Political Book Summaries, Reviews and Opinions

Political Book Summaries, Reviews and Opinions

Tag Archives: taxes

Nevada: There will be mud.


LAS VEGAS — Nevada Republicans Tuesday picked tea party insurgent Sharron Angle to take on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, marking the start of an epic showdown between a king of Capitol Hill and a conservative renegade who wants to turn Washington on end.

The choices couldn’t be more different.

Reid, 70, is the bland, sometimes prickly Democratic powerhouse who tells Nevadans, “I’m just who I am.” Angle, 60, is a fiercely committed small-government, low-tax crusader, an outsider even in the GOP, who says, “I am the tea party.”

The former school teacher and legislator grabbed the nomination after a brutal primary in which her rivals depicted her as too extreme to appeal to independents who often cast the decisive votes in centrist Nevada. She benefited when one-time front-runner Sue Lowden was widely mocked for suggesting consumers use chickens to barter with doctors.

Read More >>

So now Harry Reid is now complaining against Shannon “I am the Tea Party” Angle. As I said the other day, I wish her good luck. Now that she’s won, I thought I’d reread the Nevada Tea party platform. Read it here. She isn’t a Tea Party candidate, she is a Republican, so I don’t expect those bylaws to have a huge impact, but the more she wraps herself in with the Tea Partiers, the easier it would be for Harry Reid to intentionally conflate and merge the Tea Party and the Republicans. All he has to do is accuse her of wanting to get rid of social security and veterans affairs. “No Government run health care or socialized medicine.” He can also ping her for “no social programs” Pair that up with the GOP hating on latinos, and Harry Reid has a very easy target to attack.

The point being, expect the Nevada race to be a mud fight. The Republicans will continue to call him a communist/facist/nazi-wanna-be-scoobie-do/anti-american. He’ll call her crazy/racist/anti-social security/anti-alcohol. So yeah, woohoo!

Advertisements

Cut the Defense Spending?


In that video Bill Maher says that if Tea Baggers were serious about national debt they’d be willing to cut the defense budget. He offers some interesting perspective on the US debt throws out some good jokes and insults along the way. I’ll take his challenge on this one as I have said in the past I like the Tea Partiers. Let’s pretend for a brief moment I was elected King of America with the power of both President and Congress. Read more of this post

“Common Sense Solutions” don’t exist


Common Sense is a farce. In terms of political discourse and the “great debate of ideas,” it is a meaningless valueless word intentionally used to describe a something purely subjective while insulting the intelligence of anyone that doesn’t agree instantly. Much like “Family values” and “Core moral values” everyone wants to vote for someone who has “common sense,” but none of those terms means or proves anything. While Family Values ad Moral Core Values are often used merely as a smokescreen to hide the immoral and unethical behavior, people claiming “common sense” is on their side can lead to horrible and far reaching policy disasters. Read more of this post

FairTax: The Political Silver Bullet


There is a legend about a man who is bitten by a monster. That monster is half man, half wolf, and he is cursed. He started life as a normal man, but he was bitten and infected with evil. Whence the moon grows full, the man dies and the beast hunts. Now, whosoever he bites, but doesn’t kill, they themselves become cursed. This beast, this monster, is unkillable. No man strong enough, no one fast enough, no blade sharp enough. There is but a single weapon on the surface of the earth that can bare this beast to the ground and leave him beast no more. That is a silver bullet. Read more of this post

Media vs. Fairtax


I’m starting a new book today. A book written by Neal Boortz, Congressman John Linder and Rob Woodall titled “FairTax: The Truth.” To get all you people (all 2 of my loyal readers) as excited as I am (and I am exited) I’ve decided to kick it off with a few posts about the FairTax from others. Here goes post 1!

