Saturday, December 29, 2012

Suggested New Taxes For Obama's Budget


We need new taxes.  Debt is raging and spending cannot be cut without hurting those who are most vulnerable in our society... politicians.  Literally dozens of politicians would be thrown out of their jobs if they failed to deliver the customary freebies to their special interests.  Consequently, we need to be creative in our taxing.

Obviously, we can tax the rich more.  They may simply move their wealth elsewhere, but we could catch a bump in revenue for a year or two while they make the necessary adjustments.  No, we need to go where the sources are not so mobile.

Here are a few suggestions:
  • 10% church tax.  There are so many wealthy churches out there.  They have hardwood pews and expensive stained glass windows.  Money up the kazoo.  They won't miss some of that cash that's just lying around. [image]
  • 20% charity tax.  These charities raise millions of dollars each year, maybe billions.  They are supposed to help the poor or sick, but that's the job of our government, not private individuals or groups.  Besides, they have huge administrative costs unlike the government which returns $2 for every $1 collected.  Charities are so 18th century.
  • 30% meat tax.  Vegetarians don't need meat so why should anyone else?  It's a luxury and should be treated as such.  Think of all of those hamburgers and chicken sold at fast food places.  Luxury, that's all it is.  There are plenty of soybeans available. [image]
  • 40% new car tax.  What's the matter with an older car?  There are millions of older cars... and second cars around.  New cars require energy to produce and that produces CO2 which will kill everyone in 20 years if we don't have sequestration.  Walking is healthier.
  • 50% electronics tax.  People buy new cell phones and TVs much too often.  Besides, all of those electronics are cluttering the airwaves and making birds ill.  Someone has to save the birds and that will cost money... lots of money.  The government will do it, but it's time to stop the offenders. [image]
  • 60% health care tax.  Oh, wait.  That's being handled already.
  • 70% energy tax.  People in Africa and India get by without all of that expensive heating and air-conditioning.  It's healthier to have fresh air in the house and it will be fresher without all of that energy pollution.
  • 80% education tax.  Only applies to those who live within 100 miles of a school and based on average expenditures per pupil.  Private schools will have a 20% surcharge on this tax. Exemption forms will be available in person at the IRS offices in Washington, D.C.  Please have 4 sources of picture identification and your original birth certificate which will not be returned.  Members of Congress, the Executive Branch [department heads and above], and those illegally in the U.S. are exempt from filing exemption forms. [image]
  • 90% birth tax.  New children are taking up valuable space and resources better used by Canada geese and coyotes.  Tax based on average cost to raise a child to age 25 when they can become wards of the government.
  • 100% death tax.  You don't need it anymore and your government does.  Trust us. [image]

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There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.
Henry Louis Mencken (1880–1956)
“The Divine Afflatus,” A Mencken Chrestomathy, chapter 25, p. 443 (1949)
... and one could add "not all human problems really are."
It was beautiful and simple, as truly great swindles are.
- O. Henry
... The Government is on course for an embarrassing showdown with the European Union, business groups and environmental charities after refusing to guarantee that billions of pounds of revenue it stands to earn from carbon-permit trading will be spent on combating climate change.
The Independent (UK)

Tracking Interest Rates

Tracking Interest Rates


SEARCH BLOG: FEDERAL RESERVE for full versions... or use the Blog Archive pulldown menu.

February 3, 2006
Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
[Image from:]
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

About Me

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Michigan, United States
Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)