Government Bans Light Bulbs, Eyes Thermostats

Say good bye to the incandescent light bulb. Congress has banned them staring in 2012. Congress defends this blatant attack on consumer choice and the home is castle concept by sighting energy savings. Everyone talks about how much money and power everyone will save. Wrong!

  • Save Money? Nope. You’ll spend it all on the more expensive bulbs. So instead of a check to the utility it goes to the lighting industry. Same mothballs in the wallet for the consumer.
  • Save Power? Nope. If the fuel efficiency of cars is any indication, no power will be saved. Consumers will simply care less about turning off their lights. As cars have gotten better mpg, American’s simply drive more. The economic impact not some love of the planet is what drives these things. If making sure you turn off your lights only impacts your power bill $5 instead of $50… no one will bother. Increasing the power consumption back to the pre-meddling point. Sorry congress, market forces don’t change with your wims.

Sadly, when I first heard about this a few weeks ago, I asked “What’s next? Are they going to make it illegal to set my thermostat to low?” Little did I know just how quickly I would be proven right. California is trying to pass a bill to require radio controlled thermostats for “peak times” and “emergencies”. So what happens when California declares a “global warming emergency”? Wal-mart will sell out of window AC units that day. Though I probably shouldn’t point that out, or those will be banned before the emergency declaration.

UPDATE: Indications are that too many voters have taken noticed of this incantation of the bill. So expect a repeat of the immigration strategy – table the issue and then bring it back in a few months buried deeper in another bill.

Al Qaeda Routed In Bagdad

The New York Times didn’t give this story a great headline or much play since it ended up on page 19. But the Times supports the troops and wants victory…. right?

American forces have routed Al Qaeda… from every neighborhood of Baghdad, a top American general said today, allowing American troops involved in the “surge” to depart as planned… “Murder victims are down 80 percent from where they were at the peak”, and attacks involving improvised bombs are down 70 percent, [Maj. Gen. Joseph Fil Jr., commander of US forces in Baghdad] said. “The Iraqi people have just decided that they had it up to here with violence,” [General Fil] said,

Remember To Tip Those Three-Job-Workin’ Single Moms

Hillary has stepped in it again. First she couldn’t come up with a good answer on illegals getting drivers licenses in her home state. Now, while she remembered to add her waitress’ sad story into her next speech, she forgot to leave her a tip. Waitress Esterday, has three jobs and works 12 hour shifts – and it was her first day. ( And if she’s elected president, Clinton promised, people like her waitress will have it better… (NPR) But apparently not until then. Since the Senator neglected to leave a tip amid her “Middle Class Express” political tour.

Sen. Clinton used Esterday’s life story to push her compassionate candidacy, but was caught off guard when the waitress pointed out the -uhm- irony, to the local press. Since this gaff, the Clinton Campaign has tried numerous angles to make the story go away. First it was that the meal was “on the house” (15% of 0 is 0). Next it was that the Senator doesn’t carry money (no need when you have an entourage to do it for you – it’s good to know she’ll be able to connect with us middle class folk). Then it was that they did leave a tip that was “improperly dispersed” (cash on the table – its a difficult process I guess). Most recently its that $129 was paid for the “on the house” meal PLUS $100 tip apparently dispersed to faceless stranger, since no one at the diner has confirmed the campaign’s claim.

Senate Tries For Amnesty Again

Perhaps named for the hope that the voters wouldn’t notice this time, the DREAM act amnesty failed cloture and was killed before it could get going. Here’s the latest plan for stealth amnesty:

Legal status for illegals that are less than 30, have graduated high school or have a GED and claim that they entered the country illegally before turning 16. (We’ll just check that against their immigration records – oh wait.) Also, in the interest of “family unity” or other “humanitarian purposes”, their families can stay. Families simply need to be claimed not verified by blood test or other means.

Popular guess-timates place this at legalizing 12 of the guess-timated 20 million illegals. It did strike me as funny that when the Dems are trying to slip amnesty under the radar, “a child” is defined as someone under 16, but when they’re expanding government health care “a child” is someone under 26.

Democrats To Raise Income Tax Max To 44%

Disguised as a “fix” for the Alternative Minimum Tax, the Dems have proposed a 4% surcharge on anyone making over $150k ($200k for couples). This coupled with the decision to let the tax cuts that spurred our economy to new records expire (an easy way to raise taxes) means the top bracket for individuals will become 44% in the US. For comparison, the average for developed countries is 35.7%.

Now some of you may say that such wealthy people can afford to give us all their money. Unfortunately, small businesses owners and farmers, often pay taxes as individuals not as businesses (like corporations do). So if you’re out to screw the rich – remember that when the family loses their farm, or the small business down the street has slow customer service because they had to lay off some help to pay the new 9% of taxes.

And it’s actually even worse: the 4% increase is a surcharge not a rate hike. The difference? Surcharges are applied before tax deductions. Got a kid in college? Paying all that mortgage interest? Gave a large donation to Katrina relief? Doesn’t matter… 4% on it ALL.

So on top of punishing the successful, we’re now going to take away their incentive to give money to charity? Though, I guess if we just take even more of their money away it won’t matter if they give to charity ’cause the government can fill that void as well. Well at least until they rich take their money & income to another country to avoid the taxes. 50%, 70%, even 100% of nothing is way less that 35% of something.