86°F this afternoon. That's an improvement.
Still looking for my parents' keys. What I've found is quite a bit of stuff that they've left here over the years: mostly clothes, but also an assortment of craft items from the old country. I wonder how much a picture of an Asian village scene made from woven straw will go for on eBay. :) At some point, it'd be easier to send them the money for the replacement safe deposit box keys while the currency peg is still holding up.
I got a note that the Stuart Little Goes Airborne III travel bug is now missing Stuart Little and the airplane. So the only thing that's traveling is the travel bug tag. This is the second travel bug I sent out that is missing the traveler. I guess the chain might have broken apart at some point or someone wanted the toy badly.
Got a reply from Capella on the tuition refund. Only took two emails to get a response.
Is the United States Bankrupt? (PDF)
That is a paper by Laurence Kotlikoff of the St. Louis Federal Reserve. I also read his book "The Coming Generational Storm" previously and the overall picture presented in the paper doesn't differ much from his book of two years ago.
To summarize: The fiscal gap, including future government expenditures and promised Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits, is $65.9 trillion, a figure that is 5 times GDP and almost twice national wealth. In order to close the gap, they could:
1. Cut federal spending by 143%. (a little economist humor there :) )
2. Immediately and permanently double personal and corporate taxes. (Also economist humor, but more subtle. There's a table in the paper showing that marginal net tax rates for many full-time workers are already over 50%.)
3. Immediately and permanently cut Social Security and Medicare benefits by two-thirds. (And doom your political party to not winning elections for a few decades.)
I figure if the past is any guide, no one will have the guts to make significant cuts anywhere and they'd simply take the easy way out by increasing money supply to pay the bills as those come due. Printing money causes inflation, so guess who will really be paying the price? Yes, all of us suckers.