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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 30, 2008 1:48 PM. The previous post in this blog was Semper ad hominem. The next post in this blog is The World According to Helen. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sore thumb


Comments (30)

Are we sure this is more onerous at that level than, say, an 8% sales tax?

We need a sales tax.

Oregon need to get rid of the State Income Tax and get a sales tax the pols in Salem can't raise at every hick up in the local economy.

Sales taxes will hurt the low income far more than they will help unless food and clothing are exempted and the sales tax charged only on luxury items.

There's a portion of the population that is completely left out of any current bailout scheme or new project.

These are the people who make too little to afford to buy a home or a car but too much to qualify to stand in line for dwindling government assistance.

These are the people have to rent and are paying as much as 3/4 of their income for housing and yet don't even get to write dime one off of their income taxes, as used to be the case. Developers/landlords can evict them in as little as 30 days for no reason for luxury apartment conversions and demolitions to build same (they get a little more time if the conversion is for condos), can raise their rents by hundreds of dollars a month, assess any fee they please and up either as often as they wish.

These are the people, who through no fault of their own (catastrophic medical bills, loss of a job, etc.) have to declare bankruptcy and haven't a prayer of getting or maintaining any sort of credit at all. When they got the card or took out a loan they were secure and in good health - in a position to maintain their payments, unlike the folks who got into mortgage payments that were over their heads due to "easy terms" via their bank. Now they can't do it and the response is, "tough luck."

Because they have no children, many of these people aren't treated as a family and can't apply in programs that only deal with families.

Likewise, the only other choices offered by Central City Concern and the like are to get in line for "dangerous" and rundown hotel rooms for single low income folks where little attention has traditionally been paid to maintenance and one lives cheek and jowl with drug addicted, mentally disturbed, chainsmoking neighbors many of whom will steal anything that is not nailed down.

It's even worse if one has an elderly pet, acquired in the salad days. Most landlords don't want them no matter how well behaved and the City's subsidized buildings don't allow them unless they are service animals. Central City Concern will tell you to take the pet to Animal Control or try to make arrangements with the Humane Society. Impossible, even if you wanted to dicker with the Humane Society about doing volunteer work for space for your dog since, by the time people reach those kinds of depths, they have no way to get to the Humane Society with their dog and if they manage to keep any kind of job at all, have no time to devote to working at the Humane Society, too. Not to mention that Animal Control and the Humane Society are inundated with animals given up by people whose homes are in foreclosure and who have to move to a rental unit THAT WON'T ALLOW PETS.

No wonder so many people are homeless and sleeping under bridges and in doorways and in my experience the stony-faced, corn fed people at Central City UnConcern don't give a rip if the "receptionist's" demeanor and level of helpfulness is any indication.

Damn, with the monopolies and for-profit utility companies we have in this City people can't even apply for a reduction to their electric rates until they have let their payments fall behind for several months . . . same with NW Natural although at least the Water Bureau allows one to apply for hardship rates through places like Albina Ministerial Alliance. But that's another story.

Talk to them about the wisdom of a sales tax.

We need to see that our very future re-defines "poverty" and "money" and "taxation" and "general Welfare."

Creating a Post-Peak Future Worth Living Into, by André Angelantoni, Posted by Gail the Actuary on October 29, 2008 -- Topic: Sociology/Psychology

The future most people are living into is beginning to disappear. The financial crisis threw the first punch, but oil depletion will deliver the knockout blow. The moment people realize that the society they have known their whole life can no longer function the same way without the energy provided by oil, it will become glaringly apparent that the future will be very, very different. It’s not just that we will no longer have fresh food flown in from around the world. Some of the fundamental assumptions held by people living in the rich countries will no longer hold:

* many jobs that have never existed before will once again no longer exist
retirement, a phenomenon only a century old, will disappear

* accumulating “wealth” will be out of reach for most people

* most children will no longer be able to attend institutions of higher education

...


