Fiscal Snark

Fiscal Cliff.

We’ve heard news about the fiscal cliff until we’re probably all tired of it and are just glad the dealing is over…

Right?

I have to wonder, however, if most folk outside of a few fellow political junkies are entirely clear about what the fiscal cliff is, what deal was struck, and what it means for us lowly peons who don’t speak lawyerese.

I will attempt to explain it as well as I can given that I’m, 1) not a math genius 2) not a lawyer & 3) sick of the very thought of it, by breaking it down into ‘regular folk’ language and simplifying it as much as I can without losing the substance of the thing. Here goes…

This all leads back to the Budget Control Act of 2011.. *snort-laugh* budget control…*ahem* that addressed the debt ceiling crisis of that year. (Is anyone else noticing a pattern in regards to our government, spending, and crises? Anyone??) The changes that were set to take place at midnight Dec 31, 2012 were:

TAXES: 1) Last year’s temporary payroll tax cuts would expire [resulting in a 2% tax increase for workers. Lovely. Slave away, peons, Master Obama needs your taxes.] 2) The “Bush tax cuts” would expire [Bush tax cuts translator: Lower federal income tax for everyone, decrease in the marriage penalty, increase in the child tax credit Yay families!, etc.] 3) We would begin seeing taxes related to Obamacare. [Remember the tax that’s not a tax until the law Pelosi&Co crammed down our collective throats would be found unConstitutional unless it’s a tax?? There was this whole hullabaloo at the Supreme Court about it. Enjoy your “free” birth control, ladies, which will result in higher taxes on everything you buy now! ], etc., etc.

SPENDING: The spending cuts agreed upon as part of the deal would go into effect, including cuts to the defense budget and Medicare. It’s so cute how politicians pretend to want to stop spending our money, isn’t it?? Bless their hearts.

I have to note at this time that raising the debt ceiling via the “Budget Control Act” was considered the only plausible fix to the problem of our government spending, spending, spending, and having no plan to pay down the debt or indeed any intention of staying within a budget (seeing as how they have HAD NO BUDGET for over 1,000 days). I have to point that out because it is an out of control SPENDING government that has caused ALL of these problems and then proposes “fixes” that in no way, shape, or form limit the amount of spending that we as tax payers are expected to pay for.

*Ahem* Mini-rant over. Where was I? Oh yes, the fiscal cliff…

fiscal cliff huxtible

No, not THAT Cliff.

So the cliff was this big scary economic reckoning that would burden an already weak economy with heaps of higher taxes. Remember just before the election when Obama said the economy was ‘doing fine’? Wasn’t that precious!?

So.. what did the sage wizards of Capitol Hill do about this impending doom?

Good question.

Two good things have come of this deal: 1) Most of the Bush tax cuts are permanent. [Taxes will go up on higher incomes, just as King Obama promised in his class warfare campaign. You know, all those “rich” people who hire less rich people to do jobs that they are paid a wage for..] & 2) Taxing and spending have been de-linked, to be dealt with as separate issues. [Good news! If you were missing fiscal cliff talks already you’ll get a bonus round! Woot! ]

Bonus Cliff:

fiscal cliff assets

Now before you run off and spend all that money you’ll save in tax cuts, let me remind you that this is Congress we’re dealing with and if you thought there would be only good to come of this deal then… you don’t know Congress.

So what’s the bad in the deal? Well… 1) Taxes are still going up & 2) “Special interest” tax benefits are extended [“Railroad track maintenance credit” because it’s 1835, y’all!, recovery period for motorsports entertainment complexes Wonder if these will be named after the venerable Ted Kennedy?, special expensing rules for film and television, and subsidies for alternative energy. I like to call this the Solyndra Cliff ].

Knowing our taxes are helping Hollywood make crap movies that they’ll charge us $10/person to see just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside doesn’t it?

Hopefully this has helped you gain a better understanding of the Fiscal Cliff and subsequent dealing. All of the research I did to get to this diluted and simplified explanation has created what I call a cuteness deficit in my thought processes. I’ll need furry animal memes to repair the damage done by this trip into Lawyerland’s Tax&Spend Extravaganza.

I-did-the-math

*sad panda*

References:

http://bonds.about.com/od/Issues-in-the-News/a/What-Is-The-Fiscal-Cliff.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budget_Control_Act_of_2011

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/bush-tax-cuts.asp#axzz2GsEfAxWq

http://blog.heritage.org/2012/01/20/1000-days-without-a-budget-facts-on-the-senates-failure/

http://washingtonexaminer.com/the-good-bad-ugly-of-the-fiscal-cliff-deal/article/2517273#.UOT2jG9X0d6

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/12/31/obama-gives-congress-pay-raise/

http://www.whitehousedossier.com/2013/01/02/obama-returns-hawaii-added-cost-3-million/

Oh! I almost forgot…

Just so you know that Obama is serious about saving us from falling off the Fiscal Cliff, you should know that he granted a pay increase for Congress, which shocked even Congress given that they are supposed to be saving us from economic ruin. Don’t worry, the order was rescinded in time for Obama to address the Fiscal Cliff crisis and fly back to Hawaii at an additional cost of over $3 million in addition to the cost of his $4 million family vacation. He’s all about leading by example.

fiscal cliff roadrunner

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Viva la Resolution!

