Monday, September 28, 2009

Time to extend and expand the home buying rebate program.

Incentives work. You may recall that earlier this year I called for a $10,000 tax rebate for anyone buying a new American car. I appreciated the fact that outlets like CNNfn, major newspapers and the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association liked the idea as well.

Congress didn’t listen but that’s dollars and jobs under the overpass. The Cash for Clunkers Program did get people back into showrooms, although it ended far too quickly. Sales, again, are flat. Showrooms are empty.

To its credit, the government is continuing the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers. I think they should expand it to include ALL qualified homebuyers. There are people looking to purchase another home, even in this economy, and fixer-uppers for investment and rental properties.

The automobile and housing industries are responsible for more jobs than any other in this country. It’s a huge amount of jobs.

Tax credits will obviously impact the bottom line next April 15, 2010 but in the meantime create jobs, jobs that pay good money, money that is spent in the community that generates other tax revenues which far overshadows any downside to tax credits.

Even the administration admits that double-digit unemployment will be around for a while. This is a jobless recovery. But there are people who are working, looking to buy cars and homes. Let’s give them every incentive to do so.

This isn’t rocket science, just sound and proven economics.

When people buy, jobs are created. It’s as simple as that.


John W. Scherer

John Scherer is CEO & Founder of Video Professor, Inc.

You can reach him at

Monday, September 21, 2009

Why are we rewarding bad behavior?

Were you watching President Obama’s health care speech to Congress when Republican Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina called the president a liar? You may agree or disagree with that charge, but inside the House chamber is not the place to make it.

Then there’s Kanye West. As Taylor Swift was giving a heartfelt acceptance speech for winning an MTV Video Music Award, West—with a bottle of booze in one hand and a microphone in the other—comes on stage and says Beyonce should have won instead.

Of course there’s the case of Serena Williams at the U.S. Open Tennis Championships. Upset by a call, she pulled a John McEnroe and threatened to ram a tennis ball down a lineswoman’s throat. (Accented by several expletives.)

The real stink about all this is that then I see both Kanye West and Serena Williams on network television “apologizing.” Coifed, made-up and contrite. Right.

Serena referred to her victim as “that lineswoman.” Does she have a name? And I do hope that Mr. Leno offers Taylor Swift a guest spot on his show sooner rather than later.

Rep. Wilson, and this isn’t a partisan statement in any way, should apologize on the House floor because he insulted the American people by his behavior.

All this, simply put, is bad behavior being accepted and rewarded.

No one is perfect, but when shameful and boorish behavior is rewarded by a guest spot on network television, things have gone terribly wrong in this country.

Back in the day, if I would have acted this way in school, it was a quick and unpleasant visit with the principal. At home, well let’s just say mom and dad had rules and they were enforced!

I know I’ve been on a tear the past few weeks about yelling and now politeness. But this used to be a reasonably civil country. We need to get back to basics, stop yelling and treat each other with respect.

You know, the golden rule.

We saw a great example of this at the Philadelphia Phillies game last week. Maybe you saw it. Dad caught a coveted foul ball then handed it to his little girl, who promptly tossed it back on to the field. It’s what little kids do. Was dad upset? Nah, he gave his daughter the most loving of hugs. Watch the video here.

Let’s follow his example, shall we?


John W. Scherer

John is CEO & Founder of Video Professor, Inc.

You can reach him at

Monday, September 14, 2009

We’re yelling at the wrong people! (Part Two)

Last week I hopefully started a dialog among you about all this yelling going on. Ironically people are claiming free speech to suppress your free speech.

There is a lot to yell about. Unemployment is now 9.7 percent. If you think that’s bad, I’m hearing that number will climb to as high as 10.5 percent before things start getting better. It’s hard to imagine it getting worse.

$23 billion we “lent” to Chrysler® and GM® isn’t going to be paid back. Not a dime. Auto dealers who were promised refund checks from the government within 10 days for the “Cash for Clunkers” program are forced to wait months.

And the health care reform “debate” goes on, and on and on.

Promises broken over and over again. Yes, there is a lot to be angry about.

There was a time when you could actually get ahold of your elected representatives. In this world of e-mail and tweets, you’d think things would be easier. They are, at least for Congress. They just send generic automated responses along the lines of “Dear Occupant, I’m glad to have heard from you ..." blah, blah, blah.

I’ve received more than one of those “Dear Occupant” e-mails; it's disheartening to say the least.

It’s why people who showed up at the
town hall meetings were so angry. We’re being shut out by the very people who represent us. The anger isn’t over issues; it’s over lack of representation.

So what’s next?

