Wednesday, March 01, 2017

BEST STATE - TAXES - PREZ ACTING?

Truth Or Consequences?

Listened to President Donald J. Trump address Congress and the nation.  For the first time to my ears and eyes, he actually behaved and spoke like he might be a country’s leader -- but what kind of leader?   Knowing his history, the words that flowed from my television’s speakers accumulated very deep in my room as I waded through them.  Some of them sounded good as I wanted them to be.  Still, when he has so repeatedly violated trust with his mendacity, how do I know much of what he said isn’t more of the same?   
    
When I texted a friend for their reaction, the response I received was:

"He’s acting as if he was on the Apprentice.   Someone else wrote the script -- he rehearsed  -- and delivered!  Maybe he should get an Academy Award.”

I found myself wondering -- has the leopard changed his spots?   

We’ve heard his talk -- now let’s see his walk.     
                

Tax Time

Time for me to go to work on my income taxes.  I’ve been doing them myself as my husband had, when he was living.   I still do them by hand rather than on my computer.  I like math.   I know there are internet programs available, also software programs that can be purchased, or even can hire someone -- the idea of paying money in order to pay taxes just doesn't sit well with me.   Why should a person have to pay money to pay taxes?   That's right!  I'm not a member of the 1%.   


Where do you want to live?   

There are many considerations when we think about desirable places to live: 
Health Care, Education, Crime and Corrections, Infrastructure, Opportunity,  Economy, Government are factors in the following report.

U.S. News and World Report offers a ranking of what states best serve their citizens.

This can be of special interest since expected federal government budget cuts will require individual states to have to assume more responsibility for many services to their citizens (cutting or eliminating services).  Middle class, poor and the less affluent segments of the population in many states may not fare so well, contrary to what citizens are being told by this administration's good intentions wishful thinking.  

As with many such rankings we may not necessarily agree with all their assessments. For many these rankings would be weighed against many other factors, not limited to, but including, cost of living, environment, and climate.   


--  No.   1  Massachusetts 
 -- No. 23  California

What do you think about where your state is ranked?


25 comments:

  1. That was teleprompter Donald we saw last night. Who knows what we'll get tomorrow. I agree he sounded okay last night but you never know which side of him we'll get at any given moment and he's lied so much that even when he sounds 'normal' like as night, it's hard to take him seriously.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those are some of my concerns, too.

      Delete
  2. A 70-year-old leopard does not change its spots! We need to get over expecting that. It was fund watching him rehearse in the limo on the way over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I, too, enjoyed watching the rehearsal in the limo.

      Delete
    2. Tabor is right....his behaviour in the election showed his true personality

      Delete
  3. Last night was total theater. Talk is cheap. The man has not a clue how to run the country.

    Was disappointed to see Oregon come in at 19. I think Oregon is a wonderful place to live. Was not surprised to see Texas come in at 38.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm concerned his idea of running the country is as an autocratic leader, a la Putin, in essence a dictator, with dissension not tolerated from citizens or Press, even other branches of government.

      Remember, those ranking numbers are based on only those factors I noted and are itemized in the article's link. If we add climate, environment and cost of living, possibly other factors, I think we'd likely come up with a whole different ranking list.

      Delete
  4. I suspect (although I don't know) that Texas ranks lower because of infrastructure challenges rooted in the influx of migrants and the cross-border activities of drug gangs. Both health care and education have been adversely affected, and crime is increasing. Towns in border counties don't have the tax base to support local schools whose population has tripled or quadrupled in the past decade, for example, and the problem is moving north. It used to be only ranchers along the border who would find themselves targets of violence. Now, decapitated bodies left as warnings also are appearing in urban areas.

    Still, I wouldn't live anywhere other than Texas at this point in my life. There are many reasons: some cultural, some economic. There's a wonderful mix of cultural traditions -- everything from German language church services in the hill country to Go Tejano Days at the rodeos -- and I confess: I love having a cowboy tip his hat to me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I expect there are multiple elements considered within each of the study factors that have influenced the ratings assigned. I don't know the numbers of migrants in Texas that are non-productive tax payers, or not part of Agriculture's cheap labor, harvesting produce, the latter of whom make significant contribution in California, and to the nation's economy, keeping produce costs lower than they might be otherwise.
      If the services of these migrants are needed, then seems to me more effort should be made to develop a workable system that would benefit them and us.

      Certainly, we would all be better off without drug gangs -- if only U.S. citizens didn't create a drug demand we could lessen that problem in Texas and elsewhere, but hard to say when that might ever occur. Would be helpful if Congress would finally just provide long-needed additional border patrol guards for increased support, use and adapt existing technology -- even adding more, so they can enforce the laws we have. Too many years have gone by without that support occurring. Seems to me monies would be better spent on some of the above rather than a wall.

      We share with you a multi-cultural heritage here in Southern California, so I know what you mean about appreciating a "mix of cultural traditions" -- including American Indians when I lived in Arizona. Like you, I'm always impressed by any individuals who give me a special respectful little recognition. In Texas, tipping that Stetson would be special.

