Jeff Neal for C.U.R.E. - Certain Unalienable Rights Endowment

Posts Tagged ‘money’

I’ll personally pay back the National Debt

In Financial, Opinion on January 26, 2015 at 6:47 pm

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 6.37.57 PMWith patriotic hearts, a friend and I have a deal for America. We are going out on a limb – we’re going to offer a solution to the country’s national debt problem, a problem estimated at approximately $18 trillion. We are going to deliver personal checks to the US Treasury in amounts that will total $18 trillion (we’re still negotiating the allocation between the two of us).

First: You’re welcome – glad we could help.

Second: We know what you’re thinking; “Guys, no way you have 18 trillion dollars. Maybe 2 or 3 trillion, but 18!?!?  Get real.” Well, we know that, and we also know that neither does the US Government have 14 trillion dollars. That’s why they OWE it, that’s why the nation is in debt by that amount. It’s not there, their check would bounce, just like ours would; so what’s the difference between the government’s check and ours?

Just one thing . . .  see, we’re math guys, and mathematically we have a chance of making our check good; the government . . . well, read on.

So let’s do a little math; it’s a little complicated, so read slowly. The two of us think we can create, say, $5.0 million of wealth every year, and we will commit all of that wealth to reduction of the national debt – that’s a 100% tax rate on our income, and we won’t even ask for any interest. In about 4.7 million years, give or take a few millennia, we’ll be old and tired, but we’ll have it paid off.

Alternatively (and now we need you to really concentrate – this will sound foreign at first) we can let the government pay it off, no help from us; we’ll keep our trillions. At its current rate of wealth creation, the US Government will pay back this debt in – more math, divide by n+1, carry the 3, and we get . . . .  NEVER. They’ll never pay it back, not one red Lincoln penny of it.

You see, your government – including the Congress, the White House, all of the executive agencies – creates exactly $0 in wealth each and every year. Government consumes money and it has the power to pay bills only by TAKING wealth from its citizens, the free men and women who create it.

That brings us to our more serious point, which we think is made clearer by the hypothetical offer above.

Unless paired with less spending, there is no such thing as a tax cut; there are only tax-deferrals. Every dollar of spending represents a tax and OUR COUNTRY IS taxed each year the amount which the government spends. How much we’ll pay now and how much we’ll pay later is decided by a government that arbitrarily sets tax rates and writes convoluted rules that sound “fair.” Every dollar the government spends must be matched by a dollar of taxation – either today or tomorrow or in 30 years, when our children should instead be toiling and sweating to pay for their own current consumption rather than paying back our debts. Any “tax-cut” for the middle class, for the billionaires, and for small business owners was no such thing. It is a deferred tax increase for you and your children.

Cutting spending – entitlements, discrerionary – all of it, is the only answer. Let free men and women dispose of their money without government incentives and direction.  536 people in Washington, DC are not smarter than 320 million Americans.

Obama’s Education Policy and Death Panels

In Opinion on January 27, 2012 at 10:23 am

Today, in a campaign speech at the University of Michigan, the President will tell educators to get in line or lose federal support.  In a NY Times Preview of the speech he said: “Let me put colleges and universities on notice:  If you can’t stop tuition from going up, the funding you get from taxpayers will go down.” Reminds me of his speech to the business communities’ lobbyists, The US Chamber of Commerce, a few months ago, which I critique HERE.    Maybe a little ominous?

This does not bode well for anyone.  Remember, the feds took over (outlawed) the private student loan business a while ago.  Soon, strings will be attached to student loans and limits placed on tuition.  Where that leads, most likely, is a two-tiered tuition system. Pay with government loan dollars, your tuition is $X. Pay with your own money, it will be $2X.  Somebody’s gotta make up for the subsidy; might as well be the “rich.”

Costs will spiral out of control, limits will be placed on education costs, the government will have to step in to ‘solve’ the problem it caused, and Education Panels (No-Soup-For-You! or Death Panels) will be created to determine who gets a shot at President of the Law Review at Harvard and who attends Piedmont Community College (no offense intended).

And then it will be interesting to see Harvard’s and Univ of Texas’s Boards of Regents, mostly staunch BHO supporters, squirm and whine, as they fight to keep their enormous university endowments from being raided by the feds to help bridge the gap.  I can hear the sound bites now:

“Why should that poor, unemployed graduate have to pay off his student loan with his hard earned dollars when you have billions and billions to spare?  Give up your piggy-bank endowments for the benefit of the poor.”

