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!

319 Responses

  1. 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.

    • 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. ;-) :-(

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

      • Yep, all our problems are because we’re not soaking the rich enough, and it has nothing to do with the fact that we’re coming up on a 1/3 of the people in this country being government employees!

      • 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%.

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

      • 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.

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

        Name three of them. Heck, name two.

      • @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

    • Tim, one big problem with that theory.

      “I know you’re addicted to crack. But don’t worry, as long as you’ve got this addiction, I’ll make sure that you keep getting a steady supply of more fresh crack! We can get through this together,baby!”
      :D

    • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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

    • 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.

      • 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!

      • 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?

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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

      • 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….

    • 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…

    • 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.

      • 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!

    • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  2. 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

  3. Amen!

  4. 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/

  5. 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

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

  7. 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.

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

      • 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

      • 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…

      • 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

      • “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?

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

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

    All those in favor signify by voting AYE.

  10. 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?

    • I’m all in favor of downsizing.

      One problem with asset based accounting. Fair Market Value is what somebody in the market will realistically pay for it. So what is the FMV of an aircraft carrier? As in, who else out there could actually buy it and for how much? You’re not going to like either answer. :)

      I’m all in favor of the government selling gigantic swaths of federal land. Most of my home state has been gobbled up by these bastards to protect the snail darter and kanab frog or some such nonsense. We’ve got the world’s biggest high-grade coal deposit sitting under the Escalante National Monument, so we can’t touch it.

      As for the asset based conspiracy theory, oh my gosh, anybody remember my Rentendollar post? I had economics professors arguing with each other over that one. I’m not touching my old conspiracy theory with a ten foot pole. (though I found out Glenn Beck picked it up a couple of weeks ago… Check it out, I’m ahead of the times again)

      • Thr federal goverment (aka “us”) has owned vast swaths of utah since the utah enabling act. You want to re-write the utah constitution? Fine, but dont forget that the entire colorado river basin plumbing system is a massive federal project. You would not live in kanab right now without massive government intervention.They did not take grand staircase from anybody. And your claim to the kaiparowitz coal stash is dubious.

        Listen, we are in a crisis mide and we need drastic action, but when people start talking about selling wilderness areas, you lose me.

      • sean –

        The federal government isn’t “us” any more than the Chinese government is “us.” The federal government is “them” and it’s us against them, with “them” fighting for survival and growth, “us” be damned.

        The only land authorized by the Constitution to the federal government is “such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;” Everything else the feds have grabbed up is unconstitutionally stolen from the people of the states.

        Escalante has the biggest repository of the cleanest coal around, and then Clinton flew in and turned it into a park to prevent energy independence and economic growth, and laughed all the way back to D.C.

        And your assertion that certain locations would be undeveloped or uninhabitable without Federal intervention is dubious at best – after all, pioneers turned this hostile state into a great place to live without any federal support… and despite federal intervention.

        If the market provides demand, someone will provide supply.

      • Mike, read the Utah Constitution and associated Enabling Act. Of 1984. Sec 3 paragraph 3:

        “That the people inhabiting said proposed State do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within the boundaries thereof; and to all lands lying within said limits owned or held by any Indian or Indian tribes; and that until the title thereto shall have been extinguished by the United States, the same shall be and remain subject to the disposition of the United States”

        You want to re-write the Utah Constitution and Enabling Act (a contract between nation and state that every state has in one form or another), go ahead.

        And where does your water come from? For 30 million or so of us in the west, it comes from the Colorado river basin and sub-basins. Without water, we do not exist as we do today. The pioneers planted a few thousand people in the desert. Now tens of millions of people live here because of MASSIVE federal subsidies in water and power infrastructure. Bernard Devoto points out accurately in the Western Paradox that the whole rugged individualist western idea is a hoax.

      • You do know that the federal government owned nearly all of US territory before it was turned over to private ownership, right?

        And that without forests, the snail darter, etc, you’d have to buy something simple as oxygen?

        Could you afford the amount of land that your consumption uses? Could every American?

        The answer is ‘no': America uses more resources than the entire Earth recycles in a year.

      • Crissa,
        Thats the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Over 90% of the WORLD’S oxygen comes from Kelp Forests. Not to confuse you, but that means that you could cut down every rainforest in the world and you’d still have a higher ratio of oxygen than you do of your paycheck after taxes.

    • “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.)

  11. 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..

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

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

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

  17. Bravo Sir. Bravo.

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

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

    • 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.

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

      • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

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

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

  21. 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?

  22. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

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

      • 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.

      • 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

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

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

      • 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.

  23. “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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

  24. 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.

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

  26. 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!

  27. 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.

    • “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.

    • 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.

    • “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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • @ 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!

      • 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?

  28. 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.

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

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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?

    • 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 …

      • 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.

      • 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.

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

        Economics, bub.

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

      • 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}

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

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

  36. [...] 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 [...]

  37. 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!

  38. 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!

    • 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.

    • @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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

    • 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.

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

  42. 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.

  43. 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!)

  44. 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?

