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Why America is in Trouble Now

99 | By Shah Gilani

There are always at least two sides to every story.

That’s true when it comes to trading (there’s always a buyer and a seller). It’s also true when it comes to politics.

But, just like in trading or investing, when it comes to politics, it’s not about being “right” or “wrong.” It’s about distilling rhetoric and opinions down to facts and figures that can then (hopefully) be more objectively observed and used to fashion compromises that lead to winning positions, financially and socially.

I try to let the facts and figures speak for themselves and peel back others’ opinions to get at what’s really happening and why.

I change my opinions all the time, whenever there are new facts that warrant consideration. But in the end, I take a stance.

I’m telling you this because I’m about to lay out some insights and some indictments regarding the economy, Wall Street, and oil, and then delve into something that’s so charged that some of you are going to flip out.

But before you do, remember, there are two sides to every story.

First up: poverty.

Just look at the numbers out this morning…

According to the American Community Survey of some 3.3 million households (ACS is a run by the U.S. Census Bureau), the 2011 median income level in the U.S. dropped or was flat since 2010 in almost every state in our Union.

The median income level is that fulcrum point that is halfway there. It is the dividing line above which half of the population earns more than the half that earns less. For example, the median income level in Maryland (the highest in the country) is $70,004; in Mississippi (the lowest), it is $36,919.

If the median income level is rising or falling, that tells us whether people are better off or worse off. The absolute number itself is telling. (In Maryland, it tells me that a lot of people, lobbyists, and politicians who live there and “work” Washington are fat pigs.) But trends moving the median level tell another story.

In 2011, 18 states saw their median levels fall. Most of the rest were flat, and only a few were higher. In 2010, 35 states saw median levels fall. So maybe the negative trend is abating.

But no matter what absolute number makes up the median level (a few billionaires can make a big difference), the fact that people are being crushed under a falling median mark tells us that America is going in the wrong direction.

All I have to say about that is that we’re in a state of decline because our politicians have opinions that they don’t want to compromise for the good of the nation.

Their opinions may be steeped in beliefs, in theories, in expectations, in other ethereal energies, or they may be steeped in self-perpetuating, self-aggrandizing motives. Who knows?

All I know is, when it comes to the facts and figures, America is in trouble.

I think America needs smart compromises. Smart compromises are smart – not because they are absolutely right, but because if they are wrong and we see they aren’t working, smart politicians will make smarter compromises and change what isn’t working.

America is a com-promise. It “promises” a lot of things to a lot of people, and the only way a lot of those promises can be kept is by compromising.

If your representatives aren’t willing to compromise for the good of the nation, ask them why not? Ask them what’s wrong with compromising – along with a promise to make another compromise if what’s compromised in the first place isn’t working?

Second, Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) of the Banking Committee is holding hearings today in Washington on high frequency trading (HFT) and its impact on markets and the public’s perception of “the game.”

All I have to say about that is thank goodness Jack takes money from a bunch of Wall Street players. Because at least we know his rhetoric – which will be over the top in favor of the public, of course – won’t be overly compromised due to his balanced campaign contributors.

The whole HFT thing does need to be addressed, inside and out. I’ll be watching what happens this morning and report back to you.

Be prepared for some good comedy.

There are going to be a lot of stories told, and I’ll break down and peel back the layers of lies for you.

Third: about the price of oil. On Monday, the price of oil tanked when, in a matter of minutes, 13,000 WTI (West Texas Intermediate) futures over at the CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange) were dumped, and almost simultaneously over at the ICE (Intercontinental Exchange), 10,000 Brent futures contracts were exited.

There was no “flash crash” and no gaming the system by some nefarious agents of Armageddon.

One of two things happened. More than likely, a hedge fund or some huge player in oil (could be an oil company hedging, too) made the trades. After all, there has been a lot of speculation about what stimulus would come our way, and we got it in Europe and then here in the U.S. just a few days later. In light of the expected push stimulus is supposed to engender, speculators over the past 10 weeks had taken a net 100,000 long position in oil futures contracts. That’s equivalent to 100 million barrels.

Maybe they bought the rumor and sold the news? There was enough talk about stimulus, and when we got it, markets moved to four- and five-year highs and stalled. Maybe it was the fact that the Saudis are saying they will ramp up production to keep the price under control? Maybe it was the buildup of inventories?

Or maybe it was our government dumping futures to tank the price of oil to bring down gas prices to keep intact whatever fragile recovery we’re supposed to be having (the recovery in the markets is real, although it too may be fragile)? Maybe. Who knows?

All I know is, as far as markets, oil is one of my bellwethers. If oil prices are falling, then demand (for production, consumption and growth) can’t be that strong. Watch oil.

Lastly, are riots in the Middle East and North Africa, or anywhere where there are radical Muslims, anything to be surprised about?

Unfortunately not.

But I just want to say one thing about the riots in Libya, Tunisia, Indonesia, Sudan, Pakistan, Egypt, Yemen, and Afghanistan. As awful and frightening and tragic as they are, and unjustified by any measure, the imbecile(s) that put out the video that caused this latest upheaval ought to be held accountable.

I know, I know. I believe in free speech. Believe me, I do. I practice it here all the time.

But, if you haven’t seen the video, you should look at it. It is garbage by any measure. It has no redeeming value whatsoever. It isn’t funny. It was made to insult. It is the kind of hatemongering that everyone should be up in arms about.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot about Islam that I don’t get. And a lot that I don’t understand. And that ends up meaning that there’s a lot that I really dislike about what Islam condones and such. But that doesn’t mean that I would ever be disrespectful of Islam, any more than I would of Catholicism, or Protestantism, or Judaism, or Buddhism, or anybody’s beliefs in God, or that there may not be a god.

But whatever the story is about the video – and I’m sure its creators have a story – I can’t find any excuse for ever purposely insulting, in such a vulgar way, anybody’s beliefs, no matter what I believe.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. What’s yours?

99 Responses to Why America is in Trouble Now

  1. Jim in Atlanta says:

    Same as yours on the last point. Extremists in both directions should be held accountable for their heinous activities.

    • Kent Greenough says:

      Shah:

      One fact you missed on the video, it was posted on the web over a month before the riots and killing spree, which, have more to do with the 9-11 date than the video. The video is just a false flag of the media that fails to see what is really behind the violence, i.e. the Muslim Brotherhood.and various associates. As you say, look at this like any transaction, who gained and who lost. MB 1 USA 0

    • Dexter Aoki says:

      That is a lot of bull that is commonly spread about “extremists on both sides”. Islam has no redeeming qualities. None!!! Where in the world does Islam live peacefully with people of other religions or show tolerance. Not now and not ever! You commonly hear pundits blaming just a few extremists for all the trouble but 5% of 1.6 billion people is 80 million fanatics and that is not insignificant. The islamic culture frequently mistreats their women who are often uneducated. So uneducated women bringing up the Muslim children is a recipe for disaster.

  2. Mike Muoio says:

    32 Years of Wrong Turns and Tax Amnesia

    As we endure the ceaseless political rhetoric surrounding our national budget and debt, I have come to the conclusion that we as a nation, have actually chosen to put ourselves in this quasi-bankrupt insolvent position.

    There are a number of critical turning points where our political and business leadership chose the wrong path with our support. Here are some of the major wrong turns that occurred over the last 32 years.

    In 1980 we adopted “supply side economics”, also known as “trickle down economics” and we adopted the philosophy that budgets never needed to be balanced.

    The theory states that increasing the net wealth possessed by the economic elite generates the best stimulator of economic activity.

    These wealth-owners will invest any marginal wealth-gain from tax cuts on things that increase “supply”—factories, new businesses, innovative goods and services, thus “Supply Side Economics”.

