Friday Follies for March 14, 2014

Coyotes are back. Mrs. Crucis and I were awaken around 1:30am when several coyotes started howling. That was soon followed by yipping, then growling and fighting. I fear one of my neighbors let their pet stay outside in the warmer weather and they became lunch for the coyotes.


If you are not, what Rush calles a ‘low information’ voter, or not interested in the news, you may not have seen this Drudge headline:


It appears the FBI investigators were getting too close and were about to get the real dirt on Harry Reid. Holder couldn’t let that happen, so he recalled the FBI. They asked, and someone granted permission, to give the local Utah prosecutors their case…along with all the evidence. It’s up to those local prosecutors, now, to do the job that rightfully belongs to the FBI. ‘Course, that assumes we have a law-abiding federal administration, not the criminals currently in authority in the DOJ.


Chrissy Matthews must have read my post earlier this week. He’s throwing in the towel on the dems retaining the Senate after November.

Chris Matthews is already bracing for a disappointing November for Democrats, and he sees little that can be done to change that outcome.

“It’s going to be very hard to hold the Senate — I think the Senate goes,” he said on Morning Joe on Thursday. “I think we heard from the Ghost of Christmas Future this week; they’re going to lose the Senate,” he added, referring to Republican David Jolly’s victory Tuesday in Florida’s special congressional election.

Matthews offered his own campaign advice for Democrats if they want to minimize the damage this fall: Go all-in on scare tactics. He encouraged Democrats to up the ante on various issues, such as framing voter-ID laws as attacks on minorities and pro-life measures as attacks on abortion rights. — The National Review.

According to Matthews, the only hope for democrats is to lie and smear their opponents. Isn’t that business as usual for democrats?

Matthews looked at the results of the Florida Jolly (R) vs. Sink (D) election and panicked. The democrats used their usual tactics in a district that twice voted for Obama. It was a done deal, they thought.

Sink campaigned on the usual democrat Eco-wacko topics and attempted to paint Jolly is a “flat-earth” denier. Jolly didn’t take the bait. Instead he hammered on one issue—time, after time, after time: Obamacare. Jolly, an unknown Washington lobbyist won. Sink, the democrat golden-girl didn’t.

‘Pubbies, there is a lesson there if you’re smart enough to learn it.


Erick Erickson has a column today about Lindsey Graham selling us out on another ‘hot mic’ incident recently. Do you ever wonder why you never hear about these incidents on the MSM. You shouldn’t. They only mention ‘hot mic’ bloopers when it affects ‘pubs. In this case, they didn’t want anyone to know Graham was betraying us again—especially before a primary.

IMF Bailout Exposes Schism in Party

Daniel Horowitz (Diary)  | 

If you are looking for an illustration of why we need to replace most of these failed Republican incumbents, look no further than Lindsey Graham’s hot mic comment to John Kerry today.

As I noted earlier, Senate Democrats have attached to the Ukraine bill an IMF bailout that will weaken our power on the international stage.  McConnell and the Senate Republican Surrender Conference are willing to capitulate.  However, as of now, Speaker Boehner is opposed to the IMF provision.  Take a look at this video and watch Lindsey Graham sell us out to Kerry.   After Kerry pitched the IMF proposal to the Senate committee, Graham was caught reassuring Kerry: “Hey John, good job. Let me know what I can do to help you with Boehner.”

This type of behavior will not change with a Senate majority so long as the same members are in charge.

On the other hand, Senator Cruz is taking the lead on the issue.  He is sending a letter to Senate colleagues urging them to oppose this rider to the Ukraine loan bill.


Obama continually amazes me with his stupidity and lack of business and economic sense. I guess if you’re a ‘community organizer’ you don’t need intelligence. His latest scheme for income equality concerns overtime.

Obama signs order to revise overtime pay rules

By |

President Obama on Thursday unveiled his latest initiative to boost workers’ pay, saying he wanted to “restore the common-sense principle behind overtime.”

