Monster Hunter Nation

HAPPY TAX DAY!

So this year I was molested more than ever before. Hooray for success!

I’ve got two sources of income. By day, I’m the finance manager for a defense contractor. Like most of you I do the whole withholding thing where they, oh so very subtly, yank a small portion of my paycheck. (more on that later) By night, I’m a professional novelist, which means that I’m an independent contractor who has to calculate and send quarterly withholding payments myself. The last one I sent for the year literally made me tear up.  I  had to send the government a check for more money than my total income for any year of my life up until the age of twenty-three. (for one quarter) Oh, but my calculations were a teensy bit off, so this week, I had the opportunity to send them enough money to purchase a decent used car.   

Because, you know, I had absolutely nothing better to do with that money.

So in honor of Tax Day, and as a result of having been exposed to a lot of news lately because I’ve been home sick, I’d like to talk about our nation’s current budget issues. You see, we face difficult times, and our noble president says that we are just going to need to give up just a little more.

ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME, YOU STUPID LYING GREEDY SACK OF CRAP?

Government can’t balance a checkbook. They’re idiots. I know finance math. I do it for a living. And when I look at the numbers involved here, (and the interest!) it makes my head swim. Okay, for you non-accountants, when they start bandying numbers about on the news of 4 trillion such and such, and a hundred billion this and that, I know that your eyes glaze over. You think to yourself, “Oh, it is just the same old same old, bunch of politicians spending too much money, blah blah blah.” 

NOOOOO!

Saying that this is the same old same old, is like saying that gophers digging up your lawn is the same level of disaster as Krakatoa. Over the last couple of years we’ve reached a whole new level of crazy. Our spending has gone insane. We’re spending more money, faster, than all of mankind, throughout all of recorded human history. Economists aren’t sure what’s going to happen, because this has never happened before. Ever. On Earth. We’ve strayed into strange new territory here and there are many possible outcomes if we don’t stray the hell back out. And don’t for a second think that any of those possible outcomes are remotely good. No. They range somewhere between the Great Depression and Mad Max.

The government almost shut down last week over cutting 38 billion dollars… That may sound like a lot, but comparatively speaking, that’s like a 600 pound man who’s heart is about to explode congratulating himself that he got a hamburger instead of a cheeseburger… for his fifty-seventh meal of the day. Republicans backed off because they didn’t think they could win the PR battle. Let’s see… the Democrats were willing to not pay soldiers, currently fighting three wars, in order to ensure funding for abortion clinics… And you didn’t think you could win that PR fight? Seriously? Have you ever thought about maybe hiring a marketing major? I know a guy….

Oh, and don’t get all, “Well, Planned Parenthood (or NPR, or grants for African Genital Washing studies, or whatever the hell your stupid cause is) only gets a fraction of half a mili-percent of its budget from the government!  So. F’ing. What… Those are my dollars. Why should they get ANY?   

Every time there is a discussion about cutting some government program, people line up to whine about how that cut is going to hurt somebody. Then you get the sob stories… So we never cut anything. Guess what? They’re not called Budget Pillows or Budget Tickles. They’re Budget CUTS. Cuts are supposed to HURT.

I had a discussion the other day with some relatively intelligent folks about social security. The idea of cutting benefits or moving the retirement age shocks them. “How unfair! But I’ve paid into this my whole life!”

Yep. You sure did. You got lied to and screwed over by evil political opportunists. Deal with it. I’m just shy of 40. I know that I’m not ever going to see a dime of any of the money I paid into Social Security.  FDR’s pet program was garbage when the average old person died a couple of years after retirement and the ratio of workers to retirees was 40 to 1.  How in the hell is it supposed to work when retirees are expected to live for TWENTY YEARS and there’s only a handful of people paying in for every one getting a check?

It doesn’t work. No matter how hard you wish, no matter how hard you hope, no matter how much compassion you can fit in your stupid compassionate heart, no matter how much you happen to like some program that helps somebody do something wonderful… math never lies and interest never sleeps. Caring don’t pay the bills.

On Social Security (because it is the gigantic stinky gorilla in the room) Okay, let’s talk about that little withholding bit first because lots of people still don’t realize this. I got into an argument with somebody the other day about social security, and he actually told me, “I don’t mind them taking out that money. I wouldn’t bother to save it. Plus, it isn’t really that much so I don’t notice it.”

IDIOT.

You’ve probably been seeing 6.2% of your check taken for SS and 1.45% for Medicare (not even going to get into FUTA and SUTA).  What most folks don’t realize is that your employer matches that… So basically you could get a 16% raise tomorrow if it wasn’t for that withholding.  “Oh, but that’s saving for my retirement!”  Bull crap. I could take 16% of my salary, use it to store canned food, and I’d come out ahead of what I’m actually going to get from the government for my retirement. The money that’s been paid in already is long gone, because expecting congress to save money is like expecting crack whores to save crack.  

Basically, if you’re not already old, and you’re counting on seeing money from Social Security, you’re a sucker.

Moving on to all the other stupid taxes, the latest thing I’m hearing is for us to tax corporations more. If only those darn evil corporations were paying their fair share! That’ll solve everything! GE didn’t pay any taxes! Google hardly paid any taxes! They’re using those evil loopholes! People tend to think of “loopholes” as some sort of nefarious trick that only rich people know how to use to sneak out of paying their “fair” share. (rich guys are taught about loop holes at the same time they’re taught the secret rich guy handshake). 

I used to think that way too. That’s how most Americans have been programmed to think of them. Until I took a tax class in college taught by a very sharp tax accountant. Loopholes aren’t secrets. They’re tax code. They’re laws that have been passed, by congress, in order to encourage some sort of behavior. Regular people deduct their mortgage interest. Hell, Married Filing Jointly is considered a loophole to some people.

If congress passes a tax break to encourage some behavior, and a corporation or an individual didn’t take advantage of it, they’d be stupid or failing their shareholders. Don’t get mad at the corporations or the tax accountants. Get mad at congress for decades of nonsensical regulations passed until the tax code is so convoluted that there is literally no right answer.

A long time ago, some university did a test. They made up a fictitious family of 5, gave them dual income, some investments, some rental property, and a few other little things, nothing too weird or complicated, and then had 150 different CPAs, tax accounting companies, and even tax software packages prepare this family’s returns. They got 150 different answers. All of they were equally arguable as being correct. All of them were equally auditable and capable of being wrong What does that tell you about the complexity of the tax code?

GE didn’t pay any taxes because of all the special regulations that have been passed to push the whole Green Energy nonsense. (Oh, don’t even get me started on stupid ethanol. I went from 35 to 27 mpg when they started adding corn and rainbows to my gas)  If they stick it to corporations even harder, it is going to hurt all of the little normal companies that all of us work for, as opposed to the giants that can suck up directly to the president.

You want to boost the economy? Lower corporate taxes. You want to increase investment? Lower the capital gains tax. You don’t want corporations to flee America to move their operations overseas? Quit raping them! We’ve got one of the highest effective business taxes on the planet, and that’s before you factor in the expense of having to answer to fifty different agencies that can come in and audit and fine you.  Personally, I’ve spent about 30% of my professional accounting life just answering to the whims of various audit agencies, and people like me don’t come cheap.

But no matter how screwed up our tax code is, and even if we suddenly had a sensible tax code tomorrow, we’d still be in deep trouble, because the government is spending too damn much.

“Well, Correia. You’re one of those heartless republicans! George Bush spent lots of money too! Tarp! TARP!”

Yes. And he was WRONG. (and oh how quickly we forget who controlled congress for most of that spending) Terribly, awfully wrong. And the country-club, big government republican establishment is wrong. Government isn’t the solution, it is the problem. McCain sucked. Romney sucks. Anybody who doesn’t grasp the dangers of big government sucks. But that said, if your justification for Obama’s spending lunacy is that the last guy was doing something wrong, you don’t do the same damn thing, only FIVE TIMES bigger and TWICE AS FAST. 

We need to cut, cut, cut, and then cut some more. Nothing should be sacred. Nothing should be off the table.  According to the Wall Street Journal, more Americans work for the government now than in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining, and utilities COMBINED.  

How in the hell is that sustainable? How in the hell is that acceptable?

The problem isn’t that we don’t pay enough in taxes, the problem is that the government is too damn big. They meddle in every facet of our lives from before we’re born until after we die.

I think Paul Ryan’s budget sounds like a great start. Cut. Cut. Cut. Take a chainsaw to federal spending. Even the things that I happen to like, like having a strong national defense… I’m pretty darn sure we can find some waste and useless projects in there. Do we really need more admirals than we have ships? Cut!