Well, it’s that time again, folks…

New Year! 2013 edition

That means for the next couple of months your friends are going to be annoying you with constant updates as to the progress of their good intentions Resolutions. Social media will be all astir with…

Pictures of  ‘diet’ food as evidence that I did TOO have a salad for lunch! See?!

happy-woman-eating-saladYum! Eating rabbit food makes me deliriously happy!

Statuses and check-ins from various gyms

I’m feeling the burn, man!! I’m COMMITTED! …by contract. Crap.

And the weekly weigh-in!

Losing-Weight-Girl

I lost 3 pounds this week! Woot!” 

Can you tell how excited I am? I’m positively radiating excitement am I not?

It’s not that I’m not happy when my friends decide to pursue a healthy lifestyle. I’m delighted for them when they feel good about themselves. The thing is, these resolutions flood my social media with constant updates of overly ambitious goals.

I simply don’t understand it… You’ll spend tonight eating and drinking decadently only to spend tomorrow nibbling greens and sipping lemon water… and you’ll pretend to like it. Why?!

Oh, that’s right. It’s all about getting a head start on ‘swimsuit season.’ How silly of me. I thought you were interested in a healthy LIFESTYLE. My bad.

That actually makes sense, though, seeing as how the annoying updates will trickle to almost nothing by March and then there will be an upsurge of exercise and tanning statuses around May… only to be followed by an almost reverent treatment of ‘holiday food’ come fall.

“Just keep eating the spring greens until summer, I can do this, it’s all about the beach. Focus, Janie, FOCUS!”

It’s insane to spend the first half of the year starving yourself and the second half of the year stuffing yourself.

You may wonder who I am to take such a superior view of dieting and blog down to you about it…

I’m a woman. I’ve lived most of my life with body image issues because society bombards me with ads and campaigns designed to make me want to be something other than what I am. Before I was ever called ‘fat’ I was called ‘scrawny.’ It doesn’t seem to matter what size I am, to someone it’s the wrong size. I know that other women deal with body image issues as well because they talk about it. Constantly. 

Enough already!

You aren’t going to be perfect because there is no standard of perfection. 

So stop jumping on the crash diet bandwagon every time the annual counter ticks off another year gone by. Enjoy food. Enjoy food! Try new things, add more fruit and vegetables to your diet, eat pie and ice cream, and just enjoy food. Then go exercise! Exercise makes you feel good. You’ll be happier. You won’t be happier if you pull a muscle and pass out because you’re trying to overdo it, so don’t do that. Go for a walk. Learn how to golf. Play ball. Stop treating food and exercise like tasks or vices and just accept that it’s part of life.

It’s always good to want to improve yourself, but the best improvements are the kind that last. Don’t stress over dropping 20lbs in 3 months, just decide what you can do this week, today, to move you closer to that goal.

Diet is what you eat. Lifestyle is how you live. Those aren’t bandwagon concepts, but realities, so quit obsessing and just live.

Quick shout-out to my followers!

Hi, fans of my blog! Sorry about the month of silence here, but due to sickness and other issues, I have not been in a place where I can access my full blog and have not been able to update. I appreciate your support via reading, commenting, and sharing my blog and I promise to be back soon!

Thanks again and happy writing!

Blog Challenge, Day 31: That’s a Wrap

I’ve come to the end of my month-long challenge, and of the 31 days in October, I missed 15 daily posts. Given that I posted a bonus, I’ll say that leaves me with a 14 count deficit, or two weeks unblogged. Is that the best I can do? No. Not by a long shot. I’ll attempt to post with more regularity from now on, as I really do appreciate your support via follows, likes, and comments.

This exercise has been good for me. I’ve noticed that when I miss a day, I can usually write the next day without much difficulty, but after 2 or 3 days I find it harder to put my thoughts into words. I have some ideas of how I can improve my writing based on this challenge. I would encourage any other bloggers who are struggling with writer’s block to force yourself to write more often. You really can push through and find inspiration, just start writing!

Other than a blog challenge wrap-up, there’s not much to write about. It’s Halloween, yet we haven’t had a single visitor so I guess we’ll have to eat the Tootsie rolls ourselves. Sacrifices, sacrifices….

I’m glad for the quiet. My youngest has had a migraine headache, so we’ve been sitting in the dark most of the afternoon. She takes after her mother with the headache sensitivity. The new fad at school is apparently strongly scented hand sanitizer, and while I appreciate the desire to kill germs it makes life miserable for those of us who begin feeling ill around strong fragrances. My youngest has it worse than I or my other kids, as she has severe eczema and allergies, so she not only gets a headache, but can actually break out in a rash just from scented sprays. That makes the new air freshener dispensers installed all over the school a touchy thing …

I can’t help but wish that instead of scents and copious amounts of topical alcohol, there was a sudden desire amongst the enrollees and staff to use good old soap and water. You remember soap and water, right? It’s that ancient form of cleansing we all used pre-germx. Good times. Kids used to have clean hands and not grimy, sanitized hands. I suppose cleansing rituals are taking away too much of our valuable classroom time, and we’ll never get those test scores up if children are focusing on silly things like proper hand-washing.

