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What’s Up in Washington?

What is really going on in Congress and the White House? In the past year, the word “change” has become the most overly used word in the English language. But what change will actually occur and how will it affect your life? President Obama made over 800 campaign promises… it is impossible for him to deliver on every one of those promises in only four years. But however you feel about the new administration, some things are about to change. I have sifted through the media muck to highlight the probable affects of this new administration and our new Congress. I am pleased to present the top 10 ways Washington will affect you in the next few years:

1) It’s all about the ice cream. Now what does that mean? To explain, I will simply relay a story that I received as an email forward. This story was first told by a teacher in the Nashville area:

“The most eye-opening civics lesson I ever had was while teaching third grade last year. The presidential election was heating up and some of the children showed an interest. I decided we would have an election for a class president. We would choose our nominees. They would make a campaign speech and the class would vote.

The class did a great job in their candidate selections. Both candidates were good kids. The day arrived when they were to make their speeches. Jamie went first. He had specific ideas about how to make our class a better place. He ended by promising to do his very best. Every one applauded. He sat down and Olivia came to the podium. Her speech was concise. She said, “If you will vote for me, I will give you ice cream.” She sat down. The class went wild. “Yes! Yes! We want ice cream.”

A discussion followed. How did she plan to pay for the ice cream? She wasn’t sure. Would her parents buy it or would the class pay for it? She didn’t know. The class really didn’t care. All they were thinking about was ice cream.

Jamie was forgotten. Olivia won by a landslide.

Every time the government offers ice cream, fifty percent of the people react like nine year olds. They want ice cream. The other fifty percent know they’re going to have to feed the cow and clean up the mess.”

Unfortunately, this story sums up the first big change coming out of Washington… Some people will get ice cream and the other half will be left cleaning up after the cow.

2) Tax relief for some and pain for others. The Obama Administration plans to keep the estate tax even though it is scheduled to expire in 2010. This will hurt wealthy people, since the wealthy are the ones with an estate to tax. However, the White House has included a series of tax cuts in the $850 billion stimulus plan which you may be able to take advantage of…. a tax credit of $500 per worker or $1,000 per working couple. Those tax breaks would phase out for individuals making more than $75,000 a year and for couples making more than $150,000 a year. The stimulus plan also intends to add $70 billion in tax cuts for middle-class taxpayers stuck paying the Alternative Minimum Tax. And finally, President Obama has expressed a desire to wait to implement his tax hikes on the wealthy, which is a good sign. But the tax increases will come eventually, probably in 2010 once a recovery is underway.

3) Overhaul of the health care system. There are so many billions of dollars earmarked for health care projects that I cannot even begin to list them now. But in the end, Medicare and Medicaid are set to expand by over $100 billion. Also, the Administration wants all Americans to have access to health care… even those with pre-existing conditions. This is equivalent to crashing your car into a tree and then calling Allstate for insurance coverage of that wreck. In reality, you cannot buy an insurance policy on something you have already wrecked… unless it is your body and you are poor enough to qualify for it. The private insurance companies may not be able to afford these costs, so patients with pre-existing conditions could end up on a government funded program.

4) Your energy bill will go down! But this is after $59 billion in spending on energy and our power grid with benefits not being seen until 2011. However, an updated power grid and energy system would strengthen our nation’s competitive advantages.

5) A more competitive public school system for our children. Now this is a cause I can get behind. The President has supported pay-for-performance public schools. Our schools would greatly benefit if our best teachers were nicely compensated… because other teachers would find an incentive to work harder and become better teachers too! He also supports the rights of parents to decide which schools their children attend.

6) Breaks for businesses, but mostly for losing companies. While I cannot understand the thinking behind only rewarding those who are failing, I’ll take what I can get. The stimulus plan includes a provision to allow money-losing companies to carry current net operating losses back 5 years instead of 2 to reduce tax liabilities in previous years (and maybe get some money back now!) Loss carrybacks are similar to loss carryforwards, except companies apply their net operating loss to preceding years instead of subsequent years’ income. For example, if a company had a loss of $1,000,000 this year but had a gain of $1,000,000 five years ago, the company could apply this year’s loss to the gain five years ago and wipe out the tax liability five years ago. Since the company paid taxes back then, the company should get a refund. The stimulus plan will also offer relief for companies investing in new plants and equipment as well as those hiring youths and veterans. Any stimulus for business is crucial right now.