    Belief in this economic heresy continues and many current candidates for public office actually advocate further tax cuts.

    Because of this heretic belief, politically driven and popular tax cuts were put into place that were based on expanding our national debt from $907 Billion in 1980 to $3 Trillion in 1990 to $5 Trillion in 2000 to $10 Trillion in 2008 and $16 Trillion in 2012. These tax cuts continue unabated and are expected to drive our national debt to $22 Trillion by 2016 or a 24-fold increase since 1980.

    We also entered diabolical free trade agreements with tax incentives that encouraged manufactured product imports and job exports. In 32 years we have managed to export over 60,000 factories and over 23 Million jobs. Our trade policy continues unabated.

    We deregulated the financial sector and freed Wall Street to be “creative”. This permitted the destruction of $16 Trillion of our collective wealth and returned us to 1992 wealth levels nationally. Financial deregulation essentially continues unabated along with super-sized banker bonuses with no bankers in jail.

    Following the 911 attacks, we committed over $4 Trillion (off-budget) to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan. Taxes were not imposed to finance the occupation. The occupation continues with no end in sight.

    We implemented Medicare Drug Plan D at an incremental cost of $180 Billion a year. No taxes for this were imposed and drug companies were not required to negotiate prices with Medicare. This mismanaged program continues and is growing.

    Student loans now total over $1 Trillion as our public and private universities and colleges took advantage of the easy money available to students for education. At UW Madison for example, resident undergraduate tuition in 1980 was $769, today it is $8592 or a 11-fold increase. Sadly, it was reported recently that a new retiree was having their Social Security check garnished to repay student loans over 30 years old.

    So are we broke? Indeed we are. And we have clearly chosen to be.

    Because of these major wrong turns we have also managed to
    concentrate wealth in the United States to levels not seen since 1929.

    For example, the Walton family of Wal-Mart fame now controls more wealth than the poorest 40% of Americans combined. This was largely driven by the reduction in marginal income tax rates.

    In addition, Reuters reported July 22, 2012 that over $32 trillion in wealth is held in offshore tax havens. While this is a global estimate, it would be fair to suggest 50% or $16 Trillion as “American”. When people and corporations do not pay tax on foreign tax haven accounts, the rest of us have to make up for the loss or we simply must expand the National Debt.

    American Corporations currently hold over $1.5 Trillion in profits offshore and are demanding to have taxes cut or eliminated on these profits before they are repatriated. “Negotiations” are taking place with our Congressional leaders as you read this.

    The reduction in top personal marginal income tax rates has been anything except modest. Rates have been reduced from 70% in 1980 to 35% currently. As late as 1964 they were 91%. The average top marginal rate from 1915 to 2012 is 57.8%. We are operating at 60.6% of the 97-year average.

    We did not stop there, our capital gains tax was reduced as well from 39.9% in 1978 to 15% currently. The 100-year average on capital gains is 26.9%. We are operating at 44% of the 100-year average.

    In 2003 we also reduced the top marginal dividend tax rate from 35% to 15%. This is 25% of the 91-year average.

    And to completely ensure we would never ever have a balanced budget, we reduced corporate income tax from 46% in 1980 to 35% today. The 100-year average on corporations is 46.7% and we are operating at 75% of the 100-year average.

    We are attempting to have our $16 Trillion economy operate with top marginal tax rates at essentially 50% of the 100-year average for the Republic!

    It should come as no surprise that this entire tax cutting strategy is not working, as we have accumulated $15.9 Trillion in national debt, 23 Million unemployed and underemployed not to mention state and local debt.

    We currently enjoy the lowest marginal tax rates since 1929 when the top marginal tax rate was 24%. In 1932 we increased the top marginal tax rate from 25% to 63% and we began to climb out of the Great Depression.

    The circumstances in 1928, just prior to the onset of the Great Depression, and today are strikingly similar. This should seriously concern every citizen in our Republic, but we seem blind to every warning sign our economy has provided.

    The ceaseless political “job creator” rhetoric suggesting that “if we tax business and high-income individuals, jobs and growth will not be generated”, is simply untrue historically.

    In fact, there is a direct correlation between higher taxes, higher employment and higher economic growth. While this may seem counter-intuitive, I will provide an example that may help reveal the subtleties of what is really going on after a historic review of the correlation between taxes, growth and unemployment.

    Jobs and economic growth in our Republic are largely driven by small
    Businesses, or “S Corporations”. According to the “S Corporation Association”, there are 25 million small businesses in America.

    For Federal income tax purposes, the income, deductions, and tax credits of an S corporation flow through to shareholders.
    Income is then taxed at the shareholder level.

    Payments to S shareholders, most often the “owner proprietor”, by the corporation are distributed tax-free. Also, the alternative minimum tax does not apply to an S corporation.

    Given these tax rules; if your marginal personal income tax rate were cut from 91% to 38%, which actually happened between 1964 and 2003, would you take larger cash distributions from your business?

    Of coarse you would, as it is very efficient to remove money from a business when you are taxed lightly. Higher marginal tax rates make it more difficult to remove money from an S Corporation, as it is less efficient and the alternative of investing in the business is likely more attractive.

    When corporations retain and invest money in businesses they tend to grow as they invest in technology, machinery, research and development, marketing, sales, training, and facilities.

    When this happens, jobs are created and the corporation grows and more taxes are generated from the business itself and new employees.

    Imagine if only half of the 25 million S Corporations hired just one employee, we would have 12.5 million jobs and we would not have an unemployment issue.

    Seems somewhat odd that raising taxes on the real “job creators” actually produces jobs, however it has been validated historically. (See Chart II)

    Large American corporations on the other hand, have really been the principal serial job killers since 1980.

    Companies like Wal-Mart (Currently under criminal investigation for bribery, tax evasion and money laundering. Source: Financial Times, 8/17/2012) in their incessant drive to produce the lowest priced products, have driven larger companies offshore and have advocated for free trade agreements that do nothing more than facilitate moving more jobs and manufacturing to lower labor cost countries.

    It is bitterly ironic that Wal-Mart is currently lobbying Congress to have the minimum wage rate raised as they have come to the realization that their customers no longer have enough income to shop at Wal-Mart. A more “enlightened” strategy from Wal-Mart thirty years ago would have been more helpful.

    Wal-Mart customers have moved to the “dollar” and “thrift” stores as 23 million of them have lost their jobs and have moved to unemployment, a lesser paying job or a part-time job as the result of the long term effect of off-shoring jobs.

    The average annual industrial wage in the USA is $44,600 compared to China at $ 6,200 and Viet Nam’s $2,200 which illustrates just how large the off-shoring labor issue is.

    The solution to this low wage labor issue was actually developed in 1789 by Alexander Hamilton as the Treasurer of the United States working in President George Washington’s administration.

    Hamilton believed it was necessary to impose tariffs on all imported goods for 2 reasons.

    First we needed to fund our new Republic and tariffs on imported goods were an effective and enforceable means to do it.

    The second was the strategic decision to develop new domestic industries by giving them a chance to develop with the protection of tariffs, which at the time ranged between 5-10%.

    We can do as our founders did before us, and impose tariffs in order to equalize the labor expense imbedded in an imported manufactured product. This would make the large corporations indifferent to where a product is manufactured and would most likely favor the USA, as international transportation would be avoided if they produced domestically.

    Most other industrialized nations currently do this through some form of value added tax.

    With this policy, jobs would return to America. Unfortunately, we continue down the diabolical path of free trade expansion with 14 agreements in-force and 12 more being negotiated. All of these agreements are driven by special interest and not the interest of American workers or our Republic.

    All this deceitful free trade nonsense started in 1985 with the first “Free Trade Agreement” with Israel.

