Archive for the 'Money' Category

T! S! A! T! S! A! Cheer On Security Kabuki

A New Hope and a Modest Proposal.

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Happy Tax Day.

Enjoy this one.  Next year’s will be a lot worse. 

I wonder if we will be telling our children, “Yeah, back in ’10, we didn’t have to submit our medical records to the IRS.  But you know, son, I really wanted that second Xbox so you will just have to work that second job to pay off my interest and your unsanctioned heart surgery.  Sorry.”

I’m just this much closer to “Going Galt”.

Edited to Add: For any who creep onto this page from, oh say, a referring page that thinks that Obamacare, Taxes, and government control over our lives have nothing to do with each other and that we won’t have to worry about old Uncle Sugar probing into our private lives during tax season; could you please tell me why the IRS should be verifying that I have coverage in the first place? 

I’ve checked my copy of The Constitution (You have one. Right?) and I don’t see anywhere in there where the IRS has any right to see if I have “appropriate healthcare”.

Could you also please tell me of ANY government entitlement that has not grown?  Can you please tell me any government program that does not require increasingly more and more paperwork for verification? 

When Obamacare bankrupts insurance companies with onerous pre-existing condition requirements and they have to be bailed out, like Chrysler, Chevy, AIG (an insurance co.), and the Banks and we have a de facto single payer system, if it is, in fact, the people’s money being spent on healthcare, don’t the people have a right to know what it’s being spent on?  If you weigh 250 pounds are you entitled to the same care someone who weighs 140 at your same height?  No, you are not. You made a bad choice and you will HAVE to be penalized to bring you back into trim (sin taxes on booze and cigarettes ring a bell?).  …And since it’s all being done through the tax code to make it nice and legal(ish), guess to whom the paperwork will be submitted?   

And, just to burst any referrer’s bubbles, we will already have to submit health info soon.  I will have to submit, with my taxes, proof of my, “accepted healthcare program.”  Who pays for my healthcare is as private an issue as what healthcare I receive, because he who pays (and the aim is to make the Government pay for it all), gets to know everything about you.  Once the damn is burst…*

Ok, I’ll grant you, the full takeover is not in this bill.  But like the “sensible regulations” of the FDA; what starts out as an attempt to make some sausage taste better will be an everyday companion in your life.  Like it or not.  And if you can’t see that, well, you are not alone in history.  People of Greece, Rome, Pre WWII Germany, and England never saw it coming either.

One last thing.  If someone’s case is so weak and their desire to paint their opposition with a crazy brush so great that they have to quote a tongue-in-cheek quip that is trying to illustrate absurdity with absurdity, then they’ve really reached the bottom of their ammo bag. 

So I apologize for having to take up ever shrinking web space and increasing the march toward your monthly bandwidth limit (see, there’s that absurdity with absurdity thing again) by Turing a one paragraph frustrated tax day rant into a multi page explanation of that frustration.  But I figured since you were duped into coming to this page to see the Tattooed Two Headed Monkey Boy froth at the mouth for you carnival going enjoyment, I might as well give you something worth seeing.

* Yes, that was meant to be a play on words. 

Bad Weekend For The Savings Account.

I just had the most expensive get-together with my fiends I’ve ever had.  Friday night I spent some time at a friend’s where we played some trivia games.  T’was a fun time had on a cold night.  As I pulled out of their apartment complex, the tire pressure warning went nutters and I pull off the road into a parking lot.  Sure enough, the right front tire was flatter than a non-teleprompter Obama rant. In the cold, with the sub par jack that comes with the Mazda 3, I change the tire. 

There was some drama with some rather suspicious folks asking me and The Mrs. if we “needed a ride.”  Hand on my concealed gun, I replied, “No thanks.”  A little more drama when the piss poor jack slipped out of the hard point and started to list about 30 degrees.  All was over come, the tire was replaced with the “doughnut”, and the offending tire was wedged into its carry hole. 

Later that night (morning) as I was winding down from the fun and warming up from the cold, I realized I didn’t take my damn phone off my belt.  The Treo’s touch screen was shattered and the only reason I didn’t lose it all together was the screen protector held the shards in place.  So scratch one smart phone which will have to be replaced to the tune of between $300 and $450 depending upon what I want to upgrade to.  Since there’s nothing I really like out there, I’m not sure what to do about it. 

