May you all have a good 2012. Any interesting New Year’s resolutions? The Associated Press reports that President Obama’s New Year’s resolution is to push on without Congress. Of course, his approval rating is 46% (according to the CS Monitor) where Congress wound up the year at an 11%. When their rating was down at 9%, Lindsey Graham, my old senator from South Carolina,
…[was] so embarrassed about the 9 percent approval rating — that he’s going incognito. “It’s so bad sometimes I tell people I’m a lawyer,” the South Carolina Republican told POLITICO.
(Lawyers got a 29% approval rating.)
This is the time of year the tourists love: it’s supposed to be 74° for most of the week, with, of course, clear blue skies. (Hope some of those snow birds check out my house.) The rosemary is covered in blue flowers, bees, and hummingbirds. Four goldfinches on the bird feeder yesterday, and I hadn’t even put out any more nyjer thistle seeds. A family of eight quail ambled through the yard as well as a couple of rabbits. I’ve been trimming the desert broom, that scourge of the desert, as we are having a bulk trash pickup this week. Can smell the javelinas (a sharp, musky scent something like that of a skunk, though just a touch less eye-watering), but haven’t seen any this past week.
Tax the Rich
The Republicans rejected a 5% surtax on people who earn more than $1 million annually, but those rich just spent $115 million for Liz Taylor’s jewels. Warren E. Buffett (chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway) says,
Last year my federal tax bill — the income tax I paid, as well as payroll taxes paid by me and on my behalf — was $6,938,744. That sounds like a lot of money. But what I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income — and that’s actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent.
But for those making more than $1 million — there were 236,883 such households in 2009 — I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more — there were 8,274 in 2009 — I would suggest an additional increase in rate.
My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/opinion/stop-coddling-the-super-rich.html
5 Best Toys
A report on the presents of a stick and a box of cardboard rolls (see my last blog): Finn (age three) discarded the stick but used the cardboard tube I’d wrapped it in as a sword. Brie (age 6) opened the box of rolls, said This is not a gift, and discarded them. (Finn and I used the smaller rolls for binoculars.) Afterwards I saw an article in the NY Times on gag Christmas gifts:
The caterwauling child starred in one of hundreds of prank videos this month by parents answering a challenge by Jimmy Kimmel, the late-night comic: Give your children a terrible Christmas gift a few weeks early, start filming and wait for the magic. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/25/fashion/kimmel-holiday-prank.html?emc=eta1