Thursday, August 19, 2010
Katy ISD budget facts Source: Houston chronicle 8/15/2010
Employment: 4732 teachers, 3537 non-teachers (57%/43% ratio!!)
New proposed budget: $561.9 million
Estimated revenues: $558.5 million (3 million deficit)
General fund expenditures: $448 million
Start $78.6 million balance (surplus)
Debt service: $85.8 million
Debt service fund revenues: $82.6 million ($3 million deficit)
TOTAL current bond debt : $916,813,286
Property Tax rate base : $20 billion (2.17% higher than 2009)
Tax rate: $1.1266 per $100 valuation And $0.40 per $100 valuation for debt service
Combined tax rate: $1.5266
Enrollment: 60,857 students (4.18% increase over 2009)
My comments - This means that it will take about 10 years simply to pay off the existing debt. If the new bond is passed, the total debt will exceed ONE BILLION DOLLARS. Are they saying we need another $450 million for a 4% projected enrollment increase? How about trimming non-teacher staff levels to a more acceptable 80%/20% ration like a real business would do? The only feedback I get is that"our numbers are better than the surrounding districts" (which are failing miserably). So, we are a step above poor/mediocre? What ever happened to excellence? How about insisting on excellence in fiscal management?
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
1. Americans spend $36,000,000 at Wal-Mart Every hour of every day.
2. This works out to $20,928 profit every minute!
3. Wal-Mart will sell more from January 1 to St. Patrick's Day (March 17th) than Target sells all year.
4. Wal-Mart is bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target +Sears + Costco + K-Mart combined.
5. Wal-Mart employs 1.6 million people, is the world's largest private employer, and most speak English.
6. Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the world.
7. Wal-Mart now sells more food than Kroger and Safeway combined, and keep in mind they did this in only fifteen years.
8. During this same period, 31 big supermarket chains sought bankruptcy.
9. Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other store in the world.
10. Wal-Mart has approx 3,900 stores in the USA of which 1,906 are Super Centers; this is 1,000 more than it had five years ago.
11. This year 7.2 billion different purchasing experiences will occur at Wal-Mart stores. (Earth's population is approximately 6.5 Billion.)
12. 90% of all Americans live within fifteen miles of a Wal-Mart.
You may think that I am complaining, but I am really laying the ground work for suggesting that MAYBE we should hire the guys who run Wal-Mart to fix the economy.
This should be read and understood by all Americans Democrats, Republicans, EVERYONE!!
To President Obama and all 535 voting members of the Legislature,
It is now official you are ALL corrupt morons:
a.. The U.S. Postal Service was established in 1775. You have had 234 years to get it right and it is broke.
b.. Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it right and it is broke.
c.. Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it right and it is broke.
d.. War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to "the poor" and they only want more.
e.. Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. You have had 44 years to get it right and they are broke.
f.. Freddie Mac was established in 1970. You have had 39 years to get it right and it is broke.
g.. The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before. You had 32 years to get it right and it is an abysmal failure.
You have FAILED in every "government service" you have shoved down our throats while overspending our tax dollars.
AND YOU WANT AMERICANS TO BELIEVE YOU CAN BE TRUSTED WITH A GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM ??
Folks, keep this circulating. It is very well stated. Maybe it will end up in the e-mails of some of our "duly elected' (they never read anything) and their staff will clue them in on how Americans feel.
My editorial note: I recently attended a Katy Tea Party meeting and met some great people. I shared with them my personal story - My 101 year old grandmother recently had a hip operation, and she is doing fine. If Obamacare was in effect, she would be dead. We had two choices, sedate her and make her "comfortable" in her last days, or operate. We chose life. Now she is up and moving around, hoping to get home and work in the garden again. I am glad that the government does not have this power - yet.
Monday, May 17, 2010
this article appeared in the Houston Chronicle this weekend:
Balancing, Act II
How not to deal with our projected $18 billion state budget deficit
May 15, 2010, 4:33PM
Houston Mayor Annise Parker isn't the only one struggling to make budget numbers add up.
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, has been handed some discouraging early word about the state budget for the coming biennium. Deficits for the budget could reach $18 billion, says Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.
This isn't exactly unexpected. Preliminary estimates had the deficit pegged at near $11 billion. A revenue shortfall of about $3.5 billion in the current budget cycle evidently helped balloon the deficit estimates for the coming two years.
If you don't recall deficit troubles of this size last time around in Austin, that's because the state's bacon was saved by the Obama administration's stimulus package. For all Gov. Rick Perry's carping about the stimulus, he and others weren't too proud to use those federal funds to buff up the state's budget picture.
As a first response to this news Straus has done the politic thing. The speaker has come out against new taxes while putting most everything else on the table as a solution.
Among other things, he's mentioned placing a moratorium on new programs requiring state money, halting the issuance of new bonds, and imposing four-day workweeks and unpaid furloughs on state workers.