    • Angelos, your ignorance is showing. But if it helps you to sleep better at night to just dismiss me as some part of the evil military complex, so be it.

      I am paid to do a service for a private company. My private company is paid to fulfill a contractual obligation to the government. Unlike a government employee, if a contractor does not do their job, we can be fired. As a rule of thumb which most people in this industry are very aware of, one contractor will do the work of two government employees, because we can actually be held accountable for our actions and fired. We do not have a union.

      If we do not fulfill the terms of our contract, the contract will not be renewed. (unlike government employees), and also, we have to COMPETE against many other contractors in order to do work. It is cheaper and saves tax money to have private contractors perform the service.

      “Because after all, what is defense spending but wingnut welfare, patronage, and pork?” Or at the end of the day, my people keep fighter jets in the sky, run military hospitals, and maintain the computer systems for intercontinental ballistic missiles.

      And if any of those programs were unneccesary pork, cut them too. Because out in the private sector, if our job is unneccesary, then we move on and find new work. Unlike the government, we expect to have to justify our existence.

      Oh, I’m sorry, were you just trying to easily dismiss me as a hypocrite so as to not have to actually face difficult truths or debate?

      • I would not wish to dismiss anyone or the quality of there work without truly knowing them. but seriously the same government you bitch about is the same government that hired your private company to do work for them. So we are now supposed believe the government makes good decisions on the choice of private contractors. Stating you are paid and that there are contracts are involved does not validate that your company is doing quality work on the government dime at a reasonable cost or that we even need them. I do believe government needs to be over hauled, but I will not put blind faith into anyone. Heck it’s not like private contracting companies were ever selected because somebody might receive a kick back in the form of a job at a later.

      • Larry..I see your blurb elsewhere about the response to this post was accurate to a T. The moonbats have come out of the woodwork. Remember don’t let the bastards bite you..they’re venomous.

      • Thank goodness that the government contractors keeping our fighter jets in the sky and running our military hospitals are always held accountable. Otherwise we might have massive cost overruns in the F-22 and F-35 programs or inhumane living conditions at Walter Reed.

      • Let’s see. . .

        1. F22 overruns aren;t actually that bad, if you know what the issues are. The cost PER BIRD keeps going up, in large part because Congress keeps cutting HOW MANY BIRDS they are buying. That means that the share of the NRE (Non-Recurring Engineering costs — the stuff that you pay the same to develop whether you intend to install it in 1, 100, or 1,000,000 units. . . like never-before-built avionics, C4ISR kit, and an airframe/engine combo that can do supersonic supercruise while stealthy for AMAZINGLY long distances) that each bird has to cover just went up. $1 Billion NRE/1000 aircraft = $1 Million NRE per bird; $1 Billion NRE/100 aircraft = $10 Million NRE per bird, so each bird just “magically” got $9 Million more expensive. Going from a planned purchase of 750 aircraft to 187 resulted in a HUGE increas in the individual aircraft share of NRE. There is at least $28 Billion in NRE in this aircraft — (that’s an increase in NRE share from $37 Million per bird, to $147 Million per bird, just by reducing the number of airframes.)

        Development and production were divvied up to hundreds of smaller firms, so nearly each Congresscritter could have a piece of the pie in his home district.

        No foreign sales are permitted, again due to Congress. Other nations (such as Japan) have been very interested in buying some F22s, but by law, they cannot. They could buy the F35, but it is NOT a similar aircraft in terms of capability, despite what the JSF Program Office says.

        Additionally, Congress slowing down development repeatedly ALSO runs up cost — you either have to find make-work for the (otherwise unemployed) engineers so you can keep them on tap for program restart, OR you have to reconstitute the team after every stop or major slowdown, which wastes MORE time and money. It’s a Catch-22 — top level engineering is NOT like a hippy craftsman churning out bad pastiches of inauthentic “Native American” art, where he can just down tools at will and come back later to pick up where he left off. (For example, shutting down the production line after bird 187, and then restrating it would add at least $70 Million to the cost of each new bird.)

        Other NRE- increasing decisions included deferring certain capabilities to post-production ECP (Engineering Change Proposals), which means that you save money up front, but the total final price goes up dramatically. imagine buying your car bone “stock”, and then going back to the dealer a year later and asking him to add in ALL the options.

        For perspective, construction overruns (in every county examined, on five continents, for over 70 years consistantly), by way of example, occur in 90% of building projects, and tend to run 50% – 100% of the initial cost esitmate. By and large, they already know how to build stuff like houses — the NRE is rather limited.

        2. F35 suffered the same issues as F22, PLUS, an overly ambitious design goal, developed by people who don;t read history books and forget the name “McNamara” and the F111.

        3. Contractors weren’t running Walter Reed, and improvements that should have been done (and were, IIRC, scheduled) were cancelled when Congress decided to close the facility under BRAC – those long term maintenance funds were diverted to the transition to new facilities.

  45. 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.

    • If you’d like, go back and read what I said about Bush’s Prescription Drug Benefits. I was also against that. I’m on record bitching constantly about Bush, because his “compassionate” conservatism was just more of the same tired big government nonsense.

