Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mitt Romney and Taxes.

Mitt Romney is set to release his tax returns in April 2012. This gives him time to show us a "clean" return. I'd sure like to see his previous returns!

How about some predictions? I predict it will show an income in the millions, and a tax rate of around 14% or 15%. Less than HALF of what the average American pays!

His tax will be so low BECAUSE HE DOESN'T WORK! In other words UNEARNED income is taxed at less than half of what you pay if you WORK! Can anyone tell me what is wrong with this picture? If you work for your income you pay MORE (a lot more) than if you don't work for it. If that is not the wrong way around I don't know what is.

How did that happen? No prizes for an answer! The wealthy OWN our Congress, and Congress passes the tax laws.

Q.E.D. (Quod Erat Demonstradum - Which was to be proved.)

Cutting Taxes On The Rich.

We have a huge National Debt. This is due in part because of tax cuts to the wealthy and to two wars, that were not paid for.

A Trillion Dollar war, with no provision to pay for it. (For those who don't know, when you go to war you raise taxes on everyone to pay for it. That is how it should be, everyone should feel the hurt, not just our children who get maimed and killed.)

A Trillion Dollars a year in tax cuts for the rich - at the same time as we go to war!! (Yes we are a rich country, but not that rich!)

Result a bigger National Debt, which is ongoing because the Republicans - George W Bush in particular - left us a legacy of two unfunded wars and a huge tax cut for those who least need it!

The wealthy can take care of themselves - isn't that pretty obvious? Duh! That is how and why they got rich, because they are able to take care of themselves. They don't need any help from us - and yet we INSIST on trying to get their taxes cut, again and again!! How dumb is that? Here we have one of the two strongest political parties (do I need to say the Republican Party?) using all their effort and influence to cut taxes to the wealthy! They seem to have no interest in anything else. They barely mention the deficit, the illegal immigrants, our crumbling roads and bridges, lack of health insurance and care for our citizens, even the "missing" birth certificate is hardly mentioned any more! No, they are instead concentrating all their efforts on reducing taxes for the wealthy. And even more amazingly, 50% of the population goes along with this! People who have been ruined by mortgage scams after credit default swaps disgrace, after hedge fund outrage, after - well you name it - and they still want to give these criminals even bigger tax cuts! (Most of whom already pay tax at a rate of HALF what the average American pays!)

Who can figure?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sales Tax Or Gas Tax?

I'm sure you have all heard that our Govenor has proposed an increase in the gas tax or the sales tax.

Well I for one favor a gas tax. Why? Well, you can't fully avoid either one, but you can avoid the gas tax more than you can a sales tax.

How? The way I see it, you need to spend whatever you spend for items that carry a sales tax, and you have very little way to avoid it.

But with gas, there are many ways to cut your use of gas. And, by using less gas you not only save yourself money, you also help to save the Planet! You help our health - less pollutants - as well as our environment, our air and our water. We also send less money to those who hate us, which in turn reduces our balance of payments and reduces our National Debt.

Who can argue with that? It is a win/win/win situation for us, the USA, and the West.

How to reduce gas use? Here is a list of ways to do that, most of them are easy and require little or no outlay or effort by you but could be World changing! A few of the ideas would involve expenditures, but these could be expenditures that you would need to make one day anyway. If you just make different decisions at that time, you can make a difference to us and the USA and The World!

Use your smaller more efficient car. Sell your SUV and buy a Prius. (They make a seven seater now!) Drive less - hard to do, but possible - combine trips, share rides.

Keep your car(s) efficient, tire pressure up, tune ups, do less hard accelerating and braking, (that is a BIG one) Accelerating hard can use 10 times as much gas. And every time you brake, you have just completely wasted the gas you used to get up to that speed!

The biggest way of saving gas available to everyone is to only run the engine when you are driving. To set your mind straight on this one - a small car idling uses about 2 ounces of gas a MINUTE! A large Pick Up Truck or SUV uses 4 ounces OR MORE PER MINUTE, when just idling! It uses less gas to shut off your engine and restart it if you will be stopped for more than 10 SECONDS!

For example, you don't need to "warm up" your engine. If you are really hot on this gas waster, at least keep it down to 10 seconds or so.(A neighbor that I had once, let her HUGE Pick Up Truck idle for a half an hour or more before she left for work every day! She'd go out and start it, go back into the house and come out again a half hour later! At 4 ounces per minute that was 120 ounces of gas, or about a gallon a day! I'm sure she also left it running when she stopped at the 7-11 to get her morning cup of coffee, cigarettes and a chat.)

In contrast when I get into my car I wait until everyone is in and their seat belts done up before I start the car. Think about that for a minute, I expect you, like I used to do, get into the car and start it up right away. Then you wait for your spouse and children to get in, maybe you even get out and clean the windshield or go and get the mail, pick up the newspaper from the driveway etc. That could easily be 5 minutes or more of idling. Even in a small car that's 5x2oz=20oz of gas, and let's face it most people are driving large SUVs nowadays - 5x4oz=20oz of gas! Do that just a few times with an SUV - it could be in one day - and you just wasted a whole gallon of gas!

