Saturday, March 07, 2009

In short...

Making the government big, means making the people small.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Oh great, the government is going to fix things!

Senator Barbara Boxer says she is doing great things for Californians. Here is her list, with my comments:
  • About 95 percent of all working families will qualify for the Making Work Pay tax cut. Working families will receive between a $400 and $800 tax cut, with an estimated 12.5 million Californians eligible for this tax cut.
Unfortunately for me, it won't make up for the money the State of California has taken from me- for example, the $2000 they took after I traded some stocks and then couldn't get time to figure out how to fill out the tax forms and wound up taxed on the entire amount of every sale, instead of the difference between the price I paid and the price I sold for. As a California voter, I must say, had I been asked, I would never have approved a system that defaults to this. It amounts to stealing from the taxpayer, in my opinion.
  • If you have children in California schools, they may see classroom, lab or library improvements as part of the plan to modernize schools. More than 1,200 California schools will receive modernization funding. Other funding for schools will also help to update technology and enable disadvantaged students to excel.
I can't afford children. I can't afford a wife. I can't even afford a girlfriend. Maybe if my portion of the cost of a thousand government give-aways had been less. Or I had been less scrupulous about getting on the government gravy train. Or if the "longest peacetime economic expansion in history" hadn't pumped up a telecom bubble that cost me my career, or if the small business I have been trying to build for 5 years now had been able to get some of the credit that was poured instead into a _stupid_ plan to make everyone (well, everyone but me and people like me) happy by loaning people money to buy houses they couldn't afford...
  • If you have children in college, 522,000 families in California will be eligible for the American Opportunity Tax Credit to make college more affordable. This program creates a partially refundable tax credit for four years of college and puts higher education within reach of more Californians. The Pell Grant for college loans will also be increased to provide more funds to pay for college.
See above. I suppose I will be paying for other people to send their children to college. If I don't wind up broke and homeless.
  • If you receive Social Security benefits, or SSI, you will likely receive a one-time payment of $250.
I wonder if there will be anything left of Social Security by the time I reach retirement age (about 10 years now). No, strike that. I wondered before the election. Now, I doubt it.
  • If you become unemployed, you can receive an additional $100 per month in unemployment insurance benefits, and your benefits will be extended if you remain unemployed. More than 2,395,000 Californians have lost their jobs in this recession and this extra money will help boost them and our economy with their added purchasing power.
Well, she found me! Unemployed, that's me. I will take the unemployment insurance money (harder to get these days, when you can't get anyone at the unemployment office on the phone, BTW) and try hard to use it to escape the trap of dependency she has prepared for me. I hope to be, by the grace of God, one of those, hopefully not too few, who escape.
  • If you or a family member have become unemployed and you had health insurance, you will receive assistance in continuing your employer-provided health insurance coverage for up to nine months. The federal government will pay up to 65 percent of your health insurance premiums during this period of unemployment.
Cobra, I think she means? It's double what it was in 2001 when I last faced this situation, so I guess 65% off is about right. I will consider this, if I can find it, because my personal situation is really that difficult. By the way, I wonder how much time it will take me to find that Federal assistance? Will the Cobra offer have expired by then? I was laid off two months ago. I got the Cobra info from my ex-employer (Express mailed!) one month later. At that time, I didn't know if I was going to get unemployment insurance, so paying extra money for health insurance was out of the question.
  • If your neighborhood has foreclosed and abandoned houses, funds are provided to help local governments buy up and improve homes and make them available to renters or future buyers.
I guess this means I can hope that my rent won't continue to be driven up by the sudden influx of people looking for a place to stay after the market figured out that the government wasn't going to be able to buy everyone a house they can't afford after all.
  • If you are in the military, funds are provided to upgrade military medical facilities, housing, and childcare facilities. Funds are also provided to upgrade veteran medical facilities and to make repairs at veterans facilities.
I'm not. I almost joined the Oregon National Guard once, when my finances were very difficult, but, it happened that the recruiting officer's manner caused me to consider the prospect of being under the near absolute authority of a person whose sexual preference is for persons of my gender. I sought employment elsewhere.

I wish those who do serve in the military well and thank them for helping to preserve what freedom we still have.
  • If you are a first-time home buyer, you may be eligible for an $8,000 tax credit toward the purchase of a home. And if you live in a high-cost area, you will have greater access to low-interest mortgage loans.
I can't afford to be a first time home-buyer and I don't believe that I can become wealthy (at least not legitimately) by borrowing to buy things I can't afford.
  • If you are concerned about increasing crime in these hard economic times, the bill provides federal funding to hire more police officers through the COPS program.
So more people can be sent to prisons that must release them due to court order? That should keep some people busy accomplishing almost nothing. Does anyone who isn't a complete fool really believe that busy work can make the country better off financially?
  • If you have a health problem, or even if you just regularly visit your doctor, your medical records will be computerized, enabling faster access to medical records and saving billions of dollars in health care costs.
I have worked in the computer business for over 25 years. I don't want my medical records computerized by the government.
  • If you travel on America‚Äôs roads, freeways, bridges, or transit, you are likely to see improvements, upgrades and modernization including freeway construction, modernization of infrastructure that includes energy savings, and rail and transit construction to reduce traffic and gas consumption.
Senator Boxer, would you just fix what really needs fixing and save the pet projects for later (hopefully never)?

Senator Boxer, do you understand that people like me, who cannot well afford it, must pay for your pet projects? IN CASH, at least until we all run out of cash. Then, I fear, after our creditors around the world realise the money is gone forever, in blood.