Saturday, July 23, 2011

"Atlas Shrugged" was a Warning, not a Manual: More municipal follies!

wizardPC at The Wall so the City has had the first hand experience of being lectured by his local government, along with a nice round of intimidation by their nascant goon squad. He has decided that leaving is a viable option.

I thought this was supposed to be an irregular feature?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fixing the deficit

I'd like to offer a solution to our Congresscritters on just how to fix the national deficit and start repaying the national debt. As a side benefit, it would also help shrink the size of the Federal Government back to something we might be able to live with. From my perspective, it's simple and straightforward, with nowhere in it to hide goodies for special interests. You know, everything a politician hates.

First, we're going to reform the tax code by scraping the damn thing. You can't fix it--it's simply too Byzantine to be suffered to exist. We're going to go to some sort of flat tax with a single deduction. We work it this way:

Each year, someone in the Federal Government figures out what the "poverty level" is. I want it figured out such that for an individual, it's $x. For two people, it's $x + $y. For 3, it's $x +$y +$z. For 4, $x + $y +$2z. For 5, $x + $y +$3z. Continue the progression. Nice simple, easy to work with.

Your single deduction is for all income up to the poverty level for whatever size your family is. That's it, that's all you get. No mortgage deductions, no earned income credits, no nothing.

The tax rate is some percentage, let's say 15% just for giggles.

You could fit the new tax form on a single sheet of paper, front and back, including the necessary table and instructions. You can file a paper one, but you can also go online and fill the thing out on the IRS website for free. Oh, and we'll can about 75% of the IRS employees as well, since taxes are now going to be really, really simple.
  1. How much did everyone in your household you make this year?
  2. How many people in your household?
  3. Refer to the table on the back and enter the poverty level income level for the size of you household.
  4. Subtract line 3 from line 1, then multiply by 0.15. Send us that amount.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention--no withholding. That makes things even simpler, and encourages folks to pay attention to how big a bite taxes are removing from their paycheck.

Corporations get to play by the same rules, but we'll substitute salaries paid for the poverty level. No deductions for anything else.

Now that we've fixed the income portion, let's handle the expenditures part.

The Federal Government budget is hereby reduced by 50%. Yes, that's a lot, and yes, everything, including the military, will get cut. We can save some money by outright elimination of groups like the Dept. of Education and the Dept. of Energy. There are plenty of others; amuse yourself developing your own list.

We can reduce our military costs by bringing most of our troops home and spending more time tending to our own business rather than sticking our noses into Libya, Kosovo and every other turd-whirled county that can't figure out how to treat their population. If we need a punitive expedition such as Afghanistan, we go in, break everything that needs breaking and kill everyone that needs killed and leave a note at the border on the way out--"Do it again and we'll be back."

I suspect I'm missing some fine points (such as a line item for ear plugs so we don't have to listen to all those gored sacred cows bellowing) but you get the drift--I'm taking a chainsaw to it.


(Via Timebomb 2000)
As Codrea says with more than a tinge of sarcasm, "The Only Ones".

I suppose this Canton, Ohio cop is the only one who should be allowed to threaten to kill a concealed carry permittee?

Edit, 7/22/2011 1738: Ohioans for Concealed Carry has the video from the dashcam.)

So when the TSA sucks less

We're all supposed to shout "Huzzah!"? Not feeling it, Sparky, if if ya'll can't see it.

And, all you airlines I used to do business with...the reason I'm not doing business with you now is because I don't want anyone else to feel it, either.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I shall start a new irregular feature

(Via Timebomb 2000)

And I shall call it "Atlas Shrugged" was a Warning, not a Manual. Today's issue:

Hoosiers Show How It’s Done: Indiana Posts a Surplus And Dems Are Unhappy

Of course, they'd be unhappy if it rained soup, because they'd have to get a bucket to catch it.

Someone gets it

(Via In the MIDDLE of the RIGHT)

At least on this subject, the people of Iceland have the picture clearly:

On April 9, the fiercely independent people of island-nation defeated a referendum that would have bailed out the UK and the Netherlands who had covered the deposits of British and Dutch investors who had lost funds in Icesave bank in 2008.

I wonder how a similar referendum would do in the US? Not that we'd ever be allowed to have one.

ZOMG, they're gonna DEFAULT!!!

Oh, woes is me...

The escalating debt crises on both sides of the Atlantic are complicating the process of investment decision making for the latter half of 2011 as sovereign default fears grow against the backdrop of a world economy still growing at a reasonable pace.

The Greeks are going to default, the Irish are going to default, the US is going to default, Upper Sloblovia is going to defualt--take your pick of a crisis for the financial media to focus on, and they are, in a sort of media ADD moment driven by too many identical stories in the same timeframe.

Here's the real deal as I see it--yes, these countries are going to default. You can likely add in China, Brazil and any other country that you wish. Now, they may not actually admit they're defaulting. They'll call it a "debt restructuring" or a "payment moratorium" or "debt forgiveness" or some such bushwa, but at the end of the day if the creditors are not repaid in the agreed upon manner, it's a default.

For us little folks, it's going to suck. They level of suck will depend on exactly how it goes down and the unpredictable reactions of people and parties around the globe. It could be a Recession Suck, Great Depression Suck or a Mad Max Suck, and no one has any clue which one it will be, and we won't until we're neck deep in it and see the suck going down toward our feet rather than up over our heads.

Various Intertubz pudits, your humble scribe included, have talked about various things you can do to help safeguard yourself and your family. You can pay down debt, do the "beans bullets and bandaids" thing, transfer some of your wealth into precious metals, go very liquid on your investments, move to a more self-sufficient place mostly removed for what we joking call "civilization"--the list is long and varied, and no solution or package of them is right for everyone.

No matter what path you chose (excluding sticking your fingers in your ears and going "la, la la"), the cool thing about it is that you will not only be protecting yourself, but setting yourself up for future prosperity--even if the event winds up being a Y2K Suck. No matter how it winds up, it's going to do us a huge service.

You keep hearing me mention that I'm listening to the audiobook version of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged". (Yes, still. It takes like 58 hours--sue me.) The thing is scary prescient. I've heard a lot of people comparing our time to the fall of the Romans, and there is some validity to that. But "Atlas Shrugged" get to the real heart of the matter.

There are two and only two kinds of people--Producers and Looters. Producers make things and create wealth. They may or may not own a business--it's perfectly possible for a Producer to be the guy driving that dump truck you just passed. A Producer makes a positive impact in the world, creating wealth either large or small.

Looters, on the other hand, are a sink. They believe they are entitled to the things produced by others simply because they exist and that they "need" it. They need a place to live, food, a car, cable TV, Internet, self esteem, whatever--and it's not their responsibility to get it for themselves, but the responsibility of the greedy rich--by which they mean anyone who is a Producer--to give it to them, simply because they have the capability of providing it.

Yeah, I pretty much call "BULLSHIT" on that. Please, don't act surprised.

The coming suck is going to help you identify Producers and Looters with clarity, and you're probably going to be surprised at times who winds up in which category. I suspect we're all going to be surprised and just how many looters there are. (Heck, face it--Greece is a country of looters, top to bottom. We're going to find out that there are a lot of others.)

If you want to survive the coming suck, resolve to be a Producer in the most complete possible sense. Be aware that the time may come when you have to "shrug" and withdraw your talents from the looters, simply to reduce their numbers (as in, allow them to die crying out for someone to help them). But the time will come when the Producers shall inherit the earth--and make it a better place.

The beauty of mob rule

Casey Anthony is released from prison.Link