    Free trade, without question, is the largest reason for the closing of 60,000 factories and the elimination of millions manufacturing jobs in the United States since 1980.

    Free trade is also the reason why the United States moved from being the largest importer of raw materials and the largest exporter of manufactured goods in the world to the largest exporter of raw materials and the largest importer of manufactured goods in the world all in an amazing 32 short years.

    We as a people have grown to believe that the economic issues facing our Republic are “complicated”, “global in nature” and almost “impossible” to solve. This is unequivocally untrue.

    Special interests have kept us from formulating sound strategic solutions just as they fought Franklin D Roosevelt as he fought to put programs together to move us out of the Great Depression.

    For example, there are 3 banking lobbyists working for each of our Congressional Representatives or 1605 Lobbyist to 535 Congressional Representatives. That is only the “Banking Lobby”. In 2011 there were 12,651 registered lobbyists harassing our Congress by spending $3.3 Billion to “get their way” as it were.

    On the Eve of Labor Day 2012, it is time to return our country to our original democratic beliefs and behaviors. Clearly, what we have believed and have been practicing since 1980 is economic heresy and is not working for the vast majority of Americans.

    We live in a wonderful country that has many significant challenges, none of which, mind you, is insurmountable.

    What is needed now is a personal commitment from each and every one of us, to support political and business leadership that can actually recognize right from wrong, truth from untruth, tell the truth and put the general well being of the Republic ahead of special interests including themselves.

    These new leaders will be the people that will create and implement the policies and programs that will get all of us out of this wretched economic ditch we have now been in for over 6 years from the seeds that were planted 32 years ago.

    As Franklin Delano Roosevelt opined in the depths of the Great Depression,

    “True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.”

    While some in our Republic would welcome a dictatorship, they clearly are not in the majority today but may be in the future.

    Election day on November 6th will provide us with the distinct opportunity to renew the wisdom expressed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Alexander Hamilton.

    On November 6th, it is critically important that as many of us as possible express our views at the polls as unlike many elections in the past, this one really counts for you, your children and your grand children.

    Choose wisely.

    • Norm Saville says:

      Mr. Mike Muoio’s Comments in “32 years of wrong turns and tax amnesia” were the best I have ever read. I would very much like a copy. Please email me a copy as I can’t print from this article. nlsaville@gmail.com

    • Susie Austin says:

      Whew! I may have missed these points in your comments, but I believe 3 main forks in the road led us to where we are today: 1) When Nixon depegged the USD from gold 2) when Clinton repealed Glass Steagall and 3) when Congress rejected a balanced budget amendment by one vote – thanks to John Kerry.

    • Jo says:

      Well stated and reasoned, especially the part about how higher marginal tax rates would increase small business self-reinvestment, creating more jobs (that is what this election is about, more jobs, right?). The way out of the present extreme partisan politics and back to doing the business of the people lies in campaign finance reform. A good explanation of the root causes and cures of special interest control of Washington can be found in “Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress – and a Plan to Stop It” by Lawrence Lessig.

    • G13man says:

      nice reply,

      Maybe we should try trickle up economics..
      100k for all 2nd generation working Americans
      to pay off all your debts first , then the rest to do as you wish.
      this would be an example for others the benefits of a frugal life.
      And why you should work …..and would get majority of people out of dept while monetizing the banks…[it's what they wanted is it not ? ]..
      welfare and disability do not get any thing because the 100k would be accounted for their past and future care..

    • Jeff Pluim says:

      If the U.S. put tarriffs on imports from China, where would ithe U.S. borrow the money to fund its overspending on social programs. Don’t you think China would have something to say about that? Unions have been one of the biggest problems for the economy and for business. Outside of the States, (I live outside the U.S. and travel extensively) Americans are considered lazy and illiterate. Social programs have made it possible for fat and lazy Americans to be semi-retired on social programs while the U.S. ranks 14th in the world in education of the American people. Socialism does not work. The old Soviet Union proved that for the entire world to see. Humans need incentive, even if that incentive is the need to feed themselves. You take away motivation of people when you give them handouts or overpay them for substandard work. And it all starts with government spending and expansion of the government. Romney may have blown his chance for election because he was open and honest and said what everyone in the world outside of the United States can plainly see.

    • Jim says:

      Great summary of the tax policy in this country that has brought us to the current situation. Many thanks for the thought and consideration that went into the summary.

    • Wayne says:

      Mike, you have stated the problem better than I could and have a workable solution that every Congressperson should at least consider. However, the Congress that we have at the present is not interested in solving the problems, but in getting the ONE candidate who will make the problem even worse elected. And the biggest roadblock to any meaningful help for the middle class is Citizens United super Pacs and the lobbies in Washington. So I propose a solution that could help the middle class in the future IF we can get past this election with at least the candidate who will not give away our nation to the wealth 1% of Americans.

      What I propose is that the middle class form their own lobby with one elected member from each state sent to Washington to WATCHDOG Congress and any proposed legislation in either the House or Senate and report back to the voters on what impact it will have on the middle class. These lobby members could be paid from a fund comprised of donations (I would suggest $10 to $20yr.)(which should create a fund of app. $70 million to 140 million) if half of the middle class donated. The American middle class needs their own lobby because the Representatives and Senators that we have elected have abandoned their duty to the middle class.

      • Robert Bell says:

        please send me a copy ASAP.Can I print it out,.make copies,quote from it,etc.Thank you so,so,so, very much.Have you written anything else.i would like to keep in contact.A sincere thank you.Robert Bell

      • Robert Bell says:

        I like what you said.Please send be your e-mail address and have some ideas about a grass root organization that would oppose politicians that vote’ no’ all the time—-won’t compromise for the comnon good.Looking forward to hearing from you.Rob..

    • Gary says:

      Mike,
      Your posting is the most comprehensive and best explanation of what has happened in the past to our country and what is happening to our country at the present time.
      I agree with you analysis and also commend your using the term “Republic” vs “Democracy.”
      Your posting should be sent to EVERY politician in our Republic
      for there perusal.
      I don’t think they are capable of understand what the basis is of your facts are, but hopefully maybe some of them might

    • Karl Shaffer says:

      You seem to think that higher income taxes would solve the problem, but this country survived the first 150 years without any income tax and no giant debt problem. The problem is not insufficient taxes, but too much government. I don’t need millions of government agents watching over me to see if I might cross one of their billions of idiot laws, and to do for me all the things I need to do for myself. Some idiot politician (FDR) decided we all needed a nanny to care for us and now the nanny is our jailer and has stolen everything, including our future.
      The Constitution provides for import taxes and forbids export taxes because in the wisdom of its framers (who had read “The Wealth of Nations” and understood economics and the need to be competitive) export taxes would destroy the nation. The income tax when applied to companies that export goods is an export tax. The heavy burden of taxes that our businesses have to carry (social security, medicare, inventory, income, licensing, regulatory burdens, etc) makes them uncompetitive versus companies operating under more intelligent tax regimes in Asia, South America, and elsewhere. So what do you expect a company to do if it wants to survive?

      • Edouard D'Orange says:

        You have it correct, Karl, not Mike Muoio. M says: “In 1932 we increased the top marginal tax rate from 25% to 63% and we began to climb out of the Great Depression.” Really. That’s not the what most honest economists believe. The depression continued as long as it did because of stupid, anti-wealth, tax increases among other stupid trade and monetary policies. To believe taking more money away from productive people to put in the non-productive government helps the economy is to defy supply and demand. Raising taxes only means more money taken away from the private sector and wealthy individuals putting money away from the tax man in tax free accounts. Mike your account is long, but flawed.

      • Allen says:

        Well, America may have survived the first 150 years without income tax, but America wasn’t policing the world like they are today. We are wasting a ton of money every year sticking our nose in everyones business and that is with either party running the show.

