Friday, February 27, 2009

Tea party anyone?

Back in 1763, old King George of England needed to pay for some wars he fought with the French. His solution was to tax the American colonies. King George used the same tricks that politicians use today to “disguise” the tax, but the colonists weren’t buying any of it.

It was a sneaky pitch. One of the taxable items was tea, sold by the East India Company, which had exclusive rights to selling tea. King George told the colonists that he would actually lower the import fees paid for the tea, but in the fine print, the colonists would then acknowledge the British Parliament’s ability to tax them for anything, anytime.

King George made a serious mistake underestimating the intelligence of his subjects. Sound familiar?

It was taxation without representation. So, when the next shipment arrived in Boston Harbor, colonists met the ships and dumped the tea overboard.

The Boston Tea Party set the stage for America’s eventual independence.

Now, 246 years later, it might be time for another Tea Party, this one proposed by Rick Santelli, a CNBC reporter. Called the “rant heard ‘round the world,” Santelli was reacting to the mortgage stimulus bill being pitched by President Obama. Santelli’s point was clear. Why should the overwhelming majority of Americans, who play by the rules and pay their bills on time, be forced to pick up the tab for the small minority who don’t?

Not everyone agrees with him, especially the current administration. Personally, I can’t fault Santelli’s logic. He is calling for another Tea Party, set for July 4th. The event already has its own Facebook page.

This economic mess has been long in the making, and there’s plenty of blame to go around. But it won’t be solved by pouring hard-earned money down a deep, dark hole. Let’s get money flowing to those with proven and dependable track records, and the free market will take care of the rest. Reward investment; don’t punish it.

President Obama’s biggest problem was sitting right in front of him Tuesday night. I noticed that most of the faces in the crowd had been there for decades. These are House and Senate leaders from both parties who have built powerful fiefdoms, and the last thing they care about is you and me. What they want is what they get. They are the root cause of the mess we’re in today.

It’s time for us to show them the folly of that thinking again. Let’s hold the president to his promise to go through the budget, line by line, and cut the waste, a.k.a. pork. Then, see if he’s willing to stand up to those who put the pork there in the first place.

What better day than July 4th? Tea anyone?

John W. Scherer
CEO & Founder
Video Professor, Inc.
You can reach John at

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thank goodness for Sully.

It’s been quite a week. President Obama signed the stimulus package. Do we know if anyone voted for it in the House or Senate read the darn thing? Anyone? It seems like no one really knows what’s in it.

Price tag? At least $1 trillion, despite claims otherwise.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid scored $1.5 billion for his home state of Nevada. He’s up for election next year. How much did your state get? Look for more neon the next time you visit ‘Vegas, if you can afford to go.

GM and Chrysler made yet another trip to Washington for more bailout money. There will now be a bailout oversight committee, a.k.a. task force, instead of a car czar. Washington loves committees. More people in charge of less.

As for GM and Chrysler, they’ll head back to Detroit with a bailout total of $39 billion but without a plan or incentives for new car buyers, just more bailout money. I still believe a $10,000 tax credit for new car buyers will have customers lining up, dealers selling cars and jobs being created as a result.

Want proof? There was a story on local radio about a man with a good credit record, willing to put a 30 percent down payment to buy a new car, and the bank turned down the loan. This helps the economy how?

There was some progress on housing. Low interest rates for qualified borrowers are a start. The President also announced a new plan to help troubled homeowners, which essentially rewards failure and irresponsibility. Your cost? $275 billion. Maybe the government should reward success and responsibility instead.

Why not eliminate capital gains taxes when a qualified buyer invests in a property, which creates jobs and is able to sell it for a profit? Heck, they might take the money and buy another property, fix it up and create even more jobs. But no, success is punished instead.

So, what’s done is done. But what exactly has been done? We won’t know for awhile. Whatever the outcome, it will be spun, and re-spun.

President Obama is “Takin’ it to the streets.” He’s showing up in places like Peoria and Denver and away from Washington. He’s making his pitch on Main Street as he did during the election. It worked once. It may work again. The new President says he’s a fan of Abe Lincoln. I hope he remembers that Lincoln said, “You can’t fool all the people all the time.”

But, America today is a country that likes instant gratification. “What have you done for me lately” has been replaced by “What are you doing for me right now?”


Good luck with that Mr. President.

Normally, when the news reaches a certain level of depression, I switch over to ESPN. There’s nothing like baseball and spring training to restore the spirits. But all the stories are about A-Roid. He’s sorry. He didn’t mean to do it. He’s going to make it up to us. I think he’s making it all up.

Cooperstown will soon have an asterisk wing. It will be a big one.

But, you know what? I remain optimistic about America. Our history has been full of wild pendulum swings. We’ve always been pretty good at grabbing it when it reaches the middle and holding it there for awhile. I think we’ll do it again.

Common sense will once again prevail. Hard work and honesty will be something to be admired and rewarded.

Sometimes it takes someone like Chesley B. Sullenberger III to set the standard and raise the bar. Sully, who in his own words was “Just doing my job, what I’m trained to do,” calmly set down his crippled airliner in the Hudson River. He and his crew saved all 155 passengers. He was the last crewmember off the plane, leaving only when he made sure everyone he was responsible for was safe. Just doing his job.

As long as America has men and women like Sully and his crew, we’re going to be ok.

I’m counting on it.

