It’s still 14¢ per mile

I was updating some of my files to show the 2018 IRS standard mileage deduction rates for business, medical, and charity driving and I noticed that while the business and medical rates have changed almost every year—sometimes up, sometimes down— the charity rate has not changed in at least 17 years; it remains 14 cents per mile. I wondered why.

A bit of googling yielded this article, which confirmed what I suspected. The charity rate is fixed in legislation; the other rates are not.

via Forty Cent Difference Between 2016 Business and Charity Mileage Deductions – NoloNolo

It might be time for Congress to do something about that. And who would complain? Who could be against it?


  • In 2000, the average cost of a gallon of gasoline was $1.51.  In December 2017, it was $2.37.
  • According to the Consumer Price Index, in November of 2017 it would take 20 cents to have the same buying power as 14 cents in 2000.

Of course, this may all be moot if, with our new tax laws, no one is itemizing deductions anyway.

No slam!

According to The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, “For the ninth consecutive year, Americans say ‘whatever’ is the most annoying word or phrase used in casual conversation.”

I say, “Add “slam” to the list—especially when it is journalists using the word, as in


If you love the English language, and believe there is a relationship between the clarity of what we say and what we think, check out Jason Kehe’s article from a 2009 Daily Trojan.



via 12/18: “Whatever” Loses Ground but Retains Annoying Word Title |ome of the Marist Poll

Why Don’t America’s Rich Give More to Charity? – The Atlantic

Found this article interesting. My wife and I serve on the boards of directors of several organizations and donate to each of them, as well as other causes. I’ve never calculated the percentage of our annual income that we donate, but I’ve wondered how it would compare to what wealthier people donate. I do know the amount we donate is enough that we itemize our deductions on our annual income tax return.

I’m also wondering about the effects of the recent big changes to the tax laws.  How will the nonprofit organizations I support fare?  Will the “rich” with their reduced income taxes choose to donate more to charities than they did before?

via Why Don’t Americas Rich Give More to Charity? – The Atlantic


overhouseJust learned a new term: over-housed.  From what I understand, it means someone who lives in a dwelling with an empty bedroom.  Given that definition, I think I am over-housed.  Are you?  Is that unoccupied bedroom always unoccupied?  Is it your kid’s room and he/she may return anytime? Do your relatives expect that it is there for them whenever they come to visit?

That said, the context in which I learned this term was a local television news story about HomeShareSLO, a local nonprofit organization with the mission to help change lives by connecting people and homes.  From the organization’s website:

We facilitate matches between home providers–people with an extra room–and home seekers–those looking for a home.  It is a way to meet the housing challenges faced by seniors and others.

While I’m not ready to bring a third person into our home, I think the concept is a great idea!