Last night’s lowlights

It’s kind of hard to explain what’s in Mitt’s tax plan, but he did drop some hints about what wanted to do in last night’s presidential debate — in between incredibly dishonest but plausible-sounding statements about everything else:

  • He wants to put a cap of $25,000 on total deductions – so if you have a large mortgage deduction, that’s it.
  • He wants to keep people who have savings from being taxed on them. But you’re not taxed on savings, you’re taxed on any interest they earn. Savings accounts are paying almost no interest now, so big whoop. But more to the point: Seriously, people still have savings? Talk about throwing us a bone!
  • He says Obama wants bureaucrats telling people to use contraceptives. A Mormon nightmare, to be sure!

Tinted windows (a pre-debate rant)

What goes on in there, Mittens?

The Odd Man is down but not out, despite an ongoing reversal of fortune that has left him uninsured and in debt. Just thought I’d let you know, in case you wondered why I post so infrequently these days.

In a nutshell, I’m a writer who no longer gets paid to write. I’m one of millions of workers sidelined by corporate bean counters who know that cutting jobs — through outsourcing, attrition, and making each remaining employee do the work of three — is the quickest route to higher profits for the one-percenters, and so what if the long-term consequences of a permanently downsized workforce are disastrous for the economy.

To make ends meet, I work a job that’s the 21st century equivalent of selling apples in the Great Depression. The other day a passer-by wearing a STUD MUFFIN shirt told me to get a real job. “Have a nice day,” I replied. My restraint was something to feel proud of, like not spitting on the car with tinted windows that rolled past me later that same day. I can’t abide tinted windows…

More here.

Scalia gets nailed by Philly Parking Authority

Love! This!

The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land, but no justice, even Antonin Scalia, is apparently safe on the streets of Philadelphia when it comes to its Parking Authority.

The Philadelphia Parking Authority is nationally known because of its starring role for five years in “Parking Wars,” the popular cable TV show that depicts everyday life for PPA workers and the citizens of Philly.

And on Monday, one of the citizens who will interact with the PPA in the near future appears to be Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.

Scalia was in Philadelphia at the Union League of Philadelphia, the private club best known outside the city for its role in the Eddie Murphy film Trading Places.

Dean Picciotti sent us a picture of Scalia’s official car, parked at the League, with a brand-new PPA ticket on its windshield placed by an attentive parking enforcement officer at lunchtime.

Scalia’s car was ticketed despite the presence of a Philadelphia official police business placard on its dashboard.

Ironically, the Parking Authority is one of the few GOP-dominated institutions in Philadelphia, a city long controlled by Democrats.

Scalia is one of the most conservative Supreme Court justices. He frequently votes on issues that find favor with Republicans.

But in this case, the PPA was definitely nonpartisan.


Turns out the Paul Ryan Medicare plan would be a real problem for Florida seniors:

The nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation said Monday that a year-long study has found that Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) plan to turn Medicare into a privatized “premium support” coupon program will result in higher costs for six out of every 10 beneficiaries just to maintain their current levels of service.

Kaiser’s study (PDF) found that his plan to partially privatize Medicare would result in wild variations in policy costs across the country, with some states set to be hit much worse than others, confirming in greater detail earlier studies that found Ryan’s plan would result in significantly higher costs for most seniors.

In particular, Kaiser notes that the crucial swing state of Florida — where former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney currently enjoys a slight lead in the polls over President Barack Obama — would see the worst fallout, with about 77 percent of Medicare beneficiaries expected to pay $200 or more per month under the Republican’s coupon program.

It would be especially expensive in areas with the highest concentration of Medicare enrollees, like Miami-Dade County, where nearly all seniors face paying nearly $500 more per month, or Palm Beach County, where 99 percent of plans would go up by more than $370 a month. Kaiser added that Los Angeles County and Orange County in California also face some of the worst price hikes under the Ryan coupon plan, where 99 percent of seniors face paying an additional $$216-$260 more per month.

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