Why Donald Trump?

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Last Updated on Monday, 31 August 2015 13:19 Written by Craig DeLue Monday, 31 August 2015 12:32


Why Donald Trump?

He’s the People’s Megaphone


As Howard Beale put it, “We’re mad as hell, and we’re not going to take this anymore!” A simple statement that reflects the people’s anger towards Washington and reveals the impetus behind the Trump phenomenon.


Donald Trump has proclaimed that American leadership is incompetent.  Incompetent at running the government and incompetent at negotiating both trade and foreign policy agreements. Trump’s statements are undeniably true.


American trade deals have resulted in a trade deficit which has averaged over $500 Billion a year since 2000, totaling over $8 Trillion in that time.  That’s $8 Trillion that benefited foreign trading partners at the expense of American workers.  When Bill Clinton signed NAFTA in 1994, the annual trade deficit for the prior three years averaged less than $47 Billion.


A Trillion Dollars may not seem like much nowadays with the way the Government spends money, but consider that a Trillion dollars is enough to provide you with a Million Dollars a year for a Million years; $8Trillion could have built over 10,000 Hoover Dams.


How many additional Americans could have been employed if we hadn’t had a trade deficit during those years? Based on an average employee generating about $175,000 of revenue for a company, nearly Three Million additional Americans could have been employed had our government negotiated trade deals in which we, at least, had broke even.


Another measure of the incompetence of our Government is our $18 Trillion national debt. If we think of our Government as a business, it has lost $18 Trillion, over 90% of which has been lost in the last 30 years.


The most basic of facts demonstrate the worst kept secret in the world, our Federal Government is incompetent.  Americans have been thirsting for someone to stand high on the hill and shout what we all know to be true, our government is incompetent, self serving, corrupt, and filled with greedy politicians and bureaucrats who are more interested in maintaining and increasing their power and privilege than working on behalf of the American people.


Donald Trump has benefited by stating what’s true about our government. After decades of being consistently lied to and stolen from by both parties, Americans are ready to blow up a system they view to be thoroughly corrupt and incompetent. It’s time for the status quo to go which is why the other non-establishment candidates that are rising, Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side and Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz on the Republican side.


All non-establishment candidates are benefiting immensely by the presence of Hillary Clinton in the race as she represents the epitome of the greed, dishonesty and corruption of the modern politician that Americans finds to be so repellant.  Seldom do we see a politician so greedy and power hungry as to jeopardize national security in order to stuff an extra dollar into her pantsuit. We’ll likely never know how many lives may have been lost in Hillary Clinton’s pursuit of money and power.


Unfortunately, the ‘Truth to Power’ special Constitutional protection granted to the press to root out government corruption and abuse has been abdicated by media elites who, like the politicians they are supposed to expose, are more interested in enhancing their own wealth and privilege.  Donald Trump has filled this void and is quenching our thirst for the dismantling of the Status Quo.


Chris Christie Disqualified

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 February 2014 16:05 Written by Craig DeLue Wednesday, 05 February 2014 15:48

Chris Christie took actions prior to the bridge-gate affair that should disqualify him from serving in public office.

An elected official should be loyal to the principles of the party he purports to represent and act in the best interest of his constituency. Chris Christie has failed on both fronts, and demonstrated that he lacks the ethical character to represent others.

One of New Jersey’s Democratic Senators, Frank Lautenberg, passed away in June, 2013. Senator Lautenberg’s passing gave Republican Governor Christie the opportunity to appoint a Republican to fill out the remainder of Lautenberg’s term which ended January, 2015.

Christie, seeking reelection himself in 2013, felt appointing a Republican for the remainder of Lautenberg’s term might damage his own prospects in heavily Democratic New Jersey, so he decided to hold a special election to fill the late Senator’s seat.

The logical election date for the special election would have been that November in which elections were already scheduled. Holding the election in November would have been acting in the best interest of the taxpayers of New Jersey.

