Morning Reads : 22 September 2014

Another great weekend for football. Hopefully, everyone that was in Atlanta this weekend made it out frustration free. Between Music Midtown, a couple of Braves games, a few Garth Brooks Concerts, and a host of other events in tow, it was a busy weekend in Atlanta. Here’s what else happened over the weekend.

Georgia

Hooray, we’re still an interesting Governor’s race!
Need some more perspectives on a Recovery School District? Here’s Michael O’Sullivan‘s and Scarlet Hawk‘s.
Speaking of education, teachers are more inexperienced, and likelier to leave.
Things are getting interesting in Augusta.
Cobb development authority rethinking it’s plans on tax incentives.

SEC

Auburn vs. Kansas State, 20-14
Troy vs. UGA, 0-66
Texas A&M vs. SMU, 58-6
Florida vs. Alabama, 21-42
Indiana vs. Mizzou, 31-27
N. Illinois vs. Arkansas, 14-52
Mississippi State vs. LSU, 34-29
South Carolina vs. Vanderbilt, 48-34

National/International

37% of Americans want a less free press.
Conservatives are starting to like Canada a lot.
There was some sort of march about the weather in NYC.
What happens after a failed independence referendum.
Finally a unity decision in Afghanistan.

Everything Else

Car tech that the government won’t let us have.

32 comments

  1. John Konop says:

    Is Florida football dead? Is Texas AM a contender or pretender? Is LSU down or MSU up? Does Aurbon make the playoff? Can UGA get to the SEC final? Has SC forgot how to play D? Was it big 10 voodoo that trip up Mizzou? Can Arkansas compete in the SEC this year? Does Alabama have enough O to get to the dance? Is Vandy back to irrelevance in the SEC? All should make great TV….not as good as UC bearcat football but close 🙂 BTW sorry UK fans, but hey not basketball season…

    • MattMD says:

      Haha, Arkansas. What a joke. Woooo Pig GototheBig-12.

      The SEC is very overrated. The West is decent but the East is exceedingly unimpressive.

      • John Konop says:

        My final 4

        Oregon, Alabama, FSU and Auburn

        Oregon big question mark D

        Alabama big question mark O

        BTW not a fan of any of them….

        FSU suspensions

        Auburn suspensions

        • MattMD says:

          I know Winston is an idiot but once he is back that FSU team is a different animal.

          I will agree with Oregon and maybe Bama but I see Auburn playing GT in a Peach Bowl.

          UGA is in the Outback/Citrus as per usual. You can’t spell Citrus without, oh never mind….

          • John Konop says:

            Lol….I agree FSU is the team to beat….my dark horse is Texas AM…. GT is one of my favorite stadiums to watch a game….old time right near the field…..my son goes to GT….catch games with him…..

  2. Noway says:

    A question to the group: How soon (in years) will we in the US see a grab for portions of or all of our private pensions? To be put into, supposedly, one big pot? Fairness, you know…

    • John Konop says:

      In fairness when the government took over pensions it was due to lack of funding…..Public or private the real issue is reserve rate….the biggest problem is not the income portion on a macro it is the healthcare cost……That is why I said for years as you know….. We need to get healthcare spending under control…..why I spoke out years ago on the Medicare Drug Bill…..it just added to the problem on steroids….sadly neither party has the balls to tell people the truth….

    • saltycracker says:

      The most vunerable are 401k’s – if they can tax SS can they means test 401ks ? If you’re nervous, focus on improving your Roth……until those get political attention.

      The teachers should be awake this AM. Whiny voiced candidate Carter just announced he would like to tap the $59 billion teacher pension funds for a small portion to invest in Georgia start ups. Many retirement funds put 5% or so in alternative investments but start ups are among the riskiest and no place for the amateur. Smart folks let the venture capital market folks, not public monies, sort that world out.

      This fund is the largest public fund in Georgia and your politician wants a piece. If it is so great and sustainable, then do one or the other of:

      1. Release the pubic from guaranteeing the investments returns and payouts
      2. Or allow the public to invest in it at the tax free 7.5% rate of return guaranteed by GA citizens

      • Noway says:

        Carter getting the Camel’s nose under the tent, Salty? (But, but, but it’s just a SMALL portion!)
        And when you say means testing 401ks, do you mean means testing by the gov’t, YOUR 401k, your saved money, to see if you are eligible to get it back out when you retire?

