Seeking Alpha


Send Message
View as an RSS Feed
View DavyJ's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • It's Only A Fiscal Slope, Not A Cliff! [View article]
    I think it would be a good idea to go over. It's the only way to start over.


    Take Social Security out of the budget entirely, both payroll tax and disbursements, and you won't come close to a balanced budget.

    Next take Medicare out of the budget entirely, both payroll tax and disbursements, and you still won't come close to a balanced budget.

    Finally, take Unemployment Compensation out of the budget entirely, both tax and disbursements, and you still won't come close to a balanced budget.

    It is both silly and deceiving to state that entitlements are the prime cause of the budget deficits.

    Like it or not, letting the Bush tax cuts and payroll tax cuts expire is a necessary first step for a serious solution.

    There are four separate trust funds for Social Security and Medicare.

    For Social Security, the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund pays retirement and survivors benefits and had a surplus in 2011.

    The Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund pays disability benefits and had a slight deficit in 2011.

    OASDI is the designation for the two trust funds when they are considered on a combined basis and had a surplus in 2011.

    For Medicare, the Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund pays for inpatient hospital and related care and had a slight deficit in 2011.

    The Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) Trust Fund comprises two separate accounts: Part B, which pays for physician and outpatient services, and Part D, which covers the prescription drug benefit and had a slight surplus in 2011 due to income from general revenues.

    Total the reported surpluses and deficits and there is a net surplus of $49.8 billion. Subtract the $222.8 billion from general revenues transferred to the SMI Trust Fund and the net is a deficit of $173 Billion. That is the maximum amount that could have been saved in fiscal year 2011 without Social Security and Medicare entitlements.


    The only way to get out of this mess is to restore taxes to the levels before the Bush tax cuts. Going over the cliff is a way for the politicians to save face. Then make the necessary cuts in spending. Though, as pointed out above, most of the cuts will have to be in non-entitlement areas.

    Dec 29 10:24 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 6 Scary Charts On The Hyperinflationary Cliff [View article]

    Re: "Although this table shows year-to-date figures and not full-year figures"

    The federal Government fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30 of the next calendar year. The figures I quoted are for twelve months.

    Re: "How do you derive this figure? (For Medicare)

    Fiscal year applies here too. $200,000 was an educated guess. Medicare has part A (Hospital) and part B (Supplementary Medical Insurance). Part A comes from the payroll tax. Part B is from premiums and general revenue. So only part of the outlay would be saved. It's very difficult to derive the numbers from the treasury statement, but search for "Federal Hospital Insurance" to see the receipts and outlays. And search for "Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance" to see those outlays. The report quoted in the article you linked to comes from Dissecting both documents until my head was spinning I came up with $200 billion difference. The linked article is just under $300 billion shortfall. The actual report states a $19 billion shortfall.

    My point was that you can't balance the budget with spending cuts alone, though some would have you believe it.
    Dec 16 07:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 6 Scary Charts On The Hyperinflationary Cliff [View article]

    What you say in your 3 points is true. But it is only a fraction of the story.

    Eliminate Social Security in it's entirety, both distributions and payroll tax, and it will STILL leave an annual budget deficit of approximately $920 billion. Refer to Table 9, page 34 of:

    Eliminate Medicare and Medicaid in their entirety, both distributions and tax, and save about $200 billion and it will STILL leave an annual budget of approximately $720 billion.

    Eliminate Unemployment Insurance in it's entirety, both distributions and tax, and save $475 billion. Now you're talking lots of money but you're still not there.

    The Final Monthly Treasury Statement mentioned above takes more than 30 seconds to comprehend, but it well worth your time if you want to have an intelligent discussion.
    Dec 16 03:49 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Covered Call Writing And Stock Option Expiration Cycles [View article]
    But you don't receive the dividend holding the LEAP as you would by holding the stock. Intel pays 4.5% dividend.
    Dec 9 12:19 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • For Want Of A Nail [View article]
    My mistake. I've heard so much of the argument lately about how raising taxes on the rich would stifle investment and how only the wealthy create jobs that I had to throw my two cents in.