It’s from FairTax.Org. Read more of this post

End the Fed: Book Summary (Chapters 13 – 15)


End the Fed Political Book Summary

End the Fed

By: Ron Paul

Index

Quotes

Chapter Thirteeen: The Economic Case

Why bright people in an advanced society can conclude that wealth can be increased by merely expanding the money supply is bewildering. Page 180

The longer the good times last the greater the correction will be. Page 1

The entire system of fiat money and fractional-reserve banking is like a super ponzi scheme (if we can‘t pay it back, let‘s just create more!) and is the source of our problems. Page 187
 

We no more need to worry about banking in a post-red era than we worry about groceries and, shoes, or software now. Page 191


 

Wealth is not created by printing money or inflating values and deflating debt. We have injected socialism into our banking, doing all they can to control the interest rates and the economy from afar. It won’t work. We had a long growth boom from 1971 to 2000. The Free Market tried to correct itself then, the Fed wouldn’t let it, and through very low interest rates they created the housing bubble that has now popped. Even now, as the Free Market adjusts the value of homes, the Fed is doing all it can to prevent the market from working, maintaining an artificially low interest rate of 0% to prop up home prices. This too will fail.

A Moral Hazard is created when the government interferes with the free market processes of profit/loss. Read more of this post

End the Fed: Book Summary (Chapters 10 – 12)


End the Fed Political Book Summary

End the Fed

By: Ron Paul

Index

Quotes

Chapter Ten: Why End the Fed?

The Federal Reserve should be abolished because it is immoral, unconstitutional, impractical, promotes bad economics, and undermines liberty. Its destructive nature makes it a tool of tyrannical government. Page 141

Money does not equal wealth, gold alone is not wealth. Page 147

One must wonder what our Federal Reserve notes will be worth when discovered in some hideaway a hundred, fifty, or even a year from now. Page 144

The Fed needs to be abolished because it is all bad and no good. For thousands of years gold has been used as a money supply. It’s used because it is rare, easy to work with and desired. Nations, such as the Byzantine empire, successfully used gold for hundreds of years. The Byzantine empire was a mighty and powerful empire, right until it diluted the gold in its coins to fund a war with Turks, their demise was a financial tragedy.

The Federal Reserve exists only to dillute the money supply so that a tyrannical government can fund wars and projects it otherwise couldn’t. Our trade imbalance exists because of the Federal Reserve. The illusory wealth created by inflation and low interest rates created a housing boom, providing the appearance of false wealth that fooled the Fed. The cause of the current economic slump is the Federal Reserve’s poor monetary policy. A free people need a money that has value. Read more of this post

Why the flat tax would be better


The threshold for taxing family health plans will be raised from $23,000 to $24,000, and dental and vision benefits won’t be counted toward that amount after 2014, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told reporters. Health plans covered by union contracts would not be subject to the tax until 2018, and the threshold for taxing other plans will be adjusted by 1 percent above the annual rate of inflation, he said.

Union leaders don’t like the idea of the so-called Cadillac tax. That tax will tax extra high employer provided health care benefits. The Senate wants it to pay for the reform. Obama wants it because (again, I’m a bit surprised) he understands supply side economics and doesn’t want those high end health care plans to lift everyone’s healthcare costs. Union leaders don’t want it because lots of employees have traded higher wages for better benefits, thus House Democrats don’t want it because they want to keep friendly with their donors and activists.

What’s not said is that the root of the problem is that the Government created this problem by making all healthcare plan un-taxable. It seems like a nice idea, don’t tax good things, let people have cheaper healthcare. But government intervention always has unforeseen side affects. By not taxing healthcare, the entire systems moves to play in those rules and Unions for more un-taxable benefits for their people. This results in expensive healthcare plans that drive the cost of healthcare for everyone (at least according to the Administration). What would be better is taxing everything the same, get the government out of deciding what people should buy and how much of it.

What is completely ignored, is that the whole thing is a disgusting display of Federal power run amok. Read some of that stuff.

The changes will reduce the $150 billion expected to be raised over 10 years by about $60 billion, he said.