        • saltycracker says:

          Yes – You might have spent your entire investment life planning for an after work income consisting of 401K, SS and other investments. Both 401k and SS being you and your employers money. But the Feds (think Pelosi), not happy with just fully taxing 401k withdrawals, see you have a couple million in a 401k, therefore it is for the greater good that you don’t need the SS…..

          If you don’t like it you should have picked a career in a defined government program and retired in your early 50’s….plus health coverage too.

          • Noway says:

            I guess that brings me to my original question, when do you think the gov’t theft of our private pensions will begin?

            • saltycracker says:

              I believe the big move will take place as public pensions reach the end of the Ponzi runway as the ratio of retirements/new employees and employee costs/public responsibilities become really unbalanced and dramatic tax increases, bigger debt or bankruptcy become the options.

              Another reason the Feds will hold interest rates low. Probably not for a long time. When Detroit goes viral….

              • saltycracker says:

                And while harping on this the best con marks for alternative investments in retirement funds are public ones – timberland is a good one – it’s long term – the red flag is sales between funds – the fee basis goes up – flip it again – more fees, to build relationships with pension boards……the due diligence ? Real input from a timbermill land buyer as many now say the prices are jacked up….

  3. saltycracker says:

    60 minutes season opener last night was interesting. It put the ISIS emergence directly on Obama as he rejected Panetta & his security council’s 2012 advice.

    And covered the IRS failure to control the billions in refund fraud and how easy it is to file a fake claim. Quick refunds to a “drop” debit card method and failure to even match W-2’s with employer reports make it too easy for the petty thief to pass on the opportunity. end the drop debit cards or check W-2’s – ? nah….The head of the IRS said no time to verify as refunds are legally time mandated and too many people don’t have a bank account and might get charged to cash an IRS check…..and the IRS is underfunded to chase fraud….money for nothing, billions….

    • gcp says:

      Both segments were excellent. Concerning the tax fraud I was surprised when the irs head said was he was not aware of the problem until he was briefed by a subordinate. And this guy is in charge?

      The best way to eliminate fraud is either a flat tax or a consumption tax. With a flat tax , payroll taxes that are withheld would be your tax payment; because there would be no credits, deductions,exemptions there would be no reason for an individual to file a tax return. Likewise a consumption tax would not require filing a return.

      • saltycracker says:

        There are no flat/or other tax proposals on the table that does not have some exception/exemption/manipulation provisions in it.

        • gcp says:

          Linders original fair tax (hb 2525 I believe) introduced in ’99 was free of distortions except for “prebate” but of course its gone no where in the house in 15 years.

          As for a flat tax, I have seen some proposals that move towards a flatter system but not a true “flat tax.” Dave Camp had an interesting tax bill earlier this year moving toward a flatter system but Boehner killed it.

          We have a much better chance of changing our Ga. tax system as opposed to changing federal tax system.

          • saltycracker says:

            Correct – GA could eliminate personal income taxes and replace it with higher sales, gas and internet sales taxes. But they won’t pull the trigger on eliminating one for the other, and with no public trust in them, the cry will be it is all a tax increase.

    • Harry says:

      As Braves owner, Ted Turner was crazy and it took him many years to gain success for the team, but yet he made it happen because he had a passion and was not just looking at a profit center. Arthur Blank has proven to be the ideal owner for the Falcons because he has the passion. The Braves will never again be successful until the current nonlocal corporate owner sells the team to someone with passion.

    • Harry says:

      For sure ISIS has a big breeding program, and no doubt some of those babies will end up on welfare in Europe and North America while Dad is away taking care of business.

      • saltycracker says:

        Nah I think the light bulb went off on Obama’s creation and it scared him enough to rally the troops – just gonna be a bit more painful to remove a really big tumor. What President hasn’t used war as a diversion?…..but this he had to grow against his own advisors.

  4. Will Durant says:

    Reading is probably not their forte but for the 37% of Americans who think we need less freedom of the press even the vast wasteland occasionally has the ability to educate. I heartily recommend a Frontline episode that originally aired in May in 2 parts titled United States of Secrets. Even the vaunted New York Times was compliant in keeping the law breaking by the NSA a secret.

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