We have a couple of early thoughts to offer the speaker and other state leaders as they ponder the situation.
One is that the state budget must not be balanced on the backs of Texas' poor and uninsured. That would be mean-spirited; it's also false economy. Most programs for these Texans come with generous federal matches that make them a bargain. In any case, failing to insure the uninsured only drives them to emergency rooms, where costs for care spiral. Let's not go there, please.
We would also take off the table those early proposals to legalize casino gambling as a means of balancing the budget . We agree with Gov. Perry that gambling is a bad bargain. Experience shows that casinos degrade the environment. Texans should adopt the Not in My Back Yard approach on casinos.
The good news for voters and taxpayers puzzling over the coming budget crunch is that there's a statewide election between now and the opening of the legislative session next January. Everyone with a vote or a veto in these crucial money decisions is running for office.
The budget deficit will be Topic A in Austin in 2011. Our advice to voters is to do your homework on these issues, then question your candidates for state representative and state senator carefully. And do the same with those running for comptroller, lieutenant governor and governor."
I couldn't agree more - we should set an example for the nation by balancing the Texas budget - So I PLEDGE - I will help to balance the Texas Budget and NOT vote for any tax increases of any kind. Likewise, I will NOT try to balance the budget on the backs of the poor.
Too many times I see politicians saying that we need to first cut police and fire services when we balance the budget - Do they think we are fools? This is a blatant attempt at intimidating the public - "If you don't let us spend, we will cut the first thing that hurts you - your safety". This is disgraceful. I will not do that.
The FIRST thing that should be cut is GOVERNMENT PENSIONS!! It is ludicrous to think that a government pension should be 2x or 3x better than the private sector - who works for whom? Note - I have NO pension at all. I am OK with that, I prefer to have an IRA or 401K. We are NOT GREECE, nor should we emulate them. Start with the end game in mind - Four day work week? NO - how about a 5 day work week and 10% pay cut!! Temporary budget gimmicks will not fix fundamental policy problems. Don't be fooled!
I believe in DYNAMIC SCORING, not STATIC scoring. This is critical to understanding tax policy and economics - google or wikipedia this term! Simply - if you tax something you get less of it, not more. (Reagan proved it.)
Today in the Wall St Journal there is another brilliant article which proves this point - it is called the "HAUSER EFFECT". It states and proves with years of data that the government will NEVER collect more than 20% of GDP in taxes; after that people cheat, so best to stop taxing above this magic threshold number. Ain't gonna happen.
To prove I am capable, I will soon post my results on my other blog - "ConservativeCultureClub.blogspot.com" as to my math efforts to balance the federal budget. I have no power now, but I do have a calculator! It really is simply a matter of math and courage. Oh, former real world business experience doesn't hurt either.
Monday, February 22, 2010
I attended the Katy Tea Party event this weekend at Taylor High School and it was great. The Tea Party volunteers did a great job with this event and it was educational!
I also had a wonderful opportunity to meet Congressman Ron Paul. He stayed afterwards to meet as many people as he could, which says something about his character. My congressman, Mike McCaul, flew in and out, did not meet anyone. I guess he thinks it is not important to meet the voters.
Congressman/Dr. Paul was his usual self, very much strict in adhering to the Constitution and still very humble. I admire those qualities very much. He took a lot of heat, but it was not deserved, and truth be told, most of it was not really directed at him, just a great deal of frustration with the state of affairs in Washington, D.C
I had a NEW IDEA as I was listening to the candidates, and want to use this as an "Education Moment" for us all. There was one question asked which was - "define "We the People". Well, simply, we the people means all of us, we all have a responsibility to be participating citizens. However, here is what I thought was missing - a call to action.
We the People have three arrows in out quiver if we want to change the government.
1. Mouth - yes, you are allowed to protest, send emails, etc This result is mixed depending upon the character of the rep receiving the message. The Tea Party has done a great job here getting their attention.
However, my additional suggestion - we all need to tell 10 of our friends about this and ask them to tell 10 of their friends, start a viral marketing campaign. That will get more attention.
2. Vote - the ultimate definition of term limits. we all have an opportunity to do this but in between the reps may forget we exist. It is up to each of us to vet the candidates and their integrity and vote wisely. Again, tell 10 of your friends who and why you are voting, encourage them to do the same.
the brass tacks item no one likes, but is also effective -
3. MONEY - campaign contributions. Here is a new twist. I have often found myself frustrated that we in TEXAS don't get a voice because in many cases our choices are between a moderate and a conservative (sometimes). True liberals usually do not fare well here. Many races which will decide our future are not in Texas, as Massachusettes has demonstrated. So what can we do?
Easy - If you do not like Nancy Pelosi, send $10 to her opponent in the next election, same for Harry Reid and Arlen Specter's opponents. Money talks - loudly. Also tell 10 of your friends!!!! We the People can make a difference all over, I encourage you to think this way.