      What, did you think I was a hypocrite? I don’t give a crap about the R and the D. Crap is crap.

    • 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?

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

    • Well, I can always tell when a post has finally been linked on a liberal web page! :)

      See my response to Angelo about my Evil Military Industrial Complex job.

      If what I do is unnessecary, then so be it. Cut away. Unlike the leeches, I perform a service, and if that service is redundant or unneeded, awesome. Cut it too. Like the rest of the private sector, I’ll just move on with my life and find some other valuable service to perform in order to be paid lots of money.

      • like write lots of books.

        FIFY (finished it for you)

        If it is any consolation, you wouldn’t be owing taxes if you weren’t making money. I will gladly send you more real soon (as soon as the next three books are actually released).

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

    • Once again, see my comment to the other dipstick named Angelo so I don’t have to type it out again. I have to compete in my industry, so if what I do is unneccesary and gets cut, cool. That’s life in the free market.

      And as for your second point, wow, you sure nailed it. A blog rant that I wrote up over breakfast while home with the flu ( a rant which I’m assuming you or the other libs that showed up this afternoon probably didn’t actually read) is exactly the same quality as my fiction. And since I’ve only got 10 novels in four different series under contract in three years, I must be just absolutely horrid at this whole writing thing. Oh, and if you came here from that panda-whatever libtard wingnut page that’s linked here, yep. I’m an “alleged” New York Times bestseller at only a mere #27. Trust me, buddy, in my business, to do that on book #2 from a publishing house the size of the one I’m at aint’ too shabby. (hence the reason I’ve got 4 books coming out this year).

      Oh, and to really blow your liberal little mind, before I’d starve or become someone’s dependant, I’d go back to what I did for a living before this… selling evil machineguns and teaching people how to shoot. Yep. I was a firearms instructor and Merchant of Death. That must offend you even more than the whole Evil Military Industiral Complex thing! So suck it. :)

      • No, you still don’t get it. I know that you have to compete within your industry. So does everyone else. What I am saying is that without government largesse and corporate welfare, you would not even have an industry to compete IN. In other words, without government action designed to artificially inflate your own value, the job market would treat you exactly like any other hack.

        But, OK, maybe you could return to selling guns. Or robbing people with them. Whatever.

      • How is paying me to perform a service welfare?

        If I’m a private contractor, and I’m an engineer that specializes in repairing and maintaintaining radars in an F-16, and I have a one year contract to work 1920 hours over the year, and a list of requirements and criteria my work quality must meet… And I can perform this service for 65% less cost than a government employee… How is that welfare?

        Or, do you just think that we shouldn’t have a military at all? Because last time I checked, that was one of the only things in the Constitution the federal government was actually authorized to do. Because if you think having fighter jets is totally a bad thing, then you might want to take it up with Obama, since he’s using these jets that I fix to bomb Libya. :)

        Not that I don’t think we can’t cut the military. Cut it too. (and if you’d read the rant, you’ll see that I put it first of all, and also spent the most time on it). So if I’m the above mentioned contractor, and we can’t afford to have F-16s anymore or they are considered unneccesary, then they will fire me. Unlike a government employee, I don’t have a union, nor do they have to pay my retirement costs. I will then go out and try to find a new job.

        I must have missed the part where I said we should have no government at all.

        Did you catch the part where we have more government employees than construction, manufacturing, agriculture, fishing, forestry, and mining combined? So are you cool with that?

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

        Ummm… last I checked, Larry does accounting. He’s doing it for a company that contracts to the military currently, but he’s a numbers guy. I’m pretty sure a numbers guy can find work without one iota of help from government largesse and corporate welfare. That is to say, he’s fortunate in that his line of work makes him able to compete in a multitude of industries. Even not-government ones.

        tweaker

      • How is paying me to perform a service welfare?

        Obviously, paying you to perform a service is welfare because it is a service the country doesn’t need, and is part of an industry which would not even exist if politicians did not need to pay off lobbyists. The only thing that keeps your industry alive is the taxes paid, willingly or unwillingly, by people like yourself. Outside of the power of the government, your labor would return to it natural value of almost zero.

        Or, do you just think that we shouldn’t have a military at all?

        No, I don’t think that.

        Did you catch the part where we have more government employees than construction, manufacturing, … So are you cool with that?

        It’s not even useful to attempt to have that conversation with someone as deeply deluded about their true place in the world as yourself.

      • @atheist

        “Obviously, paying you to perform a service is welfare because it is a service the country doesn’t need, and is part of an industry which would not even exist if politicians did not need to pay off lobbyists.”

        No, it is an industry that would not exist if we didn’t have a MILITARY. If we DIDN’T have a military, then the industry that has sprung up around researching and developing new equipment for said military would not exist. However, you state that you believe we should have a military.
        Unless you’re saying that you believe that the military should do ALL of it’s own R&D?

        “Did you catch the part where we have more government employees than construction, manufacturing, … So are you cool with that?

