End of the month, here is another one we can stuff into the bag, and put it away for all time.
Haven’t been up on the old soapbox here lately, so today I am going to take a stab at it. I have done rather well the last sixty days avoiding political issues and what-knot, but today I feel it in my bones to mention a few items of interest I have observed here of late.
Lot of talk about Obama’s first 100 days in office and to the average Joe, it appears that he might be the most polarizing president this country has ever seen. The big rumble around here is a proposed tax on the miles that we drive, which should not come as any big surprise, we talked about that last year.
Once again, we prove ourselves to be just a tad bit ahead of the curve on things in general.
As more and more states find themselves cash strapped for gasoline income that is no longer there, they will come up with creative ways to soak the taxpayer even more, this is surely just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. It is also why we are seriously considering a Ford Hybrid and 41 miles per gallon, not so much to help out the folks at Ford, but to cut us a little slack on some of this high priced fuel. Right now 700 miles on one tank is starting to look pretty good.
Best get ready boys n girls, the fed’s and the state are coming for you with their endless half-full bucket and they are going to ask you to fill it but one more time.
If you don’t believe that, then consider this. When federal income tax was first established, in 1913, the tax code was a mere 400 pages. Today the tax code is 70,320 pages and it is rumored that there is but a “handful of people in Washington” that can actually read it and comprehend its meaning. This is one thing the government is very proficient at, and that is getting into your pocket.
It is now being reported that the federal budget deficit rose to a record $957 billion in the first six months of fiscal 2009. Which is kind of funny, because we are just starting the “5th” month tomorrow, so how do they know it rose this much in five months and not what they are reporting (six).
March government outlays increased 41% to $321 billion from the previous year (March 2008). While at the same time revenue fell 28% to about $129 billion. So as you can plainly see, both the fed’s and the states are cash strapped, and who do you suppose they are going to tap to find a solution to the shortfall.
If there is a (new) way to gouge you, they will find it. We seem to think in generalities, whereas they seem to deal in detail.
The only people that seem to do good at all this are the lobbyists. They spent something like $3 billion last year in Washington DC and they got their money’s worth. A University of Kansas study just released reports that a single corporate tax break in 2004 enabled 800 companies to save a total of $100 billion dollars. I put back about $1300 but my tax liabilities were considerably higher, and that was without a bail out.
Just depends on how you look at it I guess. Things could be worse, things could be better.
On the upside, it is rumored that Starbucks is putting out a new blend of “Deepresso Coffee” for those days that are so hard to get thru. The Dallas Cowboys are building a new stadium, a $1 billion plus, 3 million square foot undertaking that will include 80,000 seats, two 180 foot long High Def Video screens, and the largest retractable roof ever constructed.
It is truly …. The worst of times … and the best of times in the USA.
For those who have everything, the economic downturn has some searching for “a greener and cheaper alternative to the dreaded McMansion prospective.” You can now live in a smaller, much smaller house. There is a new home on the market called the XS-House, a ready made 65-square foot, yes I said “65 sq ft” home. It is being offered by Tumbleweed Tiny House Company and it makes a diminutive domicile of all sorts and it is also the smallest model that they currently offer.
Price? Just $37,000 and some change, can we build one for you?
We are such a diverse culture aren’t we, we celebrate Obama’s first 100 days in office, and are asked at the same time to critique his performance on the local news, which is like saying to the viewer, “let us pool our ignorance on this subject” and then make a pronouncement of this man’s abilities.
How sick is that.
I understand that scientists have now locked up six volunteers in a mock spacecraft for a 105-day stay, to see if they can manage not to kill one another. Now we have a new standard for stupidity. For an even tougher test, please identify three people you personally know who would truly push human tolerance and endurance to the limit if locked up together for 105 days.
How about your mother-in-law, the checkout girl at Lowe’s, maybe a credit card rep.
(Yeah I know, don’t write me any letters)
So for all you stalworth champions who have managed to hang in there this long, here is the point. We fritter away our time on the frivolities of life, and virtually ignore the important issues. Meanwhile that wonderful gang of thugs, The Taliban and other Afghan extremists attack 256 schools in that country (during the past year) for the “crime” of teaching girls, killing 58 children and teachers.
Where is the “democracy in that” if it is there, I fail to see it.
We sit back and try to gauge the competence of our leadership, while we inspect every stock-jobbing swindle, pass on the Ponzi schemes, and wonder if the crash is really going to come? Everyone hopes and prays that if it does, that it will land on the head of our neighbor, but not before we reap the profit from the financial storm and get caught in the shower of gold.
So much for April, another old tired soldier put to bed.
I believe I will go outside, sit on the porch, seriously ponder or study the size and weight of a cloud, and do my best to forget about this past 100 days. For the most part, I feel that Obama is doing the best he can with what he has to deal with, and this is after all, going to be a long row to hoe, it isn’t going to get solved in 100 days for cryin’ out loud. That my friends is called a reality of life.
I am going to do my best to file it in the back part of my mind and not worry about it.
This of course comes under the heading of the “best laid plans, hopes and schemes of man” a plan that seldom actually works. No matter what picture or landscape I try to paint, they always come back to haunt me. I am sure they will be on every channel tonight or soon to remind me.
They are never far away, so much for day #1 of the second 100 days.
Cartoon courtesy of Think Progress Online.