Keep up the pressure, but do it with the local offices. Call every day if you have to. Stop by personally at a local office and arrange a meeting with a local staff member. Here along Main Street, USA you have the power. You’re the boss. You’re the employer and there are employment reviews every two and six years.

Don’t give up. I’m not going to. Otherwise we’re going to lose, slowly but surely, the freedoms that have been part of our national fabric since July 4, 1776.

Finally, be unfailingly polite. The time for yelling is over. That
outburst during President Obama’s speech last week is exactly what we don’t need, and proof that Washington is out of control.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t let them know who is boss.

And that’s us.

John W. Scherer
John is CEO & Founder of Video Professor, Inc.
Reach him at

Thursday, September 10, 2009

We’re yelling at the wrong people! (Part One)

First and foremost, let’s stop yelling, period.

As Congress returned to Washington, the business of the people (at least that’s what they claim it is) resumed after arguably one of the most tumultuous August recesses in recent history.

The issue at hand was health care reform. The debate revealed something else. The American people have discovered that the government has lost touch with the people.

Sadly, much of the yelling and screaming was done by Americans at other Americans. When they weren’t tearing each other’s protest signs away.

It’s no wonder. They’re both angry and confused. There really is no reform bill per se, just about 1,100 plus pages of hastily prepared and unfocused legislation floating around various committees and subcommittees.

Special interest groups bombarded the airwaves with their various versions of what reform should be. Town hall meetings became shouting matches.

Americans who dared oppose reform were called “anti-American,” “vile” and much worse. They were accused of being “organized.”

So let’s dispel a couple of myths. What is more American than raising your voice in protest against that which you disagree? It’s how the nation was founded. As for being organized, so was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s march on Washington. So was the bus boycott in Alabama. Both landmarks in racial equality.

It’s about as silly as when now-President Obama was accused by some of not being patriotic because he didn’t wear an American Flag lapel pin. What is more patriotic than running for president of the United States?

Washington long ago stopped listening. The Founding Fathers of this nation came up with a system of governing that included three separate but equal branches: executive, legislative and judicial.

One became term-limited, the executive branch. It was a reaction to FDR’s almost four terms as president. Now, just like a badly balanced wheel on a car, our system of governing shimmies and shakes.

Write your congressman? Forget it. Send an e-mail and you’ll eventually get a generic response.

So what’s a citizen to do?

The answer next week.


John W. Scherer

John is CEO & Founder of Video Professor, Inc.

You can reach him at

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

So, what are you willing to give up?

You’ve no doubt heard that the government “revised” the estimated deficit from $7 trillion up to $9 trillion for 2010-2019. The current health care package being debated and argued ad nauseum will add another trillion to the total.

Why do I have a funny feeling the number will grow?

The cause for all this is a no-brainer. The government is spending way more than it takes in. To be clear, this all started well before most of us even heard of Barack Obama. In Washington, D.C. fiscal responsibility is an oxymoron.

So, how do we solve all this? There are only two choices, or perhaps a combination of both: cut spending and/or raise taxes.

What happens when you overdraw your checking account? You get a nasty note and penalty from your bank.

What happens when the government does the same thing? Well, think what it would be like for the Chinese to foreclose on the White House. Wouldn’t that be a proud moment? China holds over a trillion dollars of our debt, and I do believe they expect to get paid back—and not in Monopoly money.

But when you have a government accounting system that deals in “rounding errors” in the billions, it’s a recipe for financial disaster.

Oh yes, the market seems to be humming along. It’s no wonder. The companies making money have two things in common. They didn’t take bailout money and they’ve cut expenses to the bone, most notably employees—a difficult decision for any company to make.

Don’t let Washington fool you; our national unemployment rate is well north of 10 percent.

We are stuck in a national “catch-22.” A line-item veto would certainly be a good start, but the folks who could vote on that are the same ones who love to tuck millions for pork into legislation for the folks back home not remotely connected to it.

The Balanced Budget Amendment? Never gonna happen. Look at the health care “reform” debate. It would amount to a pimple on a hog’s rear end compared to the debate over balancing the budget.

So, we have to ask ourselves how much more in taxes we are willing to pay. Are we willing not to have our streets plowed, or those potholes on the Interstate fixed?

If the government isn’t willing to fly coach like we do, then it’s hard to expect us to give up driving on a decent road when we go to the airport.

I’d suggest you call or write your elected representatives, but they’re not listening. They stopped listening a long time ago.

Hence the $10 trillion deficit.

Just think, a child born today will do so automatically being $5,000 in debt.

A child born tomorrow will be in even more debt.

And so it goes.


John W. Scherer

John Scherer is CEO & Founder of Video Professor, Inc.

You can reach him at