If I move to Vancouver will I still have to pay Oregon income tax since I work in Oregon?

Wow, I had no idea that we already had oil production figures for the next 200 years!

That should stabilize the futures markets nicely, having that information!

"drivin' fool" -

Yes. If any part of your work life includes Oregon, you pay Oregon income tax. Meaning:

• If you live in Oregon and work in Washington, you pay Oregon income tax.
• If you live in Washington and work in Oregon, you pay Oregon income tax.

The only way you don't pay Oregon income tax is if you are an Oregon resident and work overseas (e.g. outside US tax jurisdiction) or live AND work outside of Oregon.

Disclaimer: I am not a tax lawyer, but this is how I understand it to work. Do not use this opinion for anything, anywhere, ever.

Fred, I think you have it. Also, if you live in Oregon and sell property that you own in a different state then Oregon wants their cut. If you worked in Oregon before retiring elsewhere then Oregon wants some of your pension. If you worked somewhere else then retire to Oregon then Oregon will want to tax that income. If you're a professional backetball player who plays one game in the Rose Garden then Oregon wants income tax from the amount you earned that night.

I think that Oregon basically wants to tax any income connected to anyone who lives or works, or worked in Oregon.

Sales taxes will hurt the low income far more than they will help unless food and clothing are exempted and the sales tax charged only on luxury items.

Is organic milk food or a luxury?

Is a Burberry baseball hat clothing or a luxury (or just plain silly)?

I'm sure the great minds of the Oregon Legislature can figure it all out.

I see the peak oil fallacy has come up again. Lets look at what they don't look at:

* Tar sands oil in Canada

* Shale oil in the USA

* New oil in the Rockies

* Recent find in the Gulf of Mexico at 5 miles deep - doubled USA reserves. There are probably hundreds more like it if the politicians will allow looking.

* Most USA oil is off limits politically

* Oil from coal - hundreds of years worth

* Oil form ANY carbon source using nu clear power.

Peak oil is just another attempt to push legislation demanding that we lower our standard of living for some imagined good.

The only way you don't pay Oregon income tax is if you are an Oregon resident and work overseas (e.g. outside US tax jurisdiction)

As a general matter, that doesn't sound right to me. Oregon residents are taxed in Oregon on their worldwide income.

If the Burberry baseball hat is worn over the crotch it is clothing, on the head, just plain silly.

Yeah, we are at "peak oil" alright. That's why the price has plummeted to $65 a barrel from $150 and gasoline nationally is at a three year low.

I've been hearing peak oil predictions since the seventies. They just keep rolling em forward a decade or so whenever they are proven wrong.

How much did Portland spend on it's "peak oil" taskforce?

I'll bet the City paid nothing for it's Peak Oil Task Force. It was made up of students, the unemployed, and that saddo from the WW who is "addicted to oil," so they really had nothing else to do.

Not a word on taxing corporations...how pitiful. Corporation get a free skate and we pick up the tab...please, let's not hear the old saw that they will up them prices and we will pay anyway. Math 101 dispelled that myth long ago.

Math 101 dispelled that myth long ago.

Not.

There are two groups of humans who bear the burden of corporate taxes: investors and consumers. You think it's the investors? I don't think so.

"There are two groups of humans who bear the burden of corporate taxes: investors and consumers. You think it's the investors? I don't think so."

True. But why are your blue brethern always trying to stick it to corporations as if there's another group of fat cat humans that will bear that burden?


Hmmm... I thought paying taxes was patriotic?

Is the suggestion that lower-income people shouldn't be patriotic?

Just curious... me personally, I'm so patriotic it *hurts*... ;-)

Jack,

Overseas work applies under nonresident rules, because you aren't living here at the time. If you qualify as a nonresident you are only taxed on your Oregon source income. If you have no Oregon source income you have no requirement to file an Oregon Form 40N. You simply have no requirement to file. Oregon source income is from service performed in Oregon or from an Oregon business, rental income, unemployment based on Oregon employment, etc.

