Before this game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers, there was lots of talk in the NFL about whether Jim Harbaugh really made the right decision by switching to Colin Kaepernick from Alex Smith. Alex Smith was playing good football. If I’m not mistaken, his quarterback rating was over 100. He was not turning the ball over. It was not exciting football, but he was winning. I think most, if not all, critics have now been silenced. Wow!
Colin Kaepernick completely and totally exposed the Green Bay Packers defense. He rushed for 181 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. He rushed… 181 yards. From a quarterback. This fact is, in and of itself, mind-boggling. Then, he threw the ball for another 263 yards.
The Green Bay Packers are going to have to go back to the drawing board on defense. On the third down, the money down, the Packers allowed the 49ers to convert 62% of their third downs. The Green Bay Packers gave up 579 yards of total offense. You simply can’t win in the playoffs when your defense is this porous.
The San Francisco 49ers have been one of the best teams in football all year. They were completely dominating and looked fantastic and suddenly, out of nowhere, they would lay an egg. For example, they absolutely clobbered the New England Patriots on national TV. It was a game when you expected Tom Brady, Wes Welker and the rest of the New England Patriots to make a national statement. It didn’t happen. It was another great game for Colin Kaepernick. Then, the following week, the San Francisco 49ers got absolutely manhandled by the Seattle Seahawks.
I do not know if the San Francisco 49ers will put together two more fabulous games and walk away with the Lombardi trophy. I do know that Colin Kaepernick is the real deal.
In the United States, we need to figure out a way to help those at the bottom. These Americans have very little representation in Congress or in our statehouses. They have tenuous jobs. All we have to do is look at Goldman Sachs and see that our country favors the rich.
If you by chance had scraped together enough money to buy a house in the last 10 years and you didn’t fall for any of those no money down schemes, you’re still in trouble. Housing prices for these homes, at the bottom of the market, have been falling like lead balloons. In Los Angeles these homes have fallen by almost 55% since their peak in February of 2007. In relatively stable markets like Minneapolis, these homes have fallen by 47%. So it is possible for many of these Americans to be upside-down on their mortgage.
Remember the ownership society? These guys need some help. Folks in Washington who are currently wrapped up in the Judge Sotomayor hearings or in the health care debate on the appropriations bill need to also consider some legislation to help these Americans.
I wrote this last August. I hope you still find it relevant.
For the last 25 years, we, the American people, have been sold a bill of goods. The pitch, on one level, appeals to our natural sense of right and wrong. We’ve been told that we pay too much in taxes. We get taxed in the morning. We get taxed as we drive to work. We clearly get taxed on the money that we make it work. We come home and we kiss our spouse. We get hit with the marriage tax. As we make our way to the kitchen we trip over toys that we bought for our kids and of course, those toys were taxed. We get taxed morning, noon and night. Finally, when we leave this earth, we get taxed again with the death tax.
We’ve also been told that our government is not to be trusted. If you give money to the government it is almost equivalent to flushing the money down the drain. Some of our elected leaders have gone so far as to say flushing the money down the drain is actually a better use of the money. The take home lesson is our government is wasteful and we get taxed to death. Cool story. Unfortunately, reality is different than this fantasy world. This week, in my opinion, we saw clearly the result of 27 years of cutting government programs and government spending. The evidence has been all around us but we’ve refuse to see it. Our infrastructure is crumbling around us. We’ve invested almost nothing in our schools, roads, government buildings, levees and, of course, bridges.
As I’ve pointed out in my book, A Letter to America, taxes are like membership fees to an exclusive club. The United States of America is the club that we belong to. Our club used to treat us like exclusive members. If you work hard in school you were almost guaranteed a job for which you can be well-paid. You could be secure in the knowledge that you would have this job until you retire. Once we retired we had a generous pension that made all those years of work, pain and suffering, worth it. Well, like any club, when you reduce the membership fees too far, the perks that made that club special are now not affordable. Continue reading We have to do better