Showing posts from September, 2012

Taxes are complicated. Lies are simple

Taxation is a complicated issue. Americans seeking to understand it are not helped by false statements and graphics like this one (dating back to at least July). I checked around, and I see no record in the Wall Street Journal of these tax increases being attributed to President Obama's tax proposal. That's because the Wall Street Journal did not make these statements and would not make these statements, because they are entirely baseless and false. I've run through the statements contained in the graphic below to trace their origin and provide more accurate information. Some of the numbers in the image come from a projection of what MAY happen to the very top income brackets if CONGRESS allows all the Bush Era tax cuts to expire at the end of the year. Some of the numbers frankly come out of thin air and have no basis in fact. I looked closely at the Wall Street Journal and provide data from a couple of news articles ("More uncertainty for 2013" Feb. 18; &

Romney evolves on healthcare

(In his own words) GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney has been remarkably flexible on a wide variety of issues, depending on the climate of the time and the audience before him. An observer might easily conclude that he actually has no personal position on any issue and is merely a political chameleon, blending in with whatever scenery he feels will best serve his political survival. His evolving theories on health insurance are particularly interesting, as the Affordable Care Act he now strongly opposes was a concept he personally installed in the State of Massachusetts when he was governor there. Here is a look at Romney's changing views of healthcare for uninsured Americans. I have used the GOP nominee's own documented words - pulling from recorded interviews and his own writings - to illustrate how his opinions have dramatically changed over time. It is important to note that not much time has been required for this evolution of thought. The entire process appears to

Apple iPhone 5

Well, the new Apple iPhone does appear to be a bit larger - from the photo it appears to be about 12 feet tall. But does that still qualify as a mobile device? With the announcement of the new iPhone 5 yesterday, Apple also unveiled a number of new accessories for the device, including a ten-foot stylus, a slick, glass and aluminum step ladder; a wheel-barrow-like carrying case; and a pair of jeans with really, REALLY big pockets.

Unemployment rate drop looks good but really isn't

So..., what's next? The unemployment rate fell from 8.3% to 8.1% in August, but there's little reason to cheer. Despite the "look" of the declining unemployment figure, the monthly report contains bad news and worse news. The bad news is the meager 96,000 jobs created during the month. While most expected August numbers to decline a bit, analysts were predicting something like 120,000 jobs created. With just 96,000 jobs, the unemployment rate should have gone up. About 150,000 jobs a month need to be added just to keep pace with working-age population growth. The worse news is the reason the unemployment rate dropped. Many Americans - about 368,000 of them - simply stopped looking for work in August. The bulk of those who dropped out of the job market are young people, aged 16-24. We cannot attribute the decline to students heading back to school (as much as we might like to), because the statistics factor in those seasonal changes. This is a strong indicator that

White House Honey Brown Ale

The Obama Administration has finally released the recipes of the first documented home-brews produced in the White House. Now, I'm wondering if this is a subject that will come up at Presidential news conferences: "Mr. President, if an American citizen resides in an area with hard water, should he or she omit the gypsum from your home-brew recipe?" "Mr. President, it is difficult for many Americans to acquire White House honey. Can you tell us if the bees that make it are exposed to clover and dandelion or are they confined to the rose garden?"