EVOLUTION OF THE HUMAN RACE
Tamara Hendrickson: “While that video of the Olympic 100-meter race you linked to last week is absolutely fascinating and factual, it, sadly, doesn’t represent evolution of the human race. Our evolution takes centuries and even millennia because we have such long life spans and so few children. (These stats are compared to bacteria. A population of E. coli with enough food will double in 20 minutes and divide—produce copy cells—exponentially.) Instead, the increases in speed graphically represented in the video reflect better nutrition (leading to taller, more fit people), antibiotics (fewer deaths), and huge advances in our understanding of human metabolism, nutrition specific for athletes, and the science of athletics (training regimens, muscle recovery, etc.) None of this detracts from the fascinating observation that humans run a lot faster now than they did 100 years ago. The Olympics are such an amazing testament to the capabilities of our race!”
WHAT IF SOLAR GOT THE SAME SUBSIDIES AS FOSSIL FUELS?
> As a taxpayer, you’ve paid $7.24 toward solar subsidies over te past five years — versus $521.73 for fossil fuels.
> Solar is cheaper than grid power in 14% of the country now – but would be cheaper in 100% of the country if it received an equal subsidy.
> The US has 39 times as much sun hitting it as Germany, but Germany generates 60 times as much solar energy.
Not every effort will succeed — witness Solyndra — but the above suggests the Obama Administration is serving us well by choosing not to cede the solar industry to China, which is investing a fortune in solar subsidies to dominate the energy of the future. One Chinese report has projected solar becoming as cheap as coal by 2015.
Jimmy Carter installed solar panels on the White House roof, Ronald Reagan removed them. (This according to Michael Grunwald’s The NEW New Deal, out today.) Not to say it’s more than symbolic — but it is symbolic. Progressives progress. Conservatives retrench. Democrats boost expenditures for basic research, help kids afford college, sextuple the number of stem cell lines available for research, confront climate change. Republicans tend to lean the other way. Some even side with Rush Limbaugh, who calls “science” one of the “four pillars of deceit.”
Seriously: if Romney wins, he plans to lower his own taxes and, though he doesn’t cop to it, raise yours. Download the report of the Brookings analysis here.
This paper examines the tradeoffs among three competing goals that are inherent in a revenue-neutral income tax reform—maintaining tax revenues, ensuring a progressive tax system, and lowering marginal tax rates—drawing on the example of the tax policies advanced in presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s tax plan. Our major conclusion is that any revenue-neutral individual income tax change that incorporates the features Governor Romney has proposed would provide large tax cuts to high-income households, and increase the tax burdens on middle- and/or lower-income taxpayers.
The PBS NewsHour interview with the study’s co-author is here. The New York Times reports on it here (“middle-income [taxpayers] would pay on average $546 more a year, according to the study, and upper-middle class taxpayers would pay $1,880 more, while the taxes of the richest 1 percent would be cut by $29,282”), noting the Romney team’s rebuttal that lower tax rates will lead to faster growth (it worked so well these last ten years) and that will lessen or eliminate the burden on the rest of us that Brookings projects.
Quote of the Day
I went to St. Mary's Hall, an Episcopal girls' high school. I was one of six Jewish girls, and what I really wanted to do was to play the Virgin Mary in the school play. They wouldn't let me because I was Jewish. I wanted to say, Excuse me! Hello! She was Jewish!~actress Judith Light
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