The next day, I take the tire to be fixed.  As the tire-guy and I pull the tire from the back of the holding well, we both say, “Shit!”  The wheel was bent to the tune of about a centimeter.  And then it hits me.  The FIRST parking space we tried had a DEEEEEP pot hold that was concealed by shadow and water.  I guess I hit it at just the right place for it to bend the inside of the wheel.  It didn’t shake the tire loose until I got up to speed on the road after leaving. *sigh-and-migraine-salute* $340’s later an OEM wheel is ordered and should be in today.  If the tire is ok, that should be it. If not, 2 new tires will also be part of the damage. 

You know… I’m not sure if I like my friends this much.

DIY. The Free Market Works

Ford, the only domestic car maker I’ve ever cared to own, shows that when you tell the King to keep His Schilling, you can dance to your own tune AND make it work for ya’

Kudos.

You Have To Take The Good With The Bad, Eric!

Google and China are squaring off against each other because of censorship.  So, Eric, a heavily centralized .gov is a good thing?  Or do you just want an uber-powerful Big Brother in some areas but not in others?  Is it your belief that a massive over arching central dictatorship can be good as long as it knows its place?  Meaning not to mess with you, but if it breaks a few eggs (and heads and souls) elsewhere that’s fine.  Eric… Big Government is never content to just control over its people.  It will control EVERYTHING.  Learn it well, Eric.

I hope this is an eye opener for you guys over in Googleville.  I doubt it.

House Hunting Frustration

Well… I’ve hit a brick wall.  I can’t find anyplace that I like, can afford, and that has decent schools. 

The places out in Katy panned out very nicely.  But once me and Mrs. sat down and talked, we figured out we weren’t really comfy with the drive in having to deal with two elderly parents.  I think if it wasn’t for that, we’d probably be much more receptive to that move.  Prices were right and the schools are EXCELLENT.  But being that far from the folks that live in 2 separate areas of Houston and need weekly visits… *sigh*.

Places closer in in Fort Bend / Missouri City / Stafford that are priced right and that we can get to the folks more quickly from have crappy schools. 

Places in same that have good schools are just too expensive and would leave us house poor. 

Places in Houston have similar school problems.  And frankly, I define happiness as Houston in my rear view mirror. 

So what to do?  Put another 30 to 40 minutes between my parents and help and sentence my wife to a LOOOONG commute or buy a nice house with crappy schools to stay close to the folks and work?  

Now part of the issue we have is going down to one income.  With kids in the plans, the amount of monthly note we can afford is drastically smaller than with 2 incomes.  I’m doing all my calculations with my income as the sole source of cash flow.  If my wife planned to shuffle the kids off to daycare then this would not be an issue.  But then again, why have kids if you intend to shuffle them off to daycare and make them someone else’s problem? 

That’s not to disrespect any single moms (or dads) who got stuck raising kids when some dead beat SOB (or Phsyco-B) walked out on them.  But if you have a choice, it’s best to keep someone home with the bambino’s at least until they can yell, “BAD TOUCH!”

THIS JUST IN!  As I type this, Dad calls with a minor (at this point) medical complaint.  He, of course, being a man, will not let me take him some meds.  It’s not life threatening or ambulance worthy, but it is a reminder that being 30 minutes away is a lot more comforting that being an hour away.   *sigh*   Where was I…?

Oh yes, Kids… single income… Anywhooo…  That’s where we stand.  We are really looking at getting no traction on a house anytime soon.  blah.  Oh well, while we can, the Mrs. and I are going sock away as much $$$ as we can to make a “better fit” purchace in a year if we don’t find anything soon.  Another $30K in the bank would bring down the mortgage on a nicer home and put it within our one income means. 

Sorry for the rant, but I needed to get that off my chest.  I know there are many more important things to talk about.  The Fisking of the Constitution by Barry-O and his merry band of drunken sailors should be much higher on my list of things to bitch about, but I just can’t seem to give a flip.   Maybe I need some recoil therapy?

California PSA: Budgeting On A Budget.

Larry Correia has a dizzying list of California’s “bare bones” entities.  

