Monthly Archives: May 2017

Musing – Christians and Exclusivity

Once in a while I have this urge to challenge some position or meme on social media. There are so many, and so meaningless, ones floating around every day that I don’t want to frustrate myself with the attempt. Some however stand out. Not because of the cleverness, or the position, but for the sheer stupidity. Today was one of those. Because of who posted it and the falsity, it got me thinking about the exclusivity of the conflict of being Christian and being untruthful, and I don’t understand.

The meme went something like this. It first stated an event followed by the line “no one seemed to care” followed later by another line “How come the media didn’t mind?” Posted by a self proclaimed Christian. Couldn’t help myself. In spite of knowing better, that it wouldn’t change anything, I pointed out the falsity… unless of course he could properly support. No fear since the statement itself and the posting thereof disproves it’s own conclusion. Logic. But he’s Christian, knowingly supporting a lie after the impossibility is made known, so it got complicated.

“No one” is indeed an extremely exclusive group. If anyone, just one single somebody seemed to care, the statement is false. Post the event followed by “no one seemed to care” means the poster seems or seemed to care…immediately making it false. Damn logic. But I knew it was false without the word play as I remember the event and I cared, so did most of my friends. But I regress. The issue rattling around my head all day has been about exclusivity. How can a person be Christian and lie? I find only the following options:

A non-Christian can lie or be truthful…free from morality entirely. Someone truthful can be either a Christian or non-Christian. Both have options. Personally I rate credibility well above Christian. But a liar can’t be Christian and a Christian can’t be a liar. Mutually exclusive. OK a Christian can lie but is he/she still a Christian? Being brought up in religion, I say no.

Closely related as I’m trying to understand the thought process behind what I’m seeing/sensing on social media, do Christians believe God checks Face-book? Would a Christian lie if their Father was looking over their shoulder and would know right off? From my old lessons I think we’re supposed to believe God is all seeing and all knowing. So he IS checking Face-book, and he knows it’s a lie. Somewhere, somehow there is a disconnect between reality and beliefs, and between the beliefs. The thought of getting away with one, even after the falsity is pointed out, may carry the day for some…temporarily suspending the all knowing all seeing belief. Perhaps it’s just a tale made for an unworthy human, non-believer. How would God know or care. Or lying for the good of the Religion, or God himself…perhaps believing even God himself might suspend a rule for benefit of religion or himself. But that’s not the God I was taught. Nor George Washington for that matter, telling on himself knowing punishment was forthcoming. Perhaps social media has created a massive credibility void. People can be or say whatever they want…suspended reality. Suspended beliefs. Suspended Christianity. Lying to advance the religion and/or the candidate your religion endorses. So the belief becomes suspended only when dealing with outsiders? I just don’t get it.

In the end I only have questions with no answers and don’t understand. Any help?

Solar Credit – Only the Wealthy need Apply

When most of us talk about income inequality we look at the big things, capital gains tax, treatment of carried interest, etc. But sometimes the little things count too. The Renewable Energy Credit is one of them.

We’re doing a solar project right now and a quick look at the tax credit discloses bias for the wealthy. In our case the cost of our 4kw project is roughly $13,000. As a result of

Here is a look at the Return on Investment. This data is from a more expensive vendor (but they had these nice graphics!) with the same 4kw production. Easy to see the benefits, even if financing in many cases.

that investment we’ll receive a federal tax credit of $3,900 making the final cost to us just $9,100. The payback in ridding ourselves of electric bills for the life of the system (25+ years) is substantial. The investment, while not the coolest thing we’re trying to make happen here, has moved up among our priorities because of it’s long-term payback guarantee. In the end it makes other things more affordable as it pays for itself, then pays us with an offset from electrical bills.

But what f we didn’t already have some money? What if our annual tax bill wasn’t large enough to claim the credit? The project would cost us more, perhaps as much as the full price of $13,000 would come from our pocket.  While the credit is intended to subsidize the development of the alternate energy industry and offset fossil fuel consumption, it is also written with a bias toward the wealthy which can also be called a bias against the poor.

Unlike some tax credits (Earned Income Credit for example) which are refundable credits, the Renewable Energy Credit is not. Instinct may be to downplay this since only tax payers can get a tax credit, but not so fast. The Renewable Energy Credit is a subsidy for the industry, it just passes through the consumer on it’s way to that industry. There is no reason it can’t pass through the poor equally as well as it passes trough the wealthy. In the end the federal tax expenditure is the same, the difference is that the wealthy obtain the long-term cost reduction (investment) for electricity and the poor either cannot or must do so at a greater cost i.e. a greater investment cost thus a much lower return on investment. Coupled with the economy of (investment/consumption) scale and the bias is even greater.  Larger home equals (usually)  larger consumption equals a larger investment which equals a greater tax credit.

Our government at work, creating a plan to help the renewable energy industry which is arguably a good thing, but doing so by offering the wealthy a far greater return on investment than the poor. This is a prime case of where at the same cost to the government, both the industry AND the energy affordability for the poor could be accomplished at the same time, with the same dollars…and not one penny more. A FREE opportunity to aid the poor along with the industry with the re-write of just a couple words.

If the Renewable Energy Credit remains, it should be made a “refundable” credit.

MSNBC Recognizing the Nonsense

MSNBC is right with us here at American Money Lies on the Weaponised Nonsense. If your following the dialog of the past couple days at all, this morning’s broadcast is worth watching. Scary to me, but nice to see we’re not the only team taking note.

A few more thoughts. I posted this when I saw it this morning. It’s not only obvious the man hasn’t much idea of how government works or what’s really going on around him, it’s a milestone in that real people and credible reporters are now saying it in public. There is a catch however. It creates an out.

Calling him ill and making this into a sickness opens the exit door. One with the sympathy we all feel when our acquaintances and/or family suffer from similar fate. Sympathy…instead of facing what the long history of facts and actions demonstrate… fraud, lying, cheating contractors out of payment, groping, multiple bankruptcies designed to save personal capital at the expense of others, and now what is shaping up to be likely collusion.  Oh I am sympathetic, just not much toward frauds, crooks and cheats.