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STOCK Act Update

It passed today in the US Senate, 96-3. Schwing!

OFFBEAT: LOL http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/35vogs/

MJD

The Pro Bowl

Ugh, is there a bigger tragedy than what the Pro Bowl has become?  As much as it saddens me to say this, yes there is.  The NBA Dunk Contest.  That theatrical showpiece is something that not even Vince McMahon can top!

But in all seriousness, why not just have a skills competition/drills?  Show me what QB can hit a target 25 yards downfield with 3 tosses.  I must be an ace with the remote, because I flipped to NBC just in time to see the Clay Matthews interception/lateral/lateral/fumble recovery by the Offense.  It was destiny.  Just moments later I knew my calling was to catch “Dear John” on Starz.  And that I did.

OFFBEAT: Find me the guy that can do this do my Crayolas! http://i.imgur.com/mt2yG.jpg

MJD

Taxes

It’s that time again.. Ahhh, W2’s flocking to emails and mailboxes everywhere! My new friend Randy asked me just yesterday, “Spend it or save it?” Randy, like 2 chainz says “It’s mine, I spend it!” That is your earned money and you owe it to your fellow people to stimulate the economy as best you can, when you can.

Now on a side note, I caught maybe the last 10 minutes of the President’s SOTU speech.  One of the things he mentioned was raising taxes for those who make over $1 million dollars.  One friend of mine became outraged by this gesture and said you shouldn’t be punished for hard work.  I agree.

Except I cannot think of a job that pays $1 million on the books.  President? $250,000. CEO of Allstate? $520,000. And so on and so on. In the case of CEO’s, they are compensated through ESOs (employee stock options) and those are considered to be “tax advantaged.” But even if they did, with all the tax credits/profitable donations available, these folks could drop their taxable income into a more viable bracket without batting an eye.

Take Mitt Romney and his 13% tax rate on $21.7 million earned in 2010. We can assume most of his money was made from invested personal wealth. And as a result, the realized capital gains are taxed at the 15% rate. The main driver behind this is that his original earnings have already been taxed at a higher rate, which is why capital gains are taxed this way. Maybe in this case, that is fair. We shouldn’t be attacking Mitt and questioning his tax rates.

But what about those who make capital gains off leverage? You know, money that is not theirs. Why should they invest somebody elses money, earn a cut of it and still qualify to be taxed at the 15% rate? That is the real problem here. Why not have 2 brackets in this instance? 15% for those realizing capital gains on personal investments and 25-30% for those realizing capital gains off leverage? But then again, you can qualitatively figure in the risk from investing off leverage and argue that that is why they deserve the 15% tax rate; the associated risk.

The reality is that the number of folks who would be affected by an increase in taxes (for those in excess in $1 million) is minimal. In fact, it is 0.3%. That is one three out of every 1000 Americans. Raising taxes for the rich may not be the answer, but it shouldn’t be blasted for being considered. I think we can all agree tax reform is neccesary, we just can’t agree on how to affectively do so.

OFFBEAT: Bruce, is that you? http://i.imgur.com/50CGk.jpg

MJD

LeBron back to Cleveland?

Yep, you read that right.  Apparently, sources close to James have said that he isnt too fond of Pat Riley’s strong-handed way of running the Miami Heat.  Hmm interesting.  You mean to tell me LeBron and his management crew of friends don’t like being scolded?

Now this is a stretch and certainly premature.  But hey, I’m drinking the kool-aid.  I know what kind of guy LeBron is.  He hasn’t and will never say leaving Cleveland was a mistake, but you can see that its clear he’s regretting what happened.

It is premature because first off, he is inked to the Heat through 2016 and can’t opt out until after the 2013-2014 season.  But second and most importantly, winning fixes EVERYTHING.  If the Heat can pull it together this summer and win it all, LeBron will all but forget about those guys in the wine and gold, making all of this an afterthought.

In speaking to one lifelong Heat fan last night about this, here was the exact response: “Whatever. It’s no skin off my back.”  One thing LeBron overlooked was how Heat fans don’t care about him and never will.  Cleveland did, and you know what, they still do.  They cared when the Cavs got landed the #1 pick in 2003 and they cared when The Chosen One promised a city of demise the hope they had been yearning for.  They cared when his Decision left them standing outside with his jersey in one hand and a lighter in the other.  They cared when he made his first appearance back in the Q and they care that hes absent on many nights there now.

Cleveland is a prideful city and many fans will tell you they have since moved on.  But I tell you what, speaking on behalf of them, they all would welcome him back.  That is what being a Cleveland sports fan is all about.  Rooting your ass off for the name on the front of the jersey, not getting caught up with the name on the back.  We support Cleveland and we support the Cavs.  If LeBron became part of that organization again, we’d support him too.

http://www.foxsportsohio.com/01/24/12/Cleveland-return-in-LeBrons-future-/landing_cavaliers.html?blockID=652216&feedID=3561

^^Don’t think this is bias either, its being reported through all media outlets.  But FSOhio was one of the first to break this yesterday so I’ll go with them.

MJD

Tropicana Field on Friday, Homeless Shelter Saturday?

Interesting piece of legislation was unearthed here in Florida regarding sports arenas/stadiums/ballparks.  In a nutshell it states that when these dwellings are not servicing MLB/NFL/NBA teams, etc, they are to be used for homeless shelters.  Think about that for a moment.  The spot where your favorite slugger digs in could share space with a volunteer serving a homeless Joe.

What a brilliant idea!!!  Hey the Super Dome did it after Katrina!

Unfortunately, the big league lobbyists have a slightly bigger pull than the little nobodys.  But hey, as an American taxpayer, I should have a say in the way these forums are utilized, right?  After all, its our tax dollars at work funding these massive pieces of real estate.  But there rises the even bigger problem…Americans have no clue where their tax dollars are going!  South Floridians, in particular, probably have zero clue some of their tax dollars are going straight to Triple A (American Airlines Arena).  And they are.  And same goes for any other sports team in another city.

The solution?  If sports organizations can ink the fattest player in baseball to a $215 million contract, they can afford to pay for the ballpark he plays in.  Even Bud Selig could figure that out.

MJD

STOCK ACT

On December 7, 2011, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor indefinitely postponed a scheduled markup of the legislation. The bill currently has 235 co-sponsors– 153 Democrats and 82 Republicans.  A bill needs 218 votes for passage by the House of Representatives.

In case you are unaware, this stands for “Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge” Act.  If you are the CFO of a Wall Street company, or any for that matter, and you are found of insider trading, you can expect 10’s of years in jail.  But our Congressmen/women can make these SAME transactions with the SAME knowledge, yet nothing consequential happens to them?  Cough cough, Nancy Pelosi.  What kind of democracy lets one man trump the common sentiment of 235??

If you are one of those people who got all hot and steamy about PIPA/SOPA last week, you should do the same now.  Familiarize yourself on the bill and pass this on, whether it be Twitter, FB or what have you.

http://www.louise.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=90&Itemid=139

MJD

Hello world!

Don’t mean to start yall off by scaring you with Political jargon, but the following is just wrong.  Hang with me yall!

MJD