Thursday, August 27, 2009

Let's be clear. Bottled water is probably better than tap water

I visited a story on ( where author Claire Thompson previews a documentary film called Tapped. Tapped appears to be a documentary about water in it's various forms and appears to be set within a context of evil, polluting, big business and a complicit government. There is a trailer to the film at the link above.

Bottled water is a multi-billion dollar a year business. I think that fact alone begs the question, what is it that people don't like or trust about their tap water and motivates them to pay upwards of $9 per gallon of bottled water?

The text below is my letter to Claire Thompson responding to her review of the trailer.


I see you are in school studying to be a journalist. So, with no mal intent I would like to point out an important omission from your article that could lead people to misunderstand the situation.

Occasionally I will see an article or news story claiming, or at least inferring, that city water is as "clean" as bottled water. And, while this may be true at a microbiological level the word "clean" can be measured in many other ways.

As you point out in your article, a lot of bottled water is actually municipal tap water. What you did not point out is that this municipal tap water that has been bottled was processed through a filtration system known as reverse osmosis filtration (RO for short). This RO filtration removes not only bacteria and other biological contaminants but also non-biological contaminants like lead, arsenic, and undigested pharmaceuticals just to name a few. Equally as important, however, the RO process removes chlorine and fluoride, two chemicals added by the city municipal water processing plants. Chlorine is a chemical used to kill biological contaminants (similar to the way chlorine is used to keep swimming pools clear of biological contaminants) and fluoride is put into the water supply because it allegedly helps prevent tooth decay (although this is very debatable). The RO process removes both of these chemicals each of which have been linked to diseases like cancer.

So, to infer that city water is as "clean" as bottled water is not at all accurate and leaves the reader with the idea that there is no benefit in paying for bottled (RO) water when in fact there is a benefit to this higher priced product. Whether it is a good value at as much as $3 per 16 ounces is another discussion entirely.

Now that I have built up bottled water let me tear it down. The plastic used in most bottled water is type 1 plastic (the number "1" is printed in the recycling symbol at the bottom of the bottle.) It has been proven that this plastic, particularly when it is exposed to higher than room temperatures (like in a hot car) leaches BPAs into the water which have a variety of negative side effects (similar to chlorine actually) on the body. The human consumption of BPAs has been connected to cancer, lowered estrogen levels and other negative human side effects.

In addition, although the RO filtration process eliminates all bad biological and non-biological elements, it also removes all good mineral elements that naturally occur in water. This can also pose a health problem if too much RO water is consumed because the RO water (also known as "hungry water" or "dead water") will seek out the minerals that have been removed in order to return to its natural state. This means it will take these minerals from your body as it regains the natural elements that were filtered from it using RO.

Finally, the use of disposable plastic bottles is a environmental issue and a problem and one that can be addressed if consumers would get a simple carbon or (preferably) ceramic filter and just filled BPA free plastic bottles (with the number "5" in the recycle symbol at the bottom of the bottle) or food grade stainless steel bottles, which is what I do.

However, if sitting thirsty in a restaurant without my Kleen Canteen and I have the choice between a bottle of RO water and city water I would have to choose the bottled RO water because I don't know if the plastic has leached BPAs into the water yet. However, I do know that the city water has government added chlorine and fluoride and that those are toxic to the body.

Good luck on your journalistic quest and remember that a circle can have as many angles as you care to investigate. ;-)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Here is a way to make sure they read the bills

An important message from The President of the United States...

"As President of the United States I hereby proclaim that I will sign no bill or legislation that exceeds 25 pages in length. Each page must be formatted with 12 point Times Roman font, 1 inch margins on all sides and be double spaced. If the bill reaches my desk and is not in this format I will not read or sign the bill.

The contents of the bill should be concise, well written and meaningful.

Oh, and make sure that you have read the bill. It's only 25 pages for God's sake."

These bills that are hundreds, and even thousands of pages long, are bunk. They are written by attorneys and lobbyists not the people we elected to represent us in Congress. Admitting, as some Congresspeople have done, that they haven't read a bill that they haven't written should be a crime.

If we required that all bills be less than 26 pages it would not only ensure that Congresspeople have no excuse not to read the bill, but it would physically prevent lobbyist and special interests to load bills up with pork and wasteful spending.

