Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A lousy way to begin a day!

Edited so the opening few paragraphs of today’s post will make sense. 10:10 AM and apparently the cable has been repaired. Below is today’s post written earlier this morning reflecting some Time Warmer Cable problems in our area. All is now fixed, but I’m staying with my original writings because I’m lazy.

We can only call this day’s beginning “A Bumma.” I went to my regular Senior Fitness session today and must say the lack of humidity along with the nice temperatures and sunshine does wonders for an old body. This was one of the better sessions I’ve had in recent weeks. So why, you ask, is the day’s beginning not a good one? I got home to find that somewhere between my house and the transmission place is a cable problem. I have no TV, no telephone, no Road Runner. And all that makes this day’s beginning, “A Bumma.”

That also explains why this posting is much later than usual. Most days I’ve posted by eight o’clock except Tuesdays and Thursdays it’s between nine and ten because I’m away for the fitness class. The one this all affects the most is my Fearless Friend. He’ll be checking to be sure I’ve posted, not so much to see what I’m saying for the day, but rather it’ll indicate all’s O.K. Sometime later this morning he’ll send an e-mail which won’t get a response. He’ll be wondering. I probably wouldn’t try the phone until this evening or even tomorrow, but that won’t work either. So FF will have some wondering to do.

My wife’s car needs registering next month but the prices are going up September first. You know, part of that no new taxes from the last Legislature. Technically it’s not a new one, but it is an increase, and a major increase at that. The state has graciously said it’ll allow September registrants to do it early and save the increase, so we’ll be heading for Town Hall this morning and get that task completed.

It’s probably not there now and I’m sorry I didn’t see it before I posted yesterday, but state senator Ethan Strimling made the most ridiculous statement in a commentary in yesterday’s Portland Press Herald I think I’ve heard for a while. He said that critics were wrong now that the tax foundation has changed the way it calculates the tax burden in Maine. As a result of that change, Maine dropped from first to 15th in the nation in tax burden. The critics say nothing has changed.

Not true, says Strimling. Because of the change we didn’t spend as much in taxes as we were told. And furthermore, says he, we been spending less each year for the past four years. Why do I say that’s a ridiculous statement? Because, Mr. Strimling, in spite of your proclamations, I still spent 14% or more of my income on taxes last year. I do not have extra money because you say I’ve spent less. Now if you’ll arrange for the State to return 4% of the money I’ve spent in taxes over the last five years, I’ll change my mind. But as long as I’m still sending the state and local community the same dollar amount of my income, I’m spending as much as I was before the tax foundation conveniently changed its methodology.

I fully realize and point out that the methodology of the tax foundation and my calculations have no relationship. I only figure my burden by the amount of income and the amount of taxes I have to pay state and local authorities. Nothing else makes sense to me. The other stuff in that methodology is only a smokescreen to hide the actual facts: we have an intolerable tax burden in the state of Maine.

I find it sad that a state senator and one who has aspirations for higher office believes that garbage. All that reasoning has done is convince me even more that I’m paying too darn much money for too many darn services I do not want and cannot use.

Since I have no idea when, or if, this will get posted, I guess I’ll cut it short this morning and hope your day isn’t a “bumma,” too.


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