Saturday, July 18, 2009

If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it is free.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) yesterday released its cost estimate on the House Democrats’ health care proposal and found that it will deepen the federal budget deficit by $239 billion over the next 10 years. To read this report for yourself follow this link. (link) Do people not think that the deficit is real money? Who do they think will pay the deficit? It will be paid for through taxes or through inflation.

Concern grows that healthcare overhaul won't cut costs
Even supporters of Obama's plan to overhaul the system worry that it's not focused enough on escalating medical bills, both for patients and for employers.

Los Angeles Times, By Noam N. Levey, July 13, 2009

Reporting from Washington -- Although still publicly beating the drums for President Obama's healthcare overhaul, representatives of some of the biggest players are beginning to express concern behind the scenes that it won't do enough about the major problem: runaway medical costs. (link)

Wrong Way on Health 'Reform'

By Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post, Monday, June 15, 2009

The central cause of runaway health spending is clear. Hospitals and doctors are paid mostly on a fee-for-service basis and reimbursed by insurance, either private or governmental. The open-ended payment system encourages doctors and hospitals to provide more services -- and patients to expect them. It also favors new medical technologies, which are made profitable by heavy use. Unfortunately, what pleases providers and patients individually hurts the nation as a whole.

That's the crux of the health-care dilemma, and Obama hasn't confronted it. His emphasis on controlling costs is cosmetic. The main aim of health-care "reform" being fashioned in Congress is to provide insurance to most of the 46 million uncovered Americans. This is popular and seems the moral thing to do. After all, hardly anyone wants to be without insurance. But the extra coverage might actually worsen the spending problem. (link)

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Al Gore, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama go to heaven

Al Gore, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama go to heaven. God addresses Al first and says, "Al, what to you believe in?"

Al says, "Well, I believe I won that election, but it was your will that I not serve. And I've come to understand that now."

God thinks for a minute and says, "Very good. Come sit at my left."

God then addresses Bill. "Bill, what do you believe in?"

"I've sinned," says Bill, "but I have never held a grudge against my fellow man and I hope no grudges are held against me."

God thinks for a second and says, "You are forgiven, my son. Come, sit at my right."

Then God addresses Barack. "Barack, what do you believe in?"

He replies, "I believe you're in my chair."

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Liberals go ballistic over Obama-Hitler comparison

Below is the video produced by Our Country Pac that is making liberals go ballistic. Daily Kos, AlterNet,, The Village Voice, and every other left of center blog and chat group out there is denouncing this video. Here is what all the fuss is about.

In my lifetime, I have never been more concerned about the direction our country is heading than I am right now. The massive expansion of the Federal Government, the nationalization of sectors of the economy, and the ballooning unprecedented federal deficit greatly concern me. I feel my freedom is threatened when the Obama Department of Homeland Security creates a terrorist profile that I fit. When we have one party rule and a Congress that passes 1200 page bills that no one has read and they are pushed through without anyone having a change to read, I am deeply concerned. Despite my concerns, the Cult of Obama, and a lap dog press that is no more than props for the administration I, nevertheless, think that this video is unnecessarily provocative. One may express concern about the direction our country is headed and legitimately criticize President Obama without using comparisons to Hitler. I think the video is in poor taste.

Before liberals completely blow their top however, they should recall that many on the left routinely compared George W. Bush to Hitler. For a little balance to the above video here is one produced by

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What a property reappraisal means to you

July 13, 2009

Dear Rod,


Davidson County properties are reappraised every 4 years (Most recent: 1/1/09)
Residential properties are assessed on 25% of the appraised value. Commercial = 40%
2008 Certified Tax Rate: $4.69 per $100 of assessed value
2009 Certified Tax Rate: $4.13 per $100 of assessed value
Even though your recent property appraisal increased, your 2009 taxes may or may NOT...
I can explain!!!