        It’s not even useful to attempt to have that conversation with someone as deeply deluded about their true place in the world as yourself.”

        Seriously, I want to know your response to this. Why is that ok? Saying, “I don’t want to talk about that!” isn’t an answer.

      • Seriously, I want to know your response to this. Why is that ok? Saying, “I don’t want to talk about that!” isn’t an answer.

        My answer is that, if the government works effectively, it is just fine by me if more people are employed by it than in private industries. But you won’t understand that obvious point because you have a kind of superstitious hatred and fear toward government… except, of course, government that you benefit from personally.

      • Larry? would you stop baiting the trolls and write already? nose to the grind stone my friend. You got people like me with massive appetites for your writing and while you’re baiting trolls you’re not feeding our addiction. Get back to work I want MHA like yesterday………………………..

        What MHA isn’t in stores as of today? what are you waiting for?

      • @atheist

        I see, so it’s impossible for me to believe that there are problems with the government without having a “superstitious hatred and fear” of it? Please. Do you see me taking a “no government!” stance? No, you do not. Do you see someone concerned with the rate at which our national debt is increasing? Yes, you do.

        Re: the government working effectively, do you really believe that’s the case given the kind of debt the federal government is racking up?
        Do you at least agree that the government could be made far more efficient?

        Let me break down the problem with the government employing more people than private industry:
        The government is relying on the taxes that YOU’RE paying in order to pay those people. To the best of my recollection, income taxes make up about half of he US government’s income. Link here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/search/pagedetails.action?granuleId=BUDGET-2010-DB-3&packageId=BUDGET-2010-DB&fromBrowse=true

        This means that roughly 50% of the salaries and benefits for government employees come directly out of your own pocket. So, mathematically, there comes a point where the pool of people salaried by the government exceeds the pool of people paying taxes. Keep in mind too, that the government has far more bills to pay than income (as seen by our skyrocketing debt, yes?), so cutting back on government jobs (e.g. down-sizing the government) starts to look like a good idea. Please also bear in mind that all those government jobs require infrastructure to support the workplace, which is not cheap.

        Larry’s not just waving his hands in the air screaming, “THEY’RE OUT TO GET ME!!! GET RID OF ALL OF THEM!!!”
        As a matter of fact, he points out that “defense” is one of the big places we CAN cut. The fact that you can’t seem to get past the fact that he can’t be sincere since he works for the defense industry speaks volumes about you, not him.

        Either that or you’re a liberal saying we SHOULDN’T downsize defense and should keep military spending where it is… is that it?

      • @atheist

        Oh, and also, you can argue that any citizen of the U.S. benefits personally from our government, but I am not in the defense industry or any other industry dependent on the government for existence.

        So, federal government I benefit from personally would mostly in the form of federal funds dispersed to the state I live in, which are in turn dispersed to law enforcement, public works, etc.

  49. This is awesome. Thanks so much for writing it.

  50. [...] 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 [...]

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

  52. 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

  53. 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.

  54. 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,

    • Oh, not just that, but there was something specific involving an asset based currency conspiracy theory. If you do a search on here for Rentendollar, you’ll see the post I’m talking about. Basically I scared the heck out of myself, but sometimes I don’t wonder if I wasn’t on to something. :)

  55. 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.)

  56. 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.

  57. 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!

    • 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?

      • Uhm… As for the make out like bandit parts… For the smaller companies, not really. Plus we have to be able to display our expected profit up front as part of our bids. It is pretty cut-throat. (unlike when you have a government employee perform the work) For the big guys… Take a look at the financials for Lockheed or Northrup sometime. There are a lot of risks when it comes to developing expensive new technology for a client that will shaft you as soon as the administration changes. (F-22 anyone? Stimulus package is all about creating jobs, just not at Lockheed. :) ) But hey, don’t let numbers get in the way of your ideals.

        And once again, I’m all about cutting the military budget. There is plenty of fat there too. Plus, you’ll note I spent a paragraph talking about bringing people home and not being world cop. Awesome.

      • 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?

      • 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.

      • @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.

      • 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.

      • [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.

      • @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.

  58. 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.

    • 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.

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

    • 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.

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

  60. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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?

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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!!!”

  61. 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.

    • John, I do not. It was from a college tax class in 1998. I’m going off of memory. We went into the breakdown for an exercise though. The main set of differences came into the grey argument area of what was and was not considered deductible for business/property expense. It was an absolute nightmare. With the term that the tax guys using being “arguable” and then how hard you were willing to push. It was enlightening enough to make me realize I never wanted to be a tax guy.

    • 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

      • RG, quite possibly, though I seem to recall 150 for some reason, but college was a looooong time ago. Okay, 46 professional preparers. :)

      • Thanks RG, I was curious about that too.

  62. 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.

  63. How many years was Tyrannosaurus Debt (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mfMG66LtVU) made? The makers would be shocked!

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

    • 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.

  65. 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.

    • 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.

