Sunday, June 7, 2009

The TaxBlog Alternative

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

I considered titling this "Who The Heck Is Brian Deese?" but no one knows so it wouldn't be very catching, would it? Brian Deese is the guy running the auto industry for the administration. No business experience or degree, no law degree, no auto industry experience, nothing. Nice pick.

Glenn Beck may or may not be to your taste. Doesn't matter to me one way or the other. Beck put a clip up on YouTube -- but it loads a lot faster on AOLVideo HERE -- his quick take on Deese. Bottom line, your goofy cousin Elmo, the lot boy at your local Chevy dealer, has more auto resume than Deese. He (Deese, not Elmo) was Hilary's "top economic policy staffer", according to Beck, and an economic adviser to the prez. Watch it and decide for yourself if he's a good choice.

Hey Brian! See that bus a-comin'? That's the one they're going to throw you under. Elmo, warm up. You're going in for Brian.

* * * * *

Clerical error. That's what they're calling it. The Kerry presidential campaign owes $800k for federal employment taxes for 2004. IRS liens filed, the whole thing. Problem is, the campaign closed its doors and there's nothing left. This is not unlike the states using tax refunds to pay general admin costs, then saying "Sorry, there's no money left."

The feds are better off than those state taxpayers. IRC 6672 lets IRS go after responsible persons who failed to see that withheld taxes didn't get paid. Look for an angel to step forward to "voluntarily" pay the withheld portions while Kerry stiffs the gummint for the rest. You heard it here first.

* * * * *

Expedia, meanwhile, charges you a service fee for paying the taxes they bill you for, You didn't know that? ExP just lost a $184.5 mil suit for damages pertaining to that practice and they're looking at another one for $45 mil.

Hey, at least the taxes got paid. Note to Kerry: 1) I'm not a war criminal and you are by admission, and 2) you're also a tax cheat.

What is it about Mass. voters?

* * * * *

Hard to find anyone with good ideas about balancing any budgets - fed, state, county, city or family. Cut waste? Sounds good. Cut pork? That does too. But nobody wants to "cause" fiscal/personal pain (as though we're not already feeling it) - or risk not being re-elected - by actually doing something.

Here's a plan; call it "The TaxBlog Alternative". Starting August 1 available funding is cut 25%. Between now and July 1 all managers (of whatever public entity is at issue) with responsibility for more than $1 mil of spending must come up with a written plan for saving 25% of their budget. They can cut staffing, pay, waste, rent, travel & entertainment, energy, human resources, work in progress, continuing education, professional training, sensitivity training, anything they want. Anymanager who can't or won't gets fired for failing to obey an order. If they choose to quit instead, fine, that counts towards the 25% and the next person in line can step up.

Agency heads have the first three weeks of July to implement the cuts and pass along the results, consequences and costs to the legislature. The appropriate legislative body has one week to confirm the cuts. All cuts take effect on August 1.

Drastic? Sure. What other plans do you see on the table that merit your attention? If there's a better one, go for it. If there isn't, choose The TaxBlog Alternative. Either way, show some results by August 1 or close government down until they do. Government shutdowns have lots of precedence.

* * * * *

I lived in CA when Prop 13 passed, essentially freezing property values, and thus property taxes, at the value of the property when it was purchased. It created two classes of property taxpayers and disproportionately favored the haves over the wannahaves. If I bought a house worth $1 mil in 1976 and you bought one for a mil in 2006 then our taxes are about the same now, except that my house may now be worth $10 mil and yours might be worth $600k.

The haves still don't want to pay for the wannahaves (i.e., they don't want to share the pain) but Californians are facing some tough choices and some very angry wannnahaves. Prop 13 is one of the last bastions of "I got mine, screw you." California is broke. Really, no kidding, yet still the old Prop 13 beneficiaries cling to Mssrs. Jarvis and Gann's initiative like it is a birthright. It isn't. It was a tax gimmick in response to a Carter administration-caused economic disaster and it has contributed to (though not caused) the current fiscal calamity.

If you really, really want some semblance of an egalitarian society, surely the similarly situated should pay similar taxes.

Hey CA! Repeal Prop 13 and adopt The TaxBlog Alternative. It will hurt (sorry, someone needs to tell you the truth about that) but it will get you closer to where you want to be - solvency - and your property tax elites will finally start feeling the pain the rest of you are suffering. No pain, no gain. Really.

Think of it as a re-set.

* * * * *

The nation should have a tax system that looks like someone designed it on purpose. -- H. L. Mencken.

1 comment:

  1. Re-set. Yes, wouldn't we all like that. I think I must be close to our 25% savings goal. Just by staying home and not spending we must be making some headway. Ok, there were a few on-line book purchases, but a girl's got to READ!!Oh, yeah, and don't forget the garden. My darling husband is planting up a storm that will save us a bundle in fresh produce. Too bad they were all sold out of money trees, but he's doing the best he can.