However, the leading candidate for Senator Lautenberg’s seat was the popular Democratic mayor of Newark, Cory Booker, and Christie feared that having Booker on the same ballot as himself might draw extra Democratic voters to the polls. So, at a cost of over 10 million taxpayer dollars, Christie scheduled the special election for the Senate seat in October.


Christie has demonstrated through his actions that he is neither loyal to the fiscally conservative principles of his party nor the best interests of the citizens he was elected to represent. Chris Christie established that he is loyal only to himself and is willing to throw his party aside as well as the best interests of his constituency to advance his own prospects. As such, Chris Christie has disqualified himself from serving the public.


Long Term Care Insurance – Do You Need It?

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Last Updated on Thursday, 27 March 2014 09:07 Written by Craig DeLue Wednesday, 04 September 2013 00:00


One of the most confusing types of insurance is long term care (LTC) coverage. Many people don’t know exactly what it is and why it might be something they should explore. Others who’ve had personal experience with friends or family that have needed care have a better understanding, but also may not know the particulars.

Whether it’s right for you or not, it’s important to understand why some people buy LTC insurance. Everything starts by understanding that long term care is not covered to any significant extent by standard health plans or Medicare. Standard plans and Medicare focus on covering medical care; the vast majority of long term care expenses are from the need for personal care such as assistance with dressing, bathing, meal preparation, etc. Personal care, also called custodial care, is not covered by standard health insurance or Medicare.

The longer you live the more likely it is that you’ll require long term care. If you make it to age 65 the federal government estimates that you have a 70% chance of needing care at some point in the future. That’s a big percentage, but keep in mind that for many people the care they require will be end of life care that lasts only weeks or months. However, for others care will be required for years. And, care can be extremely expensive. Depending on the type of care a person requires, where they live, and the care setting (home vs. facility), the cost of care can top $100,000 per year, particularly in metropolitan areas.

In a nutshell, there is a good chance a person will need care and the care can be very expensive. So, should you explore long term care insurance? The answer depends on your circumstances. To consider LTC insurance you should have assets to protect and the income or liquidity to pay the insurance premiums without affecting your lifestyle. If you don’t have assets, you don’t need coverage.

How much does long term care insurance cost? It depends on your age, marital or domestic partners status, and health. The premiums are based on the age at which you apply for coverage so there is a substantial benefit to buying at a younger age. Additionally, there are significant premium discounts, as much as 50%, for good health and people in a marital or domestic partner relationship. The other major factor affecting premium is the level of coverage purchased. Like buying a car you can purchase basic transportation or a luxury vehicle loaded with all the options.

Annual premiums can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands. The average premium is about $2,100 a year. If you’re younger when you purchase it will likely be lower, if you’re older it will be higher. If you live in an area in which the cost of care is low, you’ll need less coverage so the premium will be lower; the opposite is true of higher cost areas.

If you’re about 50 years old or older, and you have assets and income, you should investigate LTC coverage. If you decide to explore this type of insurance it is very important that you speak with an agent the both specializes in LTC insurance and who represents all the major LTC insurance companies. Agents that don’t specialize in this type of coverage typically don’t understand how it works and there can be significant differences in premium from company to company. Finally, if you are serious about buying a plan, make sure that the company you choose is financially strong and has been selling LTC coverage for a while.


Employment Rate

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Last Updated on Friday, 14 March 2014 10:48 Written by Craig DeLue Thursday, 13 March 2014 15:49

The unemployment rate depends on the government’s determination of the number of people actively looking for work, the participation rate. The result is that the monthly unemployment figures often seem confounding. The monthly jobs report can be flat, but the unemployment rate dips due to a shrinking participation rate.

Instead of attempting to figure out the percentage of people who are looking for a job, but can’t find one, it would seem simpler to report the number of employed Americans as a percentage of the working age population, the Employment rate.