  66. Larry, that was righteous.

  67. Defense Contract Worker Demands Cuts for Everything But Defense! Story on page 4

  68. This article is a rant of epic proportions. I’m 33 years old and it’s a relief to discover that there’s someone else in my generation that thinks exactly what I think, that my generation is completely, totally screwed. Rave on, Larry, rave on!

  69. What you are describing is still not corporate welfare

    Buying expensive stuff that’s not needed on the taxpayer dime? Sure sound like it.

    • A better example of corporate welfare would be the government bailout of GM and Chrysler.

      • The government bailouts of GM and Chrystler were miniscule compared to the massive amounts of $$$ the USA wastes every single day on defense contractors.

      • @atheist
        Again, you’re really talking about government spending on “defense”, which is something Larry AGREES should be cut.
        You’re also making the assumption that all of that money is “wasted.”
        Do you think the money spent researching and developing better body armor to save the lives of U.S. soldiers in the field was “wasted?” Arguing that we shouldn’t HAVE soldiers in the field does not answer this, btw.

      • Again, you’re really talking about government spending on “defense”, which is something Larry AGREES should be cut.

        The fact that you don’t see the obvious contradiction in his statements strongly suggests that you are not looking at the situation in a critical manner.

      • @atheist

        What obvious contradiction? The fact that he’s working in an industry funded by the government, yet he’s saying that government spending needs to decrease and that we need to decrease the size of the government?

        If so, are you implying that he’s incapable of seeing a problem in something if he’s benefiting from it? e.g. If it’s making me money, I must think it’s good!

        What “obvious contradiction” are you specifically referring to?

      • logic4tw, the obvious contradiction is that he’s in a rage against corporate welfare, yet obviously loves working in an industry that is composed of nothing but corporate welfare.

      • And yet, somehow Mr. Correia will probably be able to make a living even if he no longer worked in his current day job that he happens to love. Something about writing on the side that’s getting his work published and sold to interested readers. Something about working in accounting and having experience in other industries. I don’t think finding work would be a problem, particularly considering what he does for a day job. Did you bother to read that part?

  70. Take two mogadon, get a good night’s sleep and make an appointment with a therapist. Such anger about something as unimportant as money is a sign of a very serious psychiatric disorder.

  71. [...] an infestation of Democrat Socialist in the centers of power multiplies it exponentially. Government can’t balance a checkbook. They’re idiots. I know finance math. I do it for a [...]

  72. First, it’s “whose,” not “who’s.” One would think that a professional novelist would know this.

    Second, I am fascinated to see someone whose day job at a defense contractor is paid for with MY TAX DOLLARS is bitching about paying taxes. I guess they didn’t teach you about “irony” in Best Selling Shitty Novel School, eh?

    • geez, typical Liberal.

      can’t think of any rational argument, so you carp about grammar and use that to kill the messenger.

    • You do realize that the government is actually SAVING YOU MONEY by outsourcing things, right? Hence the lowest bidder wins the job?

      If you were to say, “I believe the government needs to spend less on defense.” Fine. Larry actually addresses military spending IN HIST POST, which you apparently did not bother to read. However, you’re essentially arguing that no one who is employed by the government or who is in any industry providing services to the government has any right to bitch about taxes.

      Are you sure that’s the point you’re trying to make?

      One would think that you’d find it MORE telling that someone who IS employed by the government would be ranting about taxes, not less. I will point out again, that Larry spends significant time talking specifically about cutting military spending: that’s DEFENSE, in case you missed it.

      • To clarify, I am not saying that Larry actually is employed by the government: I’m responding the comment that his “day job … is paid for with MY TAX DOLLARS”.

    • First, people make typos. It happens. I have a lit degree and still do it. So did my professors. My calculus profs made addition errors. Move on.

      Second, read the rant, comments, and Larry’s multiple replies. He has pretty much retorted/replied to your main point.

      Finally, as to the novels? You know what they say about opinions, right? Don’t see what the quality or popularity of Larry’s novels has to do with the points made in the rant. Or were you just wanting to make some snarky, pointless comment to show your friends how clever and witty you are?

  73. Great post, Larry.

    Here’s an idea I’ve been kicking around with different people that relates to our federal fiscal horror show: STEP ONE–the GOP should start passing individual appropriations bills for each department or agency and *only* in those amounts that are needed. In other words, rather than lump all of the federal spending into one, gigantic budget where billions of dollars of crap can be hidden or where vital spending can be held hostage to crap spending, separate it out. For the Department of Justice, draft up a bill that only funds those functions that are constitutional and that can only be performed by the federal government rather than States. For some areas of spending, like Defense, it may be necessary to split up the spending into several bills, maybe one for overseas operations, another one for weapons procurement, etc… Again, fund those things that can attract a majority agreement on their necessity and anything else is punted for later in the 2012 budgeting process. In other words, get the funding approved for those things that most everyone can agree on and don’t waste time and money on controversial or special interest funding. This, by itself, would not only save huge amounts of money but would also make federal spending much more transparent and eliminate alot of waste and fraud. (This has the added benefit of preventing what looks to be a yearly process of government shutdown roulette by ensuring that the critical parts of government are funded making anything not already funded unnecessary almost by definition).