Obama signed an executive order directing the Labor Department to develop new rules to expand the number of Americans who can receive overtime pay. The president was joined by workers he said would benefit from the strengthened rules at a White House event.

The move is the latest executive action Obama has taken this year to push his economic agenda in the face of opposition from the GOP-controlled House. He has signed orders raising the minimum wage for new federal contract workers and created new public-private partnerships on manufacturing and education.

Obama has said that he will work with Congress on his economic agenda where he can but will move unilaterally where lawmakers fail to act.

“I’m going to do what I can on my own to raise wages for more hardworking Americans,” the president pledged.

“I’m going to use my pen to give more Americans the chance to earn the overtime pay they deserve,” he continued. “If you have to work more, you should get paid more.”

The president is asking Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to expand the number of workers who qualify for overtime by revising an exemption that allows employers to avoid paying overtime to employees deemed to have managerial positions and who are paid more than $455 a week.

For most of my working life, I’ve been salaried. I did work hourly for a short period before I went into the Air Force (no overtime allowed per union rules.) Thereafter I was in salaried positions as a manager or as a professional. My boss told me that being salaried meant I never had to ask for overtime. I was paid to get the job done, not by the hour. He was right. I usually worked more than forty hours per week. Often, much more than forty, much, much more.

The difference was that as a salaried manager or engineering profession, I wasn’t paid overtime…nor did I expect it. If I met my work goals, I kept my job. If I exceeded those goals, I received a bonus at the end of the year. Frequently those bonuses were five-digit ones.

Under Obama, that would all change. No more bonuses and overtime would be strictly regulated—read that is seldom. You see, overtime is an expense that must be budgeted and funded up front.

Bonuses are paid from the profits you helped make for your employer. No profits, no bonus. Overtime, however, has to be paid, if actually worked, regardless of profitability.

What will be the result of this scheme? Fewer jobs. The cost of doing business just went up. Employers must budget costs against expected revenue. If that revenue doesn’t appear, the company takes a profitability hit. No profits, no jobs.

Democrats and liberal just can’t, or won’t, understand that simple piece of business math. Increased cost, such as making all those formerly salaried jobs, hourly, is a cost…an expense. It’s no joke Rush Limbaugh calls his show and his products, ‘profit’ centers. All too many employers have people work in ‘cost’ centers.

What’s the difference? HR, for example, is an expense, a cost of doing business.  Their primary purpose is to insure a company complies with employment—local, state, and federal, law. Salesmen sell. They bring revenue to the company. They are a profit center. HR = cost, Sales = revenue. HR is on the expense side the balance sheet, Sales are on the income side of that same sheet. When costs exceeds or equals income, the company makes no profit. No profit, no company and no jobs. Isn’t that easy to understand?

Obama is just stupid, stupid, stupid!


If ya can’t beat ’em…

It should not be surprising. After all, it is an established liberal campaign tactic; if you can’t beat ’em, intimidate ’em. That tactic is in the news again. Democrats facing strong opposition this year, are turning to the IRS to tyrannize opposition groups.

Vulnerable Dems want IRS to step up

By Alexander Bolton – 02/13/14 06:00 AM EST

Senate Democrats facing tough elections this year want the Internal Revenue Service to play a more aggressive role in regulating outside groups expected to spend millions of dollars on their races.

In the wake of the IRS targeting scandal, the Democrats are publicly prodding the agency instead of lobbying them directly. They are also careful to say the IRS should treat conservative and liberal groups equally, but they’re concerned about an impending tidal wave of attack ads funded by GOP-allied organizations. Much of the funding for those groups is secret, in contrast to the donations lawmakers collect, which must be reported publicly.

One of the most powerful groups is Americans for Prosperity, funded by the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch. It has already spent close to $30 million on ads attacking Democrats this election cycle.

“If they’re claiming the tax relief, the tax benefit to be a nonprofit for social relief or social justice, then that’s what they should be doing,” said Sen. Mark Begich (D), who faces a competitive race in Alaska. “If it’s to give them cover so they can do political activity, that’s abusing the tax code. And either side.”

