Good Times! Don’t Listen to the Left!

 

Anyone who listens to the leftist mainstream media must think that America is in crisis – a desperate and mean place rife with racism, cruelty, poverty and hate.  It’s no accident.  The Democrat playbook for all of my adult life has been the same: create a crisis, try to scare the hell out of everybody, and then promise to save us.  Never mind that there is a new crisis every day, and they never actually solve any of them!

It’s such a false picture of life in the USA.  Here are some recent vignettes observed by my family:

  • I was in WalMart yesterday, and no I did not “smell” the Trump supporters.  But I did see a senior shopper cheerfully pushing two carts from the parking lot into the cart corral at the store entrance.  As I grabbed my cart I told her, “I’ll bet you are a conservative Republican.”   After a stunned pause, she said, “Why yes, I am!  How did you know?”  “Simple,” I replied.  “See those carts left in the middle of the lot and hanging off the curbs?  They were left there by Democrats.  We conservatives not only clean up after ourselves, we take care of the Democrats too.”  We shared a laugh.
  • Our community is growing like crazy and there are new homes popping up all over.  One is under construction next door to my home.  This morning my wife noticed a construction worker’s Mercedes convertible parked on the edge of our lawn, which is no problem, but she wanted to warn him that our automatic sprinkler would go on and she didn’t want him to get caught with his top down.  They had a nice conversation, and she couldn’t help but notice how happy the craftsman, an African-American brick mason, was.  “I just love my work,” he said.  “And man, have I been busy!”  They agreed that the economy is smoking hot, and my wife, ever the promoter, said, “Trump is doing great, isn’t he?”  The brick mason flashed a huge grin. “He sure is!”
  • Speaking of WalMart, after the tax reform bill was passed, we asked several employees about their jobs.  They got raises and bonuses and are thrilled about it.  Same story at Lowe’s and Home Depot.  My men’s bible study group used to pray for church members who were unemployed.  Not any more – there aren’t any.
  • The Charlotte Observer printed an editorial this week decrying the requirement for voter IDs.  An African-American woman replied the next day, saying, “I am so tired of being told that because I am black I am too stupid to be able to get an ID card.”  She speaks for all minority citizens.  And the Democrats wonder why they are rapidly losing their minority base.  A steady diet of condescension is not a great way to win supporters.
  • My stepmother called to wish my wife a happy birthday and as always, the conversation turned to politics.  My stepmom remarked how much she hates Trump.  My wife asked her what she thinks of the tax cuts.  “Oh, well, that’s a good thing.”  And she asked if reducing all the regulations was helping the economy.  “Yes,” stepmom said, “that’s working really well.”  And my wife asked if Montana was enjoying all the jobs returning because the EPA attacks against oil and coal and mining and agriculture have been shut down.   “Oh that’s been really great,” stepmom agreed. We’re still not sure she gets it, but we’ll keep working on her.

So next time a frantic Democrat tells you how evil and mean and racist and bigoted and homophobic America is – how the conservatives want dirty water and foul air and starving children and abused women – just look around at all the happy faces.  And vow to keep moving ahead, not back.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Good times, these are the good times
Leave your cares behind, these are the good times
Good times, these are the good times
Our new state of mind, these are the good times

Good Times – Nile Rodgers and Chic

 

If this song doesn’t make you happy, I can’t help ya!

Coffee Talk on Tax Reform


Some “coffee talk” on tax reform:


Our national debt is now approaching $21 trillion ($231 trillion if you include unfunded liabilities like government pensions), and nobody seems to care.  Most of our congressmen still want to spend more and tax less.  I guess they think we can just print more money whenever we want and there is no down side.  They had better hope interest rates can be artificially held to near zero for generations to come.


Everybody knows the tax code is ridiculously complex.  But few understand what a drag on the economy this complexity causes.  Here’s something to think about:  the cost of filling out government tax forms is estimated by the IRS at $400 billion per year.  At the bottom of every business tax form is a small box that asks how many hours were spent preparing this form.  The preparer will write “2 hours” or “.5 hours” on the form, and the IRS rolls up this number, multiplies it by some arbitrary labor cost per hour, and comes up with $400 billion.  But that’s just for filling out the form!  It doesn’t include the billions of hours spent on accounting to generate the numbers to report on the form!  I know some of this accounting also serves internal purposes, but much of it does not, especially in small businesses.  And we aren’t even counting the cost of the IRS, the IT systems required for data gathering, or the Advils swallowed every April.