Now I may just be a little guy.  My wife and I work.  We actually EARN money so we, kind of, have a sense of what a dollar is worth.  I know that no one in the Cali Government remembers what it’s like to sweat for several hours and have that equated to a wage.  If you lack knowledge of how to Budget during a Crisis, you also lack the knowledge of the value of… ANYTHING. 

So as a Public Service, let me share with our left coast brethren and sisteren how to cut back when you haven’t got the cash.  First some questions.

1) If you have paid all your bills for the month and you have a $1000 surplus in your hand; which one of these do you spend it on?
            a) Pay down your revolving Debt.
            b) Give it all to charity.
            c) Give it all to your employees/children.
            d) A killer night out with the gang. 

2) If you find that you are short $100 dollars each month, which of these services do you cancel?
            a) Cable TV ($150)
            b) Alarm Company ($12)
            c) Electric ($200)
            d) Water ($40)

3) You lose your job.  Budget wise, what do you do first.
            a) Examine your expenditures.  Identify nonessential ones.  Eliminate them.
            b) Find your credit cards with the lowest APR.
            c) Talk to Dad.
            d) Buy a new Wii.

4) You have no money and you are in debt.  You can’t meet basic essential bill payments. You can’t borrow any more money.  So you
            a) Stop all spending and go into bankruptcy.
            b) Try to get more credit.
            c) Talk to Dad.
            d) Ignore it all.  It will go away. 

If you answered anything but A to any of those questions, you probably are ready for a job in politics. 

Here are some basic Crisis Budgeting Principles.  What?  Do I have a degree in economics?  No.  I have bills.  Bills are better than a degree in economics because they test you every month and when you fail the monthly exam, you actually LOSE things.  Tangible things like money or property. 

1) When expenses exceed income.  Immediately stop spending and review what is absolutely essential.  When you start spending again; START with the absolutely essential expenditures.  If you are unclear what those things are you may wish to check the ORIGINAL state constitution, you know, before everything was tacked onto it.  If you are still unsure what those are, STOP.  You are unqualified to be making this decision.  If you are certain you know what is essential and something on you list DOES NOT have the words Police, Law Enforcement, Court, Fire, State Guard, or Water/Sewage Treatment; Then STOP.   You are unqualified to be making this decision.

2) If you run out of money before all essential services are funded, STOP.  You are screwed.  You have to CUT BACK on essential services. You can’t go asking for more money.  It’s over.  You have to seek bankruptcy protection.  

3) Once essential services are funded, you must look at putting aside SOMETHING for an emergency.  …Even if it’s just a few paltry million dollars.  You never know when Sacramento may need braces.  This will keep you from having to go begging for credit again. 

4) Start payment on the debt.  No more fun gets to be had until you pay down what you’ve already spent.  It’s not fun.  But you already had all the fun you can afford.  You are just going to have to turn down all those research grant requests for: Ringtail Lemur Mating Habits and Does Garbage Really Stink.  Also, negotiate with your creditors.  You are a large part of their expected income.  They will be HAPPY to come up with payment plans rather than see it all flushed down the drain.  

5) As you pay down the debt, also put MORE money aside for a rainy day.  Again, it may only be a few measly $million. But every little bit helps.  You never know, more people may leave and your tax base goes down.  You CAN’T go ask for more money or credit and you may need some cash on hand.

6) Once the debt is paid off, and not before, THEN you can work back in the nonessential expenditures.  But here’s the kicker; when you reach the end of your income, that’s it.  Draw a line on the page at where your last dollar gets spent and YOU ARE DONE.  PERIOD.  YOU HAVE NO MORE CASH.  IT’S OVER. 

That’s it.  There you have some basic ideas on how to make life better.  Not easier, mind you.  But better.    

That some States don’t have to live within their means is why Secession should still be on the table.  While I’m upset at paying for do nothing people who won’t pull their own weight; I’m ENRAGED that I have to pay for do nothing States that can’t (read won’t) stop spending like the shots and whores are half price and the fleet sets sail on the ‘morrow.


Dante…

Conservative, educated, understands history, distrusts government, distrusts politicians, dislikes pop-culture, and carries a firearm. In short, I'm what The Framers of The Constitution were counting on and everything your government wants you to fear most.

The only thing I don’t have to complain about is some GI taking up space in my living room. I’ll let you know about the Civil Courts if someone ever owes more than $20 to me. ---If you didn’t get that one; sue your Civics or US History Teacher.


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