Wednesday, October 06, 2010

I Have Five Minutes For My Righteous Indignation

1) All those rat weasel Republicans (also, Rat Weasel Lieberman) who keep harping on about how Obama's saddling the country with debt. Where were they when Bush was selling our children's futures for his dirty little fought-with-mercenaries armed conflict on two fronts? How about for an encore we invade Russia in the winter?

2) WARS are declared by Congress. See also: Constitution.

3) Heard a piece on NPR today about median-income families in America. Story about a family (mom, two kids) who make about the median. They are "struggling to get by" and can "barely make it". We make a great deal less and (though we are insanely frugal) have a comfortable surplus. Where the hell are they spending all their money? Cellphone bills? Car insurance? I am honestly curious. Surely there is more to the story.

To clarify: This family makes 110% of what we do, and lives in the semi-rural Northeast. The cost of living there is about 20% higher than here. Approximately 36% of our income goes to savings each month. So... their money is going somewhere other than cost-of-living.

I calculated it and if I scale up our expenses 20%, these people could theoretically have somewhere between $400 and $900 per month left over (depending how frugal they are), assuming a 25% tax rate. This is why I wonder.


  1. Anonymous2:37 PM

    Re:3, perhaps their rents/mortgages are much higher? Parts of the country, such as CA, have exorbitant housing costs. In the Bay area where I am, it costs about 1500$/month even to rent a simple 2-3BR house in an okay but not nice area. Assuming the state and federal taxes are about 25%, and the median income is 50K a year, that leaves about 1500$/month for all expenses. I don't know how median-income families afford it frankly.

  2. Re:2, my number one pet peeve from reading 10th grade U.S. history essays: "President So-and-So made a law . . ." Article 1, Section 8, might be useful here as well.

  3. Anonymous9:22 AM

    Perhaps where they live, public schools are crappy. The mom may have made private school tuition a priority. Quite pricey for 2 kids.

  4. Anonymous7:34 PM

    mom + two kids, how old are the kids? daycare/after school care could easily eat up that extra a month.

  5. The kids are in high school. Don't know about private school but $200/month each for a private school is a bit optimistic. I think they went to public schools.


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