“Why should all that endowment money be invested in hedge funds, off-shore accounts and real estate ventures.  You MUST INVEST it to prepare our kids for the future?!”

They’re blurring the meaning between ‘spend’ and ‘invest’ – the second one doesn’t mean what they think it means.

You’ve been warned.

Mitt Obama’s 28.3 MegaByte Tax Return

In Opinion on January 22, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Mitt Obama?  Of course you think I meant Mitt Romney’s return, but read on.  Maybe I meant that Irish fellow, Barack O’Romney.

First, The Wall Street Journal editorial board reported on January 19, that “[w]hen he recently visited the Journal, Mr. Romney all but said he didn’t think he could propose a tax reform with lower rates because he’d be attacked as a rich guy.”

And, then on January 22nd, Mitt Romney revealed his plans to release his 2010 tax return on January 24th along with an estimate of his 2011 taxes.  The left (and Rick Santorum) will scowl, scour and find in his return signs of ‘unfairness’ in the system along with innumerable ways the deck is “stacked in favor of the wealthy, the 1%.”  They will wax indignant and at length.

Then, in the next debate, Mitt will squirm, smile, nod, pause and then say “Well, ya know, I just followed the tax code as written by a bunch of Washington insiders, so if you think taxes are unfair, elect me and help me make taxes more fair for all Americans.”  Then remembering his consultants’ best line, he will add, “I won’t apologize for being successful.  I won’t apologize for the free enterprise system.”

So, what’s the problem?  Well, we know already that Mr. Romney is proud of himself and his accomplishments, and none of us begrudge anyone’s success.  The problem is that Mitt Romney doesn’t have enough pride (or money) for all Americans to be successful.  He has not proposed and will not (can not? – see above quote from WSJ) support policies that protect every American’s right to pursue happiness.  Mitt Romney wants to trim the hedges around the DC establishment’s playground, and they know he has no intention of taking away any of their toys.

Here’s how we know that.  Mitt Romney should have said, weeks ago, one of two things about his tax returns.

1.  “Screw it.  I’m not releasing my tax returns.  You know I’m wealthy and you can assume that I’ve filed every form and paid every dollar of tax the law requires.  It’s no one’s business exactly how much I’ve paid in taxes, given to charity or otherwise invested money that is mine.  If that means you will vote for someone else, so be it.”  It’s what he wanted to say, it would’ve been admirable, and it also would have cost him most of his votes.


2.  “My tax returns for the last 25 years will be on the web as soon as they can be scanned into the computer.  They will reveal that I have used umpteen dozen legal tax deferral and avoidance tactics.  They will reveal that I have an investment portfolio designed, at great cost by the best tax accountants money can buy, to minimize how much of my income is exposed to taxation and, then, at the lowest legal rate.  Critics will suggest that had I invested my money differently, had the code been written differently, more of my income would be taxable, and Uncle Sam would have taken more of what is mine.  They’ll suggest that the tax code that encouraged me to invest in projects X, Y and Z rather than projects A, B and C should be made more ‘fair.’  And, they’re right.  Every last one of the tax avoidance schemes I have used to minimize my tax liability for the last 25 years should be repealed, and I want you to elect me to make that happen.”

Right.  He’s gonna say that last part; and, I’m going to be in the NBA Hall of Fame!

Imagine the howling that would ensue.  That’s why Mitt Romney must not be the GOP nominee.  He can not lead a revolution against the establishment, because the establishment’s life-blood, their unifying mission, their raison d’être is their ownership and control of Title 26 of the US Code.  The Internal Revenue Code, the most powerful weapon ever known to mankind, gives the US government and its moochers the power to steal from the most free, most productive, most wealthy people the planet has ever seen.

Title 26 of the US Code was followed to the letter by Mitt Romney.  It was in place and subject to any change Barack Obama would have liked while the Democrats controlled the Senate and the House from January 21, 2009 through December 31, 2009, the last day on which the Internal Revenue code could have been changed to make Mitt Romney’s 2010 tax return more fair.  Why would the men and women who control the most powerful weapon ever give up their power?  Why would they give their weapon to Mitt Romney now that they know Barack Obama wants it to make it more powerful?  What incentive does Mitt Romney have to force them to give him the ability to take the bullets out of their gun – his accountants figured out how to dodge most of the bullets already?

This is where it becomes clear that Mitt Obama was not a typo.  Anyone who dislikes Mitt Romney’s 2010 tax return can send their complaints directly to one of three offices – The Oval Office, Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office, or former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.