We’re almost done in Iraq. So long. We don’t have a plan in Afghanistan and that country can’t pull its head out of its own butt. I say we bail and turn half the country over to the Gurkhas and the other half over to the Poles.  Rules of engagement? He he he… Why do we still have so many troops stationed in Germany? So that Europe can gut their own defense to pay for absurd social programs because they know they’re safe as long as we’re there to protect them. Nope. Bye Europe. Sorry, England. You may have to double your air force and buy another three planes.

And I’m saying this to my own side. Yep, there are plenty of strategic reasons, but if you can’t afford to be world cop, you can’t afford to be world cop. Cuts are supposed to hurt. The lefties don’t get to subsidize electric cars and we don’t get to leave the 82nd Airborne in South Korea. Come home.  

(and oh, the hypocrisy from the left… No war for oil! Unless of course it is French oil in Libya, then it’s totally cool.  Abu Ghirab was directly George Bush’s fault! Murder squad in Afghanistan recently? Crickets. A few years ago we accidently bomb civilians. Impeach Baby-Killer Bush! We accidentally bomb civilians this month and hey, that’s cool. Accidents happen during Kinetic Military Actions.  And WTF is a Kinetic Military Action?)

That said, I’d rather have another squadron of F-22s than the entire Department of Education. At least air superiority is useful. What has the DoE done for you lately? Hell, ever? Cut! Can anybody tell me what Health and Human Services does? It alone is bigger than LBJ’s entire government. Boom. Cut!  TSA? Ha! Are you kidding me? CUT!  Department of Energy was supposed to get us cheap energy… How’s that working out for you?  CUUUT!!

You know what happens when a regular company runs out of money? We have to lay people off. Why is it when our economy sucks and everybody is hurting that our government grows?  Obama raised government salaries to the highest level in our history, and then to show that he understood our pain, he froze salaries… Let me see if I’ve got this right? You raised your salary super high, and FROZE it THERE and now you’re telling me that’s somehow a good thing. Screw you.

Corporate welfare? Gone. We shouldn’t have to pay $10,000 in subsidies for the ridiculous Chevy Volt so that rich urban liberals can assuage their guilt. There is no Too Big To Fail, because somebody smarter than you will come along and buy your assets. Does that hurt your union pension? Cry me a friggin’ river.

No bailing out states. If California wants to have 500 state agencies, spend money like there’s no tomorrow, while driving out all of their productive people and ruining all their businesses, then that should not become the problem of those of us who live in states that aren’t ridiculous.  

Social Security and other entitlements? It is time to start the painful weaning process. Raise the retirement age. Cut the benefits for those of us not already taking it. And then start ending the stupid program. You can’t fix it. You can’t fix something that is so fundamentally and mathematically flawed. It is either start cutting it gradually until it is gone, or wait for the whole thing to implode so that it screws everybody equally. It is morally wrong for me to expect my grandchildren to have to pay my bills just because I got old. 

No more giving money to foreign investments. My part of the country is sitting on more energy than Saudi Arabia but we can’t get to most of it because the government won’t let us. (F%&$ Ken Salazar in his stupid face). Government meddling has ruined the economy of eastern Utah, yet, at the same time we can give billions of dollars to Brazil to help them drill for oil? Are you kidding me?  That’s not an energy policy. That’s national suicide.

So happy Tax Day everybody. I for one am glad that I was able to send the government enough money to ensure ACORN employees are able to house Honduran sex slaves properly, or to pay the gas for Nancy Pelosi’s jet… Sure, if I’d kept that money myself I could have, I don’t know, done something stupid, like knocked 5 years off the back end of my mortgage, or paid for a gigantic chunk of one of my kid’s college education.  But I’m just glad that I was able to do my part!

Merry Tax Day to all, and to all a good night!

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Guest
4 years 3 months ago

Larry,
We agree on the cutting, but not taxes. Until the debt is eliminated, we do not cut taxes. When the US government is at a debt level of 0 dollars, then they can cut taxes.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

Sorry it doesn’t work that way. Our tax levels are already too high. Every time in our nations history when we have lowered taxes, tax receipts went up.

I fear for our nation because the way we are going is 100% unsustainable.

Thanks for the post Larry, now I’m gonna have nightmares. ;-) :-(

Guest
Jonas
4 years 3 months ago

Yeah, before the Bush tax cuts we lived in a dystopian nightmare of balanced budgets.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

Ever hear of the Laffer Curve?

Google it — we are a lot higher on the curve than we should be. We should be around 20% to 30%.

Guest
Crissa
4 years 3 months ago

Do you have proof of this? It would be interesting to see.

Guest
dbailey
4 years 3 months ago

Larry,

I love your books but you’re dead wrong re: “Every time in our nations history when we have lowered taxes, tax receipts went up.” I’ve seen some mention of the “Laffer Curve” in the comments but no one seem to point out that this theory is simply that the marginal retun to taxation is not strictly increasing. No one seriously argues that the we are on the wrong side of the curve right now in which case tax cuts will simply decrease revenue. I agree that the debt is a serious problem and long term entitlements must be reformed I just think that the solution is not as simple as just cutting government spending or giving everyone a tax cut. Also, there are things that government does well and while it certainly hurt to write a check to Uncle Sam for the first time this year I’d just rather see government done well than not at all.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

“Also, there are things that government does well…”

Name three of them. Heck, name two.

Guest
Bat Chain Puller
4 years 3 months ago

@Roberta X
1. Mobilize for a two front war in the early 1940’s
2. Collect the money and rights of way and contract for the engineering and construction of the first two thirds of the interstate highway system.
3. Plan and execute a manned moon expedition.

One good thing per decade for three decades in a row

Guest
Tony Muhlenkamp
4 years 3 months ago

We cut taxes to incent employers to hire and help us grow our way out of the mess. If we can grow the economy the govt can get a smaller slice of a bigger pie while the CUT spending. Prosperity results.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

The first thing you do in surgery is cut the blood supply. Then you excise the problem.

Yes, I’m aware there are specific trauma procedures where you can’t do that. They also use more resources than any 50 regular surgeries, usually to save someone who was doing something stupid.

Guest
Jackie
4 years 3 months ago

Michael,

We are not talking about surgery, we’re talking about taxes. Re-read the article if you must. The two are not identical no matter how clever you think your analogy may be.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

Unsustainable drain is unsustainable drain.

No matter how clever you think your case might be.

And I speak as someone married to a fed employee who’s job is going away.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

Tim,

That’s a helluva incentive for the .gov to kill the debt, ain’t it? Here’s that solution in action:

“You are not allowed to stop taking free money until you pay off all your borrowed interest-drawing money!”

tweaker

Guest
relf manner
4 years 3 months ago

Hey, if you don’t like paying some of lowest tax rates in the world, you can move some place else…

http://www.offthechartsblog.org/top-ten-tax-charts/

Face it,this country has been mortgaging its future on low tax rates, cheap labor from China and loans from banks and foreign countries for too long. Now it’s time to pay up, and those that have reaped the rewards (our wealthy) are going to have to pay what’s long overdue. Let’s return the top tier tax rate to what it was when America was strong…90%.. That’s right, during the 50’s and 60’s, our wealthy paid up to 90%…. Now we have hedge fund managers earning billions at just a 15% tax rate….
Wake up, after years of class warfare against the poor and middle class, it’s time to fight back.

Guest
Joe in PNG
4 years 3 months ago

I mean, it’s not like our economy is in trouble or anything. I just can’t see why it’s such a bad thing to take money from the people who work and give it to those who don’t. After all, don’t the rich just put all their money in giant money bins then swim in it? I saw it in a cartoon or something! It’s not like they invest or hire people or stuff. Punish them.

Plus, the government is so much smarter than I am when it comes to spending money. They never ever waste money on cloudcoocooland pork barrel boondoggles, or go massivly overbudget on anything ever. The pure model of utter sober fiscal responsibility our government!

Guest
Joe in PNG
4 years 3 months ago

And while we are at it, shouldn’t we also return to some of the other government practices from the 50’s and 60’s “when our country was strong”? Should we go back to segregation as well?

Guest
TB
4 years 3 months ago

The link is interesting, but the statistics have been cooked a little bit. As one example, the “historically low tax rate” for a median-income family of four does not include Social Security or Medicare rates. A table that does include those taxes can be found at the same site they used for their chart:

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?DocID=228&Topic2id=20&Topic3id=22

Graphing those numbers would be a bit more informative, since that money also gets pulled from our paychecks and ends up in the general fund. The rate in 1955 was 7.35 percent, and in 2010 it was 12.33. A table that also included the employer contributions would be even more informative.

Guest
TB
4 years 3 months ago

And one more item on the “50s and 60s:” Back in 1962, “when America was strong,” the Federal budget was less than a fifth the size it is now. In constant dollars, adjusted for inflation. The population in that time went up by a factor of about 1.6.

Think about that for a while.