Next you stop at the bank and go through the drive through. When I do my transaction I shut off my engine as soon as I stop at the container that zooms my deposit to the teller. THEN I get the container, put in my deposit, write anything if I need to, send it off. The teller then takes her time doing the work. Asks me if I want anything else, etc, etc, I get the container back, remove my paperwork, replace the container, check my paperwork, put it away AND THEN restart my car. Rarely does this take less than 5 minutes. 5x4=20 ounces of gas SAVED!! Imagine if everyone did that! 100 million car owners, twice a week, for 52 weeks = 3.25 Billion gallons of gas = 77 million barrels of oil! A barrel of oil sells for around $100 now, or $7.7 Billion. Just for shutting off the engine when going through your bank drive through!

Imagine the savings in oil use if you don't leave your engine idling while you go into the 7-11 for coffee, while waiting for your kids outside the school, while waiting for your spouse while he/she goes into the store, while sitting in your car reading and waiting, leaving it running to keep it warm/cool - while you do your grocery shopping or whatever. And I don't mean just the savings to you, I mean to the country. To our air, to our children with asthma, to global climate change, to our balance of payments, National Debt, and on and on, I'm sure that you can think of other reasons to not waste a resource like the World's limited supply of oil which can be used for such a myriad of uses other than burning it up. (Just in case you didn't know, although I think everyone does nowadays, it is used to make plastic - at least a million different things are made of plastic, maybe a billion different things - it is used in perfume, make up, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, man made fibres, vitamins, detergents, film, CDs, clothing, shoes, wax, fertilizer, cleaning products, oil for engines of all kinds, for lubrication, etc, etc ,etc, the list is endless.) and yet we are burning up this resource that our modern world could not exist without.

We should be conserving it while we find a way to replace it with something that does not dirty our air and water and is not so irreplaceable.

Another reason to use less oil, perhaps the best one is to preserve our children's arms, legs and lives. To maintain our wasteful lifestyles (every American uses, on average, more than twice as much energy as every European. Per person.) we regularly go to war, sending our most precious resource, our children, to fight, and die, so that we can live "The Good Life". Or as one friend says, and insists, that it is his right to choose. He should not be forced to use less of oil or electricity or anything. He thinks he should be allowed to use incandescent light bulbs instead of CFLs or LEDs if he chooses. He is an intelligent man but thinks that his, "right to choose", is more important than anything! Surely not more important than our children's lives?

Where was I? Oh yes saving gas. It's so easy, and SO important, please just DO IT, for all our sakes, and for the Planets sake.

Oh, and as I said at the start, I would favor an increased gas tax over an increased sales tax. Now you know why. Wy not just expand the sales tax to cover gasoline?

Good night, sleep tight.


Yes siree, it is cold today, 25 degrees at 7.00am and The Lake is almost frozen over. I got the fire going, let the chickens out - they just shook their feathers out and got on with their business, whatever that is, I guess clearing up any bugs, insects and wayward seeds laying around in their pen.

Muffey the cat went out for a brief walk, but was soon back, scratching at the door to be let back in. By this time the fire was well under way, my coffee almost finished, the cat's food was down and the paper was in. The sun was also well up, but the temperature was still down. Eight o'clock and it is still a mean 26 degrees!

OK, I have checked my e-mails, sent some answers, shaved, showered and dressed and it is almost 9.00 and still only 27 degrees. But the sun is well up and the sky a nice bright shade of blue, I am hopeful that it will soon warm up. At least there is no sign of rain or snow.

My Grandson Bradley and I built a walkway out of composite "Wood" on Saturday on one of the coldest windiest days of the year. It was surprisingly successful. I have to go out, probably today, to pick up a couple more pieces of wood to finish it. He will be back on Wednesday to help me wrap up yet another project, on this new, still unfinished, house. But I am not going to go into that today, you will doubtless be glad to hear!

The walkway, which goes from our driveway to the bottom of the steps that go up to our front door, a distance of 22 feet, replaces a "Crazy Paving Walkway", that while attractive, was also a hazard. The stone walkway was uneven, so that I was always afraid that our increasingly elderly friends were going to fall. Being stone, there was also the danger of it being slippery in the presence of rain, snow or ice. We had planted a few sprigs of Thyme in the gaps between the stones, this had thrived and almost half of the path was now covered in the Thyme.

I think the new path/walkway will be a success. Bradley says he will set the stones, which he pulled up prior to our work, alongside the driveway as a way of separating the drive from the lawn and also giving me a hard surface to walk on when going to the mailbox. I would have liked to have continued the composite walkway all the way to the mailbox, but at some 75 feet further that will have to wait for a lottery win, the death of some, as yet unknown rich uncle, some other windfall or a better job offer.

Well time to move on, it looks like it is going to be a cold day for sure.