      • John says:

        This is one of the few sensible and need I say, enlightened comments I have read about the US political/ financial fiasco. Karl’s comments are glaringly distilled and reflected, in one single statistic – the current real value of the dollar compared with it’s value when that great Robber Baron, the Federal Reserve , was formed. Nuff said.

      • Melodie says:

        This article is Bull! Is this Shah guy an American? I have my doubts! He surely does NOT understand our founding precepts birthed from our founders escaping oppression! This dude Shah would like to see us go back to being oppressed!

    • ray says:

      I agree with Karl….it is the size of Big Gov’t, but i would add that the bigger the Gov’t, the bigger the Spending. Yes, the tax code is a POS; I’d prefer a consumption tax without any other taxes by the federal gov’t.

    • Dan Hunt says:

      You are incorrect in stating that an S Corporation business will invest more if tax rates are higher. All the profits of the S Corporation are automatically taxed at the tax rate of the owner. High tax rates on the owner REQUIRE him or her to distribute more money out of the S Corporation in order to pay the taxes. I can only assume that the writer has never been in business for himself or owned an S Corporation. I have started numerous businesses, most of which were S Corporations. If my tax rate is low, I can leave most of the profits in the business in order to grow it. If tax rates are high, I have to take a lot of money out to pay the taxes. Most small business incorporate as S Corporations or LLCs.
      Where has the money come from for me to start additional businesses, such as the 8 or 10 I have created? From the money left over after taxes from the prior business.

    • P Beck says:

      How many employees do you pay? How many jobs have you created?
      As an S corp business owner of 100 employees, I pay about 31% in Federal taxes, another 8 % to the state for corporate income taxes, 14.6 % in Social Security, Medicare, etc… on the first $70K. I pay 7.3% on every payroll dollar I pay to Social Security and Medicare, another 3% in unemployment taxes on every dollar of payroll, , another 7% in sales taxes whenever I purchase something for the business. I pay numerous property taxes on equipment and commercial rentals. I pay over $100K in principal to the bank every year. I operate on a 4 or 5% profit margin and Obamacare is going to take most of that. I’m a business owner that was making a good income and growing from 15 employees in ’95 to over 100 by 2007. I’m trying to sell my business right now just to get out w/a little bit of money. I have no retirement as I put every dollar into creating a great company that many people have worked for me over 10 years. If I can sell I’ll get out w/less than half a million for retirement. I’ve worked 16 Hours days weeks at a time without a day off. I’ve taken risks and made sacrifices that 98% of the population would never do. I’m employing over 100 people and after paying the bank & taxes I take home under $100K. This is very normal for most small business S corps I now.
      I’M NOT COMPLAINING I LOVE IT, but I can’t do it anymore! SO DON’T YOU DARE CRITIZE S CORP’s UNTIL YOU’VE WALKED A MILE IN THEIR SHOES!!!

      • EdInvests says:

        I, too, was one of few owners of a chapter S, and something is wrong with your numbers. Your main problem seems to be the poor profit margin of your business, and you really need a better CFO and accounting department and feedback from employess on how to increase that number. The whole point of a chapter S is to avoid corporate income tax, and distribute the earnings to owners to be taxed at their rates. It should be profitable for all owners. I can see no way that you earned 100k, and paid 31% in income taxes. I assume you are talking about your total income, including salary, investments, and chapter S distributions in the tax rate, and thus you must consider the total income as well. What industry are you in? If you manufacture anything, I can possibly help, and my help is free. If you are in a service industry, I would be a little more lost, but finance is really pretty simple. I am quite serious about helping. Tell me something about your business and I will help any why that I can. If you are making a profit at all, then you have a good potential to grow it. I am retired now, but spent a great part of my career in industry as an engineer and exec. I was a turn-around guy most of my career and have a knack for finding and solving problems. You can’t beat free, and I am brutally honest. By the way, long hours are just part of it. You can start to back off when you have it under control, but not TOO much. Most of the taxes you mention are the same for all people in business, and you have an advantage in chapter S. I would enjoy hearing from you. Ed

    • john calan says:

      Mike, you poured your heart into a well written essay; leaving me to ask only, where’s the proof of causes for the disasters. We are hopelessly in debt. But opportunities exist today. Example: Our computers can help us earn a living. Employment discrimination is gone. Our forbears faced tougher times and survived. Possibly we refuse to help ourselves. Your opinions are worth considering. .

    • EdInvests says:

      Nice job, Mike. I rarely read a well thought out and well written comment anymore. If nothing else, you raised the bar.

      First, I think anyone paying any attention at all to the last twelve years, at least, should realize that the trickle down theory does not work. At this point, we have no choice but to increase the maximum tax rate, but the income guidelines table has to be modified in the process. The current tax table, and most of the proposed ones, still make poor distinctions between what is well-to-do, wealthy, and filthy rich. That includes income, capital gains tax, and qualified dividends.
      I noticed an article today about the wealthiest 251 people in America today, and many, if not all, of them made over a billion dollars. The highest group made two to seven bilion dollars. Those figures are just annual income and not net worth. Those same folks pay the same on capital gains and qualified dividends as the poorest of investors, and that doesn’t even make sense to them.

      I do have more concerns about the import/export taxes. You referenced Hamilton from 1789, and I see little from that time to compare to today. Travel time, communication, and the extent of our isolation from the rest of the world at that time makes his views almost meaningless today.

      I am also not sure that the corporate income tax is even relevant anymore. So many corporations, not chapter S, pay little or even get paid,that it seems the system is broken for big business, but a burden for all small businsses. I have no time to research it, but it would not surprise me if I found out that Walmart paid a lot less , as a percentage, than most of the small businesses and even less than the Waltons did as a group in the billion dollar income group.

      If people voted for what is right for the Country, they would have to increae taxes for the truly wealth, reduce spending, and make welfare a better system that is not all or nothing. We need to take care of those in dire need, but we also have to encourage people to work at any job without losing all benefits. The current system does not encourage emplyment.

      It goes far beyond the Presidential election, as the power to change our course lies in Congress. It somehow astounds me that their approval rating is 10% in favor of what they do, but they keep getting elected. Maybe it is because they are for, or against, abortion, gay whatever, immigration issues, and such. Those issues have nothing to do with what got us in this mess.

      Thank you again for your post. It gives me hope that we still have a chance for intelligent discussion on critical issues.

      Ed

    • Kent Greenough says:

      Long treaties with one major question overlooked, why fund government growth? Government produces nothing and can only take money away from productive citizens to buy votes and reward crownies. I know far better then the government what is good for me, my family and my business. Slice it anyway you want, higher taxes guarantees only more government and less freedom. No where mentioned is this flawed expose is the cost of higher taxes measured in terms of loss liberties.

    • Ken says:

      Of all the newsletters I receive in my “inbox” Mr. Gilani’s Is the best. But just as important is the fact that he draws the best “comments” on the web. And this comment by Mr. Muoio is the best I’ve ever read. It would be great if every American would read this before Nov. 6th. The only problem is, we don’t have a candidate worth voting for. Maybe if every American would have read this comment last winter, we would have a candidate worth voting for.

    • Tyoung says:

      Were the small companies that were taxed so steeply after the Great Depression required to have all the other coverages they are now required to carry, i.e. Workman’s comp, health insurance, etc?

  3. Ray Southwell says:

    Is it really about a video that is so disrespectful or could it be how our government has disrespected the sovereign nations of the mid-east? Consider the petro-dollar and what happens to a mid-east or African nation who attempts another currency.

    • Susie Austin says:

      It is not about the video; it was just reported that there were NO DEMONSTRATIONS. Rather, suddenly there were two groups of terrorists who attacked the embassy from two different angles at the exact same time….so US officials were using the video story to cover up their own ineptness at protecting their own employees against terrorist attack.