So, my challenge to The President is to make this proclamation. Today. Please. Thanks.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Practical Climate Change Solutions (From a common sense, non-scientific mind)

Before I start, so that you don't have to guess at what my opinion of "global warming" or "climate change" is, I will just tell you. I believe that when you walk across the sand you leave foot prints and that, by and large, it doesn't really matter that much. Which is to say that although I do believe that we tend to be shamelessly wasteful at times, and that we need to address that problem, I do not subscribe to the end of dayz religion of global warming prevention.

So, let's begin.

You might believe (with zealous fervor) that as an inhabitant of the planet we are destroying the very environment that allows life to flourish. Or, you might believe with equal zeal that your impact on the planet is so insignificant that it is not worth concerning yourself over.

Regardless of what side of the argument you are on, or even if you are somewhere in the middle, there are some things that no one can argue about that can make the planet we live on a much better place for us and the generations that succeed us.

First, one has to think of things in their entirety. If you are bleeding from your ears and you use a tissue to wipe away the blood have you really solved your problem? No. Similarly, if you switch to an electric car to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions but charge that car's batteries at your home each night using electricity that was generated from a regional coal burning electricity plant, have you solved your emissions problem? Again, no.

Do hybrid vehicles yield better gas mileage? Yes. Overall are they better for the environment? To get a real answer to that question we would have to look at the hybrid solution as a whole, break down the hybrid (battery) components, look at their manufacturing process and lifespan and determine what environmental impacts all of this hybrid technology actually has.

What are the materials that make up a hybrid's batteries? How are these materials obtained, refined and then manufactured? What is the environmental impact of all of these steps? And, how long will these hybrid batteries last before they must be replaced thereby multiplying the initial environmental impact by the number of times the batteries are actually replaced? Once we know the answers to these (and other) questions we can then answer the question and know how much better, if at all, hybrid cars are for the environment than a similar gas burning vehicle.

Do compact florescent bulbs reduce the amount of electricity being used as compared to their lumen equivalent candecent bulbs? Yes, they do. Overall are they better for the environment? The challenge of of CFLs is that they contain a very toxic substance called mercury. Mercury, even in small amounts can lead to birth defects, neurological disorders and even death.

Normally, when a standard candecent light bulb, which contains no toxic substances, burns out you just throw the bulb away in the trash. Burned out CFLs must be taken to a recycling facility that handles CFLs so that the bulb's mercury can be properly handled and recycled. Most people don't take the time and effort to recycle their CFLs and, instead, dispose of them in the trash as they would traditional candecent bulbs. Because mercury's half life is so long it is cumulative in our waste dumps and environments causing long term damage to wild life, human life and the environment in general.

The amount of mercury in CFLs in very small (4-5 mg). Yet, here are the recommended EPA guidelines if you break a CFL bulb:

Before Cleanup: Air Out the Room

* Have people and pets leave the room, and don't let anyone walk through the breakage area on their way out.
* Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more.
* Shut off the central forced-air heating/air conditioning system, if you have one.

Cleanup Steps for Hard Surfaces

* Carefully scoop up glass pieces and powder using stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a glass jar with metal lid (such as a canning jar) or in a sealed plastic bag.
* Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder.
* Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes. Place towels in the glass jar or plastic bag.
* Do not use a vacuum or broom to clean up the broken bulb on hard surfaces.

Cleanup Steps for Carpeting or Rug

* Carefully pick up glass fragments and place them in a glass jar with metal lid (such as a canning jar) or in a sealed plastic bag.
* Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder.
* If vacuuming is needed after all visible materials are removed, vacuum the area where the bulb was broken.
* Remove the vacuum bag (or empty and wipe the canister), and put the bag or vacuum debris in a sealed plastic bag.

Cleanup Steps for Clothing, Bedding and Other Soft Materials

* If clothing or bedding materials come in direct contact with broken glass or mercury-containing powder from inside the bulb that may stick to the fabric, the clothing or bedding should be thrown away. Do not wash such clothing or bedding because mercury fragments in the clothing may contaminate the machine and/or pollute sewage.
* You can, however, wash clothing or other materials that have been exposed to the mercury vapor from a broken CFL, such as the clothing you are wearing when you cleaned up the broken CFL, as long as that clothing has not come into direct con tact with the materials from the broken bulb.
* If shoes come into direct contact with broken glass or mercury-containing powder from the bulb, wipe them off with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes. Place the towels or wipes in a glass jar or plastic bag for disposal.

