Category Archives: taxation

In Honor Of Earthday, 13 Worst Earthday Predictions

Predictions made circa 1970 by the world’s brightest and smartest:

1. “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” — Harvard biologist George Wald

2. “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.” — Washington University biologist Barry Commoner

3. “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.” — New York Times editorial

4. “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” — Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich

5. “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born… [By 1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” — Paul Ehrlich

6 “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” — Denis Hayes, Chief organizer for Earth Day

7. “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions…. By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.” — North Texas State University professor Peter Gunter

8. “In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.” — Life magazine

9. “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt

10. “Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” — Paul Ehrlich

11. “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate… that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, ‘Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, ‘I am very sorry, there isn’t any.'” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt

12. “[One] theory assumes that the earth’s cloud cover will continue to thicken as more dust, fumes, and water vapor are belched into the atmosphere by industrial smokestacks and jet planes. Screened from the sun’s heat, the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born.” — Newsweek magazine

13. “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.” — Kenneth Watt

From Freedomworks:

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Filed under Politics, taxation, Worldview

I’m Sure Glad Our Government Is Not Making Withdrawals From OUR Bank Accounts (Evil Laugh)

One has to appreciate the honesty represented by the Cyprus government in their consideration of simply making withdrawals from the people’s bank accounts.  The world could use much more of that.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat they say.  Cyprus’ problem is that they didn’t, or perhaps couldn’t, skin this cat correctly.  There is another way to make withdrawals from citizen bank accounts, and leave them cheering you on while lining up to stuff their votes into your ballot box in the process.  But this method requires the authority to print money.  Cyprus, unfortunately for their unhappy politicians, does not have that authority evidently.

But in America, why the printing presses are running overtime with the same effect of making withdrawals from the people’s bank accounts.  But we don’t get mad, we cheer. No one’s throwing a fit.  No wall to wall news coverage with indignant info-chicks whipping everyone into a lather.  Happiness abounds.  See Cyprus?  Now that’s how you do it; though again, I do appreciate your honesty, forced though it may be.  I wish our government could be that honest about its withdrawals.  But then again, if they were, then they would be in your predicament, wouldn’t they?

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Filed under Banking, Government, Money, Politics, taxation

When Figures Lie And Liars Figure

Current events are providing teaching opportunities these days.  We saw last time how increases in spending can be called cuts and vice versa.  This time we look at how tax cuts are not really tax cuts, and how a politician can promise no tax increases with big increases coming.

President Obama is now claiming that Romney will bankrupt the government by cutting taxes some astronomical amount.  But a closer look reveals how figures lie, and how liars figure on giving us a snow job.

This bate and switch is done by a scheduled tax increase put into effect first by Bush, then extended by Obama 2 years ago. (Hence the name Bush Tax Cuts)  As you think about this keep in mind that Washington lives in a static world.  It looks at the revenues today then assumes that if taxes are raised 10%, then revenues will increase 10%.  Therefore, if there is already a scheduled tax increase set to trigger next year, a corresponding increase in revenues is figured into its budget.  So if someone delays that scheduled increase, it is called a cut.  See?  Simple.

This allows for politicians to say the opposite of the truth without technically lying.  They can say “I will not raise your taxes”, for example.  Which is true.  The law raises them; or put differently, the taxes raise themselves.  At the same time it can also be said that your opponent is going to bankrupt the government by cutting taxes, even if that person simply promises to keep the existing rates in place.

We will all be less moronic if we realize this one simple truth.  When money, power, taxes and politicians are put into a pot and stirred around, no matter how good it looks or smells, don’t be too eager to gobble it down.

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Filed under Government, Politics, taxation

Lose Weight By Eating All You Can, A Proven Method

The federal government has proven this method to work, though in budgeting rather than weight loss.  But considering the fed’s fiscal obesity, the analogy transfers fairly well.

Here’s how it works.  You plan your weight next year to be 200 pounds more than it is now.  After that you eat all you can.  Next year you count the difference between your projected weight and your actual weight as lost tonnage.  That’s it.  Now even you can be, as they say in reality TV, a big loser.

This is foolishness you say?  In the real world perhaps, but Washington doesn’t live in a real world. It does its annual budgets in much the same way as this weight loss program. Let me explain.

The federal budget by law increases each year by a certain percentage.  (It’s called baseline budgeting if you want to look it up.)  But then let’s say a frugal politician suggests fiscal responsibility by increasing the budget less than the projected increase.  Now that politician can be tared and feathered by his political opponents and the media for wanting draconian cuts; yes, even though the budget would still increase. Like the “lost weight”, it is still considered a cut.

So why does this happen?  That’s not important.  What is important is that politicians can use it to call increases cuts and cuts increases, depending on if they are attacking their opponents, defending themselves against attacks, or politicking   Only economic morons buy it though.  And no one need be an economic moron.  One need only look at the numbers.  You’ll see that “draconian” cuts are still increases and increases can still be called cuts.  For more information on baseline budgeting for goodness sake Google it.  We are, after all, living in the age of the internet.

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Filed under Government, Politics, taxation

America Has An Unfair Economy

Rule number one in economics:

All economies are unfair.

This rule, as with most economic rules, falls under the “reality is harsh” heading.  Much blood has flowed in attempts to break this rule, and it’s obvious that we’re not anywhere near done.  Yet, after all the blood letting, there stands all those unfair economies.  So what’s going on here?

The one problem I’ll discuss here is undefined terms. In this case, the term is “fair”.  Consider a kitchen table.  If someone looks at it and asks, “What’s that”, and another answers,” Well, it’s certainly not a chair”,  the question wasn’t answered satisfactorily.  Yet, still, the answer was true.  The fact remains that one could possibly go on for days saying what the table isn’t, all the while speaking true answers, yet never answering.

The truth is that a table is a table, and a chair is not a table.  This truth is not subject to opinion.  Fair, on the other hand, is very much subjective.  We have a president claiming that some are not paying their fair share in taxes.  But he is not pointing to some objective standard as to what anyone’s fair share is. He’s only saying what he thinks it’s not.

Others say that it’s not fair that that person over there has so much more than I do.  Again, this is an appeal  to what is not fair while giving no indication as to what is fair.  But even if “fair” is specified, those specifications can only be based on subjectivity.  While a table will always be a table, what is fair for one is not always fair for another.

This is not to say that there exists no objective standard for fair in which, like a table is a table, fair is fair.  It is to say that that standard is found outside of the self.  It is in the self that such “standards” are confused with self-interest.

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Filed under Economics, Equality, fairness, taxation, Worldview