  4. David B. says:

    I would like to know what you would compromise? The Democrats want to grow government, that’s a fact. The Republicans claim they want to preserve the future but all they end up doing is “compromising” with Democrats, who are much better at negotiating, and end up growing government. When we “compromise” the Democrats always get their way and spending always increases and the myopic fools that call themselves voters always blame “both sides.” Enough is enough. To hell with compromising. We’ve “compromised” 16 trillion times too many.

    • G13man says:

      Actually republicans have enlarged the Gov more than the Democrat’s..[knew I shouldda saved that article ] But do not blame me , I vote third party for every major election . I also believe minimum wage is good enough for all gov employees…..

  5. ken says:

    When you insult one religion you insult them all. The outrage of this is not faith driven. No other religion reacts in such a fashion. In fact they promote peace and forgiveness. It is unadulterated hate of America and Israel that drives this rage and any pandering or excuse making only serves to accept and legitimize behavior that is vile and unholy. Muslims are the the zealous and apparent willing vehicle used by thugs to advance their political hate. Blaming the video for what is occurring is shortsighted and dangerous and just another example of turning an apologetic blind eye to the methods of madness of the uncivilized.

    • Jeff Pluim says:

      In my spiritual search of over 50 years, I have deeply researched most of the world’s main religions including Christianity and Islam. I watched the movie that is creating all of the fuss. It says absolutely nothing that is not 100% true. Sure it does not tell of the “good” side of Islam, but everything in the movie is accurate. If I did a movie on the bad side of Christianity or Bhudism I doubt that there would be any riots. I have read the Koran in my spiritual search. Islam is based on the teachings of a man, Muhammad, who believed that violence is justified if it achieves the desired end result. That’s it plain and simple. Islam is a faith that believes in violence as a tool to further the religion. Christianity has (I hope) evolved away from those beliefs. Sure there are radicals in all religions. Radicalism does not serve humanity in any way. The film that is raising all of the stink, primarily takes a shot at the radicals in Islam and encourages the Muslim masses to take control away from the radicals. The problem is that the religion is based on violence, so it is not likely to happen. For anyone who thinks that I am being radical in my views, I say this: go get yourself a Koran and read it. I did, so I know what I am talking about. And then AFTER you have read the Koran, then watch that movie, I doubt that you will then not realize that radicalism, including, and maybe especially, radical Muslims, are the greatest threat to humanity today.

      • John says:

        Jeff,

        Well put… for a better insight into Islam and what is happening in the East Asia one must understand the Islamic faith and where that faith leads a person who is truly attempting to live by it’s precepts.

        A very good resource into understanding Islam is a book by Dr. Mark A. Gabriel, former lecturer in Islamic history and culture at Al-Azhar University

        “Islam and Terrorism: What the Quran really teaches about Christianity, violence and the goals of Islamic Jihad”

        Understanding their faith is key to understanding what is going on in the Muslim world today

    • Robert Bell says:

      Sorry, if my son dies in Afganistian because of this film and may just go find this film maker and ___———-______———-,you feel me!!!!

  6. michael says:

    Shah, To my mind the guy who made the video is a set up by people who like to stir up trouble, make wars, and find another reason to go into Iran. No sane coptic christian with his brothers back in Egypt would have done this. It’s a black ops type deal by war mongers

  7. Ed says:

    I’m sorry, I can find an excuse. It’s built into the genes – we hate the “other”. And, of course “other” is defined by your own self centered universe – 6 billion plus last I looked.
    The real tragedy is that people don’t MYOB – mind your own business. Do they really think that Mohammed in his paradise, or Allah in his infinite glory really care about the bruised feelings of a bunch of ragamuffins?
    Hubris, writ large.

  8. John says:

    Mr. Gilani:
    Well said…all of it! I couldn’t agree with you more. Thanks for clearing away the garbage and saying it like it is!

  9. Nancy Baumann says:

    I haven’t seen the movie, but as a Christian, we are horribly assaulted by art/media all the time – even the language. Christians aren’t railing and killing and protesting with violence. We, collectively, in the USA are peace-loving peole who believe in freedom. To blame one vulgar movie, if it were to blame and I don’t think it is, shows the violence of the radical Muslims and that we are still at war.
    By the way facts are coming out to show Al Quida is behind it and a leader identified.
    Those are my thoughts.

    • Skip says:

      Look closer to home on Al Qaeda CIAl-Qaeda Armed and trained by US peace Loving Tell it too Iraq Lbiya Now Sırya and next on the adgenda ıran
      No sign of Peace here 9-11 was an iside job time you put yhis atrociyu to rest Justice is required Explain WTC7 No planes hit this building Yet Larry said Pull it You know how long it takes to rig a Building klke this for Demolition? Momths Larry did it in a Day?Hello anyone awake over there?

      • jerry maher says:

        I am in the fdny and was there the entire time. There is no question that building was brought down by charges on almost every floor. Compared to the size and construction of that building there wasn’t a penny’s worth of fire. Don’t forget the high rise fire( china 2009, 44 stories of complete fire and the building never collapsed. You could see the charges blowing out the critical floors in sequence. Which begs the question??????????? If building 7 was rigged monthes in advance, how far ahead of time were the trade centers rigged. The investigators have refused to investigate whether exotic accelerates, such as thermite were used. Straaaaange, worst disaster on our shores and a refusal to investigate all avenues.

  10. Kevin Donnelly says:

    Free Speech, has come a long way in it’s departure from Freedom of speech , as per the constution. It has been said that one cannot shout “Fire” in a packed auditorium, because of the damage which could result from the panic caused. There are many other mis-applications relating to Freedom of speech, which even our Supreme Court have difficulty with. Maybe they need to understand the century we live in before allowing Freedom of speech to become a clarion call to armagedon.

  11. tr99 says:

    Shah are you familiar with Dr. K.Moor’s analysis of how the price of oil is determined? Do you agree with it?
    Also, Shah, really, that video is classic “tail waging the dog” stuff, no one is claiming ownership, its old and appeared out of nowhere. Muslims are not stupid either but just like the rest of us, the radicals will take advantage of an opportunity.

  12. Michael Fearnow says:

    while I agree the video is offensive and has very poorly done,
    this not excuse the violent response of any religious group including Islam.
    There are numerous examples of religious parody and scorn, against other religious groups such as art depicting Christ suspended in urine, but not of these result in violent or murderous response
    I am sure the true teachings of Islam do not condone violent response to such nonsense as the film., but radical teachings allow this type of response larger unchecked my more moderate Islam.
    Until a more mainstream Islam changes this culture, I fill we are in for continued strife and unrest.

  13. dan says:

    I DO NOT BELIEVE IN A GOD OR GODS BUT I WOULD NOT INSULT THOSE WHO DO OR BELIEVE.NEITHER SHOULD ANY RELIGION BE USED AS A REASON TO KILL PEOPLE WHICH IT HAS BEEN SINCE MAN PAINTED THE CAVE WALLS

    • dan says:

      I DO NOT BELIEVE IN A GOD OR GODS BUT I WOULD NOT INSULT THOSE WHO DO.IF IT HELPS THEM TO FACE THE TRIALS OF LIFE I WISH THEM WELL

      • H. Craig Bradley says:

        Dan,

        You are a “fool” who obviously lacks understanding, as well. In addition, You have no faith.

        Unless something changes (with you), You WILL die in your sins. Now, as the cliche goes: ” Its a choice” and nobody will get in your way over it.

  14. DarioC says:

    While it is true that politicians routinely do things that are against the best interest of the average American, I do not think that is the most basic problem with the decline in our relative economic well being.

