Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
--C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My Jihad on the federal budget

I just posted this in the comment section of HotAir, but it's too good to leave it languishing in the comment section of a blog with a mere 6 figure daily readership. So here it is for the one dude who drunkenly stumbled onto this blog searching for "thrusting anal".

I can think of a couple of things that could take a good chunk off of the budget. They are probably all political suicide though:

1. Immediately end new defined benefit retirement plans for all federal employees excluding enlisted military. Honor the commitments that have already been made, but stop digging the hole. Replace it with a 401(k) match like the private sector.

2. Eliminate 10 percent of the federal workforce. The largest expenditure behind transfer payments is the combined salary of federal workers.

3. For the workers who remain, enact an across the board 10 percent salary cut. These three policies will bring the pay of federal workers back into line with the private sector.

4. Eliminate the following departments: HHS, Transportation, Education, and HUD. Determine the essential functions (the most important 25% of the respective budgets) and roll those functions into the remaining departments.

5. Eliminate the department of Homeland Security, and transfer the major functions over to the DOD. This won’t save a tremendous amount of money, but the functions of the two departments overlap. Unifying the two departments will, in theory, improve communication and coordination between military and security forces.

6. The big toxic enchilada: Social Security Reform.
– Leave benefits the same for anyone receiving SS or within 8 years of retirement.
– Gradually raise the age to receive full benefits to 70 over a period of not less than 10 years.
– Re-determine benefit levels for those 8 years or more from retirement such that the average retiree will receive exactly the present value of their contributions in their lifetimes. As it is people are receiving far more than they ever contributed in taxes.
– Finally allow those more than 25 years from retirement age to opt out of a portion of their Social Security contributions, instead putting the money into a 401(k) or IRA.

These 6 things will reduce the overall budget by billions of dollars, and will extend the fiscal solvency of Social Security decades into the future. Unfortunately Most of these suggestions are politically radioactive, so we get to suffer the slow motion death spiral instead.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

USA Today Lies to Promote the Idea that we are Under Taxed

In a pathetic USA Today article, which cites no specific source – only saying that the information comes from the BEA – they argue that federal, state, and local taxes consumed 9.2% of personal income in 2009. This is an out and out lie, and the USA Today readers deserve an apology. The purpose of this article is to make anybody who complains about tax rates to appear uninformed and foolish, a prime goal of the MFM.

Fair warning, from this point forward, there will be math. That number comes from Table 2.1 Personal Income and its Disposition. They calculated the 9.2% tax rate by dividing the personal current taxes line by the personal income line. This ignores two huge taxes that consume a gigantic proportion of the tax paid in the US. The first is taxes paid by businesses, either during production or taxes paid on profits. The second is taxes used to make transfer payments.

Many liberals will argue that taxes such as Social Security and Medicare are not taxes but are rather insurance that is taken out of your income now to return to you in old age. I will ignore the insolvency of Social Security, except to mention that the odds that I will ever see a dime back from my Social Security payments are so slim as to be farcical. This argument ignores the fact that FDR’s own Justice Department lawyers argued before the Supreme Court that it was not in fact an insurance program (which would rightly be unconstitutional) but was instead a direct tax to be paid by the young to the old.

Statists will further argue that taxes on corporations are not the same as taxes on individuals. First, this ignores the fact that much of the taxes paid by businesses in production and on profits are paid by small businesses, which are in fact individuals. Further they seem to think that businesses are something other than entities made up of individuals. The taxes paid by businesses are shared between the business and the customers. The portion of taxes that are passed off on consumers represent a hidden tax on consumers, while the tax born by the business is felt by the employees in the form of lower wages. In all cases, the tax is felt by individuals eventually, so in the end a tax on business is a tax on individuals.

To illustrate why it is asinine to say that transfer payments should not count as a tax, consider the following example: In a country, the top 25 percent of income earners are taxed at a 90 percent rate above a certain percentage of income. That tax is then redistributed evenly to the bottom 50 percent of income earners. Under the accounting used by USA Today, this country would have 0% of personal income being paid as taxes, which is plainly false.

To calculate the true amount of taxes that are collected by our government we must turn to a different source on the BEA website: Table 3.1 Government Current Receipts and Expenditures. This table shows the true level of taxation in this country. When the true level of taxes is considered, the tax comes to 21.5% of personal income excluding income transfers. When you include income transfer taxes, that number becomes 31.1% of personal income.

