Sunday, April 10, 2011

A little perspective...

While you were racing from one end of town to the other to avoid paying $3.99/gallon for regular gas, the powers that be in Washington compromised on "massive" cuts totaling $38.5 billion and the Republic has been saved. Sarcasm off. Here's all you need to know about the Federal Gov't in 2011. Cut everything and defense and we just about break even. If interest rates jump 1/4 of 1 percent the cost to the Federal Gov't will almost equal the total cuts just announced. If rates jump a 1 percent we'll be $100 billion in the hole.

This chart is a bit flawed b/c I think certain activities are classified as non-defense (Nuclear weapons, VA services, Dept of Homeland Security) but they are clearly defence related and thus the proportion of the budget that is defense is probably much larger than what is represented here. *********************************************************************
Oil is around $113 for West Texas Intermediate (nearly $130 for Brent crude) so gas is heading toward $3.99/gallon locally. Talk of a settlement in Libya might calm the oil markets for a moment or two tomorrow, but physical metals are still spiking so there may not be any relief in sight for some time (although, I heard an expert this morning assure me repeatedly that there is no inflation in the US). I don't normally offer endorsements of products or services, but given the spike in gas prices it might be worth looking at the Pen Federal Credit Card.

This is a Federal credit union that you can join if you work for the military or have a relative working for the military. I wanted to test out the card for a few months to make sure it works as promised and so far, so good.

Basically, if you charge gas purchases at the pump they credit your account for 5% of the total cost of gas purchases in a month. Buy $100 in gas in a month and you'll get $5 back. Basically, it's like $0.20 off per gallon with prices approaching $4/gallon.
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Ah, good old American quality - Steering Wheel Falls Off a Chevy Cruze Japan looking to extend their evacuation zone around Fukushima.

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