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The Expansionist
Monday, April 16, 2012
Funding Clean Energy; Romney's Servants. Environment New Jersey sent email today to solicit my signature on an online petition demanding that Governor Christie stop raiding clean-energy funds to balance the State budget. Naturally, I not only signed that petition but also personalized it with these comments:
Fossil fuels are for economic-policy fossils, people living in the past. Solar, tidal, and geothermal energy are the future. You must lead NJ into the future, not the past. And you don't do that by stealing from future generations -- today's children and grandchildren -- to fund the present. Solar includes wind, hydro, and wave generators, as well as biomass conversions thru ethanol production and even the burning of wood and agricultural wastes. These are endlessly sustainable and ultimately very inexpensive sources of energy for New Jersey. Why would you steal from our future?
The claim is made by the defenders of fossil fuels that alternative, "green" energy is not economically competitive. This is an outrageous lie. The only way fossil fuel can even begin to compete with FREE energy from the sun, tides, and the Earth's internal heat is by deducting all the costs of exploration, extraction, refining, and distribution as business expenses under the tax code. If NONE of those expenses were tax deductible, a gallon of gas might cost — oh, I don't know, since no one seems to have done this calculation — $20 a gallon.
Contrast that tax treatment with green energy. If a homeowner installs a solar water-heating array, electric-generating array, or backyard or rooftop windmill(s), s/he must come up with the entire expense of purchase and installation, often borrowing money from a bank, which demands not just repayment of the entire principal amount but also interest. A tax credit might be available to cover PART, but not ALL of the cost, as is the case with every gallon of gasoline. In future years, the homeowner might be able to take some depreciation on that equipment. Might. S/he might also be able to deduct the interest paid to the bank. Might. That is, if the financing were done by a second mortgage, or mortgage modification that merged that cost into the property's first mortgage, the interest would be deductible for Federal income-tax purposes. I'm not sure that all state taxing authorities also permit such a deduction.
If green-energy equipment is not financed thru a mortgage, is any portion of the equipment purchase, installation, or loan repayment tax-deductible? I don't know. Nor does almost anyone else out there in the general population of homeowners who would like to install solar or wind equipment but believes the costs are prohibitive.
What I as a homeowner do know is that I cannot afford to install any form of green energy generator on my house or in my yard, so I cannot contribute to the solution of our energy and pollution woes. But fossil-fuel companies can charge off every cost of producing fossil energy against their taxes. Which means that the taxpayer is SUBSIDIZING fossil fuel, but NOT subsidizing renewable energy. And THAT is why we don't have solar collectors and small windmills on every appropriately situated house in the Nation. So, which form of energy is it that is nonviable without subsidy?
Ann Romney's Servants. I raised here on April 13th the issue of how many servants (how much "help") the Romneys have had with their housecleaning, child-rearing, transportation, etc., then did a Google search today, and found NOTHING. No one in media has, apparently, investigated whether 'heroic' Ann Romney "did it all" herself, or had a little "help", a fair amount of help, or tons of help from tons of servants of various kinds: nanny, cook, housekeeper, maid, butler, chauffeur, pool "boy", personal assistant/secretary, yacht captain and crew, etc. Why is that?
An excellent opinion piece appeared today on AOL's Huffington Post, Pamela Kripke's "Work, Yes; Job, No". Kripke mentions Ann Romney having servants, in general terms, but I don't know where she got her (entirely vague) information, because as far as Google's early search results are concerned, the Romneys never had any servants of any kind.
There were, at 2:15pm, when I started drafting this section of today's post, only 60-some comments at Kripke's opinion piece, one of which claimed that the Romneys weren't always rich. YES THEY WERE. Mitt's father was George Romney, who was ALWAYS, even during Mitt's early childhood, a major corporate or government executive, making very good money. Mitt WAS always rich, and NEVER IN HIS LIFE had to worry about money.
But the question remains: how much domestic "help" — and we know that good "help" is hard to find — did the Romneys have during the period that they are now claiming Ann Romney worked like a slave to raise five boys and clean house as a gentle, modest housewife? Someone in major media needs to do a comprehensive investigation. And if major media won't do it, the Obama re-election campaign needs to do it. If, as I suspect, the Romneys have always been rich and had servants of various kinds to "help" Ann Romney thru the bulk of her "stay-at-home-mom" shtik, the electorate has the right to know that Ann Romney is as much a bull* artist as her husband.

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