While I am not a Tea-Partier myself, I am sympathetic to their cause. This level of dishonesty by the MFM cannot be tolerated.

Finally, they cite the reduction in personal tax payments as if it is due to some kind of tax cut by the Obama regime. This is plainly not the case. The reason that taxes are reduced is because the tax structure itself has a built in mechanism to reduce taxes as personal incomes are lowered. At lower incomes, the tax rate paid is lower. So when the income of the entire nation decreases, the tax paid will automatically decrease. While this is a good mechanism that prevents higher taxes from exacerbating a recession, it is certainly not something to be happy about. They are, in effect, celebrating the fact that the Great Recession has reduced the country's income. Happy days are here again!

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Upon closer inspection of the composition of personal income, it seems that transfer payments received are counted as part of income. Thus if you want to determine the tax that is taken out of actual earned and capital income (wages + profits + rental income + capital gains), the total personal income is $9,081 Billion. Therefore the overall tax rate excluding transfer payments is 28.5% and including transfer payments is 41.2%. “The idea that taxes are high right now is pretty much nuts”. Bullshit.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The environmental movement is full of nothing but ignorant lying hypocrites

They want to fight Global Warming Climate Change by forcing everyone in the world to use the amount of energy that Americans consumed in the 1890s. This is not possible. Let me repeat that, because it is not an opinion but an empirical fact: it is not possible for the current population of Americans to use the same amount of energy as we used 120 years ago. Since that time, the American population has increased exponentially, and our energy needs have increased even more rapidly. An economist’s recent study has shown that a country’s production and economic well-being is a direct function of the amount of energy used in that country. This is an inescapable law of the universe; call it the fourth law of thermodynamics.

They claim that we can achieve this goal easily. They claim that by buying more energy efficient appliances, light bulbs, cars, and homes that we can effectively reduce our Carbon Dioxide emissions to levels not seen in a century. If this were the case, we would have already done it. The fact of the matter is that all of human commerce and activity consumes an enormous amount of energy. Our machines are already operating incredibly energy efficiently, and any improvements that come in the future will not be revolutionary leaps by an order of magnitude, but will instead be incremental evolutionary gains at the margins.

The only way to achieve the kind of emission targets that Obama and his Marxist ilk wish to achieve is by instituting a Totalitarian state that actively shuts down any attempt by free people to access energy that is currently freely available to us. We have the knowledge and the technology to access the energy reserves that are currently locked within the Earth’s crust. Free people will not willingly allow themselves to be made poorer by their government. The government will have to remedy this by taking away our freedom; it is as simple as that. For all of the screeching coming from the left during the Bush administration about the draconian steps they took to infringe on our civil liberties, there have been no cases brought to public attention where this was actually the case. Make no mistake, if an American citizen was wrongly detained and questioned for even ten minutes, it would have been on the front page of the New York Times for a year straight. We now have an administration that is actively seeking a Totalitarian state, and there has not been a peep from the Old Gray Lady.

Those who advocate on the behalf or this idiocy are perhaps the most execrable of them all. Al Gore, the godfather of the Global Warming Climate Change movement advocates moving the country back a century in terms of our energy consumption, while he emits more carbon in a year than most Americans emit in a decade, and most of the people of the rest of the world will emit in their lifetimes. Gore is not alone in this hypocrisy, however. For all of the sanctimony of the Prius-driving, organic food-eating greens, on the whole they use at most ten percent less energy than us carnivorous carbon-belchers.

If those who advocate for us to use so much less energy cannot do the deed themselves, they are either delusional or liars. Or both.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sarah Palin is wrong

In an interview with radio host Lars Larson, Sarah Palin indicated that she was open to running with a third party:

Asked by Larson whether she would consider running as a third party candidate, Palin said: "That depends on how things go in the next couple of years." Larson told the 2008 vice presidential nominee that answer "sounds like a yes" to which she responded: "If the Republican party gets back to that [conservative] base, I think our party is going to be stronger and there's not going to be a need for a third party, but I'll play that by ear in these coming months, coming years."