It’s not just Mitt Obama’s tax return, it’s Barack O’Romney’s tax code, all 28.3 MegaBytes and 9,127 PDF pages of it.

Money, Politics & Corruption . . . or Chickens & Eggs

In Economics on October 13, 2011 at 11:22 am

A Note to “Occupy Wall Street” crowds

It appears that one thing motivating and energizing your ‘movement’ is the seldom questioned belief that money corrupts politics.  I suggest you have it inside-out and upside down.

Money is the way we accumulate, store and then trade the value of our having lived and worked, first, for things that sustain life and, then, for other luxuries – iPads, thongs, tattoos, bottled water, private jets, Jack Daniels, and deodorant, just to name a few.  Voluntary trading and bargaining between and among men with money precludes force from being the coin of the realm.

Un-touched by political favoritism and other forms of fraud, money never lies and is never corrupt.  Only in the hands of the corrupted man can money do harm.

Money corrupts politics?  NOPE!  That is exactly backwards.  Politics corrupts money.

You will never eliminate avarice or greed from human endeavors, but if you limit the power of the state, you will eliminate the power of avarice and thereby elevate, indeed make paramount, the powers of merit and accomplishment.  And that results in freedom for everyone – no exceptions.

Debt Limit Debate; The Plundering will continue until morale improves

In Opinion, Political Critique on August 1, 2011 at 10:34 am


Mugger buys victim cup of coffee

The federal government will spend $3.6 trillion this fiscal year, borrowing about $1.4 trillion of that and paying $2.2 trillion with current tax receipts and other fees etc collected by the government.  In Washington, that situation is projected to continue for the foreseeable future, yet it is repeatedly called unsustainable (but I don’t think that word means what they think it means).

To reduce that deficit, we need to cut spending or increase taxes.

Wonder how that will go?

We’ve just seen what is being called an “historic” or “heroic” level spending cuts.  That radical act occurred at the brink of, we’re told, an international financial meltdown.  Those cuts amount to about $100 billion per year over ten years, mostly in the out years,  i.e. mostly a fantasy, not to mention are merely a drop in the bucket – 100 billion/3.6 trillion is a whopping 2.7%.  Also, these ‘cuts’ are reductions in increases – what a bunch of liars!

So, “cutting spending” is unlikely to happen, it seems.  Turn to the tax increase solution —> we would need to increase taxes by $1.4 trillion to cover the overspending.  That means we need to increase taxes by 64% ($1.4T /  $2.2T).  I dare the Democrats to propose that.  A 64% increase in EVERYONE’S taxes.  Or, try confiscating that much of the income made by “millionaires and billionaires” and watch them stop earning any money in the US.

Said otherwise – in a $14 trillion economy, we would need to confiscate 10% of the GDP in order to make up the difference.  That will not happen as long as there are elections, so we’ll keep borrowing from our children until the market figures out that they’re not likely to be able to pay it back.

It makes one wonder – Why can’t anyone in the political class (you would hope maybe a Republican could do it) make the simple point that we spend too much?  It’s so easy.  We know why no one makes the case; it’s because they’re all complicit in the lie and its consequences – their continued power.  The Republicans like power just as much as the Democrats like power, and reducing government spending reduces their power.

Sound the alarm – Melt-down is the only likely solution.  Watching these fools congratulate themselves for keeping our nation from “defaulting on its obligations for the first time in its history” would be funny if it didn’t portend disaster.  They have not the discipline to stop the wreck.  And, along the way, they accuse the Tea Party – the only part of the group acting responsibly – of being terrorists and thugs.

I see it like this…. the mugger has been caught with the loot.  The thief begs for mercy because (a) he was going to give the money to old/sick people, and (b) now the police (Tea Party) show up to stop the theft.  The thief declares that, as a result, all those old/sick people are going to starve and it’s Paul Ryan and Rush Limbaugh’s fault.  So, the mugger gives his victim $3.50 for a cup of coffee (i.e. a little bit of a reduction in the level of spending increases) and the mugging continues.