    STEP TWO: anything that doesn’t qualify for Step One– i.e., something that only the federal government can do— should be given to the States. Medicare? Medicaid? Give a chunk of money to each State according to their census numbers and let each State figure out how to meet the needs of their own citizens. As other posters pointed out, there is a ridiculous redundancy of regulation and oversight between state and federal agencies, so let the States handle this. As (Thomas Jefferson?) observed, Local Government is best suited to govern as it is most responsive to its citizens. We’ve learned that in spades! Eventually the federal government can stop being the one doling out the money to the States and let the States collect it themselves, so, for example, instead of the FICA deductions going to Treasury, they go, instead to the State where the employee resides.

    If California wants to become a welfare and illegal alien haven then everyone can move there and good luck with that. As we’ve already seen in the last 10 years, though, the productive people are fleeing California in droves and going to friendly states like Texas, Colorado and elsewhere. Eventually Californians will figure it out and make the necessary changes, painful as that will be.

  74. Hey Larry, I love all these idiots whose only experience with the IRS is when they get their tax refund for 80% of the few thousand dollars they paid in taxes whining about “my tax dollars”.

    Folks, odds are you don’t pay taxes like Larry pays taxes.

    And there’ve been comments suggesting Larry shouldn’t talk, since his company makes money off the government.

    He’s repeatedly said military budgets can and should be cut, even if it means he has to go find a new job. He also pays more in taxes every year than probably every single smarmy detractor in this thread, combined. He’s got a real stake in the game.

    How many of these retarded leftists calling for higher taxes actually expect THEIR taxes to go up? Probably none.

    How about this? They eliminate all your deductions. You go from getting most of it back to not getting anything back, or owing, every single year.

    The bottom 50% of wage earners, who pay 2.7% of the Federal Income Taxes, what if they start paying their fair share? Minimum tax rate of 10% for every single American, regardless of income, no deductions, no loopholes, no way around it.

    Larry, the same people deriding you here would be screaming bloody murder the first time the IRS actually went after them for some money. All this talk about big spending is easy when it’s somebody else’s fucking money.

  75. Does anyone besides me see the irony of someone who works for a defense contractor complaining about taxes?

    • Read my response to Ellid. For that matter, read the original post or many of Larry’s responses.

    • does anyone besides me see the irony…

      Outside of this insular blog community, a fuckton of people see the irony very clearly.

      • That’s because you see “defense contractor” and that’s all you need to post such simplified nonsense, atheist.

    • That’s because you probably didn’t read the rest of the fucking post.

  76. So what exactly are you defending here atheist? You seem quite invested, but in what? Status Quo?

    • You seem quite invested, but in what? Status Quo?

      It’s my insterest in the delusions of libertarians, which grow more deranged with every day.

  77. 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.

    And a matching increase in poverty! Woo, what a deal! I get more money and old people get to die on my lawn. Nothing says heartwarming like old people starving on my lawn!

    • Hyperbole much?

      • Perhaps. But that was the reality pre-New Deal. Learn history or repeat it, they say. I didn’t believe this until I saw that it happens on a daily basis as an adult.

        However, I totally agree with him that means-testing is important.

      • Avoiding the repeat of history is exactly what we want to do. I’m not exactly in favor of either buying bread with a wheelbarrow full of money, or having Big Mother telling me I can’t do something because it may be bad for me.

      • Learn useful skills, learn how to save for your own retirement, or starve in the park, I don’t care. Gov shouldn’t be your mommy.

      • And any government big enough to be everybody’s mommy, is also big enough to be everybody’s daddy… Which is really ironic, because all these same people bashing me are totally against Big Daddy government, but love them soft and cuddly Big Mommy. :) Personally, I don’t want either.

  78. Aside from all the complaints, I’m more interested in how we’re supposed to pay for things like roads, police, clean air, parks, public health, etc, without taxation.

    There are many things much too large for any one investor or market to handle – pure science, public health, infrastructure, emergency response, and regulation (to make sure we have safety and clean air etc) are just some of those things.

    And no company would design or build hardly any of the things the defense industry does without a government paying for it.

    So really, what other system is being suggested here? How will we pay for freedom, if an author making more than 8x as much as a college student pays the same real $ in taxes?

    • It’s not all or nothing. Find out what is really nonessential, and cut that.
      -Education is important, but we spend more and get less than pretty much any country in the world.
      -Law enforcement is important, but does the Mayberry PD really need a SWAT team paid with Federal funds?

      • Very true. It does need a happy medium.

        However, neither of those things will a balanced budget make – in fact, you could totally wipe out those two programs and we’d still have the same deficit to the same rounding error.

      • Crissa..as I replied to someone else upthread somewhere near the beginning of all this…
        I can think of at least 12 major departments of the government that we don’t need, and that we need to make extinct. Some one upthread also mentioned several of them that I’m thinking of. The bulk of the rest need to be pared down to 25-35% of their current size. They’re eating too much money for little or no return on the investment. Plus as a bonus several of those departments, bureaucracies…[pundit bullet points} are states rights issues anyway and should be handled by the states as they see fit.

