Tax rate in America

There are hidden taxes in everything a person buys. In the end, only the consumer pays these taxes, and at that, only private consumers. Government workers, people on welfare or other public assistance are paying these taxes with tax money collected from private workers. Businesses do not actually pay taxes, but pass on any taxes they pay to the consumer. In the end, only the private worker pays taxes because thats where the buck stops.

What is the actual tax rate in the US?

In 2013, the sum of all taxes collected at all levels of government was $5.4 trillion (from http://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com/total). which was 33% of the Gross Domestic Product. Total GDP was $16.8 trillion

What is GDP?

Gross domestic product (GDP) is defined by OECD as “an aggregate measure of production equal to the sum of the gross values added of all resident institutional units engaged in production (plus any taxes, and minus any subsidies, on products not included in the value of their outputs).*

IE: A business buys $100 worth of raw materials to make a $300 product, which leads to $200 addition to the GDP. The $100 cost of materials includes all the hidden taxes the suppliers pay when making the raw materials. It is not possible for any business or individual to separate out all of the taxes, and neither can the government.

So to find the actual tax rate, we need to subtract the total taxes from the GDP, and then divide the total taxes by that amount.
Doing so, we find 5.4/(16.8 – 5.4) = 0.47 or 47% !

So when I buy a loaf of bread for $3, $2.04 is for the bread, and $0.96 is tax! Buy a house for $200,000, and you are paying $64,000 in taxes.

In the year 2000, the tax rate was 41%

The trend is clear, the tax rate is climbing and this is why we are becoming a third world country with no jobs and decreasing wealth.

* From Wikipedia

Edited to reflect updated data.

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BudgetWater.com — My experiences — Part 1

I live in the country and have a deep well for my water source.  The water is very acid, with a pH of about 5, and loaded with iron.  So I have to treat my water to bring the pH up to an acceptable level to prevent my copper piping from eroding.

But, I still had the problem of large amounts of iron in the water, which stained everything, and clogged up the water sediment filter (5 micron, 20 inch whole house sediment filter) every few days.  The filter cartridges cost about $8 each, so I was spending $2 a day for filtering my well water.

Shopping around for a solution, I came across BudgetWater.com and saw they had a selection of iron filters.  After talking to one of their technicians, it was decided that the only solution which would work for me was a greensand iron filter because all the other technologies required a pH of the water above 7.  So I ordered a large greensand system, with a 12″ diameter tank, and a Logix 268 valve/controller system.

The system came with 2 cubic feet of greensand which was put into the tank, and the system plumbed into my house.  The chemical tank was filled with potassium permanganate which is used to regenerate the filter.  Basically, the system is like a water softener, except there is greensand in the filter, and the chemical tank holds potassium permanganate (Pot Perm) instead of salt.

The system worked for almost a year, until one morning when we were taking our baths, the water came out of the faucet pink in color.  Potassium permanganate colors the water pink.  So I went into the basement, and found that when the unit recycled in the night, it had pumped the sand from inside the tank into the drain, which plugged it up, and kept the filter from backwashing.

This was a new one on me, so I called up the BudgetWater techs, who had never heard of this problem before.  They were totally unhelpful, so I had to figure out how to fix this problem.   Two of their suggestions were: a broken pipe inside the tank, or using water from a faucet in the middle of the night.  A broken pipe was unlikely, but I had to check that.  Using water would not cause sand to go down the drain; if anything, it would have pulled sand into the house plumbing which would have filled up and clogged the sediment filter.  Because of the valves inside the controller, the only thing using water while the system regenerated would cause is unfiltered water to go into the house plumbing.

The bottom line is that the technical support at BudgetWater.com was not much help.

First, I bypassed the system, so was back to $2 a day for sediment filter cartridges.

Next, I was faced with the problem of removing the remaining wet sand and water from the filter tank.  BudgetWater suggested using my shop vac.  This did not work well at all, and made quite a mess.  Finally though I did get enough of the sand out of the tank to see that there was no broken pipes inside.

After that, I had to figure out how to get about a cubic foot of sand out of the drain pipe that was buried in the basement concrete floor.  This took me 3 days to get the drain open again.  I was not happy at all.

