We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, November 1. 2011
SC Sheriff Urges Citizens To Arm Themselves
Stone Age-style restaurant serves only food that was available to our caveman ancestors
More on the movie Margin Call
Shanghai Gets Supersized - Boasting 200 skyscrapers, China's financial capital has grown like no other city on earth – and shows few signs of stopping
Why is College So Expensive? Blame Government!
Three Out Of Four: Spain Joins Ireland, Portugal With A Gun To Its Head, Demanding Concessions
Why Obama can't tame the Islamists
Surprise! No warming in last 11 years
Lying, cheating climate scientists caught lying, cheating again
Conn Carroll: Class warriors ignore the facts about America's rich and poor
Crunching the numbers, I was gobsmacked by the way in which the tax burden has trickled down to the state and local level and crushed the middle class:
The housing bubble:
Tracked: Nov 01, 08:18
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
"Surprise! No warming in last 11 years"
In other words, as long as it doesn't get any warmer, then AGW is a hoax. However, should it warm up a bit over the next few decades, then AGW is real.
Let's repeat that for clarification:
If it hasn't warmed up in a decade, then that proves AGW is a hoax. However, if suddenly the temperature does start to rise, then that proves they were right after all, since the basis for proving it a hoax has evaporated.
My personal thanks to Ed Morrissey for posting this article yesterday and reminding me of yet another item to add to my AGW project.
Spengler is right about the property tax.
And what really infuriates me about the property tax is that you have to pay it whether you have any income or not.
Should they so choose, The State can tax your property to the point where you can't pay, and then you either must sell or they can confiscate it. And they have the ability to raise the rates to the point where they could own it all.
As governments have an insatiable demand for revenue, how long will it be until a person's cash and investments are considered 'property" and taxed accordingly?
Some of my property taxes went up 44% this year. And they ratchet up every year, it is an annual, not a periodical reassessment.
Property tax is just a nice way of saying that you don't have any private property. You could say it only applies to the property being taxed, but what's to keep some greedy politicians from taxing some other property you own. Most places already tax your home and some tax your car - those are the largest expenditures most people make. Given the way giverments coming up with new things to tax, I'm not optimistic that new forms of property tax aren't in our future. After all, that's a pretty effective way of taking "the rich" down a few pegs!
Regarding the angry Michelle Obama: as long as the president's family, including the First Lady, remain on essentially neutral ground, the family should be immune to political swipes. Sasha and Mahlia, being teens, are certainly immune.
But if Mrs. Obama engages in political speeches and especially attack speeches, she makes herself a spokesperson and that makes her available for any attack based in logic and fact.
Re the tax shifting or tax burden: the taxes have not shifted to state and local governments, the taxes at those levels have been raised. It's not like the feds have quit shoveling money they don't have at state and local projects which are not their business in the first place.
The Founders' idea was that most taxes would be local, and therefore easier to influence by the people, and few taxes would be federal. But they also envisioned a federal government with a more limited role.
I ran a few simple numbers and it seems unlikely to me that many people are paying as much property tax as they are interest. Assuming a 4% mortgage, a $100,000 home fully mortgaged (somewhat unusual situation) runs around $4100 per year in interest. In my state, at least, that home would run around $2500 in property taxes. Now, if you've paid down your mortgage or refinanced with a good balance, you might be paying 4% on a $50k balance on a $100k home and then you might be paying more property tax than interest. That represents the normal and desirable turn-around on the mortgage.
By good fortune more than good planning, I've got my home paid off so I pay a whole lot more in property tax than I do in interest. I'm doubtful that this metric -- comparing mortgageinterest to state and local property tax -- is meaningful.
--re 'housing bubble', a paste from Instapundit:
INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY: Smoking-Gun Document Ties Policy To Housing Crisis. “The edict — completely overlooked by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and the mainstream media — was signed by then-HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, Attorney General Janet Reno, Comptroller of the Currency Eugene Ludwig and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, along with the heads of six other financial regulatory agencies. . . . Confronted with the combined force of 10 federal regulators, lenders naturally toed the line, and were soon aggressively marketing subprime mortgages in urban areas.”
Posted at 8:51 am by Glenn Reynolds
..sez GR in linking IBD article @
---y'know, that Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission was fully-titled as the Congressional Financial et-cetera, the
chairman, appointed by Pelosi and/or Reid, was Phil Angelides.
He was and is also the chairman of the Apollo Alliance, the zombie jamboree of far-left organizations which wrote the Stimulous Bill.