  79. Great post! I teach accounting and finance at the graduate level and guarantee my students know there is a BIG problem with our government’s profligate spending, but am concerned that enough people will have the balls to hold their representatives accountable once the sob stories of de-funded Cowboy Poets, etc. get out in putf-piece media sob stories.

    • “but am concerned that enough people will have the balls to hold their representatives accountable once the sob stories of de-funded Cowboy Poets, etc. get out in putf-piece media sob stories.”

      and there in lies part of the problem Professor.

  80. Yeah, that social security bullshit is really pissing me off the more I learn about it… I’m just graduating college, and essentially donating 16% of my income to old people who wouldn’t pay for their own retirement is at the bottom of my priorities… I’m going to vote for whoever plans to can SS

  81. Wow, a bit cynical but I agree with all you have said…

  82. Larry, well said! (not even taking into account being sick and on drugs) I do get a kick out of the trolls that think those of us who do government related work shouldn’t be critical of a federal government that makes drunken sailors look like Scrooge before his visitations.

    My wife and I pay an appalling amount of income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes and God knows what other taxes I may be missing. She is a tax accountant and I am a nuclear engineer, so our currently professions would not even exist without the heavy hand of the federal government. But we both would gladly go find new careers if the federal government reigned itself in to a much more limited role (like that envisioned in the US Constitution, for example). And we could find new careers. She is applying for a new job outside her area, and I have worked in the aerospace industry. It isn’t like we are government bureaucrats.

    • RetroGrouch as far as one of the many taxes you pay that will irritate you..look at your cellphone bill, and look at how many different kinds and levels of “usage” taxes you pay every month for the damn phone.

  83. [...] Happy Tax Day! So this year I was molested more than ever before. Hooray for success! [...]

  84. And let’s take a look at the situation:

    i, The US’s GINI is higher than just about every Western country, and getting higher.

    ii, It has even beyond the point at which inequality has been shown to be a drag on the economy.

    Therefore, regardless of the level of taxes, it would probably be better for the country if the rich paid a greater share of those taxes and the poor less.

    iii, The US pays less in taxes than other Western countries.

    iv, The US pays about 15% of GDP as taxes (2010 figures). During the 80s and 90s, it fluctuated from about 17.5 to 21%. And, of course, the country did better then than it does now.

    THEREFORE the level of taxation in itself is not a problem and could stand to be higher. The problem may well be the change in distribution of those taxes.

    v, The US, being a country with its debt designated in its sovereign currency, can never run out of money.

    vi, Modern Monetary Theory states that for the private sector to save, the government must run a deficit or the country a trading surplus – as an accounting identity.

    vii, The US is not going to run a trading surplus anytime soon. The US private sector also needs to save to deal with the overhand of debt.

    THEREFORE for the economy to have a chance of recovering – for that bad debt to be purged – the Giovernment needs to run a spending deficit.

    A government is not a business or a household. It has the responsibility of managing a national economy, and it has the power to issue or withdraw fiat currency. Under MMT, taxation and deficit boprrowing is not about “paying” for that currency; it is about preserving the value of that currency.

    At present, the US government needs to run a deficit to support the US private economy. And to the extent that it needs to tax, it should be more progressive – taxing the rich more and teh poor less.

    • Ahh deficit and debt. let me post something for you I wrote in response to the One’s, The State of the DisUnion speech. Actually I’m gonna post a line from that speech THEN my response…
      “We are living with a legacy of deficit spending that began almost a decade ago. And in the wake of the financial crisis, some of that was necessary to keep credit flowing, save jobs, and put money in people’s pockets.”

      Now my response…because it applies to your comment….
      Oh REALLY? And Just whose fault is that Mr President? I can call the cause of the problem with just one word DEMOCRATS! When your attack dog Nancy Pelosi originally took the gavel in 2007 [while George Bush was still in office and I ain't happy with him either] the Debt was 8.6Trillion…give or take a few hundred billion. Since then that number has almost doubled til now it stands as of today at just under $14.1 TRILLION dollars. or 14 trillion, 78billion and change to be exact.*
      Almost 4 trillion of it in the last 2yrs. it was $10.6 trillion the day you were sworn in. That’s 3.6 Trillion**…in 2yrs. So do the math Mr President. The Dem controlled government has spent 5.5 trillion in the last 5yrs. That’s more than half the original debt spent in 5yrs. or as I pointed out in another post..you’ve ran up half again..a debt that it took 110 congresses, and 40 someodd previous presidents..almost TWO AND A HALF CENTURIES TO RUN UP IN THE FIRST PLACE!

      *as of right now that number stands at $14 TRILLION, 304.5 BILLION

      **$3.7Trillion and change now.

    • @Phoenician
      “Therefore, regardless of the level of taxes, it would probably be better for the country if the rich paid a greater share of those taxes and the poor less.”

      Not possible. The poor don’t even pay taxes, and in fact usually get loads back in tax CREDITS.