I’ll bet the cost of reporting taxes easily exceeds a trillion dollars.  Think about it:  our annual GDP is $20 trillion.  Ask any business owner what percentage of the labor hours in his business are spent punching computers, gathering data and doing accounting.  A conservative average might be 25%.  That would be $5 trillion of bookkeeping per year.  Imagine what our economy could do if we didn’t spend a quarter of our time bean-counting instead of making something useful.


OMB Director Mick Mulvaney knows that there is terrible waste in government, and we could cut a huge chunk out of the federal budget without causing any pain for Americans.  And while he is making the effort to cut spending as best he can, it won’t work.  “Too slow,” says Mulvaney, an honors scholar and holder of advanced degrees in international economics, commerce, and finance.  “The only way to turn the ship around is to grow the economy.”

Mulvaney believes 3% GDP growth, which has been fairly common in our history, would grind down our debt and reduce the drag on the economy, but only only if we could muster some restraint in the growth of spending.  It’s encouraging and discouraging at the same time.  It’s definitely do-able.  But our elected class has learned that they can get elected and re-elected by promising to give everybody somebody else’s money.


The purpose of taxes is to fund the government.  Collecting taxes should be simple:  Here is the budget for next year (say $1 trillion).  Add up the total wages of all adult citizens ($33 trillion).  Divide – the answer is 3%.  Ask each citizen to send a check for 3% of their wages to the swamp.

That might be a little bit too simple – for example, all business and investment profit would need to be distributed as personal income, not retained.  But our tax code has grown to over 75,000 pages, and that’s because it is used for much more than just funding the government.  It’s all about controlling our behavior.  Most tax laws were put in place to reward some of us with tax breaks, or to punish some of us with higher taxes, or to encourage (or require) all of us to act in a certain way.

If you think the government should have less control over your daily life, you should want the tax code to be severely simplified, and the corrupt IRS whittled down to reflect its core mission.


Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

It’s Hell! Tryin’ to make it
When you’re doin’ it by yourself
It’s Hell! Payin’ taxes
When there’s no money left

Tax Reform – Time to Get Down On It

Only one group of people likes our tax laws just the way they are:  the accountants.

Our tax code is so complex that nobody understands it.  If you call the IRS ten times to get a question answered, you are likely to get ten different answers – that is, if your call even gets through!  30 million calls went unanswered at last count in 2015.

No two CPAs will ever come up with the same tax liability given the same set of books.  It’s not their fault – the tax code was 75,000 pages a year ago (probably more by now).  And that’s a good thing, if you make your living doing tax returns.  For the rest of us, not so much.

Tax compliance costs almost a half-trillion dollars a year, and that doesn’t include the routine accounting that businesses do every day to determine their profitability. 90% of Americans think the tax code is too complex.

Finally there is an opportunity to do something about it.  GOP members of congress have come up with a tax reform plan that would reduce most individual tax returns to one simple page, eliminate most loopholes and targeted deductions, repeal the complex alternative minimum tax, and do away with business depreciation.

Oh, the humanity!  Tax accountants will be leaping from their first-story windows.  H&R Block will no longer have an office on every block.  Packages of TurboTax software will be relegated to the bargain bin at Ollie’s.  Corrupt and inefficient IRS employees will have to get real jobs that actually produce something of value.

More importantly, GDP growth will suddenly jump from 2.5% to 3%.  Then 4%, and upward. Eliminating the productivity drag of all that accounting, reducing tax payments, and deducting the cost of capital purchases from taxable income will give businesses and individuals a huge shot of economic momentum.

Of course this can only happen if Congress is convinced that voters give a damn.  Most of them would just as soon spend your money for you rather than let you do it yourself, and they enjoy controlling your behavior by controlling your wallet.

It’s way past time for tax reform.  Today might be a good day to pick up the phone and call your member of Congress and tell him or her to get down on it.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Get down on it, come on and
Get down on it, if you really want it.
Get down on it, you gotta feel it
Get down on it, get down on it

Get Down On It – Kool and the Gang

 

They’re getting a little gray, but they still got it going on!  It’s Kool and the Gang.

 

 

 

Mr. Trump, I Wrote a Speech For You. No Charge!


photo courtesy Salon.com

photo courtesy Salon.com

My fellow citizens, if you elect me, Donald Trump, to be your president, here are my domestic priorities for the first hundred days of my term:

Government Accountability and Reform

Government sector unions will be eliminated or restrictions imposed, such as:  Unions would be prohibited from contributing to political candidates or having any involvement in political campaigns.  Government employees would be employed “at will”, empowering managers to hire, fire, and discipline without union intervention.  They would be subject to the same payroll and benefit laws as the private sector, including social security, 401k, and Medicaid coverage or private health insurance allowance.  We can no longer tolerate a government where nobody is responsible for anything or ever gets fired.