I certainly didn’t want to pay over $700 a year for sediment filters, so I really needed to get the greensand filter working again.  Taking stock of what I had or didn’t have, showed me that I would have to buy new greensand, and since I couldn’t be absolutely certain that the tank was ok, I should replace the tank.

Greensand is expensive.  BudgetWater’s price was $96 per 1/2 cubic foot, so it would be almost $400 to buy from them.  A local supplier had it for 1/2 the price, so I bought it from a local source.  The tank was not available locally, so I bought a new one from BudgeWater.  They gave me a small discount, and it cost me almost $200 for a new tank.

Continued in part 2.

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BudgetWater.com — Part 2

So I loaded the new tank with 2 cubic feet of greensand (about 200 pounds), reinstalled the valve/controller and hooked up the greensand filter to my house plumbing.  All should be well.  I cycled the filter to clean the sand and make sure it worked before turning off the bypass valves.

Everything appeared to work correctly, so I thought I was done with this project.

A week later, when the unit regenerated again, I woke up to pink water!  What now?  This time there was no sand in the drain pipes, but it did not backflush correctly, or it used more permanganate than it was supposed to.  I temporarily solved the problem just by running water from the taps until it was no longer pink.

Next, I put the filter through another regeneration cycle, but this time, I watched it closely as it went through its stages.  I have a 2000 lumen flashlight which is bright enough to see through the tank.  During the first stage of regeneration, the water flows in reverse through the filter, down through the center pipe, through the screen on the bottom, and up through the sand to the drain pipe.  As I watched, the sand lifted all the way to the top of the tank!  A little more water pressure, and it would have washed out into the drain!  This was not right.

As I watched the next stages, I could see the permanganate being sucked out of the chemical tank, and into the top of the filter tank.  It took about 2 minutes for all the permanganate to be sucked into the filter, and then water continued to trickle through the filter for another 90 minutes.  But the flow rate was so slow, that there was still permangate left in the filter.  This also was not right.

It was time to investigate the control head and valves.  Luckily I had the manual with the parts list and drawings.

Again I put the filter on bypass, and removed the plugs which covered up the internal parts of the control head.  Comparing what I had with the parts list and drawings revealed that there was no flow controller for the backflush cycle installed in my control head.  This allowed too much water flow through the tank, and was the cause of the first failure where the sand got dumped into the drain!  So BudgetWater never installed the flow control.  These are calibrated to the tank size, so have to be chosen and installed when the control head and tank are put together.  Thanks BudgeWater for costing me another $400 for a new tank and sand.

While I was inspecting the control head, I also removed the jet which creates suction to pull permanganate from the chemical tank and meters rinse water.  It was very dirty, and the jet was almost plugged.  They are supposed to be color coded, but this was black.  I soaked it in Iron Out and discovered it was blue in color.  Blue is the jet size for a 10″ tank water softener.  The correct one for my system is much bigger.  So this was the cause of my pink water.  With the jet already too small, and then being plugged with some dirt, the tank never rinsed fully.  I ordered a new jet and a backflush flow controller from another company and installed them in my control head.

After everything was re-assembled, I put it back in service, and ran another regeneration cycle.  This time, I could see that the sand only rose in the tank a few inches leaving almost a foot between the top of the tank and the top of the sand.  Problem 1 is now solved.  During permanangate cycle,  all the permanganate flushed out fully with about 20 minutes to spare.  Problem 2 solved.

I think though that I will have to clean the jet every few months in an Iron Out bath.  The permanganate tends to plate the jet with manganese over time, and thats what plugged it up.

The bottom line is that BudgetWater’s incompetence caused me a lot more money and work than I was expecting because they did not set up my unit correctly before they shipped it.  I did not get any bargain.  In short, I cannot recommend them.  Find a local plumber who is experienced with greensand filters (many are not).

 

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Xhose Review — Really bad product

I saw the TV ad for the X-Hose expandable garden hose and since I needed a new hose, I bought the buy one, get one free deal.

The hose was made of a very tough external material, probably nylon, with a rubber tube on the inside.  It worked great…. for about a week, then it sprang a leak about 1 foot from the nozzle end.

