Top Of My Head

Thoughts on everything from Politics to Video Games

Date: April 11, 2011

Update on Betty

Preston just called – it’s stage four cancer. Please, now’s the time to pray! Say a prayer for Betty. Surgery is still tomorrow.

Prayer Request

My friend, Betty, lives in AZ. I only get to see her once a year when she comes to Wisconsin to visit her son, Preston. Betty has the thickest southern accent you have ever heard in your life. She knows all the tricks from stopping a baby for crying to getting a stain out of your shirt. And, Betty loves my BBQ. Betty always answers the phone by saying, “Hey, Baby!” in her drawl. She’s a wonderful lady and I just adore her.

Unfortunately, Betty is in a hospital and she’s going to have surgery tomorrow morning. They’ve found lesions on her brain, lungs and liver. Her surgery will be after 10:15 PST tomorrow morning.

I was thinking about Betty on my drive home from work and I’ve been praying for her. I’ve added her to my prayer chain and an idea came to me:

Let’s all join together and pray for Betty. So, I’m asking you, my gentle readers, to take time out of your schedule and say a prayer for Betty – and, please, don’t stop there, pass it on. Jesus said that whatever two or more of you ask for, my father will grant and I like to take him at his word. Let’s all pray for Betty’s recovery. Let’s make Betty better using the gift of the spirit that lives within all of us.

Spread the word and, please – even if you don’t want to pass this on, say a prayer for Betty.

Blessings,

Julie

Reducing Debt

The GOP plan – written by my Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan – will NOT reduce our deficit until 2040. That’s 29 years from now. I understand that it took more than 29 years for us to get into this debt ridden mess, but I think we can do better than taking 29 years to get out of it. If the Republicans are truly concerned about the National Debt and the deficit, let’s see them remove the tax cuts for the rich.

The businesses bailed out by TARP are run by… Anyone? No? Okay, the wealthy, the rich. The people who led our companies into this mess. And, what will we do as a nation? Cut their taxes by 10%. And, while we do so, we will raise taxes on the middle class – all in the name of “fairness” and deficit reduction.

Well, it’s crap.

I oppose any budget plan that includes a tax cut – especially those for corporations and the wealthy. Tax cuts are just the government reducing the amount of money it takes in. If we want programs to be funded, such as education or medicare, then we have to pay taxes to keep them funded. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t cut spending, we need to cut spending. I’m saying that we shouldn’t reduce taxes for the well-off at the price of the less well off.

I’m not liking the idea that – if you’re single and making $50,000 per year – you should pay 25% of your salary in federal income taxes, just like a single person who is making $100,000. Do you really think someone making $50,000 per year should be paying the same percentage as someone making double that?

I’m, also, not liking the idea of removing deductions. Hey, I realize that my mortgage deduction really equates the government subsidizing my home, but the government, also, subsidizes your kids, so we’re even. That mortgage deduction is the difference between me eating out a few times a month and eating at home. When I eat out, I keep my local restaurants in business. (Yes, when I eat at home, I keep grocery stores in business, but I’ll always have to buy food at a grocery store.)

According to the plan, the standard deduction will be $12,500 for singles and $25,000 for those people whose relationships are determined to be okay for tax deductions by the government: in other words, straight, married couples. That should keep a lot of people out of the 25% tax range – not for me and not for a lot of my friends. I had more than that amount in deductions, plus there will be no more pre-tax health care deductions, which will hurt the middle class even more.

This plan is NOT good for middle class America. If Paul Ryan and the GOP are truly serious about debt reduction, this isn’t the way to do it.

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