    Of course it had nothing to do with any point you were making. The trifling amount of the increase you demonstrated was enlightening and enticed me to comment.
    Dec 8 02:28 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • For Want Of A Nail [View article]
    It seems to me that $22.3 billion tax increase on $1.626 trillion wouldn't have an effect on investment anymore than it would have an effect on decreasing the deficit.

    Small potatoes, but it probably would make a lot of people happy. It would make me happy just to not have to listen to the argument any more.
    Dec 7 11:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Government Spending Growth Nearly Always Positive [View article]

    Re: "but most growth has been to illegal immigrants I would imagine, of those most will not get a taxable job."

    Not so! Read the following article. Although it is dated, I have seen several later articles stating the same. Sorry, no time for me to do more research for you.
    Nov 24 11:08 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Great Depression, Part 2: Will The Future Follow The Past? [View article]
    To realize how futile that exercise is, one only has to look back at this article in August 2009.
    Nov 15 09:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Higher Tax Rates Can Affect Your Retirement Plan [View article]
    The solution is simple. The couple making $275,000 per year should negotiate a $125,000 reduction of their salary. That way they'll be equal to the $150,000 couple and have more in retirement.
    Nov 15 01:10 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Fiscal Cliff, Schmiscal Cliff [View article]

    Actually there are some doctors that do exactly that. Sign a contract for x dollars per year and you are guaranteed to be seen within a very reasonable time because of the limited number of contracts.

    Say it costs $2000 per year and the doctor limits his number of patients to 250. That's $500,000 per year and statistically with the limited number of patients you may be seen within the hour.

    Does Warren Buffet have to spend as much time in the waiting room as I do?

    Not for everybody, of course. Not enough doctors. But one could reduce the contract price and increase the number of patients and still have a very nice income. And probably reduced malpractice insurance premiums as well.

    Nov 12 07:09 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The PC industry could lose 50M-100M units in annual sales by 2015 thanks largely to the impact of mobile devices, argues Barclays in a depressing report. Barclays, which is cutting estimates for Dell (DELL) and H-P (HPQ), forecasts PC sales will fall another 4% next year to 338M, and total just 311.5M in 2015. On the other hand, it expects tablet sales to reach 182M next year and 300M in 2016. Longbow is also downbeat, claiming checks indicate notebook orders are being cancelled; ultrabook demand is soft, and Intel and AMD are cutting prices. [View news story]
    Somehow I can't visualize an accountant doing tax returns on a tablet. In fact, I can't envision me doing my tax return on a tablet.
    Nov 12 06:41 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Top brass in the U.K.'s governing Conservatives give a round of interviews ahead the party's annual conference this week, with David Cameron telling the BBC that Britain must find another £16B of spending cuts for 2015-16. Cameron also threatens to veto the next EU budget if it's not to his liking, and says it should be split into two - one for the eurozone and one for the other countries. (Telegraph interview; George Osborne interview[View news story]
    " £16B of spending cuts"

    How quaint!
    Oct 7 09:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Market Seasonality Revisited [View article]
    Re: "That's because in years when the market makes more gains in the unfavorable season when a seasonal investor is out, the seasonal investor doesn't suffer a loss, but merely misses out on additional gains."

    Well if you sold 100 shares in May and received x dollars and now want to buy back in November after missing out on additional gains, your x dollars won't buy as many shares. You have less shares than before, so I call that a loss.
    Oct 7 11:09 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • This 'Tech' ETF Isn't What You Think It Is [View article]
    When I was reading your article, I kept saying "well duh" until I got to the last two paragraphs.

    Two thumbs up! Excellent idea.
    Oct 6 10:10 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Jobs Report: Conspiracy, Reality, And A Nation Of Part Time Workers [View article]
    How about the DavyJ calculation of jobs?

    1. Number of people paying FICA last month.
    2. Total amount of FICA reported last month.
    3. Year over year comparison only. No seasonal adjustments allowed.

    Two numbers, too simple, too many theorists out of a job!
    Oct 6 09:45 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment