completed and in my opinion there is no accountability to what is going on. The time has come to either fix it or privatize it. What about an effective public transportation system to actually move commuters from one point to another? I guess it just can’t be done.
Change is desperately needed in our state. It will only come when reform our state legislature to being full time with full time pay, with term limitations of 8 years (4-2 year terms). We would force a different group of people to realistically come up with solutions to our states problems not a bunch of lawyers creating more laws to perpetuate their own existence. Connecticut needs a change and needs it fast if it is to survive in the future.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A Trilogy of Economic Problems

A trilogy of problems are at work in our nation's economy.
First, the uncertainty of stable energy prices will play out over the next few months. I feel gas prices will shoot up with ease to over $3. a gallon in the foreseeable future. This again will increase costs for consumers and businesses throughout our country. Where does this money come from? Many will just charge the difference and not worry about paying it back while others will cut back yet again from other areas of their personal budgets. Where is effective, reliable public transportation in our economy?
Second, the United States national debt is a grave issue that 435 members of Congress continue to ignore. Pork seems to be King in our land and an $8 trillion+ dollar national debt continues to be ignored by all. Why does the Federal Government need to spend $.22 cents of each dollar just on interest alone on the national debt? Why can't government live within its means like many Americans choose to do? If they do not curb this problem immediately, the long run economic implications will be severe and far reaching. Look out for a great erosion in our standard of living.
Third, the magnitude of General Motors economic problems are far reaching. And no I do not wish to see government bail them out. It is a fixed cost that every consumer pays when buying a GM car or truck that includes paying their workers who do not work. Their Jobs Bank program pays workers full salaries for not working. What other business allows this? And you may wonder why the cost of autos has gone up so high over the years? Examine this program and you will see the incredible sums of money GM must pay. Why? A bankruptcy will have a grave ripple effect in our economy. However, much of this is due to GM and its union for these incredible costs that are passed on to the consumers. And consumers are saying no to GM vehicles in droves.
What are the answers to this trilogy?
My advice to you the reader is to pay off your personal debt as fast as you can...

Monday, March 27, 2006

Energy Independence

Energy independence. What does that mean? Since 1973, we have heard many differing opinions regarding the ending of America's dependency upon foreign oil. The severity of our situation today should give our economy the impetus to start to use alternative sources of energy. These sources include solar power, hydroelectric power, wind power and improved gasoline efficiencies for automobiles. Here we are 33 years later and what has happened? Energy costs continue to skyrocket. Depending upon which excuse you hear at any time, the most simplest interruption will cause a .15 cent a gallon increase in the pump price. Energy prices in my opinion are flexible upward and very inflexible downward. The drain that energy prices have on our economy is incredible. We are the largest importer of oil draining nearly $550 million dollars a day out of our economy and into our foreign trade deficit. We are eroding our standard of living and our children's standard of living because we can't curb this incredible appetite for energy.
Let us start by using less energy. Can we save electrical usage in our homes and businesses? Can we each use one less gallon of gasoline a week? Can we have a mass transportation system that actually moves people from one place to another rather than a bureaucratic nightmare that it seems to do.
There are simple solutions, however it is too bad that we can't see them and accept them. Energy independence-33 years later?