Congress will establish biannual performance and zero-based budget requirements for every department and agency, and oversight committees will hold agency heads responsible for meeting goals, with the authority to discipline or discharge failing managers.  Redundant and obsolete services and programs will be eliminated from agencies and departments.  This is basic economics, understood by every American.

All elected officials will be subject to the same ethics standards and prosecution as private sector corporate officials, prohibiting insider trading, personal gain from transactions and decisions, nepotism, payoffs for campaign contributions, and any other breaches of trust.  Why should elected officials get away with corruption that is not tolerated in private business?

Congressional term limits will be established.  The power structure must be brought under control.

Congress will be required to produce timely budgets; continuing resolutions will be prohibited.  The job of Congress is to budget and appropriate.  If they don’t do that, we don’t need them.

Law and Order

My new IRS and FBI commissioners will investigate Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation for tax fraud and improper quid pro quo deals with foreign companies and governments.  This kind of corruption must be brought to light and stopped once and for all.

Sanctuary cities will be denied federal funding.  Existing immigration laws will be enforced at the borders and ports, and in all government offices and programs.  Officials who fail or refuse to enforce any federal law will be disciplined or terminated.  Without borders, we have no country.  And without law enforcement, we have anarchy.

Federal involvement in local law enforcement will cease, including the use of consent decrees to impose federal control.

Health, Welfare, Housing and Education

The Affordable Health Care Act will be repealed and replaced by a congressionally approved plan which includes a provision for a federal assigned risk pool for pre-existing conditions.

Federal funding of all means-tested welfare and assistance programs and all educational programs will be limited to block grants to the states.  Our Constitution intended the power of the people to reside in state governments, not federal.  This is the United STATES of America.

Government funding of private health care providers specifically including Planned Parenthood will be prohibited.

The federal student loan program will be eliminated and restored to the private sector.  Any program for relief from student loan debt will include provisions for clawback of public losses from the universities who received the student loan payments.

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and other government subsidized home loan programs will be phased out, restoring the mortgage industry to the private sector.

Tax Reform

Estate taxes will be permanently eliminated – it is double taxation.  Corporate income tax will be significantly reduced to encourage repatriation of assets and domestic production.  Personal income taxes will be simplified.  Loopholes and carve-outs will be eliminated for businesses and individuals.

Businesses will receive tax incentives for providing modern technical training programs that meet their workforce needs and result in direct sustained employment of individuals, replacing unnecessary and unproductive college time and expense.

Immigration

Legal immigration rates and eligibilities will be revisited by Congress with impact analysis on jobs, the economy, security, and infrastructure.  Charity will not be a consideration, as it is not a function of government.  Illegal immigration will be treated and enforced as a criminal act.

These action items have the strong support of a majority of Americans.  If Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell fail to take action on these important tasks, I will use the bully pulpit of the Presidency to admonish and encourage and even embarrass them.  And if they still refuse to respond to the will of their constituents, as they have over the last many years, I will find other ways to give the people what they want.

Please vote for me, your humble servant, Donald Trump.


Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

Well, it’s about time for things to get better
We want the truth, the truth and no more lies
We want freedom, justice and equality
I want it for you and I want it for me
Well, well
Give the people what they want!

Give the People What They Want – the O’Jays

Here’s a great song by the O’Jays – from Soul Train, 1975.  Check it out!

My New Tax Proposal – You Will Love It

idiot call center

I will be so happy to help you with that problem, sir! I hope you are having a wonderful day!

I have a great new tax reform plan. It’s so much simpler than the 73,954 pages in our current tax code. In fact, it is only one paragraph long.

Here it is:

Any company that provides customer service or technical support using a call center in Bangladesh, India, Costa Rica, the Philippines, or any other place where people speak English but are totally incompetent, helpless, ingratiating, untrained, patronizing, overpaid, clueless, freaking idiots, must pay a 99% excise tax on all net income from sales in the United States.  All other companies and citizens will pay 10% of their income.

What do you think?

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

I’m not like them,  But I can pretend
The sun is gone,  But I have a light
The day is done,  And I’m having fun
I think I’m dumb
Maybe just happy, I think I’m dumb

Dumb – Nirvana