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The bridge closing may be a blessing in disguise… It shows the benefit if raising the gas tax 10 cents to pay for our projects….

This gas tax is nothing… We’ve been paying more for a gallon ever since the crash of 2009… We as customers will continue paying the same, and the oil companies and hedge funds will be the ones who can no longer get what they used to get out of a gallon…

In a study earlier this year, we showed all that the price of gas is not based upon supply, but on demand…  States with higher taxes, get their pre-tax gas cheaper than states with little or no tax…  yet they all come from the exact same refineries….

The Republicans who pretend to be against all taxes, are saying this is not affordable…

Here is what they are hiding from you….

Let us take the $20 million needed to repair the 495 bridge….   At ten cents a gallon, that $20 million will come from 200 million gallons….  At an average of 20 gallons per fill-up, that would amount to 10 million fill-ups in this state per year…. Excluding motorcycles and buses, there are an estimated 817,000 vehicles registered in Delaware….. The ten cents tax amounts to 12 extra fill-ups per year….  Of course, that is one a month… like you took an extra trip….

When this tax came out, we were told that 60% of gas sold in Delaware is to out of state vehicles… If that figure is true, then theoretically, you and I would only be accountable for 40% of that cost, which means we’d only fill up once extra for 4 months and have the rest normal…..  Is that really back breaking to us all?

Without the gas tax… it will have to come out of income tax…  If allotted evenly, that 20 million spread over every citizen, amounts to $20 for every man, woman, and child in the state…  (Considering the school population of the entire state k-12 is close to 130,000, then if you add the population from the years 0-4 for an additional 30,000, it would mean that the number of Delawarean paying taxes would be 870,000… )  That $20 million tax spread across all taxpayers evenly amounts to $23 per taxpayer…. per year….

So our choice is having the oil companies and hedge funds pay our tax for us, or to pay it directly out of our incomes….  You will pay the same for gas regardless.  Doesn’t it make sense to be getting something out of it for a change instead of having all our money simply go straight to their profit line?

 

 

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It appears that Obama’s plan is working.  Even with T-90 tanks on the border the economic sanctions against Russia are taking effect.

If you only follow America’s three lettered media… here are some things they have kept from you:

Global finance is more frightened of the US Securities and Exchange Commission than Russian T90 tanks

  • Hope of recruiting Beijing as an ally to blunt Western sanctions looks doomed
  • China did not stand behind Russia in the UN Security Council vote on Crimea, as it had over Syria.
  • Its foreign ministry stated that “China always sticks to the principle of non-interference in any country’s internal affairs and respects the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
  • Turkmenistan’s gas used to flow North, hostage to prices set by Gazprom. It now flows East.
  • in Kazakhstan, where Chinese companies have taken over much of the energy industry.
  • It is surely unlikely that imperious Xi Jinping will throw away the great prize of G2 Sino-American condominium to rescue a squalid and incompetent regime in Moscow from its own folly.
  • Enough of Europe’s gas pipelines have been switched to two-way flows since 2009 to help at least some of the vulnerable frontline states
  • Officials have been ordered to draft plans within 90 days to break dependence on Gazprom… Imports of Russian may be slashed by half within a decade.
  • Russia’s central bank cannot defend the rouble without tightening monetary policy, driving the economy deeper into recession in the process.
  • Russian banks and companies must roll over $155bn of foreign debts over the next twelve months in a hostile market, at a premium already over 200 basis points.
  • Any sanction against any oligarch linked to any Russian company could shut it out of global capital markets, potentially forcing default
  • The price of oil is poised to fall — ceteris paribus — as Iraq’s output reaches a 35-year high, the US adds a million barrels b/d a day this year from shale, and Libya cranks up exports again. The International Energy Agency says global supply jumped by 600,000 b/d last month. Deutsche Bank predicts a glut. So does China’s Sinopec. Mr Putin needs prices near $110 to fund his budget. He may face $80 before long.

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So in attacking Ukraine, Putin has lost China, lost middle Asia, lost Merkel, and unless it is immediately taken by force, lost all attempts to woe Ukraine back into the union.

