Republicans want a larger, $800 billion increase in the politically sensitive
federal debt limit to ensure the Treasury has sufficient borrowing authority
to finance continued high budget deficits
Wall Street Journal reports.
House and Senate Republicans had calculated that they needed an increase of
$690 billion to cover funding needs, but party leaders now have chosen to
seek the higher figure intended to carry the Treasury
The increase would be the third in as many years and bring the debt limit to
$8.184 trillion — 37% higher than the ceiling that President Bush inherited
A few weeks ago a friend of mine loaned me his homebrewing kit and showed me
how to use it.
We cooked up my first batch of Homespun Brew — a pale ale that, remarkably
enough, tastes just like beer.
The federal excise tax on beer
comes to about a nickle per bottle (that doesn’t count
state excise taxes,
sales taxes and state-mandated bottle deposit fees). If you were to drink a
six pack every day, you’d contribute a little more than a hundred dollars to
the feds over the course of the year. So this is small change compared to the
income tax or the payroll tax.
Still, I like the symbolism of home brewing tax-free beer. It reminds me a bit
of the American colonists’ switch from tea to coffee in order to foil the
British tax on tea, or of Gandhi’s campaign to encourage people to spin their
own cloth and harvest their own salt rather than pay the British monopoly.
Gandhi’s campaign had a value that went beyond its bottom-line
pounds-and-pence figure. Spending the time spinning cloth was a way of
consciously participating on a daily basis in the resistance — wearing the
homespun cloth was a way of
your commitment to those around you.
And besides, brewing beer is fun and when you’re done you’ve got beer!