John W. Scherer
John is CEO & Founder of Video Professor, Inc.
You can reach him at

Friday, February 13, 2009

MLB: This Bud’s not for you.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." –Poet and philosopher George Santayana.

"Major League Baseball has always recognized the influence that our stars can have on the youth of America. As such, we are concerned that recent revelations and allegations of steroid use have been sending a terrible message to young people."-Bud Selig speaking before Congress.

“FIRE BUD SELIG.”-John Scherer, the Video Professor and old school baseball fan.

Just when you thought the whole mess with steroids and baseball had settled down a bit comes the admission by Alex Rodriquez aka A-Rod, A-Fraud, A-Roid etc (The list grows every day) that he used steroids when he played with the Texas Rangers.

Big bat to big joke. Jay Leno is sending a thank you note. A-Joke admitted to it only after being outed by Sports Illustrated. He now says he’s sorry. Remember when saying you’re sorry used to mean something? Not any more. It’s been replaced with “A-Sorry.”

No word from MLB Commish Bud Selig yet. Part of his $18 million salary is apparently to keep his trap shut and do nothing. He’s like a monkey with six arms to cover his eyes, ears and mouth all the time humming, “Take me out the ball game.”

Meanwhile, the Yankees are standing by their man. He cheated while playing for the Rangers after all; not the Yankees. Lying is acceptable behavior within the Yankee Organization. (Read Joe Torre’s book)

The real stink of all this comes after last year’s Congressional Circus, I mean, “Hearings” about the problem.

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig vowed to clean the mess up. Two things amaze me about Bud Selig. He’s apparently totally oblivious to the train wreck about to happen to professional baseball and you can’t see the puppet strings attached to him being pulled by MLB owners.

Howdy, Doody.

Why does Bud get to keep his job? Because the money is pouring in. Money is a great deodorant.

Ole Bud and baseball are in for a rude awakening this season. The economy is tanking and when people are broke, things like going to the ballpark move to the bottom of the discretionary spending list.

Bud, you’ve finally ruined the game. Americans are about to take a pass on America’s pastime.

The bar for behavior is now set so low you have to look down to see it. The apple pie is juiced. Don’t eat the Peanuts and Crackerjack. You might get salmonella.

It’s time to re-boot pro baseball. Step one is to boot Bud Selig out of his job.

Any records set after Roger Maris and Hank Aaron are deleted. 61 and 755 are the target numbers for rookies starting this season who keep their noses clean and the needles out of their arms.

The Mick, the Babe and Joltin’ Joe were far from perfect. But they were clean. What they accomplished on the field and made them heroes to a generation wasn’t due to science. Just hard work and skill.

Hank Aaron broke the Babe’s homerun record despite death threats. He overcame it all through courage, grace and determination. Not chemicals. Roger Maris was booed and had chairs thrown at him. But he didn’t juice up, he showed up.

A-Roid, Barry, Mark, Sammy and a bunch of others may have sold more t-shirts than those that preceded them in baseball. But they did so by selling out. So did over a hundred others.

Maybe there should be a new monument to these players for kids to visit called “Cop-Out” town, one big hall of shame. Washington DC would be a good location. The building would be shaped like a syringe.

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

Friday, February 06, 2009

I hate to rain on your parade, but I’m going to anyway.

“A regulator overseeing the government’s $700 billion bailout testified Thursday that the Treasury Department paid $254 billion for $176 billion of assets — an overpayment of $76 billion.” (Source: New York Times, Feb 5, 2009)

An overpayment of $76 Billion. Bailouts American Style. They hired the regulator after they gave away the money. You know, closing the barn door after the horse took off.

Sadly, I’ve officially lost all faith in government. As the new President, Senate and House leadership scream “Hurry up we have to pass this stimulus bill or the sky will fall,” we get positive proof, that haste indeed makes waste.

Last fall we were told the same thing. The bailout had to be passed immediately if not sooner. Congress caved and we paid. Actually we overpaid.

STOP, STOP, STOP, STOP with the B.S.!!

Chew on that number again. $76 Billion. Check your last pay stub. We’re paying for it. One paycheck at a time for a very long time. You have no other use for the money do you? My gloom and doom is non-partisan by the way. Republicans and Democrats alike are running the ship of state aground, when what’s really needed is statesmanship.

Welcome to the USS Titanic. There’s a financial iceberg dead ahead and the crew says “Full speed ahead.”

Last fall’s $700 Billion bailout is relative chump change as the current “Stimulus” bill is closing in on $1 Trillion. The difference between “B” and “T” is a whole bunch of zeros. Word also comes this week that our government will need to borrow another $2 Trillion to pay the bills for 2009.
So how do they raise that money? Foreign governments, many of whom have little regard for us, our ideals and our society are buying up that debt. While our government overpays, they’re buying our debt for pennies on the dollar.

They’re going to want it back. Imagine the Chinese Government foreclosing on the White House. Maybe Dubai putting padlocks on the Capitol.

Folks, we’re heading for financial Armageddon and I want to be on record saying so. But it’s not too late to slam on the brakes. There’s only one way to do so. Contact your elected representatives and tell them to “Just say no.” If you phone, yell. If you e-mail, type it in all caps. Call radio talk shows. Write the Editor if you’re lucky enough to still have a newspaper. Blog loud and blog proud.

If millions raise a big enough ruckus, Government just might listen to reason. The key word being “might.” Give it a shot anyways.

I’ve got some phone calls to make, e-mails to send and this blog to post. Are you with me?

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