Clear Fog Blog

Political musings from Warren E. Peterson

Archive for February, 2012

National Debt and Soak the Rich Explained

Posted by Warren Peterson on February 25, 2012

Thanks to JM and RK for the following two gems.

Number 1.

This rather brilliantly cuts thru all the political doublespeak we get.
It puts it into a much better perspective.

Lesson # 1:

* U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
* Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
* New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
* National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
* Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000

Let’s now remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget:

* Annual family income: $21,700
* Money the family spent: $38,200
* New debt on the credit card: $16,500
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
* Total budget cuts: $385

Got It ?????

OK now Lesson # 2:
Here’s another way to look at the Debt Ceiling:

Let’s say, You come home from work and find there has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood….
and your home has sewage all the way up to your ceilings.

What do you think you should do ……

Raise the ceilings, or pump out the crap?

Your choice is coming Nov. 2012

Number 2.

Ineptocracy – New Word Could not find it in my old Webster’s. Googled it and discovered it is a recently “coined” new word found on a T shirt on eBay. Getting really close to the bone! Read this one over slowly and absorb the facts that totally are within this sentence!

Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc’-ra-cy) – a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.


Posted in National Politics | Leave a Comment »

Rethinking SR 520 Tolls

Posted by Warren Peterson on February 5, 2012

Last year my wife and I drove almost the entire length of the New Jersey Turnpike. The tollbooths gobbled up our quarters and dollar coins faster than an old style Vegas slot machine. Yes, you could actually pay with coin of the realm either by using “exact change” lanes or a toll lane where a living human being took our paper money and gave back change, politely I may add. There were numerous lanes for electronic tolling and most of the traffic passed through using them.

Back in the State of Washington, we had occasion to drive to a friend’s summer home on Hood Canal. The route took us over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge where a westbound toll is collected. Like New Jersey, tolls could be paid several ways, by cash, credit card or electronically.

Having a choice of payment method is good for the out of area drivers as well as the infrequent user. No need to purchase a transponder and money on deposit, no extra charge if the toll authority has to bill you by photographing your license plate, just pay cash. Unfortunately, such reasonable customer service is not available on the Albert D. Rosellini (Evergreen Point SR 520) Floating Bridge. One reason electronic (Good to Go) tolling is the only option is social engineering. In an effort to smooth out the traffic and discourage use of private cars, tolls vary depending on the time of day. From 7 to 9 AM and 3 to 6 PM, for instance, the toll is $3.50 each way. Make that $5.00 if the license plate photo is used. Not a problem if you are part of the 1% but fairly expensive for the rest of us. If you had to travel the peak hours for say 40 weeks, five days a week, prepare to find an additional $1,400 in your budget. You could cut this somewhat by adjusting your travel times, taking the bus or using I-90 which is what the social engineers want you to do except there is talk of closing one of those options by tolling I-90.

Since the primary purpose of the tolls is to pay for construction of a new bridge, why not charge a lower flat rate 24/7 and employ a couple dozen toll takers for those who don’t have a Good to Go pass. A flat rate is fair, it allows metering of traffic by funneling cars through toll plazas without the financial penalty and fewer enforcement and billing people could offset the addition of human toll collectors.

Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1125 would have instituted a flat rate toll but it failed to pass, probably because it contained too many other transportation issues such as light rail across I-90. Maybe an initiative on the single issue of a flat rate toll for the Rosellini Bridge would pass. How about it, Tim?

Cross posted on: Sound Politics

Posted in Transportation | 2 Comments »