He’ll attack shortly for domestic consumption.  if he doesn’t he is done at home.  The US should announce 20,000 troops are headed to Ukraine, and they should be stationed in reserves for military reasons; … to prevent them from being taken out in an opening sneak attack.  If we could convince the Chinese to join us, we could quite possibly have decades more of peace in our times…..

That will depend on Obama.

 

 

Cons

Raises tax on gasoline by 10 cents  per gallon.  If gas costs $3.33 today, with tax it will cost $3.43.

Does not tax the wealth as much a percent of their income, as it would tax those on the lower levels.

Takes consumer’s money away from discretionary spending on other items.

Could cause truckers to fuel up in other states.

At a drive rate of 25,000 miles per year, at an mpg of 20 miles per gallon, the number of gallons used would be 1,250.  A ten cent tax on each of those gallons amounts to $125 per year…  Per month that would be .. $10.41… Per day…$ 0.32…  If one drives less, or has higher mpg, one pays less.

Gasoline tax has lost its value over the past decade. Changes in fuel-saving automotive technology and driving habits are resulting in less revenue to repair crumbling bridges, repave highways or upgrade buses and trains.

Pros

Jobs, jobs, jobs,  with funding highway construction can get into gear.

Solidifies the Transportation Trust Fund, which has been robbed to simply run government. That’s been squeezed and squeezed and squeezed, and specifically what has been squeezed out of it is the ability to build more capacity to deal with congestion. All that’s left, pretty much, in the capital budget at the state level (for roads), is maintenance and repair.

DelDOT’s capital budget would increase from $128 million this year up to $192 million next year.

Opens door of super high tax rate on the super high wealthy in this state. Those who should be paying 15%.

Encourages people to use less petroleum.  Smaller cars, higher MPG’s, more public transit, less pollution,  get bumps when gas rises higher.

Allows state to tap in on all those people using 95 who pull into the best service center on the East Coast, perhaps the nation.

County and local roads which have also have suffered, may now finally receive repair.

The current poor condition of roads costs drivers in Delaware cost $2,500 per person per year in extra fuel, wear-and-tear and lost time.  This cost must be balanced against the cost of an additional 10 cents per gallon. (Compared to the $125 per year cost of the tax.)

We paid more in the past.  Driving the same 25,000 miles back when cars ran on 10 mpg,  the same mileage would have generated.  $250 dollars…  Fuel efficiency has cost state transportation funds half of what they once used to receive….

The tax was last raised in 1995… Since then, what we could once buy for $250.00, we would now need $382.00.  The money we collect does not go half as far….

States with lower gas taxes actually pay more for the gas in the pumps because the market will bear it.  Sam’s Gas (Walmart) in Athens, Georgia, where there is  a 7.5 cents Georgia state tax on gasoline…. sells gas for $2.99….   Putting the price of  the cheapest Athens, Georgia gas today is $2.915… In Delaware, Wawa has $3.23 up on their sign, (as of a couple of hours ago.)  Today Delaware’s tax is 23 cents per gallon…  The cost of the gas minus taxes is $2.99….  some may say… aha!  Georgia is cheaper.  But that would be comparing Sam’s Club to Wawa.  One would expect Sam’s Club to be cheaper… It is a “club”… is it not?  The lowest priced national brand in Athens, Georgia is the Shell Station on Atlanta Ave. near Trade Street.  It’s pump cost is $3.19…  Deduct the 7.5 cent gasoline tax, and Georgians are paying $3.115 per gallon for gas;  the comparative Delawarean price with Delaware’s tax tacked on, would be… $3.35….  Today that is 8 cents higher than most stations sell in Delaware today…..  Point is… consumers don’t absorb the gas cost… The $4 billion dollar gas companies do!

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The benefits outweigh the cost.

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With so many great benefits, it seems senseless to halt them all for a price jump that can occur on it’s own at a moment’s notice…  No more difference from driving past a gas station in night checking the price, and doing it again in the morning and cursing you didn’t fill up the night before…

Thus, are the pros and cons of raising a gas tax….  if the poor and middle class are being asked to sacrifice, come later, THE WEALTHY HAD BETTER BE FORCED TO DO THE SAME…. IT’S AN ELECTION YEAR YOU KNOW……  Pass this minor tax on the poor, then raise state income rates where they should be… As a reminder I’ve included them below…….

