Tuesday, January 7, 2014
We walked into the long-term care home to visit friend Diane a victim of Alzheimer's disease. Sad case only compassion comes to mind.
On the way to the door, we noted a half-dozen men working on the roof. Jimmy noted they were installing solar panels to produce electricity. Turns out that the way to such a green approved project is to contract with a company to install the panels and continue to own and be responsible for their continued function. The buyer, in this case the nursing home owner, gets to take a large write-off on their federal taxes for the ecologically sound, pollution-free production of electricity.
Good deal right? Well, maybe for the owner, but not this taxpayer who is called upon to make up the lost tax revenue. Like I told Jimmy, I don't remember voting on such projects on which to spend my tax money.
Quoting from Thomas Jefferson who wrote the Declaration of Independence and was elected our third president: Throughout his life he watched with great interest how the country was trending. Many of those cogent observations were preserved for posterity. In my mind appropriate to the solar project. Jefferson stated, "To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."
On the long drive back home, I observed several other ideas in which I do not believe in but most likely required a share of the money that I have paid out in federal taxes.
South of Las Vegas, there is a huge field of bright, shining solar arrays obviously generating electricity directly from the sun's energy. One can only wonder how much federal money was directed to that project and how long a time the sale of electricity generated from that project will be required to recoup the taxpayer's investment. Come to think of it Las Vegas is also known as the City of Lights as it becomes a well lighted extravaganza after the sun goes down. Do you suppose that big solar project lights the night in nearby city of slot machines? I didn't think so either and I don't remember voting to spend my tax money on that project.
Miles and miles of electricity generating windmills along that route. All subsidized with federal money. Each with an eight year projected life expectancy and a ten year payback period. Somehow I wouldn't invest my own money in such a losing scheme but there goes my, and your, tax money.
Now hear that I truly appreciate the miles and miles of wonderful interstate highway which
we traveled those several days. I am more than willing to have a large portion of what I pay for a gallon of gas at the pump skimmed off as taxes to pay for the construction and upkeep of those splendid roads. Note that California is a bit more greedy in the collection of fuel taxes but they do have great roads.
Speaking of California taxes, my son complains a bit about the cost of utilities for his home. A nice house but the $275 a month that he pays for utilities bothers him a bit. He also grouses a bit about the amount of tax that he pays for social welfare. Part of the cause for that is the great weather which makes it an attractive area for the indigent to gather. Then too, California bids higher than the surrounding states through better benefits for those who see no problem with being on the dole so as a result they have more of them. Again Jefferson: "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."
The interstate road home passed by several military installations. Now this old veteran sees little problem on spending federal tax money on national defense. Funny how a person's experience shapes his attitudes about reasonable verses profligate federal spending.
A reader commenting on the blog venue of this column noted that I had been to the West Coast and asked my thoughts on the Fukushima Reactor meltdown in Japan. Possibly the reader's concern stemmed from a Facebook video that went viral describing someone walking the beach near San Francisco and having his Geiger counter read higher levels of radiation (claimed 500 percent higher) than normal. The video directly connects the radiation to Fukushima. California health officials checked and found levels of radiation much less than would be of any concern for people.
Methinks that my reader fears that bad nuclear radiation from the still-melting reactor core will somehow cause health damage to our western residents. Probably like his brethren "glow in the darkers" anything related to nuclear reactors is BAD. Never mind that our Navy has operated a fleet of nuclear powered ships and submarines for years without a problem. Numerous countries around the world, USA included, generate "clean" cheap electricity with no problem. The few, I can count three, nuclear power producing reactor accidents have caused very few human fatalities. Most likely our annual fatalities from coal powered electrical generation are more than the grand total of all the nuclear accidental fatalities since nuclear was invented. It is a non-problem!