Friday, January 27, 2012

fair taxes

In his State of the Union speech the other night, President Obama called for "fair taxes."  Everyone should pay their "fair share." 

I agree (one of the few things with which I agree with him about, finding pretty much everything he said to be a bunch of rally around the flag fluff with no substance to it, sidestepping all of the things mentioned in the republican rebuttal), but just exactly how do you define "fair share?" 

Because everyone's idea of "fair share" is going to be different and essentially it boils down to what is fair for them and to heck with everyone else. 

Me, I think everyone should pay a flat percentage of their income, with no deductions whatsoever. Of course if they did that, said no DEDUCTIONS, then you'd have all the weasels who make our tax laws redefining the word "INCOME" and you'd just wind up with the same mess you have now. 

Without delving too deeply into semantics, my plan would be for income, and the definition of income being in the broadest sense, to be taxed at one rate for everyone, regardless of their income level. And there would be nothing allowed as a deduction.  

Now homeowners might applaud this but add that this is a great plan as long as the deduction for mortgage interest is retained.  That's the problem - there's way too many exceptions and that is why this country is in a mess. 

Should we have a graduated/progressive tax system?  That is, those with lower incomes pay a smaller percentage of their income for taxes (or maybe below a certain level pay no tax at all), while those with higher incomes are taxed at higher rates?

No.

Everyone pays the same rates. Why should I pay a higher percentage of my income for taxes just because I make more money than someone else? What is fair about that?  And just because you make less income, why shouldn't you pay your fair share?  Maybe doing something like that would have the effect of people investing themselves more in this country because they knew that they were paying taxes just like anyone else and they would be concerned about how that money was spent. 

Sales taxes aren't progressive. Why don't we have different rates of sales taxes for people depending on their income level? They can be certified each year as to their level, and then that card would be presented at the store to determine the tax rate. 

That's dopey and so is a progressive income tax rate. Just pay a flat percentage - you make more money, you pay more money but person A would pay he same proportion of it as did person B.

If you aren't paying taxes, then why should you care about how the money is spent (although the tax money that other people are paying is probably being used to subsidize you, the non-tax paying person in some way)? So as far as you are concerned, politicians can just keep spending away - who cares?  It's not YOUR money they are spending.

Will we ever get to that point of having truly fair taxes?  Of having a simple tax system?


No.


There are just too many special interest groups and bribes out there to prevent such a common sense thing from happening, same as how the health care system will never really be reformed. People want change as long as the change is favorable to them.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

more shampoo

Have I nothing better to do than blog about shampoo? I guess not.. last time I reported I went back to using the Kirkland shampoo because the Suave turned out to be too watery.  In the meantime, I also bought a bottle of Herbal Essence shampoo since Costco had a coupon for it. 

The Herbal Essence smells nice. It has coconut in it and is an attractive blue. But this is one odd shampoo. Or else as I get older, my hair gets odder.  When I use this shampoo, it leaves my hair feeling really thick - like a carpet.  No squeaky clean feeling there!  Now this is supposed to be hydrating shampoo so maybe they add ingredients to make your hair feel heavy but smooth.

My hair is pretty darn short now (not as short as Walter's in Breaking Bad, but pretty short) so it doesn't feel that heavy or weighed down but I would like it to at least squeak a bit after I shampoo it. Now it feels like it is coated. 

That's my latest shampoo report. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

shampoo revisited

A little while ago I mentioned that I found a Kirkland product that I wasn't crazy about - their latest shampoo. I said it felt too thick and didn't rinse well and it didn't get my hair squeaky clean.  So I bought a bottle of Suave which I liked more because it got my hair squeaky clean.

Well..  I have since switched back to the Kirkland shampoo.  The Suave was just too watery. I would put it on my head and then have to race to lather it up before it ran off my scalp and disappeared down the drain. The Kirkland shampoo, on the other hand, could be described as thick and luxurious. You certainly don't need much of it. While it still does feel thick and my hair doesn't squeak after using it, it just feels better as long as I rinse it out well enough. 


Yeah, I know.. exciting post, haha. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

resolution

Are you one who makes New Year resolutions?  If so, are you one who keeps them?

I normally don't make any resolutions. I can't remember the last time I did, and whatever it was I'm sure I didn't keep it. They're sort of like diets and other good intentions that fall by the wayside.

It was nice to begin 2012 on a Sunday - to start off the day in church. It helps put everything into the right perspective. I'm often thinking how nice it would be to retire - to be able to relax and not have to deal with the headaches of work and other bumps that arise. 

But day to day, we never know what is going to happen.  We all know the cliche about the best laid plans of mice and men. So I came up with three things that I hope I can remember and act upon - perhaps not so much resolutions, but mindsets:

Be thankful for God's grace in all things.

Look forward to what He has in store for me.  God has His plan.

Be mindful of Colossians 3:23 - Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.

Monday, January 2, 2012

the new year

New Year's day fell on a Sunday this year, which it does every so often I suppose. That means the Rose Parade and all the football games are deferred to Monday.


I remember growing up, we'd always go to my grandmother's house on New Year's and she would make many of the traditional Japanese foods, most of which I refused to eat. I was a very conventional person food-wise and was unwilling to try all of those "strange" things; I stuck with the familiar. It was in line with how I'd only eat fried rice and chow mein at Chinese restaurants. 

When New Year fell on a Sunday, I found it very boring because there was nothing to watch on television. My grandmother spoke little English, and there was not much for me to do. The stores were all closed, too.  

Come to think of it, back then we would normally visit my grandmother on Sundays, and stores used to be closed every Sunday.  Trying to find any store open on major holidays was pretty much impossible, not like these days. 


How was your Christmas and New Year?  Here's to a good 2012 for you all.