Posts Tagged ‘spending’

How Would the Fiscal Clilff Affect Typical Families in Each State? This week on Your Financial Editor.

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Dramatic changes to both tax and spending policy will take place at the end of this year unless Congress acts.  My guest this week is Nick Kasprak, Programmer & Analyst at the Tax Foundation.  Nick will explain what the tax changes will mean to the typical family.

Listen from anywhere by logging onto WFMD and clicking the listen live button – Saturday morning at 8:00 on AM 930 WFMD.

About this week’s guest:

Programmer & Analyst

Nick Kasprak is a programmer and analyst at the Tax Foundation. Nick focuses on building interactive, web-based tools to educate taxpayers. Before joining the Tax Foundation, he worked as a math teacher at the Loomis Chaffee school in Windsor, Connecticut and coached its debate team. Nick is a graduate of Bowdoin College and holds a B.A. in Physics and Astronomy.

Nick was the primary programmer for the interactive calculator at, which allows people to compare their federal income tax burden for 2011 under various policy scenarios.

Well the election has come and gone….and things are status quo.

Friday, November 9th, 2012

The impact on the economy (global) and financial markets (also global) will be more of the same: high unemployment & under-employment, high food and energy costs, volatile investment environments, American, Europe and Asian debt troubles, etc.  In addition to these existing conditions, elected officials will be forced to deal with the “Fiscal Cliff.”

If I may, I would like to break down exactly what the term means, so as you hear and read more about it, you will have a basic understanding of its real impact:

1.  Income tax cuts set to expire will cost $400 to $500 billion and include:

*  President George W. Bush’s tax cuts of 2003 which significantly lowered marginal tax rates.

*  The payroll tax rates are currently at 4.2 percent. If this expires, they will go to 6.2 percent.

*  Other tax cuts that will expire include the AMT patch, Affordable Care and Research tax credits.

2.  Spending cuts that would be initiated under the Budget Control Act would cost $100 to $150 billion:

*  One-half of this stems from automatic defense budget cuts.

*  The other one-half is in the non-defense sector.

3.  Government benefits that will expire would cost consumers $50 to $100 billion and include:

*  Extended unemployment benefits.

*  Medicare doc fix.

If Congress (which is status quo – Senate (D) and House (R)) takes no action, tax rates will increase, spending cuts will begin, and benefits will be suspended.  A “no-action” approach could lead to a $500 to $750 billion hit to our economy in 2013.

Regardless of the amount, it would be very difficult to absorb this hit as it would create a 3 to 5 percent hit to the gross domestic product (GDP) next year.  With Wall Street forecasting 2 percent GDP in 2013, falling off the cliff would send us into negative GDP growth territory and a recession.

So, you will be hearing much about the Fiscal Cliff now that the elections are over.  Unfortunately, politicians don’t have enough time to deal with these very serious problems before year end.  I expect to see an extension of the current policies so additional time and attention can be given to research options. (See the Tax Foundation’s “A Guide to the Fiscal Cliff and the Options for Congress” for further information.

At Murray Financial Group we always strive to provide authentic leadership and knowledge that results in conservative wealth strategies. Our mission remains clear, and we will continue to adjust and modify our clients’ investment models as appropriate for each client’s situation.

Our Regional Economy

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Those of us who live in the Washington D.C.,/Northern Virginia/Suburban Maryland region have always had some economic benefits.  The benefits stem from all of the federal spending that occurs.  I was in a meeting with John McClain from George Mason University this week, and he shared some of the latest data on the region.  Mr. McClain and his team have over 25 years of experience in analyzing this region’s economy.  The team focuses on housing and transportation, among other factors.  One thing that our guest reminded our National Economic Club is just how dependent the region is on Federal spending, and that has never been more threatened.  This has been the worst recession since World War II, and the so-called “recovery” hasn’t been as good past recoveries.  A big part of a recovery, some 10%-15%+, following a recession (like the last big one we had in the early 1990’s), comes from housing.  Obviously, we haven’t had that luxury this go around.  The question that I have is if the region’s strength comes, in large part, from federal spending and mandated cuts across the board are to occur in 2013 (thanks to the failure of the Super Committee); what is going to happen to all of the  government workers, contractors, vendors, etc.?  I mean, when you have 39% of the Greater Washington economy dependent on Federal spending, and that’s drastically cut, how bad will the fallout be?  Things aren’t so bad right now for the government employees right now (Obama has added 30,000 government jobs according to Mr. McClain’s data), but the coming years could be very difficult.  In our modern day economy, if we ever needed a very strong economy with common sense policies in place to provide for those who are or will be looking for work, it’s now.

This is a Political Event with Financial Implications

Friday, July 29th, 2011

As I write this at 5:30am, there is still no clear sign that Congress will agree and act on the debt ceiling issue. 

There’s a big surprise…politicians no getting things done that need to be done.

Our country is over-extended.  If the debt ceiling is raised and the additional spending approved, the United States of America will have doubled our debt in just 5 years to the tune of $17 Trillion +/-. 

We deserve to have our rating downgraded (even though the rating companies don’t have much respect these days).  We are upside down on our spending vs. revenue ratio.  Could you or I run our household or business with the type of monkey-math that the United States government uses?  Of course not.  What would happen if you couldn’t make your mortgage payment because you didn’t have the money and called the bank for a loan?  They would deny your request and they’d probably want their free toaster back they gave you when you became a customer!

As the title of this post implies, this is a purely political play right now.  The Administration wants a couple of trillion dollars in spending to get it through the election next year, and the Republications and Independents don’t want to offer up the blank check.  Now, the repercussions of the political wrangling comes at a very bad time.  The U.S. economy is stuck in the mud and citizens, consumers, investors, small businesses and corporate America are all dealing with a train load of uncertainty.