      Delete
    2. @shoreacres...
      I live in a border state and city and lets me tell you we are overwhelmed by all the cartels and illegals massing across our borders.. It is horrific Our infrastructure is crumbling with the weight of mass illegals and the cartels.
      Tucson is becoming Phoenix with the gun battles, drugs, trafficking of women and children. Our crime rate is soaring by leaps and our school system is drowning.
      Tucson is a great, friendly and fun city but not for long. Arizona is 34 now but soon to be dropping even more.
      As much as I loved living in California, I will never go back. It is being destroyed.
      At this time in my life beautiful Tucson is my home again after too many years away.

      cheers, parsnip

      Delete
    3. Am glad you're happy in Tucson. I lived there for a time, years ago, later in Phoenix and liked Arizona. One thing we all know is there are numerous problems to correct throughout our country, partially due to too many years of neglect. Adopting the most effective means to do so are what we want. I can appreciate your border concerns as spent some time with a family living in San Diego outskirts area directly across from the border. They described people coming through at night, but even though there was a border guard station in the area, they were so undermanned they couldn't arrive in time when notified of the violation. Thanks for stopping by to comment.

      Delete
  5. Lists like the state rankings always are interesting, but in many cases they are too broad. Upstate New York is very different from NYC, northern California scarcely resembles San Diego, etc. I think a 33rd slot for Michigan is appropriate, but here a great regional difference also applies. In southwest Michigan, we have great health services with two major regional hospitals as the core, yet the state is ranked 34 in health services. Michigan gets a poor 42 place in education, and surveys show much of the population does not have higher education credentials. Yet the University of Michigan and Michigan State are first-rate schools. The problem is the state exports many of its college grads to places where manufacturing is not the basis for the economy. I enjoy reviewing the various U.S. News rankings, but they often have no application to individual cases.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very good points, Dick. These broad based lists are just that, but interesting.

      Delete
  6. I too heard the address and concluded just like your friend but also that he used a prompter. It is early days still and it will be interesting to see him walk as you so nicely put it.

    I live in India and am very happy where I do in Pune, in this large country with so many options.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm always interested in how those living in other nations perceive us, so thanks for commenting. Glad you appreciate and enjoy living where you are. Expect India is like us, in that some areas are more desirable than others for daily life.

      Delete
  7. I never agreed with Trump on many issues and that's not likely to change as he's moving ahead on what he said he'd do. I think a lot of liberals though have seen him as defined by a media that doesn't like what he'll do. He's not a standard politician and that makes many uncomfortable. When someone is not an ideologue, they can be unpredictable and Trump is that.

    I recommend watching (it's on Netflix) Noam Chomsky's 'Requiem for the American Dream' as a way to understand why some voted for Trump (and again, we didn't as we agreed with Chomsky on that-- you vote for the lesser of evils). The documentary helps explain why the same ones voted for Bernie. I went on after watching the film to find a lot of his talks on YouTube, also well worth watching and I have them linked and writing about it in my Thoughts blog on Saturday. I like how he can think outside a box.

    On livable states, I was not surprised Oregon didn't rank high although I think it's a great place to live (terrible dropout rates though), and we have a great health system where I live with the clinic an HMO, to which we have belonged since we moved to the farm. Possibly because it's so far to medical care with the state a lot rural could explain the ranking. Oregon though is expensive in the cities and getting worse for housing costs. Many rank us down for not having a sales tax (which is a benefit for seniors). Two other states I love dearly, Arizona and Montana, ranked even lower. I have spent time in Massachusetts and can't even imagine living there but then I am a country gal and it'll be hard for me to have to move into any town when the day comes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Am familiar with Chomsky as his theory that language acquisition is innate was very pertinent to those of us studying communication disorders in the '70s, but in recent years further science studies are concluding otherwise. I'm haven't read his writings recently on other matters but I'm sure he would offer some interesting ideas. Who voted for who and why in his assessment at the site you mention would likely offer a lot of food for thought, so appreciate your impression of his views.

      These ranking lists, as Dick noted above, are really broad-based as each state has such variations within. Then, people like us have our preferences about what we value -- probably good we don't all want to live the same way and in the same place. Just like so many other differences, the old saying applies: to each his own.

      Delete
  8. I felt the same way about tRUMPS speech to Congress. He has lied about so much and in such poor taste that I have a hard time even hearing his voice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I find it very difficult to understand how this President can think someone who has blatantly lied as much as he has should suddenly become completely trusted. Would he do that? I don't think so, and most people wouldn't, so why would we make an exception for him? Because he's a TV celebrity? Because he's supposedly a billionaire? Because he appears to have nice kids? I don't think so!

      Delete
  9. Well it appears my Arkansas comes in at a solid, unshakable #48 which is no big surprise. It usually drags in on the rear of most polls. But it was where I was born and raised. I loved it as a kid and chose to move back here when I retired so any comments to the contrary I suppose would make me a hypocrite of some measure...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As you may recall from my comments on your previous blog, I lived a few of my much earlier years there also, have friends at one of the Univ. who I visited a couple years ago. I can't address the current status of all the items this ranking's factors consider. Probably there are other factors that are attractive to those choosing to live there that might alter a rating including them. I recall some years ago reading highly touted national news articles that had Arkansas high on the list of affordable cost-of-living retirement destinations with other appealing attributes -- forests, lakes and streams -- specifically mentioning the northern part of states -- that there was an influx of newcomers there. Maybe Blogger Arkansas Patti could shed some light with her view from the north central part of the state presently.

      Delete
  10. My in-laws live in the Boston area. Their property tax is sky high, much higher than in Hawaii. Also, the climate is very severe during the winter. I prefer to live in Hawaii.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pretty hard to beat Hawaii's climate.

      Delete
  11. thanks for all your notes. live...ca at the beach or near enough. taxes...done. himself...don't believe in him despite his scripts. the real him comes out at night.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So good to see you pecking at the keys again! I think you have it right: "...the real him comes out at night."

      Delete