Asked if the IRS should play a more active role policing political advocacy by groups that claim to be focused on social welfare, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) responded, “Absolutely.”

“Both on the left and the right,” she said. “As taxpayers, we should not be providing a write-off to groups to do political activity, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

She called the glut of political spending by self-described social welfare groups that qualify under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code “outrageous.”

Shaheen is in a good position now but could find herself embroiled in a tight campaign if former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) challenges her.

Sen. Mark Pryor (Ark.), the most vulnerable Democratic incumbent, said the IRS has jurisdiction over 501(c)(4) groups, as well as charities, which fall under section 501(c)(3) of the tax code and sometimes engage in quasi-political activity.

“That whole 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) [issue], those are IRS numbers. It is inherently an internal revenue matter,” he said. “There are two things you don’t want in political money, in the fundraising world and expenditure world. You don’t want secret money, and you don’t want unlimited money, and that’s what we have now.” 

This month, Americans for Prosperity launched a three-week advertising campaign targeting Pryor. The group has also targeted Shaheen and Sen. Kay Hagan (N.C.), another vulnerable Democratic incumbent.

Last month, Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire launched a television ad criticizing Shaheen for her 2009 and 2010 votes for the Affordable Care Act. It highlighted the plight of New Hampshire residents who have to travel hours to find healthcare in hospitals covered by the state’s insurance exchange.

Last week, the group announced a $1.4 million TV campaign against Hagan.

On Wednesday, it unveiled an ad hitting Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), another endangered incumbent, for voting for ObamaCare.

A spokesman for Americans for Prosperity estimated the three-week advertising campaign would cost $750,000.

Robert Maguire, the political nonprofit investigator at the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks spending by outside groups, said Americans for Prosperity has spent far more money than any other 501(c)(4) group this election cycle.

In the last election cycle, Crossroads GPS, a group founded by GOP super-strategist Karl Rove, spent the most political money of any social-welfare group, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which estimated the total at $71 million. The group has remained relatively quiet this cycle.

The law states that 501(c)(4) groups must be operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare, but the IRS has traditionally adopted a more lenient standard, said Paul S. Ryan, senior counsel at the Campaign Legal Center.

The IRS says social-welfare activity must be the primary activity of such groups. It gives them broad leeway by not classifying voter registration drives and even ads that criticize candidates as political activity.

Under new proposed regulations by the Treasury Department, the IRS would define voter registration, distributing voter guides and running ads that mention candidates as political activities. 

It also proposed setting a bright-line limit for what percentage of groups’ activity would be allowed to fall into the category of candidate-related political activity.

If enacted, the regulations would, in effect, limit how much outside groups, such as Americans for Prosperity or League of Conservation Voters, could spend as a percentage of their budgets on the Senate races.

Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the Senate Democrats’ chief political strategist, called for the IRS to curb political spending by outside groups during a major speech on how to blunt the impact of conservative donors such as the Koch brothers.

“The Tea Party elites gained extraordinary influence by being able to funnel millions of dollars into campaigns with ads that distort the truth and attack government,” he said in remarks at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

“There are many things that can be done administratively by the IRS and other government agencies — we must redouble those efforts immediately,” he added. 

Democrats, however, know they must tread carefully while pushing the IRS to act. Revelations that the tax agency had targeted conservative groups swelled into a major controversy last year. Congressional Republicans have grilled the Obama administration on why there have been no indictments nine months after the IRS news broke.

The column continues at the website. The telling sentence in the article above is this: The law states that 501(c)(4) groups must be operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare, but the IRS has traditionally adopted a more lenient standard, said Paul S. Ryan, senior counsel at the Campaign Legal Center. But, as evidence has shown, lenient treatment only happens if the organization being investigated is a liberal one backing democrat candidates.

The democrats and establishment DC ‘Pubs are working hard to make the law irrelevant. They should quake in fear of that occurring because it means that neither side will be restrained.


