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Category Archives: taxes

Shrinking the Federal Bureaucracy

You all know I’ve been super critical of the President on a number of foreign policy and national security issues, including those he chose for his national security team, but I like to think I’m fair, and aside from the thankfully defunct Michael Flynn and the unfortunately current Darth Badhair McHobo and MiniMogul, his national security team is actually shaping up pretty well. Jim Mattis and John Kelly are perfect Secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security respectively. I’ve heard nothing but good things about H.R. McMaster, and I literally did a happy dance at the selection of Fiona Hill as White House senior director for Europe and Russia. I’ve referenced her articles on Putin before. She’s an expert and a realist. What’s not to like?

I also like to think I’m fair on domestic policy issues. So, yes, TrumpCare, or whatever we’re calling it this week, is a dumpster fire and the constant Twitter seizures and unsubstantiated claims of wiretapping and unemployment data manipulation by 44 are getting old.

That said… the left’s apoplectic paroxysms of outrage about proposed Trump budget cuts are giving me giggle fits. Fiscal responsibility involves sometimes tough choices, and I think we finally have a President who is willing to make them, who is willing to look at all the multiplicative, wasteful, and downright unconstitutional programs the federal government is funding and say, “Enough!”

Let’s remember that the vast majority of the federal budget is non-discretionary, which means it’s mandatory spending. We have to pay certain bills, and we don’t have a choice about it.  Among them is entitlement spending, such as Social Security. It is spent based on existing laws rather than the budgeting process, and without actual entitlement reform, we must pay it. Discretionary spending constitutes a pretty small portion of the federal budget, which means we need to be judicious about how we spend that money, which includes funding for our military, education, international affairs, environment, etc.

Discretionary Spending is the portion of the budget that the president requests and Congress appropriates every year. It represents less than one-third of the total federal budget, while mandatory spending accounts for around two-thirds.

Trump’s budget proposal does exactly this, but the left is, of course, hyperventilating about it, because they’re all about MOAR SPENDING! The Washington Post this morning helpfully shows what program cuts will help fund $54 billion in proposed defense spending increases. I’m good with this, quite frankly, because national defense is one of the very few constitutional functions of our government. And guess what’s not on that list!

Agency/Program What it does
21st Century Community Learning Centers Provides funding for after-school programs for students in high-poverty areas
Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Program Provides loans to automotive manufacturers developing fuel-efficient technologies
African Development Foundation Invests in African businesses
Appalachian Regional Commission Invests in projects for economic growth in the Appalachian region
ARPA-E Funds research into new energy technologies
Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing Provides housing assistance to low-income families
Chemical Safety Board Investigates industrial chemical accidents
Chesapeake Bay Restoration Provides funding for cleanup and protection of the Chesapeake Bay watershed
Community Development Block Grant Provides housing assistance to low-income families
Community Development Financial Institutions Fund grants Provides support to financial services in underserved communities
Community Services Block Grant Provides funding for projects that alleviate poverty
Corporation for National & Community Service Runs AmeriCorps, City Year and other public service programs
Corporation for Public Broadcasting Provides federal funding to local radio and television stations across the U.S.
Delta Regional Authority Funds infrastructure and economic programs in the Mississippi River delta region
Denali Commission Provides economic assistance in Alaska
Economic Development Administration Provides funding for economic development projects across the U.S.
Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Account Provides emergency funding for humanitarian crises around the world
Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program Tests pesticides and other chemicals for adverse effects on humans and animals
Energy Star Provides assistance for energy efficiency programs
Essential Air Service program Provides funding for air transportation to rural communities
Global Climate Change Initiative Provides financial assistance for climate change initiatives in developing countries
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Provides funding for cleanup and protection of Great Lakes watersheds
Institute of Museum and Library Services Provides grants and research for libraries, museums, zoos and similar institutions.
Inter-American Foundation Provides development assistance to Latin American countries
Legal Services Corporation Provides legal aid to low-income Americans
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program Assists low-income families with heating and cooling costs
McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program Provides school meals and nutrition programs in poor countries
Minority Business Development Agency Provides technical assistance to minority-owned businesses
NASA Office of Education Supports STEM education initiatives
National Endowment for the Arts Provides funding for arts projects
National Endowment for the Humanities Provides funding for cultural institutions like universities and museums, as well as projects by individual scholars
Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation Provides housing assistance to low-income Americans
Northern Border Regional Commission Economic development in northern New England
Overseas Private Investment Corporation Helps U.S. businesses invest overseas
Senior Community Service Employment Program Funds job training for low-income, unemployed seniors
State Energy Program Provides funding and technical assistance for energy efficiency and clean energy
Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants program Provides grants to improve education quality
Targeted Air Shed Grants Provides grants for air pollution control
TIGER Discretionary Grant program Provides funding for transportation projects across the U.S.
Title 17 Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program Provides loan guarantees for new energy products
United States Institute of Peace Works on international conflict mitigation
United States Interagency Council on Homelessness Coordinates federal response to homelessness
US Trade and Development agency Promotes U.S. exports in developing countries.
Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program Provides funding for water infrastructure in rural areas
Weatherization Assistance Program Provides grants for weatherizing low-income homes
Woodrow Wilson International Center Foreign policy think tank