Recommendations for 2014:

Go to multiple tiered tax rates:

15% on $1 billion or more
10% on $100 million to $1 billion
9% on $10 million to $100 million
8% on $1 million to $10 million
7% on $500,000 to $1 million
6.75% on $60,000 up to $1 million

We knew this but it  is now being published… and so it is in the news.

The world is getting warmer… and we can now predict our climate by looking at map at 300 miles south and guessing what our weather will be from that…

Just as plate tectonics and  Darwin’s origin of the species were able to lay the groundwork of reason  for explaining puzzling observations, this simplifies what to expect from global warming rather startlingly.

Texas is now  what we alway thought of when we considered the weather of Mexico; Oklahoma is now West Texas; Kansas is now Oklahoma; Nebraska is now Kansas; South Dakota is now Nebraska, North Dakota is now South Dakota: Southern Manitoba is now North Dakota…..

If  West Texas had 3 days of rain, now Oklahoma is getting 3 days of rain;  If it snowed 12  times in South Dakota, it is now doing the same in North Dakota… and so on.

So, to predict our heat, rain, winters, etc, our guide would be North Carolina.  Longer growing seasons,  some winters with no snow, hot summers…

However due to Global warming, the East Coast has a caveat.  An anomaly so to speak  and actually some relief from the North Carolina summer heat we would normally expect….

With the unprecedented melting of the Arctic and Greenland icecaps dumping its excess into the Labrador Current, that cold water drops South hugging the East Coast shoreline all the way down to North Carolina’s Outer Banks where it finally becomes neutralized…   Therefore even though we have hotter air masses, the colder ocean temperatures creates a buffer against Global warming off the entire northeastern US.

Europe, Japan, and Alaska all experience  the same mitigating effect, although with both Greenland and the Arctic Icecaps melting into the Labrador, the US East Coast gets a stronger volume of cold water.  Call it our icy shower effect….

Once melting stops and the currents dry up, we return to the North Carolina scenario of the twentieth century….

Cold Water in Summer Hugs Delaware's Shore  xoxoxo
Chart Courtesy of NOAA

So, we in Delaware really get the best climate on the East Coast.    Warm winters, little or no snow, and cool breezy summers….. as well as a longer growing period, and… less dependence on fossil fuels for winter heating.

Gee, global warming isn’t so bad for Delaware after all….  Oh, the rising seas?  There you go again… Why did you have to spoil the rosy picture I was painting?

 

Why is gas so high?

The beginning year budget compromise only raised capital gains 5%.  Not enough to discourage making billions on oil hedge funds.

2011  the first year of the Tea Party,  441 million barrels were paper stock.

2012 the second year of  the Tea Party, 422 million barrels were paper stock.

2013 we are already at 220 million barrels in paper stock.

Regular Gas will be $3.73 a gallon very soon, the highest since 2008.

It is nice we will see 5% more in tax revenue off of capital gains.  However to achieve that it also means the average family will now pay over $5000 in gas costs per car.  Without the influence of hedge funds that cost would be  $700 less, or over $4300 per car.

Coupled with a 2% payroll tax increase, this recent gas spike is drying up the economy. Wal*mart is already freaking out over a record loss of its first of the year’s sales.

Without a growing economy, we are in for more of the same economic gloom we’ve had the past 2 years, ever since the Tea Party was elected..

Nothing will change until we peg capital gains to the income tax rate. 42%.

Suddenly because hedge funds will no longer be profitable, no one will invest in them.  Our gasoline prices will continue to remain low, and the economy will boom….

The silver bullet to growing the economy is  raising taxes overall and  really sticking it to capital gains…..

 

 

A. National Presidential Campaign run on the premise that 47% of the people “do not matter’.

B. The answer to curing mass killings of innocents, is even more guns. (Like let’s cure Cancer with more cancer.)

C. After disastrous losses because of their tax pledges, Republicans refuse to let tax cuts expire even on those making over $1 million.

