Wednesday, May 22, 2013
What is the Internal Revenue Service’s function? They are the federal agency empowered to collect taxes from the American people. They are empowered to the extent that you are guilty of any charge they make until proven innocent. The constitution grants us the right to innocence and puts the burden of proof on the government when it comes to every other facet of law. How is it that a government agency can be allowed to undermine our constitutional rights?
First, congress should pass a law that puts the burden of proof on the IRS and not the other way around. If the IRS believes we owe more tax than we paid, let them prove it. Why should it be our burden to manage their responsibilities? Especially when the tax code is a million lines of regulations. We have to go to work and make a living. We don’t have time to do their job as well. What are we paying them for? Let them cite the law and where we are wrong, and if we disagree let them provide additional proof we have done something wrong. Let them obtain a warrant and then conduct an audit. If they are wrong then we should be reimbursed for any fees, lost wages, and time we have spent defending their claim.
The IRS is the equivalent of the loan shark in organized crime. In reality they are empowered to destroy people’s lives and livelihoods. They can show up with goons and make American’s lives miserable. They can garnish wages, freeze bank accounts, and take the receivables in your business. This is too much power for any agency in our government. And it is about to get worse as the IRS takes on the new role as enforcer of healthcare. If healthy, young, or not convinced of the need for health insurance, the IRS goons are going to be the arm twisting agency to force you to purchase a product against your will.
So there is a much easier way to deal with this out of control agency filled with America hating bureaucrats. Implement a flat tax at the federal level like every state in the union. If you make 0 - $50,000 a year you pay 10% of your W2 income. If you make $50,000 a year to $10,000,000,000,000 you pay 10% of your W2 or Corporate income. That’s right 10% for everyone. That is fair and that is justice.
The federal government is bloated and out of control. Ten percent of the country’s income is more than enough to provide for the constitutional requirements.
The recent scandals are the result of a federal government too big and being run by people that are too casual with the concept of law and order. Let’s send the 115,000 employees of the IRS packing. Instead of harassing the business people of the United States, let them try to get a job at one of those establishments…
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Too many people post too much stuff about their comings and goings, where they are eating, what they are buying or feeling at every hour of the day. I am not going to comment on the way people choose to share their lives because I engage in social media sites as well, but my concern is the message it sends to kids.
The right to privacy is a constitutional, God, given right that we should cherish. We should be able to live our lives without interference from anyone including and especially government agencies and bureaucrats. The right to privacy is as important as the right to free speech which is greatly improved with the advent of social media. Social media has given a voice to so many more Americans, and it has broken the “log jam” of newspaper editors that used to control the flow of information. But what about protecting our privacy?
In Utah, as we speak, a new DOD data center that is being built in the name of security is going to be capable of watching and spying on every American citizen without their knowledge. In the name of keeping people safe, the federal government is preparing to make our lives less safe and endangering our right to privacy. We will be less safe from the prospect of an over reaching and controlling government. I want to allow the government to track terrorists but at what cost? What information will we allow them to gather on us? And from where we will allow them to gather information on law abiding citizens?
So here is my fear. As kids spew their lives on every social network without an ounce of consideration, how likely will they be willing to protect the rights of privacy and our other constitutional rights? Their willingness to share their information may cloud their judgment on constitutional limits. It will be easier for the younger generation to shrug off as unimportant the ability and reality of government agencies tracking our every move. They are so accustomed to being tracked by friends, why not the government? And not only government, corporations and advocacy groups as well.
Between the lack of civics and history in the public school curriculum, the acceptance of information dumping on social networks, and the ability of federal government to track our every move, what will become of privacy? What will become of our nation? What will become of our Constitution? What will become of our liberty?
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
The economy and the markets have shown exceptional resilience in the headwinds of an out of control spending tornado that is Washington DC and the federal government. Imagine if we had an administration in Washington that wanted the economy to thrive? We would be in the greatest economic recovery in history right now.
Why is it that we continue to limp along instead of steam rolling down the economic highway? Burdensome regulations and an expanding amount of money being drained from productive uses. The current administration has a strong belief in the “goodness” of government and sees its primary role as wealth distribution. The evidence is in the numbers. Welfare programs have exploded, taxes have been raised on the most productive in our society, and the new healthcare law is not about health but rather an effort to make healthcare a right so that everyone gets the same fair but poor care from providers. This government believes our problems are a result of free markets instead of understanding free markets are the solution.
Small and big business alike are managing to squeeze out more productivity from their current operations even with all of this effort to undermine them. So I come back to the point that if we reduced our government footprint and let business and individuals decide where to spend their own money, our economy would be on fire!!
This country is blessed with so many people that are determined to succeed. Most of us have been brought up to work hard and take care of ourselves and our families. If we have a little extra we show our compassion through donations. But we have a generation that has been exposed to the idea that fairness is more important than self-determination and free markets. They have been told that community is more important than individual freedom. They have been told government = community. That equation is dangerous and false. Communities thrive when individuals are free to decide their own fate. Government is not a community it is a necessary evil. Everything government does has unintended and often bad consequences to our individual liberty and economic viability.
We still have a generation that is determined to protect individual rights but I am afraid that the next generations are being wooed to place that determination in government mandates. We must teach individual determination and reject government as a community if we hope to survive as the greatest Nation on earth… We owe that to our posterity…
Monday, April 29, 2013
Epic government failure is everywhere. So is the feeling of chaos. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and all welfare programs have been deemed unsustainable from every legitimate audit agency that has reviewed the programs. We have spent billions of dollars on a new federal agency to protect the homeland and we find out at the Boston Marathon that we were under a false sense of security. The threat is greater now than it was after 911. The reason is we have an administration that can’t call out terrorism or the people that are mostly responsible for the acts of terrorism.
