Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Have I got a deal for you! (or, I AM talking about Amtrak)

As you may be aware, many American cities have traffic issues.  Atlanta is one of them.  Some days, I drive to work on highly subsidized interstate highways.  They are terribly congested when I go.  I want to help fix the problem.

Here's my solution.  I'd like the Federal Gov't to collect an additional one cent tax from every income tax filer and pay it to me in exchange for a vow that I will never again use any highway during rush hour.  I'll leave my car in the garage except during off-peak hours.

Here are the benefits:
  1.  reduced highway congestion
  2.  Improved air quality
  3.  Improved quality of life
  4.  Reduced reliance on foreign oil
  5.  Reduced need for fire/police/ambulance
  6.  Reduced need for subsidized highway maintenance

Selling points:
  1.  The total cost is much much less than an Abrams main battle tank.  
  2.  I am a US citizen and deserving government benefits
  3.  The per person tax burden is exceedingly tiny, compared to other things the government buys
  4.  The government has many similar programs, like farmers being paid not to grow certain crops.
  5.  I will use the money to create jobs. (only the "good" kind)
  6.  The whole program would be less than the rounding error on many gov't programs

How could anybody possibly be against this!  Lobby your congressman now!  Meanwhile, I'm going to keep driving.  It's up to you.

Oh, and if you are not for this, I can only conclude you hate me!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

"I was talking about Amtrak"

In the middle of an family discussion about something seemingly completely unrelated, I blurted out, "I was talking about Amtrak."

I was.  In my mind anyway.  It's a long story....not worth telling.

So here is a list of completely unrelated thoughts I've had lately, instead.

1. Rich people should not be referred to as "job creators".  That's too complicated. People with a lot of money are rich.  That's the definition of the word.  It's that simple.

2. People should not take credit or blame for things they watched happen and did nothing to affect.  The president took credit for the "fracking" revolution in oil and gas development and its effect on oil imports.  I saw Ryan Howard hit a home run recently.  Boy, am I a good hitter!


3. Perhaps the best argument for getting rid of the graduated income tax is that hardly anyone understands the basic principle behind it.  Never mind all the twists and turns in the tax code, the basic idea of tax brackets is just beyond most people.

4. Volkswagen's 2.0L TDI diesel engine is a wonderful thing. I wish I had one.

5. Albany NY is a hard place to get to from Atlanta.

6. I am not sure that we can keep the trailer (2000 Jayco) and tow vehicle (1999 Ford Expedition) in running condition.  They both seem to be falling apart faster than I can glue them back together.  Last month, it was a new rear crankshaft seal in the Expy.  This month, the thermostat in the trailer air conditioner and water heater pilot.  The Expy is coming up on a set of tires and the trailer needs the roof coated and the awning patched.  Time to punt them both?  I do like getting out camping, though.
12 year old trailer and 13 year old truck.

7. We have a landscaping plan for the house!  Hooray!  Now, we have to go do it... Boo!

8. The absolute best kept secret in Atlanta are the GRTA Xpress commuter buses.  They are smooth, fast and comfortable.  25 miles in 35 minutes for $5.  Can't beat it.  I get two naps a day!  They don't advertise anywhere.  Someone must be talking, though.  The bus is starting to get crowded!

9.  Cool, dry weather beats hot, muggy weather.  Cool, dry weather and a screened porch is even better.

10.  Lists should not have more than 10 things.