Honda Generators



Yeah, when RR took over from Carter (D-GA), interest rates were north of 13%. If they are indeed half that, given that current interest rates are running around a 1/4 of that, it would seem that the amount owed is MUCH higher. Just saying.
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

Of course it is higher. When Reagan was president he borrowed more than all the presidents before him by the end of his first term. And it has grown a lot since. But the burden of interest is half what it was back then so any claim that the interest is an undue burden is suspect.

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"sjedgingN0Sp"@m@mwt,net says...

Fine, Jim, you go on believing that the government is solvent. The next couple of decades are going to be _real_ bad.
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"J. Clarke" wrote:

The next couple of decades may well be bad but it won't have anything to do with the govt being insolvent.
It is the private sector that borrowed way too much money.
From 1998-2008 the US private sector borrowed $25 trillion. The total GDP for that same period was about $100 trillion. The private sector borrowed and spent 25% of GDP for 10 years. And what did we get from this - not much. GDP only increased by $4 trillion. So for every $6 dollars that the private sector borrowed there was only $1 in increased productivity. So where did the rest of the money go? It went into inflating financial assets ( that's what people call capital gains).
So now we have the private markets paralyzed by enormous private sector debt balanced against grossly over-inflated capital assets. In other words, the recipe for a depression.
The only thing preventing the depression is the $1+ trillion per year that the federal govt is spending more than it taxes.
When Congress tries to balance the budget the depression will commence in full.
And during this depression the solvency of the federal govt will not be an issue, but the solvency of millions of US businesses and households will become a huge issue.
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"sjedgingN0Sp"@m@mwt,net says...

And after all the businesses and households go under where does the government get the money to pay off its debt?
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"J. Clarke" wrote:

The government hasn't paid off its debt in 200 years and isn't going to. And why would you want it to.
Federal debt is going to continue to grow (with or without a depression) until the private sector is no longer drowning in debt. Just as it did in the last big depression.
http://static.cdn-seekingalpha.com/uploads/2012/5/10/saupload_428250-13363801587809994-Michael-Clark.png
The best you can hope for is that the total US debt grows at a rate that is less than GDP. And that has been the case for the last 4 years. That is as good as it gets.
http://www.comstockfunds.com/files/NLPP00000/530.pdf
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..and Obama has made both Reagan and Bush look like pikers.