Disposal of Cleanup Materials

* Immediately place all clean-up materials outdoors in a trash container or protected area for the next normal trash pickup.
* Wash your hands after disposing of the jars or plastic bags containing clean-up materials.
* Check with your local or state government about disposal requirements in your specific area. Some states do not allow such trash disposal. Instead, they require that broken and unbroken mercury-containing bulbs be taken to a local recycling center.

Future Cleaning of Carpeting or Rug: Air Out the Room During and After Vacuuming

* The next several times you vacuum, shut off the central forced-air heating/air conditioning system and open a window before vacuuming.
* Keep the central heating/air conditioning system shut off and the window open for at least 15 minutes after vacuuming is completed

If every person that bought a CFL disposed of it at a legitimate recycling facility designed to handle mercury then CFLs, with their superior energy efficiency, could definitely be considered a "green" product. Unfortunately we can't assume that people will take the extra effort to properly recycle their CFLs. As such it is questionable whether ten of millions of CFL bulbs will have an overall positive impact on the environment.

Buying products branded with a "green" or "hybrid" label does NOT necessarily mean that the environment is being positively impacted. If the goal is to purchase products that enable us to live in a manner that makes less of an impact on our environment then we have to go to the extra step of examining the products that wear the "green" label and determine if they are in fact better for the environment overall.

Keeping Newton's third law of motion in mind can help analyze whether or not a product is truly green. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. This law is a fact that is relevant to studying (anything) emissions reduction because whenever we come up with a solution that we think will reduce CO2 emissions we must also think about what the ramifications are, (the equal and opposite reactions are), to the new CO2 emissions reducing solution.

If we don't do this then we may fail in our objective of reducing emissions even while believing otherwise. And, although the mere belief that we are helping the environment feels good that feeling has no tangible value outside of our minds.

A contemporary example of this is the recent effort of people, government and corporations to push ethanol based fuels derived from corn. The concept, which on the surface was promising, was that we could produce fuel by growing corn and then use that corn to manufacture an ethanol fuel to augment the petroleum based fuel supply. Fuel from a familiar, national, renewable source as opposed to foreign oil seemed like a great idea. So, farmers, refineries and auto manufacturers all retooled (invested heavily in) their businesses to accommodate this new fuel source and brought ethanol based fuels and vehicles into the market place.

Unfortunately, no one in charge applied Newton's third law of motion to the idea which is another way of saying that no one in charge thought the idea through. Was there an equal and opposite reaction to growing lots of corn to produce fuel? Were there unintended consequences to shifting part of our fuel supply source from foreign based oil to nationally produced corn?

Only after all of the time and investment had been made did people realize that some of the equal and opposite reactions to producing ethanol canceled out the benefits of the alternative fuel. It turns out, the amount of energy it takes to prepare land, plant corn, water and fertilize the crop, harvest the crop, transport the crop to the refinery, process the crop into ethanol far outweighs the energy it would take to derive oil from the ground (or buy foreign oil) to create the petroleum based gasoline we currently use today. Not to mention that this ethanol initiative dramatically increased the demand for corn and thus the price of corn, which is used in the majority of processed foods that are consumed by Americans, was driven much higher leading to higher food costs having the most dramatic impact on the poorest in our country. Equal and opposite reactions must always be calculated.

It is important to remember is that, for the most part, we live in a closed ecological system (aside from the tons of water vapor from space ice and dust from meteorites that enters our atmosphere each year). This is important to understand because if every action has an equal and opposite reaction then that reaction is going to happen within our closed environment. For example, if with the snap of my fingers I was able to convert all current petroleum based combustion engines, belching their tons of carbon monoxide into the atmosphere, to hydrogen burning combustion engines, expelling mostly water vapor, you might think that would be a good thing, right? Burning hydrogen produces (by and large) water vapor which, unlike carbon dioxide, is environmentally neutral, right?

The problem is, we don't know how millions of tons of additional water vapor being released into the air will have on the atmosphere and, therefore, the environment. It could dramatically increase the amount of green house gasses in the environment and significantly raise the average global temperature contradicting the efforts to reduce our impact on the environment.

So, what do we do? Give up on trying to be more ecologically aware and responsible? No. Then do we go to the opposite extreme and let bureaucrats pass laws and rules that curtail our freedoms and liberties for a "greener" planet? No. That is unacceptable to people who value freedom (as everyone should).

But, as individuals we can do some common sense things, many of which most of us were probably taught by our parents:

1. Don't litter. And yes, cigarette butts are litter. Don't throw them or anything else out of your car window. Using unoccupied land as a dumping zone for old cars, tires, refrigerators, etc. is littering. Just take the extra time (and money if necessary) to dispose of trash where it is supposed to be disposed of.

