Wednesday, May 24, 2017

$275.4 million Baseline. Bets on the Final Price Tag?

Speaking to reporters on a conference call, officials said the state’s designers have taken into account criticisms leveled by an outside team of forensics investigators and others. They said the February emergency resulted from design and construction flaws dating from the dam’s construction in the 1960s...

Kiewit Corp. of Omaha, Neb., which was awarded a $275.4 million contract to fix the dam’s two spillways, has more than 200 employees on the site, a workforce that will balloon to 500 by August. The company and its subcontractors will work 20 hours a day, six days a week, in an effort to get as much work done as possible this year, Kuttel said.

Blame the people long gone.  That's the ticket.  



Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article152381522.html#storylink=cpyB

Realtors Blame Trump (Take a Number)

Realtors say middle class will face higher taxes, lower house prices under Trump plan 

From MarketWatch:

Right now, the report noted, 35.4 million households claim itemized deductions for mortgage interest – one of only two deductions to survive the tax overhaul – and about three-quarters of those who use the mortgage interest deduction have incomes between $50,000 and $200,000.
The mortgage interest deduction is one of two components of the tax code that support homeownership. The other is the ability to deduct state and local property taxes from income taxes. An estimated 40.7 million taxpayers take the property tax deduction right now, and 70% of them have adjusted gross incomes between $50,000 and $200,000, according to the report.
Homeowners with mortgage balances between $100,000 and $500,000 would see their income taxes rise, while households with mortgages greater than $500,000 would, on average, see a net tax decrease.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

No Really. Stay Away!

Any questions?  Need directions to get away? 

But soberly.  864 events in the last week?  It has been quiet for a long time.  And for the record I drew those arcs.  they don't really exist. I hope. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Four hundred Billion Dollars

SacBee - It would cost $400 billion per year to remake California’s health insurance marketplace and create a publicly funded universal heath care system, according to a state financial analysis released Monday.
California would have to find an additional $200 billion per year, likely in new tax revenues, to create a so-called “single-payer” system, the analysis by the Senate Appropriations committee found. The estimate assumes the state would retain the existing $200 billion in local, state and federal funding it currently receives to offset the total $400 billion price tag.
The cost analysis is seen as the biggest hurdle to create a universal system, proposed by Sens. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, and Toni Atkins, D-San Diego.
Steep projected costs have derailed efforts over the past two decades to establish a publicly funded, universal health care system in California. The cost is higher than what is proposed for the state’s General Fund budget is about $180 billion.
Employers currently spend between $100 billion to $150 billion per year, which could be available to help offset total costs, according to the analysis. Under that scenario, total new state spending to implement would be between $50 billion and $100 billion per year.
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Do the math.   36 million.  Per person $11,000 each.  $45,000 family of four.  But wait.  You know damn well half will pay nothing so $90,000 per paying family.  Will we finally rise up with pitchforks? 

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article151960182.html#storylink=cpy
 
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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Greek Tragedy. Death Deal Near.

Remember that can we kicked down the road a few years ago?  It's back.

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Euro zone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund will seek a deal on Monday on Greek debt relief that balances the IMF's demand for a clear "when and how" with Germany's preference for "only if necessary" and "details later".
Without the deal, no new loans can be disbursed to Athens, even though the bailout is now handled only by euro zone governments, and Greece needs new credit to repay some 7.3 billion euros worth of maturing loans in July.
Without the loans, Athens is likely to default - a bad start for a country that wants to return to market financing next year when its latest bailout, the third since 2010, ends in mid-2018.
- Reuters

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I'm sure there is always a bigger can.  



Hula.  Is there a problem?