Thursday, September 29, 2011

TAXES AND THE "RICH"

It is interesting to me that the First Idiot is trotting around whining that the "rich" need to pay their "fair share" of taxes, when they already pay 50-75+ percent of all income taxes (depending on where one draws the line for "rich").
Per the IRS, the top 1 percent of income earners pay 39 percent of all income taxes.
The top 10 percent of income earners pay 70 percent.

In his latest tax increase proposal, he wants the income tax rate on "rich" folks to go from 35 percent to 39 percent.
So, these wealthy, unpatriotic slackers are a full four percent away from paying their "fair share".
Four percent?
But this four more percent represents a tax increase of over 10 percent.

What does not penetrate the cranial processing organ of this, and most other liberal policy lemmings is that increasing tax rates ALWAYS results in LESS tax revenue.
When GWB convinced the Congress to reduce the highest tax rate from 39 to 35 percent in 2001, actual tax revenues went UP.
This happens every time tax rates are cut.

Why?
Because "the government" has no money of its own.
It can only take money from individual productive citizens.
What about the "big corporations", you say?
Where do you think a company - any company, large or small - gets its money?
If you owned a company - any kind of company - where would you get the money to pay your taxes?
You would get it from your customers.
It would be hidden in the prices you charge your customers.
SO - a tax on a business is ultimately paid by individual citizens who do business with that company.
Thus, ALL taxes levied by the government are ultimately paid by individual citizens.

What most people do not understand that that "the government" is not a stand-alone entity with a source of income separate from the general economy at large.
The money pie of any nation is only so large at any given time.
The more of this pie "the government" takes, the less that is left for all the rest of us.
And when "the government" takes your money, IT gets to make the decisions about where and how much is spent.
You don't.
You might agree with some of the spending decisions by "the government" but you likely will not agree with all of them.
Tough noogees.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

THE NEW TOOL QUEST

One manifestation of my multiple personality defects is that I like tools.
I have totally bought into the adage from old mechanics (older than me...) that says, more or less, “To do the job right, you need the right tools.”
That said, I have wanted a more complete set of sockets for decades.

For you girls out there, allow me to describe the basic attributes of socket sets.
Socket tools were invented to install and remove nuts and bolts.
They are especially useful for this where working space is limited.
There are two parts to a socket set – the sockets, that fit on the nut or bolt, and the ratchet, that turns the socket/bolt/nut.

Sockets come in various sizes to match the different bolt/nut sizes.
These sizes can be “standard” (or “fractional”) or metric.
Sockets also come in “standard” length (or, depth) or “deep-well” (longer length/depth).

For sockets to work to their full potential you need a ratchet.
A ratchet is basically a handle with a rotary gear on the end.
This allows you to rotate the socket (and thus the nut/bolt) in various steps up to and including 360 degrees, if space allows.
Ratchets and sockets come in various drive sizes – 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, 1/2 inch, and 3/4 inch. (and there may be a 1 inch drive for REALLY BIG jobs.)
Thus, certain size sockets work with certain size ratchets, others do not.
When you buy a socket set, all the sockets are matched to the ratchet(s) that is (usually) included. (you can buy the sockets and ratchets separately.)

40 years ago or so, I purchased a socket set from K-Mart.
It included a 3/8 inch ratchet and several standard depth sockets.
It also included several 1/4 inch sockets and an adapter that allowed the 3/8 inch ratchet to fit the 1/4 inch sockets.
The set has been adequate for 90 percent of my jobs.
But the lack of deep-well sockets was a problem.
And this was made more apparent because, as part of the tools supplied by my last employer, was a socket set which included deep-well sockets. (which came in handy many times in my work.)

A task in my Flip House has required a deep-well sock.
Thus, I find myself lusting after a new socket set which includes deep-well sockets.
So, I set out to find a “good” quality set of sockets (with ratchet(s)) that had the following attributes:

3/8 inch drive ratchet
1/4 inch drive ratchet
Standard (fractional) sockets only (no metric) in standard depth AND deep-well depth for BOTH 3/8 AND 1/4 inch drives.
And I want all of this in a nice single plastic or metal case/box.
And I do not want them made in China. (I prefer the USA but Taiwan is okay)
And, while price is not my first consideration (I do not need the cheapest set available) I am not willing to pay $500.00 for these tools (yes, there are sets out there that cost this much and more)
Simple, right?
Not.

I went shopping on the internet.
Guess what – almost nobody sells a set like this any more.
I can find sets with standard-depth and deep-well 3/8 inch drive sockets but without any 1/4 inch sockets.
I can find sets with standard-depth and deep-well 1/4 inch drive sockets but without any 3/8 inch sockets.
I can find sets with standard depth 3/8 inch drive and 1/4 inch drive sockets but without any deep-well sockets.
I can find sets with 3/8 inch deep-well sockets but they include metric sockets (which I do not need or want).
I can find sets with standard depth and deep-well 3/8 inch sockets and standard depth 1/4 inch sockets, but no deep-well 1/4 inch sockets.
I can find sets that include everything I want, but are made in China.
I found a set that includes everything I want but cost $150.00.
I found a set that includes everything I want but cost $500.00.
I found one set that included everything I wanted that cost over $2000.00.

In the end, I found what I wanted in two sets at Granger, a 3/8 inch drive set and a 1/4 inch drive set, both with deep-well sockets, no metric stuff included, made in Taiwan.
Now I am happy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011