Another news item nearly slipped by me this morning. I heard that Time-Warner was in trouble. It hasn’t been much in the news but they have been looking for a buyer for some time. According to this report, they’ve found one—Comcast.

Why does this bother me? I’m a Comcast subscriber, Comcast has the franchise for my hometown. I’ve always gotten good, reliable service from them, yearly cost increases aside. This bothers me because in our area, there will be no major competition, aside from AT&T and satellite providers whose reliability and service is a running joke in the industry.

More and more, we see, instead of competition, consolidation. Our commercial law is geared towards big business and mergers. This one is an example. Like telecommunication carriers, there aren’t all that many voice/internet/cable TV carriers out there. When you tie that environment with the municipal exclusive service franchise, you can bet costs will go up and service will go down. Why should they not? They have a captive client base with no other place to go.

Comcast Scoops Up Time Warner Cable

Primaries Matter


Erick Erickson (Diary)  | 

The House and Senate Republicans have handed Barack Obama a blank check to raise the national debt as much as he wants.

Throughout last year, Republicans said conservatives should fight on the debt ceiling, not the continuing resolution. They said they should filibuster the debt ceiling, not the continuing resolution. They said they should shut down the government over the debt ceiling, not the continuing resolution.

After conservatives balked at their lies and the Democrats shut down the government, Republican leaders scrambled as fast as possible to throw conservatives under the bus and reopen the government. Still, they said, the debt ceiling fight was coming up and they’d hold the Democrats accountable.

Just two weeks ago, Senator Mitch McConnell claimed the GOP would refuse a clean debt ceiling increase and demand cuts and reform.

But this week the GOP caved across the board. They gave the President the right to raise the debt as much as he wants until March of 2015 — as much as he wants. Republicans have abdicated their own responsibility for restraining the size of the federal government.

Primaries matter. Mitch McConnell was the deciding vote in the Senate to move forward. John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and House GOP leaders structured this deal in the House. Primaries matter. Until you defeat these guys, you will do nothing to change Washington.

If they are going to give Barack Obama a blank check, we should cancel their paychecks at the ballot box.

Amen, Brother!

Like Thieves in the Night.

First an update on yesterday’s post. The mediation talks between Hostess Brands and the Baker’s and Confectionery Worker’s union failed—as expected. Why? Because the union didn’t want a resolution. The union biggies who attended the mediation had no reason to agree to anything. Their jobs weren’t in danger. No, just those of the rank and file. Apparently the union…still…expects someone to bail them out and rehire all the union workers. They still don’t get it. Why would anyone pay to inherit someone else’s problems and troublemakers. Nope, not going to happen.


I was listening to Dave Ramsey this morning and one of his comments struck a cord. It was the revival of the federal Death Tax. The democrats are about to raise that tax from 35% to 55% and lower the $5M exemption to $1M.

Many aren’t concerned about this. Their estates aren’t that big and for them it’s true. No, the ones who are affected are small businesses and family farms.

Family FarmFor farmers, just the land, whether it’s tillable or not, is enough to kick them over the limit. It’s easier for farmers to reach that tax threshold when you add equipment, farm buildings and livestock.

For the small business, it doesn’t take long to reach that limit as well. A building, equipment, inventory, can reach that limit easily. For example, let’s say a businessman owned a small concrete business. He builds curbs and driveways, small business parking areas and the like. He also owns some concrete trucks that he uses to transport concrete to his and other sites.  Those concrete trucks with their supporting equipment and some raw material could kick his estate over the limit.

When it comes time to pay the death taxes, it usually means the farm or the business must be sold just to pay the tax. Another business gone. Another farm gone. The city, county and state loses a tax revenue stream. No one wins…except for the FedGov…one time.

The irony of this is that these assets, the business, the farm, has already been taxed. The money used to build or buy the land, the equipment, has already been taxed. The Death Tax taxes the family and the inheritors; stealing the birthright of those inheritors.

Like thieves in the night.