Ed “potty-mouth” Schultz and Laura Ingraham

In Opinion on May 26, 2011 at 12:06 pm
Calling Laura Ingraham a slut is not even in the Top 10 most offensive things Ed Schultz has said on TV or radio in the last 30 days.  Rants and insults are his stock-in-trade.  Given his history, to decide that “slut” is where one draws the line and suggest that for that act he should be sacked (or even suspended) is, as my 13-year old would say, random.  If you were his boss and had not yet fired him for his irrational, unhinged, dishonest and generally insult-laced commentary, you would not (and should not) fire him now.  The one-week suspension is a fig-leaf, and we know it.  He’ll come back to spread more lies and hatefulness, only with a veneer of shamefulness and consequent arrogance, as if apologizing for using the word ‘slut’ removes the smell from the rest of his verbal excrement.
MSNBC has an agenda – to spread the lie that all things conservative lack any merit, deserve disdain and rejection, and otherwise disqualify their political opponents from the debate.  Even now, if you watch, you’ll see that their self-promotion pieces (the little vignettes of their on-air talent pontificating about issue A or issue B) are political campaigns in and of themselves – all against a backdrop of screaming that Fox News is NOT news, merely Roger Ailes’s propaganda machine.
In that light, Mr. Schultz deserves a raise.  You’ll note that neither he, nor his network, has retracted or denied the meaning of his words – that Laura Ingraham’s work is unfit for consumption, that her views are retrograde and not worthy of consideration.  They have not suggested that the essence of the statement was unfair or unrepresentative of their opinion of the likes of Ms. Ingraham, just that they are sorry he used “vile and inappropriate language.”  He even he dragged his wife into his apology statement, as if that might make us forget that he’s a misogynistic blowhard.
I suggest that to demand his dismissal is to fall into the trap of thinking that the sin he committed was a poor choice of words – once.  Let’s also refrain from thinking that monitoring words or thoughts is within the purview of what should be controlled by public opinion – that bumps up against or leads to a temptation to limit speech.  And while you and I are certain we would not succomb to that temptation, I don’t want to tempt the likes of, say, Julius Genachowski or Harry Reid, in that way.
Instead let’s merely point out that several men like Mr. Schultz are paid handsomely [I would assume] by that network to spew this vomit over the airwaves.  Let’s express no opinion about how WE think the owners of that network should spend THEIR money.  Makes it less likely they’ll get any traction when the try to tell you, me, Rupert Murdock, or David Koch how to spend our money.
And we let the chips fall.

ObamaCare Riddle vs the Power of Freedom

In Opinion on May 17, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I’m certain I can’t solve the riddle that is created by the rationale of the liberal defense of ObamaCare.

Problem [stated sneeringly and with moral approbation and disdain]:  There are too many free-riders  taking advantage of free care at hospital emergeny rooms at an estimated cost to Americans of $XX billion per year.

Solution [stated with deep compassion]:  So that we might do a more civilized job of taking care of the poor who need access to affordable [i.e. free] health care, we must tax [those same] Americans $XXX billion per year.

Riddle:  Do we resent the free riders or have pity for the poor?

Answer:  I’d prefer to keep paying my share of $XX billion, wouldn’t you?

I honestly don’t mind that the poor are sponging off of the health-care system that the rest of us have built with our hard-earned dollars.  I don’t mind that some people who pay no property taxes benefit from the fire department.  I don’t even mind that some people pay NO income taxes and still have a nuclear arsenal protecting their shores.

I am convinced that most Americans agree with me, and I’m almost certain there haven’t been any “STOP THE POOR FROM USING THE EMERGENCY ROOMS” riots, demonstrations, rallies or marches.

Free men and women are generous and beneficent.  Forcing them to take care of the poor or feed the hungry via government programs is unnecessary and, worse, destructive of that generous and beneficent spirit.

Leave us alone, please, Washington, DC.  You can keep the Army, the Navy and even NPR; just give us back the rest of the money you confiscate from us every payday, and we’ll take care of the poor with no help from the federal government.

Let the power of freedom cure what’s wrong with America; it’s that power that made us the greatest nation of all time.

Just Let Me Fish

In Economics, Opinion on May 11, 2011 at 10:52 am

Our government does a lot of things –  none of them are properly called ‘creating jobs.’

One popular government act that purports to stimulate job growth in the private sector is granting a tax credit or other similar gimmicks.  “Giving” tax preferences to small or large businesses can have no measurable effect on job growth.  Subsidizing new hires or new investments on the margin and otherwise trying to dictate or steer economic activity into more politically popular areas or industries ought not be the goals of good government policy.

A “tax credit” is not free, found money, a gift from the sky, with which a small business man is going to make some investment he otherwise would not make.  An entrepreneur invests in the future; letting him keep more of last year’s profit does not change his view of what will happen next year or improve his chances of success in his next venture.

