Daily Archives: April 29, 2010

Instapundit

Government pay scales. This just can’t continue.

WANT TO GET RICH? WORK FOR THE FEDS. “As of 2008, the average federal salary was $119,982, compared with $59,909 for the average private sector employee. In other words, the average federal bureaucrat makes twice as much as the average working taxpayer. Add the value of benefits like health care and pensions, and the gap grows even bigger. The average federal employee’s benefits add $40,785 to his annual total compensation, whereas the average working taxpayer’s benefits increase his total compensation by only $9,881. In other words, federal workers are paid on average salaries that are twice as generous as those in the private sector, and they receive benefits that are four times greater.”

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Peg from Minnesota asks regarding health insurance,

Peg asks, “I’m missing something. Shouldn’t we ALL drop our health insurance – and just purchase it if we get expensively ill?”

And I sure as hell agree with her. I am now paying $700 a month, guaranteed to go up when ObamaCare kicks in, for catastrophic insurance. What a chump I am – just as soon as Obamacare is the law of the land and insurance companies have to take me no matter how ill I am, I will stop paying that premium and wait to get sick. I suspect others will do the same – hang onto your wallet.

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How bad are things in Fairfield County?

I can’t reveal the source, but I will tell you this: many (hundreds of)  homeowners in our neck of the woods have registered complaints that their lenders are screwing them – they won’t accept short sales from workers under fifty, because they figure they will eventually make money again. Illegal? You bet, but that’s what’s happening.

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Obama: “At a certain point, you’ve made enough money.”

$5.5 million in 2009 for our President is not, apparently, that certain point.

UPDATE: It would be a shame if this were lost in the comments – from Island Surveyor:

The link contains all the presidential returns, back to FDR’s 1040 for 1913.

The IRS Form 1040 for that year is worth a glance and some thought as to how far “fiscal policy” and the tax code have come. The full instructions are 1 page.

FDR made all of $4,000 in salary and $8227 in dividends. The lowest tax bracket was 1% on incomes of $30 – 50K, and the highest bracket of 6% on incomes over $500K.

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You’ve just got to love it

New digs for the Eco-Warrior.

$8,875,000 for “an ocean-view villa… with a swimming pool, spa and fountains… 6 fireplaces, 5 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms.”

Another place for Al Gore and his lovely wife “Tipper” to snuggle up and keep warm.

It’s nothing but jealousy and pure peevishness to mock and complain when this delightful, public-spirited man takes another modest step to find some little comfort for himself and his wife.

I swear I remember a time when politicians didn’t enrich themselves at tax payers’ expense. Then again, I wasn’t alive in 1789, so no doubt my memory’s playing tricks on me.

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Witch hunt? I think so

Feds open criminal probe into Goldman Sachs, according to the WSJ That’s a major step beyond the SEC’s civil complaint, but if Goldman is guilty of violating criminal laws, so is every other Wall Street firm. The supposed victims are all big boys, it seems to me, and they can look after themselves. I’m no fan of GS, but I sure haven’t seen any evidence of wrong doing – just people betting on opposite sides of a deal, which is how the institutional side of Wall Street operates. Goldman is NOT, and never has been, a retail operation, so duties owed to Mom and Pop down on Main Street don’t come into play here, despite what our Senators claim.

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Trees come down

No one hurt, but a tree crushed a car and narrowly missed an Old Greenwich mother and her child, according to Greenwich Time. I was outside myself on this beautiful afternoon, inspecting some land, and I’ll admit to being a bit nervous as the trees around me (especially a couple of dead ones) were being blown around. Quite a wind.

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Will Fudrucker and I attend the same protest? Nah, you’re on your own here, Frankie

"Here you go, Greenwich!"

There’s a fundraiser scheduled Sunday at 27 Meadow Lane (off Pecksland) for Joe Lieberman and Harry Reid and apparently both Demmerkrats and Tea Party types plan to protest. Go to it, boys, I’m staying home.  I figure anyone rich enough to cough up a few thousand to attend this soiree ought to be smart enough to know they are paying the hangman for his rope and if they aren’t, well good luck to them, the morons.

By the way – the Greenwich Time calls the site of the fund raiser a $4 million home. Assessment is just $3, and that’s probably due for a readjustment downward in this year’s reassessment.

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Former Harvard Swim Team Captain Blumenthal: “Now I can be a crook!”

Blumenthal – “I didn’t take PAC money as Attorney General, but now that I’ll be peddling my ass as a senator, why shouldn’t I cash in?” Whatever, Dick – how those swim lessons going?

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Am I missing something here?

Greenwich residents “outraged” over 4-hour interruption of power when tree is taken down. Yeah, yeah, yeah, but check this out: sounds like one of those inconvenienced residents stopped the tree from being taken down months ago – you get what you ask for, no?

On Dec. 23, Ellen Brennan-Galvin — Bill Galvin’s wife — rushed over and confronted a work crew that was trimming the tree.

Lauren Bedell, the assistant head of finance, operations and technology at Greenwich Academy at the time, said the tree was a safety hazard and that it was decided it should be removed to avoid damage to any other properties.

She said the tree has two large visible cankers, stress cracks and cavities in the main trunk area, and considerable sap rot.

But after Brennan-Galvin’s complaint, the school decided to notify the town of its plans, Bedell said.

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Breaking news from 1991

Obama interviews Thomas for Supreme Court vacancy.

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For just less than the price of a starter home

Sotheby’s is auctioning the original “A Day in the Life” by Lennon McCartney. Estimated price, $500,000- $700,000. I don’t have the scratch but otherwise, I’d be tempted.

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Break up the banks?

That seems to be the plan. I hope the Wall Streeters who bribed Chris Dodd for all these years are learning a lesson: you can’t pay a crook enough money to keep him bought, or honest.

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Did Dick Fuld lie under oath?

One whistleblower says so. The government seems eager to put someone, anyone from Wall Street behind bars, so this might be an opportunity, but this cynic thinks not.

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Fun story of James Wilkinson, “the most notorious traitor you never heard of”

Trusted by our founding fathers, he betrayed them all.

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Eliminating tenure for public school teachers

NPR reports on a growing trend. I never understood why they were entitled to such security in the first place.

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Market activity

Forty-four single family homes are pending or under contract this month , only five of which asked more than $5 million), compared to 25 in April last year, and 74 in April 2007.

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It’s a crazy market, but some things are selling

65 Dandy Drive

I just recently mentioned this house on an acre of land and asking $1.599. I questioned whether someone would pay that much when new construction down the street (on a smaller lot) had just sold for $1.8.

But it’s reported as pending today, so someone answered that question.

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Another sad story, but an opportunity

16 Suburban Avenue

 

This nifty little “Leave it to Beaver” house on Suburban Avenue in Cos Cob came up for sale in 2005 at $775,000. The current owners bid it up to $816,500 and added close to $200,000 in renovations. Now it’s for sale at $750,000. 

I hate stories like this – good people meeting with misfortune doesn’t lighten my day. But, it’s a great value, and a wonderful house.

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Price it, sell it

47 Winthrop Drive

This was a really pretty, renovated house on a great street in Riverside. It came on last year at $2.795 million and went nowhere. It was relisted two weeks ago at $2.395 and, I hear, it had four buyers vying for it. Some of that, of course, is that our market is a little stronger today than it was last year, but much of it has to do with its price.

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