2. If you turn something on then turn it off. If you turn on a TV, a light, oven, stereo, etc., then turn it off when you are done using it.

3. If it costs less or takes less time it doesn't mean that it is the right choice. Separating plastic and glass recyclables takes longer and sometimes costs money. Maintaining a compost takes time and effort. Cleaning and maintaining stainless steel, refillable bottles instead of using plastic, throw away water bottles takes time. But, reusing is efficient, composting is the right thing to do and reducing the plastic manufactured and dumped in our land fills (and even oceans) helps the environment in a variety of obvious ways.

4. Try to buy locally grown and produced foods. You may not live in an area that has a local farmers market. But, if you do frequent it. Common sense tells you that foods grown locally require a ton less energy to bring to market and provide nutrition than foods grown, harvested, processed possibly thousands of miles away and then shipped to your local store.

5. Transport yourself efficiently. Car pool when you can. If you live in a metropolitan area and have a stationary (cubical) job then consider using public transportation or a bike (only use a bike if a shower is available at your place of employment. Please. Thanks.) Consider alternative fuel vehicles that you can be certain do not create other environmental issues as they claim to be green (like clean diesel vehicles).

6. Keep doors and windows shut during extreme temperatures so that you are not unintentionally venting AC or heating. During temperate weather turn off the HVAC system and open windows. It takes more time but will save resources and money.

7. When a standard light bulb (or CFL) burns out, replace it with an LED based bulb. They are more expensive (for now) but will last longer, use only a few watts of energy and contain NO mercury. You can just throw them in the trash when they die and you don't have to evacuate the area code when you accidentally drop and break one.

These are just a few ideas that, if we all used, could have a significantly impact on the environment.

Remember, we are here for a short time. It's best to enjoy life. In the 60s, 70s and 80s we worried about the Russians and going to nuclear war. In the 70s we also worried about global cooling (). We tend to always find a thread on the sweater and begin to fear that the whole thing will come unraveled. Usually, we are wrong. So, instead of panicking about the environmental situation and making rash, poorly thought through decisions and laws, just make a resolution to live practically, efficiently, and show respect for the environment we live by avoiding waste. That can be our practical, measurable and tangible green legacy.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Does anyone really believe government run health care will be good?

Today, health care in America is a giant, bureaucratic mess that costs a fortune and delivers marginal quality treatment to patients.

Hey! I just thought of a great idea!!! Let's fix our broken health care system by taking the expensive, inefficient bureaucracy that it is and hand over the management of it to a...well...uh...even larger, bureaucratic, inefficient and expensive organization with literally no positive track record of performance delivery or economic efficiency. Dude. I'm totally brilliant!

Seriously. What could go wrong?

Actually, I lived in Canada for a year in 1990. At the time I was 23 and saw rationing first hand. It wasn't that they assessed my age or condition and denied me health care. It was that they made me wait so long for basic health care (the 2 times I tried to get it) that I just ended up suffering through my minor ailments without "free" Canadian health care. Well. It was "free" so I guess I got what I paid for.

Thankfully I was not old and really sick. Or, just old. Or, just young and really sick. Or anything in between. Otherwise, I might have been "rationed" to death.

If you look at "free", government managed health care provided in other countries around the world and the service delivery track record of the U.S. government and somehow still believe that socializing our health care system is a good idea then perhaps "free" psychiatric help is just what you need. You don't mind electro-shock therapy, do you?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Stopping Government Waste & Sprawl Is Easy

Although I am not a religious person I do believe that most of us are born sinners. Which is a Judea Christian way of saying that most of us need an incentive to do the right thing in most circumstances.

I sell to government agencies. I get the calls every year from most of the agencies I cover in my territory all telling me the same thing. “Hey. My year end is coming up next month and I have $200,000.00 I need to burn”. I’ve sold millions of dollars in unnecessary equipment to the government just to help the manager of a governmental department make sure they have spent their total annual budgeted amount.

In case you’re not familiar with this phenomena, here is how it works. Almost all government organizations get an annual budget that is based on an increase from last years budget (whether they need it or not). They will get this increase if, and only if, they spend ALL of the money they were given in the previous budget year. If they do not spend ALL of the money in their previous budget year they will not get an increase in their budget for the following year.

