The Rockin Johnny B

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Flat Tax

GOP candidates fight for flat tax
Advocates say plan is fair, would promote economic growth; opponents complain about lower taxes for the wealthy
   The Associated Press
   WASHINGTON — The flat tax is making a comeback among Republican presidential candidates.But it faces tough opposition in Congress because it tends to favor the rich at the expense of other taxpayers, renewing an old debate about “trickle-down economics.”
   Most of the top GOP contenders — Mitt Romney’s an exception — offer a variation of the tax plan in which everyone pays the same rate. 
Businessman Herman Cain has his 9-9-9 proposal, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry unveiled a 20 percent flat tax on income this week. Even Romney foresees a flatter tax system in the future, though he favors something closer to the current setup in the short term.
   The idea of a flat tax has long been c h a m p i o n e d by conservative politicians as being simple 
and fair. Publisher Steve Forbes made it a centerpiece of his Republican presidential campaigns in 1996 and 2000. 
   Forbes has endorsed Perry, calling his economic plan “the most exciting plan since (Ronald) Reagan’s.”
   “American families deserve a system that is low, flat and fair,” Perry wrote in his tax plan. “They should be able to file their taxes on a postcard instead of a massive novel-length document.”
   Conservative economists argue a flat tax would promote long-term economic growth by lowering taxes on the people who save and invest the greatest share of their income: the wealthy.
   Lowering taxes on the wealthy, however, could prove politically difficult, especially now, with protesters around the country occupying public spaces and calling for the rich to pay more. President Barack Obama and many Democrats in Congress also want higher taxes for the highest-income Americans.
   “It’s all about political rhetoric,” said William McBride, an economist the Tax Foundation, a conservative think tank. “The inevitable result of shifting the tax burden away from saving and investment is that you reduce the tax burden on the rich.”
   Liberals and many moderates complain that a flat tax is a giveaway to the rich, renewing an old debate over whether the benefits of tax cuts for those at the top trickle down to the 
rest of the population.
   “This idea of lowering taxes on high-income people and somehow middle class people will benefit has been there for a long time,” said Chuck Marr, director of federal tax policy 
at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “Obviously it hasn’t worked very well.”
   Flat tax plans by both Cain and Perry have provisions to protect low-income families from tax increases. But that raises questions about who will be left to pay the tab, said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.
   “If you exempt the lowincome people from higher taxes, if you cut the taxes for the wealthy, getting the same amount of revenue means the middle class are going to pay more, a lot more,” Williams said.
   The federal income tax currently has six marginal tax rates, also known as tax brackets. The lowest rate is 10 percent, and it applies to taxable income up to $17,000, for a married couple filing jointly. The top tax rate is 35 percent, on taxable income above $379,150.
   “Taxable income” is income after deductions and exemptions, which can greatly reduce the amount that is taxed. There are also many tax credits that can further reduce tax bills.
   In all, nearly half of U.S. households pay no federal income tax because their incomes are so low or because they qualify for so many tax breaks, according to the Tax Policy Center. Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 pay, on average, 7.2 percent of their income in 
federal income taxes.
   By contrast, the top 10 percent of households, in terms of income, pay more than half of all federal taxes and more than 70 percent of federal income taxes, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Okay, here we go again with the 'flat tax'.  At first, it sounds fair doesn't it?  Well, the short answer is the Flat Tax is anything but fair.  Let's do the math...

Wage                                           Tax                                      total
$14,000                                        $2,800                                $11,200
$65,000                                      $13,000                                $52,000
$1,000,000                                 $200,000                             $800,000

Do you see the problem?  You don't?  Let's say you are a working Poor Person.  You would only have 11.2 thousand dollars left to pay State and Local taxes which would leave your disposable income at about $9,000.  This means you would have $750 per month to pay all other expenses.  This means you would be working but out on the street with little or no money to feed yourself let alone your family.

Even the Middle Class person who would have 52 thousand to pay state and local taxes and would have about 47 thousand disposable income or 39 hundred to pay all expenses is still far from fair when you look at a person making 800 thousand with approximately 750 thousand left to pay expenses with.

Here's fair:

You make less than 25 thousand per year, you pay no federal income tax.  If you make 25 thousand to 40 thousand per year you pay 10% federal tax.  If you make 40 to 100 thousand per year you pay 15% federal tax and if you make 100 to 250 thousand per year you pay 20% federal tax.  But if you make above 250 thousand per year, you pay 50% federal income tax.  Within 20 years, the deficit would cease to exist under this tax plan.

But this won't happen folks, because the rich have too much power and are too greedy to let that happen.  It's a scam.  The rich get richer, the poor get poorer and more middle class folks get poorer.