I’ve noticed some other unneeded courses have been cut, like wood shop and home ec. It would be a shame if our kids should learn something so mundane and useful at the expense of real intellectual pursuits like understanding global warming or how to eat healthy. I still get a little angry and amused when I think of how my oldest came home from 3rd grade telling me about how unhealthy pizza is with a free pizza buffet coupon in her backpack because she made honor roll. I took her to the buffet and explained to her that feeding her healthy food with an occasional treat was my job as her parent, and worrying about dieting was not something a 9 year old needed to be concerned about. I’m still highly annoyed with the school telling healthy children that eating their favorite foods is going to make them fat, especially when some of the teachers aren’t poster children for a healthy lifestyle. I’m guessing some of the suits in charge of education could stand to step away from the dinner table, yet they feel entirely righteous in this pursuit of making children afraid of food.

If I could suggest a different approach, I’d lay off the lessons in how everything you eat is going to make you fat and kill you. That isn’t going to cause children to make good choices so much as it’s going to encourage eating disorders. You could start by bringing back home ec. Have students plant and cultivate a garden. If you must have a ‘health class’ and talk about food, tell kids about the awesomeness of food! They’d be shocked to know that fruits and vegetables have vitamins and anti-oxidants, that food could make you healthier! As an anemic, I’ve had to learn which foods are higher in iron. My dad battled a life threatening disease and had to eat certain foods to regain his strength during recovery. This is interesting science! Don’t make kids fear food, teach them its benefits!

And while we’re on the subject… why not teach kids how to properly wash their hands while teaching them about germs? It’s science that’s actually useful.

Blog Challenge, Day 26: More Free Crap

I was going to write about the ridiculous new Obama ad, which I’ve seen described favorably as ‘quirky’ and ‘cute’, but mostly as just creepy. I’ve read the message boards, and even on the hard-core leftist blogs I’m seeing people figuratively shake their heads at how disconnected the Obama campaign is. To my everlasting joy, I’ve seen this super creepy video convince women to vote for Romney because they’re just sick of being ‘sexualized’ by Obama with his ‘lady parts’ and ‘first time’ ads.

I was going to write about this latest self-destructive, crazy, liberal meme, but Steven Crowder made a parody video…. and well, it just doesn’t get any better than #MoreFreeCrap.

As a point of reference, here is the original ad (which to my delight you can find by Googling ‘creepy Obama ad’): Really Creepy Obama Ad

And now the hilarity and refreshing honesty of Steven’s parody: 

Yes, ladies, feminism has shifted from strong, independent woman to weak, totally dependent lady parts. Welcome to the Julia-ization of America, where we need government from cradle to grave and must make important decisions based on what’s best for our vagina. OR, you could, ya know, vote for the man who’s more interested in your resume and providing you with a job so you can look after your own lady…. issues.

Blog Challenge, Day 22: You Didn’t Watch That

Yes, America, I am aware that there was a presidential debate tonight. No, I did not watch it.

I know who I am voting for, and every time I sit through an hour of Obama lies I feel my blood pressure increase like the national debt, so it just ends up feeling like torture.

Instead of watching a genial Mormon and a lying socialist face off over issues that the lying socialist has proven himself to be horrifically unqualified to handle, I watched “Last American Cowboy.”

“Last American Cowboy” (LAC), for those of you who don’t know, is a reality show about 3 ranching families in Montana. The show sheds light on the difficulties of ranch life, the grit and determination needed to be a rancher, and the methods ranchers use to care for thousands of head of cattle over tens of thousands of acres of land. It’s interesting and scenic, and kept me from wanting to throw a brick at my tv. Each family featured on LAC talked about how their ranch was passed down from one generation to the next, and the narrator pointed out that the ranches were settled and established after the end of the Civil War, and have continued to thrive through the efforts of each new generation.

That… hold your horses there, cowboy, that would mean these ranches were begun before Montana was a state!?

That can’t be….

How on earth do the families on LAC have successful ranching businesses when their ranches were begun before federal roads and schools?! After all, if you’re successful “You didn’t build that.”

I bet the owners of the Stucky, Galt, and Hughes ranches would be shocked to know their ancestors didn’t build that. All those days in a saddle herding cattle in sub-zero temperatures… yeah, they didn’t build that. There had to have been a road involved somewhere…. only I didn’t see any highways or interstates. It’s possible that the roads maintained on the ranch were made and maintained by the efforts of the ranchers themselves, their tractors, and possibly a road grader. I’ve seen my dad make a decent road with a tractor, so it’s possible.

Well then, education! You know the government has to get a little credit here somehow. Surely those ranches couldn’t exist without state schools… except that ranching is taught through hard work and experience, and not learned in a classroom. Being so isolated they likely homeschool. Hmm… guess that argument isn’t going to work.

It seems that some success stories are, in fact, built by individuals.

Too bad those successful individuals have to pay taxes into a system that not only rewards the unproductive, but mocks those who make it possible for others to live comfortably with little effort at all.