Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A Consequences of Annexation

Cause and effect may not show up for years, but recently one of the effects of the annexation of both Northwest Allen County and Aboite has now hit home. After the annexation, Allen County let go 14 highway workers. The reason was pretty simple, with reduced revenue, the county had to reduce expenses. The problem is that the area of maintenance did not reduce in proportion to the reduction in revenues.

With weather getting worse and snow on the horizon Allen County now finds itself unable to cope with snow removal it once did. Both Southwest, East and Northwest Allen County schools now face a problem with how to get school busses down county roads that may not be plowed as quickly as in the past. I have heard that most likely these school districts will see increased snow days. This is obviously a large impact on families.

Maybe the allocation of the 1% county income tax between Fort Wayne and Allen County should not be split based on proportion of people but in proportion to land area. Fort Wayne says we use their facilities, but the reality is Fort Wayne relies on the roads in the county to get in and out of Fort Wayne.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Aqua Indiana

The paper reported the City Council has gone ahead and voted to take over Aqua Indiana for over $16 million, more if Aqua's appeal of the price increases. The article stated a famil of 4 that uses 90,000 gallons of water a year would see a decrease of $86.79 a year.

My concern is that a family of four uses 90,000 gallons a year. You have to be kidding. My family has seven and we use less than 75,000 gallons a year. This means family's like mine who conserve our natural resources far more than particular theoretical family will see our rates increase. Obviously this family is getting a discount for using more water. Maybe, the water rates should work the other way. Instead of a decreasing cost the more you use, it should be an increasing cost the more you use.

The city said the water rate would drop, what about the sewer rate? Will it be higher?

Allen County Library will see reduced out of town visitors

I could have sworn a few years ago that one of the reasons given to renovate and expand the public library was that it would attract visitors. These visitors would come to the library to perform genealogy searches, spend money at hotels and restaurants helping the local economy. I know I also heard many on city council state the library was a major attraction and with this, would compliment Harrison Square and help make it a success.

"Under the agreement, Microsoft will be able to post digital copies of tens of thousands of genealogy volumes on its Microsoft Live Search Books site, books.live.com, library Director Jeff Krull said Thursday.

The advantages for Microsoft are that assembling such a concentration of genealogical material on its site will be a draw for visitors and the advertising revenue that increased visitor traffic could lure.

For the ACPL, the advantages are just as significant, although they don't have the prospect of immediate financial reward that Microsoft hopes to earn from the deal."

The paper today reported that the Allen County Library has signed an agreement with Microsoft to scan all its genealogy contents and place them on the World Wide Web. What financial reward woudl the Library see besides reduce visitors from out of town?

Beware of Property Tax Reform

The paper reported "Daniel’s also wants the state to pick up the costs of schools' general funds, school transportation and child welfare and supports limiting local spending growth to the six-year average growth of personal income." We should think hard about this particular proposal. Those who live outside a school district such as Fort Wayne Community Schools, which for the most part failed to adequately maintain its facilities by keeping taxes lower than they should have has created a huge liability. Under Daniel’s proposal, the state would pick up this liability. This means those who live in school districts that property funded their school systems will end up subsidizing those that did not.

Currently those who live in a school district fund that school district's budget. It has provided local control over spending for decades. If Daniel’s proposal passes, then who do you protest, certainly not your local school board. The school board will be like anyone else at the trough, bring your fair share back to the school district.

Daniel’s Proposal removes accountability from the local area and places more power at the state level.

Property Tax Thoughts

The paper today reported Daniel’s property tax plan. "Daniels also wants the state to pick up the costs of schools' general funds, school transportation and child welfare and supports limiting local spending growth to the six-year average growth of personal income." Most people would think this sounds good. However, a mathematician would say it is not. The reason is simple and it comes down to the difference between an average and compound rate of change. The average of six years will always be higher than the compounded annual rate over that same six year period. In simple terms if they limit it to this, spending and ultimately taxes will grow far faster than our income.