Study: Rich get a lot richer, outpace middle class
WASHINGTON — The richest 1 percent of Americans have been getting far richer over the last three decades while the middle class and poor have seen their after-tax household income only crawl up in comparison, according to a government study.
After-tax income for the top 1 percent of U.S. households almost tripled, up 275 percent, from 1979 to 2007, the Congressional Budget Office found. For people in the middle of the economic scale, after-tax income grew by just 40 percent. Those at the bottom experienced an 18 percent increase.
The report, based on IRS and Census Bureau data, comes as the Occupy Wall Street movement protests corporate bailouts and the gap between the haves and have-nots. Demonstrators call themselves “the 99 percent.”
The distribution of after-tax income in the United States was substantially more unequal in 2007 than in 1979,” CBO Director Doug Elmendorf said in a blog post. “The share of income accruing to higher income households increased, whereas the share accruing to other households declined.”
The top 1 percent made $165,000 or more in 1979; that jumped to $347,000 in 2007, the study said. The income for the top fifth started at $51,289 in 1979 and rose to $70,578 in 2007. On the other end of the spectrum, those in the 20th percentile went from $12,823 in 1979 to $14,851 in 2007.

The report also found:

The top 20 percent of the population earned 53 percent of after-tax income in 2007, as opposed to 43 percent in 1979.
The top 1 percent reaped a 17 percent share of all income, up from 8 percent in 1979.
The bottom 20 percent reaped just 5 percent of after-tax income, versus 7 percent in 1979.
Lawmakers and presidential candidates are mulling overhauling the tax code — some propose a flat tax that critics say could magnify the income gap — and a congressional “super-committee” is weighing options to cut the deficit.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Death By The State

Paul Rhodes is to be executed November the 18th by the State of Idaho.  You remember Rhodes, he was sentenced to death for the sexual assault and murder of Idaho Falls teacher Susan Michelbacher, 34, whose bullet-ridden body was found in March 1987, and for the first-degree murder and kidnapping of Stacy Dawn Baldwin, 21, a Blackfoot convenience store clerk who was shot to death in February 1987.

If ever there was a person who deserves the ultimate sentence, it's Rhodes.  But consider he was imprisoned since 1987... that's 24 years after the crime.  In that time, it has cost the State of Idaho approximately $1,200,000 to keep him under lock and key.  That's considering it costs about $50,000 per year to house a criminal.  That figure comes from when I worked in the prison system in 1995, it's probably much more given inflation and other cost increases.  Perhaps even as much as 2-million dollars for 24 years.

Is it worth it?  I dunno.  I do believe we should do better when it comes between sentencing and carrying out that sentence.  If we are not going to execute these people for 20+ years, then why have a death sentence at all?

Lacey Slvak has been incarcerated for 30-years.  That's probably at a cost of over 1.5 million dollars.  I know you cannot put a price on human life, but come on folks, that's just not justice.

I'm just saying....

Thursday, October 13, 2011

More Stuff to ponder

Listeria death toll climbs to record level
Illness worst of its kind since 1985, has affected 116 people in multiple states — including Idaho
   The Associated Press
   WASHINGTON — An outbreak of listeria in cantaloupe is now linked to 23 deaths, making it the deadliest known outbreak of foodborne illness in the U.S. in more than 25 years.
   The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday that 116 people have been sickened in the outbreak, including those who died. The number of deaths has now surpassed a 1998 outbreak of listeria in processed meats that was linked to 21 deaths. A 1985 listeria outbreak in Mexican-style soft cheeses killed 52 people.
   The tainted Colorado cantaloupes should be off store shelves by now, as they were recalled mid-September and their shelf life is about two weeks. But the number of deaths may continue to grow, as the symptoms of listeria can take up to two months to appear.
   The CDC Wednesday confirmed two more deaths in Louisiana the state had said it was investigating last week. Other deaths have been reported in Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming. Colorado and New Mexico reported five deaths each. 
   Jensen Farms in Holly, Colo., recalled the tainted cantaloupes earlier this month after they were linked to the listeria illnesses. The Food and Drug Administration, which is investigating the outbreak, has said state health officials found listeria in cantaloupes taken from Colorado grocery stores and from a victim’s home that were grown at Jensen Farms. Matching strains of the disease were found on equipment and cantaloupe samples at Jensen Farms’ packing facility in Granada, Colo.
   The company has said it shipped the cantaloupes to about half the states, but added that it wasn’t sure where the cantaloupes went because they have been sold and resold. Thus, many companies may not even know whether they bought or distributed the fruit.
   The FDA is still investigating the cause of the outbreak. Officials have said they were looking at the farm’s water supply and possible animal intrusions among other things to figure out the source of the problem. Listeria bacteria grow in moist, muddy conditions and often are carried by animals.
   The CDC has reported illnesses in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
   Colorado has the most illnesses with 34, while Texas has reported 17, New Mexico 13 and Oklahoma 11.

