Getting the other guy to pay your bill

October 4, 2021

This was the headline of a recent report on cnbc.com:

61% of Americans paid no federal income taxes in 2020, Tax Policy Center says

The article went on to say:

The top 20% of taxpayers paid 78% of federal income taxes in 2020, according to the Tax Policy Center, up from 68% in 2019. The top 1% of taxpayers paid 28% of taxes in 2020, up from 25% in 2019.

So they want the “rich” to pay “their fair share”.

“Fair” in this case evidently means more.

We deserve better

Brutus


Magic from Washington

September 30, 2021

Some in Washington believe that we should spend an additional $3.5 trillion on new programs.

I copied this from the abc.com news site the other day:

Defending a bill not yet fully drafted, Democrats are determined to avoid a deficit financed spending spree. They are growing frustrated by the focus on the proposed $3.5 trillion spending total, arguing far too little attention is being paid to the work they are doing to balance the books. Biden on Friday said he would prefer the price tag described as “zero.”

“The idea is that [the] entire package should pay for itself.”

“We pay for everything we spend,” Biden said at the White House. “It’s going to be zero. Zero.”

Evidently the way he expects to “pay” for this is with our money, through higher taxes.

There is no magic here, only slight of hand.

We deserve better

Brutus


Knowing where we stand

September 29, 2021

This slide is part of a presentation El Paso Water prepared for city council:

Any questions?

We deserve better

Brutus


False oath

September 24, 2021

Title 5, Section 3331 of the United States Code defines the oath that each member of congress takes at the beginning of every session of congress.

It reads: “I, [name] do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

In addition to taking the oath orally they must sign an affidavit that they have taken the oath. A copy is held by the clerk of the house.

I wonder how many of them have even read our Constitution.

Article V provides two methods that can be used to amend the Constitution. Evidently some consider that to be too much trouble when they can get away with ignoring what the Constitution says.

An oath is a solemn promise.

I’ve learned that liars make the best promises.

We deserve better

Brutus


Nothing but the best?

September 21, 2021

El Paso city council recently considered an agenda item to approve $553,787.00 to hire an architectural firm for the new fire station #38 project.

If they have been assigning numbers to our fire stations in sequential order then we probably have built 37 others. Fire station #5 (if there still is a #5) is probably old and the design is not appropriate for what is needed now. But how about the last station that we built?

Do we really need a new design?

Granted I’m neither an architect nor a fireman. However I suppose that a fire station is largely a garage with dormitory facilities for its crew (kitchen, showers, beds, maybe some office space) and warehouse space for equipment.

This new station is planned to be about 10,000 square feet.

The anticipated cost is $11.8 million dollars. That comes to about $1,180 per square foot.

R. S. Means is a national company that provides costing information for construction projects. Back in 2013 they reported the national average for construction of a 6,000 square foot fire station to be $140.18 per square foot.

A 2017 posting on the firehouse.com website included this:

Brown Reynolds Watford Architects recommends any department with tight and limited budgets must prioritize their needs. Many stations today are being built between $275 and $400 a square foot.

BRW is the firm that the city is hiring.

There could be a valid reason for this.  The city should explain why the fire station will cost so much.

We deserve better

Brutus


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