Guest
Rik in MN
4 years 3 months ago

Ooops, you’re confused. It only takes a little second second grade math to figure out that if you took every dollar those despicable rich you so love to hate have, it won’t bail us out of this mess. All of the money the rich have, every dollar of it, won’t run this country for a year and once you have taken it …… Who’s going to pay you?

Better get a grip on the idea that 1 or 2 percent of the population can’t support the other 98 percent.

http://billwhittle.net/?p=562

Guest
never never land
4 years 3 months ago

Yeah those crazy, hazy 50s when the country hummed along on a top marginal tax rate of 91%. How we miss ye.

Only problem is a little thing called Hauser’s Law. No matter what the tax rate, GOVERNMENT is only able to extract about 18-20% of GDP.

Don’t mean to harsh your mellow dude but even President Training Wheels has said that while he knows lower tax rates would bring more revenue into the GOVERNMENT, it wouldn’t be fair.

Sounds like you and him were separated at birth. Say, that brings up another question….

Guest
D Abbott
4 years 3 months ago

Tim, Google ‘Laffer curve’, then take a few minutes to add up your total taxes, all of them (municipal, county, state, federal, excise, sales, property, etc, etc, etc,…). Then get back to us…

Guest
cubanbob
4 years 3 months ago

First it isn’t a cut in taxes, its a rate reduction. Second the net taxpayers already disproportionately bear the burden. Its time for the net tax consumers and those employed by government to take the hit. A pay or benefit cut is the mirror of a tax hike. I’m tired of being the horse for all these damn deadbeats. It’s time to means test social security and rollback the annual increases to all but the neediest. It’s time to sack half of the civilian government employees and rethink the mission for the Armed Forces and budget and staff accordingly. Its time to do a complete overhaul of the tax,statutory and regulation and judicial and policies schemes of the last 80 years and get rid off the drags to economic growth particularly with respects to manufacturing, energy production and distribution and exports.

Guest
Crissa
4 years 3 months ago

How does that work? Do you then tax Social Security and disability recipients 100% of their benefits? Do we add a tax surcharge onto all farm subsidies? Do we charge parents extra for schools and libraries?

When you fire the guy mowing the mall in Washington, we replace him with a company… How does that make for less being spent? Do we just fire teachers when their years of experience mean we can’t afford their rate?

Lastly, who pays too much for these services? You? The top .1%? Do you own/control more % GDP wealth than you contribute to % Federal Revenue? How do you measure that you pay too much?

Actual numbers would be appreciated, I would love to understand your argument. I certainly understand the means-testing; I don’t know why John McCain is drawing military pension and a Senate salary, or that he’s drawing medical benefits from multiple government sources and farm subsidies all at the same time. And our military is a larger nominal $ amount or portion of GDP than at any other time during my lifetime; at a time when they employ the least number of people in my lifetime. It is a quandary!

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

We need to cut most if not all government programs. Our government needs to go back to what the founding fathers intended it to be. A government for the people, not the corporate interests that currently make the decisions for us. Taxes should be a flat rate across the board without loopholes or incentives. You earn the money you pay the tax Period.

Guest
Crissa
4 years 3 months ago

A doesn’t lead to B. Cutting government programs does not make for corporate interests to be lessened.

Not that I disagree with you, but these things are separate problems with separate solutions.

The founding fathers disagreed on what the role of the federal government was. As an example, Jefferson’s plan for a weak federal fell apart in the face of the real world when he took office – he had to buy and deploy ships to protect our jobs and trade, which congress did not wish to deal with. He had to figure out what to do when the electoral college voted in a tie. And he chose a stronger fed, because there were things no man or state could do alone.

Guest
Cricket
4 years 3 months ago

Uh…we don’t cut taxes where is the incentive to make any money? When taxes have been cut, revenues were up because business (unlike goverment) knows how to invest its money. When government has a surplus, it spends it. What the ideal situation would be is that there are NO MORE IOUs in the SS account, or any other account that government has been a trustee for. The SURPLUS would be invested to keep government going, NOT tax increases.

Guest
Brian
4 years 3 months ago

Tim, Research the Laffer Curve. It will show you
how cutting taxes actually increases govt. revenue.
Economics is a science, we need to learn it.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

Damn Larry…
If you looked more like a woman I would kiss you.
Fixing this mess will HURT and people need to accept that so we can move forward and start trying to solve our nations issues while we still can.

Jim

Guest
Jpo
4 years 3 months ago

Amen!

Guest
Anon
4 years 3 months ago

You’re missing the point – it’s not that it’s stupid, it’s that it’s revolutionary.

May I humbly submit:
http://www.newclarion.com/2011/04/the-crisis-they-want/

Guest
Scott Deering
4 years 3 months ago

Hi Larry.

See this post is why I am really excited to read Monster Hunter Nemesis when it comes out. I kinda have to think that a look behind the scenes of the Monster Control Bureau and the Washington environment it lives in will be unflattering, scathing, and really really funny.

:-).

-Scott

Guest
Iron Spartan
4 years 3 months ago

This is awesome! I wish my tax day rants sounded half as coherent!

Guest
divemedic
4 years 3 months ago

We spend more on defense than every other country in the world combined. We could cut our military spending by 2/3 and still spend double what the Chinese (our closest competitor) do. We spend $687 billion on defense. The Chinese, $114 billion.

If we cut defense by 2/3, stopped paying SS, medicare, medicaid, and other giveaways, we would have a $200 billion surplus. That would let us pay off the debt in only 50 years.

Does anyone see that happening? The collapse is coming. There is no escaping it, we are well past the point of no return.

Guest
DaveP.
4 years 3 months ago

If you have an expensive gun, and I have a cheap gun, does that mean that you’re safe from me?

Guest
steve radez
4 years 3 months ago

In response to Dave P. – the answer to your question is “YES”. Those with more of and the best weapons win the wars. Have you ever heard the story of the war against Japan and the atomic bomb – hello !!!!!! – we will absolutely be run over eventually if other countries develop more (quantity) and more powerful weapons. If you can’t see this you are an idiot and probably also think we can solve the terrorism problem with a healthy handshake – You are POTP

Guest
DaveP.
4 years 3 months ago

Actually, Steve, the answer is no; and I was arguing AGAINST cutting the military budget by pointing out that nations “who spend less than we do” are still a threat. Before you call someone part of the problem, you should try comprehending what they are actually saying…

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

Steve Radez,

The answer to the question is “Maybe” at best. Have you ever heard the story of the war against England and the Shot Heard ‘Round The World? – hello???? If I recall, the Brits had more guns, more soldiers, and the most powerful navy in the known universe.

On to expensive gun v. not expensive gun. If John shoots George with a Jennings before John can draw his Wilson Combat 1911, was George safe from John?

Oh, and attack the argument, not the individual. Dumbass.

tweaker

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

“Those with more of and the best weapons win the wars.”

Oh, who was the fellow who said, “Quantity has a quality its own,” Stalin?

While we’re talking WW II, you might remember neither the U.S. nor the Russians had tanks nearly as good as the German ones…they just had a lot more of them. (And, possibly, commanders who made better use of them).

Defense spending *alone* isn’t much of a metric. What’re they buying with the bucks?

Guest
Keith A. Glass
4 years 3 months ago

In the words of P.J. O’Rourke. giving power and money to Government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. . .

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

Epic! I’m stealing that quote for use on another story.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

I move we start a grassroots campaign to elect Larry the next president.

All those in favor signify by voting AYE.

Guest
rosignol
4 years 3 months ago

I’d rather not go 4 years without a MH book…

Guest
Crissa
4 years 3 months ago

He could still write books, just not profit from them.

Guest
Harry the Horrible
4 years 3 months ago

Don’t want to change the mood, but one problem with government accounting, is that it doesn’t include government assets.

IIRC, the Feds actually have enough assets (from land and buildings to tanks and CVNs) to cover a large chunk of the debt. Maybe even most of it…

So maybe the Federales should consider unloading these assets and downsizing?

Guest
bobby b
4 years 3 months ago

“So maybe the Federales should consider unloading these assets and downsizing?”

This would be a great idea if you could get government to consider doing it during boom times. Sell off maybe 500 buildable lots in the National Forest next to Vail at a cool $million each, for example. Right now, though, it could only happen at fire sale prices, if at all.

But nobody’s looking to slash government spending during boom times, and so there’s no incentive for Joe Fedemployee4life to look around at possible alternative funding sources that might keep him in the clover instead of hanging around a flaming barrel of trash with his unemployed FedBuddies in line at the UE office.

And, sadly, we’ve shown such stern resolve in past boom times (?!) about spending our collective taxed dollars in a shrewd and miserly way that Joe and his buddies know damn well that, during any boom time, we’ll at worst tell him he can only hire three relatives per month for new positions in his department, and we’ll probably be hiring them to go out and look for more land for the FedGov to buy up, so the chances of Joe suggesting any kind of asset divestment at that time are nil.