How does that happen? It happens because Unions are an important base of the Democratic party. It happens because the Democrats need Union money to get elected. Now, I’m not accusing corruption and bribery, but the system itself is corrupt. Each party needs money to get elected, they each have their donor bases, and once in power, they need to take care of their donors. It’s that simple. The Republicans have to take care of Halliburton, the Democrats take care of the Unions. The system is the problem.
Here’s some more tax discussion:

“…5.4 percent income tax surcharge on incomes higher than $500,000 for individuals or $1 million for couples.”

How are those numbers decided?

By the winners of the election taxing the losers. That’s what our Democracy has broken down to. The winners get to decide how to tax the losers. The results? About Our tax code has at least 67,506 pages. Here’s a PDF to scare you a bit.

This is what happens when you let politicians play with the tax code, instead of raising taxes, they use the tax code to punish those they don’t like and reward those they do. Seven decades of political maneuvering have resulted in a tax code that benefits only those with power (in this case, the Unions).

We need a flat tax. Be it the fair tax, or Ron Paul’s 1% tax. Or the Laffer Flat tax. Whatever method we choose, we need something that Politicians, be they Democrat or Republican can’t manipulate our taxes for their political goals.
 
From CNN: Union leaders: Deal reached on taxing ‘Cadillac’ health care

President Nicolas Sarkozy is to follow Britain’s lead


PARIS (Dow Jones)–France is in favor of matching the U.K.’s planned one-off tax on bank bonuses, and is likely to slap such a levy on bonuses to be paid out in 2010 for the past year, a senior French government official told Dow Jones Newswires Thursday.

The U.K.’s decision to put an extra tax on bank bonuses could make a similar move easier in France as it removes concern about the competitiveness of Paris as a financial market place, the official added.

“We are in favor of such a tax as the French president has outlined in the Wall Street Journal. Insofar as this will be applied in the U.K., this removes one of the main competition hurdles for Paris,” the official said.

Link

 

Well? Windfall taxes of private companies are normally just confiscatory. They’re morally and economically wrong-minded. Generally, a company makes a profit because they’re providing something people really need. Punishing that behavior makes them provide less. When the wind-fall taxed the oil companies during the 80’s oil crisis oil production dropped because the profit motive went away.

Here though, this is different. These companies needed federal help, and then got that help. That’s a special situation, and perhaps the motivation then becomes don’t ask for a bailout unless you really need it, if you do, we’ll tax all your bonus’s extra till you pay us back. That’s not horribly unfair. If my job was about to go out of business and that was the offer, I’d probably take it.

Videos on Laffer Curve and Fair Tax


Here are some interesting videos a reader left in a comment. They are about the Laffer curve and explain it really well. I agreed with most of what was in there. They’re worth watching. One of the videos makes a (bad) mistake when it shows specific numbers for the Laffer Curve. An important thing to understand is that no one knows where point “B” is. Is the point of highest revenue at 20%? 25%? 33%? 75%? Finding rock-solid evidence of exactly where point B is would be like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Plus I’d personally buy you a cookie. So watch, enjoy. It’s not a very fancy video, I’ll give it a C- in quality of production, but the information is pretty good, so an solid B+.

Additionally, there are some campy cutaway scenes to politicians the video creater doesn’t like and some name calling. I found it very unproductive and unhelpful to the video or the debate. There was no argument made about the people in the pictures, just a random insinuation these are bad people. That’s no way to win an argument, it just makes the guy making the attacks look desperate.

The discussion of Dynamic vs. Static scoring in the end is really good. I’ve heard the story example before, but it’s always amusing. This senator asked the what would happen if you increased taxes to 100%, and the answer was a giant revenue increase, which is silly.

Additionally, though I like the Laffer Curve and agree with it in concept, I do disagree with a key tennet. Even at 100% taxation, there would still be some collection. My example would be slavery. I don’t mean that as a joke, but that’s what 100% taxation looks like. You still get revenue, but the people are slaves. Another example would be a powerful Communist Nation where everyone works for free, but is then provided food and shelter by the government. That’s also 100% taxation. So on a “nit-picky” level I say Arthur Laffer was wrong, you can tax people 100% and continue to get revenue, but that would require a country none of us would call free.