Do you think interest rates can stay where they are forever? Idiot.
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Until rates start to go back up as they inevitably will eventually. THEN we'll talk about interest rates under Pres. O.
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On Thu, 09 Aug 2012 10:00:54 -0400, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/education/article_c83343e8-ddd5-11e1-bfca-001a4bcf887a.html
Where Borrowing $105 Million Will Cost $1 Billion: Poway Schools
Posted: Monday, August 6, 2012 6:00 am | Updated: 12:39 pm, Thu Aug 9, 2012.
by Will Carless
Last year the Poway Unified School District made a deal: It borrowed $105 million from investors to fund a final push in its decade-long effort to revamp aging schools.
In many ways, the deal was unspectacular. Some of the money was used to pay off previous debts from delayed and over-budget construction projects. The rest went towards finishing upgrades that Poway taxpayers had been promised as far back as 2002. To a casual observer, it was just another school bond.
But Poway Unifieds deal was far from normal.
In 2008, voters had given the district permission to borrow more money to finish its modernization, and they had received a big promise from the elected school board in return: No tax increases.
Without increasing taxes, the district couldnt afford to borrow money in the conventional way. So, instead of borrowing from investors over 20 or 30 years and paying the debt down each year, like a mortgage, the district got creative.
With advice from an Orange County financial consultant, the district borrowed the money over 40 years in a controversial loan called a capital appreciation bond. The key point for the district: It wont make any payments on the debt for 20 years.
And that means the districts debt will keep getting bigger and bigger as interest on the loan piles up.
The bottom line: For borrowing $105 million in 2011, taxpayers will end up paying investors more than $981 million by 2051, or almost 10 times what the district borrowed. Thats wildly more expensive than a typical school bond, in which a district pays back two or maybe three times what it borrowed.
As well as being expensive, capital appreciation bonds work by tapping future growth in property values to pay todays debts, a concept considered by many in the school bond business to be both risky and inequitable. In 1994, the state of Michigan banned school districts from issuing bonds like this, deeming them too toxic to taxpayers.
Nevertheless, Californias ever-strapped districts have increasingly looked to capital appreciation bonds to raise money for improvements without increasing taxes on current residents. Across the state, districts have borrowed billions this way, using exotic financing to shift the burden for paying for todays school construction to future generations of Californians.
Poway Unified, a district more accustomed to praise for its fiscal austerity, has found itself at the center of the debate over these bonds. For a year now, its come under fire from taxpayer groups and concerned elected officials around the state, for whom Poways bond has reached legendary status.
"This is way worse than loan sharking," said Michael Turnipseed, executive director of the Kern County Taxpayers Association in central California, which has lobbied the state Legislature to tighten laws on school district borrowing. "And Poway is the poster child. What they have done is absolutely insane."
Officials at the district and two members of the school board who approved it acknowledge that the deal is expensive. But they say Poways overall construction program has been a roaring success and a boon to local students and homeowners alike.
District taxpayers should have understood that borrowing money over a longer period of time, without raising taxes, would be pricey, the officials said. And, they said, theyve stuck to their word.
"We could have authorized more taxes, it would just have been breaking the promises we made to the community," said school board member Todd Gutschow.
But last years bond doesnt just affect the taxpayers who voted on it. It also saddles their children and grandchildren with hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, and raises the risk that property taxes could spike once the district finally starts making payments on its loan.
In short: In order to keep its promises to current residents, the district entered into a deal that places a billion-dollar burden on future residents. Last years deal, in the words of County Treasurer and Tax Collector Dan McAllister, "is a perfect example of how something thats done today can adversely affect the next generation and the generation after that."
A Hard Sell
In 2008, Poway Unifieds school modernization plans were way off schedule.
Construction costs had spiraled upwards, fueled by the regions real estate boom. This, combined with other construction delays and cost overruns, meant the district needed more money to complete its ambitious renovation program.
Voters had agreed back in 2002 to allow the district to borrow $198 million to bring state-of-the art facilities to 24 schools. But by 2008, the district was asking for $179 million more to finish the job.
Traditionally, school districts in California fund renovation programs by borrowing money from investors and paying back those loans with small increases in local property taxes.
Thats what Poway Unifieds first bond did in 2002. With Californias economy starting to warm up from the boom-and-bust of the late-1990s, voters approved the district bumping local property taxes up by $55 for every $100,000 of home value. That revenue was then tapped to pay off the districts construction loans.
By 2008, however, the economy was in trouble. The real estate market had already been tanking for a couple of years. Stocks were sliding downwards and unemployment was on the rise.
It was a tough time to sell a tax increase to voters.
But with some Poway Unified residents still waiting for the renovations they had been promised back in 2002, the district decided to approach voters once more.
"We knew the voters wanted these projects, and we knew they wanted them sooner rather than later," said Poway Superintendent John Collins.
This time, Poway Unified didnt try to push a tax increase. Instead, it came up with a different way to pay for its new bond program, Proposition C.
Rather than increasing the tax rate, the district asked voters if theyd be willing to extend the life of the existing property taxes for an estimated additional 11 to 14 years.
That passed muster. Despite some vocal opposition, on Feb. 5, 2008, district residents voted 63.9 percent in favor of Poway Unified borrowing another $179 million.
But the bonds supporters hadnt made clear to the public just how they planned to borrow money without raising taxes, or how much that would end up costing taxpayers.
In 2008, there wasnt enough money coming in from the districts $55 property tax levy to pay for all the new borrowing it wanted to do. All the cash being generated by the existing taxes was eaten up paying off old loans that had already been used for upgrading schools.
The districts plan, then, was to borrow money against the future tax revenues it would receive by extending the life of the taxes. In other words, it would get the money now, but wouldnt start paying it back for a long time.
Borrowing money in this way is possible for school districts, but its much more expensive than paying a loan back year-by-year.
Last year, the district put together its deal to borrow $105 million, without paying anything towards the debt for 20 years.
In two decades time, taxpayers will start paying about $50 million a year towards the loan. Theyll make those payments for the next 20 years or so.
Its a bit like a massive version of one of those exotic loans that got homeowners into so much trouble.
With one key difference: For the next 20 years, Poway Unified isnt even paying the interest.
Poway officials say its important to look at the big picture.
Yes, last years bond is expensive, they say, but its just one part of a larger $540 million campaign that has totally revamped 24 local schools. They said the district has been an effective steward of the taxpayers money, and that the school board has the support of taxpayers, who understand the cost and implications of the latest deal.
But a voter reading the ballot statement for Proposition C in 2008 would have learned nothing about the overall cost of the deal the district was setting itself up for.
The full 2,200 word statement makes no mention of capital appreciation bonds, and says little about how the borrowing would be paid back. The ballot arguments against the bond dont mention the unusually high costs involved in borrowing money that wont begin to be paid back for 20 years.
The bond also had considerable cachet, thanks to a coveted endorsement from the San Diego County Taxpayers Association. Indeed, association President Lani Lutars name was first on a list of five local dignitaries named on the ballot as supporting the bond.
Lutar said had she known the full implications of the bond, she would not have recommended the association support it.
The taxpayers association recently started studying capital appreciation bonds to fully understand their impact. Its main case study: Poway Unified.
Last month, the association changed its criteria for endorsing school bonds. In the future, it will ask districts how, exactly, they will finance their bonds. If a district plans on using expensive long-term capital appreciation bonds like Poways, it wont get the associations backing.
"Poway should have been more forthright with us," Lutar said. "Had we known then what we know now, we would probably have taken a different path."
Poways bond has received negative attention from elsewhere, too.
County Tax Collector McAllister said his office met with the district last year to raise concerns about the deal.
He said his staff was worried both about the sheer cost of the bond and the idea of placing such a large burden on future taxpayers. And, because the deal depends on property taxes steadily increasing in order to pencil out, McAllister said his staff warned Poway Unified against making the deal.
"We suggested it might be something they want to rethink," McAllister said.
In the wake of Poways deal last year, Los Angeles County Treasurer and Tax Collector Mark Saladino wrote an open letter to school finance officials in California warning against the use of long-term capital appreciation bonds for the same reasons.
Glenn Byers, Los Angeles assistant treasurer and tax collector, said districts like Poway have been dishonest by issuing bonds without laying out the consequences and costs of the loans for taxpayers.
"If they ever told the truth, they would never get these approved by the voters," Byers said.
On The Hook
Apart from its overall cost, theres another reason why Poways massive capital appreciation bond should matter to taxpayers.
In 20 years, the school district will be on the hook for its first payment towards last years loan. That payment will be a little more than $30 million, $24 million of which is interest.
The following year, the payment will balloon to almost $47 million. And, for the next 18 years after that, until 2051, district taxpayers will have to pay about $50 million every year towards the debt essentially paying off their initial loan every two years for the next two decades.
The district and its advisors assumed that Poway Unified would have enough coming in from the existing taxes by 2033 to pay those bills. But that's far from certain.
Right now, the district receives about $11 million a year from homeowners towards paying off its bonds.
So, to be able to afford its debt payments 20 years from now, the total assessed value of property within the taxed area would have to quadruple.
Thats possible. In the last 10 years, the total value of property in the school district almost doubled. But if the last decade has shown municipal governments anything, its that relying on consistent growth in tax revenues is a risky business.
If the districts projections dont come true, homeowners will see their taxes spike to make up the difference.
And theres no chance of the district refinancing the deal. The loan contains a provision strictly barring the district from refinancing its debt.
The district told taxpayers back in 2008 that it probably wouldnt have to raise taxes to meet its payments. But its fully within its legal rights to do so.
McAllister, whose office is tasked with making sure local school districts pay their bond debts, said his office could be compelled to raise property tax rates to ensure the district can make its payments on the bond.
Of course, many of the residents who voted on Proposition C will be long gone by then. Theyll be dead, or living somewhere else.
But whoevers left living in the taxed area will have to pick up the tab for the money the district borrowed last year, and for the $877 million in interest the district will have accumulated by then.
Will Carless is an investigative reporter at Voice of San Diego currently focused on local education. You can reach him at snipped-for-privacy@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5670.
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Zero Coupon municipal bonds: http://www.investinginbonds.com/learnmore.asp?catid=8&subcatidT The buyer hopes the interest rate will exceed cumulative inflation losses, and the issuer won't default.
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I read about that last week. Simply amazing. It's amazing that anyone is left in Californicate.
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2012 23:17:20 -0500 typed in alt.survival the following:

    We called them Labor Battalions in the old country. Actually, it was called Reichsarbeitsdienst - Imperial Labor Service. In the US it was the Civilian Conservation Corps, back in the New Deal. In both cases, if not run by the Army, along the Army lines.     In theory, wasn't Ameri-Corps suppose to do something like this?
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On 8/6/2012 11:38 PM, pyotr filipivich wrote:

I don't know, I simply thought about all the disasters that seem to be going on around the country and the world, perhaps young folks and even folks who would like to serve the country but can't serve in the armed forces because of some disability could do something like administrative work in the NDC. Even retired folks could join up and train the youngsters in the areas they know. Think of it as an army that puts things back together instead of blowing things up. ^_^
TDD
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2012 01:56:19 -0500 typed in alt.survival the following:

    Good idea. I think there would need to be some serious shifting of paradigms first. But it is now almost three enthroning. I'm zonked.

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What would they do that contractors with heavy equipment couldn't do better and faster? There isn't much call for axe or shovel work any more, and inexperienced amateur administrators would be worse than FEMA.
What does the National Guard do when they are called out? I haven't seen them at work because the local administration has always been adequate. The dump trucks and bucket loaders needed to clear snow can handle most other infrastructure damage too.
jsw
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Depends largely on the disaster. For somethings like tornadoes they are mainly used as cops to patrol areas with some civil engineering type things (generators, clean waters, etc) tossed in. For floods the same plus often help with defense issues such as filling and moving around sandbags.
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On 8/7/2012 5:50 AM, Jim Wilkins wrote:

I think you missed the point, all soldiers don't hold a tank when they present arms. There are many different jobs to be done that don't require heavy equipment. ^_^
TDD
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finger.net says...

We could have used them in CT last year. Lots and lots of downed trees that didn't need much in the way of expertise to move, just warm bodies with chainsaws and come-alongs. Had to move the trees before the power and phone companies could get in to fix the wires.
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Here the town sent its plows and wheel loader to push them off the road. The articulated loader worked better because it could also lift and pull, and could operate crosswise to the road. IIRC there were 2-3 men with chainsaws breaking down the big trunks. They dumped a pile of the logs in my yard.
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Jim Wilkins wrote:

I'm happy that that worked for you, but some big trees have to be cut before they can be moved. Central Florida is full of old Water Oaks. They have shallow root systems, and the whole damn tree falls, but some roots are still connected. If you push that, the roots come with it and break up sidewalks, foundations and even paved roads. Some not only block the road, but the right of way on both sides of the road.
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