Tax loopholes defended

President Trump and Congress have enacted sweeping reforms to our tax laws, some of which will take years before the full impact will be felt. Not allowing full deductions for state and local taxes will be a big change, for example. And while the deductions have been simplified for most filers (with higher standard deductions doing that trick), those that pay the most taxes (the rich) will continue to look for ways to save money. This is human nature at work.

The term "loopholes" has become toxic.

Interest rates and inflation

I have written several times about our crazy monetary policies and how perpetual deficit spending is not wise.

Today's Wall Street Journal reports an uptick in inflation, most likely a sign that the economy is picking up, the money in circulation is starting to bid up prices, and thus people have to pay more to buy the things they want.

It has been crazy that with the printing presses running 24/7 over the past eight years and longer, we haven't seen inflation taking off.

Ambush game

By all accounts, Alabama is a deeply Republican state that elects few Democrats, until last Tuesday, that is. The Democrat beat Republican candidate Roy Moore by just 1.5 percent, a close race despite stories of Moore allegedly trying to pick up girls under 17 at the mall. His trolling allegedly occurred about 40 years ago when he was in his '30s.

Republicans never considered Moore to be a traditional Republican.

AllenScrip

I've always loved money. As a kid, I was a coin collector. Back before the mid-'60s, coins were typically composed of precious metals whose value was approximately the face value of the coin.

So if you were given a quarter made of silver, that was worth about twenty-five cents in silver. (Today, silver quarters are worth about $3.00).

Dollar bills were made of paper, which had no intrinsic value. But the government would exchange a $1.00 bill for $1.00 worth of silver upon demand. Of course, you could always just go to the bank and ask for change too.

Ethical dilemmas

I attended the Special Town Meeting which saw an overflow crowd, made up by my estimate of about 60% parents who came to approve the school building project and 30% of voters who were against marijuana shops opening up in Acton. Because of the crowd and some technical glitches, the meeting started past 8:30 and as they were wrapping up the vote on the third article, I was heading home (past my bedtime) and it was close to 11.

Obama the oath-breaker

Every American is supposed to follow the U.S. Constitution. It is the law of the land. The Supreme Court does not decide whether the Constitution has been violated until it is asked to review a decision that has already been made, perhaps years prior. That is why the president must swear an oath to follow the Constitution. We need leaders who take that oath very seriously and never intentionally violate it.

Our delicate balance between our three branches of government relies on the oaths all these leaders take.

Mass. Supreme Judicial Court to hear church-state funding challenge

When you subsidize something, you tend to get more of it.

Massachusetts has a Constitutional prohibition against funding churches, yet many towns have used their Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds to financially support churches when doing things like building renovation. They have justified these expenditures by saying that the buildings themselves are historic, and their present use by private religious groups are not relevant. The money is following the building, not its current use.

So for years, this type of funding has been growing across the state.

School Committee's May 24th meeting in 47 seconds

In an amazing editing job, Acton Forum has created an incredible 47-second video clip which completely and totally summarized the May 24, 2017 AB Regional School Committee meeting.

This was the meeting held in the high school auditorium to answer questions from the public about Dr. Glenn Brand's abrupt resignation, and the reasons behind it. This video is just about all you need to know about the School Committee's response.

The clip boils down the entire meeting into one question and answer.

Free speech 101 and the AB School Committee's violation

A few days ago, some neo-Nazis and White Supremacists tried to hold a march in Charlottesville, VA, and were prevented from doing so on a pretext. The pretext was the concern over crowd control, but the real reason was to suppress their members' and supporters' free-speech rights. Americans must be allowed to speak freely, not only because it is in the Constitution, but also because it is the right thing to do.

Free speech makes democracy work. It ensures that when you vote, you have heard (if you cared to listen to) all available arguments.

Mr. Fantastic

"Hey Clint, how have you been?"

"Fantastic!"

Fantastic was Clint Seward's favorite word, and one which I now use, but not with the same relish and enthusiasm. Nobody could "out-fantastic" Mr. Fantastic himself.

Clint was an eternal optimist. No matter what was going on in his life, Clint was fantastic. Fantastic also describes Clint, in a funny way, although he would have been too modest to accept the label.