7) “Cut taxes on all Americans making under $250,000 a year.” Not exactly. When the Bush tax cuts expire in 2010, taxes will rise on everyone and probably settle around Clinton-era levels. And the $250,000 number is probably going to be lower, but no one knows exactly what it is going to be.

8) The South becomes the new Detroit. While the stimulus bill has preoccupied most people’s minds lately, I have not forgotten about the bailout of GM and Chrysler. The magnification of such major problems in Detroit served to also magnify the success of car manufacturers in the South. An interesting development that has already been under way in recent years is the South’s new role as host to foreign-owned automobile plants. But foreign-owned does not mean foreign workers, and the car companies that call Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and other Southern states home employ thousands of Americans. In fact, two-thirds of foreign cars are actually built in the South in nonunion shops where it costs at least $2,000 less to build each vehicle than it does in Detroit.

To make matters worse for the Big Three, GM supports 400,000 retirees while Toyota only supports 700 because the Southern autoworkers are a fairly young population. But there is good news… GM, Chrysler, Ford, and Congress are catching on! The South is the place to be to build vehicles due to a small union presence, lower taxes, and a welcoming attitude towards automobile plants. The South is becoming the new Detroit, which is a boon for small Southern towns that are supported by automobile plants.

9) The government enters the hedge fund business. TARP could be renamed “The United States Hedge Fund” because it would more aptly describe what the bailout money is accomplishing. Hedge funds borrow short, lend long, and hope to make money off the spread between the short and long rates, which has become the government’s new business. While this is the first time the government is truly “investing” directly in securities, neither the government nor the media will be calling it that. Even though we are told that every other spending program in this country is an “investment” in our country’s future, TARP does not get the golden title of “investment” that every other entitlement program gets. Instead, it is an ugly “expense” with the taxpayers footing the bill. In actuality, all of the programs are expenses and we foot the bill for every spending program. But expenses are necessary evils, and hopefully the investment in our banking sector will pay off.

10) The need to dodge traffic cones. The government’s new New Deal includes huge infrastructure spending that won’t really begin to affect the economy until 2010. But get excited about dodging lots of traffic cones! From bridges to water slides, construction cones will be everywhere. And that is about the only way the new New Deal will affect you until these projects approach completion in 2011 and 2012. But once they are completed, our infrastructure, particularly bridges, will be much more stable.

It is important to remember that we have elected a president, not a king. Congress makes the laws and The President in fact only has two major powers; the ability to veto and send the troops to war. So, the real success of the Administration hinges on the success of the new Congress and the ability to keep special interests at bay when important bills are proposed. Every single one of the ten points above falls outside of the power of the President, and therefore we should be much more watchful of Congress. President Obama has shown an admirable desire for bipartisanship in Congress, and I think we all commend him for that. He appears to truly want the best for America, and I remain hopeful that he and Congress will make the best choices for our ailing economy and for each of you.

About Welding Jobs and Salary

Before analyzing the existing wage structure of people welding jobs or assessing what salary the welding jobs merit, it will be sane to first study the job profile of people who are professional welding operators.

Simply stated, welding is the process of heating and melting metal parts to permanently join them. Welding finds wide applications in many industries including automobiles, airplanes, ships, and fabrication of sheet-metal products. Welding also becomes necessary when constructing bridges and building products. It is also the part of a welder’s job to cut metal into pieces or to cut structures as per design and to discarded unwanted metal.

Welders are mostly classified as skilled workmen as welding jobs do call for some special training and expertise. Professionally qualified and experienced welders work from blueprints and to other pre-determined specifications. They are fully aware of the welding properties of various kinds of metals and the varying techniques needed to weld them.

In fact, with the availability of advanced technologies, welders even rely on computers and robots to weld metal pieces to precision. Less skilled welders work on projects that do not call for advanced skills like common types of fabrication and do repetitive work in manufacturing units that calls for no special knowledge of welding properties.

