Saturday, April 10, 2010

If you’re going to criticize Obama, get your facts straight


Here’s a scenario to ponder.

A talking head on a television network reports that there’s some language buried in the new health care legislation that will impose a 3.8 percent national tax on the sale of all new homes.

Since I’m a public relations guy in the real estate industry, I start getting calls from people who correctly point out that will absolutely kill the still recovering real estate industry. While such a move would certainly be devastating, there’s a problem here – the aforementioned talking head got her facts wrong.

What is actually buried in the healthcare legislation is a 3.8 percent tax on capital gains from the sale of homes. For individuals, that means that gains of over $250,000 (and $500,000 for couples) will be taxed 3.8 percent. In other words, most people won’t have to worry about the tax at all.

While I’m fundamentally opposed to new taxes (particularly at a time when the economy is garbage), there’s a huge difference between the tax as it was wrongly reported and the actual tax at hand. If you’re going to criticize Barack Obama, get your facts straight.

There are plenty of things coming out of Washington to get mad about these days. Why, then, do people seem to be going out of their way to make up things to criticize?

Griping about proposals that don’t exist is counterproductive – it makes Obama’s detractors look less than credible. That’s not the kind of thing we need going on now as we’ve got an opportunity to put a lot of Republicans in Congress.

What’s the best way to spoil the Republicans chances in November? Running around frightening people based on false information would do it – a dumb tactic when there are so many legitimate issues to discuss.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hangin’ with the CEOs


My, but it’s been a long time since I updated this blog.

I’m sure that one person – heck, maybe even two – has asked, “What’s that The Hawg been up to lately?”

Well, quite a bit, actually. I’ll get into some of that later, but I figure simply pointing out that I’ve been ridiculously busy lately reveals enough details for now.

One thing that has been going on in the past few months is the my wife (the beloved Marci Kay!) and I have found a church that we really enjoy. That would be Parkview United Methodist here in Benton, Ark.

The reason I mention this right now is that I had the rare opportunity to stand up in church and give the sunrise devotional this morning. The church has a tradition of picking a layperson to give the devotional and this year, for some reason, the pastor decided to pick on me.

Oddly enough, I’m used to public speaking but I was as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs while I was standing up there at 7 a.m. To see the devotional I came up with, just click here and give it a read.

What’s odd to me is that I’m due to speak to just about all the county tax collectors and a few people running for office on Tuesday about how to put together an effective media relations plan. That doesn’t bother me. Standing up in front of my church and talking about faith and spirituality, however, bothered me quite a bit.


At any rate, the crowd was fairly small at 7 a.m. What was funny to me is that a slew of people showed up for the 11 a.m. service. A lady who’s in church just about every Sunday identified the crop of unfamiliar attendees as CEOs – people who show up in church on Christmas and Easter only.

That’s absolutely brilliant.

I hope everyone had a great Easter.