Monday, March 18, 2013

Left Wing Budget

The Congressional Progressive Caucus released a genuine budget from a liberal point of view.
It restores Clinton-era marginal income tax rates starting at the $250,000 threshold. It establishes new income tax brackets—45 percent at $1 million, 46 percent at $10 million, 47 percent at $20 million, 48 percent at $100 million, and 49 percent at $1 billion. Capital gains and dividends will be taxed as ordinary income. The deductibility of all itemized deductions will be capped at the 28 percent rate. The estate tax will have a $2.5 million exemption and then a series of progressive marginal rates from 55 to 65 percent. The mortgage-interest tax deduction for second homes is eliminated. There's a financial transactions tax. A couple of corporate income tax deductions are eliminated. There's a kind of too-big-too-fail tax on banks more than $50 billion in assets. There's a $25 per-ton carbon tax.
This should be Obama's starting point.

Clogged Arteries Are Not New

Studies of mummies have shown that neolithic humans suffered from clogged arteries as they aged just like modern humans do.  That means I can put away that cave man diet book now.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Income Tax Doesn't Hurt States

A recent report show that states without a personal income tax grew slower than those with one.  Another conservative canard bites the dust.

Pure Elegance

Newton could accurately calculate the orbits of two bodies around each other, but when a third body was tossed in, mathematical solutions were really, really hard to find.  About the only solution that could be calculated is if the three bodies orbited in a circle.  Finally, some enterprising researchers have come up with sets and sets of possible solutions.  When you solve a problem that has been around for hundreds of years, are you in the running for the Nobel?

Electricity From Salt Water

It's long been known that electricity can be produced from the salinity gradient between bodies of salt water and fresh water. A new material can achieve an increase in efficiency that is 1,000 time higher.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

10 Pro-Gun Myths, Shot Down

From Mother Jones, here are 10 myths that gun proponents use and how they are wrong, dead wrong.  Key points:

1. The government can't take away your guns.  Civilians have the Feds and cops outgunned by 79 to 1.  They simply don't have enough firepower to do that.
2. People with guns tend to kill more people with those guns.  States with the highest gun ownership also have the highest gun murder rates.
3. People with guns are more likely to be belligerent than those without them.  In Texas, those with conceald-carry permits were 4.8 times more likely to be sentenced for threatening with a firearm.
4. The number of mass shootings that have been stopped by an armed civilian in the last 30
5. For every time a gun is used for self-defense in a home, there are 7 assaults or murders, 11 suicide attempts, and 4 accidents using guns.
6. Guns don't make you safer. Nearly 10 times more people were shot and killed in arguments than in trying to stop a crime. 
7. Guns don't make women safer. A woman in a high gun ownership state is 4.9 times more likely to murdered by a gun than a woman in a low gun ownership state.  An abused woman is 7 times more likely to be killed if the abuser has access to a gun.
8. Video games don't cause gun violence.  Japan has a higher video game spending per capita than the US.  Gun homicides in 2008 was 11, in the US 11,030.
9. Fewer people are buying guns but those that do buy more. 
10. Current gun laws are not enough.  Forty percent of prison inmates who used guns got them from private sellers who were not required to do a background check.