Okay, now let's take a look at this thing.  The Republicans want to end restrictions on farming so there will be more jobs.  Do we want less restrictions?

Wall Street protesters are unemployable
   Have you seen the pictures of those individuals protesting in New York City and around the country? Compare those pictures with the people using the Tea Party label in 2010.
   These anti-capitalists are the unemployables. (Not a word) They have made choices that make them failures in U.S. society as it is now. They protest for more things to be provided by the successful, who made good choices to take responsibility for themselves and their families.
   The protesters are encouraged by various organizations that want the present administration to finish their job of destroying the economy of the successful. We support these organizations through grants and outright gifts from the taxpayers through the federal government.
   Their philosophy and motivation, if not their style of clothing, comes from Saul Alinsky’s book, “Rules for Radicals.” That book was dedicated to Lucifer.
   Herman Cain in an interview was asked about these protesters. His reply included a statement that he had been raised by parents who encouraged him to not be jealous of anyone but to strive for education and success. He used the phrase “blame yourself” in referring to the protesters. Expect Herman Cain to now be vilified as a terrible man with no principles and no compassion for the poor, and yes, he will be branded as a racist.
   If the leader of the present administration continues to fall in the polls, and reelection seems impossible, expect these same protesters to start rioting and smashing store windows. Martial law would be in their plan to maintain power. It has happened before.
   It is ironic that the companies being protested were major contributors to the 2008 presidential campaign of their leader.
   We are close to being a fascist country. The protesters could well be modern day brown shirts.
   Read Colossians 2:8 in your Holy Bible.  And, of course, this idiot cites the Bible.  OMG.  Unemployables?  What nonsense.  This guy has no Idea what's going on on Wall Street.  He thinks the the people are unemployable and that's the reason we shouldn't pay attention to their plight.  He chooses the Tea Party as being the rational-sane-unaffected and basically Christian employable persons.  He doesn't realize a lot of the Tea Partiers are Social Security recipients and are retired and unemployable.  God, I hate this kind of rhetoric.  I hate people who quote the Bible about secular affairs.  It just shows their bigotry and homophobia.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011


1,597 welfare applicants decline drug test in Fla.
   MIAMI (AP) — State figures show that hundreds of welfare applicants in Florida have declined to take drug tests that have been required for the assistance since mid-July.
   Thirty-two applicants failed the test, 7,028 passed and 1,597 didn’t take it, according figures released Tuesday the Department of Children and Families. People who decline to take the test aren’t required to explain.
   Proponents of the law have suggested applicants would be deterred because they knew they would test 
positive. Critics say applicants may not have taken the test because they couldn’t afford the fee that can be as much as $35 or didn’t have easy access to a testing facility.

Read the yellow copy carefully.  Do you realize .0045 Percent failed out of over seven thousand applicants.  And they say the majority of welfare people use their welfare money for drugs.  This whole witch hunt is bogus.  It's just another way the Government can keep track of people and their bad habits.  Let's face it a few...a very few people on welfare use drugs, probably about the same as the people in the general population.  Do we really need another 'bureau' to check out druggies in welfare lines?  Come on people, this is ridiculous.

I noticed today in the paper that Florida's welfare folks were asked to take a drug test before receiving benefits.  There were over 7000 people who took the test and only 32 showed up positive.  Do we really think the drug addicts are just hanging around collecting their 'dole' money and shooting up with all that cash?  Oh, I forgot, 1600 refused to take the test.  My question is, were they actually taking drugs, or were they just outraged by the whole process?

I can hear it all right now.  Yessir ol' Johnny, 22 percent of those hold-outs were completely drugged out and that's why they didn't take the test...yessir, that's the truth.  Personally, I doubt that.  I believe most of 22% simply were angry about the whole process.

Here's another thought.  Medicare recipients are on welfare.  What if the Fed said they had to get a drug test before they could receive benefits?  That would mean all those folks who take pain meds could possibly turned down for those medicare benefits.  Oh, and the medical marijuana folks...just forget it.

