Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Obama's a WHAT?

So, my boyfriend hit me last night with a couple of assertions that really got my hackles up. We don't often discuss politics because it can be such a bone of contention, and it's really not an important issue to our relationship. But when he came out with "Obama's a Leninist-Marxist" last night, I couldn't let it lie. I don't know who he got that one from (probably Michael Savage, knowing him), but it's just ridiculous.

To my mind, this would not only mean that Obama's agenda is very different from what his past actions have indicated, but also requires a twisting of the ideals of Leninist Marxism. I'm no Obama apologist, but the way i see it, the man is not only NOT socialist, he's actually a good bit more moderate (read: conservative) than many of the people who put him in office were expecting. I'm pretty sure there was a good bit of "wealth redistribution" on the minds of many voters. Alas, that isn't what they got at all.

Take for example what is now derisively called "Obamacare;" the health care act that passed under his administration. While much of the buzz about this bill was that it would bring in socialized medicine, it has actually done just the opposite. It is requiring individuals to fund huge corporations (the health insurance companies) by mandating that everyone have health insurance. At the state level there is a law against this sort of thing. That is to say, if the federal government requires a state to do something, then they have to provide the funds to do it. Otherwise it's called an "unfunded mandate." This is one of the biggest unfunded mandates ever to be foisted off on the American public, and it's going to land squarely on the backs of the poorest of our workers.

You can bet your sweet taters this was not part of Obama's initial plan for the bill, but being too much of a statesman, he (and the rest of his party) capitulated to this, among many other demands of the Republicans.

For example here's what Newt Gingrich had to say about it: "I am for people, individuals -- exactly like automobile insurance -- individuals having health insurance and being required to have health insurance."

But Newt, what you seem to be forgetting is that having and driving a car is a privilege, and one that not everyone bothers to participate in (though given the abysmal state of public transportation in the US, they're damn near unavoidable outside of major cities). Having a body and taking care of it? That's not a privilege. That's a requirement. The only way to get out of it is to die. So now we can edit the old adage about the only unavoidable things in life: death, taxes and health insurance premiums.

Don't get me wrong, I like many of the provisions of Obamacare. The one that FINALLY prevents the insurance companies from refusing to cover you because of certain pre-existing conditions. There are some great things about the bill. But is the bill Marxist or Leninist? Not even close.

And the same goes for damn near everything else Obama's done since he's been in office. It's all been pathetically moderate, when viewed from the standpoint of a truly left-leaning individual. Yet he's demonized & vilified by the huge right-wing media enterprise in the hopes of unseating him in this year's election.

Silly Republicans. Lies are for idiots.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Get A Grip On Your Personal Financial Future Now!

Americans are generally ignorant about personal finance. In this article, you will learn lifelong money management tips. You will see how to make your money go further, and find out how to supplement your income with side projects.

  • If you purchase lean protein in large quantities, you will be saving time and funds. Bulk purchases are excellent if you plan to use all the products you bought. You will be able to save time by cooking enough meals using this meat that can last you for a week.
  • Looking into one of the many flexible spending accounts for medical expenses can be a smart idea. This money will be tax free so it ends up saving some money.
  • Avoiding debt as much as possible is one of the fundamentals of keeping a tight grip on your personal finances. Loans are unavoidable for the big purchases in your life, like autos and houses. For little things, however, the best policy is to pay for things as you buy them.
  • No one is perfect when it comes to their personal finances. If you have only bounced one check, your bank may agree to waive the returned check fee. This trick can only be used by someone who has kept positive balances and hasn't used overdrafts before.
  • To get your personal finances in order, you need to start saving immediately. The importance of regularly contributing to your savings cannot be overestimated. You should look at the money you put into savings as a bill you have to pay. By putting money away, you could create a nice egg nest.
  • If you find the task of balancing your checkbook manually to be too much trouble, you can do it online instead. Most banks offer an online banking service to their customers. You could also download software to help you keep track of your expenses, and plan ahead of time.
  • Know how much money you make to figure out how much you can spend. Keep records and make a budget. Try and find out which aspects of your life are costing you too much money. Not tracking your money and where you spend it is one of the main reasons people end up in debt and with no savings. Try using finance or budget software to help you with this. Use any excess money to pay off debt or invest it.
  • While debt may eventually expire when it isn't collected, it is advisable to get advice on repayment of old debts. Consult an expert about the statute of limitation laws pertaining to debts in your state; you may not have to pay anything depending on how much time has gone by.
  • An individual that is fully aware of the true value of his or her possessions is far less likely to discard a valuable item or sell it for an unsuitably low price. People stand to receive a nice surprise when they discover they own something valuable and it's worth a lot of money.

Now you can see that there are many options for preserving your hard-earned money, and by implementing the tips in this article, you can get closer to having all the financial abundance and security you deserve. Save as much as you can, and maximize the return on your investment whenever possible.