If you are living in Oregon, and working outside US tax jurisdiction, then you are probably landing your private jet at PDX every weekend, and deserve to get taxed out the ass; but that's just my opinion.

In my experience, if you used to be an Oregon resident and you're now overseas (working, say, for Nike on a foreign assignment), the Oregon Dept of Rev will take the position that you are still a resident because you plan to come back some day, and therefore you are taxable here. You could try to convince them (or a court) otherwise, but that's not so easy: the general presumption is that US citizens are residents somewhere in the US, even if they are somewhere else for the time being.

Astonishing that a candidate for public office can be so wrong and so sure of himself.

The list of supposed things that "they" don't look at:
============
I see the peak oil fallacy has come up again. Lets look at what they don't look at:

* Tar sands oil in Canada

* Shale oil in the USA

* New oil in the Rockies

* Recent find in the Gulf of Mexico at 5 miles deep - doubled USA reserves. There are probably hundreds more like it if the politicians will allow looking.

* Most USA oil is off limits politically

* Oil from coal - hundreds of years worth

* Oil form ANY carbon source using nu clear power.
==============

are all perfectly consistent with the incontrovertible (theoretical and empirical) fact that any finite resource will reach a point of peak extraction rate which must then inevitably decline, and the empirical fact that the easiest oil is extracted first, with the harder to find and extract oil comprising the resource remaining after the peak.

The idea that "most" US oil is politically off limits is laughable -- the US was the worlds greatest producer and exporter (while also being the greatest consumer) for decades. MOST USA oil has been consumed and is responsible for a good deal of our climate problems (in addition to most of our wealth).

Of the remaining estimated reserves (2-3% of global reserves), given that we use approximately 25% of world daily extraction, the idea that we should deplete our share of the reserves faster is what Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) calls "strength through exhaustion."

As for tar sands, we're already seeing Canada strain itself to the breaking point by using some 15% of their natural gas and enormous quantities of fresh water to produce a tiny million barrels a day, while destroying a huge area of formerly habitable land. This is like using trading gold coins for lead ones.

On "shale oil," good luck with that -- every major in the world has concluded that it's a loser. And these forms are consistent with peak oil theory anyway -- the idea that you use the easy stuff first, and then it becomes progressively harder to maintain flows.

so wrong and so sure of himself

Isn't that Jim Karlock's middle name?

Tar sands oil, shale oil, new oil, recent-find oil, most USA oil, coal oil, (not mentioning: victor's spoils of oil wars, Arctic oil, whale oil, sea bed oil, Brazil oil, Moon oil, Mars oil, 3-in-1 oil and reclaimed oil and used-asphalt re-refined oil, and don't forget abiotic oil), and more ... all adds up to spit in the ocean. Do the math. Humankind military-industrialism consumes 1 billion barrels every 12 days. "Known" reserves is (less than) 1,000 billion barrels = 12,000 days = 30? years ... at the rate we are going. That rate is increasing!

So we lately found 20 or 60 billion barrels (240 or 720 days); and Total 'unknown' 'unfound' and IS predictable! amounts at liberal most to 500 billion barrels but informed consensus converges on less than 200 billion barrels (2400 days). Big whoop. NOT!

ROTFLMAO "nuclear power makes oil." As if somewhere in a nuclear power plant is some BIG Spark Plug ZAPanode platform, and you just set what you got on the platform and ZZZZZAP, Nuclear Power irradiates it into some alchemical transformation you like to choose. Like Superman's hand squeezes a lump of coal and }poof{ makes a diamond. Another instance is LIARS saying "nuclear power splits sea water into hydrogen and oxygen." ZZZZAP's it, for as much as LIARS can tell. Do the physics: Hot nuclear reactors boil water to steam, the steam is piped to spray jets which puff high-pressure on turbine vanes of electrical generators, and electricity comes out in wires from the building.

