Tax and Spend

Did anyone really believe he would cut taxes????


"Obama also left the door open to the possibility economic conditions might prompt him to change his tax plan that would give a break to most families but raise taxes on those making more than $250,000 annually."


New Wheels

Take a look at my new ride.

Pretty awesome, eh? And it cost 0.2% as much as Steph's new ride. And hers is only a 5 speed, not an awesome 18 speed like mine. My ride uses less gas too.

The goal of this new bike is to use it as my winter bike--something cheap that I don't care how beat up and rusty it gets from the salt and snow and cold. I've already removed the baby seat. Although it weighs about a thousand pounds, I'm planning on converting it to a single-speed too, so I have less to rust out. From riding last winter, I determined even geared bikes are effectively single-speeds once the cables and derailleur springs rust so shifting freezes up. At least this way I can make a conscious decision of which gear to use instead of being at the mercy of whichever gear gets randomly chosen by the road sludge.


Makenna Jane

Makenna Jane was born Tuesday 7/29/08 at 1:51PM. She weighed in at 6lbs 14oz and was 19 inches long. Mommy and baby are both doing great.

Evie's a proud big sister. She keeps asking to "have Makenna back," which means hold her.


Graduated Tax Model

I saw this story about our tax system in the comments to a Journal Times article. It relates to the misleading notion that Bush's tax cuts are only for the wealthy.

A Graduated Tax Model
From the University of Georgia - Bar Stool Economics

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. 'Since you are all such good customers,' he said, 'I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.' Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?' They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

I only got a dollar out of the $20,'declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,' but he got $10!' 'Yeah, that's right, 'exclaimed the fifth man. 'I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!' 'That's true!!' shouted the seventh man. 'Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!' 'Wait a minute,' yelled the first four men in unison. 'We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!'

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered somethi ng important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D. Professor of Economics University of Georgia

For those who understand, no explanation is needed.
For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.


Bye Bye Civic

This little red car served me well for 7 1/2 years, and now it's gone. Oh the memories... I remember driving up to the North Shore for a small group retreat a few weeks after buying it. And falling in love with gas station cappucinos on my morning commute. And Mikey and me washing our cars in the drive on nice Saturday afternoons in SLP. Lots of road trips back to Illinois. And it was usually there to drive me home from the airport after a business trips. I hauled bikes on top for many mountain biking adventures. I picked up Rhema in this car. And this little red car picked up my now wife for all our dates. And for those who know how I dirve...I surprisingly didn't get any speeding tickets in the little red (want-to-be-sports) car.


All Done!

It's all done and official. We don't own our house anymore. How can I possibly be relieved after such a painful kick in the teeth? Well, it's just a relief to not be paying a mortgage that I can't afford on a house I haven't lived in for 9 months. Now the fun begins--seriously looking for a place to live out here!