Archive for February, 2009|Monthly archive page

Obama Declares War on Investors, Entrepreneurs, Businesses, And More

In big government, Democrats, Larry Kudlow, nationalized medicine, Obama, socialism on February 28, 2009 at 10:10 pm

We’ll say it Larry ,”we told you so”

Posted By: Larry Kudlow Anchor
cnbc.com 27 Feb 2009 04:39 PM ET


Let me be very clear on the economics of President Obama’s State of the Union speech and his budget.

He is declaring war on investors, entrepreneurs, small businesses, large corporations, and private-equity and venture-capital funds.

That is the meaning of his anti-growth tax-hike proposals, which make absolutely no sense at all — either for this recession or from the standpoint of expanding our economy’s long-run potential to grow.

Raising the marginal tax rate on successful earners, capital, dividends, and all the private funds is a function of Obama’s left-wing social vision, and a repudiation of his economic-recovery statements. Ditto for his sweeping government-planning-and-spending program, which will wind up raising federal outlays as a share of GDP to at least 30 percent, if not more, over the next 10 years.

This is nearly double the government-spending low-point reached during the late 1990s by the Gingrich Congress and the Clinton administration. While not quite as high as spending levels in Western Europe, we regrettably will be gaining on this statist-planning approach.

Study after study over the past several decades has shown how countries that spend more produce less, while nations that tax less produce more. Obama is doing it wrong on both counts.

And as far as middle-class tax cuts are concerned, Obama’s cap-and-trade program will be a huge across-the-board tax increase on blue-collar workers, including unionized workers. Industrial production is plunging, but new carbon taxes will prevent production from ever recovering. While the country wants more fuel and power, cap-and-trade will deliver less.

The tax hikes will generate lower growth and fewer revenues. Yes, the economy will recover. But Obama’s rosy scenario of 4 percent recovery growth in the out years of his budget is not likely to occur. The combination of easy money from the Fed and below-potential economic growth is a prescription for stagflation. That’s one of the messages of the falling stock market.

Essentially, the Obama economic policies represent a major Democratic party relapse into Great Society social spending and taxing. It is a return to the LBJ/Nixon era, and a move away from the Reagan/Clinton period. House Republicans, fortunately, are 90 days sober, as they are putting up a valiant fight to stop the big-government onslaught and move the GOP back to first principles.

Noteworthy up here on Wall Street, a great many Obama supporters — especially hedge-fund types who voted for “change” — are becoming disillusioned with the performances of Obama and Treasury man Geithner.

There is a growing sense of buyer’s remorse.

Well then, do conservatives dare say: We told you so?



Profile: Ridgewood Toastmasters

In Ridgewood Toastmasters on February 28, 2009 at 4:39 am

Ridgewood Toastmasters was founded in May 1958. Since then it has grown and changed over the years as new members have been added and other members have left to pursue other goals. But one thing has remained constant. Ridgewood Toastmasters is a fun and easygoing place where its members can practice speaking and leadership at their own pace.

Ridgewood Toastmasters meets on the second and fourth Tuesday in the month at 7:30 pm at the Unitarian Society Fellowship room in Ridgewood, New Jersey. If you are new to the area, looking for a place to practice your speaking and leadership skills, or just looking for a place to hang out and talk, Ridgewood Toastmasters is the place for you.

Our meeting goes from 7:30 to 9:30 PM most nights. There are usually five speeches, which can be about anything the member wishes to speak about. Then a fellow member evaluates them. In an evaluation the first and foremost job of the evaluator is to congratulate the person on giving the speech and tell him what was good about the speech and what could use improvement. The goal is for the member to keep getting better as he goes along.

So come and try Ridgewood Toastmasters and let us welcome you to a meeting filled with hospitality, laughter, and excitement. We bet you will not be able to stay away.


Ridgewood’s schools, unfortunately, have outgrown Ridgewood.

In public education, Ridgewood New Jersey, teachers pay, teachers union on February 27, 2009 at 7:02 pm

Where does one start in a reply to this ridiculously simplistic attempt to blame teachers and teacher salaries for the budget crisis now facing Ridgewood.