These government acts are ostensibly intended to make capital available to businesses for investment.  Capital scarcity is not the problem our economy is facing – there are trillions of dollars of capital invested in stagnating businesses and industries just waiting to pounce on innovative, profitable opportunities – capital is fluid and mobile.  Further, good investment ideas are no more scarce today than at any other time in history.  What is scarce, what is missing, is the belief that an investor can trust that the rules will not change in a fashion that will make his planning and projections moot.  An entrepreneur willingly takes the risks that his customers won’t buy his product or that the cost of the component parts of his widget will increase beyond his control – those are the things he can assess and address with contingency plans, knowing that success or failure hinges on the accuracy of his judgments.  The risks he can not underwrite, the risks he will not take, are risks that at half-time the government will move the goal-line or decide that a touchdown is really worth only 4 points.

The uncertainties heaped upon business decision-making by the Obama regime are what paralyze the businessmen who would love to be making decisions that would require them to employ more workers so he can make a profit – that’s ‘job creation.’  Job growth is not a magic trick that works when the government says ‘Abracadabra’ or ‘pretty please.’  Job growth occurs if, and only if, a businessman concludes there is demand for a product or service at a price that exceeds his cost of delivering it, at which time he will hire hungry laborers to produce the product.  No amount of government action or encouragement makes those productive acts and decisions more likely to occur.  Instead, government inaction makes productivity inevitable, since man has a most acquisitive nature and an insatiable thirst for being productive – oh, and an empty stomach if he isn’t.  How do we know?  See “History, the advance of mankind.”

You know the old parable: “give a man a fish, he eats for a day.  Teach him to fish, he eats for life.”  I say “let me fish, damn it; just let me fish.”

Dems get dizzy arguing with themselves

In Opinion on April 29, 2011 at 11:21 pm

They don’t like the rules, but they’ll play by them if they must.

I listened to the Democrats debate what they think about a couple White House politicos leaving their post to start a couple of campaign fundraising machines.  (See HuffingtonPost piece that analyzes their moral dilemma)

Ponder this:

It seems that the Democrats and their media cheerleaders are highly critical of Republican­s who vote in a way that might seem to be consistent with their donors’ views and interests.  We all know the Dems do the same thing, but that’s not my point.  Answer this question and then decide how you feel about this campaign finance business:

If the Republican­s took a bunch of money from, say, the AFL-CIO or SEIU and then started voting the way Richard Trumpka would like, would the Democrats be happier?  OR, if the GOP asks SEIU for money and SEIU says “NO, because we don’t like the way you vote” is that a scandal?  And, if it were to happen, would the Republican­s be expected to shut down – surrender and run no campaigns since they’d have no money?

Look, I don’t like Republicans being beholden to donors any more than I like Democrats kowtowing to unions.  That is why small government is the solution to everyone’s concerns about campaign finance and the influence of money on government policy.  A government that is not in the habit of confiscating money from Peter to pay Paul would make controllin­g politician­s much less desirable for donors of all stripes; it would make for many fewer people trying to be Paul.  All that money could be invested in productive ways rather than paying a lawyer to draft arcane language to be buried in the tax code to let someone escape the net of government taxation.

Are we spending too much or taxed too little?

In Economics, Opinion on April 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Is there any correlation between The Tea Party and Rational Thinking?

There seems to be some confusion about how the government can routinely run what is generally considered to be an ‘unsustainable’ deficit.  Most of the conversations seem to place the blame on one or both of (1) high government spending and (2) the “irresponsible and unpaid for Bush tax cuts.”

I need someone to explain to me how a tax cut, in and of itself, causes a deficit.  It stands to reason that, unless taxes are $0 or there are no non-essent­ial (i.e. unConstitu­tional) expenditur­es, a deficit is caused if, and only if, the government spends more than it collects in taxes, not because it taxed too little.

After all, isn’t it true that the same congress that writes the tax code also passes the annual budget.  To suggest that one hand of the government (the tax collector) has no responsibi­lity to coordinate its actions with the other hand (the spending machine) is misleading and, I suggest, is born of an intent to deceive or distract the voters from the facts.

Some of the voters who have opened their eyes to that deception are sometimes called Tea Partiers.  Others with similarly open eyes could be described as rational, thinking humans.  Uncovering the deception makes it easier to remember that money the government spends is taken from someone who earned it.  Furthermore, they realize that it’s time to stand up for lower taxes because – well, because it’s moral. Free men should not be compelled to spend their money in ways that Paul Ryan and Harry Reid think are best.  It’s not the politicians’ money.  Let’s take it back.  (see also “Ryan’s Plan – Deeply Flawed Compromise”)