Faux Outrage of the Week
Fox News faux outrage of the week is Obama reminding Americans that businesses benefit from roads for their goods and supplies to travel on, a publicly educated workforce that can do fancy things like read, police and firefighters to protect their property, a legal system that protects them from fraud. There is a country that doesn’t have all those things: Somalia. Perhaps these “insulted” Republicans think that their businesses would be just as likely to thrive in that libertarian paradise.
It is all too easy to insult this whiny batch of thin-skinned Republicans. They can dish it out in spades, but they can’t take it at all. They’re all “Death Panels” or “Obama is a Kenyan communist atheist Muslim who has been too influenced by an evil Christian preacher and is now out destroy America.”, but suggest that Romney’s tenure at Bain wasn’t 100% on the up and up and their victim complex comes through load and clear while they stomp their feet demanding an apology.
You Pay For What You Bought
Tea Party Republicans seem to have got the notion that even if the debt limit isn't raised, there will still be enough money to pay for Social Security, the military, homeland security, Medicare, and other essential services as well as avoid a government default by paying the interest and fees on the debt. While it is true that the United States government will still have access to some money, prioritizing where that money goes isn't as simple as they believe and avoiding default isn't just about paying the interest on the national debt.
Suppose you have a friend named Alice Trustworthy. Alice Trustworthy offers you $1000 to paint the interior of her house in July. She doesn't have the money on hand, but she has a line of credit she often uses to pay her bills which she can also use to pay you.. Based on the trust that you have in Alice's you are certain that you will be paid. You use your credit card to buy the paint and supplies and get to work. You know next month you can just pay off the credit card with the money she'll give you.
In August, Alice Trustworthy decides that she doesn't feel like borrowing any more money. Because she isn't borrowing anymore, she's going to strip her budget down to the bare essentials and having the inside of her house repainted isn't all that essential -- you aren't getting paid. You already did the work. You need the money to pay off the credit card that you used to buy the supplies. Perhaps you could have used some of that money to employ someone to help you on your next job. How trustworthy do you think Alice Trustworthy is now?
Much of the "non-essential" goods and services that the government must pay for have already been provided, the invoice just hasn't been proceed yet. Failing to pay for those goods and services is just as much a government default as failing to pay the interest on the debt. The United States government cannot pick and choose what bills to pay and the Tea Party folk are deluding themselves if they don't realize the dire consequences of the United States no longer being considered trustworthy enough to pay its bills.
Simple Way to Save Social Security
FICA is on of the most regressive taxes on Earth. A person making $20,000/yr pays 7.65% of their paycheck to FICA, while a person earning $2,000,000/yr only pays 1.78% of their paycheck to FICA.
FICA funds Medicare and Social Security with 1.45% of each paycheck going to Medicare and 6.2% going to Social Security. However, the 6.2% to Social Security is only payed on the first $106,500 earned. After that point only the 1.45% for Medicare is taken out. This amounts to a enormous and rarely mentioned tax break for the rich. Forget about raising the retirement age, removing the FICA cap would fix Social Security overnight.
I’ve Lost Control to My Cat
We were having a problem with Paddington peeing near the pocket doors. We tried many solutions. Everything from putting her in the litterbox when we saw her heading to her favorite pee spot to putting tinfoil down hoping she’d avoid it. The tinfoil at least collected the pee, but nothing seemed to work.
Paddington’s favorite pastime is eating, so I started a policy I call “Wet floor, dry food”. Under the policy if she pees on the floor, she gets dry food. If the floor is dry, she gets wet food. The policy didn’t show immediate results. It took her over a month to get the correlation between where she peed and what she ate. She eventually did, and the peeing dried up.
This was all fine and good until yesterday. Yesterday, I gave her dry food for breakfast. Immediately afterwards, she went over to the pocket doors and peed. This officially turns the tables. The policy is now hers: “Dry food, wet floor”. She is the one making the demands that I must adhere to. I’ve lost control to my cat.
History of Buying a Floppy Disk at Walgreens
1990: "What's a floppy disk?"
1995: "This isn't a computer store."
2000: "Aisle 1, next to photo."
2005: "This isn't an antique store"
2010: "What's a floppy disk?"
Snow and Plow
While the total didn't end up anything spectacular, the snow was coming down hard for a while yesterday. At one point I helped dig out and then push a snow plow that had gotten stuck. You know road conditions are bad when the plows are getting stuck. Of course, I then had to drive in it. I am very thankful for the Nokian WRG2 tires. They have made driving around this winter so much less "oh my god we're going to die!".
Yard Sale Photos
Yard Sale Results
The yard sale ended at 3pm. It picked up later in the day (after making only 10¢ the first hour and a half out there. Our hard-to-find location put a cap on the number of people who were able to turn out. We ended up pulling in $65.50. Not that bad on the face of it, however that represents a rate of $3.28/hr taking into account the time spent organizing, pricing, setting up, taking down, placing ads online, creating signs, putting up signs, and actually running the sale. Still, I think I'll do it again.