Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Conservative talking point proven wrong, of course...

I received another forwarded email today that told an old lie, and I want to say something about that lie.

"100% taxation of the income of every taxpayer in the US would NOT cover annual federal spending."

That's a lie. It's absolutely false, and here are some numbers to throw back at the lying liers who tell that lie.

The GDP of the United States was estimated to be $14.7 Trillion in 2010. The "GDP per capita" was $46,381. (Now, given that this calculates a total population of 316,940,126 people, I'm guessing that some of that is business to business. We don't have that many wage-earners in the US yet. But I'll use the number anyway.)

According to this NYTimes article in February of 2010, the 2010 Federal Budget was $3.8 Trillion. That included a $1.56 Trillion deficit.

If every wage earner, both individual and business, paid the same flat tax rate to the Federal Government, that tax rate would need to be 25.85%, or an average of $11,990 out of that $46,381. Just to pay the deficit would be 10.61%, or $4,922. But of course, if we did that, there would BE no deficit.

Now, 25.85% is a high tax rate for Americans. Especially if they don't have a clue and don't pay attention. Because according to history, that's about right. Especially if you consider that with a balanced budget we could really get serious at creating jobs, rebuilding our crumbling infrastrcture and actually start paying down the Debt. We wouldn't have to sell more bonds than we bring in as tax revenue, and the financial markets would LOVE us. The only people who would hate life would be the Republican Party and the Conservative Movement they serve, because they would be proved wrong, on everything, forever.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A day in the park.

Victory Creek Park in Seattle is right behind the Northgate QFC, and it's a small park with a stream connecting to Thornton Creek. You can see it on a map here. This is within my precinct, SEA 46-2324, and I've worked in the park before. A few years ago, I saw that someone had done some significant work in it, building a new trail and bridge. This was part of a senior project for Alika, who received the help of his father Eric.

A few weeks ago, I noticed that the ivy on the trees was growing, and I remembered a guide from Earthcorps saying that one good way to fight invasive ivy is to simply cut it off at the ground and at about eye level. Here are some pictures of the trees after Shea and I did that taken a few days later: (not in 2016, that camera is in a time-warp..)

Good show of how we cut the ivy around this big tree.

This is higher up in the trees than we could reach, and I could see the ivy starting to dry up.

Another picture of the trees with the ivy dying.

Not fantastic photos, but the first one gives a good indication of what we did. I also started working on the blackberry brambles under those trees, and I saw something. It was a grocery cart, and something else I couldn't identify. But it was too deep in there and it was getting late, so we stopped.

Today I decided to go back and see what I could do. I'd bought a new pair of clippers from Ace Hardware, and they worked really well. The cart was surrounded by metal pieces that turned out to be from a geodesic half-dome that had been in a neighbors yard about 20 years ago. There's still a lot of blackberries in there, but I feel good about it. One of the employees at QFC said that they would get a friend to come haul it away. Here are some pictures:

Grocery cart and play-dome pieces

Another view of the scrap

This is the hole I cut into the brambles to get the metal out

And this is me for a size comparison

I'm going to go back over the summer and continue working on the park. There are still a lot of blackberries and it's a good workout.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Stepping stone reached in investments

I've reached yet another stepping stone in my investment strategy. I now have 5 stocks that pay me at least $100 per year in dividends. My current yield (today) is 10.39%, and I'm expecting to get $740.89 in dividends over the next 12 months.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Milestone reached in investment

I know this is going to end up being controversial, but thought I'd share it anyway. I've reached another milestone in my investment strategy. I now have 4 stocks that pay me at least $100 per year in dividends. My current yield (today) is 10.35%, and I'm expecting to get $727.79 in dividends over the next 12 months.

If you're interested in learning more about my strategy, you can view this presentation.