Anna Marasco:Lightbulb guy should talk to some of us who do needlework of various sorts. I use this lamp with this bulb.”

☞ Love it.  Ordered one.  Just 27 watts.

Tim Bonham: “Just a few hours before reading this, I was picking up some plumbing supplies at Menards Building Supplies and saw a big floor display of 3-way CFL bulbs on sale for $4.99 each.  They are 20/30/50 watt, about equal to incandescent 75/100/200 watt, pretty similar to (just slightly less bright than) that lamp he has.  So what he wants is still available, but costing him less electricity to run — despite you and your meddlesome nanny-state ilk.”

Mike Utt:  “Hurrah for market forces!  Peter Kaczowka said it very well here yesterday: ‘We need to use market forces to save the environment. Don’t tell people how to save electricity; raise the price and use that money to fund alternative energy via ‘feed-in tariffs.’ Don’t ban SUVs; raise gas taxes. Implement a carbon tax or ‘cap and trade.’ Factor the true cost to the economy into energy prices and the market will do the rest.’  It may be very difficult politically, but what we need to do is raise the price of energy to make the alternatives more attractive, and more importantly to make all of us conserve. Ramping up to a $2/gallon tax on gasoline and diesel would do a lot.”

☞ Yep.  And ideally, we should do it 35 years ago.

As I’ve written here before (under the broader heading, “Tall Politicians”):

. . . I’m angry that the Secretary of the Treasury in 1974, in the wake of OPEC, looked me in the eye and told me that, yes, ‘everybody knows’ we should be phasing in an annual hike in gasoline taxes (using that revenue to lower income taxes) – a policy that by now would have made all the difference in the world – but that we couldn’t do it because, he said, any talk of raising taxes would be political suicide. (Imagine: at 10 cents a gallon added each of the last 35 years, gasoline would now cost here about half what it does in Europe; yet in the meantime we would have cut our income tax rates to reward work and investment even as we would have dramatically increased our fuel efficiency . . . which in turn would have reduced our dependence on foreign oil, reduced our balance of trade deficit, strengthened the dollar, made our families more prosperous, our environment less burdened, our auto industry thrive. . . .


Richard Bliss:  “Mel Gibson may be worse than we imagine but Joe Eszterhas is a notoriously dishonest publicity hound.  And Gibson’s reply doesn’t sound so far fetched, at least to me.”



From the New York Times, in part, if you missed it at the time:

Even Critics of Safety Net Increasingly Depend on It

Published: February 11, 2012

LINDSTROM, Minn. — Ki Gulbranson owns a logo apparel shop, deals in jewelry on the side and referees youth soccer games. He makes about $39,000 a year and wants you to know that he does not need any help from the federal government.

He says that too many Americans lean on taxpayers rather than living within their means. He supports politicians who promise to cut government spending. In 2010, he printed T-shirts for the Tea Party campaign of a neighbor, Chip Cravaack, who ousted this region’s long-serving Democratic congressman.

Yet this year, as in each of the past three years, Mr. Gulbranson, 57, is counting on a payment of several thousand dollars from the federal government, a subsidy for working families called the earned-income tax credit. He has signed up his three school-age children to eat free breakfast and lunch at federal expense. And Medicare paid for his mother, 88, to have hip surgery twice. . . .

It’s a long and balanced piece, paying appropriate respect to the interview subjects and the difficulties they face.  Most of them don’t think the government should provide so much in benefits, yet can’t see how to get by with less.  On a personal level, it animates the macro-economic debate the country is having.  Raise taxes?  Cut benefits?  Whose?  How?


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