There are numerous methods of welding that use either electricity or various gasses to generate the required levels of heat to bond metals. Arc welding, which can be done either manually or with the aid of machine, is the most common method. Another form of welding, that is equally common, is the use of gas. Though many types of gases are deployed, the common one is an acetylene and oxygen torch.

As regards the educational qualifications required to pursue a career in welding, a high school diploma with mathematics, physics, mechanical drawing and principles of electricity will be useful – though this qualification can not be deemed essential. It can also be said that a basic knowledge of computer and functioning of robots will be helpful for advancing in one’s career as a welder.

Industrial training institutes, vocational trade schools, and some community colleges offer training programs for welders, and some manufacturing companies also provide in-house apprenticeship for welders. Apart from the educational qualifications and professional training, an aspiring welder should possess sound health, manual dexterity, sharp eyesight, and good hand-eye coordination.

As regards wages, the currently prevailing standard norms are:

* Hourly Rate $13.40 – $19.41
* Overtime $19.79 – $29.26

There are employers who also offer:

* Bonus $248.73 – $1,511
* Profit Sharing $496.27 – $2,057

There could also be earnings in the form of tips, commissions and cash incentives. Of courses the salary/wages will vary depending on the location and the size of the employer.

Underwater welders and those who well-qualified and adequately experienced in complicated forms of welding and those who inspect welds, or teach welding earn more money than people who do routine welding jobs.

Construction companies and manufacturing plants offer ample employment opportunities for welders. Local union offices or state employment agencies offer guidance about training and job openings for welders. Newspaper classified ads and Internet job banks are also excellent sources of information for people wishing to embark on a welding career.

Renting Furniture is a Cost-Effective Option

Renting furniture and other household goods can be an attractive and cost-effective option. You can either choose short-term furniture rental as the inexpensive alternative to hotel or temporary accommodation. They are designed and manufactured by some of the best home furniture manufacturers and furniture craftsmen in the business. There are many companies who can supply furnishings, pictures, lamps, kitchen appliances, linen, audio, video equipment, TVs, and more as part of a furnishing package, either for your own use or for show houses. These suppliers can also provide temporary office essentials, telecommunications equipment and, of course, the furniture necessary for any home office.

1. Renting furniture will free up all those fixed assets for more productive uses. They would offer a wide range of items for hire and is the most convenient and less time consuming way to furnish your whole home in a very short amount of time. Rental furniture is an ideal way to improve the sale ability of show homes and other property for sale.

2. You can also choose different styles of furniture rental to suit different rooms and to match any property at very competitive prices and the rentals normally start from one month. The companies would also offer comprehensive maintenance service and warranty, showing they are confident of the quality of their furniture.

3. Whether it is a designer table or full home furniture that you have ordered, these companies always do their best to ensure that the quality of the furniture rental must match your expectations. Some renting furniture suppliers also provide additional services such as lease to buy options, free maintenance, or free interior design service.

4. With the help of the good workmanship and usage of finest materials these suppliers promise good quality, beautiful, comfortable and durable items. You can also hire for longer stays, either for the duration of the assignment, or to bridge the gap until your own furniture arrives. These rental companies can give a total solution for all your home furniture and home furnishing needs, and will save you a lot of effort.

5. Good quality furniture can transform an uninviting house into an attractive home that people would love to buy. Many companies will supply a choice of furniture styles according to your taste, lifestyle, and living space. You can also purchase a damage protection insurance policy to protect yourself from damages other than normal wear and tear.

Renting furniture companies supply all sorts of contemporary or classic items that you need to make any property a home. There are many suppliers offering clients with the flexibility either to rent complete furniture packs or to mix from the various ranges available. The customers can either choose individual items, or request a pack containing everything they require. Since furniture hire is an expense and is tax deductible, allowing you significant amount of tax savings. Hiring for short or long term stays can be more economical and less hassle than shipping your own furniture and you can quickly and conveniently furnish empty property, or replace the existing unwanted furnishings.