The Post reports that a number of these federal programs have failed to show efficacy and that the private sector can perform these functions better.

Why the hell are we funding a foreign policy think tank? So it can produce written opinions on policy that, because they’re funded by the government, will invariably become a mouthpiece of said government.

Why are the feds giving money to businesses that want to invest overseas? Let these businesses assume their own risk and invest how they see fit, instead of the taxpayers funding businesses who will inevitably assume more risk, because it’s not their money to play with!

Why are U.S. taxpayers giving money to USAID through the McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program to subsidize school lunches to foreign students? Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that it’s the function of the government to give school lunches to our own kids, let alone to ones in other countries! I get that we want to appear to be generous and bighearted, but as a wise man once said, voting for the government to give poor people money is not compassion.

Neither is forcing the U.S. taxpayers to foot the bill for investments in African businesses. If someone wants to plop down their hard-earned dollars to invest in an African enterprise, great! Good for them! But to arbitrarily take money away from Americans and send them overseas tells us that bureaucrats know better how to spend our money and where to invest it (in businesses that likely prop up the political agenda, or in which the bureaucrats and politicians have interests). I’ll remind you how Solyndra worked out.

And don’t even get me started on government funding for the arts!

So yes, we need to be judicious with our spending. We need to focus on programs that are effective, efficient, and constitutional, and all this crap above ain’t it.

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There’s Plenty of Money… the Government Just Doesn’t Have It

Remember when Keith Ellison lamented that there’s plenty of money out there, and that we’re not broke, and that dammit… the government just needs to get its paws on more of it!

Well, if our president has his way, the government will do just that.

Unwilling to ask Congress for extra funds to pay for high-speed Internet connections in schools, President Obama is instead looking to tack yet another charge on cellphones through the Federal Communications Commission.

The new program, called ConnectED, would expand an existing school-wiring effort and cost each cellphone user about $5 a year, said White House officials.

Because we don’t pay enough, right?

Our real estate taxes pay for schools on the local level.  Hell, in some localities, homeowners shell out an extra $10,000 or higher per year just for the “privilege” of owning their homes!  State funding also pays for public education, and Federal money funds roughly 13 percent of public schools. And if you think that state and federal dollars don’t belong to you, maybe you need to take a basic class and find out where governments get their revenues.

On the average, the US spends more than $10,000 per public school student per year (with what some would call “questionable” results and with per student spending varying per each locale).

And overall $5 per year may not seem like a lot, I admit. But then, if we take a look at just some of the taxes and fees we already pay, an extra $5 per year is just the cherry on a pretty big, disgusting cake. And this is on top of federal and state taxes that get deducted from your paycheck and the local taxes you pay!

Want to build a home? You’ll have to pay a building permit tax.

Want to sell your property? You’ll have to pay a capital gains tax for the “right” to do so.

Want to drive a truck for a living? You’ll have to pay a CDL license tax.

Do you smoke? The government taxes that too.

Want to start your own company? You’ll be paying a corporate income tax, and if you’re an employee, and you don’t think that the level of your pay is affected, I have a bridge to sell you.

I recently got a ticket for making a mistake. It was very dark, and it was 2am. I had gone to an ATM to make a deposit, and took a left turn into the wrong lane on a very dark road. I was unfamiliar with the area, and didn’t see the concrete divider. There was no oncoming traffic, and I realized my mistake as soon as I made it. Luckily there was a break in the concrete divider not more than 20 feet ahead, so I easily jumped into the correct lane. Got stopped by the cops. Explained the situation. They gave me a ticket anyway and told me I should have been grateful that they only have me a $30 fine for making this error, and that it was a local fine that wouldn’t affect my driving record. They explained that if I chose to go to court, I had that option. I figured that $30 was a small price to pay compared to having to miss a day of work. Small fine, my ass! After court fees for a court appearance that I chose not to make, that fine ended up being $96.  Court fees. Thanks, Fairfax County! You suck!

Got a dog? Many localities will have a dog license tax. Licensing a pet. Hey – it’s a revenue stream!

Some other taxes that get deducted from your check include unemployment taxes, Medicare and Social Security taxes.

There is a tax on fishing and hunting licenses.

You pay 42 cents out of every dollar in taxes when you fill up your car.

Did your uncle Harry leave you some money in his will? The government will get its share, even though your uncle Harry likely already paid taxes on that money.

Your booze habit is taxed by your government as well through liquor taxes.

Did you finally make enough money to buy yourself something special? Well, if the government considers your purchase non-essential, you’ll be paying a luxury tax for the privilege of owning your own property. You also pay real estate taxes and property taxes for the privilege of owning your house and your car.

Let’s not forget sales taxes! Some states’ sales taxes are higher than others, but they still exist. Truckers pay road usage taxes. Do you have an RV, a boat or a trailer? Well, you’ll be paying a tax on that thing too, as well as a vehicle registration and a license registration tax.  And by the way, you’re paying excise taxes on your phones already,  in addition to phone federal universal service fees, telephone federal, state and local surcharges, minimum usage surcharges on your phone,  state and local taxes on your telephone as well as usage charges, which makes the extra $5 your government even more is pretty galling. Oh, and if you think you’re not paying taxes on your utilities, you’re stupid.  You’ve got service charges, school taxes, you pay every time you hit a toll road, tunnel or bridge.

White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest yesterday was amazed that Congress apparently has a problem with imposing yet another tax on top of what the government already sucks out of us! Goodness! Why should giving public schools high-speed Internet be in any way controversial?

Apparently Earnest, like Ellison, believes that there’s plenty of money out there. The government just needs to appropriate it.

Aren’t you glad your government officials have such deep respect for your property?

Well, now we know what’s in it

And it sucks.

Remember when Nancy Pelosi Skeletor told us how cool the ObamaCare legislation was, and that we’d all be awesomely surprised after it was passed, because in order to find out what’s in this comprehensive health care reform, we’d have to pass it first? Or something?

Well, now the idiots who voted for it, and found out what’s in it, realized that what they voted for is shit, and they now want the shit delayed.

Sixteen Democratic senators who voted for the Affordable Care Act are asking that one of its fundraising mechanisms, a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices scheduled to take effect January 1, be delayed.  Echoing arguments made by Republicans against Obamacare, the Democratic senators say the levy will cost jobs — in a statement Monday, Sen. Al Franken called it a “job-killing tax” — and also impair American competitiveness in the medical device field.

The senators, who made the request in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, are Franken, Richard Durbin, Charles Schumer, Patty Murray, John Kerry, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Joseph Lieberman, Ben Nelson, Robert Casey, Debbie Stabenow, Barbara Mikulski, Kay Hagan, Herb Kohl, Jeanne Shaheen, and Richard Blumenthal.  All voted for Obamacare.

Two other Democrats, senators-elect Joe Donnelly and Elizabeth Warren, also signed the letter.  Donnelly voted for Obamacare as a member of the House.  Warren was not in Congress at the time.

Ooops!

See, this is how it works.

Massive, expensive, socialist legislation passes.

No one knows what’s really in it, because the Congresshits are too stupid or lazy (or both)  to actually read it. They only know that their constituents want free shit, and they’re there to give it to them.

But the Congresshits don’t really consider who will fund said massive, expensive, socialist legislation, so when they realize that said legislation includes a tax on something as critical as… say… medical devices, that will likely drive up the cost of buying a wheelchair or developing a new, life-saving technology, and will probably affect tons of… you know… jobs…

…they all of a sudden get nervous! After all, they voted for this tax, but they didn’t know it was in there, because they hadn’t voted for it yet… um… yeah.

Jagoffs.

This is how we get screwed

Defense appropriation bill is critical. Defense is one of the few truly constitutional functions of government. The Congressleeches know this, so they stick extra taxes into the bill. Because they will steal our money one way or another.

This may be the last Christmas of online shopping without paying sales tax.

A proposed online sales tax has been offered as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, much to the ire of opponents.

The Computer and Communications Industry Association, a group that opposes this move, says that an online sales tax will burden small businesses, “some of the most promising candidates for future economic growth.”

Yep. Keep electing these thieving major party candidates, America. Keep letting them steal your earnings and dipping their dirty paws into every transaction you freely conduct.

They’ll keep spending and you’ll keep paying for it. And the more they spend, the more the beneficiaries of this largesse will vote. At your expense.

I’d ask you if you’re sorry yet, but most of you are too clueless to even realize what you’ve gotten yourselves into.

Adieu!

So France has unveiled its new taxation scheme, which will include a 75 percent tax on those earning over one million euros a year.

With Hollande facing record unemployment and economic stagnation, there were also fears the deficit target will slip as France falls short of the modest 0.8 percent economic growth rate on which it is banking for next year.

“This is a fighting budget to get the country back on the rails,” Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said, adding that the 0.8 percent growth target was “realistic and ambitious”.

Hmmmm. Let me see.

Any company or individual who earns more than a million euros will have earnings confiscated. It’s UNAVOOOOOOOOOOOOIIIIIIIIIIDAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABLEEEEEE!

Ministers defended measures that included a 75 percent top tax rate as unavoidable if France is to get its finances under control and meet European Union deficit targets deemed essential to avoid the collapse of the euro single currency.

How long before the nation’s most productive individuals bid France “Adieu!” and find a country that will not enslave them in order to fix years of overspending?

Think corporations that create jobs will stick around just to see their profits appropriated?

Think individuals such as Bernard Arnault, who have the business acumen ingenuity to build companies and create jobs will stick around to be exploited by the socialists? Think they’ll take the jobs their companies create with them?

Think Liliane Bettencourt will stick around to see the fruits of her labor appropriated? And if she doesn’t, will she take her philanthropic organizations with her?

And what will happen when millions or even billions leave the French economy?

Who will be next on the socialists’ “to eat” list? Those who earn $750,000 euros per year? I mean, look how much they still have to loot?

And once they’re done with those “rich,” who’s next on the consumption chain?

If it were me earning more than a million euros in France, I’d get the fuck out of there before the socialists realize that unless they make it impossible to leave, there won’t be anyone left to loot!

Because then, they’ll really be stuck!

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