The final report (BTW boycotted by two of the ten commissioners, eloquently by the guy from Heritage Foundation, whose name escapes at the mo), natcherly truthful at the distance chosen --that is, the distance where the generalizations leave one speechless --it more or less ascribed the disaster to 'human nature'.
Anyhoo, the question is, of all the availables to run this official fact-finding investigation, why did the congressional Democrat leadership pick Phil Angelides?
Actually, it's not really a question. Everybody who takes a look knows beyond a shadow of doubt, the guy was picked to bury the truth. And, he did just that.
The deal is, Doc, that the warmists claim infallibility. And that warming has been happening inexorably, and indubitably. No actual warming shows that warmists are WRONG. Wrong, wrong, wrong, and liars as well.
Is our world warming? My Magic 8 Ball says "All Signs Point To Yes." I grew up in glacial moraine territory, with no sign of glaciers in 15K years.
Warmists claim "man" is the cause of warming. The Vikings discovered the island now called Greenland and named it Vinland for the grapes they could grow. Must have been due to the cars and SUVs they had, since the warmists are claiming ours are a/the cause.
"If the pieces don't fit, you must acquit." And the pieces don't fit.
Right now 40% of my monthly payment goes towards my property taxes. I"ll have the mortgage itself paid off in about 4 years (should the good Lord grant me the lifetime and the income) - but I'll still have to pay $5600/year and ever-rising to the State of Illinois and various County and municipal sub-divisions or they'll take my house and sell it to someone else.
It's the most regressive tax out there and the schools, etc. absolutely depend on it. Residential housing taxes should be eliminated.
Re: Sheriff Wright:
It was never intended that the police would be able to protect us from crime. Their job, for the most part, is to keep public order in certain situations (large crowds, public buildings, etc.) and to investigate crimes that have already occurred.
Consider how this country started. We were mostly an agrarian society with houses well-separated on farms and from the urban centers with no means of communication faster than a horse. Of course there was no way for the Sheriff to have his deputies guard every house. Of course the police couldn't stop crimes from occurring. And they have never been able to stop crimes from being committed by a determined criminal in the cities - there's too many people.
So, as was well covered by the recent Supreme Court decisions, people were expected to defend themselves. There was no alternative. What the anti-civil rights activists of the present day want to do is to infantilize themselves - and you and me - to the point that they can abandon their responsibility of self-defense and pass it along to the police. The same police that they often deride and disparage. Where they get the idea that this is even possible is beyond me.
re MF Global, this from Denninger:
The filing came as MF Global told regulators of potential “deficiencies” in some customer accounts, according to a statement by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Regulators are investigating whether hundreds of millions of dollars are missing from client accounts, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
(says Denninger this morning. Then he quotes something from (in WaPo?) July)
President Obama is desperately putting his Wall Street stock in an unlikely old buddy.
The beleaguered president has recruited former Goldman Sachs head honcho Jon Corzine to shore up re-election funds from the banking industry, which is furious over Obama's financial regulations.
Corzine, the former governor of New Jersey who was blasted out of office by Republican Chris Christie in 2009, has attended secret meetings with the president and has been working on Obama's 2012 campaign for months, The Post has learned.
The Democrat, who now leads Manhattan-based brokerage MF Global, has been tasked with scraping up the very little banking-industry support Obama can still get.
Nice. Oh, that's from July, if anyone's interested.
(end potpourri of Denninger quotes and quotes-in-quotes)
(Are they gonna do it again? 2008?)
Correcgtion, the article Denninger quotes is not WaPo but NY Post.
...by Josh Margolin on July 5th, 2011. In addition to what Denninger quotes, there's this:
And, like any good executive, Corzine is looking out for his own bottom line.
Success could resuscitate his political career with a top post -- such as treasury secretary or a key ambassadorship -- if there is a second Obama term.
Obama campaigned heavily for Corzine in his failed re-election bid, calling him "our Wall Street guy."
"Correcgtion, the article Denninger quotes is not WaPo but NY Post."
I just wanted to offer my heartiest congratulations on coming up with a single-word oxymoron, one of the rarest of breeds.
"Are Twentysomethings Expecting Too Much? "
No, but an "education" in studies (gender, racial, or environmental) won't' bring about what they expect. If they want what they expect, let them become engineers; scientists; real scholars void of Marxism, deconstructionism, etc.; or learn real skills: machinist, welder, pipe fitter, etc.
RE the Stone age restaurant: Where do they get the mastodon meat? clones?