On This Date In History: On this date in 1777, Benedict Arnold turned green with envy and it probably led to his becoming one of the most infamous figures in American history. On the previous day, the Continental Congress promoted a bunch of Brigadier Generals to the rank of Major General. These guys were all junior to Benedict Arnold but by making them Major Generals, they all leap-frogged him in rank. The reason was that Congress was trying to even out the number of general officers from each state. See, Congress has been playing politics with war from the very beginning. Nevertheless, Arnold didn’t see it that way. He felt snubbed and he wanted to quit and offered his resignation. General George Washington wouldn’t accept it and talked his friend out of it. Probably a mistake for the Father of our Country because Arnold remained miffed for several years until he became a turncoat and tried to hand over the American fort at West Point, New York to the enemy.
Now, its not entirely clear that the elevation of the other men to Major General is what caused Arnold to turn traitor but it’s probably a pretty safe assumption it played some role. In any event, Arnold became a general in the British army and he ended up on the losing side. After the war he went to live in the Mother Country but he wasn’t much better received than he would have been in the new United States. Seems the Brits didn’t look too kindly on a traitorous scoundrel, even if the scoundrel hailed from the other team. Arnold died in Britain in 1801 as a destitute, largely friendless, man.
So…the moral to the story is green with envy doesn’t always result in green in the pockets. Keep the ego in check and keep the pride in storage and you’ll probably end up fairing better than Benedict Arnold.
Who’s Gonna Pay For This? All of this talk about the stimulus package and the costs and such made me wonder who was paying for all of this. Well, when you’re running a deficit, obviously no one is paying for it today, but someone else supposedly will tomorrow. During the presidential election campaign, there was a debate about having the rich pay their “fair share.” But, the question is, “what is fair?” I mean, I pointed out several days ago that the headlines always read how much money ExxonMobil made last year, but you never read about how much taxes that that ExxonMobil paid. The company made about $45 billion, paid a 47% income tax rate to the tune of over $36 billion with a total tax bill of $116 billion. When you look at the numbers, Uncle Sam loves it when Exxon makes a bunch of money.
So, I found the November 10, 2008 Fortune magazine and an article on page 83. Many people wish to become wealthy but, if your grasp reaches your envy, you may be surprised to find how much it will cost you…or how much you find that the definition of a “fair share” changes. Here’s the breakdown regarding taxes in 2006:
Income $1-$50,000 Avg. income: $21,000; Avg Tax Paid $1300 This income group represents about 66% of all taxpayers and this group paid about 8% of all taxes paid.
Income $50,000 to $100, 000; Avg. Income: $71, 000; Avg. Tax Paid $6400. This income group represents about 22% of all taxpayers and the group paid about 18% of all taxes paid.
Income $100, 000 to $200,000; Avg. Income $133,000; Avg Tax Paid $17,000. This income group represents about 9% of all taxpayers and the group paid 20% of all taxes paid.
Income $200, 000 to $500,000; Avg. Income $287,000; Avg. Tax Paid $57,000. This income group represents about 2.3% of all taxpayers and the group paid 17% of all taxes paid.
Income $500,000 to $1.5 Million; Avg. Income $540,000; Avg. Tax Paid $187,000. This income group represents about 0.5% of all taxpayers and paid 14% of all taxes paid.
Income $1.5 Mil to $5 Mil; Avg. Income $2.5 Million; Avg. Tax Paid $606,000. This income group represents about 0.1% of all taxpayers and paid 10% of all taxes paid.
Income $5 Million Plus; Avg Income 15.2 Million; Avg. Tax Paid $3.2 Million. This income group represents about 0.3% of all taxpayers and paid 13% of all taxes.
Kinda interesting that there are more people who make over $5 million than those that make $1.5 million to $5 million. Not sure why that is. Nevertheless, the statistics show that 66% of the taxpaying population provided 8% of the taxes collected. It shows that the top 3.5% of wage earners provided 54% of all taxes collected. Less than 4% pay more than 50%. I’m not anywhere close to the top tax bracket..especially these days. But, you look at the numbers and then ask yourself how much is “fair” next time you hear a politician say that some Americans do not pay their “fair share.”
Weather Bottom Line: Very odd situation here in model world. Typically this winter, the NAM has been the one that is not enthused about snow and the GFS has gone bonkers. The last couple of runs, this time around has been flip flopped. While the afternoon maxima at the airport on Thursday was just 31 with some morning snow reflected more closely what the GFS was advertising, the GFS is now really backing off its snow forecast for Saturday.
It throws out about a third of an inch of rain before beginning some very light snow Saturday evening and spitting
snow on Sunday for a total of just about a half inch or so. Meanwhile, the NAM is not too interested in rain and just goes straight to snow midday on Saturday and puts out about 1.7 inches of snow with nothing on Sunday. What we have is a shortwave coming through the flow. On Friday, after a cold start, winds may turn a little more southwestrly from westerly and with some sunshine get to the mid 30’s. Then as the shortwave approaches, we get a bit more of a southerly flow and so we don’t get too cold on Friday night. Probably down to about 30 or so. Then, ahead of the disturbance on Saturday morning…we get somewhere above freezing. Then, the question is about the precip type and amounts and such. Keep in mind, if you look at the GFS snow total map on the right, you see that we are sandwiched in between the higher snow amounts approaching two inches. I’m not so sure that the GFS is smart enough to believe such a sliver of less snow surrounded by more. My guess is that the truth will be somewhere in between the two models. I betcha we get some rain at first and then some snow. Accumulations will probably be limited due to a warmer ground…so lets say about an inch or so. Then, because the European has some wrap around moisture as well as the GFS on Sunday…I would think that its reasonable to expect some useless flurries on Sunday. I would not expect above freezing temperatures from midday Saturday until Tuesday afternoon. It appears that there will be a chance for strong storms midweek in the plains and it will be interesting to see if it shakes out to where on Thursday we get into any part of the act.