Thursday, January 29, 2009

Budgets and Waists

I did a quick little download of the family's expenses for 2008.


The #1 expense, far and away? Food.

And my kids are so skinny, too! What's up with that?

Mortgage and taxes are neck-and-neck for #2. Taxes are the actual #2, but I don't break out sales, real estate, auto licensing and insurance taxes, employer payroll taxes, gas taxes, utility taxes--actually, taxes would easily surpass food if I bothered to count them all.

But that'd be too depressing.


  1. In Oregon they've received a government grant to figure out a way to tax people by mileage... so that they can keep up their revenue stream as cars (ostensibly) get more fuel-efficient, and gas sales go down.

    Great way to encourage people to buy hybrids!

  2. Isn't it amazing?

    Congress taxes behavior, but knowing that taxing something reduces the amount you get at it, there always has to be a moral aspect: We tax this because it's bad and we don't want you do it.

    Then, when people stop, they scream, "Hey! Where'd all the money go?!?!"

    The mileage thing will actively discourage hybrids, obviously, unless hybrids are given special recognition. What would make more sense would be if they could somehow figure out a way to tax fuel efficiency balanced against how much one actually drives.

    If there were only some way to tax the fuel people used!

  3. "If there were only some way to tax the fuel people used!"

    That's crazy talk.

    A little under 3 years ago I did have a modest proposal on how to get people to change the kind of vehicles they chose.

    Hopefully nobody in the Obama Administration reads that post, cause I think they're just crazy enough to do it . . .

    (changing all those gas stations would be just the kind of huge 'shovel ready' project they're looking for)

  4. Dude, you call THAT a modest proposal?

    Why stop with scales? Why not put car compactors underneath the gas pumps, and a trap door that has a small chance of opening that increases with the weight of the car?

    That'll change some behavior, I tell you what.


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