Having said all of that, I think this “out in the open” fighting and debate is a good thing.  It allows Americans to access where the country is today, and more importantly, where we want to go.  Do we want to return to a country of the highest standards, morals, and financial strength of the past, or do we want to continue to live beyond our means and drift to the bottom of the fish tank.

As a wealth manager, I am frequently asked how I handle this type of political event, with all of its financial implications.  As this scenario plays out, and in order to combat the volatility and weak economic environment, my firm employs conservative and diversified strategies for the wealth that our clients have entrusted to us.  We will continue to offer an unparalleled level of service, sophistication, tools, strategies, and models to provide consistent protection and the pursuit of growth that our clients expect.

Tune in to Your Financial Editor this Saturday at 8am on AM 930 WFMD to hear more as the debate rages on!

A Government that Governs Less.

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Politically, the last 20 years or so have really been a  let down. 

Government spending, whether it be entitlement programs, pork projects, etc., have been off the charts.  How could we be so stupid?  Why are we so stupid today?  Did you know you support the Nevada Cowboy Poetry Festival?  That $615,000 of your Federal tax dollars has been given to the University of California at Santa Cruz to digitize Grateful Dead memorabilia, and a $770, 856 grant was given to North Carolina State for research into how video games can help improve mental health for seniors?

Trillions more has been spent by the Federal Reserve Bank, U.S. Treasury, the White House, etc., and  on top of that,  twisted and morally corrupt politicians conjure up creative names that hide the vile and disgusting bills that they force through legislative chambers – sometimes in the light of day and other times in the still of the night.  The new laws that have appeared over the last few years in particular are very disturbing and will prove to be detrimental to our history and tradition.

Excuses are made and legalism is used to confuse the issue and minimize the effect, but, at the fork in the road, a good soul sees the differences and is able (with clarity) to see the wasteful spending, the moral corruption, and those in the freak parade that really do nothing positive for, and add nothing to, our constitutional and biblical based foundation that the United States rests on.  We can allow our legislators to pull our communities, states, and the whole country into the cesspool, or we can act.

In this situation in particular, “to act” means to commit.  It means doing things when perhaps you don’t feel like it because you are busy, tired, rushed, overworked, etc.  Those who are serious about reversing this tide of waste, filth, and decay of our great country must embrace “commitment”.  As we all know, that is a heavy and serious word, no matter how or where we use it in our lives.  Be that as it may, “commitment” is required and necessary.  One promise I can make to you is that for those of you who use your “commitment” to fight back against the black tide, your self-satisfaction and inner peace will be your greatest reward.

The government must stop wasting our tax dollars and polluting our family values.

College Kids and Money 101

Monday, January 24th, 2011

No matter how distinguished the university, many students come out as naive about money and spending as when they went in.  Because of recieving allowances, credit cards, gift cards, etc from their parents, they never seem to master the responsibility of managing their finances.  There was a great piece on this week lisitng the 8 misconceptions college kids have about money.  If you have kids or grandkids in school, you may want to check it out.  When you finished reading it, send it to the college kid with the next batch of homemade cookies you send out!

The Young Professional’s Guide to spending, investing, & giving back. This week on Your Financial Editor.

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Young professionals often have questions about their finances.  What should I be doing with my savings? Should I buy a house or keep renting? Where should I invest my money?  Join Chris this week with his guest, Kimberly Palmer, author of Generation Earn, and they will answer these and other pressing questions for the young professional.

Join us this this Saturday morning at 8am on AM 930 WFMD, or listen from anywhere on your pc by logging onto and clicking the listen live button.

About the Author:

Kimberly Palmer, senior editor and personal finance columnist for US News & World Report, writes the magazine column and daily blog, Alpha Consumer.  She has appeard on NBC’s Today Show, CNBC, and CNN, and written for the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.  Kimberly holds an MA in public policy from the University of Chicago and a BA from Amherst College.  She and her husband just welcomed their first baby and bought a townhouse in Washington, DC area.

Lower Taxes, Reduced Deficits, Job Creation…This Week on Your Financial Editor w/ Chris Murray

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Chris Murray, Your Financial Editor

Joining Chris this week on YFE will be Governor Gary Johnson, former Republican Governor of New Mexico and honorary chairman of the Our America Initiative to talk about his recently released “Three Point Plan for Economic Prosperity”.  Tune in this Saturday morning at 8am on AM 930 WFMD, or listen from your pc by logging onto and clicking the listen live button.

About this week’s guest:

Governor Gary Johnson, former Republican Governor of New Mexico and honorary chairman of the OUR America Initiative.  This national advocacy initiative allows Governor Johnson, a longtime advocate of responsible government spending and limited government intervention, the ability to travel across the country to engage the public in open dialogue regarding pertinent issues of the day, including: lowering taxes, reducing deficits, creating jobs, a strong national defense and protecting our civil liberties. 

Governor Johnson has garnered significant national press and media coverage since the launch of OUR America late last year, and recently released his “Three Point Plan for Economic Prosperity.” In addition, he has been a featured speaker at several high profile events in the past weeks, including the Southern Republican Leadership Conference (SRLC) in New Orleans. Governor Johnson has shared his message of limited government intervention and a return to common-sense governing with huge crowds at Tea Party events in California, Arizona and South Carolina.  Governor Johnson is also a longtime advocate of the legalization of marijuana, and has discussed the economic and crime reduction arguments for legalization on national media programs and websites.