I'm against government singling out one segment of the population and saying they don't deserve the same benefits that all the rest of us are privy to.  Florida's testing position is a witch hunt and in all likelihood is unconstitutional.  In order to be fair, the government of Florida should withhold ALL benefits from ALL recipients.  They shouldn't be able to pick and choose.
Senate Republicans shut down Obama jobs bill!
Son of a Mitch McConnel and his bunch of loonies are against getting Americans back to work.  The shot down the President's Jobs Bill.  God, if not before, NOW I would never vote Republican.  You couldn't give me enough incentive to do so.  I really hate those bastards.
Those who say Obama is a weak president need to shut their faces.  He isn't weak, his congress is weak and probably corrupt.  The President would put this nation on the right road, but the Republicans keep derailing his programs.  They would probably vote no if the President had a bill praising our soldiers overseas.  They are that tiny.  I'm totally disgusted with them.

You would think the Reps could get behind jobs.  If anything, JOBS.  What assholes.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Funny stuff

Beware of that ‘killer’ storm water, Nampa
   I just mailed the check for “storm water” nonsense to the city of Nampa. What an exercise in total futility.
   “Stormwater” — horrors, new discovery — water runs downhill. It no longer soaks into the ground, so charge the people. It’s contaminating everything — the mosquitoes and earwigs and beetles and flies, all other bugs and birds and mice and gophers and wharf rats and pack rats and squirrels and crows and magpies and (we all know how important they are) fish and frogs and fish worms are all being decimated by this uncontrolled doom of “storm water.”
   It could have been labeled rainwater, but that is far too casual. Storm water conjures up much more frightening consequences because this is doomsday en route.
   High desert Nampa — so vulnerable. No time to lose; we must be quick to protect the environment.
   Rain from heaven, formerly called a blessing, is now designated “storm water,” so grab your boots, umbrella, shovel, paddle and whatever else you may need to assuage the waves of turbid and rainy runoff likely to inundate you and your dwelling!
   Oh, by the way, as you’re slogging out the door, bring your “checkbook.” It’s guaranteed to keep you high and dry.
   n Wendell Bartlow, Nampa

Oh Wendell, satire?  Very good m'friend.  I hope people recognize it.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Just Stuff 3

Perry backer: Romney in a ‘cult,’ not a Christian
   The Associated Press
   WASHINGTON — The pastor who introduced Texas Gov. Rick Perry at a conservative gathering Friday said rival presidential candidate Mitt Romney is not a Christian and is in a cult because he is a Mormon.
   Robert Jeffress, the senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Dallas, made similar remarks about Romney when he ran in the 2008 campaign. Event organizers at the Values Voters Summit selected Jeffress to introduce Perry, but the Perry campaign was consulted about the choice and approved Jeffress to introduce the Texas governor.
   Jeffress endorsed Perry at the event and introduced him as “a proven leader, a true conservative, and a committed follower of Christ.”
   After his remarks, Jeffress told reporters that 
Perry’s religion is different from Romney’s.
   “Rick Perry’s a Christian. He’s an evangelical Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ,” Jeffress said. “Mitt Romney’s a good moral person, but he’s not a Christian. Mormonism is not Christianity. It has always been considered a cult by the mainstream of Christianity.”
   Romney is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are commonly called Mormons.
   Perry and his campaign made clear that he disagrees with Jeffress.
   Asked by reporters Friday night in Tiffin, Iowa, whether Mormonism is a cult, Perry replied, “No.”
   Earlier Friday, spokesman Mark Miner said that “the governor does not believe Mormonism is a cult.”
   Still, the campaign refused to definitively say 
whether they were accepting his offered endorsement. “The governor is running a campaign of inclusion and looks forward to receiving the endorsement of many people,” Miner said. “People can endorse whoever they like.”
   Jeffress had made similar comments about Romney before, during the former Massachusetts governor’s first presidential run in 2008.
   “Mitt Romney is a Mormon, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Even though he talks about Jesus as his lord and savior, he is not a Christian,” Jeffress said in a 2007 sermon. “Mormonism is not Christianity. Mormonism is a cult. 
And just because somebody talks about Jesus does not make them a believer.”
   In that sermon, Jeffress said he was frustrated that some religious leaders had backed Romney anyway.
   “What really distresses me is some of my ministerial friends, and even leaders in our convention, say, ‘Well, he talks about Jesus, we talk about Jesus, what’s the big deal?’ It is a big deal.”
   The campaign initially said the decision to have Jeffress introduce Perry had been made strictly by organizers, but a Perry spokesman told The Associated Press Friday night that the campaign had agreed to it.
   “It was their suggestion; it was their choice of who introduced us. They asked our campaign what we thought, and we said OK,” Miner said.
   Jeffress is a prominent religious leader in Texas. His First Baptist Church has more than 10,000 members. In 2009, Perry recognized Jeffress by name during his speech at a dinner for the Light of Life dinner and gala in Dallas.

