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April 2011

76% See China as Bigger Economic Threat Than Military One

The International Monetary Fund has now projected that China will surpass the United States as the world's number one economy by 2016, and Americans overwhelmingly believe China represents a bigger threat to America economically than militarily these days.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just eight percent (8%) of adults now think China is a bigger threat militarily. Seventy-six percent (76%) disagree and say the Asian giant represents a bigger threat economically. Seventeen percent (17%) are not sure.

AP: Shoppers should get ready to pay more at register

Editor's Overview:  The AP is just now getting around to talking about inflation and how it's hitting Joe Sixpack households.  The following is a story run on April 28 out of Cincinnati, Ohio......

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Households reeling from gasoline near $4 also face bigger bills for everything from changing their babies' diapers to wiping their noses to treating themselves to ice cream.

Major makers of everyday consumer products and groceries say they have to raise prices to offset soaring costs for their fuel and the materials and ingredients that go into their products.

Read On.....

Fight inflation, prepare for an emergency


Look at how inflation is eroding your purchasing power

By Mike Thayer

Over the last 17 weeks the cost of gas and food has steadily crept up, now costing you an extra $28.03 per week in comparison to the first week of January.  That's an increase of about 4.5%.  Ladies and gentlemen, this is just the tip of an iceberg.......

The Coralville Courier has been charting gas and grocery prices since January.  Below is a chart showing how the increases in gas and groceries is affecting your wallet.  The chart utilizes median household income data from Iowa Workforce Development, specifically for Johnson County which after taxes works out to about $750 a week, take home pay.  All the numbers for gas and groceries are for weekly average purchases, the month references are just providing a rough timeframe, year-to-date.  Weekly gas prices are for Soccer Mom, driving kids to school, running errands, having a part time job, picking kids up from school, taking kids to an extra curricular activity, you get the idea.  Weekly grocery prices are - with one exception for a single roll of paper towels - for food only, milk, eggs, ground beef, a loaf of bread, that kind of thing.  Not included in that assessment are toilet paper, cleaning supplies, deodorants, soaps, impulse buys like candy bars, charcoal, school supplies, light bulbs, things like that.  I'm willing to bet most of you haven't received a 4.5% increase in pay during the course of the last four months.

Month Wkly Take Home Pay Gas Grocery Wallet after gas/grocery purchase
January $750.00 $60.00 $57.13 $632.87
February $750.00 $65.00 $57.80 $627.20
March $750.00 $70.00 $66.74 $613.26
April $750.00 $78.00 $67.16 $604.84

Your purchasing power is being weakened.  Thank the Fed.  They are playing games with the value of the U.S. dollar and the country's debt.  The result of their game playing is inflation.

Professor Lewin "F*** YOU REPUBLICANS" story still has legs

The local liberal media may want this story to die in order to buffer the liberal professor, but more credible news organizations and people that actually care about the news are giving the issue its due coverage.




What we're not getting from local media is follow-up on a question any reasonable person is asking:  Is the professor going to be punished in any way?

Related Story:

It's official, career politician Sally Stutsman making jump from Supervisor to Iowa House

Sally_stutsman The Cedar Rapids Gazette has reported that Johnson County Supervisor Sally Stutsman has announced plans to run for the Iowa House.

A former social worker, Stutsman began her fifth four-year term on the Board of Supervisors in January.

Read On.....

Question:  Will the Johnson County Republican Central Committee put up a candidate to oppose Stutsman, let alone put up a Supervisor candidate to fill Stutsman's vacant seat?  I sincerely hope they do, but it's doubtful on both counts.

Gas prices hit $4 a gallon mark in Coralville

CORALVILLE, IA. -- The price for a gallon of gasoline has gone up over the $4 mark at one Coralville area convenience store, with many others priced at $3.99 per gallon for regular unleaded (not that ethanol crap).  The cheapest place to buy gas in town as of this writing is the Coralville HyVee, priced at $3.94 per gallon.  If you present a HyVee grocery receipt you receive a discount, today's discount is 8 cents per gallon. 

As a matter of perspective, you could buy gas at the Casey's on the strip for $2.99 a gallon back in January.  So if you have a 20 gallon tank on your vehicle, you paid about $60 to fill up back in January, you're shelling out about $79 to do it today.  If your travels have you filling up every week, that's another $76 a month coming out of your pocket and some speculators are now predicting gas to hit the $6 mark by summer.  

I've been cautioning and writing about rising gas, grocery and other prices in the Coralville area for months now, and here's why you shouldn't pay attention to liberal blogs and so-called sources of news.......

Here's a quote from the Iowa Liberal, attempting to discredit Sarah Palin and inflation talk back in November:  "Inflation is the least of our worries right now and there’s no sign that it’s going to be an issue in the future."

Once again (pick an issue, any issue), the Iowa Liberal was/is wrong. 

Coralville area prices for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline - April 29, 2011:

Location Price
1st Ave. BP $3.99
1st Ave. Kum & Go $3.99
1st Ave. DeliMart BP $4.04
Highway 6 BP $3.99
Casey's on the strip $3.94
Coralville HyVee Gas $3.94
Gasby's BP on 965 $3.99
Casey's - 965 $3.99

A by the tank perspective on today's prices:  If you buy 16.139 gallons of gas at the 1st Ave. DeliMart BP today at $4.04 per gallon, it will cost you $65.20.   If you fill up at the Coralville HyVee as I did today, it will cost you $62.44. 

Related story, why rising prices are happening:

Iowa House panel approves property tax relief

KUDOS:  The Iowa House Ways and Means Committee approved a property tax relief plan Wednesday, a plan that got the support of Coralville's Representative Dave Jacoby.  He's apparently the lone Democrat who understands that reducing property taxes will stimulate economic growth.

COMPLAINT:  That a total reform package was not proposed.  Property taxes shouldn't be based on a complicated formula relying on arbitrary and speculative assessments, it should be based on square footage - period.  It's not the government's money or property, it's YOUR money and property and punishing you for how many bells and whistles you have on your property is completely against what our Founding Fathers fought for - the freedom to create and achieve.

Penford Products contributes $50,000 to the 'tax-me-more' group in Cedar Rapids

By Mike Thayer

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA. -- The City Council has called for a May 3rd special election, the issue:  Higher taxes.  The city wants to extend a local option sales tax for another 20 years, in order to build flood walls.  Part of that proposal however, includes the council intending to use half the money collected with the proposed tax extension - estimated at about $380 million over a new 20 year period - to fix the city streets.

How is the latter flood control and what happened to the regular budgeting for streets?  Sniff, sniff, smells like a money grab by the city.....

And when it comes to Penford Products contributing to extending the tax, here's a bit of sarcasm....  Why spend six figures or more on 'flood control' to protect your business, when you can pay $50,000 indirectly to the city and have them do it for you on the backs of taxpayers?  Never mind that thinking you can control Mother Nature is wholly arrogant.

Another red flag is how proponents of this tax are falsely promising property tax relief, using some money generated by the tax extension to supposedly lower your property tax bill.  Ladies and gentlemen that is always a flat out LIE, a carrot, trying to persuade you to vote for the tax.  There is nothing stopping the city from jacking up property taxes next year.  If you're voting for the tax based on this, you better demand this promise in writing.  The thing is, you won't get that in writing, which is pretty telling huh?  

Check out the latest finance report, some big bucks are being donated.  Money truly is buying this election.

The CR Tea Party contributed to this report