I’ll throw inanother one, it’s a rather fair discussion on the FairTax, somewhat related to the three previous videos. Now I am a very strong supporter of the fairtax and as such I find several things in this video annoying, like when he says it’s a 30% addition to everything. So I’ll clear it up a bit. There are two acceptable ways to look at what percentage of your money is taxed, inclusive and exclusive.

When talking about income taxes, people use the inclusve method. If  the income tax is 25%, and you earn $100, you give the government $25 and keep $75.

When talking about sales taxes, people use the exclusive method. If the sales tax is 33% and you have $100, you can buy something with a price of $75.

So though the 25% income tax has a lower number than the 33% income tax, either way, you have $75 dollars to spend. So yes, in the Fairtax the number seems high, but you have to compare apples to apples. Since you’re replacing the income tax, and that is generally spoken about in inclusive numbers, then you should use inclusive numbers when talking about the FairTax. In which case the tax doesn’t seem so high. (Wow, didn’t mean to write so much.) Anyway, like I said, it’s a pretty fair

We are at war people, should you pay for it?


We are at war. I know it doesn’t feel like we’re at war, but we are. Should we, as Americans, spread the sacrifice? If we are sending sons, daughters, brothers and sisters to war, should we all help them carry their burden? Or is the very question a partisan ploy, a political game to twist debate?

Right now, Democrats are thinking about a tax surcharge to raise funds for the Afghanistan war, and the Republicans are trying to figure out where they stand on this. If you are going to increase spending, then it makes sense we need to either cut funds from something else or raise more funds through taxation, otherwise we’re lettering our children die for us and making our grandchildren pay for it.

Now it’s very possible, definite even, that some Democrats in congress will use this as a bat to beat the American electorate into not wanting to increase troop levels, which is sick. I think Democrats are well within their rights to try to explain the cost of war. Any suggestion of hiding the costs of war, be they life, limb or cash, is an act of a tyrant government hiding it’s actions from its people. If we can’t see the true cost of the wars we fight, how do we know they’re worth fighting? What I think is sick is the fact the Republican is right, the American people don’t mind unnamed soldiers they’ve never met dying for a war they don’t understand, but they will care about having to pay for a war they don’t understand. That’s a very sad commentary on us as a people, that Democrats think the financial cost will be a stronger motivating force than the thousands killed and the (tens of? hundreds of?) thousands of maimed, and that the Republicans agree. I agree too. If we set a national sales tax to perfectly cover all our wars, that will have a huge affect motivating the anti-war sentiment.

For more, read here.

Teabaggers are now Pink Slippers


Whatever you don’t, don’t laugh. Teabaggers have added a middle name, they can now, from this point on, be called Pink Slippers. Because pink slippers aren’t gay even a little tiny bit. Here’s from from Promotionsforlife.

You laughed at our tea parties, but not at Your PINK SLIPS

Almost 5 million pink slips pour into Washington from disgusted tax-payers. Washington, are you listening? President Obama, are you listening? Rahm, are you listening. Madame Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are you listening? Pink Slips baby – Pink slips.

Chart shows that the pink slips stacked reach higher than the Sears Tower!

Short on the $30 bucks it cost to send them in? Contact your 2 Senators FREE here. ‘Have the money? Do both now – the Senate is wanting to “act” on their pink slips this weekend. Pass it on — and send yours in today. KILL THE BILL.

Now, I want to say that yeah, I am laughing.

First, let’s look at the pink slips.

The bullet points read:

No Government Healthcare (It has tax-funded abortion, rationing, and euthanasia; it doesn’t work and we can’t fix it!)

No Cap and Trade (Government control of Energy- Taxing us for heating our homes and driving to work!)

No “Hate Crimes” (It protects pedophiles and sends pastors to prison for biblical positions and speech!)

