New Location, Same Mason Ranting


I’ve been wanting to upgrade from my faux-blog Facebook Notes for quite some time and even went so far as to set myself up over at Blogger to continue the oftentimes controversial discussion, but it just never materialized.  I didn’t feel cozy over there in Bloggerville.  I needed a change of scenery.

So, here I am!  Time to get moving on some real blog-and-comment action in true WordPress style!  Let’s see if the new digs will aid in my still nascent blogging abilities.  Here’s hoping.

For the inaugural post I really wanted to dig into some meaty material and give Number 43 a real tongue lashing that would be a good signal of what to expect from future posts (in case you’re just reading my thoughts for the first time) but I need more time to compile my list of grievances before I can really do that topic justice.  Plus, Lance did such a great job in his Facebook note a week or so ago that I really need to collect my thoughts before I do a half-ass job.

Instead, let’s tackle a nice, shiny news item!

House Republicans have offered up an alternative stimulus plan to President Obama that proposes tax cuts instead of government spending.  According to the Yahoo! News article:

“The alternative includes across-the-board cuts in the two lowest income tax brackets, placing unemployment benefits off-limits to taxation and a new $7,500 break for home buyers who make a minimum down payment of 5 percent.”

Having spent a short time in the third tax bracket, I’m now firmly in the second lowest tier, which means that the proposed tax cut would help me.  It sounds great, sure, but I can’t remember the last time I actually paid income taxes in April of any year, so I don’t know that this will really affect me enough to help stimulate the economy.

Also, I’m not going to be buying a house any time in the foreseeable future: I live in one of the most expensive markets in the country, as indicated above I am in the second lowest tax bracket so you can guess I don’t exactly have much expendable income laying around, and, frankly, the housing market isn’t the solid investment it used to be.

The plan banks on the concept that with more incentives and fewer tax burdens, people will spend more to jump-start the economy.  Problem is, so many people are out of jobs, how does this plan factor in unemployment?  Without a job, buying a home is out of the question.  They address it here:

“Another provision would also cut taxes for small businesses.”

With unemployment rates soaring and a potential disaster looming with the Big Three I just don’t see small business entrepreneurs saving us.  We need something else.

As well as offering $275 billion in tax cuts, Obama and the House Democrats propose spending $550 billion thusly:

“Much of the spending would come in politically popular areas such as health care, food stamps and road construction and would include money designed to blunt the impact of state budget cuts affecting schools.”

We just got out of an administration that claimed conservatism yet practiced uncontrolled fiscal irresponsibility.  If we’re going to be spending hundreds of billions of dollars, I’d MUCH rather see it go to help AMERICANS instead of paying for a war in Iraq.  Investing in health care, social programs, and road construction will create jobs here at home instead of lining the pocketbooks of independent contractors overseas.

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