So, 'electricity makes oil' "from any carbon source"? Maybe so.
'Electricity splits sea water into hydrogen and oxygen'? So it does.
And we can generate electricity many ways withOUT nuclear reactors. Forget building nuclear reactors.

Just because you don't understand the Natural Science physics of something, does NOT mean it has supernatural magic in it that nobody can understand. Albeit, as nerds say, (likely plagiarizing Asimov), "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

Windship Hydrogen Production Systems

Meanwhile, back at the topic ...

Why I Love Taxes -- And Why Most Americans Do, Too, by: Sally Kohn, Oct 24, 2008.

1. Taxes are a down payment on the common good

Public schools, roads and bridges, drinking water, national parks — we like these things ... things we, as a community, need. Think of taxes as our national membership card to the Costco called government.

2. Taxes fund government, and government is good

The conservative attack on taxes is really an attack on government. [nota bene: THAT's why it is sedition -- TREASON.] Conservatives talk about “starving the beast” of government, but given how much government has fed and nurtured all of us, we’d only be starving ourselves.

3. Spreading the wealth is a great idea

Unlike John McCain or apparently Joe the Plumber, the majority of Americans support raising taxes on the rich.
Raising taxes on the very rich isn’t class warfare.
It should go without saying that attacks on taxes always have a racial subtext to them — that we wouldn’t want our (read: white) money to be redistributed toward others (read: black people or, increasingly, Latino immigrants). But our low-road economic policies, putting the greed of a small few above the basic needs and survival of the rest of us, has led to an economic calamity that has not discriminated.

Furthermore and related, broadcast hate-talk afflicts new-arriving voters and awakening political consciousness, with LIARS ignorance about majority-supported taxes, similar to the way it fills the air with Lamebrain LIARS ignorance about the majorly-agreed Common Sense in many considerations, (where rightwing wacko disagreement is a teeny tiny little itsy-bitsy extremist radical splinter-faction violence-bully cult, with one bigoted 'celebrity' Jabba-the-Hutt jerk using a BIG LOUD MICROPHONE to ditto-ize junior jerks ... democracy traitors).

A Liberal Supermajority (Finally) Finds Its Voice, By Eric Alterman, The Nation, October 29, 2008.

Obama has proven an inspirational messenger, speaking to and for a public eager to embrace the kind of politics that has been demonized and trivialized for the past eight years by MAINSTEAM MEDIA desperate to deflect the right's accusations of "liberal bias." According to the Pew Center's extensive national survey, released well before this endless election got under way, * roughly 70 percent of respondents believe that the government has a responsibility "to take care of people who can't take care of themselves." * Two-thirds (66 percent)--including most of those who say they would prefer a smaller government (57 percent)--support government-funded health insurance for all citizens. * Most also regard the nation's corporations as too powerful, while nearly two-thirds * (65 percent) say corporate profits are too high -- about the same number who * say "labor unions are necessary to protect the working person" (68 percent). * When it comes to the environment, a large majority (83 percent) back stricter laws and regulations, while * 69 percent agree "we should put more emphasis on fuel conservation than on developing new oil supplies" and * 60 percent say they would "be willing to pay higher prices in order to protect the environment."

Yet the MSM--with precious few exceptions--remain wedded to RIGHT-WING assumptions long since DISCREDITED by reality.

All common sense is established in public education, which rightwing wackos most hate, immunizing children against LIARS ignorance. I pleaded with and ultimately pulled rank on school administrators to NOT drag my children into the rightwing wacko future FictionLand, and leave my child behind, in the real world, with real facts and true information. Notice that Alterman (above) exactly blames broadcast MEDIA in its programming deeds which desecrate public education.

--
Instead of Oregon changing its income tax, let's see all the Other States change their sales taxes ... to zero! And they can adjust their State income taxes, accordingly as budgeted for revenue.

