The US Daily Deficit for 1/31/2012 was 4.8B, bringing the January total to $32.4B, $20B less than January 2012. Revenues increased $33B, 15B from increased withholding, $12B from increased nonwithholding payments, with the remaining coming from miscellaneous other sources. Note that due to the delay in the tax filing date 8 days to 1/30/2013, tax refunds, which I net against receipts, were $9B lower than last year.
Outlays Increased $13B over last year, with increases pretty much across the board with the exception of interest which was down $8B from $19B to $11B. Looks to be a timing issue, where 12-2011 payments were shifted into 1-2012, spiking last years Jan interest payments. The difference, $20B is the improvement over 2012. Will the improvement be sustainable? February will give us a good idea, but I don’t think we will really know until May when tax season is over.
If anyone remembers, at the beginning of the month I predicted a deficit of $10B, so I missed it by$22B…a substantial improvement over last months $50B miss. Looking ahead, last February had $80B of revenues (net of refunds) and 329B of outlays for a deficit of $249B. I could see next month going either way. I’ll just stick with last year’s number and hang on for what could be a wild ride.
In short…I no longer despise Windows 8. I don’t love it, and I probably never will, but I don’t hate it. In about a week, I have figured out how to more or less do everything I could before. The saving grace is the “Desktop”…a feature hidden under about a hundred useless apps that come pre-“pinned” to the new start page. So after I unpinned all but about 15 things, I discovered the desktop…which is pretty much like windows 7, less the start button. I will be spending 95% of my time there. I usually have 10-20 windows open at a time, and I don’t know how to do that any other way to do this in Windows 8.
I know that Microsoft is attempting to provide a unified experience with Windows 8 across all platforms, but what perhaps they are forgetting is that I use different devices for different things. No phone or tablet will ever replace my PC for “work”..including blogging. I need a big desk, a comfy chair, a couple of huge monitors, plus a keyboard and mouse to work. I can barely stand working in excel on a 16” laptop. Doing it on a 9″ touchscreen tablet is never going to happen. You can miniaturize everything else, but don’t try to shrink my display, my keyboard, or my mouse…they are just fine thanks!!. That said…Windows 8…outside of the “desktop view” looks pretty, but it doesn’t use space efficiently. I have a 27″ monitor for a reason…so I can have a ton of things open at the same time without scrolling. Windows 8…perhaps so it can be used on multiple touch screen platforms does not seem to realize this. Sorry, but I don’t need a gigantic excel icon…I’m not trying to teach a grizzly bear how to use a touch screen.
Just for kicks I did one simple speed test. I have one particularly large database in Access. The single table has about 5M rows and is 1.6GB. I lined up a 2 year Windows 7 old laptop with 4GB of memory with the new Windows 8 laptop, also with 4GB of memory. I closed everything else, and pushed the enter button simultaneously. The tables opened within a fraction of a second of each other… after a few minutes of processing.. so performance where I need it is about identical…no complaints here.
Anyway…it’s certainly not worth upgrading too, but thanks to the new hipsters at Microsoft, you’ll be forced to make a change in 3 or four years when your laptop finally dies. It’s an annoyance…change for the sake of change, but you’ll quickly adapt. If I were a teenage girl, perhaps I could appreciate the beauty of Windows 8 more than I do, but alas…that ship sailed a long time ago. To me, Windows 8 is like a new coat of paint on a dirty old work truck….It was fine before so what’s the point?