This would be absolutely disastrous. The only thing that a third party run by any conservative would achieve would be the reelection of Barack Obama. The only vehicle with which to advance conservative principals electorally is the Republican party, as Ronald Reagan stated so eloquently in 1977:
I have to say I cannot agree with some of my friends—perhaps including some of you here tonight—who have answered that question by saying this nation needs a new political party.

I respect that view and I know that those who have reached it have done so after long hours of study. But I believe that political success of the principles we believe in can best be achieved in the Republican Party. I believe the Republican Party can hold and should provide the political mechanism through which the goals of the majority of Americans can be achieved. For one thing, the biggest single grouping of conservatives is to be found in that party. It makes more sense to build on that grouping than to break it up and start over.

Rather than a third party, we can have a new first party made up of people who share our principles. I have said before that if a formal change in name proves desirable, then so be it. But tonight, for purpose of discussion, I’m going to refer to it simply as the New Republican Party.

Reagan is right and Palin is wrong. He was asked many times if he would run on a third party ticket, and the answer was always an unequivocal no. Any conservative who even hints at blessing a third party run must be rebuked as strongly as possible. The only answer to whether a third party run is viable is an emphatic NO!

In 1912 Theodore Roosevelt ran against his former Secretary of War and his successor to the Presidency, William Howard Taft. Roosevelt, arguably the most popular man in America at the time (arguably the most popular politician there ever was, only possibly eclipsed by his fifth cousin), split the Republican vote with Taft in one of the most bitterly contested elections of the century. This allowed Woodrow Wilson (another disaster of a president) to slip by the both of them.

If Theodore Roosevelt, a former President, couldn't win with a third party, no one can. The desire for a third party is a pathetic attempt to pick up your toys and go home. It says that you would rather take on the Quixotic task of going it alone on the national stage than take the much more difficult challenge of changing the party from within. It is the cowards move. Let's not repeat the disaster of 1912 in 2012.

A Terrifying Increase

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Keep them away from the pointy objects

Allah has once again linked to a story relating to the Great Obama Birth-Certificate Conspiracy, and this has inevitably led to another flood of hundreds of heated comments on both sides of the "issue". This fucking shit has to end. Now.

What the fuck is wrong with these morons (and I mean that in the derogatory fashion)? First, what fucking difference is it going to make? Ok so fine, let's indulge in your delusional fantasy: It is proven that Obama was not born in Hawaii, then what? First, the law has been for years that a person born to a mother who is a US citizen is automatically a US citizen, ergo Obama would still be a 'Natural Born US Citizen'.

Oh, you don't wan't to obey previous case law, fine, let's go a step further. Who defines what it means to be a 'Natural Born Citizen'? That's right, fuckstick, the Congress. So all that congress would have to do is clarify that being born to a US citizen automatically makes you a 'Natural Born Citizen'; problem solved.

Oh, that is still not good enough for you shit heads? Fine, let's indulge your ultimate goal, Congress declares Obama to not be the President anymore, who will be the President? I don't fucking know, but it wouldn't be a god damned Republican! Let's go down the line of succession, shall we? The most likely replacement is Joe Biden. Joe Biden! That's a lot fucking better, now isn't it? Ok, so maybe Biden isn't the legitimate President because he was elected under an ineligible President. Who's next? Nancy fucking Pelosi. Fantastic. Thanks guys, you really saved us from that bastard Obama.

You are hurting our side with your inane insanity. Does this make people more willing to believe in fiscal conservatism? No. Does this persuade people to advocate judicial restraint? Fucking NO! You are worse than the god damned Truthers.

And now is the time where I indulge in my own little form off conspiracy theory. I like to think I have a logical and rational political philosophy. It disturbs me to see people who allegedly share this philosophy acting like a bunch of tin-foil hat wearing nut-jobs. I'm not entirely convinced that a lot of the people egging this on aren't Leftists who are trying to make us look nuts. If that's the case, good job you dipshits, you've taken the bait. Next time you feel the need to indulge in paranoid delusions, remember what Admiral Ackbar said: "It's a trap!"