Maybe $70 to $100K was an exhorbitant salary back in the day, but it’s not today. Benefits aren’t “free”, they’re part of an overall compensation figure. 2-3 months off in the summer? Which 2-3 months are they? School ends the last week of June and for some teachers and coaches starts on August 15. Raises year-after-year? Last time I checked, a two or three percent raise doesn’t even keep track with inflation in a robust economy.

We can’t place the burden of solving this budget crisis entirely on the backs of teachers. Reforms in some areas? Yeah, we need them, particularly when it’s impossible to get rid of teachers who don’t perform their duties well enough to stay here. Tenure rules need to be scrapped and the better teachers know this is a necessity.

Ridgewood’s schools, unfortunately, have outgrown Ridgewood. We are a sending district for the county for special needs students and it costs Ridgewood taxpayers a boatload. We are required to implement unfunded state mandates developed by bureaucrats who wouldn’t recognize a good idea if it bit them on the nose. Course creep, where we provide hundreds of disciplines in areas of interests for a disproportionately small number of students, needs to be examined. Do we really need to teach specific dialects of langages at RHS?

In the meantime, the physical plant is an unmitigated disaster district-wide, our school athletic fields are an embarassment and the high school doesn’t have a performing arts facility large enough for all parents to see their kids perform.

There are lots of issues here. The teachers are a relatively small one. Certainly class size is even smaller that that.

Martha Stewart for 1-800-Flowers.com

The Crisis of Credit Parts One and Two

In Uncategorized on February 27, 2009 at 6:33 pm

one of the best explanations I have seen on the banking crisis

Reader Comments on Class Sizes

In public education on February 27, 2009 at 1:57 am

Boy have times changed over the years in public schools.
Class sizes used to be 30-35 pupils to one teacher.
Teachers always checked their own class homework, and they brought it home to check.
Students graduated, went on for their BA, BS, degrees, and entered the business world or other professions.

Today the demand is on for 10 pupils to 1 teacher or aide.
The ratio of students per teaching faculty and education support personnel, breakdown for each school is shown on the BOE web as:

ranges: 11.2 students to 1 teacher/support personnel
to range 15.7 student to 1 teacher/personnel (higher grade levels).
(Glen 6.3 pupils to 1 teacher/personnel) No doubt, the special needs is more challenging and should/do require having more ratio coverage.

Teachers as they did in the past, should take on the responsibility of the whole class. A successful well qualified teacher should be able to address all of their classes students individual learning levels. If not, the board needs to address that with each teacher. Mostly all of Ridgewood teachers have their MA. The initiative to attain a masters degree was suggested a few years ago by the board, and the reward was an increased salary level. Yes, Ridgewood receives federal funds $166,758. Title I – No child left behind. If a teacher is tracked to be unsuccessful with students grades under the NCLB, the new administration in Washington will get rid of them and replace with who’ll be qualified and successful with students.

It is a stark comparison from when teachers salaries were almost a decent living wage, and were sweetened with all the benefits, free health coverage, 2-3 summer months off, pension entitlements, lifetime insurance benefits, and union guaranteed pay raises year after year, just to get those good teachers to enter the scholastic field.

Today, those salaries earned are more than a comfortable living wage averaging $70,000 – $100,000. The school budget costs are ever increasing, and it is 63% of your property tax far more than municipal, county, local taxes. At a time when everything across the country has reached their ‘bubbles’, inflated property assessments with the housing markets and the economic crisis, it is long overdue that the school budgets have reached their ‘bubble’. The taxpayers of Ridgewood cannot keep paying those increased taxes on these increased assessments. Cuts need to be made.

The BOE budget is short.No wonder?

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LOOK for our New Special Feature

In Uncategorized on February 26, 2009 at 3:21 pm

As a Special feature the Ridgewood blog will be hosting a series of Exclusive Interviews with state and local politicians….

if your an interested party ,please contact the Ridgewood Blog at onlyonesmallvoice@gmail.com

Cupping this Sunday: Jersey Style!

In Ridgewood Coffee on February 26, 2009 at 3:14 pm


Several months ago some friends of mine bought a small coffee company in Ridgewood, New Jersey. It’s a great neighborhood joint where people of all types convene, right near the central park of Ridgewood, which is a very nice, walkable town with lots of shops and restaurants that attracts daily visitors from all over Bergen County.

