aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Mother Teresa’s doubt
A new, innocuously titled book, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light (Doubleday), consisting primarily of correspondence between Teresa and her confessors and superiors over a period of 66 years, provides the spiritual counterpoint to a life known mostly through its works. The letters, many of them preserved against her wishes (she had requested that they be destroyed but was overruled by her church), reveal that for the last nearly half-century of her life she felt no presence of God whatsoever - or, as the book’s compiler and editor, the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, writes, “neither in her heart or in the eucharist.”
It only makes her more of a saint to me. I imagine my mother is, on the other hand, having a conniption.
Nugent to Obama: “suck on my machine gun”
A twenty-something kid was arrested here Friday for “possessing firearms on school grounds;” his Facebook profile is filled with photos of him flaunting his guns.
Just one of the ironies is that this young man comes from a Georgia town with a law that actually requires gun ownership. There’s a state university in that town, too.
What are we teaching our young people?
Here’s Ted Nugent onstage last week. Brandishing two machine guns, he says:
I was in Chicago last week, I said, “Hey Obama, you might want to suck on one of these, you punk!” Obama, he’s a piece of sh*t and I told him to suck on my machine gun! Let’s hear it for them. I was in New York and I said, “Hey Hillary, you might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch. And since I’m in California, how about Barbara Boxer? She might want to suck on my machine gun! Hey, Dianne Feinstein, ride one of these, you worthless whore!”
Our local gun-boy was a proud conservative Baptist. Nugent is known for his proud conservative political views and his vocal pro-hunting and Second Amendment activism.
hilzoy points out that Nugent’s no marginalized rock star. The Wall Street Journal has run columns by him on several occasions in which he has complained about hippies and their “cowardly, irresponsible lifestyle of random sex.”
Says hilzoy, “I’ll be interested to see whether they continue to publish him after his rant...”
Saxby’s “Fair Tax” is fanciful tax
For those who never heard about it, the FairTax is a national retail sales tax that would replace the entire current federal tax system. It was originally devised by the Church of Scientology in the early 1990s as a way to get rid of the Internal Revenue Service, with which the church was then at war (at the time the IRS refused to recognize it as a legitimate religion). The Scientologists’ idea was that since almost all states have sales taxes, replacing federal taxes with the same sort of tax would allow them to collect the federal government’s revenue and thereby get rid of their hated enemy, the IRS.
Rep. John Linder (R., Ga.) and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R., Ga.) have introduced legislation (H.R. 25/S. 1025) to implement the FairTax. They assert that a rate of 23% would be sufficient to replace federal individual and corporate income taxes as well as payroll and estate taxes. Mr. Linder’s Web site claims that U.S. gross domestic product will rise 10.5% the first year after enactment, exports will grow by 26%, and real investment spending will increase an astonishing 76%.
In reality, the FairTax rate is not 23%. Messrs. Linder and Chambliss get this figure by calculating the tax as if it were already incorporated into the price of goods and services. (This is known as the tax-inclusive rate.) Calculating it the conventional way that every other sales tax is calculated, with the tax on top of the price, yields a rate of 30%. (This is called the tax-exclusive rate.) [...]
Rejecting all the tricks of FairTax supporters and calculating the tax rate honestly—by including the higher spending that it mandates and by being realistic about what could actually be taxed—professional revenue estimators have always concluded that a national retail sales tax would have to be much, much higher than 23%.
A 2000 estimate by Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation found the tax-inclusive rate would have to be 36% and the tax-exclusive rate would be 57%. In 2005, the U.S. Treasury Department calculated that a tax-exclusive rate of 34% would be needed just to replace the income tax, leaving the payroll tax in place. But if evasion were high then the rate might have to rise to 49%. If the FairTax were only able to cover the limited sales tax base of a typical state, then a rate of 64% would be required (89% with high evasion).
Via PGL at Angry Bear, “Is Saxby Chambliss trying to make Zell Miller look good by comparison?”