Sorry for the technical difficulties: a server problem in Utah shut us down much of the last 24 hours.

If you caught yesterday’s post, you may have figured it was the omelet that silenced me.  Far from it.  I am jazzed.  Tons of things I want to share with you.

Yesterday I also posted a Borealis development.  I forgot to include this nice write-up (“WheelTug about to revolutionize airport taxiing”) — scroll down to the middle of Page 2 to see it — or to alert you to the not-yet-linkable February-March issue of Ramp Equipment News, which does, as well.  (“It may be mentioned that savings on fuel alone from the use of WheelTug are little short of mind-boggling.  It is estimated that a WheelTug-equipped B737 aircraft could save nearly 100,000 gallons of fuel er year.  But there’s more . . .”)  So yes, it will take more than three-year-old egg whites to keep me from sticking around to see how this all turns out.

Finally, I had a chance to tweak yesterday’s main item slightly, so — always wanting my best foot forward, which was difficult for a right-footed high school soccer left halfback — I re-offer it today:

JOHN BOEHNER’S VIEW

House Speaker John Boehner: “How much more money do we want to steal from the American people to fund more government? I’m for: NO more.”

To him, tax revenue is “stolen” from the people. Worst of all, it’s stolen from those who are best off — most recently, in the increased rate he abhors on that portion of your income that exceeds $450,000.

Yes, for the average American, that portion is zero. But it’s still a theft we should all resist tooth and nail as he does, because folks earning more than $450,000 are the job creators! The rest of us would not even be earning minimum wage (which John Boehner would lower or abolish if he could) if it were not for those folks.

How many times do we have to say it? Those folks are the job creators!

Except that they’re definitively not. Watch the indispensable Nick Hanauer clip I keep plugging and send it to all your friends.

And note that in the Fifties and Sixties and Seventies loads of jobs were created (the top federal tax bracket was in the 70% and 90% range) . . .

. . . and that after Clinton raised Reagan’s too-low rate, to get our budget back in balance, 23 million net new jobs were created over 8 years. But that when Bush then slashed the top rate, essentially no net new jobs were created.

(And here’s a an interesting related tidbit [thanks, Pete]: “Contrary To GOP Rhetoric, Low-Tax States Have Worse Economic Growth.”)

The idea that taxes are “stolen” from us is as wrong-headed as the notion that we are already suffering under unprecedented levels of taxation. No one likes taxes, but these days they are relatively low — especially for the mega-wealthy.

Equally wrong-headed: the notion that only private goods and services have value. That things we purchase collectively, through our taxes, like — roads, schools and cops; DARPA, food inspection, and health care for seniors — are bad, or at least inherently less worthy than things we purchase individually, like cars, Coke, and curtains; booze, snacks, and porn.

Please oh please oh PLEASE bring back the moderates who once dominated — or could at least be found here and there — in the Republican party.

Last point: As technology and robotics grow ever more capable, there will be ever fewer truly essential jobs. The kind worth paying handsomely to fill. In theory, this could be great: short work weeks, plenty of vacation, loads of time to enjoy the non-essentials . . . but only if we can find a way to “spread the wealth.” If it all goes to the relative handful of folks who own the technology and the robots . . . and to the elite class who know how to control and repair them . . . with the rest of us all earning minimum wage (or less, once the Republicans repeal it) . . . or unemployed and homeless and begging in the street . . . what kind of world will we have? Is that truly what we want? Or should we find ways — things like the minimum wage and the progressive income tax — to share the prosperity? Taxes, sensibly constructed and spent — on things like infrastructure and our kids’ future — are not theft. They are in the words of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., “the price we pay for civilization.”

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a Republican, calls his “the stupid party.” Because taxes are the price we pay for civilization, and his party is dead set against them — even against what are historically-modest tax rates on billionaires — maybe he should also call it “the brutish party.”

 

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