Saturday, April 16, 2011

Good morning, everyone. It is a gray and wet Saturday. And the temps are supposed to fall through the day. The weather person on the morning news said we are lucky because the rain is supposed to end before evening--otherwise we might have had snow. They also said that the temps are more in line with March not April. We wondered if anyone remembered what April once felt like--it seems like a long time since we had a 'normal' weather pattern.
Good morning, again, and it is now Sunday. As you can see I didn't have much to say yesterday This cold and wet pattern is supposed to stay around through the week. I had hoped for some dry and sunny weather so I could get out and work the containers. I was glad to see that the tents on the containers were still intact. That wind last night had me worried. Of course, I am counting my blessings considering the wicked weather the south has had. I need to update my computer records for the seed starting so I can start reassessing my procedures.
Good Monday morning, to you all. Let's see if there is anything out there I want to comment on. Actually a pair of stories peaked my interest this morning. A major theme for the last week has been the tax deadline (today.) This morning the news readers noted that half of all families in the U.S. pay no taxes. Of course, the readers provided no details--like why so many had no taxes due. Did they make too little to have a taxable income after their deductions? How many lived on non-taxable or minimally taxable income? In either case what does that say about our economic system that so many people have so little income they have no tax burden? And then there is this piece from Huffington Post. The author doesn't break down the information to answer the two questions I asked above about those who have no tax burden. However, it seems the wealthiest, who have a nominal tax rate of 35%, will actually pay only, on average, 17%. This is for individuals only--nothing about the largest American companies that pay no taxes at all. I think a tax code over haul is in order that both reduces the nominal tax rates and the number of exemptions, credits and so on. There is something incredibly dishonest about a system in which high end taxpayers bleat about how unfair their tax rate is while they are actually paying half of that.

I guess the story on taxes really depends on the figures you want to cherry-pick to make your point as this story from MSNBC shows. One of my favorite lines from film was the one in Category 7 where the Secretary of Energy tells the news media that the U.S. was a 'first world country with a third world energy system.' It seems to me that we are trying to fund a first world country with a third world tax system. How long will that continue?

I am sure most of us have seen that cute E*Trade baby. The Reformed Broker has this spoof that is absolutely hilarious. Enjoy!!

Yahoo! News asks a pertinent question considering the scathing Senate report about the quagmire that was (is?) Goldman Sachs: will anyone going to jail? The consensus seems to be: no! No new information, no appetite on the part of the Justice Department, and it would be hard to prosecute on the basis of Goldman executives' vague answers to the Senators' "fuzzy and tactless" questions.

This story from November 2009 explains the context of this story found by way of Chris Martensen's Blog. The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled that a law suit against JP Morgan and several local Alabama firms and elected individuals may proceed. The law suit contends bribery, under the table (illegal) payments, and other criminality. The really sad thing is that this case has been dragging on for more than two years.

Chris In Paris posted this comment this morning. But then this pattern has been seen often in the past. Red states in general claim more of the Federal largess while the blue states pay more. Guess who would get hurt most by austerity?

I have been watching the latest fiscal soap opera on CNBC--the S&P continued the US credit rating at AAA while shifting it from stable to negative. At the moment the DOW is down almost 220 pts. Jesse's Cafe Americaine has a point: this is the same credit rating agency whose services were for sale during the financial crash and who, to earn their money, created fictional AAA ratings on those credit default swaps and mortgage backed securities that tanked so spectacularly. Who do you trust?

Tosh McIntosh has a good post this morning that does hit home. The main problem though is that to many of us voters like our scoundrel while damning their scoundrels. And our scoundrels get re-elected by voting for what ever Federal benefits they can bring home.

Job Jones posted this one. No comment needed.

1 comment:

Looking to the Stars said...

I read about the people not paying taxes. I think that's a lie, there is no way anyone can get away from paying taxes. And the amount limit of not paying taxes is $900.00 a year. No one can live off of that nowadays.

Don't know why the news media printed that piece of garbage. Looks like they are trying to stir up trouble, what else is new!

take care :)