Skip to main content

Tax Cut = Donut Cut?

With tax reform high on congress’ agenda, I’ve been thinking about how and why the government gets and spends money. In the U.S., the federal government  gets most of the money from various taxes (the rest, about 15% comes from borrowing). So, when it comes down to it, we’re buying a common good, the “things” (goods and services) on which they are spending our money. Most of it (65%) goes towards Social Security, unemployment, Medicare, health and veterans’ benefits. Another 15% goes towards the military and 6% goes towards debt and interest. The remaining 13% goes to everything else (for the OCD among you, I realize my math only adds-up to 99%, but that’s due to rounding). If you think of this as an income statement, then lower prices (a lower tax rate) will translate to less revenue (taxes) unless you can get more unit sales (a higher GDP growth rate). On that latter point, the U.S. economy has grown an average of 1.9% in the 2000s. Proponents of the plan say growth would go to somewhere between 3 and 5% and, according to estimates from experts, it would need to go to 7% to keep “revenue neutral”. So, even if the economy does grow in the range estimated by those proposing the plan (which should be taken with a healthy dose of sodium), the government will either need to cut their spending or borrow more. If, even by the most generous estimates, congress is planning to give our government a pay cut, I wonder which things they’ll decide to stop buying on our behalf (or whether we’ll just kick the can and increase our credit card spending). Fortunately, donuts are not one of those things that might be on the chopping block. So come get yours. There is even a congress emoji donut you may recognize --even though it’s been a tad smashed (see if you can identify it from this line-up).

Happy Friday!


Popular posts from this blog

Remote Donuts

Friends, I knew working from home was going to be weird, so I had mentally prepared for some of the inevitable challenges. I decided to keep as many personal routines as possible intact . I’ve been getting-up at the same time (even though it is tempting to sleep-in due to the shorter “commute”) and have kept-up with personal grooming (showering, dressing for work, having breakfast, etc.). I got a nice desk and dedicated ergonomic space and brew a pot of coffee every morning. As for the isolation, I suppose it can’t be helped. Sure, video meetings are nice, but they can’t take the place of hallway conversations. On whole I’d say my first week working from home has been a guarded success. Still, there were a few unexpected twists. Fresh air. On Wednesday afternoon I realized I had not set foot outside my house since Sunday –and quickly remedied the situation. Invisible chair. The edge of my camera view catches a corner of the room with some “invisible” clutter. As it …

Family and Friends

I’m trying to maximize the time I spend with friends and family while in Ecuador. My dad had nine siblings, my wife’s dad 15. As you might imagine, my cousins and their families are fairly numerous (despite the fact five of my dad’s brothers didn’t marry or have children). Then there’s my wife’s family and my childhood friends. Needless to say, there is never enough time to see everyone, despite a valiant effort. Of course, I’m also working from “home”. Corny as it may sound, working half a world away, I realize I miss my Windstream “family” and I look forward to seeing you soon. In the meantime, there are donuts, here today courtesy of John Huddleston.  So, enjoy some comfort food with regards from my Cuenca family (pictured) to you!

White Flour Donuts of Color

Friends, As a whiteperson of color, I’ve always been somewhat irked by the compulsion to categorize people into neat boxes. Most people don’t fit neatly into boxes. When given a choice between “white” or “Hispanic” (check one), I realized these boxes provide a false choice.  Why does the government care what category I opt into? The way I see it, these questions on so many forms probably don’t cause division and social injustice, but they do keep the conversation going. I propose a write-in campaign (similar to elections). Most of these forms now contain an “Other” field where you can write-in your ethnic or racial background. What if we all wrote-in “Transracial”. If one or two of us do it, no big deal. If it catches-on, maybe someone will take notice and report on how silly this categorization variable is. Speaking of boxes, a dozen donut box is sitting in its usual spot, so come get your transracial self some sugar!
Happy Friday!