D. Republicans don’t understand how sperm impregnates a female egg.

E.. Their national candidate was liberal, before he became conservative, before he became liberal again.

F. Republicans want to do away with access to birth control.

G. Republicans don’t want any single regulations on guns, not even background checks for mental illness.

H. Republican budgets lie just like their creators.. Paul Ryan.

I. Republicans have made no movement towards compromise. Democrats made up the plan, sold the plan, adjusted the plan, tweaked the plan, put the plan forward, sold the plan to the American people. Republican have done not one single thing….

J. Republicans can’t see it is their fault. Blame election results on people wanting “free stuff” when in fact, they just want competence in their leadership.

K. Even after suffering such a one sided loss like any team playing against the Crimson Tide, Republican 2016’ers are still positioning themselves by saying evolution is a false science….

Add your own… But have these guy seriously jumped the shark? I mean it’s funny, but except for the fact that this is our nation sitting in the parking lot after the race has been started, it’s not funny. It is why we have problems in America…. These guys won’t do anything….

When Gorbachev was out-couped in the Soviet Union, the Politburo and ruling junta of generals physically locked themselves in a room in the Kremlin with hundreds of cases of Russian vodka and drank themselves silly, and absolutely nothing got done…. except sex, and a lot of pissing. Eventually the new Russian Army under Yeltsin broke in and herded the drunks to the execution squad…. They were probably laughing at how silly they all looked with blindfolds being put on….

That is where today’s Republican Party is today. John Boehner’s responsible gestures to try and get things done responsibly fall on deaf ears… At the last caucus he was all but ignored amid chatter of “whose house we staying in tonight,” “here’s my $100”, “who’s bringing the girls this time?” “hey, don’t we need another pipe, didn’t someone smash the old one?” “Oh, and if we see a member of the press, just say ‘it’s Obama’s fault.”

As long as there is one elected Republican left standing, we as a nation are still sitting in the parking lot. Republicans forgot to bring the keys……

I dare any Republican to come to these pages and defend their inaction and irresponsibility…. You will see none taking up the challenge because they know, that lies don’t float here. They sink and drag down their originator with them….

Today, because of Hurricane Sandy and all the warnings …  I filled up my car…..   It was the first time I had done that because I usually need that money for other things.   The last time I had a full tank was on Valentines Day, because I  did work for someone and they bought the gas.   It cost me close to $100.00 …

Today,  it was 87.51…..

Thank you, thank you, thank you….

(PS… i know the president doesn’t have much to do with gasoline prices, but figured if that Republican asshole was going to blame you as the cause for them being high, then I was going to do my part to thank you for making them low…. 🙂 )

Hang in there.  Republicans are just dumb.  You are definitely the best president we the little people have ever had in our lifetimes….  The rich might quip and quibble, but we love you…   Don’t stop….

Oh my goodness. I can’t believe it… Gas is $3.35 a gallon now! Obama is definitely the best president ever! Why would anyone want to vote for Romney who said gas should be $5.00 a gallon?

Just look at these headlines……

UK Gas Prices Rise Despite Mild Weather
Oil Prices Rising Despite Lowest Demand Since 1997
US Spot Gas Rises Today Despite Weak Futures.
Continued growth in shale gas and offshore drilling and production throughout the US.

Wait a minute…. isn’t the price SUPPOSED to go down, when you have too much of an item and fewer people wanting to buy it?

Obviously gas and oil are not in a free market system.

Bloomsberg tells us why……

Gas prices are off to a fast start in 2012. The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline is up more than 8 percent since the end of 2011, rising from $3.25 per gallon to $3.52,

This is the earliest in a new year that the average price per gallon has breached the $3.50 mark…

“Petrol demand is as low as it’s been since April 1997,” says Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service.

Hmmmmmm. On February 17, 1997 gas prices were…. $1.22 a gallon. Why then with demand at the same level are they at $3.57 today?

One reason…. Bain Capital like hedge funds…..

