Archive for April, 2010

Fixing a Broke L.A.- MoneyTV with Donald Baillargeon

April 10, 2010

In 1983, singer/songwriter Randy Newman had a hit with the song, “We Love L.A.”!

This song was bitter satire as it celebrated living the dream of La La Land while also paying attention to the scores that come here and fail to attain that dream. The names of some of L.A.’s most iconic streets like Century , Victory  and Santa Monica Boulevards are mentioned in the song, but driving on these streets from end to end will traverse you through some of the wealthiest and also through  some of the poorest
areas of the city.

Well, guess, what……..today, the entire city of Los Angeles is broke….flat broke and busted. L.A.’s Department of Water and Power’s decided to withhold its final annual transfer of $73.5 million to the city’s general fund and that has set off a panic in tinseltown as the city controller has asked the mayor and city council to immediately transfer $90 million from the city’s
reserve fund so she can continue to pay the city’s bills.

The Department of Water and Power is withholding the payment because the city council declined a recent request for a rate hike and now the DWP says it will not have enough of a surplus to meet all of this year’s promised $220 million transfer to the general fund.

…and there’s the key…the DWP promised $220 million and the city council spent all of it before they actually had it!

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he is preparing to shut down large parts of city government for two days a week including
libraries, parks, the city clerk’s office and planning and public works.

L.A. is saddled with annual expenses like nearly $30 million to government employee retirement funds, $100 million on something called the Information Technology Agency, $ 4.3 million on another called the neighborhood empowerment commission, $25 million on the Bureau of Contract Administration, $17 million on the Zoo and $9.4 million on a department called cultural affairs.

Wouldn’t you just love to know how these various departments are actually spending that enormous amount of cash?

It’s typical government out of control with your money…governments don’t tax for the money they need, they find need for the money they get.

With elections looming and every incumbent in trouble, it’s going to be hard to sell tax increases to L.A. elected officials, let alone citizens, who already pay one of the highest sales tax rates…nine and three quarters percent…in the entire country.

But, I think I have the solution….L.A. attracts millions of visitors each year who travel here to pay homage to their favorite celebrities…I would suggest we just put up a sign…….

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Training to be on Welfare?- MoneyTV with Donald Baillargeon

April 10, 2010

How old were you when you finally decided to leave the nest and venture
out into the real world all by yourself? At what age, in the 21st century, are you considered to be a full fledged adult, able to stand on your own two feet?

Most people graduate from high school around age 18, those who go to college are usually finished with that
at around 22 or 23….and then you go out and find a job or start a
business and get your life going. About the time you get invited to
your 5th high school reunion, you should have some kind of plan in place, right?

Well, now the federal government has given people a kind of fountain of youth….the new health care reform act now allows people to remain on Mommy and Daddy’s health insurance policy until they are 26 years old!!

26 years old! What were you doing when you were 26 years old? Were you
still living with your parents? Did Mommy still do your laundry, did
Daddy still let you borrow the family car on Friday nights? Did you still have a curfew at 26?

I checked into a few facts and figures about people who are 26 years
old….according to a study by real estate giant Century 21, Today’s
Generation Y first-time homebuyers  average age..is 26…

When you bought your first home, didn’t you already have your own health insurance policy? Can you imagine being a homeowner and still relying on Mommy and Daddy’s insurance?

Even if you don’t own a home, shouldn’t you at least have a job by age 26, with your own health plan?

We talk about Wall Street a lot on this program…did you know what the average age of a Wall
Street fund manager is?…..that’s right, 26! Here in Hollywood,
producers, directors and talent agents had better have their career well underway by age 26 or there will be no career.

Many
people get married and have kids before they turn 26, many people start
businesses and companies by the age of 26, some of which become remarkably
successful, employing thousands of other people…and
providing health care coverage as part of their compensation.

We
are living in a time where Little League baseball players now get
trophies for just being on the team, whether they win or lose. Our kids
are being taught in school that competition to try to be the best is
not nearly as important as just participating, we have government entitlement programs that make it so easy to get on…and stay on welfare…all but eliminating drive and determination.

Yes, it hurts to lose, it’s supposed to hurt, it’s that hurt that drives you to improve, get better and someday win!

Some
of you may think I am making too much of this, but the idea of someone
at age 26, being of sound mind and body, still relying upon Mommy and
Daddy for a basic necessity of life…and having that reliance now
becoming law in this country…..well….tell you what….success is not built upon dependence and mediocrity…success is derived from determination and extraordinary…and I personally oppose any law that rewards the former and ignores the latter.