I took the end off of the hose and found that the inner rubber tube had actually split where it joins the brass nozzle valve.  This looked like something I could fix, so I just cut off a couple of inches of the inner tube, and re-assembled it.  Yep, fixed.

But a week later, the other end sprang a leak.  So I took it apart and cut two feet off of the inside tube and re-assembled it again.

This time, it lasted a couple of days until once again it sprang a leak at the faucet end.  This time, I cut about a foot from the inside tube, but I also cut 10 feet from the outside tube.  This should have made the inside tube stretch less when the hose was pressurized.  So far it has not failed again, but really, this is a bad product, not worth the money, or trouble to keep fixing it.

I don’t recommend this product.

 

 

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19 Kids and Counting

In my lifetime, the population of planet Earth has tripled. There is no way that the planet can withstand that kind of growth.

19 Kids is a TV show which should not be on the air because it glorifies having large families. Promoting large families is actually an immoral act, in that large families endangers the whole of humanity.

The present population of Earth is over 7 billion people and at the present rate of growth will reach 14 billion in a mere 40 years. Can anyone seriously believe that the Earth can support 14 billion people?

Morality is based on survival: survival of self, survival of family, survival of tribe, and survival of species. Any act which threatens survival at any level is immoral. All moral codes can be reduced to just survival.

Every species which outgrows its resources experiences a severe die off. Man is no exception, as witnessed by what happened at Easter Island.

We are at the point where we have exhausted most of our resources, such as food and fuels. There have been no major oil fields developed in the past 30 years, and nuclear power development is stagnant. Without fuel, modern farming stops, and with it, food production plummets.

Every time the population doubles, it uses more resources than all of history before it. Don’t believe it? Here is an illustration.

Start with 1 unit of population, which uses 1 unit of resources.

Now double it and you have 2 units of population which use 2 units of resources.

Double the population again, and you have 4 units of population, using 4 units of resources, but the entire preceding 3 units of population used only 3 units of resources.

The next doubling gives 8 units of population using 8 units of resources, and again, the total of all preceding populations used only 7 units of resources.

So you see, in the next 40 years, we will need more resources than all of humanity has previously used. That cannot happen. What can happen is massive depopulation due either to starvation, disease, or more likely war over the remaining resources. Either way, humanity loses.

Even zero population growth cannot be sustained, so having more than 2 children per family is certainly an immoral act because it endangers us all.

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National Debt — $17,500,000,000,000

I took a look at the debt clock this morning! According to the debt clock, this means that on average, each American owes $55000 in debt. This is for each person, so a family of four owes $220,000 towards the debt.

But wait! Only private workers actually pay taxes. That’s right, only private workers. You see, workers on the public payroll only forward taxes to the government, but every penny they pay in taxes first came from a private worker. Take away the private worker, and there is no money to pay the government employees.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are only 134 million private workers in the US. So all of the debt lands on this 134 million, making their debt $130,000 for each private worker.

Then of course, there are all the people on welfare. At the end of 2011, there were more people (108 million) on welfare than people working. Being the grocery shopper in the family, it looks to me like the people on welfare are living better than the working people. The war on poverty has been a war on the worker.

So why bother working? Quit today, and you will shed $75,000 in debt instantly! I am not really serious about quitting your job, but its easy to see why the US is in such a downward spiral. We have become a nation of takers instead of makers. We deserve to go down the economic toilet.

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Windows 8.1 — Two thumbs down

I just tried winbloze 8.1, and I have to say, its bad. Why would I want to turn my expensive desktop into a cell phone computer?

I ran it on my mac mini under Parallels to try it out. Its way less friendly than 7, and has no redeeming features that I have seen.

For me, the only reason I need windows at all is that I have one CAD program that only runs on windows.

Out it goes, and Win 7 goes back in.

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Spammer of the Week

I have my own email server, so I can make up as many email addresses as I want. So I make up a new unique email address for every company I do business with. That way, if I get spam email I know where it came from.

I have been doing this for years, and have about 12 companies that either sold my email address, or had a security breach that allowed my addresses to be stolen.