In this case, the thief strikes boldly in full daylight. No matter how you paint it, it’s still theft.

The Daily Caller has this column about the Death Tax.

The Senate Democrats’ outrageous death tax hike

There is no more vivid or offensive example of the “you didn’t build that” philosophy on the books than the federal death tax, which supposes that when you die a hefty portion of everything you built up over a lifetime ought to go to government. It’s a vestige of the feudal days when all property was owned by the king.

That’s probably why the death tax is the “worst tax — that is, the least fair” according to polling by the Tax Foundation. And it’s also why our founders thought the idea of seizing an estate at death so outrageous that they prohibited it as a penalty for treason in the U.S. Constitution (Article III, Section 3). And yet now, seizing more than half of it as a penalty for accomplishing the American dream is the preferred policy of Democrats in the United States Senate.

You’re born. You work hard. You pay your taxes all your life. Maybe, you build something along the way. But when you die the IRS can tax you again.

This year, they can take 35 percent of everything above $5 million. Senate Democrats announced yesterday that as of January 1, they want to raise that to 55 percent of everything above $1 million. And because the $1 million is not indexed to inflation, over time this confiscatory tax would hit almost everyone who achieves some success and wants to pass it on.

That means family farms and businesses will be forced to shut down when the founder dies just to pay the tax bill.

Former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin estimates that the Democrats’ 55 percent death tax would destroy as many as 1.5 million small-business jobs, walloping an already weak economy. That’s the problem with taxing “the rich” — even after they die — the real pain is suffered by the people they employ, who lose their jobs.

Unfortunately, rather than seize the moral high ground by advocating full repeal of the death tax, Senate Republicans have included a compromise position in their alternative tax package: they want to keep the tax at its current 35 percent rate. The study from Holtz-Eakin found that would destroy 857,000 jobs — which can only be described as “less bad” than the economic damage Democrats are proposing.

Senate Republicans are compromising even though they know the right position is full repeal because they fear the political implications of advocating full repeal at a time when the media and left-wing agitators are even more obsessed than usual with class warfare and the politics of envy.

Continue reading here.

The column continues. It would be worth your time to read it all and then contact your US Representative and Senator. It may be too little and too late but perhaps we can minimize the damage.


Business Ethics, or…

John Stossel has an interesting column this morning, Keeping Business Honest. The theme of his column is that “business” desire for profits is a good thing.

Instinctively, we look for people’s motives. We need to know whom we can trust and whom we can’t. We’re especially skeptical of business because we know business wants our money.

It took me too long to understand that business’s desire for profit is a good thing. To get our money, businesses — if they can’t look to the government for favors — need to give us what we want. Then they must make continuous improvements and do it better than the competition does.That competition is enough to protect consumers. But that’s not intuitive. It’s intuitive to assume that competition isn’t really consumer protection and that experts at the FDA, FTC, DEA, FCC, CPSC, OSHA and so on must protect us. These experts consult “responsible” businessmen for advice on creating rules to make sure businesses meets minimum “standards.” — Washington Examiner.

The down side is that regulations, created by local, state and federal agencies, intended to “level the playing field” stifle innovation. Under the camouflage of consumer protectionism, licensing and other business restrictions have a tendency to make innovation, business startups and competition difficult. The result is protectionism. the question is, what is being protected.  Stossel provides some examples.

Las Vegas regulators require anyone who wants to start a limousine business to prove his new business is needed and, worse, will not “adversely affect other carriers.” But every new business intends to beat its competitors. That’s the point. Competition is good for us. Las Vegas’ anticompetitive licensing rules mean limo customers pay more.

In Nashville, Tenn., regulators ruled it illegal for a limo to charge less than $45 a ride. One entrepreneur had won customers by charging half that, but the new regulations mean the established car service businesses no longer have to worry about him.

