Friday, November 18, 2011

Good morning on this chilly Friday.  We expect high winds and the weather reports carried the 'wind chill' as well as the expected temperatures which will probably stay in the 40s.  I checked the plants outside yesterday and found the edges are beginning to freeze.  I may need to water them later.

CNN had a teaser for a new show that details the problems of drawing voting district lines.  That is a hot topic since the census.  Republicans in normally Democratic states, like Illinois, are up in arms because the redistricting favors the majority Democrats while the Democrats in normally Republican states, like Texas, are howling for the mirror image complaint.  The talking heads discussed the strange boundaries in Chicago where the boundaries were drawn, they claim, to protect Democratic politicians.  Problem: I remember when the first of those boundaries were drawn way back in the early 1970s often by court order to remedy a situation where black votes were diluted because they were split among several white majority districts.  That doesn't even take into account the Asian and Hispanic voters.  I don't know which is fairer.

Another CNN piece annoyed me.  They interviewed a black Republican legislator (I don't know if he was a Senator or Representative because I missed the identifier) who touted the Repthuglican position of massive cuts in spending coupled with restructuring the tax code to lower the rates so the 1% pay less.  He bleated pitifully about the '47% who don't pay Federal taxes.'  Well at least he specified Federal taxes as opposed to local and state taxes of which they pay a larger percentage.  Problem:  many don't pay because they don't earn enough to pay after the deductions are taken off.  So somehow it is more reprehensible for a person who earns say $42k a year to take off the standard deduction for self, spouse, and children plus the mortgage deduction and any others they may be entitled to take and find that their net income is so low that they aren't required to pay than those companies who manage to reduce their tax bite to the point where they pay their CEO more than they return to the treasury???  By the way, the $42k is just about the average yearly income in this country.  The median income?  That is about $25k.  Why do I bring that up.  Well the median is the point at which half of the data points (in this case people and their yearly income) fall below and half below.  Of that 47% who don't pay Federal taxes how many fall below that $25k line??  Also consider the fact that the 2011 poverty line for a family of four was set at just a bit over $22k.

Firedoglake has this assessment of the not-so-Supercommittee and its likely output.  I find it amazing that the ratings agencies and the snews media have been so silent on this matter.

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