Ready for the New Year

A Real Fix?

Oh, what will the new year bring? Depends what we’re talking about. If you go to school in Memphis or Shelby County, the first few months of 2011 are going to be so, so Memphis. Yes, the city schools need fixin’. That’s been true for years. Folding the larger city system into the county schools may help improve things for thousands of city kids. However, there’s the very real possibility that the Shelby County Schools could be overwhelmed by the additional student load and things get worse for every kid trying to learn something.

Still, whatever remedies are effected to try and improve the education of local children remind me of putting bandaids on bullet holes. You can’t fix a serious problem by touching up the symptoms. As long as there are so many economically disadvantaged people in our community, their children will have problems learning, regardless of who is running the system.

Welcome to Washington!

It’s also going to be interesting once the new Congress goes to work. The Obama Administration and the Democratic leadership had a very successful lame duck session. Looking at the things they got done (with Republican support), it’s as if they weren’t trounced at the polls. Because of that, I’ve got to think that many of the Tea Partiers coming to town are going to be a little ticked that the GOP was so willing to spend some money before the year ended.

Waiting for My Return

Speaking of money, here’s hoping the economy starts picking up. If Christmas sales are any indication, things are getting a little better. Either that, or people are just trying to spend their way out of their misery. I’m one of those people who file their taxes as soon as humanly possible. Some years, I don’t even wait for all the forms to come in – I either want my money back or to find out what I owe. And, as people told me for years, owning a house is a good thing, at least when you can deduct that mortgage interest. That’s really boosted my refund for the last couple of years. I was not, however, thrilled by the letter I just got from the IRS. They let me know that I can start paying back my First Time Homebuyers Credit. If I had bought a year later, I would have gotten twice as much – and not had to pay it back! Still, I’m hearing that if you itemize, the IRS doesn’t want you even filing until mid-February. All because Congress (oh, those guys) took so long to pass the tax cut plan, the Internal Revenue needs extra time to tweak its systems to handle the changes. At least I’ve got something to look forward to.

Are We There Yet?

Oh, not that I know anything or anything, but shouldn’t something be happening with the Pyramid by now?

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