This weeks spammer of the week award goes to KFC. In the last 5 days, I have received 106 spam emails to the address I used to complete a KFC survey. All of the ip addresses from the spam came from Romania.

Shame on you KFC!

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Alien Spacecraft on Moon

What! Well something alien is sure on the moon. With Google Earth, you can look at the surface of the moon with maps and photographs made by NASA.

Select ‘Moon’ from the menu icon that looks like Saturn, and then enter the coordinates 22°42’38.46″N 142°34’44.52″E. (Click on the yellow pin and enter the coordinates for N latitude and E longitude.)

This is what you will see until it is scrubbed from the Google Earth and Nasa servers.

MoonCraft

This is bigger than a city and certainly bigger than any space craft ever built on earth.

What is it, and why is it here?

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About Argyria

Argyria is the gray/blue discoloration of the skin caused by the ingestion of certain types of silver preparations. According to studies done with electron microscopes, the blue/gray color is the result of silver compounds within the cells. The silver compounds inside the cell have been determined to be silver sulfide (sulfur) and silver selenide (selenium).

The major types of silver are metallic or ionic.

Ionic silver means the silver exists as a soluble compound with other substances, like oxides, chlorides, nitrates, citrates, acetates, etc. In its ionic state, the silver has a positive electric charge because it has donated an electron to the other part of the compound. Not all silver compounds are soluble, and therefore are not ionic. Insoluble compounds are not ionic. Silver sulfide for example is a silver compound that is not water soluble and therefore not ionic in water.

Metallic silver is a cluster of individual silver atoms about 15 billionths of a meter in diameter, and carries no net electric charge because it has not given any electrons away. However, it has an effective negative charge because its electrons are on the surface of the atoms. Opposite electric charges attract to each other, while like electric charges repel.

This difference in electric charge is very important in understanding how argyria occurs. Human cells require certain ions for life, like sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium etc. Human cells carry a negative electric charge on their surface which attracts positively charged ions like sodium and potassium to their surface where they are ingested through special pores on the cell wall. Metallic silver particles are repelled by cell walls, so it is not possible for metallic silver to enter a cell and be trapped inside. Also, metallic silver particles are at least 50 times larger than an ion, and as such are far too large to enter through the cells’s pores.

Many purveyors of colloidal silver say that ionic silver cannot cause argyria because ions are the smallest size and cannot get ‘stuck’ within cells. The fallacy of this argument is that it assumes that the silver ion remains an ion, but this is untrue. Once inside the cell, the silver ions combine with sulfur inside the cell and become insoluble silver sulfide, or combine with selenium and become insoluble silver selenide. These silver compounds are very stable and there is no way for them to leave the cell.

So, ionic silver is attracted to cell walls, and will enter them the same way that the essential metal ions like sodium and potassium do. Once inside, they chemically react with any sulfur or selenium in the cell and become insoluble. At that point they are stuck with no way out. As more silver becomes trapped, it begins to color the cell the characteristic blue/gray hue that Paul Karason is famous for.

Granted, it takes a long time and a lot of silver to make your skin turn blue. This is because most of the ionic silver is absorbed by the cells of a person’s internal organs long before it gets to the skin. However, it is cumulative, and builds up slowly. The first place it becomes visible is the whites of the eyes and the fingernails. Also, most of the silver which escapes being quickly absorbed by the cells of the digestive tract and liver will soon be converted to metallic silver by the glucose and other antioxidant chemicals in the blood. However, some remains as free ions circulating with the blood, and ends up in skin cells. It is the ionic silver which has been converted in the body to metallic which becomes effective against pathogens. This has been proved by electron microscope studies of metallic silver attacking bacteria.

Bacteria carry a positive electric charge, which is how they are able to enter and infect cells. This positive charge makes them attracted to metallic silver particles. When they come into contact, the difference in electric field between the two burns a hole in the cell wall of the bacteria, effectively killing it. Therefore, it would be wise to avoid ionic silver and use only metallic silver.

To tell whether your silver is metallic or ionic is very simple. Ionic silver is clear like plain water, and has a metallic taste. Metallic silver is yellow colored and is tasteless.

For more information, go to http://forum.cgcsforum.com

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