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Category Archive for ‘Bailout’

How to Survive a Credit Downgrade

Sorry, no tips on how to survive a zombie credit disaster.

With news of S&P’s decision to downgrade our sovereign credit rating from AAA to AA+ (negative outlook), this can have serious implication for U.S. consumers. MSN Money – Smart Spending lists potential impacts of this credit downgrade such as higher interest rates on mortgages, car loans, credit cards and other consumer loans. Business probably will also have to pay more to borrow money, which isn’t helpful to the economy.

This news is certainly unsettling to most Americans. I’m a strong believer in not letting any crisis go to waste. Now would be a good time to review financial plans or start the process of creating a financial plan and budget.

First thing to keep in mind is to stay calm and focused on evidenced based information regarding your finances during this credit crisis.

With that in mind I turned to a resident expert who spent a lifetime managing finances,  lives independently and is debt free; no mortgage payment, credit card debt or car loan. Who is this financial paragon? She prefers to go by the names “Mom or Gram”.  She shared some tips with me about handling credit card debt or loans as she prefers to call them.

  • Pay the full loan on time every month.
  • If you have a rather large loan that cannot be paid off in one lump sum, always pay more than your minimum balance even if it is only three dollars.
  • Another option is to pay the minimum balance plus the interest charged for the month.

The Bureau of Consumer Protection  - Federal Trade Commission has posted timely information and tips on managing credit card debt.

There are basic question to ask yourself. Do you have a financial plan with defined goals? Do you have a budget that works within the structure of your financial plan? What is a budget? What is your credit score?

Financial planning is comprised of a set of goals you would like to obtain within a set timeframe. Included in the plan should be short, mid and long term plans designed to achieve your future goals. The University of Conneticut put together a helpful guide to personal finance for its students. The guide contains useful information for anyone seeking to learn ways to improve or stabilize their financial picture.   Mint.com is an online personal finance organizer that pulls together your financial picture, allows users to set a financial goals and track their progress toward this goal.

A budget a way to manage a limited resouce – money.  Everyone needs a way to make the best use of this resource. A budget will assist in tracking your income and outflow giving you information to make better choices with your finances.  A collection of 10 free budget worksheets can be found HERE .

Checklists are a fantastic way to help you maintain your financial responsibility. Remember Captain Sullenberger used one during his fateful flight.

The debt incured by this administration undoubtedly will be passed on to our children. If you have school age children, inquire with the school district if there are financial literacy courses are available.  Listed below are a few links that contain information for parents and educators:

Financial Literacy for Kids

JumpStart Coalition

FDIC Learning Bank

Now is the time to ignore the media driven hype and objectively evaluate strength and weaknesses in your financial health. In the end, my hope is that this credit crisis will set America on the path of becoming a saving nation, not a spending nation.

FYI: The blogosphere is filled with financial blogs created by people finding their way out of debt and sharing lessons learned along their journey.

If you have any financial tips you would like to share, leave a message in the comment section.


Say What?

Obama ADMITS that — well, maybe you can’t keep your current health coverage with my plan.

Hello…how many times did he say exactly the opposite of that in the past year?

So Maybe You Can’t Keep Your Current Coverage

It just keeps getting better…

Rep. James Clyburn, third ranking Democrat in Congress,  states “we’ve got to spend our way out of this recession“.

This is what happens when you try to practice Keynesianism in the real world.  I could do the same by maxing out all my credit cards. It would work really well as long as I had a perpetual ‘bailout’ to save me from bankruptcy.


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A ‘Public Option’ for Student Loans

The US lost an additional 85,000 jobs in December bringing the yearly total of job loss to 2.5 million and  increasing the unemployment rate to 17.3 nationwide.

With this news in mind, the Obama administration is pushing a 1 trillion government takeover of student loans through Democrat senator Tom Harkin’s HELP committee. This scheme will eliminate private lenders, in turn adding more citizens to the growing unemployment number and end up giving the government sole control over student loans. This will drastically impact everyone’s ability to decide how they will finance a university education. If it is anything like the healthcare bill, with politics trumping coverage, will some states benefit  because their Senator held his or her vote in exchange for more goodies, leaving the other states to pick up their tab?

“My guiding principle is and always has been that consumers do better when there is choice and competition. That’s how the market works.” (Obama’s speech to Congress,9/9/09)

What happened to choice and competition? With the federalization of GM, banking institutions and healthcare, what real choices will American’s have available to them in the marketplace?

For comparison, check out GOP.com ‘The Democrats’ Job Standard “


Blogging Hiatus

Dear readers – due to pressing personal issues I will be putting MidnightBlue on hiatus till December 22nd.  No worries folks, the personal issues are good issues and I will be more than happy to share the news with you in a few weeks time. In the meantime, please check out the following blogs doing the job the MSM refuses to do:

There’s a lot of hot air in Copenhagen – Watts Up With That has the story covered.

I was there in spirit: Support our SEALs rally in Norfolk

Vote for Curt – Politics Pa has a side bar poll of your candidate for the 6th district congressional election. The smart vote is for Curt Schroder.

Check out the Conservative Reform Network blog – a good read on the politics of conservatism in Pennsylvania

Little Miss Atilla, Flopping Aces, Bank of Kev, Marathon PunditStix Blog, This Ain’t Hell and Pa Watercooler are absolute must reads.

Don’t forget to vote for my Christmas gift and now would be a good time to pick up a copy of Going Rogue.