In the last 30 years, Federal spending has quadrupled from $852 billion in 1984 to nearly $3.5 trillion in 2013; a growth rate that is nearly twice the rate of inflation. If Federal spending had grown at the rate of inflation, 2013 spending would have been $1.9 trillion.

A primary driver in the growth in Federal spending has been benefit payments to an increasing number of people that aren’t employed. When the percentage of working age people drops as is evidenced by the Employment rate and Federal spending increases, the only result can be economic catastrophe. The pyramid turns upside down.

In a country of about 315 million people, the Federal Government reports that only about 145 million are employed which represents only 46% of the total population. Next time you’re at a sporting event or concert or movie theater, look around and realize that over half the people aren’t employed, aren’t paying Social Security or Medicare taxes. Do the math.


California Death Spiral

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 September 2011 15:48 Written by Craig DeLue Thursday, 18 August 2011 00:00

California has the most diverse economy in the country with industries ranging from to aerospace.  So, how is it that the California unemployment rate is over 30% higher than the national average, and the second highest in the nation?


Perhaps it is California’s consistently ranking as the most business unfriendly state.  Maybe it is California’s ultra high regulation environment. Then again, it might be the fact that California has the highest income and sales tax rates in the country, and one of the highest property tax burdens.


Intel recently opened manufacturing plants in China and Vietnam.  Why not the United States?  Why not open a plant in Intel’s home state of California?  In August 2010, Intel CEO Paul Otellini gave the answer that it would cost an extra $1 billion to open a plant in California.


Not only are companies choosing to locate facilities outside of California, but established facilities in California are relocating at a furious pace to other states and/or countries.  According to Joe Vranich, a consultant who specializes in relocating companies, businesses are fleeing California at 5 times the rate of 2009. Every week more than 5 businesses pack it up and move out of state. The effect of this trend is to shift billions of dollars in capital out of the State.


It gets worse.  It’s not only businesses that are fleeing the State; wealthy individuals are migrating to lower tax states, and why wouldn’t they?  A person who earns $1 million can keep an extra $100,000 of their money by living somewhere other than California.  It gets even worse.  Over the last couple of decades California has narrowed its income tax base meaning that an ever increasing share of the income tax burden is falling on fewer and fewer people; the wealthier people.  An obvouis fact that politicians seem to miss is that people react to incentives and the State is providing more and more incentive to leave.


Welcome to the California Death Spiral in which legislative policies tax and regualte business and personal wealth out of the state; a state in which a disporportionate amount of revenue is dependent on taxing business and individual wealth.  As the tax and regulatory burden increases, businesses and wealthy individuals leave the State.  The legislature’s response is to increase the burden on the remaining buisnesses and individuals which results in even more migration out of the state.


Not only is financial capital moving away, but so is intellectual capital. Silicon Valley bucks this trend to some extend due to the value of tech critical mass, but for the most part higher educated and skilled people are leaving the State and being replaced by low skilled people with limited education. The result is more pressure on social services which further squeezes the successful from the State. And so, the California Death Spiral continues.


Unfortunately California is a leading indicator for the country at large. California reflects the effect of government policies that breed a culture of dependence that sap not only the desire from people to achieve, but the need to.  Given a choice, all to often human nature dictates that we will take the course of least resistance, the easy road. Make it possible for people not to work, and a good chunk of them won’t.


The exceptionalism of America was the result of the unique combination of individual having to overcome Maslow's hierarchy of needs in an environment of unfettered freedom. Remove the needs and the freedom, and the result is the California Death Spiral.


The California legislature has been dominated by a single party for decades and they’ve been extremely successful at stripping away people’s freedoms while increasing the public’s dependence on the government and growing a lower educated population. The result has been an increase in the single party’s domination of the legislature which is currently at its historic zenith. When more than half the population is dependent and of limited education, the tipping point has been reached and there is no going back.


When does that moving van arrive?





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