By the gov't.

"The media sounded the alarm last year when the largest U.S. oil company, ExxonMobil Corp, announced profits of $36 billion. But according to the Tax Foundation, the biggest price gouging profiteer was the U.S. government, cashing in to the tune of $54 billion in oil and gas taxes. The think tank, the Tax Foundation, said, 'Tax collections on the production and the import of gasoline by state and federal governments are already near historic highs.' In fact, in recent decades governments have collected far more revenue from gasoline taxes than the largest US oil companies have collectively earned in domestic profits."


New York State of Mind...

New York taxes are out of control. The sales tax is 8.625%

And look at the taxes on my cell phone bill. It is 17% of the bill. We need to revolt. Vote all incumbents out this election cycle.

New York State of Mind....

Walter E. Williams says this,

The founders of our nation would be horrified by today's level of American servitude to their government. From 1787 to the Roaring '20s, federal government spending, as a percentage of GDP, never exceeded 4 percent, except in wartime, compared to today's 20 percent.

The average taxpayer, depending on the state in which he lives, works from Jan. 1 to May 3 to pay federal, state and local taxes. That means someone else decides how four months' worth of the fruits of the average taxpayer's labor will be spent. The taxpayer is forcibly used to serve the purposes of others -- whether it's farm or business handouts, food stamps or other government programs where the earnings of one American are taken and given to another.

This situation differs only in degree, but not in kind, from slavery. After all, a working description of slavery is the process where one person is forcibly used to serve the purposes of another. The difference is a slave has no rights to what he produces each year, instead of just four months.


Is Quality Going Down?

Recently I've experienced poor customer service and incompetence from my bank, cell phone provider, my credit card company and computer company.

Are you experiencing it too?

I blogged about my computer hard drive burning up. It just quit one night when I was working on it. It is a Dell and less than a year old. Dell sent me a new hard drive but it was refurbished. Shouldn't I get a new one if it is under warranty. I would complain but I'd have to spend half my day on the phone like Laura did trying to install the hard drive and the lost programs. It is ridiculous.

Dell was a really good company but I think they got too big too fast. I wouldn't recommend buying a computer from them. I can't say anything about their other products.

My next beef is with my cell phone company Sprint. I have been trying to cancel my automatic payment from my checking account for a year. Every time I call they say they cancel it but I keep getting the bill deducted from my account. The worst part is I don't use that checking account anymore so I do not deposit into it as of a month ago. I don't recommend Sprint either.

Onto my bank. When Laura and I set up the account here in New York I wasn't able to be on it because I didn't have any paperwork with my name and address on it. So we just put it in Laura's name. We had a wonderful experience with the staff member who helped us. Last month we went back to get my name on the account. Again the woman was excellent. I asked if I could sign the checks even if my name wasn't on the check itself. She said now that my name was on the account it didn't matter. Well I had to call Citibank the other day to ask a question and I couldn't because my name isn't on the account. Incompetence.

Now here's the deal with my credit card. It kept getting declined. So I called them. The bill was returned to them when they tried to mail it. I just moved. I changed my address with company before that. It must not have happened. You would think they would call me if my bill was sent back?

I called up the company to change my address again. The woman I spoke with didn't know how to do that. As she fumbled around, I was disconnected. I couldn't call back because I was on my lunch break and didn't have time to call back and wait on hold. I am cancelling the card.

These aren't complaints, just realities. Realities that waste time. We all shell out a lot of money for these services (which we really don't need). We should call out companies that have poor quality and service and patron those that excel in it.

One company that went above and beyond for us is DHL, a shipping company. So there's a shout for DHL.


Is health care a right?

I recently signed up for my company's healthcare plan. It basically costs me 100 bucks for medical and dental care. Within that coverage I have a copay and certain procedures are split 80/20.

The 100 bucks a month ($1200 a year) seems fairly reasonable with the high costs of medical care in the event that I may need it. In reality I believe it is costing me more because my employer is paying whatever else it costs to insure me as a perk for working there.

I'm not someone who requires a lot of medical care at this point in my life. In fact I do not remember the last time I went to a doctor. So that money I pay each month is "just in case" something happens which I am sure I will be greatful to have in case something happens.

I look at all the money that is spent on me "just in case" and I cringe. There's gotta be a better way to do it. fI looked into a health savings account but unless my employer pays me the money that they are spending on my health care it wouldn't be worth it.

Massachusetts recently passed a bill that will insure nearly all of its citizens. Very interesting.



I want to see how this plays out.

Post at light giver...



Lil sis...

My sister Candace has a blog called Running Reflections. Thought I'd give her a shout.



My hard drive burned up so I've been out of commission. Not that I would have been blogging anyway! We haven't even had the computer for a year and it already went bad. It is a Dell Inspiron 600m. The customer service was pretty much a bad experience. I don't know how many hours we spent with the phone to our ear trying to get things fixed. I think that I will look into Macs for our next one.