Essentially, government organizations are punished for acting responsible with taxpayer money. Because of how the system is set up they are actually given an incentive to act irresponsibly with money. Your money. With this being the case, should we be surprised that government keeps growing and wasting? No. We shouldn’t because the system that government workers use is set up for waste and failure.

The only real way to fix this problem is to incent the workers and managers in government to do the right thing. Until then it doesn’t matter who is in power, Democrat, Republican, Marxist, Libertarian. The government will continue to waste and spiral out of financial control until we change the incentives.

How can government workers be incentivized to spend money more wisely? Well, it is rather simple and it is done successfully all of the time in the private sector. Simply give the management and workers a portion of the budget money they don't spend in the form of an efficiency bonus. Then, to ensure above average service delivery, tie another bonus (using only money from saved budget funds) to some sort of survey done by an independent organization that rewards the managers on a sliding scale for services rendered.

What would be the positive results of such an incentive program?

  1. Government employees would have the opportunity to earn more money.
  2. Government employees would be more thrifty with tax payer's money knowing that their bonus compensation will be positively impacted if their department spends money wisely.
  3. Government employees will deliver services more effectively knowing that their performance and ability to deliver will be independently surveyed and that their compensation will be positively affected if service targets are met.
  4. Government would require less money to operate creating a more positive and trusting relationship with the tax payer.
  5. Government workers would take a more active role in stopping waste, fraud and abuse knowing that their compensation is positively affected by meeting spending and service targets.
  6. Contractors working with the government would need to find real, cost effective, supportable solutions that provide service while saving money.
  7. Government workers would be more creative in their work place in order to maintain service levels while remaining financially efficient.
  8. Tax payers would have a better, more responsive, more efficient government and a trust in the government they pay for.

What would be the negative results of such an incentive program?

  1. If the surveys that are created to measure service delivery results are inadequate or outdated it may create a situation where results are skewed and create a pay and delivery issue in one direction or the other.
  2. If the independent organization managing the surveys does not remain objective or does not administer the surveys properly it can lead to a system that is not trusted by the government employees which would defeat the purpose of the program.
  3. If the incentive programs are not properly formed, monitored and shifted based on conditions, the system could loose credibility with the government workers and tax payers.

The purpose of a government incentive program like this is not to pay government workers less, or to shrink the number of departments in the government, or to provide fewer services to constituents. In fact, this program is designed to pay government workers more for being frugal and intelligent about how the tax payer's money is spent while delivering high quality services. It is to ensure that the government departments that do provide services provide them using the tax payer's money as though it was their own. It is to ensure that the services that are provided by government organizations are provided at the highest service level possible. And, it is to ensure the tax payer, the people paying the tab, that the money they are paying to the government is being spent as wisely as possible.

In the end, no government can serve all of every constituent's interests. Not all tax payers will always be happy with all of the government programs their money is spent on. However, what all tax payers can agree on is that the money they forfeit to the government should be spent effectively and efficiently and that the services the tax payer pays for should be delivered in an above average way. An incentive program like this could be the foundation for helping this happen and be the olive branch the government holds out to the burdened tax payer.

It wouldn't be perfect. Especially at first. But, it would be better than what we have now. I'd be in support of finding out how well it could work.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Jesus would love Easter candy at our house.

Halloween candy? I don't think Jesus would have been as big a fan of Halloween candy.

Last night when my wife was hiding the plastic, candy filled eggs I decided to crack a few open to see what was inside. It was the good stuff. None of that cheap, kandy korn by-the-pound corn syrupy stuff. It was the higher end retail chocolates and candies.

Later, the kids will open more great candies from my parents. My parents get their chocolates from a local Swiss confectioner. The kids will devour those along with some artisan chocolates that I picked up downtown a few days ago.

At the end of the day their total candy inventory and consumption will have been a fraction of haul they make on Halloween. But, on Easter, what they don't get in quantity they will make up for in quality.

If Jesus was a fan of the good candy he would have really dug Easter at our house.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Why Hollywood Liberals Don't Care When Taxes Are Raised on the “Rich”?

Recently, while reading an article on some other subject, I was distracted by a teaser news add flashing in the right of the browser. The teaser, along with the actual article, was titled Hardcore Liberal Celebrities. I clicked over to what turned out to be a CBS News picture gallery of Liberal Hollywood celebrities. Each of the 61 pictures had a caption below describing the actor’s Liberal leanings and/or distain for George Bush and his administration. (

It got me to wondering why these major celebrities don’t seem to care the same way that I do when taxes are raised on “the rich”?

