Monday, December 06, 2010

five minutes for fighting

Has it really been two weeks? We can call it a holiday break.

L. and I went to the Caps’ game on Saturday night and sat in the third row from the ice: it’s a whole new game when you’re essentially eye-to-eye with NHL players. The size, speed, and physicality of the game is amazing from up close. It’s not the best place to sit if you want to see the entire ice and watch plays develop but it’s a view that worth having a few times in your life. Overall it was a busy Saturday and a slower Sunday.

I finally wrapped up The Tiger by John Vaillant and can’t recommend it enough if you read non-fiction / adventure. I think X will be happy to not have to listen to my tiger talk any more. I believe the rights to the story have been sold for a film but there’s no way they won’t screw up the feel of the story. Read the book, skip the movie.

I want to take a little time to rant on politics and the economy but I’m at a crossroads on the extensions of both tax cuts and unemployment benefits. Neither has a significant effect on me directly, and I’m not quite sure on Obama’s longer view for now so I have to be careful. What I find strange is the memory of a campaign cycle that was all about cutting the deficit and reducing debt yet here we are ready to keep revenue down and increase spending – seems strange, right? My direction, as if queried, would be the let all the Bush-era tax cuts expire and extend unemployment benefits until jobs start coming back. (Being a lagging indicator – the last thing that arrives in a recession and the last to come back – the jobs aren’t there and probably won’t be for quite a bit.) The extension money is small potatoes compared to the hundreds of billions (for high earners. The number is more like $3.7 trillion over ten years if they all expire) in lost revenue that the tax cut extension would eliminated. I don’t much buy into the trickle down economics bullshit from the Reagan years. I don’t much by into the Bush idea of just continuing our lives as if no sacrifice is needed. If the Republicans dropped the “we won’t do anything until the tax cuts are addressed” in front of me I would have simply punched Mitch McConnell in the head and told him that was fine by me. Let them expire. We’ll do nothing. But, like I said, I don’t know the President’s long view on this compromise.

It was only a small venting.

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