My friends fixed the joint up a little and really went for high quality coffee. They trained their baristas, fixed up the equipment, and went with the best roasters to supply their beans. It’s the best specialty cafe I know of in the area. When you consider how many people live in Northern New Jersey (millions!), it’s good to know that specialty coffee is spreading there, too.

In that spirit, please come to a tasting I’ll be hosting there this coming Sunday. The theme is seasonality in coffee. If you’re confused or just interested about why coffee from Central America, where the harvest starts in October, isn’t really that fresh in February but it is fresh in June (weird, huh?), come on by. We’ll be tasting some great Southern Hemisphere coffees and talking about harvest in general. I’ll also bring some fresh crop coffees from El Salvador… I guarantee you won’t be able to taste any of these coffees for months. RSVP to newyorkcoffeesociety@gmail.com if you plan on coming:

Ridgewood Coffee Company

90 East Ridgewood Ave

Ridgewood, NJ

(train-takers, take the Bergen County line from Penn Station to Ridgewood Station… if you are taking the train from NYC and want to meet up with me, just mention it in your RSVP email and I’ll try to swing it so we can travel together)

Sunday, March 1st 4 pm to 6 pm (or so)

Happy cupping!


"How Food Editors Really Work"

In Ridgewood News, Susan Sherrill on February 26, 2009 at 1:07 pm

“How Food Editors Really Work”. Former Ridgewood News Editor, Susan Sherrill , who really loves to cook, will be spending more time in kitchen like this at the (201) Magazine as Food Editor. All photos courtesy of the Magazine. Anytime she needs an assistant for those food tasting opportunities like these, I’m ready most any time. Just write me at domnizza@netzero.com

Dom Nizza
My Community E News

We hear this over and over "Valley has not been upfront with its neighbors"

In Ridgewood New Jersey, stop valley, Valley Hospital on February 26, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Valley has not been upfront with its neighbors about its plans from the beginning of this expansion plan.

They have spent a lot of money and spread a lot of hot air about how they have “helped” the area. What they have never addressed is their negative impact on OUR COMMUNITY.
Hospital Officials have not been listening to the Hospital neighbors or given their concerns any real thought.

Their words are hollow.

The only thing between the Hospital and their grand plans has been the Planning Board. I hope that the Planning Board can give the Tax Paying Residents some kind of assurance, in writing, that the Hospital will not be able to continue to “hot air” their way through the system.

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Reader says, "Laurie We’ve been down this road before."

In math wars, public education on February 25, 2009 at 3:24 pm


We’ve been down this road before. But the more things change the more they remain the same.

The BOE does not like to have input from the community. It recoils at speakers at the microphone and simply ignores comments it doesn’t like with a highly defensive attitude. How is this going to change?

Can the BOE refrain from using our HSAs as its very own propaganda tool? The result of this policy is that the HSAs are not trusted beyond their insular parent community — a limited group of people, not representative of the taxpayers who finance our school operations, but of parents who simply want everything you’re willing to give them.

The BOE reports monthly to Federated and members sometimes attend HSA meetings, but has it ever considered reporting to citizens in a similar manner beyond the parent community? This would be input that could be of real value to the BOE. The BOE asks for their taxes and votes on referenda but has never even considered creating an ongoing forum where they may express their views on how their money is being spent. A real Q&A; as opposed to, “I speak at the microphone and you get to ignore me.”

This is communication, but the BOE won’t have any of it. Is this because the larger community includes parents and taxpayers without school-aged children and the BOE only wants to hear from parents who they believe will simply nod and rubber stamp every spending scheme?

As for communications — the BOE has a misguided view of what that entails. Communication is a two-way street, an ongoing dialogue between leaders and those who are being led. It is not a PR effort to put the best spin on news, events and calamities. It is not a selective revealing and withholding of information. It is not untimely reporting of issues that are of major concern to citizens. It is not just getting the BOE’s point of view out and everyone else’s position be damned. It is not making a major change to a math program at the middle schools and then announcing it as a fait accompli, absent any justification. It is not encouraging an antagonistic relationship with critics of BOE policies. It is not fostering an “us vs. them” mentality throughout the community.

First and foremost, communication has to be honest and welcomed. I fear this is too high a hurdle for our present BOE.

But thanks for trying.

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