    Historically I watched my wages multiply by 5 times from the “old days.” Unfortunately prices went up 10 times. These numbers apply to when I retired a few years ago.

    During that time the balance of the wealth in the world has seen a very significant shift from the “established” economies to the countries that are now manufacturing products for us. Their standard goes up, ours stays the same, which is the same as going down, until there is some kind of balance. In some product fields we do see shifts to the US from countries with higher production costs than ours, but it is overall still rather limited.

    With a coupled world economy that is the way it is going to be. The growth of the wealth and income for the average person in the US is going to be limited until there is a better ratio between us and the present product manufacturing “other world” nations.

    This does not even begin to address the problem that much of what we purchase from abroad is financed from loans via bond investments from the very same countries we are buying things from.

    While even the poor state of our economy is like a massive train that is still hard to bring to a stop, I fear that our long-running habit of spending more than we produce is going to completely change the status of Americans in the picture of the present world economy.

    DC

    • ray says:

      The IMF and UN have long ago fostered ‘social justice’ and this is routinely accomplished via ‘wealth redistribution; politically, this goes all the way back to JFK.
      The ‘free trade’ agreements are another means for this same end – they have nothing to do with actual free trade.

  15. bob says:

    While I agree the movie was stupid, they didn’t threaten anybody, cause anyone to feel their life was in danger, or in any other way do anything illegal. Freedoms only exist if they can be practiced, and it was their freedom to make the dumb movie. Muslims, whether they’re insulted or not, do NOT get to tell the rest of the world what they can and cannot do. So NO, the makers of that movie have nothing to be held accounable for.

    • Rob says:

      Bob-I agree with you on everything but one point. When you say:

      “Muslims, whether they’re insulted or not, do NOT get to tell the rest of the world what they can and cannot do.”

      Are you sure on this? People can do whatever they are able to do and get away with. Paper, politicians, and lawyers don’t really do anything but talk and write BS. If the world puts up with radical islam and it’s bad behavior then that means they CAN do whatever they want as they so clearly demonstrate that ability.

      All God’s children are just like children. If let run wild they will do so. The best thing would be for Muslim’s to discipline their own and get their own house in order. At some point it will be too much and someone will step in. Flying airplanes into our buildings pushed our button and we stepped in heavily. They are testing the world again now.

      On the Flip side of this US embassies promote democracy and freedom worldwide. This promotion of freedom condones protest outside of embassies. As a protester you have a responsibility to accept the consequences of your protest. By allowing a protest outside your home you also have the responsibility to quell the riot it turns into. This includes the use of deadly force…………..lots of failures all around.

  16. David says:

    Libyan President Mohammed el-Megarif said yesterday (Sept. 16) that he has “no doubt” the consulate attack was pre-planned and believes al Qaeda was responsible. Megarif said “foreigners” have been entering Libya over the past few months to fight with al Qaeda “from different directions, some of them definitely from Mali and Algeria.” One authority believes a very strong case can be made that the attack was a pre-planned act of terrorism to exact revenge for the killing of al-Qaeda official Abu Yahya al-Libi last June. It believes radical Islamists used the anti-Mohammed video to drum up anti-America anger to provide cover for the attack on the consulate and to encourage attacks on other U.S. embassies. This was probably done through social media and the internet. Islamist operatives and radical clerics also probably played a role in promoting the call for anti-U.S demonstrations last week.

  17. Martin says:

    re: your comment:…median level ( a few billionaires can make a big difference)… Wrong. Extreme values have no impact on the median or mode values of a population. They can only impact the mean value. That’s why the median value is so much more useful an indicator in this instance.

  18. ASHLEY GOODMAN says:

    This crap is distraction. There was an article I read on the internet under the Headline, Carpe Diem, perhaps you saw it was a chart showing how the current revenues of the US are distriubuted. 2/3rds of every dollar are transferred to the citizenry by way of entitlements. In short we are becoming like Greece or even worse off. 47% of the population pay no taxes. It is the fiscal cliff we are already over. We will shortly be the Muslim world, impoverished, embittered, hopeless, with a broken middle class, who used topay their taxes. When Mitt says 47% of the US. population is on the dole and Ron Paul says we are a bankrupt nation, we don’t want to hear it but we better. I am the despairing democrat who has difficultly facing the truth. Can anyone save us, I think not

    • Tom Hegarty says:

      That’s not quite true “47% pay no taxes.” This was being discussed on BBC TV, Newsnight’ last night. It was pointed out that everytime you purchase something there will be tax on it !

  19. H. Craig Bradley says:

    POLITICS OF SCAPEGOATING

    Shah, I’m disappointed. The President’s official position is the 5th rate YouTube movie ” Innocence of Muslims” that employed $75 per DAY actors and was filmed in a Southern California Warehouse is NOT why the Arabs (Muslims) hate America(ans). Its not why Al Queda or the Taliban or whoever slayed the U.S. Ambassador to Libia either.

    They simply don’t like any Western Power that is allied with us against them be it Germany, France, or anyone else. Above all, they want to “put Israel and the Jews” back in their place ( like Adolph HItler did). Iran was renamed from Persia back in the 1930′s. The Farsi Translation of “Iran” is (Ayrian). Iranians liked Hitler. Some even fought with the Nazis during WWII. Shocking??

    We had better inform ourselves and take what steps we can to soften the blows, or we are in for some real trouble, at home and abroad. As Ronald Reagan once said: ” You ain’t seen nothing yet”. From what I know and observe, most voters don’t much understand or want to inform themselves about what is really happening. The news media only reports what happened in the last 24 hours, so voters must exercise more effort to inform themselves. Few are even remotely interested in that kind of “work”. Just give me a Bud, thank you.

    • H. Craig Bradley says:

      MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE

      Radical Islam ( what else is there?) is comprised of many splinter groups which sometimes fight each other as much as they fight the West ( America). However, the majority (masses) of those Muslims who live in the Middle East and Northern Africa are illiterate and living pretty much like they did in the 1100′s. They are unlikely to ever change either, so don’t hold your breath.

      In contrast, moderate leaders such as the Emirs in Dubai or the Saudi Royal Family walk the fence ( a tightrope). As keepers of the Holy Sites, Saudi Arabia must strike a balance. This is an ever present challenge for them, all the while still holding power. Radical Islamic elements (Islamo-Facists) in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere intend to eventually dominate the Middle East region and the countries which comprise it.

      Prediction: The Saudi Royal Family ( pro-Western) will be forced into exile by decade’s end, just as the late Shah of Iran was forced out in 1979. (They probably will take their millions stored in Swiss Bank Accounts and abdicate). The alternative is to be beheaded by the Iranians or a radical group of Islamic revolutionaries.

      Its all being coordinated and virtually unstopable. That’s why neither President Obama or Candidate Mitt Romney few concrete policy proposals to deal with the situation. The ultimate goal, in addition to ruling the region as a calphinate, is to break the tie between the pricing of oil and U.S. dollars. We would then be faced with paying a premium to the Iranians or their allies to get the imported oil we are economically dependent on for everything in our economy. The American economy won’t work well with $7.00/gallon gasoline or $200/ barrel oil. Either way we are stagnant or in depression.

      What’s left? War. A World War III is about the only way we can respond with the assets we have developed ( military) to influence foreign affairs. Our vital economic interests are now under attack and the conflicts can only intensify, not go away as so many liberals would hope. We better get ready for what is coming. Its a duzy.

  20. From Ukraine says:

    Everyone here (including the Shah) should download and listen to the Alex Jones radio show from Sunday night 9/16/2012. Dr. Steve Piechenik (look him up) was on and was giving a very detailed analysis of what was going on (for real) in the middle east and specifically with the killing of ambassador Stephens. All of you should listen! You might learn something.

