Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Good morning, all. Blessedly cool today with temperatures expected to remain so until Saturday. Then the heat returns. I hope to get all of my gardening chores done before then because I won't have much time to do anything when the 90s return.

I had also heard the 'Boehner had blinked,' Kay. The problem is he doesn't seem to have enough pull to get enough of his more radical caucus to go along. Too many of them are of the "kill 'em all and let God sort them out" persuasion. They don't mind crashing the system so long as the other side doesn't win. We are waiting also to see how this will go down.

Thanks, Rebecca. Glad we missed another bullet. The weather people said that some of that mess headed your way. Did it get there and how are you doing?

The L.A. Times has a nice article on the proposals to change the calculation of Social Security COLAs by linking it to the 'chained-CPI.' This hasn't received as much attention as it should thanks largely to the debt and deficit debates. The idea behind the move is to 'reform' the measure to take into account 'substitution.' Michael Hiltzik notes several important features of this plan. The current measures of the CPI already try to account for substitution. They don't really need another. The proponents claim that it considers 'substitution' generally. So that if consumers go from, as one economist provided for an example, a Mercedes to an Audi because the price of the desired Mercedes went up, then they have simply substituted a cheaper car for the more expensive one and that would be reflected in the chained CPI. But the current CPI already does that while the chained-CPI doesn't consider the notion that they may not substitute but rather forego. And it doesn't take into account the goods or services you can't forego. If the price of your (generic) heart medication goes up, what can you substitute for it? Food, gasoline, or electricity perhaps?? I find the discussion of the Cato Institute's position on this interesting. They favor using the chained-CPI to calculate COLA for Social Security but not for calculating the annual adjustments to the income-tax brackets. Why? Because using the chained-CPI would result in a loss of $112B for seniors over the next 30 years and an increased tax bite of $72B for the upper income tax payers. So they would rather Social Security recipients be 'reformed' out of $112B that the government would not have to pay thanks to calculations using the chained CPI while the government does not receive $72B in tax revenues because the tax brackets would be calculated using the conventional CPI measurement. The whole argument is a crock of S**t and I hate being the Peter who is robbed so the already-well-off Paul can become even more well off.

For a bit of a break--the easy part of the gardening is done. I trimmed the three roses and treated them for black spot. Then I took all of the pots out of the fence hangers and trimmed them before watering them and putting them back on the fence. All except the love-in-a-mist. That simply didn't thrive at all so next year I will try it again--in a different way and spot. I took some of the thyme for the dehydrator when I trimmed it back as well as some of the oregano. Got a half tray of each. The rest of the gardening is going to involve the big plants and vines. That is always exhausting. Especially since I will have to muscle some back to where they should be after that big wind a couple of days ago.

1 comment:

Kay Dennison said...

re Boehner: he and the nut jobs in gov't and their toadies have been properly brainwashed and don't seem to get it that we can vote their buts out in November. And you can bet I'll be back working against them on some level. I just wish Obama would stop trying to 'softball' everything.

All I know is that groceries are becoming a luxury item and I just added a new doctor to the Legion so that prolly means more scrips and more money so all this stuff is killing my blood pressure. That Congress ignoring elders is criminal.

I'm glad your garden is doing so well -- it's got to be good therapy against the craziness.