Monday, April 11, 2011

Weekend Links

Weekend Links

1. File this under the category of too dang bad. Please forgive if I seem a little harsh and unforgiving, but using the taxpayer’s dollars for any program for illegal immigrants gets my back up just a bit.

Currently the State of Washington is $5B in the whole and trying to cut the budget so it will be balanced. One of the first things on the chopping block is (and should be) aid to illegal immigrants. So far, state lawmakers, $59M has been realized by tightening up requirements to use certain state funded programs, mostly in the health care arena.  Before you get your knickers in a knot over this, please know that the state will still spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $300M for program that illegals can tap into such as health care for pregnant women and medical and dental coverage for children from low income families that can’t prove they are residents.

I don’t consider myself an uncompassionate person (and most who know would agree), but I just cannot reconcile using my dollars to care for folks who are here illegally. Yes, yes, I am aware there are children involved with this, but note that funding for children’s health program will not be cut. I am also aware of the whole “they do the work we won’t do” argument and that fish don’t bite for me. I course we won’t do that work. It is back breaking with wages that can be half of the minimum wage and quite often without benefits of any kind. A lot of these people are nearly indentured servants, especially in the agricultural sector.  If the wages were at minimum wage level and there was a bare minimum of benefits there would be people lining up for the jobs, especially teenagers looking for fast food and gas money. I’m sure there will some of you who will take me to task for my viewpoint on illegals, but don’t bother to bore me with your snide remarks about my cold, calloused heart. I will post you comments if you dare to leave any, but only so the rest of us can comment back.

2. I sure this has scared the heck out of all of us. Boeing has released details of the ruptured roof in one of their 737s. Apparently it occurred in a location experts didn’t think would be a problem, but they are confident it won’t happen again.

3.  A little good news in the area housing market. While still less than last March, which was fueled by the tax credit, the slump was “only” 4.5%. Too early to call it a trend. On a personal note, a neighbor sold their house in less than a month, getting what they asked. It was well below what they paid for it, but at least it a semi-good sign.

4. The nanny-state strikes again. Seattle and other cities are considering banning tobacco during baseball games. Players who chew tobacco would not be allowed to indulge during the game. It is for their own good (sarc/off). I agree that tobacco is something folks shouldn’t do, but as long as the person is an adult, it should be their own decision. Smokeless tobacco impacts only the individual from a health point of view. I don’t care if you are grossed out, it shouldn’t be banned for that reason. If that were the case, then men with ponytails should be banned because I find that gross.  So should women who don’t shave their armpits, which is also gross.  I also find the color “icky-green” gross, so ban it!

5. Do these people not understand something? Union protesters descended on Olympia to protest budget cuts. What do these people want? Should the state borrow the $5B needed to close the budget gap? Do they want taxes raised? So what if they are one, the budget shortfall is not going to go away by chanting slogans and holding up signs.  Cut have to be made. Even if taxes are raised, it still won’t even come close to closing the gap. And increasing taxes on the “rich” and corporations would only cost jobs as the rich and corporations moved elsewhere. Either they don’t understand, or they do and don’t care.

1. This, from the city of Pelosi, is not surprising. In California, there is only one city that has a payroll tax.  It comes as no surprise to me that one of the most progressive cities (I don’t consider the word ‘progressive’ a compliment) in the nation has a tax on businesses. If a business located in San Francisco has more than $250,000 in payroll expenses, the company must pay a 1.5% of the total payroll in taxes to San Fran.

2. If this surprises anyone, then they just aren’t paying attention. Rising gas prices are expected to put a dent in the struggling economic gains.

3. Blockbuster bought by Dish Network. A bankruptcy judge has approved Dish Network’s purchase of Blockbuster Video. This is the last of the big video rental stores still in operation, as far as I can tell.

Some companies are starting to push back a little, some are threatening to leave.

Twitter, the online-messaging service, first spoke up about the issue last year when considering a move to bigger offices.  In a recent letter to Mayor Edwin M. lee and the city’s board of supervisors, twitter said it had all but decided to leave the city because of higher rent, taxes, and other expenses that would cost it an extra $30 million over the next five years. (Source: Seattle Times)

While I have not been to San Francisco in many years, I do remember it to be a very beautiful, but very expensive city, to live in. The climate is very agreeable, the views are stunning, and the people are highly educated. But even with all of this, if I were a business owner, I would consider leaving also. California already has one of the nation’s highest tax rates, rating first in gas taxes ($.47.7 a gallon), sales tax rate is 8.25% and as high as 10.25% depending on locality, and they have a state income tax ranging from 1.25% to as high as 9.55%. Throw on the additional San Francisco burden, it is no wonder some are considering leaving the city.
UPDATE: the city of San Francisco has voted to give Twitter a break from the 1.25% payroll tax if they are willing to move into the rundown Mid-Market area.


1. As has been predicted many times over, Portugal is have a debt crisis and the EU is thinking about bailing them out. How long do you think it will be until Spain or Italy crashes? And will the US be left hold some of the notes, even though we are in debt up to our eyeballs?

1 comment:

  1. Nice. I don't understand these states giving away all their money. They think the Fed can bail them out? They probably will...all of this spending sickens me.