  21. Thomas says:

    Spend more time focusing on making money and less on pontificating of religion and advancing the Obama coverup of his failed foreign policy…..I pay you for making money not the other nonsense

    • BJ says:

      think about it, doubting thomas, government policy does effect making money as does the daily news and you are not going toget the strieght scoopfromthe news media.

  22. Susie Austin says:

    The attacks/murders were done in retaliation for what the terrorists (it was a terrorist attack) saw as bragging, done by Obama at the Democratic Convention, about the death of Bin Laden. The administration is blaming the video to cover up this fact and put the blame, as usual, on somebody else. See the funny cartoon in Ed Steer’s Gold and Silver newsletter: Bush says “If Obama is elected for a second term, just think of the mess he will inherit this time!” hahaha he cannot blame it on anyone then! But Romney will be in big time trouble if he wins….I don’t know if ANYBODY can get us out of this one, even a seasoned business person like Romney….

  23. Jerry says:

    Something that no one seems to mention is that there are no other current places to go to create jobs. To talk about it and have no direction is absurd. We have been losing our manfacturing base for decades. The fill ins for this have been; the dot com bubble ( 90′s) and housing (2000′s). They are both diminutive now compared to their glory days. So what is left ? I could see energy buying us another decade or so but we can’t even get a pipeline permit. Bottom line , if we don’t get a change in the tax code and manufacturing returning to the U.S , it’s game over for the long haul.

  24. Rob says:

    In America you have the right to hate anyone you want to. That right is guaranteed and earned by the US military and individuals who are willing to fight for it. Even idiots have the right to hate people and make people angry. The individual who made the film- if his Identity is made public and widely known will always have to fear some other idiot trying to kill him or hurt him. This will likely also make it difficult to find a job. He should probably start carrying a gun. Since he has used his 1st amendment right to free speech in such a way that is offensive to so many people that are violent, he must now use his 2cnd amendment right to bear arms to protect his life. The right to bear arms is the only right that enables you to protect any of your rights. ………….With rights come responsibility.
    It would be wrong for the US government to do anything to the individual other than investigate him to be sure he is not actually a islamic terrorist intentionally inflaming the Muslim world against the US. You-Tube however would be perfectly within their rights and policy to remove a video that has offended so many.
    President Bush went to great lengths to prevent any presentation of the War on Terror as a Holy War against Islam. Even though so many Muslim men want a chance to martyr themselves for Islam in a fight against another religion, the world doesn’t want or need any holy war. The Muslim world will become more sophisticated, educated, and tolerant. The tools to teach them will be: free speech, internet and all forms of media, true education, and some western firepower. The old will eventually die. The radical and unchangeable will meet their end quicker. The youth if exposed to enough media will learn that there is something better than mud huts, goats, and martyrdom. Time is on our side.

  25. DarioC says:

    In reference to Mike M’s well written comment above, it is true that the owned politicians are responsible for allowing, even promoting, the miserable economic situation that we have now, well refuting my initial statement above.

    I am pretty much in agreement with you right up to the end of your comment. I would submit that the present political SYSTEM as it functions now cannot be used to correct the problem.

    You can try to put anyone in office that you want, which you cannot, but they will be required to behave just like everyone else in order to stay in office. It is the system that is the problem and anyone who aspires to enter it is by nature willing to cater to it’s requirements.

    I will admit to not having a clue as to what realistic method there might be to correct this situation

  26. Georgia Holmes says:

    I haven’t watched the movie; however, it has been online since
    July and the riots “just happened to happen on 9/11 because of a
    three month old net video. BUFFALO PADUNKA

  27. Jim says:

    As Shah points out the oil market, just like the gold and silver commodity markets, can be manipulated. So, it is not always a good indicator of where the world economy is headed, at least on a short term analysis. Incomes are falling, income taxes are less progressive, and there is a relationship. We are all captive to the politicians’ failure to work for a compromise in addressing the debt. As to the poster who note Shah was actually speaking of the mean (average) Income, rather than median, I believe that the poster is correct.

  28. Lex says:

    if you want to blame the Islamic riots on that cheesy video, what do think is going to happen when the big Hollywood film comes out about the killing of Bin Laden-the Christ figure for Islamic Extremists? Maybe we should censor that film too. Maybe we should be careful not to say, print, film anything that might upset the Muslim brotherhood. Christians in the U. S, have witnessed various publications, works of “art” and films that debase, minimize and desecrate the god that we worship, yet retaliation and violence are not an option for followers of the “Prince of Peace”, or for any American who believes in the principles of liberty.

  29. Michael McMurtry says:

    You’re right, the film “The Innocence of Islam” (is that exactly the right title) is very poorly made. That’s why somebody who knows how to make movies ought to make one that legitimately examines why extremist Muslims are responsible for ALL of the atrocities and bloodshed all over the world. If the film is well made and examines the issue objectively, millions of decent Muslims everywhere will accept it with gratitude and will restrain those of their co-religionists who seek to use it as yet another excuse for setting off on another childish rampage of arson and slaughter. Perhaps the President will then, too, begin to talk the truth about the phenomenon, instead of ducking the issue and expressing himself in diplomatic platitudes that will earn him the opprobrium of future historians.

  30. vernon says:

    In response to Mr. Muoio’s comment, you seem to be knowledgeable although don’t know where you got your statistics. However, ask any person who has wealth that they have worked very hard to obtain and grow in their lifetime and I don’t think they will answer that higher taxation is the solution to fixing this country. I want to make and save as much as I can. The last thing I want is to be taxed more for being successful.

  31. Doris Kelsey says:

    Just a gut feeling, no proof. I suspect Israel is behind the video. They have been drum beating and looking for a fight. What a perfect way to get the Musliums to be the ones to start the fight. ALL religion is belief. Everyone used to believe the earth was flat too.

  32. Navin says:

    Mr. Gilani,

    You are probably in the best position to fact-check and comment on Mike Muoio’s comment above. If it fact-checks out and if you concur with what he has written then you are probably in the best position to help disseminate that to a larger audience in America. How about taking up collections from like minded readers to put it out as a special advertisement in Wall Street Journal (A Hostile Lion’s den) and New York Times (A Friendly Lion’s den). I will be the first one to commit donation to such a cause.

  33. Navin says:

    Here are some astonishing facts about what we as a country spent to avenge 9/11.
    Money spent on Iraq and Afghanistan wars since 9/11 – $4 trillion. That works out about a billion dollar for each life lost in that horrific attack. Looked at another way, that works out to about $15,000 spent per every man, woman and child in USA. That doesn’t even count the hundreds of billions we are continuing to spend on homeland security, TSA etc. Seems like the terrorists have figured out the economic formula to destroy America by bankrupting her.

  34. David George says:

    I have a hard time believing that the “movie” (clip) is as much a cause of uprisings as opposed to being a useful tool of the administration to deflect criticism. If Islamists are inflamed by this piece of trash then why wouldn’t they have been inflamed sooner by the mention of Obama being responsible for killing OBL no fewer than 21 times. Is the administration going to ask Hollywood to kill the movie on the same subject due out soon?

  35. Steve says:

    I know it shouldn’t be but it is still amazing to me that so many people take as faith the efficacy of progressive solutions to economic problems and hold out as shining proof the utterly misguided notion that FDR’s ‘deals’ brought this country out of the great depression.

    More theft by the government of private capital will deliver us from evil…really? Maybe we need the liberal powers that be (um, that would include the Executive branch and their appointed guardian, Big Ben) to stop endorsing trickle down economics through the banking system with the money of my children’s children!

    What a bunch of crooks!