(Nil is really, really small.)

Guest
Nathan
4 years 3 months ago

Amen Larry, i’m right there with you. Too many people haven’t yet realized the major hole we have dug ourselves into. The “sacred” programs have to go. Obama’s idea seems to be that if he can take away all of our tax cuts like the home mortgage credit, and other nice credits a huge swath of the country enjoy..like that won’t hurt the housing market even more.

I’m with you, instead of focusing on taxes, focus on cutting out the REASON they want to raise taxes – all the @$@#$@ spending. Also, to anyone who says raise taxes sure i’d be totally willing to pay more taxes. But can you 100% promise me that all my new taxes will go to the deficit, or will the idiots in congress and the white house just come up with more ways to spend the “new” revenue?

Be honest…they will just spend it all on more crap we don’t need and then come whining for more taxes in a couple of years..

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James
4 years 3 months ago

Very well said, sir. I would tip my hat to you, were I wearing a hat.

Another problem with selling government assets: if we sell weapons, we need to be very careful that the people we sell them to won’t be interested in pointing them at us 20 years down the line. It would, for example, be a VERY BAD IDEA to sell China a Nimitz-class CVN.

When you eliminate all the nations that can’t afford a fleet carrier and all the nations that we don’t want to have a fleet carrier along with all the nations who would rather build their own fleet carrier if they want one… you have a very, very, short list left. The same applies if its a squadron of F-22s or a battalion of Abrams tanks, though to a lesser extent.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

I just remembered something else that struck as amusing/sad about the government shutdown. The number of people who were whining because tourist attractions would be closed. Most of these people weren’t the tourists or the business people who depend on them. These were people who might visit one or more of these attractions some day.
In some ways, we need an economic collapse to rid ourselves of the entitlement attitude.

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John Rolf
4 years 3 months ago

Omg Larry I love this post. We were literally just talking about this stuff with my kick ass Government Teacher.

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warpcordova
4 years 3 months ago

I must admit, Larry. This is the first time I’ve actually had to wipe spittle from the inside of my screen.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

You know, Larry, I’d like you even better if you weren’t such a bleeding heart.

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Adam A
4 years 3 months ago

Bravo Sir. Bravo.

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Roland
4 years 3 months ago

The tax rates are at historic low. But why let the facts get in the way of a good story, right?

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Jenny
4 years 3 months ago

.. at least they are if your attention span isn’t much longer than five minutes.

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Lily
4 years 3 months ago

No, our REAL tax rate is actualy what is being spent – not the current tax table – because its real money being spent and we’re really going to have to pay it back. And our government is spending at historically high levels.

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DaveP.
4 years 3 months ago

After all, increasing tax rates worked ever so well for Argentina, England in the pre-Thatcher era, France ‘tween wars, America before Reagan…

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Crissa
4 years 3 months ago

After all, Argentina was borrowing money on negative interest rates, England wasn’t strangled by an OPEC oil embargo, and America before Reagan had a higher marginal rate but lower median rate, so…

Wait, what? Taxes on the median American have increased since Reagan? Oh, don’t say it’s so! Oh, and nominal wages on the median American haven’t grown since Reagan, either.

Reagan is a bad, bad data point to point at. He raised taxes on more Americans than he lowered it; growth in the US has been less under any measure; and the median household income has stagnated since.

Stagnated. Means hasn’t increased. Means most people pay more of their income on taxes since Reagan. Aside from those people who don’t earn anything, and hence, haven’t anything to tax. Those darn lucky duckies.

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cubanbob
4 years 3 months ago

The British for most of its history ran their world wide empire on 10% of GDP and in that 10% that also included the entire cost of the home government. We can lower rates. Spending is the problem, not revenue.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

Please write a check to any agency of your choice for $500. Mail it to me. I’ll forward it to them to apply to their budget, and publicly praise you for your moral honesty.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

*grin*
Mike , forward them to me instead. I could use the money.

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D Abbott
4 years 3 months ago

Most excellent, Larry! I really, really, like the way you think and put it in words.

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Nick Sharps
4 years 3 months ago

Soon we’ll all be hopping the border looking for jobs in Mexico

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Joe in PNG
4 years 3 months ago

And to all you higher taxes advocates: when you did YOUR own returns, did you take every deduction you possibly could, or do you calculate your tax returns in such a way to give the government every possible cent you can find?

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

It isn’t morally wrong to your grandchildren to have to pay my bills just because I got old — that’s the way it’s supposed to work. It *is* morally wrong to expect other peoples’ grandchildren to support you when you’re old.

A good start would be closing all military bases and actions around the world; bring those guys home and let them get jobs. Flip the bird to NATO, the UN, and all the whiny marxists therein and tell them to take care of themselves.

Close down every federal agency involved in regulation of business: FCC, OSHA, NHTSA, FDA, FDIC, SEC, ETC ETC, and let business actually get down to business.

That’d get us pretty far down the right road.

An even better start would be: 1) Find out how much tax revenue there really is. 2) Find out how much government fits within that number. 3) Eliminate everything that doesn’t fit. 4) Start eliminating things that *did* fit.

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Nick
4 years 3 months ago

Yes, eliminating OSHA (thus eliminating safeguards against the kinds of abuses seen in the 19th century, where workers were paid in scrip and companies weren’t forced to provide a safe working environment) and the FDA (thus ensuring that pharmaceuticals are untested and unregulated, since testing is expensive) is a great idea.

Look, I’m all for cutting out the bullshit, but there’s a difference between cutting excessive government oversight and eliminating oversight altogether. The latter is no healthier than leaving the monstrosities in place.

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Stan
4 years 3 months ago

Do you really honestly think that if OSHA went away we’d magically be transported back to the 19th century?

Really?

The first company that tried to pay it’s workers in scrip or force them to work 12hr days without breaks or overtime would see it’s stock worth pennies on the dollar within a week as they were crucified in the court of public opinion by every major news company in the US.

The same could be said for the first drug company that put out something without properly testing it first.

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Nick
4 years 3 months ago

Stan: Not overnight, no. But incremental abuses would increase and eventually we’d be back to that point.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

Good points, Nick, but you seem to be unaware of a few things:

– State governments and laws would still exist. Every state has workplace safety laws. OSHA is nothing but a huge sucking productivity and profitability leech on top of that.
– It would still be illegal to kill or maim your workers.
– Tort law would still exist. Any company causing harm could still be sued out of existence by someone wronged.
– The FDA is just BigPharma’s government front organization that prevents competition, approves poison like aspartame as “safe” and foils tort suits against BigPharma for releasing harmful drugs. Google up how Rumsfield got aspartame approved for a perfect example of government corruption bringing a bad product to market for corporate partners.
– the FDA prevents many good, useful, life-saving drugs, pesticides & formulas from entering the market because FDA testing is too expensive, or because the product would steal market from a BigPharma product.
– Private consumer watchdog groups and independent labs (such as Underwriters Labs or Consumer Reports and even normal people on teh intarwebs) would continue to do a better job at product safety than any government agency.

Not only would we get along just fine without any of those agencies, we’d actually prosper.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

Stan,

While I’m inclined to agree with your position that elimination of OSHA would not set us back to the 19th century, there’s a bit of a flaw in the logic that you claim would prevent it: relying on “every major news company in the US.” I have a tough time believing the Main Stream Media would suddenly gain journalistic objectivity (or a conscience, for that matter) after a libertarian wipe of fed.gov programs. LIkely they’d remain as counter-intuitive to justice and morality as they are now, provided they don’t just get worse.

tweaker

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Crissa
4 years 3 months ago

How would individual states be able to stand, if they aren’t allowed to keep out pollution and refugees from other states?

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Brian Peppers
4 years 3 months ago

How in hell did the anti-aspartame kooks wind up in here?

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Nick
4 years 3 months ago

Mike:

–Certainly, laws would still be in place without OSHA. But the point of a federal organization is to set minimum standards and enforce those standards with more resources than are available to state and local governments, as well as enforcement of things like offshore drilling that don’t fall under the jurisdiction of state or local governments. Is it overly bureaucratic in some ways? Probably. But it’s a necessary evil. Take mining companies. Most of them treat their workers pretty well, but there are most certainly abuses in some cases, particularly in coal mining. All the bad reviews on the internet don’t matter with an industry like that, because your choices if you don’t like the company are a) hope you can find another job in the little mining town you live in or b) move somewhere else and hope you can find a job there. Maybe there’d be a point where people would get too fed up, maybe we wouldn’t get back to scrip payment, but a company will do whatever it can to save money, and when the company is involved in something as risky as underground mining or manufacturing there needs to be oversight.