Perhaps Nashville’s and Vegas’ regulators really believe “this is an area where the free market doesn’t work,” as the manager of the Nevada Transportation Services Authority put it. But it’s fishy that charging big fees for licenses just happens to be a very effective shakedown operation. Vegas cab and limousine businesses give “substantial” donations to Vegas-area political candidates, according to the Las Vegas Sun. — Washington Examiner.

Stossel makes an interesting point in that last paragraph.  It has parallels locally.

Up until a month or so ago, my home town had a tax on businesses. It was a one time tax on new businesses who constructed a building for their business or expanded their existing place of business.  Supposedly the tax was to pay for increased use…at that location…of city resources such as street maintenance, water, sewer and power usage.  Basically, infrastructure costs. The tax was not levied if a business moved into an existing structure and did not alter the building beyond the usual interior make-over. No, it was targeted towards new or growing businesses.

The tax created a reluctance of new businesses to come to our city.  From the statement of a former councilman, who was not re-elected to the council after saying, “We don’t need more burger-flipping jobs here.” 

I was present when that statement was made. Shortly thereafter the council repealed the tax.

Was the purpose of the tax to discourage businesses, business startups without the capitalization of a large company, from doing business here? “We want good jobs!” was one reasoning. I would submit that to one without a job, ANY job is a good one, burger-flipping or not. Perhaps the exposure of one purpose of the tax was sufficient to overcome the reluctance of other members on the council who had previously supported the business tax.

That local tax was repealed just before our local city elections. Since then we’ve already seen fruit of the repeal.  Our local Micky-Ds has renovated their building.  Did it add new jobs? Probably not.  Would the tax have applied to the renovation if it had still existed? I don’t know.  But we have other evidence that the lack of the tax is bringing new jobs to town.  Next week we’ll have a ground-breaking on a new Steak ‘n Shake.  The tax would have applied to them because they are building a new presence on an empty lot.

Yep, a new business and a half-dozen or more new jobs. Minimum wage? Probably, but to someone without a job, minimum wage is attractive.  Remember the original purpose of minimum wage: a starting wage to gain experience to allow the worker to build skills useful for acquiring a better job.  It may be those skills are simply coming to work on-time, every-time, and putting in a full-shift.  You’d be amazed how many job-seekers lack those basic skills.

So let’s ask ourselves, what is the purpose of these regulations, these taxes? Are they for consumer protection? Are they to preserve city resources? Or, are they to protect favored cronies or simply to make doing business more difficult?

The economic recovery of our country…post Obama, will be difficult enough without our adding to those difficulties through the imposition of anti-business taxes and regulations. Remember, juvenile unemployment is above 50% in some areas. We need to be pro-business, especially to startups. That is where jobs are created. And burger-flipping frequently is an eye-opener to our young folks just starting or approaching adult life. They need jobs and experience, too.

I Told You So!

Ref yesterday’s post…Lugar’s Toast! At the last count that I saw last night, he lost 4 to 6 to Mourdock. It couldn’t happen to a better RINO…unless Boehner loses his primary election, too.

A Tea Party Success.


On Monday, I wrote about MIssouri’s standing in the “Business-Friendly” poll.  Missouri was ranked 24th, dropping one position from last year. Kansas was ranked 23rd after rising two positions since last year. Why? Business flight from Missouri across the state line.  The cartoon below from Chuck Asay is appropriate.  Just replace Caterpillar with a former Missouri company.

Business Flight!


An American institution is about to fade away into history. Hostess Brands Inc., the maker of Twinkies, Hostess cupcakes, Snowballs and a number of snack cakes has sent notices to all of its 18,000 employees that may be laid off in two months. The reason for this notice is a failure to re-negotiate labor contracts with the Teamsters.  The company has contracts with two unions, the Teamsters and the Confectionary Workers.

Hostess’s future remains uncertain, largely dependent upon the outcome of negotiations with its two big unions over the fate of their labor agreements as well as upon its search for new capital. Investors are to submit second-round bids for the business this week, Hostess attorney Corinne Ball told the bankruptcy court last month.