Some will say, it is small, but in fact anything that is even slightly greater than the income growth of those being taxed will eventually become large. Why not just state it mathematically correct to begin with. It is not a difficult calculation. Anyone can perform it on a calculator.

The formula is:

Exp[ln(Fv/Pv)/# of years]-1 = compounded rate

Below are three examples. The first shows a small change, but the last to show a large difference. The reason is that a high first year will create a much larger difference.
The first column is the year, second column is a randomly generated rate of growth and the third column is the value of any given year.
0 $1.00
1 1.6% $1.02
2 5.5% $1.07
3 0.8% $1.08
4 5.7% $1.14
5 5.4% $1.20
6 1.8% $1.22

3.45% 3.42%

0 $1.00
1 9.9% $1.10
2 5.4% $1.16
3 1.3% $1.17
4 4.0% $1.22
5 4.9% $1.28
6 1.2% $1.29

4.44% 3.76%

0 $1.00
1 9.6% $1.10
2 3.9% $1.14
3 1.1% $1.15
4 7.6% $1.24
5 1.9% $1.26
6 7.7% $1.36

5.30% 4.48%


Sunday, December 02, 2007

IRS endorses the right to keep and bear arms

What is interesting is that on Info Sheet 4 they write,

The musket hung over the fireplace once stood for security in American homes. It meant game for the pot. It gave protection against unfriendly beasts and Indians. It was a first defense against hunger and danger in the new land.

Probably no families in the world ever have been as self-reliant as the Americans who wielded their muskets in the Colonies and on the frontier. They literally made their own living, for a family had little or nothing except what their members could do and make. A large family was an advantage, since then there were many hands to plant and weed and harvest, to chop wood, to carpenter, to spin and dye and weave, cook and sew.

Is this politically incorrect or what, “Protection against unfriendly beasts and Indians?” The Cherokee Nation was friendly. They even bent over backwards to live with us, in their lands. Yes, some Indians were unfriendly, but there were just as many “white” men who were dangerous and unfriendly.

However, a more important statement is “The musket hung over the fireplace once stood for security in American homes. It meant game for the pot. It gave protection against unfriendly beasts and Indians. It was a first defense against hunger and danger in the new land.” Does this suggest the second amendment was written with the full intention of authorizing the right of the people to keep and bear arms? This is a government published educational document on the IRS web site.

Government Indoctrination in Our Schools!

The IRS has a lesson plan for teachers on Social Security. After going through it, I find it distasteful to say the least.

The IRS is getting into the Social Security Indoctrination of our children. If your opinions differ from those of the IRS you get a comment “One or more of your answers were incorrect. Please try again. This is just plain wrong! If your opinion differs from others, it does not make you wrong and them right.

Family Security and Social Security
The words “social security” have become popular in the last five or ten years. Actually the right and duty of a community to protect its members is as old as the records of men. Primitive tribes have rules and customs to assure the safety of all.

Even pioneer American families, of course, relied on each other for help in trouble and emergencies. Barn-raisings and corn-huskings, which have lasted down to our times, are a survival of years when a household asked the neighbors’ help in an emergency, knowing it would give its help when its turn came.

The problem with relying on others is totally different than relying on government. The difference is that neighbors gave only what they could afford and the needy knew the limits of this charity. There were also unwritten rules associated with this charity.

With the government, there is a faceless benefactor (taxpayers) who are deemed to be wealthy beyond comprehension. Politicians give freely of these taxpayers money in order to appear to be kind and generous. The problem is there is no control over where, how and who receives the charity, the unwritten rules have been abolished.

Davy Crocket ........... http://www.justsayno.50megs.com/pdf/davy-crocket.pdf
"Mr. Speaker --- I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the suffering of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this house, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the government was in arrears to him.

Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay to the object, and, if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks."

NBC-33 Debate poll results from 2002