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Behold: A stupid person

Ed at Hotair brings us the heartwarming tale of a child who was born prematurely and had to leave the country to avoid death. A blogger reporting on the news has said one of the most unintentionally hilarious things I've heard in a while:

I won’t get into the relative merits of the American and Canadian health-care systems here. Suffice it to say that there obviously need to be more neo-natal intensive care unit beds up here. Thankfully — and this doesn’t mean that the American system is better (after all, at least the couple and their baby are guaranteed care up here, thanks to our public system, even if it’s not perfect) — there was an opening south of the border.
Really, a couple and child are guaranteed are up there? Precisely what care did you receive in Canada? If you didn't happen to live a few hours away from a country with some of the best healthcare on earth, your kid would be dead right now. You didn't receive any of this care that you were 'guaranteed' in Canada, you had to come to the good 'ole USA. I struggle to chose an appropriate analogy, so take your pick:

1. All Canada sold you was a guaranteed piece of shit. That's all it is, isn't it? Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time.

Canada: I'm sorry, we have no neo-natal intensive care beds available at the moment.

Father: I don't understand, you guaranteed healthcare.

Canada: Yes, we do, unfortunately we ran out of beds.

Father: But the guarantee keeps the bed here. That's why you have the

Canada: I know why we have guarantees.

Father: I don't think you do. If you did, my son would have a bed. See, you know how to
make a guarantee, you just don't know how to *hold* the bed and
that's really the most important part of the guarantee, the holding. Anybody
can just make them.

Ok, so that second one didn't turn out so well. The point is: You don't have guaranteed care! If you did, you wouldn't have had to leave the country! I see that Canada's public education system is apparently no better than our own. (And I say this as a product of the Canadian public school system. That's right I went there for all of kindergarten, where they tried to teach me the despicable lie that the letter 'z' is pronounced 'zed'.)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Well, would you look at that

It seems that someone has read this blog, because not two days after I posted the Reagan video where does it show up? That's right Moonbattery. I would just like to say: Ok you motherfuckers, who is reading this blog and passing on what you read here without attribution!?

I know someone is. This is the most influential blog on the internet that no one knows exists. First I post the "this is where we fight!" clip and suddenly bloggers and politicos manage to find a spine. Then I post the Reagan video - which has been on YouTube forever, very unlikely that someone discovered it at the same time I did - and it shows up on a blog that I link too.

I'm not mad, I am happy to see my ideas getting pushed even if I don't get credit for them. But seriously, this can't be a coincidence. Not cool, man. Not cool.

Update: And look, someone else has viciously stolen from me.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

What he said

As long as there has been Socialism there have been Statists and Socialists to promote its spread in America, from perennial loser Eugene V. Debs to the momentarily successful Barack Obama. The Statists have been pushing for Socialized medicine for well over half a century, and they are as close to getting it implemented as they ever have been. They can't be bargained with. They can't be reasoned with. They don't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

In order to prevent the catastrophic intrusion to our liberty that they desire, we must be vigilant. We must argue. We must show how Obama's "public option" is nothing of the sort. It is nothing but a blatant foot in the door in an attempt to open the flood gates to full blown socialized medicine. We can't let that happen. This is the most articulate, impassioned, and informed speech I have heard on the topic. Sadly, it is 48 years old:

Friday, June 12, 2009

Finally, they tackle the important issues

Have you ever been watching TV when the commercial comes on and the volume is so high that you have to cover your ears to avoid permanent hearing damage? Apparently you're not alone, as Congress has taken a break from impoverishing us and our posterity for a day to focus on something much more important: making sure that commercials aren't too loud.

"Every time the ads came on they blew me out of my seat," said Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., who introduced the bill last June. "It really turns you off, makes you think, 'I'll be damned if I give them any of my money.' "
Apparently she is not aware that individuals can actually make the same choice, voting with their dollars to not buy from a company that causes ear damage with their loud commercials. No, she would rather induce the companies to have the correct volume with all the force of the US Congress. Frankly I was unaware that the congress had the power to regulate the volume at which privately held companies not engaging in interstate commerce broadcast the commercials that allow them to stay on the air. You learn something new every day.

I should make an impassioned plea to let the free market dictate how loud commercials should be. I should assail the ever expanding influence of the nanny state on the minutia of our lives. I should, but I wont, because any time they spend on silly shit like this is time they can't spend screwing us with universal healthcare, cap and trade, and whatever other idiocies the Moonbat Messiah has in store for us.