Friday, November 30, 2012

Only In America

1) Only in America could politicians talk about the greed of the rich at a $35,000 a plate campaign fund raising event.

2) Only in America could people claim that the government still discriminates against black Americans when we have a black President, a black Attorney General, and roughly 18% of the federal workforce is black. 12% of the population is black.

3) Only in America could we have had the two people most responsible for our tax code, Timothy Geithner, the head of the Treasury Department and Charles Rangel who once ran the Ways and Means Committee, BOTH turn out to be tax cheats who are in favor of higher taxes.

4) Only in America can we have terrorists kill people in the name of Allah and have the media primarily react by fretting that Muslims might be harmed by the backlash.

5) Only in America would we make people who want to legally become American citizens wait for years in their home countries and pay tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege while we discuss letting anyone who sneaks into the country illegally just become American citizens by waiting it out.

6) Only in America could the people who believe in balancing the budget and sticking by the country's Constitution be thought of as "extremists."

7) Only in America could you need to present a driver's license to cash a check or buy alcohol, but not to vote.

8) Only in America could people demand the government investigate whether oil companies are gouging the public because the price of gas went up when the return on equity invested in a major U.S. oil company (Marathon Oil) is less than half that of a company making tennis shoes (Nike).

9) Only in America could the government collect more tax dollars from the people than any nation in recorded history, still spend a trillion dollars more than it has per year for total spending of $7 million PER MINUTE, and complain that it doesn't have nearly enough money.

10) Only in America could the “rich” people (top 10%) who pay 70% of all income taxes be accused of not paying their "fair share" by people who don't pay any income taxes at all.

But that's just what an average guy thinks.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


We all pay taxes and fees. It has to be that way. Except for a very few self sufficient individuals living in rural or near wilderness areas we all use government services. Just by living in the country you benefit from the funding of the armed services. Water, sewer, roads, schools, law enforcement, education are things that we all use, or derive benefit from and they’re paid for by a slew of local, state, and federal taxes. We have to buy tax stickers for our car windows, and plates for the bumpers. We pay an excise tax for the gasoline and other petroleum products that we use. We pay taxes to put tags on our pets. We just pay a lot of money in taxes, or at least that’s the way it seems.

The federal tax system was supposed to be simple (the more you make, the more you pay) but if it ever was, it’s far from that now. It’s been shot full of holes and tied in loops to reflect the desires of our elected officials and their “special” friends. The full code is over 17,000 pages long and so complex that federal monetary and tax officials seem incapable of following all of the rules. It’s been common knowledge that the federal tax code is FUBAR for as many years as I can remember. The instructions for the 1040EZ, the simplest form, are forty pages long, for the 1040, one hundred and five.

You won’t find a single elected official that will defend the tax system and yet it remains unchanged and the tax code grows in length and complexity every single year. How can it be that a system without defenders or a supporting constituency can continue to exist in a representative democracy?

I don’t have anything near an answer for that question, but I do think the question itself speaks to the dangerous nature of government programs. No one ever envisioned the mess that the current tax system is. It started out simple enough but then at some point turned Meta stable. For many decades it has grown as it careens about with politicians using it for their own benefit, completely indifferent to the original purpose, and without any thought as to what the purpose should even be.

And this brings me to The Affordable Healthcare Act. ObamaCare if you will. The danger is perhaps not easy to see, but if something as simple as a graduated income tax can become complex beyond comprehension and more resistant to change than the hardest metal what will come of a health care system that at its inception created no fewer than 160 new agencies and boards. One requiring many thousands of pages of cross connected regulation that no one has even the most remote chance of understanding. What defense can we possibly have from an entity like that?

But that’s just what an average guy thinks.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Price Gouging.

I have the solution to the gasoline shortage in the storm ravaged. NE: It's simple really. I'm not the first person to think of it, or to know it, but I have absolutely nothing to lose by saying it. That's the difference between me and the PhD economists who's income derives, in part at least, from not saying the unpopular. I'm already so unpopular that I can't get porn spam delivered daily to my inbox even if I request it. So here it is:

The way to get all the gasoline needed to storm ravaged areas is to simply allow suppliers to charge whatever price the market will bear. $10/gal. $15/gal. $20/gal in some cases I'm sure.

Oh, but that would be unfair averageguy. How would the poor and hard hit afford gas? Of course that's different than now..... where they can afford it but there is non

e. This is much more fair now in a situation where EVERYONE does without.

But look. If prices and profits are high.... sellers have a big incentive to move heaven and earth to try to restore supply links. The restoration of those links stimulates the restoration of OTHER links. As fuel supplies increase toward the center of the "zone" so do they increase at the outskirts...... suppliers are willing to accept less profit in exchange for less effort and prices begin to fall again.... from the outside in. It's as magical as watching someone pull a coin from behind your ear.

So think about this for just a moment. If you had a kerosene heater..... and your family was shivering in the damp cold which would you rather have: 1) Two gallons of kerosene that you had to pay $30 for, or 2) The satisfaction of knowing that you could buy that kerosene for $10 if they had any to sell?

But hey.... that just what an average guy thinks.