No Anymore Spending (Congress has already bankrupted our country!)


Okay, lets’s handle this one tick at a time.

“No Government Healthcare” – This means no Medicare, Medicaid, Veterin’s Affairs. I’d be really amazed to see any Senator from any party pushing that.

“tax-funded abortion” – Right now this is a big thing deal in congress. But right now, the pro-lifers outnumber the pro-choicers by a huge margin the house and the senate, and all Obama wants on the Abortion rights front is “status quo.” Which means there is no chance at all of any tax dollars going to abortion. Tax dollars can’t even go to subsidizing private healthcare if that private healthcare includes abortion. (As an aside, the NRCC provides abortion insurance, so any much dontated to the Republican party has subsidized abortion. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/12/rnc-insurance-plan-covers_n_356069.html

“rationing” – The current situation in America where company beurocrats refuse to treat people IS rationing.

“euthanasia” – Not according to Republican Chuck Grassley “It won’t do that,”

“it doesn’t work and we can’t fix it!” – Whatever happened to the optimism of Reagan? Or the greatness of America? Is that an argument or a tempertantrum by a beligerent 3-year old?

Government control of Energy” – You can’t complain to the government when gas prices get out of hand, and complain that we are paying our enemies for our oil and then complain when they do something about it. Government has had numerous laws and controls over our energy supply for decades if not longer. A policy of government non-interference in energy resources would be a horrible national policy and an even worse political one.

Taxing us for heating our homes and driving to work!” – Well, technicalities aside, yes, people will pay more for heating and driving. Then again, taxes subsidize the roads you drive on. The surprise and disgust that the government taxes us is just intentionally ignorant. Of course the government taxes us. As Mr. Franklin famously said, only two things in life are guaranteed, death and taxes. No one likes taxes, and I’d agree that fewer taxes is always better. The question is what are getting for the taxes we spend? Simply stamping your feet mad about taxes isn’t an argument by itself. It’s just another temper tantrum.

No “Hate Crimes”- I’d love to see a politican try to campain on that. Hate crimes provide power to charge people with attacks against christians, blacks, whites, jews, immigrants, etc. Additionally, the quotation marks imply the charge that this is an unneeded “thought” crime law, as if it is immoral to charge people for what they were thinking. To which I respond, you can’t get charged for Hate. You get charged on commiting a crime. The Hate part just adds time to the sentence. Much as hating your wife doesn’t get you charged. You get charged when you kill her. And if it winds up you had thought about it a lot leading up to the murder and had a plan, well, those thoughts get you extra time in jail. That’s a “thought” crime too. Do these people understand precident?

 “It protects pedophiles” – No, it specifcially defined “sexial orientation” to mean homosexuals, transexuals and cross dressers. I wonder if the guys who wrote this up even believe their own lies?

sends pastors to prison for biblical positions and speech!” – First Ammendment people. The very first one. You can’t go to jail for saying homosexuality is a sin. But in the same way you can go to jail for offering cash to an undercover cop to kill your wife, you might go to jail for encouraging people to “Kill the gay! Quick! Before he runs away! Kill the gay!” And I’ve read the bible, Jesus never said to kill anyone. So any Christian preaching the word of Jesus will be fine.

Wow. A whole pile of lies one after the other, rapid fire even!

So, the first reason I laugh is because the points are all rediculous. The second reason I laugh is at the quantity. According to World Net Daily http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=115963 the numbers are as such:

$29.95 per 535 pink slips and 4.5 million slips sent

Simple math thus shows that an absolute maximum of 8411 people have taken part in this protest. (Probably fewer as you can send as many as you want). That’s like a highschool football game. Not in my town of course, my town has huge highschool football games. My town is kinda crazy. But even my town isn’t crazy enough for these silly pink slips. So yeah, I laugh at the Teabaggers and Guy Fawkers, Birthers and Truthers, and now I get to laugh at the Pink Slippers.

HA!

Bookmark and Share