Another question mark comes in the form of a threat by the Teamsters, Hostess’s biggest union, to strike if the company wins court approval to reject their labor contracts. The Teamsters members drive the trucks that deliver the company’s baked goods to store shelves. The union and Hostess’s chief executive agree that a Teamsters strike would shut down the company.

A ruling on whether Hostess can reject its labor agreements with the Teamsters hasn’t come down yet. However, a bankruptcy judge on Friday authorized the company to reject 35 such agreements with its second-largest union, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union. Both Hostess and BCTGM President Frank Hurt said the company won’t necessarily reject the agreements now but will instead continue trying to reach a consensus.

Together, the Teamsters and BCTGM represent 14,101 of Hostess’s 18,400 active workers. — Wall Street Journal.


In light of North Carlolinas vote yesterday to ban gay marriages, Obama, when asked his opinion, skated around the issue.  He spoke of support for…”visitation in hospitals…and the ability to bequeth assets to a gay partner, conditions that already exist, but declared marriage was not a civil right(!?) and not a federal issue.  In other words, he threw his gay constituency under the bus rather than risk the ire of potential voters…like those in North Carolina. It was a question Obama was not going to answer.

Don't bother me!

Use’m and then lose’m. It’s the democrat motto—and Obama’s, too.

Bye, Buy Borders?

Borders Books filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this Wednesday. Their stock has fallen below $1/share (last I looked it hovered around $0.10/share.) The CEO has promised a recovery. The company will close 1/3 of the existing stores and “reorganize.” This time last year, there were three Borders stores in the KC that I know of—two on the Kansas side and one in Lees Summit, MO. There may have been another north of the river but I’ve never seen it.

Border’s CEO sent the message below via e-mail to everyone who was in the “Border’s Bucks” program.

I’m a “Border’s Bucks” program member. It has saved me some money of the past few years. But I’ve not bought a dead-tree book since last summer. I’ve gone digital.

Border’s website is…I’m a loss for words to describe how cumbersome, slow, inefficient, slow, crippled it is for ebook users. For example, to sort by author name is not an option. You can browse through ebooks by author name A-Z or Z-A, by release date (current to past and vice versa), by price (low to high and high to low), but you have to jump through numerous hoops to list ebooks by a single writer.

Brick ‘n Mortar stores are fading. On-line is in and if Borders wants to survive, the first thing they’ll do is replace—in its entirety, their website.

I hate to see any bookseller go under. But Darwin’s law applies to business as well. So far, Borders is not surviving.

Waive Taxes?

I was having an e-mail discussion with some friends on methods that would quickly provide more jobs.  There were a number of suggestions but one struck a cord—waive some taxes.

Now this would seem to have some “unintended consequences. (Where have we seen that!?)” But let’s consider this a moment.  What would be the effect if some taxes were waived for a period of time.  Obama thinks it’s workable. He’s agreed to waive, i. e., don’t raise income taxes for another two years.  Would this help turn around our economy.

Consensus is that, while it’s unknown yet if extending the Bush tax rates for another two year will improve the business climate, at least it won’t hurt.  Most of those knowledgeable think business will just hunker down and wait to see what happens in 2012.  The consensus is that all this extension does is forestall business decisions while they wait to see what the “permanent” tax rates will be.

What about the state level?  The majority of business is small business—the plumber who cleans that stopped up drain, your corner dry-cleaners, the Mom ‘n Pop diners, your local mechanic.  These business often live on the margin of success or failure.  Small business employs more people that the mega-corps.  Small businesses, too, are at the forefront of growth.  Anything that keeps them in business, that keeps them employing people, is a good thing.

A tactic some states are considering to help these small businesses is a corporate tax holiday—waive corporate income tax for a year, two years, longer perhaps to cushion the damage done by the FedGov and give these business some respite and allow them to continue.  A waiver would keep these businesses in operation and keep people employed—perhaps allow these businesses enough margin to grow, to expand and hire more people.

A man once said, I forget who at the moment, that growth occurs at the bottom.  Perhaps it’s time to put that thought into action.