–As for the FDA, I’m not going to address the aspartame claims (except to say that aspartame is probably the most rigorously tested substance the FDA’s dealt with due to the “controversy,” and unless you’re drinking a 30-pack of diet soda every day you should be fine). I will say that I’d much rather have a government agency, even an imperfect one, overseeing the process of testing and releasing drugs, than allow anyone who can come up with a pill to make claims about it and sell it to the public. If you can’t see why that’s a bad idea, I don’t know that this argument can go much further.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

“I went from 35 to 27 mpg when they started adding corn and rainbows to my gas ”

That’s because your car’s computer isn’t as dumb as a carburetor. You put in “lean” fuel, it lengthens the time your injectors stay open. This happens because engineers figured out long ago that certain air/fuel ratios are most efficient, so the computer WILL attempt to maintain that ratio.

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Crissa
4 years 3 months ago

And that MPG isn’t a measure of how much motive force you received vs the emissions you created. A gallon of Premium contains more long chain carbons and sulfurs, whereas a gallon of Ethanol contains less.

So while your MPG went down (more than it should have, probably due to your driving style), your emissions per mile also went down.

Think about it. Sure, ethanol is a shorter chain and you have to burn more of it to get the same force. But while you’re burning more of it, each bit is made of smaller, more oxygenated molecules, which create less emissions.

That’s what emissions are, your car’s poop all over the air.

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Chris Smith
4 years 3 months ago

Question:

If your car requires more ethanol to get the same force, then aren’t you just putting out the same or more emissions, just less at a time for a longer period?

Ethanol is made from corn, correct? So aren’t we also burning more corn aka food, livestock feed, etc? Won’t requiring us to burn more of it to do the same work require us to produce more of it, needing more plowed fields, less trees, etc? It seems to be trading out one problem with another.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

Ethanol for cars is lunacy. At least on large scale. Forcing everyone to change over to ethanol means less food directly on the table. Less corn on the cob to be bought at the market, less and more expensive meat in the butchers shops..the list goes on. As for emissions? Don’t make me laugh.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

On the cut thing? EPA baby, EPA. That sucker should be a skeleton minus about 199 or so of the standard 206 in the human body.

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bigdeville2000
4 years 3 months ago

EPIC, just EPIC. I vote aye for the Correia candidacy for president!

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ansel
4 years 3 months ago

Correia! President!
Correia! President!
Correia! President!
Ok, let’s be realistic here, a much better title would be:
El Grande Generalissimo Presidente por Vida Correia!

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cubanbob
4 years 3 months ago

Could not be any worst than the arrogant communist schmuck currently in the white house.

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Nick
4 years 3 months ago

For once I actually agree with most of what Larry’s saying here. I tend to favor high taxes and social program spending, but if we’re going to cut spending we need to get rid of this obnoxious crap where the Republicans decide that they’re going to cut everything except Medicare and Social Security because those programs are heavily used by their base voters.

I won’t be of retirement age for another four decades, so I’m well aware that I’m going to pay for the boomers until they die and then there won’t be anything left. On the plus side, most people my age are aware of that, so maybe we’ll see people actually saving and investing and crazy crap like that. But then, I’m an optimist.

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Lily
4 years 3 months ago

“I tend to favor high taxes and social program spending”

Dude, that’s how we got here in the first place.

(1) There is NEVER going to be enough money to satisfy an ever growing list of ‘rights’ and ‘needs’.
(2) We’ve moved WAY beyond ‘keeping people from starving’ on to ‘shared prosperity*’ (I got the ‘share prosperity’ right off the White House website!)
(3) It is moral – or even effective in the long term – to require hardworking, productive people to subsidize the lifestyle, or to bail out people who continually make poor decisions?

And—— (4) Who do you think will take care of the poor and the sick when our economy collapses? In the end – your “compassion” will only serve to hurt the poor more.

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Rob
4 years 3 months ago

Dear Nick,

I think you need to re-read Mr. Correia’s comments. He’s warning you of disaster. If the economy collapses and we default on our debt, your savings and investing will be near worthless. Jobs will be hard to get. And if that happens, civilized society will begin to unravel (crime will increase substantially, both property and personal crimes). Pull your head out.

Too many people like Nick just don’t get it. For their whole lives, everything’s always been more or less ok. They cannot comprehend great upheaval. They’re not students of history, I think.

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DaveP.
4 years 3 months ago

“I tend to favor high taxes and social program spending”

Pay for it yourself. There’s a line for voluntary donations right on the tax forms; whip out your own wallet for what you want. Or find a charity that’s doing the same work and go sell your car to make a donation.
But DO NOT tell me that I have to suffer to assuage YOUR conscience.

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Nick
4 years 3 months ago

I think the three commenters above may need to reread past the 22nd word of my post. Perhaps I was unclear, but I acknowledge that there is a need right now to cut the hell out of spending, including social programs that I usually favor at least in principle. We simply don’t have the money, and unlike some in Congress I’m not going to pretend that we do. My post was simply celebrating the fact that a number of Republicans are no longer going the route of “cut everything, except the stuff that’s important to our base voters.”

And Rob, a student of history would know that humanity has an odd tendency to make predictions that are much more dire than reality. On occasion they’re correct, but if everything that was widely predicted by pundits and prognosticators came to pass, we’d have had nuclear war in the 50’s, civil war in the 60’s and 70’s, a Soviet invasion in the 80’s (WOLVERINES!)…Obviously, steps should be taken to prevent disaster, but you’ll pardon me if I take doomsday scenarios about the collapse of civilized society with a grain of salt.

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Chris
4 years 3 months ago

No, Dave, I will not voluntarily cut a check to pay what I think is fair in taxes. I live in a society and make use of society’s resources; therefore, I should be made to pay a certain part of my income to the government who manages those resources on the behalf of the common good. I shouldn’t get to pay-as-I-wish. We all live here- together- and we all should be required to maintain the place. Those who have more should pay more, plain and simple. I shudder at what _your_ concept of “society” and “culture” would look like, with each _individual_ getting to decide what he/she thinks is “fair” to pay in taxation.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

@ Chris- who said anything about people getting to decide what they contribute to taxes on an individual basis? Don’t read something into what he said that isn’t there. what he’s saying is..in the tax code there is a way for you to contribute/give more of your money to the government then you owe in taxes. it’s a separate form. What he’s saying is if you feel THAT guilty about being successful that you believe you should do penance than by all means do so. But don’t ask the REST of us to pay for your guilt!

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DaveP.
4 years 3 months ago

Chris said:
“No, Dave, I will not voluntarily cut a check to pay what I think is fair in taxes.”

You won’t pay what YOU think is fair in taxes, to support the programs YOU want… but you want ME to.
One again, let’s roll that around: not important enough to spend your own money on, but important enough for you to FORCE me to give up MY money for.

Have I got it right?

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Don Gwinn
4 years 3 months ago

You have the permission of your token school teacher to remove the Department of Education from the federal budget entirely.

That and a dollar will buy you four ounces of gasoline or 20% of a cup of fancy coffee.

Guest

[…] TAX THOUGHTS from Larry Correia: “Government can’t balance a checkbook. They’re idiots. I know finance math. I do it for a […]

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

Yeah, and howcummizit so many folks are worried silly (or just plain silly) about a possible .1 degree rise in average temperatures 50 years from now and WE GOTTA DO SOMETHING NOW but the absolute definite devastation of the national debt monster eating us alive within a decade is… yawn… oooh, Seinfeld re-runs on….? Denial ain’t a river in Egypt, it runs thru Washedup, DC.

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Andrew
4 years 3 months ago

Stumbled onto you site via Instapundit. Best thing i’ve read all week.

I swear to God….reading this post has just made me feel better, knowing there are still people who give a shit about what we’re doing to our country.

The scary thing is that we are just BEGINNING to have a conversation about timid budget cutting when we really need to be making dramatic changes.

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Doug
4 years 3 months ago

Thank you Larry. You said it better than just about anyone else I’ve seen.

I woke up feeling good. I feel sick no but thank you for the post of true reality. You swing a broad axe, and cut everyone with it. Not just one side or the other. And that’s fair frankly.

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Doug
4 years 3 months ago

I feel sick NOW, not “no”

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Zach
4 years 3 months ago

….

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Oscar
4 years 3 months ago

You know, Larry, you just dislodged something in my brain:

It’s always the same with these people, isn’t it?

a) Funding X isn’t going to balance the budget/ reduce the deficit/make a difference/, so it’s not worth cutting for such minor savings.

b) Funding X is extremely important; if you cut even one red cent, the elderly/children/women/minorities will diiiiieeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!! No cuts to X.

In the end, NOTHING gets cut because whatever the program, it is either too small to bother with or it is critical to the very lives of the weak and helpless.