Mayor Dean has already stated that he will not raise property taxes in Davidson County this year . BUT you may be wondering what exactly it means considering your recent Metro property appraisal / assessment more than likely increased from its 2005 value.

First, by state law, Metro cannot increase the Property Tax Income “BASE” by increasing the property values (as an aggregate). By this it means that the new Certified Tax Rate adjusted down according to the overall “new” aggregate values of all properties in the county…

Clear as mud? Well, here’s how it works:


$200,000 Residential Property Value (2005-2008): Your 2008 taxes were $2345.

New 2009 Value = $230,000 (15% increase): Your 2009 taxes will be $2375

Calculation Method: $230,000 x 25% = $57,500 (assessed value) x .0413 (new certified rate) = $2375

Basically if your property’s new appraised value went up 15% or less, you’ll likely have a tax decrease or no change at all. If it went up more than 15%, you’ll have a tax increase but not as much as you may have first thought.. Of course it depends on the area of town your property is located... Location! Location! Location!

As always, my goal is to be your complete real estate resource. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email, call or text.

Brian Taylor

Comment: I received this today from a local realtor. I am simply reposting this to help educate. I hear many people who are confused about the effect of a property reappraisal. They either do not understand or do not want to understand. A reappraisal does not mean you will have a property tax increase. On a local chat group I belong to, many people decry property reappraisals and many complain that in a period of declining property values that we should not have a reappraisal. Unfortunately, some anti-tax advocates demigod the issue and add to the confusion. Brain does a good job of explaining how a reappraisal works so rather than compose my own explanation, I am simply reposting his.

Reappraisals are necessary for "equalization." If your property was previously of equal value to a property in another part of town but your property went down in value while that other property went up in value then you should pay less property tax than the owner of that other property. The only way to determine that is by a reappraisal.

Another reason we have to have regular reappraisals is because a lot of state dollars, especially state money to support education is distributed by a formula that includes the local "ability to pay." To equalize educational opportunity across the state, poor counties get more state funding than more affluent counties. Until sometimes in the 70's there was no state supervision of the appraisal process and there was an incentive for counties to keep appraisals low. The poorer a county appeared, the more state funding they received. Since the 70's property appraisals are supervised by the state and the people who work for the tax assessors office have to be trained professionals who appraise property at fair market value.

Everyone likes to complain about taxes, and I am generally an advocate of low taxes. Nevertheless, the truth matters and property reappraisals are fair and necessary. If you have a valid reason to think the county overvalued your property, there is an appeals process. Unless you have comparable sales to show your property was overvalued however, you are probably wasting your time in appealing. It is my experience that most tax appraisals are still a little on the low side despite the requirement that they be appraised at fair market value.

Often a reappraisal is used as an opportunity for a local governing body to slip in a tax increase. Immediately after adopting a new "certified tax rate" as required by state law, the county commission or city council will immediately, often in the same meeting, turn around and increase the tax rate. The new tax rate is often the same as the old tax rate before adopting the new "certified tax rate." When elected officials do this they can claim they did not vote to increase the tax rate and may technically be telling the truth depending on how they word their claim. Most people don't know enough about how thing really work in order to challenge their elected representative on this claim. These elected officials will let the public think that the tax increase was due to the recent reappraisal. I applaud Mayor Dean for not pledging not to raise taxes this year.

If you do have a property tax increase due to the reappraisal, it is because your wealth increased; it is because your property increased in value more than the average property. If that is the case, you are fortunate and you want get much sympathy from me.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bob Corker for President!

Bob Corker

I nominate Bob Corker for President of the United States! I like his gutsy, feisty manner combined with a calm demeanor, his grasp of the issues, his well-reasoned arguments and his principled, conservative, pragmatic, business-like, problem-solving approach to government.

