MORE GOOGLE MAGIC

In the ever-present Google toolbar you set up a couple of weeks ago, just type a stock symbol and word ‘quote’ – e.g., PCL quote – and, when you click the ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ shamrock (an optional icon that’s easy to add to the toolbar), up comes the stock quote, charts, and related info. It even works with obscure stocks.

ALABAMA

Fred: ‘Please don’t talk about things when you don’t know the facts. The Alabama tax reform is actually a tax increase on the poor. Sure, the Governor wants to lower the state income tax on the poor, but he more than makes up for it by doubling car tags, adding an 8-10% tax on all services (and it’s the poor who can’t afford new cars or appliances, they have to pay to get their existing ones fixed). He is also doubling taxes on new cars, home purchases and deeds, so I hope the poor aren’t planning on getting ahead anytime soon.’

☞ Well, to close the budget deficit, some taxes and fees may have to go up, whether or not he raised the income tax exemption for a family of four from $4,600 to $17,000. So I’m glad he’s proposed at least that. But even that seems likely to go down in defeat by the Republicans.

Fred would argue that no taxes and fees need be raised. ‘Alabama’s budget increased from $12 billion to $17 billion in the last 5 years (during a recession), thanks to possibly the most corrupt state legislature in the nation. The new funds will not get anywhere near education or other needs in this state. By the way, I’m a liberal Democrat (voted for Nader and will vote for Dean) so don’t think I’m in bed with the Republicans. I just think that Alabama should get its internal house in order before asking the residents to cough up another billion.’

☞ If the extra $5 billion a year is doing nothing for anyone (are we sure?), I’d say that’s all the more reason a family of four earning $5,000 or $10,000 shouldn’t have to pay income tax.

SEABISCUIT

Kathi Derevan: ‘As good as the movie is, the book is 100 times better. I thought I had no interest in horse racing. The book is riveting. The horse races described in the book leave you sweaty and short of breath. Also, much more detail (of course) about the life and times, and the milieu into which Seabiscuit rode . . .’

TAXES

Mike Baute: ‘[You write that under the Bush tax cuts, a rich person might get $1 million tax cut.] Do you think the government could or would spend the money more productively than its earner? We have noticed you never speak of ‘How the Tax Relief is Spent?’ & how this benefits the economy. Since you feel undertaxed why not donate to the Government of your choice. You can start a Movement!! Personally, we haven’t felt undertaxed at any time in the last 5 decades. Nor do we feel undertaxed in this decade. As soon as we feel undertaxed we will welcome your suggestions for disposing of the excess refund.’

☞ Okay . . . but then why collect any taxes? And why not collect it ALL from the middle class and lower-middle class and none of it from the rich?

If you agree these questions are silly, then it’s simply a matter of degree. You apparently feel the rich were the best place to cut $1 trillion in taxes over the next decade – even though we’ll have to borrow it all to pay for it – and that this is somehow good economics and/or socially just. Why?

 

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