  36. wayne j says:

    Shah just started his own riot, as to Mike, so the more I give, the more I’ ll get back from those that would take all I have…Thomas, just read his stuff that makes you money….I’m gonna wait for more info to get to the truth…it’s not about money , it’s about self directed freedom.

  37. RUSS SMITH says:

    Hi!, Patrons Of Shah Gilani Et Al:

    I read your article, Shah, but I’m a little skeptical regards your committment on not geting your opinions in the way of anyone’s religion but instead repecting them all universally, because when a religion and violence become one such as 911 we all can agree can’t we that that particular approach to God is totalitarian isn’t it? I have a sister who shares that type of stasis in her thinking due to taking comparitive religons in College and she’s totally wedded to thei idea that all religions are lovy dovy but they are patently not at all and in many cases completely devoid of acting humanly. Jesus raised up His voice against the Rabinical Scribes & Pharasees who were told by their religion borrowed from Moses to stone the adulterous woman which in Deuteronomy was written in such language that the people who found out about an adulterous woman and her companion were to take them both to the gate of that city to stone them but Jesus challenged these religious zealots didn’t He when he told them that any of them without personal sin themselves cast the 1st stone. It was OK according to their religion to stone her to death, because Moses, who they felt knew God, told them in their Laws of the 10 commandments to do so and they didn’t think that Jesus had any right to interfer in their opinions of what God wanted them to do. When Jesus stepped into this highly inelastic situation He wrote something in the sand perhaps the name of a local harlot some of the assailants had used to dump their sperm into & in which case they didn’t feel like being stoned either and so they finally conceded within themselves as measured against their own conscience to walk away no longer condemning the woman whom they brought before Jesus to test His opinion and pin Him down to keeping their laws which Jesus brushed aside to save the woman from being stonned by who knows how many religious zealots operating out of the motives of Moses whom they believed knew God better than His own Son? Life though is full of such instances plus lots more about which we have a right to make right too whenever especially all of humanity is threatened or for example your modern day economic concerns about which you obviously maitain a litany of well thought out opinion discovered through your personal due diligence. Jesus knew their laws from His many studious years of total due diligence and like you want to help straighten out OUR economic very vexing, perilous conditions today, Jesus looked for His ways structured from His immense due diligence by which He attempted to show the real power of the living God who is love. We are geting there no matter what the odds against US Shah and don’t you ever give up trying to help the rest of US from the many angles you discover for us under the developing influences of your own personal due diligence OK. You are doing tremendous work designed to help us with the kind of help we need just like the adulterous woman needed help from someone like Jesus and I’m not implicating adultery here either except to refer to it in terms of Jesus helping the woman who required His intervention into the opposing religious zea;pts.

    TAKE CARE; REMAIN SAFE & God Bless You:

    RUSS SMITH, CALIFORNIA (One Of The Broke States)
    resmith@wcisp.com

  38. Doc Snyder says:

    Shah and Mike M. Shah if you think this silly cartoon is the fuel to start WW-3 and Mike M if you think FDR had anything to do with getting us out of the depression then I think you are both a little shall we say naive.

  39. Cody says:

    Whoever produced this film undoubtedly knew what the reaction of radical Muslims would be, and therefore should be held accountable. He would know that people would quite likely be killed in retaliation, since revenge is a major aspect of the cultures of the Middle East. I believe our laws cover inciting a riot. We cannot blame Islam any more than we can blame the Christian evangelicals who advocate attacking Iran and giving all Palestinian territory to Israel. Where is the Christian concern for justice and the sanctity of life?

  40. Pablo says:

    The guy who posted the video practiced his right to free speech. We see and hear worse about Christianity and Christians do not burn, slash, murder and commit other mayhem — which is why I will never accept extremist Islam.
    Islam is not a true religion in my opinion. it is a political, thought control system. So called moderate Islamists are no help. If they open their mouths, they’re dead meat. In the end we’re all Dhimmis because we refuse to confront the murderous element of Islam. They are the only group of people that justify killing others masquerading under the pretense of religion.

  41. Paul Dueweke says:

    “… Sorry about that.”

    The famous movie, Innocence of Muslims, had a short run in the U.S.A., though longer than I expected. The fourteen-minute flick ran on YouTube for several days and achieved about six million views. But ultimately the forces of Big Money and Big Government won. The Obama Administration, via its right-hand gophers at the Department of Justice, put enough pressure on YouTube to force the movie off the air. In its place was the message: “This video has been removed because its content violated YouTube’s Terms of Service. Sorry about that.” The Bill of Rights was trounced by some “Terms of Service.” But how silly of me to consider the U.S. Constitution any match for the Obama Administration.

    For those of you who have not seen the movie, let me give it a simple review: It was stupid—titanically stupid. I hesitate to call it sophomoric because I would be defaming sophomores—and they would be rightly insulted. The writing, the acting, and the props were sixth grade—no, third grade—level. Apologies to my third-grade grandson; hopefully he won’t read this. The message of the movie centered on Muhammad’s pedophilia, homosexuality, and brutality.

    But getting back to stupid, I checked the First Amendment, and it doesn’t say that the speech has to be smart to be free. And to my knowledge, there is no law against being stupid—though there apparently is one against violating “terms of service.”

    So like the infamous Muhammad cartoons that were never published by even one mainstream media outlet in the U.S, we protected Americans are denied the ability to judge a news item on its own merit—an item that caused worldwide rioting and death. Come to think of it, I don’t remember ever seeing a picture of that teddy bear named Muhammad that also caused such carnage.

    How can we be critical of the simpleton who made the movie when we have a gang in the White House working overtime to frustrate our most fundamental rights?

  42. eric taylor says:

    It is just a crazy historical fact that all of the Orthodox religions
    have a tendency to morph out from a gentle grasshopper
    into a blood sucking, over hormone’d mad locust whenever
    feeling threatened. All of the major Patriarchal religions have
    this tendency, which secular government discourages, but
    can not stop.

  43. Alexander Roy Hamilton says:

    As an interested Canadianabout 20 or 30 years ago I recall hearing that the capitol people went the congres and persuaded them to pass legislation allowing manufacturers to operate their businesses abroad (Mexico or the orient snf bring back the good into the US duty free. Around that time I read that Briggs and Stratton told their 20,000 employees in Wisconsin one morning that the company was moving their operation to Mexico. Their employees were shocked. Multiply that by many thousands since those days and many millions of hardworking Americans lost their jobs.

    respectfully, roy hamilton

  44. Tom says:

    Shah,
    Please keep the dialog coming. I like your take. Keep it coming, my friend. We all need to discuss this crap more and more every day.
    Just don’t let “them” take over the direction of the vital basics of our moral compass. Please, everyone, make your viewpoint known…
    aloud!
    NOW,today, please don’t wait!

    T.D.

  45. Duane says:

    All said, one cannot help but be dismayed at the lack of respect and the denigration of a religion.

    That said, it would appear that the world of Islam is not the religion of love as has been oft stated. Clearly statements to the effect of “smite the infidel in the neck” doesn’t much ring of “love” to me.

    There is this penchant to bow to Islam as is demonstrated by the “one” clearly. There is much in the Islamic sharia law to make one cringe.

    What we are inundated with is the constant reference to “radical” Islam. Is there another religion with a “radical” segment and apart from the main. I have had first hand experience with the “non” radical Islamics and thanks, but no thanks. If you think “honor” killings are just fine then convert by all means. If you think stoning to death people for an incident of not neccesarily proven infidelity, then Islam is you way to go.

    Take the time to read the Koran, it is most instructive.

  46. Citizen says:

    Recently a Muslim “religious” leader” tore out pages of the
    bible and burned them in public.

    Christians should reply to their actions in like manner by rioting, burning mosques, raiding their embassies and killing as many muslims as possible with nuclear weapons.

    Their rules, their consequences.

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