The new healthcare bill that was passed in 2009 is bankrupting the country and ruining the efficiency of the greatest and most innovative healthcare industry in the world. Unemployment has been at record highs, but more importantly are the millions of people that have given up looking for work or applied for disability. That number has skyrocketed and is unsustainable. Never mind that it is bad for the individual psyche of the nation. We are printing money as if that is a solution when in fact it is adding to the problem of government gluttony.
We have “sustainable” energy companies funded by tax dollars with the only requirement to obtain capital for that business is being a political donor to the administration in power. Most have gone bankrupt after paying out millions in bonuses to the people that ran them (into the ground). Crony capitalism is undermining the legitimate and most effective economic system, capitalism, by painting all capitalism as corrupt. The truth is the government is the corrupt player along with willing accomplices, not capitalism as a system.
The Middle East is a powder keg of radical activity. The Islamic terrorists hate us more than ever even with this president’s naïve attempt to “soften” the rhetoric. Syria has crossed the red line set by the president and the consequences? Still waiting to see how far the president will move the red line back. Setting lines in the sand is never a good idea unless you intend to enforce them. The American people have no stomach for spilling blood and treasure in the Middle East so lines in the sand are just that.
The country has not seen this much depression in attitude and economy since Jimmy Carter in the 70’s. College grads move back home in the basements of their parents after accumulating thousands in education debt for a “Fill in the Blank” Studies Degree. There seems like no hope in sight for a better future. This is just the tip of the iceberg in a list of government failures that just keep adding up as fast as the national debt.
And the President plays another round of golf. God Bless America…
Friday, April 5, 2013
90 Million Americans Not Working.
In March 80,000, 600,000, and 80,000 are the three important numbers to know. 80K were added to the disability roles, 600,000 left the workforce completely discouraged, and 80K jobs were created. The real unemployment number is 15% but the reported number is 7.6%.
America is on an unsustainable path. 90 million Americans are not working. We have an employment participation rate back to 1979 levels of 63.3%.
This is so much bigger than Obama. It is time to think about our country again. The bigger this welfare state gets the faster we will spiral into chaos. There is no economic recovery for 90 million Americans.
I find it hard to believe that anyone can support the path we are on. If there are people that still think that pumping money into the economy, expanding the role of the federal government, and raising taxes on workers is good policy they are too far gone to convince otherwise.
The economy is in survival mode and there are always a few bright spots in any economy but simply take an inventory of the American economy in total, and a very sad story appears to any open eyes and minds.
I don’t give a hoot about political parties and politicians. I want every federal representative who has been in Washington more than 2 terms removed and replaced. DC is broken and they are breaking America…
America is dying…
Thursday, April 4, 2013
The federal government has been subsidizing industries for many years and they are often the target for elimination but rarely are the critics successful but why? Let’s look at the industry that is the biggest target for eliminated subsidies; big oil.
The three major categories that big oil receives subsidies for are the strategic oil reserve, farm equipment subsidies, and low income fuel assistance programs, totaling 2.5 billion a year. Oil companies are subsidized by the federal government to put aside a specific amount of oil into the Strategic Oil Reserve to ensure in the case of a crisis our government has access to a large enough inventory to manage a crisis. Farming subsidies are probably the oldest of all federal subsidies. As part of that subsidy, oil companies receive just under a billion dollars to supply farmer’s fuel at a reasonable price. The Low Income Fuel subsidy that helps low income families heat their house in the winter represents about $500 million a year.
So when we talk about subsidies for “Big Oil”, these are the three biggest subsidies the oil companies receive. The average person hears subsidies to big oil and they believe it is simply money that goes in the pocket of big oil companies but the pockets it is going into is DOD (government), Farmers, and Low income citizens. That is why these programs survive. If they were truly just tax breaks going into the executives of big oil they would have been stopped long ago. Most people don’t have the attention span to listen to the entire argument so it is easy for politics to be injected into the arguments. So “Big Oil” remains the bad guy “screwing” the tax payer but are they?
I am against federal government subsidies. The venture capital market is the best avenue for investment in promising technology, products, drugs, etc… If an idea or product is viable it will attract private capital. The “renewable energy” business is the perfect example of why I am against federal subsidies. My biggest concern is the federal government picking winners and losers. What expertise do these bureaucrats have to make that decision compared to private capital? If windmills (which is an ancient and ineffective technology) are a viable energy source- why wouldn’t it attract private capital? Because private capital looks at all of the factors including longevity and ROI which they have determined not to risk their own capital. So why risk the tax payer’s capital? What does the country have to gain? Sustainable energy? Really, if that was the case why then not invest private capital?
The companies most likely to get federal subsidies are companies that donate to political candidates. It gives them access and unfair advantage. It is also important to remember that it is easy to spend other people’s money when the people’s money you are spending is not aware of how it’s being used. Private capital ventures have to guarantee a return or they will not attract new investors.
The market is the best mechanism to flush out future products and industries. Subsidies are attractive to politicians because it gives them power to control. That is not why we have a federal government. The founders knew that the federal government’s role was to ensure foreigners did not attack us, and that commerce was consistently practiced between the states. The constitution was the law and the courts were the referees. Everything else was up to the states and people. We need to move closer to the founding intent…