Navy buys biofuel for $16 a gallon

Really hot gas.

This is going to help the Defense Department weather looming budget cuts, for sure.  Teaming up with the Department of Agriculture (which has a cheery Rotary Club ring to it), the Navy has purchased 450,000 gallons of biofuel for about $16 a gallon, or about 4 times the price of its standard marine fuel, JP-5, which has been going for under $4 a gallon.

You won’t be surprised to learn that a member of Obama’s presidential transition team, T. J. Glauthier, is a “strategic advisor” at Solazyme, the California company that is selling a portion of the biofuel to the Navy.  Glauthier worked – shock, shock – Continue reading “Navy buys biofuel for $16 a gallon”


US tax policy is flawed because we tax ourselves on a percentage of income basis, and not to pay for government spending. This flaw is the reason for our out-of-control debt, and we will not fix the debt problem until we change how we think about taxation.

… of a Hobby Horse

I have a few hobby horses, as readers who stick with this blog will learn.  On occasion, I get them out of the barn, where they live a pampered life, and ride them around for a while.  Today – a partly sunny, 50-ish winter day in southern California — looks like a fine day for a ride.

The income tax, and American income tax policy, is the nag we are taking out today.

Another of Commentary’s excellent bloggers, Jennifer Rubin, brought to our attention yesterday the hard fact that, some way, somehow, the debt being enthusiastically assumed by our federal government over the last few months will have to be paid for.

She cites analyses that the $787 billion package finally approved by Congress on Friday will grow to $3 trillion with its implementation.  I note that this $3T is in addition to the $10.71T total of US debt instruments as of 5 February 2009.  It is also in addition to the total $59.1T in US government liabilities, including the projected, mandatory entitlement spending on Social Security and Medicare that makes up over 90% of that $59.1 trillion.

The $10.71T current debt figure works out to about $37,700 per person as of 5 February.  As of December 2008, the total US government liability of $59.1T worked out to $516,348 per household (or, if we assume a household of four people, $129,087 per person).  USA Today helpfully points out (at the $59.1T link above) that the average private indebtedness of the American household, for mortgages, car loans, and consumer borrowing, is $112,000, of which the vast majority represents mortgage balances. Continue reading “Hoofbeats”

Giving Us a Fish

Congress, with the debt spending “Stimulus bill,” proposes to give us a fish today, instead of letting us handle, and profit from, our own fishing, and building our tomorrow.

Give a man a fish...
Give a man a fish…

The usually reliable Thomas Sowell seems to have recovered from his unaccountable bout of considering President Obama clean and articulate, and last week was back on the case of Congressional Republicans, urging them to eschew the me-too-ist/Democrat-Lite legislative approach of the last eight years.

                The Optimistic Conservative could not second this motion more.  The gargantuan debt spending package being slaved over in the Senate is just that:  a proposal to go into substantially greater debt than the nation is in right now – in spite of the fact that the mismanagement of debt is what got us to our current financial condition in the first place. Continue reading “Giving Us a Fish”