On the whole, I’d say we’re pretty much screwed. Who wants to go in on a condo in Manila?

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CJ
4 years 3 months ago

You got it Oscar. Similarly, drilling for oil in XXX is only going to provide YYY months of national consumption, so there’s no point bothering …

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Crissa
4 years 3 months ago

Being as there’s a finite X in oil and there’s not a finite set of X in budgets, that’s a spurious argument.

But you are right that it has a poor logical basis in budgetary matters, as X is arbitrary.

However in oil, it is not arbitrary. It is finite and known. If you’re in a spacecraft and all the oxygen is being consumed by holes in other sections of the craft, you don’t turn your sections oxygen supply back on until the holes have been sealed or your section is sealed. Elsewise it’ll all just go out the airlock.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

CJ, oh and you too Crissa….you DO realize that the United States sits on more natural resources than ANY other nation on the planet? More than any several you can choose to name combined? Yes it’s an X amount and yes it’s a “finite” amount. But to define “finite” for you; we’re talking anywhere between 2-4 CENTURIES of finite. which in the long looking scheme of things..is a lonnnng goddamn time. The “Oh my god we’re running out and we’re killing mother earth to do it” myth is a complete crock of shit. Always has been, since they started using it about the time I was born.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

Sean: I vote for using everyone else’s oil first. Then we sell them ours at $1000/bbl.

Economics, bub.

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dbailey
4 years 3 months ago

@M. Williamson, quit talking about the “secret” energy plan.

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Geodkyt
4 years 3 months ago

Mike’s not letting out any secrets.

Right after he gets annointed as Imperator, he intends to send out the Neo-Jacobin log-chipper crews to each town and village, and the people who might:

A. Read this post.

2. Understand this post.

III. Disagree with Mike. . .

. . . will get the chance to personally assist with pre-production testing, in a very intimate fashion.

{chuckle}

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[…] Correia goes off on government spending: Government can’t balance a checkbook. They’re idiots. I know finance math. I do it for a […]

Guest

[…] Correia lays out how screwed we are: Every time there is a discussion about cutting some government program, people line up to whine […]

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

[…] has this: SOME TAX THOUGHTS from Larry Correia: “Government can’t balance a checkbook. They’re idiots. I know finance math. I do it for a […]

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Robert Lambert
4 years 3 months ago

Epic truth Mr. Correia.

As a gesture of my pig dog capitalist appreciation for income redistribution I’m gonna re-buy all the books you’ve put out. Some other lucky soul is gonna get my dog eared copies of Monster Hunter goodness.

Up the one true revolution!

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Imablogger
4 years 3 months ago

You are right on, but one thing needs to be added to your rant.
The expression “Increase Taxes on the Corporations” needs to be explained to the average American. First you hit them upside the head with a two by four. Then, once you have their attention, you tell them that Corporations do not pay taxes…their customers do.

In a previous existance, I used to do the pricing for one of these evil Corporations. To simplify it, once I added in the cost of materials, the processing, the labor and overhead (including buildings, machines etc. and TAXES) a profit is then added to the total. This is the final price of the product being made.

All taxes, City, State and Federal, are paid by YOU the customer. When you say Tax the orporations more, you are really saying Tax me more!

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wilky
4 years 3 months ago

The worse part is, those that call for more taxes on Corporations will be the ones telling everyone that they want to help the poor, by pushing this “stealth”tax on the poor.

To be fair, they believe everyone should pay higher taxes, they just aren’t honest about how they are going to get everyone.

I still believe the Fair Tax is the way to go. Got to get rid of all the games in the tax code.

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Bat Chain Puller
4 years 3 months ago

@Ima
A company that can set prices based purely on costs is rare and must be totally isolated from a market dynamic. If a company could charge higher prices without losing sales, then it would…regardless of the tax it pays or doesn’t pay on its profits. In most industries, increased income tax results in lower net earnings. Even “cost plus” government contracts don’t reimburse income tax because it is considered a distribution of profits. That said, mobile organizations will move to areas with lower taxes in order to preserve earnings.

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Mikey
4 years 3 months ago

Half the impact of corporate taxes is felt by the employees themselves, in the form of reduced pay and benefits.

So every time some idiot liberal whines about raising corporate taxes, tell them they’re screwing over both the customer and the employee. In other words, all of us.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

Mikey..you don’t mind if I expound on this a little bit do you? Cool

Okay all you progressive liberal nimrods. Are you paying attention class? Good because I’m only going to explain this ONCE. Now you say “The EVIL Corporations should be paying more as it’s only fair” Really? Why don’t you sit there and ruminate whilst I ILLUMINATE. IOW I’m going to try and pound reality into your skull. Which by the way is generally no fun for me…since it’s hard to pound knowledge into a brick; and generally leaves me feeling frustrated and wanting to yank my hair out

When you raise the taxes on corporations YOU get screwed. Why? Okay. You do realize that business exist for 2 reasons. One is of course to provide a good or service that people want or need. The other is to, now this is the important part, MAKE MONEY. TO TURN A PROFIT! Turn a profit for their owners, for their investors and for the sake of their employees. You know..people like ohh..I don’t know..ME who work and expect to earn a wage for it? See what happens is..when you raise the Taxes on the Evil Corporations. The corporations in order to KEEP showing a profit, so that they can
A. Provide those goods and/or services.
B. Give their investors a fair return on their investment, annnnd
C. Continue to pay their employees, so that
D. You can continue to buy the product and service that they offer..
They have to
.E RAISE THEIR PRICES! Thereby passing on the cost of the Tax Hike, so that they can”pay their fair share”, to YOU the consumer. You flaming fucking retards!

Class is Dismissed.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

This post – and the comments – should be required reading for everyone. Linked from my blog, and emailed to everyone that I think will pay any attention.

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Acksiom
4 years 3 months ago

I’m glad Mr. Correia is speaking out. Cutting spending; reducing the size and power of the State; putting more of our nationalized capital assets back in the hands of the Citizens — these are good goals.

We appear to have found consensus, so the next step is figuring out what to actually DO. Which means that at this point, any more cheerleading is basically just vanity commenting to show off and display tribal solidarity. Enough of THAT ‘spending’ already, too. Now let’s have some actual courses of action proposed.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

Weren’t paying attention Cut EVERYTHING. I can think of at LEAST a dozen Government agencies off the top of my head that need to be immediately completely extinct. The rest? Pared down so that the agencies and the number of people they currently employ are about call it…. 25-30% of their current number. The Tax Code? Toss it out. enact a flat tax. And of course anyone still working in the federal government takes a HUGE pay cut.. I could keep going but I’m not going to eat up more bandwith and space on Larry’s blog ranting about my own particular ‘governmental’ pet peeves.

Guest

[…] via HAPPY TAX DAY! « Monster Hunter Nation. […]

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perlhaqr
4 years 3 months ago

The idea of cutting benefits or moving the retirement age shocks them. “How unfair! But I’ve paid into this my whole life!”

You make a deal with the Devil, don’t be shocked when you end up in Hell.

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Lily
4 years 3 months ago

Its like Bernie Madoff victims demanding their promised returns.

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Eskyman
4 years 3 months ago

Thank you!

Extremely well-said.

We’re all really screwed, but you have nailed the reason. I’m very pessimistic that anything can or will be done to correct the problem; yesterday I discovered that my Republican Rep, Brian Bilbray, voted for the Budget bill.

Shortly I will write him to let him know that he’s just lost my support. There’s no use voting for Republicans when they act just like Democrats, and as others have pointed out, this is a bi-partisan problem (tho I admit that the Dems, esp. Obama, have really run us into the ground at a tremendous rate of knots!)

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Angelos
4 years 3 months ago

I believe your “defense contractor” job should absolutely be one of the first cuts we make. Then maybe you’ll have a point.

Because after all, what is defense spending but wingnut welfare, patronage, and pork?

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Beauregard
4 years 3 months ago

Can you post a link for your rants during the Bush administration. You know when we started running huge deficits while having two wars without the tax increase needed to fund them. I’m truly interested in seeing your analysis of that outrage.

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DaveP.
4 years 3 months ago

Because Bush’s spending was baaad, but Obama tripling federal spending in just two years (not counting the Bush budgets he voted in favor of while in Congress) is just part of the solution… right?

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Michael
4 years 3 months ago

Well, I’m certainly sorry that my taxes pay your salary. Does that count?

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Britt
4 years 3 months ago

Melvin and the rest of the trolls are inbound.

For real though, the tax prep industry is a huge one, but only a total economic ignoramus who’s never heard of the Broken Window Fallacy would think it’s a net asset.

If we went full on libertarian style government, Larry would just be a New York Times Best Selling Author, not accountant by day, NYTBSA by night.