Much of the increase is due to speculative money that’s flowed into gasoline futures contracts since the beginning of the year, mostly from hedge funds and large money managers. “We’ve seen about $11 billion of speculative money come in on the long side of gas futures,” he says. “Each of the last three weeks we’ve seen a record net long position being taken.”

In other words, $11 billion in gasoline futures are secured at very high prices, which means that until the futures come down, that is what we we’ll pay.

We are just the pawns throwing our money away to the 1%… Here, we’ve got tons of it sitting around, have some more……

Can this rigging be fixed?

Absolutely. Ulysses S. Grant showed us how….

Called the Black Friday Gold Panic, in 1869 two financiers tried to corner the price of gold without regard to the nation’s economic welfare….

As the price of gold climbed, industries requiring gold as a catalyst, could not afford to buy… The Federal Treasury released $4,000,000 in gold at the rate prior to the speculative runoff….

Today if translated to gas, the Chief Executive Officer of the United States, could at a time when gas was $4.00 a gallon, release for sale large quantities of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve at prices in the $2.00 range, and those holding futures at $4.00 would be ruined…

Gas would return to market rates, probably around $1.50 a gallon.

Obama would be the hero of the Western World….

A picture of Romney with tears running down his face would the the new face of HOPE for years to come…..

It’s been a while since we’ve had a hero……..

The current party system is broken. Gridlock ties up DC, even to the point where the Republican Party will filibuster a bill that they themselves proposed when both houses were Republican. The filibuster is only pursued because if passed it will be considered by us, the public, to be a success for the standing president.

You can’t blame Republicans. They are just trying to survive. Tying up Washington so that nothing gets done, is the only option they have.

Which leaves us with a choice… Should WE the voters continue this same gridlock? Or shall we take matters into our own hands and do something about it?

If we split our votes, the Gridlock continues.

The only way to prevent future gridlock is to make the penalty for doing so, so severe that any future party treads very lightly if it dares try using gridlock as a political weapon again….

That penalty needs to be that the party obstructing all activity in Congress, not receive any votes to return.

Let’s examine this proposition…

Assume all Democrats and no Republicans return to Congress starting 2013. The House would be completely 100% Democratic, and the Senate Republicans would drop down to 36 if all 11 Republicans up this year lost and all Democrats won.

We would have a one party system… or would we?

The Democratic party would soon split. The Progressives from the Blue Dogs… We would continue to have two parties in Congress. It’s just that that they wouldn’t be jockeying around for political points against the other side.

Instead we’d have what Congress was supposed to do. Debate bills on their merits, and once all facts are on the table, vote them either up or down based on the personal convictions of each Senator or House Member…

We’d still have the same debates as the powerful lobbyists swirled around those who would most likely represent their interests…

But if would be as if America took one step to the left. As if the entire political tone of Congress, just shifted left.

Would the same thing work if the Republicans are put into all seats they run for?

No, and here is why. Republican policy is what got us in this mess. Phil Gramm deregulated derivatives. Eventually that caused the enitire markets to catch up to where Enron went earlier, and collapse. It was the Republicans who decided over Democrats objections, to not raise taxes on the wealthy in order to pay as we went for two wars. So now, we we have a bill coming titled “Payment Due,” for those two wars plus interest. It was Republicans who because we had a surplus, decided to stop that money coming into the Treasury that was paying off our debt. So under them, we added debt on, and stopped paying our payments. No wonder the deficit is so high.

They are the wrong person to put into unlimited power.. simply for when they were there, the got to exercise with impunity all their dreams. We are bankrupt now…

Harken back to the era of Clinton, and everyone was making money… whether you were poor, middle, or rich… You made money and had more left over to spend on yourself, than you do now…

That simple comparison is why we need to go to an all Democratic Congress and not an all Republican one.

We will always have divided government. It is just that when it becomse divided along party lines, and not along the lines of the American people, that we get the gridlock we see happening daily today…

Republicans are the cause.. Their elimination (no offense to the nice Republicans I know) will be the beginning of a new day for America.

The last time we eliminated Republicans was in 1932. It took 64 years for them to return. Those were the best years America has ever had.