Sunday, January 23, 2011
Sea Smoke 1
Well that's certainly not South Padre Island here in lower Texas at latitude 26 degrees, but that is sea smoke or sometimes called ice fog. I think it is an excellent picture and is that a sailboat in the upper right corner? They are also known as killer fogs, since they seemed so eerie, still, and inherently evil.
Back to reality, think are going just OK here in imperfect paradise, been worried about work because contracting got slow, although I am hopeful for the spring. But we've got our health, good luck, and a second puppy dog - we should call him "Temporary" because I fear we'll fall in love with him (he's supposed to be a foster puppy for a few weeks). Brody is his name. The kids and family is good and it was 66 degrees for the day's high, about normal.
How about the budget mess? Has anyone been following that? What I heard was that government services, state federal, could be cut by about half (no more jokes about killer fogs). This time the ultra-conservatives seem to really want to cut the budget, as opposed to the previous increases such as during Bush 43. This has major implications, since most states, counties, and cities are limited by their constitutions about how much they can tax - and are either tapped out or promise "no new taxes." For local taxes to be raised over this threshold, a referendum vote must be held. Therefore, only rich local entities can vote themselves some tax increases if they want more services. When you push down services like education, medicine, and public safety to the local level, no grant matching, it gets real tough. Combine that with increasing nervousness on the "muni" bond market, once considered sacred, I say we have an official boondoggle.
Maybe it won't be all kaddywhumpus and bad. I don't get any entitlement money so that's not my issue. But it affects everything from my local taxes to big airports and marine ports, which is my bread and butter; even my DOD work will get cut back. I will muddle through this mess like many in a similar position. I just hope I don't have to learn Chinese to stay employed.
Onward through the fog.