Thursday, March 12, 2009

Last Year's Business

We tax all the others and pass the revenue on to you

"Last year's business", that's what the president called the budget he just signed, the one will the disgraceful 9,000 pork projects. You know, last year when he and the rest of Congress were supposed to be working on it? They didn't. He seldom showed up for work at all. McCain either, so don't get touchy. Too busy campaigning. Campaigning was good for him; bad for us because he got the Oval Office and we got stuck with last year's business... and the bill.

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Watch For It...

... The prez to bring on Bill Clinton as some sort of buck-a-year "special advisor" on budget and the economy. He's got so many of the old gang there already, why not bring back the big dog? Maybe he can contribute something. His budget surplus was a little bit smoke and mirrors but I'll grant that it wasn't $3 tril downhill like we've had recently, and that after Bush took us a tril downhill beforehand.

"Change you can count on?" He never said what kind of change. He won for being less like Bush than McCain, period.

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Lichtenstein is renouncing its status as a rogue tax haven state. Andorra, too. I feel better already. Switzerland? Maybe not.

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I was shocked, shocked I tell you, to learn that a congresswoman had thrown in with her husband's old bank to press for some of that free bailout money. Weren't you? Only got $12 mil -- hey, they're a small bank -- but that was under Bush. Maybe next time, Maxine Waters. After all, just because the bank was paying for its president's Porsche Cayenne and maintaining his Santa Monica beachfront estate didn't mean that the bank didn't need more money. Maybe he needed another Porsche.

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Were any of you planning to die in 2010 to take advantage of the estate tax suspension that year? Well, forget it. Ain't gonna happen so put dying on the back burner for now.

Say, you did know that there is no death tax, didn't you? The estate tax taxes a transfer of wealth in excess of a certain minimum. I don't have a dog in this fight because I'm a few mil short of the minimum. This has become largely a demonizing euphemisms fight. Death tax v. estate tax is like pro-life v. pro-choice. The labels don't tell you much.

There's a lot of trash talk on the right about this issue, less on the left other than "They're dead so why don't we take their stuff." Sort of like post-Katrina looters.

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Let me say this again. No significant health care reform AND energy policy reform AND economic recovery in the first two years of this administration. Whatever political capital the prez has left is going toward economic recovery.

"The plan" calls for 8% unemployment this year. It's going to hit 10% before Christmas. You're not going to spend, the merchants aren't going to sell and 2010 is shaping up to be another bad year.

Glimpse of the future: Michigan reports sales tax revenues down 18% in Feb. and more income tax refunds than income tax received so far. Their unemployment is already 11.6% and rising fast. Jan. taxes YTD were down by $200 mil, another $100mil in Feb. Thanks, Chicago Tribune... I think.

Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.
W. C. Fields

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