Rich Galen

Preface:

Take a bow.

As I mentioned in Friday's Mullings I was in Marietta, Ohio 45750 to participate in the groundbreaking for the home of SP4 Kyle Hockenberry who lost both legs and his left arm in an IED attack in Afghanistan.

A terrific crowd came out to "the county" where the new house will be built. The color guard were three members of the Marietta City Fire Department - all veterans; a County Commissioner, the Mayor, the wife of U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson were among the others who were there.

So were you.

The representatives of the Tower to Tunnels Foundation announced that the full $375,000 necessary to build and equip this accessible house has been raised.

You contributed nearly 10 percent of that total for a young man you had never heard of, much less ever met.

You did a very good thing.

Rich

It is well known that there are a number of countries in Europe that are in dire financial straits. So dire, that they make our $16.7 trillion national debt look manageable.

We know about Greece and Italy, Portugal and Spain. Not only are they drowning in debt, but they have high unemployment (Spain's is nearly 25 percent) and negative GDP growth.

But the scariest news over the weekend came from the tiny country of Cyprus.

I'll wait while you try to remember if you know where Cyprus is located.

Ok. It is an island about half the size of Connecticut, with a population of about 1.1 million, located in the Eastern Mediterranean south of Turkey.

It is also broke.

vCyprus has close ties with Greece and had invested heavily in Greek bonds. Unfortunately for Cyprus, foreign investors in Greek debt were forced, in 2011, to take a voluntary haircut of up to 50 percent of the value of those bonds.

With an economy as thin as Cyprus a loss of that magnitude in the funds it had, essentially, parked for safety sake was more than just a jolt. It threw the economy into a tailspin.

Why am I bothering you with the Cypriot economic woes? Because of the manner in which the big guns in the European Union - in this case Germany - wanted to structure a $13 billion bailout.

Here's what they decided: Individuals who have deposits of at least $130,000 (equivalent) in Cypriot banks will pay what the New York Times called a "one-time tax" of 9.9 percent of their deposits.

Smaller depositors will have their funds confiscated taxed to the tune of 6.75 percent.


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.

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