The Talking Points memo is about how working Americans are really getting hammered financially right now.

One of the big themes here on The Factor is that the rich and powerful in America often exploit the vast working class. Over the weekend, I did some research. Did you know that since Labor Day, more than $5 trillion has been lost in the stock market? $5 trillion? And most of that money has come out of the retirement and education mutual funds set up for working Americans.

Now, I reviewed all the major brokerage firms and 90 percent of them had "buy" recommendations well into this year. Nobody warned of a crash. And those financial talking heads on TV, the vast majority were telling us to buy on the dips. Few financial people have criticized Alan Greenspan for failing to cut interest rates soon enough and to this day, most of the establishment stands behind him even though the soft landing Greenspan advocated is a joke and a recession is here.

Despite the bad economy, the elite media desperately wants to keep taxes high. I can't understand it. Even some liberal Democrats know that working Americans are struggling, their take home pay gutted. But these pinhead media people are still banging the high tax drum.

The real story here is government waste and unfairness. Uncounted trillions have been spent on programs designed to help poor Americans, for example. But the poverty rate hasn't improved in 30 years. It is true the elderly poverty rate has dropped, but it's also true that senior citizens can't get ahead because they are paying tax on Social Security, which is ridiculous. It's money you've already given the government to hold for you.

Poverty will never be improved by giving people subsidies. Only hard work and education will lift a person economically. It is a myth that people cannot get jobs. There are plenty of jobs available almost everywhere. You start small, you work yourself up. I started in an ice cream store at 16-years-old. Before that I cut lawns. You probably did something like that as well.

The armed forces are begging for recruits and they'll train you to make a living and pay you while doing it. The point is that America's only obligation is to provide a structure whereby hardworking people can get a good life. It is not, I repeat, not the taxpayers' obligation to give money to irresponsible people who are lazy, substance abusers or on the con. The federal government has spent trillions on these kinds of Americans and it is a disgrace. Spending discipline in Washington and most state capitals is a tragic joke. Nobody is watching our money.

This is tax week in America and I'm plenty angry. Everything we do is taxed, yet there is no bang for the buck. The roads in New York look like a Third World country and the energy situation in California is disastrous. Foolish spending is making our lives much tougher than they have to be and Talking Points has had just about enough.

And that's the memo.

Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time now for the Most Ridiculous Item of the Day.

I want to thank everybody who showed up at the book review in Huntington, Long Island, on Saturday night, about 600 Factor viewers were there. And I think I met just about everybody.

One amazing thing happened. More than 30 years ago, I was a lifeguard and swimming instructor for the town of Babylon on Long Island, and I remember pulling a little boy out of one of the pools. He was about 3-years-old, and he'd sunk to the bottom. I just dove in and grabbed him.

Anyway, that kid is now a father, and he showed up to get his book signed. I was amazed when he told me who he was, because I remember that incident like it was yesterday.

Also one of my former students at Pace High School in Miami, showed up, and a bunch of other old friends.

Sometimes self-promotion is ridiculous, but this time it was not.

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