I mean if Larry could write full time he might hit Ringo output levels.

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atheist
4 years 3 months ago

Mr. Correia, if corporate welfare were eliminated, then the bloated, useless industry you work in would be eliminated with it. If that were to happen, you would need to fall back on your own talents to survive. If this is a representative sample of your writing, then I doubt you would be much in demand; I certainly wouldn’t pay money for this stuff. So it’s likely you would either become someone’s dependent or you’d starve.

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Megan
4 years 3 months ago

This is awesome. Thanks so much for writing it.

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[…] cold, grey and rainy outside. So I’ve done a little reading. Through memeorandum I found this gem of a rant against taxes, spending and our bloated government. It’s long but worth reading in its […]

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[…] from: HAPPY TAX DAY! « Monster Hunter Nation Comments […]

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coryatkin
4 years 3 months ago

Larry,

First time reading your blog. Thanks. I’ve spent the last few days immersing myself in liberal blogs, opinion pieces etc just trying to figure out how they think. Obviously their ideas make sense to them.

I was starting to feel like King Thoeden in Lord of the Rings after he had been listening to Worm Tongue all those years.

Your rant was so refreshing. Like having Gandalf come in and snap me out of it.

I feel like our entire nation is in the Worm Tongue trance. Heading for destruction but completely oblivious.

Thanks again.

http://www.randomthoughtnetwork.com

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

Right now, just to break even, we have to cut 40% of the budget. After the events of last week where the Republican leadership struggled to cut a measly $38B that is clearly going to be impossible.

At this point I’m thinking the Mad Max scenario is the most probable one. Never mind the fact that if confiscated all the wealth of the wealthy it would only close the gap for one year and then be gone….and then what do you do for the next year…the Liberals insist there is enough wealth to fund this madness.

The good news is that if we stay on this course and in a couple of years the economy does completely melt down the hardest hit areas will be the Big Blue Urban areas. Economic Darwinism will be a cold bitch. The survivors will be much smarter about paying for what you get when you get it.

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4 years 3 months ago

Sadly, Oh Mammoth one..the more I watch this crap on the news the more I find myself wondering “Where are the Horvath when we need them?” [Sorry Larry.]

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Brian
4 years 3 months ago

To be fair, Larry, Glenn Beck has been making comparisons to the Weimar Republic for several years now.

But as for the rant, I’m pretty sure you read my mind and then punched it up a bit. I call plagiarism! Keep it up,

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bobby b
4 years 3 months ago

atheist: “What I am saying is that without government largesse and corporate welfare, you would not even have an industry to compete IN . . . ”

Where is the government largesse and corporate welfare to be found in businesses seeking to compete for government contract work by bidding against other businesses for that work?

I mean, you do understand that they generally select the LOW bidder, right? Not the high bidder?

Or are you trying to imply that defense work is actually quite unnecessary, but government keeps it going anyway because it provides such a convenient channel from which to steal public money?

If you really are arguing that defense work is unnecessary, please show some balls and be explicit about it. Deniable innuendo is always a nice safe choice for building up your radical chic cred with your posting friends without having to be, you know, explicitly and pointedly stupid, but if you’re gonna take stupid positions, take them all the way.

(If government didn’t finance defense work, as you posit, the writer would probably be doing even better financially working for the private rich people who could afford their own defense budget for personal security. You’d be getting suicide-bombed regularly while the people with security would be safe. So, before you abandon a national defense, consider that 98% of the world has much, much less stuff than you have, and they’d be here to take it if they could, just like Obama.)

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sgi
4 years 3 months ago

Wow, what a great rant. I wonder though, have you given any thought as to why Obama has been such a profligate spender when presumably he can add and subtract as good as the rest of us? I don’t think he has the nation’s best interest at heart and that his is primarily an effort to level the US, that is, to knock it down to size. He is a progressive after all and nothing would make progressives happier than to see the US become more like say Canada, where I’m from, a great and beautiful country, but crippled by socialism lite.

Just in case you might think that this is some sort of conspiracy theory, the agenda of progressives is not a big secret. And just because Obama has presided over the continuation of hostilities in Afghanistan and Iraq, or had to face other annoying realities, does not detract from the fact that his agenda as president has been to impose, by hook or by crook, progressive solutions to domestic problems.

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SuperNaut
4 years 3 months ago

The Hopesters have arrived and they think that defense spending is the same as corporate welfare.

See what you do is pretend that words mean nothing, and equivocation is the same as equivalence. Then you can simply redefine stuff at will – TaDaaaaa!

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Phoenician in a time of Romans
4 years 3 months ago

The Hopesters have arrived and they think that defense spending is the same as corporate welfare.

You spend about as much as the rest of the world combined, you have no credible enemy that needs that much force, and you buy neat toys that don’t actually have much strategic value.

If your aim was actually defense, you could defend America for a third of the cost.

But those neat toys are bought from – private businesses. Who make out like bandits.

So why not take defense contractors off the public teat? Why not concentrate on defending America and stop paying to buy stuff to invade other countries?

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SuperNaut
4 years 3 months ago

What you are describing is still not corporate welfare and you introduce a new unrelated argument without actually addressing my criticism.

Did you think I wouldn’t notice?

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atheist
4 years 3 months ago

you introduce a new unrelated argument without actually addressing my criticism.

No. He’s explaining why most of what the USA spends on “defense” is really nothing but corporate welfare. The USA could radically scale back the DOD and still defend itself just fine. But then people like Mr. Correia would have nothing to whine about.

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logic4tw
4 years 3 months ago

@atheist

Actually, I disagree with your reading of Phoenician’s post. I think he’s making the point (explicitly in the last line) that America could cut military spending by 2/3 if we weren’t “invading other countries” or, as Larry put it, “playing world police”.

If you read the original article, you would see that Larry specifically addresses military spending and agrees that it should be cut. He also reiterates that directly in his response here. For someone who writes so well, your reading skills are suspiciously sub-par.

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atheist
4 years 3 months ago

Sure, Mr. Correia says he’d like to cut the wasteful military spending. Which is quite unbelieveable because, like we’ve pointed out over and over, without wasteful military spending, he’d be out of a job.

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SuperNaut
4 years 3 months ago

[i]No. He’s explaining why most of what the USA spends on “defense” is really nothing but corporate welfare. The USA could radically scale back the DOD and still defend itself just fine. But then people like Mr. Correia would have nothing to whine about.[/i]

You may believe that defense spending is like corporate welfare, that doesn’t make it so. I have no problem scaling back DOD spending, but that still little to do with my criticism, and remains a strawman and weak misdirection from the Hopesters.

Further, who would have thought that complaining about taxes would be a controversial subject? I’m not exactly sure what the Hopesters are defending here – higher taxes? Yeah, that’ll be a winning strategy. Status Quo? Hm, that ain’t working either. A California Services-Style Strategy? Yeah that one evidently was a resounding failure. Is your Hope that Social Security isn’t a giant scam? Good luck with that.

So, just what are you defending? Do you really want to tax the middle-class more? That will lose you 2012 faster than anything else. We start pushing 40% and you will see change faster than I think you’d like.

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logic4tw
4 years 3 months ago

@atheist

Please define “wasteful military spending” for me.

Is it ALL wasteful? What about the body armor R&D I mentioned in another post?

How about medical R&D for the military?

How about unmanned drones?

Or is it only weapon-related spending that’s wasteful?

Larry’s pretty clearly stated that his company helps keep our fighter jets in the air. Are those wasteful?

Do you believe that the military should do *everything* in house, including building all of their own equipment?

So, let’s see some examples (other than the ones in Larry’s original post) of “wasteful military spending”. If you can provide an example where purchasing parts and services from the public sector costs MORE than doing it “in-house”, I’d love to hear it.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

Everything we’re experiencing now, as a result of runaway deficit and debt, is basically an unintended consequence. Due to ideas put into effect by people who meant well — or so we hope — but who weren’t looking at the long view. If nothing else changes over the next few years, I hope it’s that American’s re-learn how to look at the long view. And realize that you can’t make money magically appear out of thin air. No, not even the government that prints the money can make money appear magically out of thin air.

I’m beginning to think seriously that many Americans would be smart to begin investing in hard assetts. Gold, silver, platinum, as well as equipment and machinery and other things that will be valuable after the dollar totally collapses and the electronic economy goes POOF and suddenly we’re starting at square one all over again. Nobody thinks it can happen, but I suspect we’re very dangerously close.

Larry is right. We have to cut the government. We have to. Bumping up taxes is only going to feed the problem, not starve it. Cut, cut, cut. Oh hell yes, we can do it. And military cuts aren’t a bad thing if you are smart about where you cut. And you force Europe and much of the rest of the world to begin paying for its own defense.

