Political Animal

CATS AND DOGS….I know it’s

CATS AND DOGS….I know it’s an old schtick that’s been mined dry, but I always get a laugh out of the whole cat people vs. dog people thing. Especially when it’s sincere, as in this post from Bill Sjostrom:

I am a dog person. I do not get cats. I do not mean that I object to them. It is just that I do not understand their appeal. All they seem to do is lie around all day.

Ah, but he’s forgetting other things. Like: they demand attention whenever it suits them and then just wander off when they’re satisfied, they love their food bowls more than their owners, and they ruin the lower reaches of Christmas trees.

So what’s not to like?


ISN’T TAX POLICY INTERESTING?….HERE AT CALPUNDIT IT IS!….A couple of months ago, in a rant about the Wall Street Journal’s “lucky duckies” editorial, I noted that when you take all taxes into account, tax rates are close to the same for all income groups.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I printed a chart showing that state taxes are regressive, and concluded that “Federal income tax is progressive, but this only barely makes up for the regressive nature of state and local taxes.”

Yesterday, the New York Times finally put all the pieces together for me and showed total tax rates for all income levels. And guess what? It’s pretty flat. If you make minimum wage you pay out about 18% of your income. If you’re the CEO of Microsoft you pay out about 19%. There will undoubtedly be quibbles about the exact numbers the Times used in this analysis, but the overall picture is pretty clear: the American tax system is pretty flat already. If federal income tax (and therefore most state income taxes) moved to a flat model, the end result would a tax system that was heavily regressive. I’m sure the Wall Street Journal must be delirious over the possibility.

Thanks to Slate for the pointer.


DOING THE WRONG THING….Hesiod links to this story in the Detroit Free Press today: Heather Pebbles, an employee at a Babies R Us, noticed a baby left alone in a car in freezing weather, so she called the police and then used the store PA sytem to track down the baby’s mother. Here’s her manager’s response:

He says, ‘We know you did the right thing and all, but you can’t involve us. That guest now has a negative impression of shopping with us….We don’t need the bad publicity,’ ” Pebbles said.

Pebbles, a mother of two who had worked part-time for three years at the store on Haggerty near 8 Mile, was stunned.

“I said, ‘What’s the winning situation here?’ and he said, ‘You shouldn’t have involved us.’ ”

Pebbles said she quit, telling the manager “I won’t work for a company like this.”

The only good news is that corporate headquarters backed Pebbles and said the store manager was wrong. Sounds like maybe they should make Pebbles the store’s manager.


JOHN LOTT EXPLAINS….I got an email from Mary Rosh/John Lott this morning:

From: MaRyRoSh@aol.com
To: CalPundit@cox.net
Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2003 5:39 AM
Subject: Sorry

You are correct. The MaRyRoSh pen name account was created years ago for an account for my children, using the first two letters of the names of my four sons. (They later got their own accounts but this one was never erased.) I shouldn?t have used it, but I didn?t want to get directly involved with my real name because I could not commit large blocks of time to discussions. (However, I never subscribed to the firearmsregprof posting hosted by Volokh.)

I guess I’ll let this pass without comment.