I earn an average of $220,000 per year and am considered, based on the fact that I am in the second highest bracket just under these mega stars, a “rich” person. After doing some light research I’ve discovered the reason that mega rich Liberal Hollywood types don’t care about 3% to 5% tax increases on “the rich”. The answer is simply that they can afford tax increases with no problem while that same 3%to 5% tax increase dramatically affects my lifestyle and future.

Let’s do the math. In 2006 the 100th highest paid celebrity was Ty Pennington. ( Ty pulled in a cool $6,000,000.00 that year while I earned $196,000.00. In 2006 Ty was in the maximum tax bracket of 35% (lowered from 39.1% in 2001 by George Bush) while my federal tax rate was 2% lower than Ty’s at 33%. (

So, here is how it breaks down for me with my 2006 income:

$196,000.00 x 33% federal tax rate = $64,680.00 going to Uncle Sam (Gulp! I sure hope he spends that efficiently.). That left me $131,320 left to pay for my state, local, sales, property, capital gains, car and sin taxes and my living expenses, savings, etc..

Let’s try with Ty’s income of $6,000,000.

$6,000,000 x 35% = $2,100,000 of Ty’s money going to Uncle Sam (It would take me 9 and a half years at my annual average income just to make enough money to pay Ty’s 2006 federal tax bill.) That left Ty with $3,900,000 to pay for his state, local, sales, property, capital gains, car and sin taxes and my living expenses and savings.

Huh. Interesting. I wonder if Ty feels my pain when they raise the federal tax rate 5%? Let’s see.

Using my 2006 income of $196,000 x (33% + a 5% federal tax increase for a total of 38%) = $74,480 in federal tax that I would have to pay leaving me with $121,520. That is a bottom line loss of $9,800 for me in this example. That reduction in income will affect things like the quality and quantity of foods we buy and at which store we buy them. It will affect things like if we can take a vacation, the type and amount of new clothes for ourselves and the kids, how much we eat out at local restaurants, how much we can save for retirement…I could go on.

With an increase of 5% Ty would be burdened with a 40% federal tax bill. Let’s see if you think his tax burden will affect his standard of living in any way.

$6,000,000.00 x 40% = $2,400,000 in federal taxes. In this example Ty sustains a bottom line loss of $300,000.00 over the 35% federal tax rate calculated above. That leaves poor Ty with a mere $3,600,000 to live on. I sure hope he was able to get by in 2006.

Incidentally, the number one paid star on the Forbes list in 2006 was Tom Cruise. This was a return to the number one slot which he held in 2001 as well. In 2006 his income was

$67,000,000. At a federal tax rate of 40% Tom and his family would need to figure out a way to get by on only $40,200,000.00. Think he and his family would have any lifestyle changes? I'm guessing...No!

These stars have multiple mega homes, sometimes in exotic parts of the world while I have one modest 4 bedroom home that looks like every other ticky tack home in my mid-Western neighborhood (which I love). They fly private jets to where they need to go while I cram myself into the first seat available on a Southwest flight (which beats the heck out of driving for 3 days). Eating healthy, organically grown, high end foods is their standard while I consider it a luxury (and we try to indulge as often as we can). I could go on but you get the point. Raising a mega celebrity's taxes 5 or even 10% is not going to change anything in their lifestyle. But raise this person’s (me) taxes 5% and it will have a measurable impact on me and my family's lifestyle.

I don’t want Ty’s taxes to go up. That is not the point. I actually want Ty’s and everyone else's taxes to go down. What I don’t want are Liberal Hollywood mega stars telling me that they think that “rich” people like me need to pay more in taxes. These limousine riding Liberals have no perspective on the impact it has on “real” people that don’t earn $20,000,000.00 for a movie Like Tom Cruise or who don’t earn $52,252,672,00 a year like Bruce Springsteen. (

When taxes are raised on “rich people” like me there are personal sacrifices that I have to make in my life. When taxes are raised on these mega stars there are no sacrifices for them. They live their lives unaffected by the increased tax burden. Perhaps what we should do is pass an 80% federal tax on all of the Forbes top 100 celebrities. Maybe then we will see a change in heart from the Hollywood Liberal elite on taxation. I’d be in support of finding out.

P.S. This is not a "woe is me" story. I am fortunate and I know it. I'm just not in the mood to be called "rich" by a mega Hollywood star that will never understand want or need regardless of how dramatically their taxes are increased.

Other links researched: