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Tag Archives: taxes

Elderly Seattle couple leaves life savings of $847,215 to the US Treasury, an amount our government spends every 8 seconds

It’s their money. They earned it. It sounds like they hadn’t had the easiest of lives. (Not that that matters in this equation fundamentally.) If they want to leave their fortune to the US government that is their business. It appears that theirs was a gesture of thanks to a country which took them in and which became their home.

I appreciate that sentiment very much.

But the US Treasury?

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Are Jeb Bush and his DC supporters out of touch with the modern GOP voter, America?

It is amazing that in 2015 a Republican presidential candidate – one who really has a shot – can hold the kind of positions Jeb does. There’s a reason why Chris Matthews and the New York Times like Bush so much.

Perhaps the Beltway Republicans don’t really understand how much more inclined toward real live small government the average GOP voter has become. It’s like the consultants are living in 1999 or something.

These same folks also think that if they can squeak Bush by the (what they perceive as) nutbars in the primaries, he will be embraced in a general election.

But this calculus may not be correct.

Bush could very likely lose in a general election because a solid contingent of GOP voters stays away from the polls when presented with what some would consider a big government Republican. (Or possibly even vote 3rd party in large enough numbers to make a difference.) Even if it means electing a Dem. The libertarian/conservative coalition has pretty much had all it can take after McCain and Romney.

And now another Bush? That’s a hard one for the coalition to swallow.

Plus there is a sense, among at least some, that in the wake of a disappointing Obama presidency there is a large group of people whose votes are up for grabs which weren’t in other elections. Kind of like the Reagan Democrats of 1980. Bush may not appeal to this group as much as a Republican candidate needs to.

But perhaps he will. Perhaps Bush’s moderate credentials will resonate with middle America.

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Cost of Federal Regulation Reached $1.88 Trillion in 2014

It’s not just that regs kill innovation and slow commerce, (And not ALL regulation is bad. I’m OK with not selling booze to 4th graders, and licenses – though they could be non-government certifications – for brain surgery.) it’s that companies often partner with the regulators to shut out competition or flat out siphon money from the taxpayer.

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Honduran gangs choke small businesses with ‘war tax’

It is often said that the state is not that much different from a mafia. This is true and it’s not true. But to the extent it is true can be seen in the horrible business climate in Tegucigalpa Honduras.

Want to do business? Pay a crippling tax. Don’t pay the tax? Meet Mr. Bullet.

In the USA thankfully entrepreneurs are rarely shot by the government. But they are shaken down for taxes. And they can go to jail for not paying taxes.

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Did you know that wars used to END? Today is the 70th Anniversary of VE Day

I run this clip periodically because I think it is one of the most important presidential speeches caught on tape. It is of president Eisenhower, who was the commander of American forces during World War 2 warning of the emergence of a powerful armaments industry in the United States, and the danger of such an industry. It was his farewell address to the nation.

I am a navy brat. My father is/was a Cold Warrior.  I’ve spent a good part of my life around the Military Industrial Complex and I believe Eisenhower’s warning was dismissed and continues to be dismissed simply because so many people make money in the war machine. People go into the military, retire on a pension and then enter the military contracting game. It’s a very complicated works program which is championed by supposedly small government “conservatives.” (They aren’t really conservatives.) It’s a shame actually. Our military should be much smaller and much smarter.

Every time I post this video somebody gets upset and explains to me why it is that we should have a military apparatus which spans the globe. This time the rule is – anyone can make the same argument – but only if they’ve never gotten a dime from the Military Industrial Complex.

Explaining why we need to reduce the size of the military to some is like trying to explain to a UAW guy why GM should have died in 2008.

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Want to get cash out of your bank account? You have to pay a tax first in Greece

At this point if you still have a pile of euros in a Greek bank you almost deserve to be taxed in such a terrible way. Of course most of the accounts in play here aren’t stuffed to the gills with money but are everyday accounts used for paying rent and buying groceries.

But not to worry, rich folks may soon see capital controls on transfers of over a million euros. And if you have a million euros in a Greek bank at this point, after all that has happened, I don’t have all that much sympathy.

Both the withdrawal tax and the capital controls still have to be approved by authorities. One can only assume that queues are wrapping around the Athens Wells Fargo as I write this.

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Christie’s New Jersey, Cuomo’s New York, and the black hole of cronyism and bureaucracy right in the middle

Today Chris Christie’s deputy chief of staff pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the in the “Bridgegate” affair, where lanes on the George Washington Bridge were closed to punish the Mayor of Fort Lee for not supporting Christie in the most recent gubernatorial election. It’s another blow to the New Jersey governor’s presidential bid.

But as Bloomberg reports, “Bridgegate” is merely a symptom of a port authority system which is rife with inside dealing, corruption, power plays, and mindless bureaucracy. New York’s harbor is a vortex big city nastiness.

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Urban America is a disaster because of decades of big, crony infested government

In the attached article Kevin D. Williamson associates functionality and competence a little too closely with Republicans. Saying this his analysis otherwise is right on.

What we saw in Baltimore this week is a symptom of big government urban politics. Why are places like Detroit, much of Chicago, St. Louis, Philly, still large parts of New York, Atlanta, Richmond, a good part of Washington DC, and dozens more cities so poor and so dysfunctional? Largely (but not solely), because in these places the reality of the marketplace is not embraced. (At least not the legal marketplace.)

Why do businesses leave these cities? For many reasons. But a big part is because taxes are too high in major cities, almost across the board. Or perhaps like Seattle the minimum wage is being pushed up to levels which are divorced from reality, which also acts as a tax. There is a reason some cities feel like skeletons, because the business community long ago was picked clean. Urban America killed the goose that laid the golden tax base egg. Now it wonders why all the jobs are gone.

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