All sales taxes, (where enacted), should be written in the reverse of the way they are now. So: NO Sales Tax EXCEPT for exceptions: Retail items selling for more than 50,ooo dollars (100,ooo?) apiece. (But a waiver allowed for primary residence homes ... though begging the question whether 'homes' are a retail item?)
-- The only sales tax should be a Luxury Tax on filthy rich spending.

Speaking of the devil ...

Nuclear Power Badnews:

Nukenomics No Longer Add Up - Expert, Brittany Schell, OneWorld US, October 31, 2008

WASHINGTON, Oct 31 (OneWorld) - Nuclear power is a risky source of energy that comes with many hidden costs, said an environmental analyst and long-time leader in the U.S. environmental movement Tuesday.

Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, said the "flawed economics" of nuclear power are placing unforeseen burdens on taxpayers: the costs related to the construction of nuclear plants, the disposal of nuclear waste, the decommissioning of old plants, and security in case of an accident all contribute to the price the world pays for nuclear power. Wind energy is a more economically sound option, said Brown.

... Brown said the U.S. government should stop investing money in nuclear power -- currently over $70 billion a year -- and devote more money to the research and development of renewable energy sources, such as wind.

Comparing nuclear power with wind, Brown pointed out that nuclear power already costs twice as much as electricity produced from the wind ....

--

According to a State of Washington Sept. of Revenue study done in 2003, households making less than $20K pay three times as much (as a percentage of income) in sales taxes as households making more than $130K.

Not only that, but despite the conventional wisdom assumptions of economists, 20-year studies of sales tax revenue in California show them to be at least as volatile -- if not more so -- than an income tax.

The only way a sales tax can be buffered from economic shifts is for it to be so broad-based that it taxes essential items like food, medicine, etc. Stuff people can't live without. In which case you're extracting taxes from people on the bottom rungs of the income scale who pay less of a percentage in a progressive income tax system.

Sometimes it's good to read the whole report and not just focus on the pretty pictures, too. From page 6 of the PDF:

But it is important to recognize that a state tax system that includes an income tax — even one with a relatively low income threshold — typically serves low-income families better than a state tax system that does not include an income tax at all. The reason is that most states’ income taxes, even those that tax the poor, are progressive; that is, income tax payments represent a smaller share of income for low-income families than for high-income families. By contrast, the other primary source of tax revenue for states, the sales tax, is regressive, consuming a larger share of the income of low-income families than of highincome families.

Thus, states that rely heavily on non-income taxes tend to have higher overall taxes on the poor than do other states. Seven states with sales taxes — Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming — do not appear in this report because they do not levy income taxes. Their heavy reliance on the sales tax renders their tax systems very burdensome for low-income families. Conversely, two states with income taxes but no general sales tax — Montana and Oregon — are shown in this report to impose above-average income tax burdens on the poor, despite some recent improvement. While there is room for further improvement in this aspect of their income taxes, these two states still have less regressive tax systems overall than the average state because they do not levy general sales taxes.

I knew a guy once living in Washington, working at the FAA Air Traffic Control Center in Auburn, Washington, as an air traffic controller. At the time a certain portion of his duties involving directing air traffic in Oregon airspace. The state of Oregon actually sent him an audit letter informing him he owed Oregon state income taxes, for the portion of his income involving air traffic control activities over Oregon airspace. Incredible! We moved away before getting the result of their claim so I dont know how it all ended.

Peak oil is just another attempt to push legislation demanding that we lower our standard of living for some imagined good.

oil is a finite resource, Jim, so at best, you're arguing about how (and when) to rearrange the deck chairs on the oil-powered Titanic.

so since you and I agree that oil is finite resource, (a) how do we figure out when it's going to run out, and (b)how do we act *before* it runs out, so we're not caught out in the cold?

because that's in fact what people are doing, while you're complaining that it's too soon, it's too soon, it's too soon.


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Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 319
At this date last year: 172
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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