Tag Archives: Dubya

Team vs. Policy

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a relative new comer to following politics.  And certainly, this is the first time that I’ve followed and paid attention to politics real time.  So I’ve never been in the circumstance of having to critique a republican president.

To be sure, at the end of Dubya’s term, I was aware and didn’t appreciate the lack of end-game concerning the two wars, I didn’t like the fact that we were detaining suspects with no real intention of trying them and I didn’t like the stimulus.

However, now we’re into Obama’s 2nd term and I’ve noticed a definite lack of prosecution regarding the subject of drones, drone strikes and the use of such as it concerns targets; foreign and domestic.

I would have guessed at such silence.  After all, politics is, in many ways, a zero-sum game; the other guy wins when you lose.  So  liberal to take Obama to task for such abuse of power is counter-productive to their “cause”.  I get that.

But this?

“We trust the president,” former Gov. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan said on Current TV. “And if this was Bush, I think that we would all be more up in arms because we wouldn’t trust that he would strike in a very targeted way and try to minimize damage rather than contain collateral damage.”

This isn’t a critique of policy where one side “attacks” the other guy and silently disagrees with our guy.  This is a case where the policy is okay in the hands of our guy but wrong in the hands of the other.

In other words, the act of killing Americans, foreign suspects and innocent civilians isn’t wrong a priori, it’s only wrong in the hands of President Bush.

The only thing more surprising than thinking this?

Saying this.

 

Question On Taxes And Revenues

If an individual is a net Federal Income Tax receiver, is a reduction in the amount of money he receives from the Federal Government a tax hike for him?

I suspect that the answer is “yes.”  Exemptions that are removed seem to be treated as tax hikes.

For illustration, I own a home.  If the mortgage interest deduction would go away I would pay more taxes.  I can see me arguing that would be equal to a tax increase.   And since there is no income level that carries a negative tax bracket, any change in tax policy that would diminish a payment or reduce a deduction would be seen as a tax hike.

I’m only thinking this through right now.  I’m reading the report from the Tax Policy Center on how the plan offered by Romney would impact the tax picture for all of us.

I have two thoughts besides the one above:

  1. Why do we need to be revenue neutral?  Why can’t we cut taxes and just quit spending so much money?
  2. This sentence from the same organization bothers me: “An estimated 42 percent of the 76 million nontaxable tax units will have negative liability in 2011.”

A tax is an amount of money that an individual PAYS to the government.  Reducing the amount of money that someone GETS from the government might not be labelled a tax INCREASE.  In fact, I happen to think that labeling government entitlement programs as “tax cuts” has been a method to get those programs passed.  And this is long before Obama stepped into the White House [DUBYA!]

Serious.  42% of 76 million is a lot of people who are takers.  And 76 million out of 300 million is a  lot of non-payers!

Light Bulb Technology: Update II

Awhile ago I mentioned that I was starting an experiment on different types of light bulbs.  I think that there are three commercially available bulbs on the market.

  1. Incandescent
  2. CFL
  3. LED

I have purchased a bulb of each kind and am conducting an experiment with each of the three.  As part of the experiment, I need to account for:

  1. Quality of light
  2. Cost of bulb
  3. Heat of bulb
  4. Cost of electricity
  5. Cost of replacement

I just finished my evaluation of the CFL and I must admit, it stands the test of the test.

I find the light to be nearly equal to the light given off by the incandescent.  Which to me, in certain conditions, is a deal breaker.  Further, the heat given off by the CFL is manageable.  While I am unable to unscrew a traditional light bulb while burning, I was able to unscrew a CFL while burning.

So, the financials:

Bulb Cost per Bulb Cost per KWH Cost per hour Lifespan 50,000 Hour Cost
Incandescent $1.00 $0.1701 $0.0070 2,000 $375.00
CFL $1.00 $0.1701 $0.0017 10,000 $88.00

Not even close.  Over the course of 50,000 hours the savings is about 400% over the incandescent bulb.,  And if you demonstrate the savings in terms of 10,000 hours:

Bulb Cost per Bulb Cost per KWH Cost per hour Lifespan 50,000 Hour Cost 10,000 Hour Cost
Incandescent $1.00 $0.1701 $0.0070 2,000 $375.00 $75.00
CFL $1.00 $0.1701 $0.0017 10,000 $88.00 $17.60

Again, not even close.  However, the difference in 10,000 hours vs, 50,000 hours is that 10,000 hours is very close to a year.  Just be switching to a CFL bulb you can save about 60 bucks a year.

Per lamp.

Wow!

The light is a little bit more raw, but, if you are like me, you will have a shade over the bulb.  And that shade blunts the glare of the CFL to the point that you can’t tell.

At this point, the CFL wins hands down!

Light Bulb Technology

So, last week I was in Home Depot looking for some stuff.  And while shopping for stuff, I thought of some other stuff I wanted to buy.  Light bulbs.  See, I like my light bulbs and the light they give off.  Further, I discriminate in my light bulbs based on several factors:

  1. Quality of light
  2. Cost of bulb
  3. Heat of bulb
  4. Cost of electricity
  5. Cost of replacement

The single most important aspect to me is the quality of the light.  I hate Hate HATE working in too dim light, reading by too bright a light and sweating too near a hot light.  Hate it all.  So, it matters.

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