Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Now this is a crummy day!

This day didn’t start out very nicely. It was pouring rain when we got up this morning and the weather radar was ominous as to what we would get. By 6:30, we were already recording a half inch of rain in our yard. But I wasn’t daunted. I should have been. I headed out at my normal time to Senior Fitness.

I got soaked! I can get to my car directly from my house without having to venture into the weather. But that’s not the case in South Portland where my group meets. I had to get from the car to the building and I’ll bet you can’t guess who left his umbrella home. I thought it was in the car. I should have checked but instead I got wet heading into the building.

Doing the things I have to do there wasn’t pleasant. I could have skipped the session today, as some of us did, but I have this dumb philosophy that after that first “skip,” finding excuses not to go get easier and easier. Don’t get me wrong. I do stay home in the winter time when there’s snow or ice on the ground and walking is dangerous. If I fall, something will break. That’s not just an excuse I’ve made up; it’s a simple fact of my life due to certain diseases I have. It’s not the driving that bothers me in the winter but rather it’s walking. So I didn’t miss my session today.

But then I had to get back to the car.

A shower and a soft towel and I’m now dry once again. But I’d guess it’s safe to say there’ll be no outdoor work for today. The morning weather guy said the rains will stop and we could get a little sun which will just heat up the air and stir up some more possible thunder showers. This isn’t looking like a good day.

Wife Gator is home today but she has about as much ambition as her chair. I get the impression from watching her and talking with her there isn’t going to be much activity taking place around here today. I can’t blame her. She does hold a part time job so today she’s taking it easy. She doesn’t do that very often so I’m on her side today.

Turning briefly to the news of the day: The Bangor Daily News is reporting this morning that Gov. Baldacci wants to propose a decrease in the income tax rates in the next legislative session. The details of the proposal are not ready as the Governor says there are lots of elements that have to be discussed. Among them is the next budget which isn’t yet ready. He needs to know how any budget cuts will affect the state’s income needs.

I see one thing as being pretty sure: whatever changes the state makes in the income tax rates will simply translate into raises in other taxes or tax rates. Getting less money and making real meaningful cuts in the state’s budget, especially needed changes in the Department of Health and Human Services, probably will not happen.

I remember just a few weeks ago when the state was faced with a revenue shortfall. It didn’t make any meaningful budget cuts. It promised no new taxes. Then major tax increases took place (A people’s veto will go to the voters in November about one of them.) and fees increased dramatically. And no matter what you want to call it, a fee imposed by the government for its general fund is in reality a tax. Just next month fees for registering a car, using a vanity plate, and getting a title for a car will go up more than 40%. That’s just one example of “no tax increase” by the state government.

But I guess it’s a good thing if the rates for income taxes change and we are able to keep more money for our own spending. At least we can make decisions on which items we will choose to send our money to the state.

And now we just crossed an inch of rain in this storm and this day isn’t yet over. The rain continues to fall and the weather radar indicates the end is still several hours off. So I guess it’s a good day just to try to stay dry. I hope you succeed.

It's now shortly after noon and I thought I might update this a bit and tell you the sun is now out...at least for a while.


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