In the auto bailout debate, I thought he was by far the most persuasive and passionate critic of the government’s defacto nationalization of General Motors. He clearly defined the issues when he declared, “This is a marked departure from the past, truly breathtaking, and should send a chill through all Americans who believe in free enterprise. I worry that in one fell swoop we’ve lost our moral high ground throughout the global community as it relates to chastising other countries that use strong arm tactics to invade on private property rights.” (link)

He was prophetic when he said, “it will be interesting to see if the administration makes these decisions (to close GM facilities) based on a red state and blue state strategy or based on efficiency and capable, skilled workers at each plant. If they use the latter, our GM plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee should do very well.” As it turns out Saturn was closed despite being a state of the art production facility.

Last year as I watched the Senate hearings on the Lieberman-Warner Cap and Trade bill, I was stuck by Corker’s grasp of the issues and by his logic. He did not simply deny the science of global warming and propose doing nothing as many opponents of Cap and Trade have done. He did not demigod the proposed bill, but calmly and clearly explained how cap and trade would work and what was wrong with the Lieberman-Warner approach and why it would not achieve its objectives and the damage it would do to the economy. He proposed common sense amendments to try to fix the bill. (link) On these two issues I have thought Corker excelled and was the voice of reason and principle.

I don’t personally know Bob Corker, but I have known about him for a very long time, even before he was ever elected to public office. As one who works in the affordable housing sector, I have followed closely affordable housing issues. Bob Corker has been a leader in this field. I admit to being a “bleeding-heart conservative.” I think that term was first used by Jack Kemp to describe himself but it applies to me and I suspect Bob Corker is also a bleeding-heart conservative. There are not many conservatives who are passionate about affordable housing, but Bob Corker has been an affordable housing leader.

In Chattanooga, while a private citizen, Bob Corker helped finance and create and manage Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise (CNE). a private, non-profit corporation created to finance and develop affordable housing in that city. CNE financed, rehabilitated, or produced more than 3,000 units of affordable housing in a city of 150,000 people. CNE leveraged more dollars and did more with limited resources than any city in America. CNE won awards and was the envy of affordable housing advocates across America. Bob Corker came as close to solving the affordable housing problem in Chattanooga, as it is possible to get. (link)

Bob Corker served as mayor of Chattanooga from 2001 to 2005. As mayor he oversaw a $120 million urban renovation project, which transformed the city and made it the beautiful progressive city it is today. He was innovative in the use of property assessment freezes and tax credit financing to promote downtown development. His policies led to the development of the waterfront and spurred housing development in the city and expansion of museums and the riverfront park and the Chattanooga Aquarium. Chattanooga has emerged as a great city and most people give Bob Corker the bulk of the credit.

In addition to Corker’s record in the Senate, and as Mayor, and a leader in affordable housing, another thing I like about Corker is that he has been a successful businessman. He worked himself up from a construction superintendent to the owner of a very large construction company and a real estate developer. Unlike a lot of politician, he has experience in the real world. He has had to make payroll and examine balance sheets and put deals together, and manage big projects, something most elected politicians including the current President of the United States has never had to do.

With the falling by the wayside of some rising stars in the Republican Party, the nomination should be wide open. Quite frankly, I am not impressed by any of the front runners for the Party standard bearer. I am looking for someone fresh, innovative, energetic, pragmatic, intelligent and who is a principled conservative. I think that person is Bob Corker.

If Bob Corker will announce the establishment of an exploratory committee to consider running for President, I will sign up and send him $100 immediately. If I, a modest income, frugal, middle class guy will open my wallet, there must be a lot of others who will do the same. I know a campaign for President is expensive, but Bob Corker should be able to compete. Tennessee has a lot of big contributor's to the Republican Party. I understand that the Belle Meade zip code here in Nashville is the leading zip code in the nation for political contributions to Republican candidates. With the Tennessee Republican money base and Bob’s years of contacts in the business community and politics, he should be able to raise the money.

Bob, the stars are aligned. The time is right. There may never be a better opportunity. The country needs you. Run Bob, Run!

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