If you’re running for office and want to make a pragmatic choice which one should you pick? So if someone picks the one with least support it; that cannot be a cynical calculated move, right? With some simple analysis there are reasons for Republicans to pick the third one. As Republican budget plans currently include tax cuts for the richest Americans and cuts in social programs designed to help the poorest Americans. As rich people are outnumber by poor people, Republicans cannot directly run on this. Democrats realizing that they do not want to lose on this one issue particularly in red states, often choose the most popular of the three positions. Democratic voters usually don’t put this issue as a high priority. Republican politicians seem to take whatever position suits them, see Rick Perry realizing he needed more support from evangelicals. Or VA Governor Robert F. McDonnell either he is moderating his position or he allowed himself to misunderstood for 20 years for political benefit. Based on this there is only one conclusion I can draw: Republican politicians don’t really care about this issue either. For many of them, the Legality of Abortion just another wedge issue to cause people to vote against their economic interests. This issue works perfectly as a wedge for Republics, because the people who are against them would not vote for a Pro-Choice Republican anyway. And if you threw-up in your mouth reading this, then you understand this issue perfectly.
As gas prices have been unusually high inventory of crude oil have also been rising.
Data on crude oil inventory is available here: http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=WCESTUS1&f=W
This combination of price increases and inventory increases at the same time defies tradition market explanations of supply and demand. According to Barak Obama, this points to market manipulation. Mr. Obama wants to set an oversight board to correct this issue. However I think it makes more sense to close all the loopholes leftover from the Eron era that allow for rampant speculation. According to Forbes speculation may be adding $23.39 to the price of a barrel of oil.
The party of fiscal responsibility is a title that the Republicans seceded during the Bush administration. Two recent issues put before the senate, both had popular support and both would have reduced the deficit in a small way (a petite 4 to 5 billion dollars a year each). First was eliminating $4 billion in oil subsidies. Yes, it is popular and was voted down mostly by Republicans. The second was the Buffet rule, it is popular, and it was voted down mostly by Republicans. Meanwhile Barack Obama continues to propose reducing the Federal budget and increasing taxes to balance the budget. And his almost certain opponent, Mitt Romney, has a secret plan to cut spending and cut taxes. So I guess Democrats are now the serious fiscal conservatives. Weird huh?
The Buffett rule is designed close the loophole. That loophole lets people making millions from finance pay a tax rate under 30%. But it makes a already uneven tax code more discontinuous. This only targets a very small number of people in a very specific situation. But I think it would make sense in most cases.
Personally, I think something like a flat tax on every dollar earned above the poverty line, no matter the source (ie: wages, capital gain, or profits of a corporation as a “person”) should be taxed at the same rate for everyone. With few or no deductions, and the rate should be high enough to balance the federal budget. This does several things and I will write more on it in a future post. Flat taxes are or have been advocated by many people including: Steve Forbes, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman, Daniel Mitchell and Newt Gingrich.
Can we own a life form? The supreme court is going to make a ruling on one of the most import issues of the last 100 years soon. No I’m not talking about ACA (Obama Care). They are going to rule on whether or not private companies patients on Genetically Engineered life forms extend to the descendants of those life forms. In this particular case a farmer never did business with the company that hold the patent, but bought seeds at an open market and planted them. Clearly this farmer is a criminal mastermind. This is interesting because plants cross pollinate in a generally uncontrolled fashion. So if the court rules in favor of expanding the power of the patient holder, they would be able to collect a a fee from everybody who grows that crop.
Price drops in Germany for electricity as a long term trend. The blue line is price and the columns are solar electricity capacity. This is matches up with increased use of solar power. 80% of the installed panels are on rooftops. Houses in California have higher resale when they solar panels installed. Perhaps because of fear of rolling blackouts. Germany has complicated of incentives designed to trail off as the technology becomes more widely implemented, kind of like a dutch auction. Germany is an good case study for the US. It has basically no oil fields, so it must make something out of nothing energy wise. Still this only about 3.2% of Germany’s electrical use.
Motorcycles should be allowed to use HOV lanes. Motorcycles typically get double the fuel economy of cars and trucks. This makes more sense than a gas tax increase, which would take money out of the hands of tax payers. If this incentive causes 2% of commuters to get on a bike this would reduce gasoline use by 1%. As there are about 6 million motorcyclists in the US, 2% seem like a sound estimate. Plus, unlike carpooling that requires extra driving to pick up passengers, your bike starts out in your garage. When a person looks at combining this with additional drilling, converting some vehicles to CNG and expanded use of bio-fuels, controlling gas prices is feasible. There are more solutions to come.