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Top 10 List Not Seen on Letterman

Grossly mismanaged and 2 billion over budget, the results of the Cash for Clunkers has been released by the Dept of Transportation. The top 10 new vehicles purchased:

1. Toyota Corolla
2. Honda Civic
3. Toyota Camry
4. Ford Focus FWD
5. Hyundai Elantra
6. Nissan Versa
7. Toyota Prius
8. Honda Accord
9. Honda Fit
10. Ford Escape FWD

Note: Government Motors (GM) did not make the cut. We spent billions to bail out the company and we can’t pay people to buy the car? This is the same government asking Americans to trust them with their health care.

AOL Auto notes that in the same period, charities that provide a tax rebate for used cars saw a dramatic decrease in donated cars. This downturn made it more difficult for families that could have benefited from an inexpensive car.



Via Fox News – Cash for Clunkers a success for foreign car dealers:

The Obama administration has declared the wildly popular ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program a success, saying it has revived the country’s ailing auto industry and taken polluting vehicles off the road.

But the data shows that the program, which ends Monday, has apparently benefited foreign automakers more than their U.S. counterparts.

Smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles like the Toyota Corolla are top sellers, while buyers are trading in SUV’s like the Ford Explorer to be scrapped, turning the already dwindling number of American car owners into the growing ranks of foreign car drivers.

Toyota vehicles accounted for 19.2 percent of the 489,269 sales, while General Motors had the second spot at 17.7 percent.

I will admit I love my Mini Cooper, so this comes as no surprise to me.


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Obama refuses to release Cash for Clunker Data

Via Breitbart:

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Sunday the government would release electronic records about the program, and President Barack Obama has pledged greater transparency for his administration. But the Transportation Department, which has collected details about 157,000 rebate requests, won’t release sales data that dealers provided showing how much U.S. car manufacturers are benefiting from the $1 billion initially pumped into the program.

The Associated Press has sought release of the data since last week. But the public and Senate Republicans demanding more information will have to wait for details because federal officials running the program don’t have time to turn over data delivered by car dealers, said Rae Tyson,National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. spokesman for the

LaHood said in an interview Sunday he would make the electronic records available. “I can’t think of any reason why we wouldn’t do it,” he said.

DOT officials already have received electronic details from car dealers of each trade-in transaction. The agency regularly analyzes the data internally, producing helpful talking points for LaHood, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs and other officials to use when urging more funding.

LaHood, the program’s chief salesman, has pitched the rebates as good for America, good for car buyers, good for the environment, good for the economy. But it’s difficult to determine whether the administration is overselling the claim without seeing what’s being sold, what’s being traded in and where the cars are being sold.

Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz (D-13), who bills herself as a fiscal paragon, was quick to spend another 2 billion of tax payer dollars to bailout this mess. A quick yes vote when the details regarding the first expenditure are kept hidden from the public is a hallmark of fiscal irresponsibilty. Has the Congresswoman mislead her constituents? What has Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz done for you lately – besides spend your tax dollars?


Saturday Night Blend

Been busy this weekend – a family member underwent emergent triple bi-pass surgery, started repainting the master bedroom and begun training for a 5K charity run scheduled for September.

However, the world still turns and I’ve a few stories and videos I’d like to share with my readers.

Craptastic Klavan

Fast Eddie on Hannity pushing the stimulus coolaid, and giving no indication of permanent jobs being created by stimulus funds in Pennsylvania:

Take the Red Pill – Please!

Obamacare and a dose of chemically induced reality:

Last night, President Obama appeared to have taken the blue pill before his press conference. How else could he convince himself, the Congressional Budget Office’s numbers notwithstanding, that his health care reform bill will not increase both health care costs and the federal deficit? How else can he continue to make the argument that a massive expansion of government spending on health care will solve rather than exacerbate the current problems?

Congressman John Fleming has proposed a resolution asking for those legislators who vote for Obama’s healthcare scheme to enroll in the program.

I have offered a resolution that will offer members of Congress an opportunity to put their money where their mouth is, and urge their colleagues who vote for legislation creating a government-run health care plan to lead by example and enroll themselves in the same public plan.

You can view the names of the Reps that signed on to HR 615 HERE . Note – every cosponsor has one thing in common – an “R” after their name. Why is there not one Democrat, armed with the courage of their conviction, stepping up to support Obamacare in this manner? Their silence is damming, don’t you think? Thank You Representative Joe Pitts - you make me proud to live in Pennsylvania.

Oh, snap! What House Dems are saying about Obamacareit ain’t pretty! Check out the Whip Count report on “What Dems are Saying About Obamacare


Where are the Jobs, Mr. President?

Obama changes course on the stimulus. Where are the jobs?

The House Republican Conference has released this video – please share it with everyone you know – especially O voters.


Spending in Perspective

Sarah Palin

President Obama is growing government outrageously, and it’s immoral and it’s uneconomic, his plan that he tries to sell America. His plan to “put America on the right track” economically, incurring the debt that our nation is incurring, trillions of dollars that we’re passing on to our kids, expecting them to pay off for us, is immoral and doesn’t even make economic sense. So his growth of government agenda needs to be ratcheted back, and it’s going to take good people who have the guts to stand up to him, stand up to him and debate policy, not personalities, not partisan politics, but policy to effect the change that we need there

Washington Post
: U.S. spending in perspective. Take a good look at items F and G:

This is NOT factoring Obama care, Global Poverty Tax (.7% of our GDP) and a potential second spending bill that the Dems are polling.

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