Two big tragedies last week. Two bombs go off in Boston killing a total of 3 people, and a quirk explosion in West, Texas, demolishing a fertilizer plant and killing 14 for which we can find bodies for, and leaving 60 people still unaccounted …

One got unlimited media attention; the other a passing mention.
One shut down our 22nd largest city. The other will be investigated at some future point.

The differences are intriguing.

The Boston Massacre was a textbook case of how to find a bad guy. As Steve notes here, we’ve been planning for an event like this a long time. Homeland Security produced an army to “invade” Boston in order to find the perpetrators. They shut down transportation, and went door to door. Ironically, despite the effort and expense it was luck that gave them their men. The initial dragnet missed the one in the boat, and only when the curfew was lifted, did the boat owner find him and alert authorities.

What was Boston’s cost? Well, add up fuel for all the vehicles, armored cars, and helicopters. Add up all the overtime pay for police, fire, ambulance, and the para military troops brought in. Add the economic cost of shutting down the 22nd largest city for a day… It’s so big, I can’t even guess. We’ll have to wait for the number crunchers with receipts actually in their hands. But particularly with including the economic cost somewhere near a $billion, that means we spent a billion dollars to catch 2 people that were really caught by a) being run over by the other bomber, and b) a man stepping out for a smoke….

But we still, … cost ourselves a billion dollars….

Now. Texas. We had a combined 24,000 gallons of anhydrous ammonia and ammonium nitrate. It wasn’t required to obtain a state air emissions permit because it was so old. In 2004 they were supposed to come up and get reauthorized by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. “They failed to do so.”

Federal documents say the plant did not have required security and safety plans in place. the EPA fined the plant more than $2,000 in 2006 for failing to update a risk management plan. In response, the site’s operators told the EPA that the plant posed no risk of fire or explosion. The worst case, plant officials said, would be a 10-minute release of ammonia gas that would kill or injure no one.

The EPA also found that West Fertilizer did not have a formal maintenance program and that its employee training records were poor. In addition, the plant was found in violation of key security measures by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. The agency discovered that the plant had planned to transport anhydrous ammonia without making or following a security plan. Last summer, regulators fined the plant $10,000, then settled for $5,250…. And now we find the fertilizer had 1350 times the legal amount of fertilizer material than it was allowed….

Was too much money spent by government leading up to the explosion? Or too little? Were we lulled by a litany from the Texas Republicans that companies could police themselves, and that we didn’t need to spend any money on regulations and enforcing standards? Of course we were. It all started by that guy who once owned the Texas Rangers, who said he would “cut taxes”…

Since we cut taxes we have had multiple issues. And since that time when taxes first got cut, it is easy to see our successes all come about when we, the United States Government, spends money lavishly… When we cut back, we get nothing but trouble with a capital “T”….

So our success come when we tax and spend. Our failures come when we cut taxes and fire, close down, and destroy jobs.

There comes a time when profits get so high, that hiring new people bites into them. WE have reached that point. Corporate profits have never been as high as they are today. Yet we have 15 million underemployed. The hard way to fix it, is to force businesses to hire more people they don’t want. The easy way is to tax some of that profit that certainly is not necessary for the businesses’ survival… I mean corporations have lived on less since the beginning of time, then hire an inspector who has the authority to close a Texas fertilizer plant when it flagrantly defies the law.

America needs to accept this is how it has to be.

We need things done! Eight years of Bush’s neglect plus the 2 years of having the Tea Party corral Congress, has severely damaged America! Putting America back to work, and boosting sales to corporations who benefit from all new economic activity, and using those workers to fix what is broken in America, is a win, win, win situation…..

So at what level should the assessed tax be? It appears that since incentive is a huge part of capitalization, the level of taxation needs to be below 50%. Simply put, if I invest $1 million and lose money on that, what was the point of the investment? Therefore, it appears that after a certain income level ($5 million?) taxes after all deductions should be around 40% of all income earned. If you have too much money, keeping 60% is certainly profitable. ;

Considering our current situation, a) a thriving economy, b) a current 40% tax rate on the top 1%, and c) still high unemployment, tweaking the tax law towards deductions, so that deductions only started after the first 40% got paid, might be the silver bullet that our nation needs, one which will cut the deficit, hire the unemployed, and use both to rebuild America.

We need more money, and we have to get it. Period. All future American successes depend upon it…