Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bringing the heat

After a full week of no heat - having discovered, disappointingly, that the furnace in my newly acquired house had a cracked heat exchanger - I finally have the heat back. Yay!!! While my hastily acquired space heater cranked out a surprising amount of heat, and could keep the top floor at 20 and the living level at something livable if I kept it running constantly in the dining room, it still wasn't much fun. Not to mention my worries about burning the poor thing out. Now it can be retired to genteel use in the bathroom (once I do the necessary electrical work to separate the light switch and outlet and add a fan timer)... I look forward to toasty warm bathtimes :-)

On another note, I'm not a fan of any plan to legislate rules on government spending that limit increases in spending to the rate of inflation. Sure, I'm as much a fan of responsible and accountable spending as the next person. And sure, paying down the country's deficit frees up money in the long term. But I can't help noticing, having just bought a house, that in my life long term debt is exceedingly useful. It's allowing me to afford large scale purchases that vastly improve my quality of life. We as a society need the flexibility to spend large bits of money (possibly even by borrowing) to invest in infrastructure - of whatever kind (transportation, medical care, social care, education). That doesn't mean I want to see it used in amounts that constantly spiral upwards... but I don't feel comfortable tying the hands of subsequent generations - potentially hamstringing them in the face of new catastrophes and urgent fiscal requirements. Sure, when that day comes they could repeal the government spending rules... but it's awfully damn hard to do, and what if they don't have time (or we, if it comes in my lifetime). The whole idea makes me uncomfortable.


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