What stupidity.  Of Course LDS folks are Christians.  The only thing that differs them from Catholics is that they believe Joseph Smith is a prophet and the Catholics believe someone else is a prophet...and/or prophets.  Both are Christian.  Do your research Pastor Jeffress.

Okay, let's get this straight once and for all.  Barack Obama was not my first choice for the Presidential Nomination.  But he won.  Now it's my business to support him and his administration.  I can disagree at times with his politics and his bills, but overall, I support the president because I believe he absolutely has the welfare of our nation at his first objective.  Anyone who does not believe this should be ashamed of themselves.  I actually supported Reagan...I didn't like him or his politics, but he was my president and I supported him.  The only one I didn't support was George Dubya.  I thought he was short-sighted and easily maneuvered by his VP and other cabinet members.  I'm not sure Dubya had an original thought in his head.  I still don't.  However, when he was the Prez, I supported him as best I could.  I didn't bad mouth him in the newspaper.  I didn't send scathing email to friends and neighbors touting his stupidity.  I just waited for his electoral demise.  I'm terribly disappointed in what the Republicans say about Obama.  I will never ever support a Republican again.  PERIOD.

Friday, October 7, 2011

More Perry

Democracy controlled by billionaires
   Each day I see the human evidence of the growing inequity in the distribution of wealth in our country and communities. I am outraged and disgusted that our democracy has been completely co-opted and is controlled by corporate billionaires who care nothing for the lives of the people who labor to fill their coffers.
   It is time for working people to take back the country they and their forefathers suffered broken backs to build. The United States of America has turned into a “company town,” and it is time to proclaim enough! We will not accept this any more.
   The media may refuse to adequately cover the real issues underlying the wave of public demonstrations, but not for long. Soon there will be no ignoring the reality that the time for change is now!
   n Dalynn Kuster, Boise


Rick Perry Wants to Invade Mexico

| Sat Oct. 1, 2011 4:47 PM PDT
What happens when a Republican candidate for president finds himself on the defensive over a hot button culture war issue beloved of the tea party base? Answer: in an effort to maintain his more-kick-ass-than-thou credentials, he goes completely berserk:
Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Saturday that he would consider sending U.S. troops into Mexico to combat drug-related violence and stop it from spilling into the southern United States. “It may require our military in Mexico,” Perry said in answer to a question about the growing threat of drug violence along the southern border. Perry offered no details, and a spokesman, Robert Black, said afterward that sending troops to Mexico would be merely one way of putting an end to the exploding cartel-related violence in the region.
Black said Perry’s intention is to work with the Mexican government, but hedeclined to specify whether Perry is amenable to sending troops into Mexico with or without the country’s consent.
Do I even need to spell out why this is such an unconditionally boneheaded idea? Probably not, but Steven Taylor has done the job here just in case. I can't wait to get the official Mexican government reaction to this.
I don't get it. Is Mitt Romney really such a blood-curdlingly terrifying opponent that he scares every other candidate in the field into repeatedly immolating themselves? This is crazy.
God, what an idiot...  I need say nothing further.

Rick Perry's Spectacular Fall From Grace

| Mon Oct. 3, 2011 6:34 AM PDT
Just to recap, in less than two months Rick Perry has:
  1. Suggested that maybeBen Bernanke should be lynched.
  2. Declined to back off his contention that Social Security is an unconstitutional Ponzi scheme.
  3. Called climate change a "contrived phony mess" that was cooked up by scientists who have "manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling in to their projects."
  4. Pissed off the conservative base by defending his decision to (in Michele Bachmann's immortal words) give "government injections" to "innocent little 12-year-old girls." Said Perry condescendingly: "What I don't get is what parents don't understand about an opt out."
  5. Further pissed off the conservative base by suggesting that if you disagree with his policy on in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, "I don't think you have a heart."
  6. Mangled a prepackaged debate attack on Mitt Romney so badly, and then followed up with a statement on Pakistan so inscrutable, that even his supporters started to wonder if he has a three-digit IQ.
  7. Proposed that US troops should be used to fight Mexican drug lords. In Mexico.
  8. Had to defend himself against revelations that his family leases a hunting spot called "Niggerhead."
I'm putting this up because you can't truly grasp the full scope of Perry's train wreck campaign unless you see the whole list in one place. It's really pretty stupendous. Has any top-tier presidential candidate in history ever imploded quite this quickly?
Oh, those Republicans.  They really have a good idea when it comes to a candidate.  Rick Perry, a loser and an idiot to boot.