And I’ve not even started on all the foreign aid we throw out the door every year. America’s federal coffers are dumping billions and billions of “free” dollars into the pockets and economies of countries across the globe. And we never see any of that money come back. Never. It’s a one way trip for our hard-earned taxes.

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4 years 3 months ago

Brad, the foot soldiers…the myrmidons who appear here to trash Larry…they mean well. They really don’t think their actions will result in a Communist Dictatorship. Barak Obama? Not so much.

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logic4tw
4 years 3 months ago

Unfortunately, most politician’s vision is limited to their next campaign.

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4 years 3 months ago

Brad, yep. Aside from machinery..live stock, KNOWLEDGE [as in knowing how to do what your going to have to do to survive and prosper] food stores, seed stock; and finally. edged weapons, explosives, guns, more guns and a metric fu…….. er…a whole lot of ammunition and the means and knowledge to reload. The latter of course, so you can defend what you have, from those who don’t, who will surely try and take it from you. IOW the old parable about the Ants and the Grasshoppers.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

One of the finest rants I’ve read in a very long time.

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Joe in PNG
4 years 3 months ago

Here’s a thought: scale the problem down. Instead of the whole US, imagine a family that is spending almost twice what they make in a year. According to the left, the solution is to take out another mortgage and max out yet another credit card. Little Sally wants a new pony, Billy really has his heart set on that ’59 Les Paul flametop, and Mom and Dad just can’t live without their annual ski vacation to Vale.

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atheist
4 years 3 months ago

Families aren’t like nation-states. A family can’t print money or float bonds. A family also doesn’t have a central bank that needs to avoid both high inflation and deflation. A family doesn’t need to worry about the state of the macro-economy, the overall educational system or the real unemployment rate. Also, if a family is bankrupt its house can be reposessed, while nation-states can’t go bankrupt because they are soveriegn (their debt causes other kinds of problems).

But even in the context of your simplistic example, you should ask whether a family whose income does not meet its expenses will try to give up essential spending like food and shelter? Or will it first try to increase its income by working more? Obviously they will try to increase income first, so your example fails even on this simplistic level.

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logic4tw
4 years 3 months ago

Let’s ignore the fact that nation-states really WERE run by families to start with as ancient history and move on.

1. A family SHOULD worry about the state of the macro economy. Burying your head in the sand and saying, “Everything’s fine for me!” isn’t what I would consider a good thing. This, by the way, is also part of why we VOTE.

2. Families not worrying about the overall education system? That’s a joke, right?

3. I assure you, many families really DO worry about the real unemployment rate.

4. “Nation-states can’t go bankrupt” : you’re playing games with semantics here.

5. Joe’s example is pretty clearly NOT a family that’s spending beyond their means just for food and shelter. I call straw man.

However, to take YOUR example, are all those families on “the dole” working more to “increase income” or are they putting a burden on tax payers (that is people who actually PAY taxes) to support them?

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atheist
4 years 3 months ago

Burying your head in the sand and saying, “Everything’s fine for me!” isn’t what I would consider a good thing.

Sure, but in the real world that’s exactly how most families act.

not worrying about the overall education system? That’s a joke, right?

Absolutely not. Most families worry about their own kid’s education. They understandably don’t feel they can control the overall system.

4. “Nation-states can’t go bankrupt” : you’re playing games with semantics here.

You’re wrong, this is not a semantical question at all. You should read blogger Fabius Maximus’s short post, “Governments cannot go bankrupt“, Fabius Maximus blog, April 2, 2010.

For some background on governmental defaults, you should realize that the USA defaulted twice in the 20th century: once in 1933, and also under Nixon in 1971.

The opint about food and shelter came up because Mr. Correia wants to cut vital programs that some Americans depend on for survival (while keeping spending on himself). It would make much more sense to return taxes to their 1990s rates which would take care of much of the deficit.

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TS Alfabet
4 years 3 months ago

actually, families and nation-states are more alike than you let on.

While a family may not be able to print money exactly like a State, they can certainly borrow and borrow and borrow like a State– getting cash in return for their pledge to repay that cash in the future at some rate of interest. As for printing money, even a State cannot go on printing money indefinitely. If unrestrained, sooner or later, the “money” becomes just worthless scraps of paper more useful for chucking in the fireplace than for obtaining goods or services. So a State can only print money so long as everyone in that society has confidence that the “money” actually has some value. To stay with the family analogy, it would be like our Family having some connection to a rich uncle so the Family can purchase goods or services by referring creditors to the uncle. At some point, however, if word gets out that the Uncle is no longer paying or taking way too long to pay, the creditors will no longer sell the Family anything based on the Uncle’s name alone. That confidence has eroded. Take a look at Argentina for a recent example. It couldn’t print enough money to stave off fiscal disaster and eventually had to get its finances in order. The people suffered terribly and money stopped having much of any value. It was barter and exchange economy for a while there.

And where do you get the idea that nation-states can’t go bankrupt? Plenty of nations have gone bankrupt in history according to the strict definition: the inability to satisfy present obligations with current assets. The U.S. is actually not too far from that definition right now if you consider that most of the U.S. “assets” may not have any market for them (i.e., used military hardware, for instance) or would have so little value in a forced-sale situation that we could not realize enough cash.

And in any event, as all analogies break down at some point, there is simply no denying that the U.S. (like most of Europe and all socialist states) is looking at impossible financial obligations that no amount of printing money can solve. One way or another, the social welfare state as we know it today IS coming to an end, either with mobs in the streets (a la Greece or Wisconsin) or by some, other unpleasant collapse, unless some leaders take initiative at the federal level to make bold changes that will close down the runaway spending.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

not worrying about the overall education system? That’s a joke, right?

Absolutely not. Most families worry about their own kid’s education. They understandably don’t feel they can control the overall system.

I could go into a long rant about that one..I won’t though. Suffice it to say if the parents know the basics Reading, Writing and Arithmetic and teach it to the kids themselves starting at a young age, instill a love of learning and reading..*shrug* then to my mind the current way the education system works, makes it about as useful as ticks on a dog. Education is there for the taking for those that truly want one. It’s called a library. Some of the most successful people out there didn’t rely on the education system; they self educated, Read everything they could get their hands on and excelled Because they wanted it bad enough to better themselves.

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Joe in PNG
4 years 3 months ago

Your argument reminds me of the punchline to an old blonde joke:
“I can’t be broke, I have plenty of checks left!”

And, in the context of my example, your arguement is also a variation of “MOOMMMIIEEE, if I can’t keep my pony, I’LLLL DIIIIEEEEEEE!!!”

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

Do you have a citation or link to the study of the 150 different tax returns for the hypothetical family of five. I’d be very interested in seeing that.

Thanks.

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RG
4 years 3 months ago

This paper refers to a 1998 study conducted by Money magazine that tested 46 tax preparers – and none of them got it right, either. Not sure if it’s the same one you remembered, Mr. Correia. See pp 16-17.

http://www.ntu.org/ntu-pp-127-tax-complexity-2010.pdf

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Ted N(not the Nuge)
4 years 3 months ago

Thanks RG, I was curious about that too.

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Bagbalm
4 years 3 months ago

Larry if you don’t already you should read – http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?forum=Market-Ticker
The fellow who writes it and many of the posters feel the same as you.

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Miles
4 years 3 months ago

How many years was Tyrannosaurus Debt






) made? The makers would be shocked!

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Thomas Wicklund
4 years 3 months ago

I have it on good authority that the next round of cuts will eliminate PUFF payments….

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

Oh dear… a rise in monster attacks and the proliferation of monsters everywhere.
Oh. Wait. We have that already…they’re called PROFESSIONAL POLITICIANS. Why is there no PUFF on them? I think this is a grave oversite.

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Prudence Makepeace
4 years 3 months ago

Dude, you’re a middle manager for a company that wouldn’t even exist without no-bid government contracts.

Please go Galt. You’d be doing us all a huge favor. You’re not contributing in a positive way to our society by any objective measure. You’re just a pencil pusher for a company that lives 100% off the government teat.

Somalia has a low rate of taxation and low regulations. Why don’t you live there instead of the USA? Or, you know, try working for private industry instead of at a no-bid defense contractor?

If you’re this great Randian superman, why are you just sitting here whining instead of starting your own company, moving to a country with lower taxes, or something like that?

Oh, right. You’re just another sheep who thinks he’s a wolf. Hilarious.

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logic4tw
4 years 3 months ago

So… you’re saying that you think the government should spend less on “defense”, a.k.a. “the military”, which is something Larry comes right out and says in his own post.

I’m glad to hear you’re in agreement with him!

I would also point out that, as an author, Larry HAS effectively started his own company. The fact that he has a second job does not detract from that.

The rest of your post basically boils down to, “If you don’t like it here, you should go away.” Trollish at best.