And please don't forget to vote for me in the local Texas election too!
Friday, February 19, 2010
Here is my platform; I am open to comments and suggestions to make it better.
M Ryan Platform Texas State Rep #132 rev date: 01/20/10
1.Freeze taxes! – The real estate tax system is broken, I will introduce a bill similar to California prop 13 – Your homeowner residential taxes will be frozen at the 2009 levels, no agency will be able to automatically raise them until the house actually sells. The sales price shall determine the new tax rate, no more yearly surprise increase in taxes by arbitrary agencies! Call me “Mr. Freeze”!
Reasoning – most people need to be on a budget, you generally have a fixed mortgage payment, why should this not also apply to government taxes? Why should the government automatically get a raise and take more of your money when things change – like the calendar year? If you were laid off, do you think they would forget about your taxes? Ha.
2. Health care – Simple – KISS principle – two part solution, A) Any health insurance policy sold in TX must not have a pre-existing condition clause, period. This may make insurance more expensive, so we also need part B) make insurance available across state lines, any TX resident can buy any health insurance policy by a registered USA firm. This will increase competition, thereby mitigating potential price increases due to the restriction of No pre-existing conditions.
Reasoning - it is not the right of the federal government to do anything about health care, it is a US Constitutional right reserved for the States – see the US Constitution – Amendment 10 - Powers of the States and People. Ratified 12/15/1791.
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
3.Jobs/Economic prosperity – Again, very simple KISS principle. Any TX registered business with less than 50 employees and or less than one million dollars in revenues in a calendar year is exempt from paying Franchise TAX! If the business grows beyond that mark during the year, then they pay a pro rata share tax based on a monthly calculation.
Reasoning – people will only do what hey are incentivized to do – so if you want less of some activity, then Tax it; if you want more of some activity, DON”T TAX IT!
4.Small business assistance – my favorite project! – The Street Rod Bill! –
Allow the registration (and payment of fees) of custom built automobiles. About 18 other states already have these laws, and they are flourishing. This is a multi-billion dollar cottage industry comprised of small businesses and manufacturers. See website:www.SemaSan.com
Reasoning – many auto mechanics, restoration shops, etc are limited in new business by not having a law like this. This will INCREASE tax revenues with ZERO infrastructure cost to the State. Already introduced last Session HB#2412 due to my grass roots efforts.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
A little FAQ is in order to better understand my background and character. I listed a few basic questions that everyone has a right to know, I have no secrets.
Question #1: What is your background?
Fordham Prep (Jesuit) high school graduate
BSEE graduate General Motors Institute, thesis on computer simulation.
Career experience in global firms in the IT areas, finance, manufacturing, IT audit and security. Served as CIO for several firms, extensive and current information technology training in a wide variety of technologies such as Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, Cisco networks, security, risk, compliance, SOX, SAS70, ITIL,CISA, CISSP, PMP and more. Formerly held a life insurance license in addition to SEC Series 6 and 63 securities licenses.
Married with children, lived in
Question #2: Why do you want to run? Why now?
I want to run because I know I can do a better job. Both the Republicans and the Democrats all behave like this is one big country club. All they do is fritter away time and make minor irrelevant changes. We need a better way of thinking and more grass roots action.
The Tea Party movement really struck a chord in my heart and mind. If not me, then who? Now is the right time to stand up for the average, common sense American and take back control of our government for the people. I am doing this for all of us, especially for our children. I am not doing this for personal gain.
Question #3: Why do you believe you are qualified?
I am qualified because I am a businessman with 30 years experience in multiple industries. It is not my lifelong ambition to be a politician. I can bring a real world pragmatic approach to our state which has been lacking for years.
Question #4: What legislative experience do you have?
I have been working for over 4 years now to get a law passed in
I have also negotiated many contracts with vendors on the multi-million dollar level for Federal and State IT contracts for the better part of 15 years in my various capacities as a private sector business leader.
Question #4: Why are you different from all the other candidates?
I have more business experience than all of them – in NON governmental businesses. I am NOT a person who does “Consulting” or “Sells services” to Government entities” and is just looking to get another cushy contract for my firm. I have ZERO conflicts of interest. I intend to actively pursue another CIO position as my full time career.
I think it is a fair question to ask all the candidates what they do for a full-time job and where they get their paycheck, no?
Having been inspired by the tea parties, I have decided that I can do more for my fellow man and have agreed to run for the office of State Representative of Texas district #132, Katy and Cinco Ranch area under the Libertarian party. Please pray for me as I start this new adventure.
I am new to this process, have never done anything like this before, and as this is a part-time position, I will continue to look for another full-time position as a CIO. This blog will serve as my home base for campaign operations. I intend to run a very frugal campaign, all digital if possible. Need volunteers!
Thanks for your prayers and support!