      Those make over $380K per year pay almost 40% of the total US income tax revenue (that’s just 1% of US income earners). People who make over just $33K per year pay over 97% of all US income tax revenue (that’s ~50% of US income earners).

      Those who make less than $33k per year (the other 50%) pay less than 3% of all US income tax revenue. The poor don’t pay income taxes; how do you propose they pay less?

      (figures from http://www.ntu.org/tax-basics/who-pays-income-taxes.html, based on IRS tax year 2008 data)

  85. Good stuff except for the part about the poor paying less taxes, it’s a good rhetorical flourish unless you are aware that the poor don’t pay taxes. 47% of US households pay 0 Federal Income Tax.

    Also, a word of advice, trying to win the middle-class over by saying that they should pay more taxes is a losing strategy; especially in post-bailout America.

    • Good stuff except for the part about the poor paying less taxes, it’s a good rhetorical flourish unless you are aware that the poor don’t pay taxes. 47% of US households pay 0 Federal Income Tax.

      Wow – I wasn’t aware that the only tax anyone in the US ever paid was the Federal Income Tax. Thank you for telling us that state taxes, sales taxes, and Social Security taxes don’t exist…

      • So which one do you support raising for the rich? Fed, State, Sales, or SS? Think about this for a second before you reply, this goes directly to the heart of your argument.

    • lAlso, a word of advice, trying to win the middle-class over by saying that they should pay more taxes is a losing strategy; especially in post-bailout America.

      Actually, I didn’t. I said it could stand to be higher and, to the extent that you are taxed, it should be skewed more progressively.

      Just as a matter of interest, off the top of your head, what do you estimate the median American salary and household income are?

      • You said: “THEREFORE the level of taxation in itself is not a problem and could stand to be higher. The problem may well be the change in distribution of those taxes.”

        Did you forget what you wrote?

  86. Cuts have never worked to create prosperity before, & spending always works … but this time it’s totally different because FREE ENTERPRISE CRYING EAGLE FREEDOM USA #1!

    All the Laffer Curve/Trickle-Down BS it takes to pave hell won’t bring one single job back from India or reduce loans from China by a dime.

    The owners LOVE useful idiots who perpetually praise them as the providers of all things bright & beautiful. Clinton & Bush cut their leash (repeal of Glass-Steigel, removing incentives to keep US jobs at home) & they’ve been gleefully tearing America a new one ever since. Citizens United gave them a free ticket to an all-you-can eat buffet in Washington, & now they’re about to go back for seconds … hope your children & grandchildren don’t mind the taste of catfood. Or paying protection money to local enforcers. Or a little E. Coli in their drinking water. Or dusk-to-dawn curfews.

    2008 was an epic con-game (business made MUCH better profits in the recession then before it) designed in part to lead to exactly the kind of massive government cuts advocated above, because they knew that severe enough economic Shock & Awe would leave the government no choice but to bail them out, putting the public treaury in hock in the process … imagine everyone’s shock when they find out that private enterprise will charge MUCH more for the same (still essential) services they used to get cheap from the state.

    You may love the Free Market but the feeling is not reciprocated – your happiness, your health & your very life are mere externalities, of interest only if they impact its profit margin (in which case you’d better hope like hell that there’s more profit in keeping you alive than in killing you off).

    In the absence of regulations with real teeth, the owners will do anything it takes to increase capital accumulation – America’s distribution of wealth has never been as dysfunctionally uneven as it is right now, & they’re lobbying 24/7 to get more. They don’t want some of your paycheck, pension & life’s savings – THEY WANT IT ALL.

    • The problem with our free market economy is that it is no longer a true free market economy. When the government makes the rules and changes the rules to purposefully drive the markets one way or the other, that is a state based market, NOT a free market.
      So when the government does take our entire paycheck and says, “It’ll be alright!” It is too late.

  87. All that is missing is any heart. If you run the country like a corporation, profit is the bottom line. Every man for himself. People are expendable. I want to live in a community not a corporate structure where my only value is what I can contribute to profit and if through no fault of my own I can no longer pull my weight, well be gone with you, sink or swim, because no one cares. Change yes, but your way seems so heartless.

    • Government 101 time, it seems.

      As originally envisioned, the US was to be a republic of republics, a nation of nations. Each state would stand mostly on its own, with it’s own government and set of laws, while the federal republic would stay in the background, set some legal baseline standards, and defend the states as a whole. The federal republic would also be the representative on the world stage, and deal with disputes between states.

      That started changing in the 1860’s, when the Civil War effectively ended the question of states’ rights in favor of the supremacy of the federal government. Another blow came in 1939, when the 17th Amendment changed the Senate from state-government appointees to popularly-elected officials. The Senate was supposed to consist of state representatives to the federal level, while the House represented We The People (this is why the states get 2 Senators while the House is based on district population).

      The federal government was supposed to stay in the background and out of the way, asserting itself only when serious internal or external problems arose. The states, being closer to the People, were where the real governing was to take place, and where the real community structure was to be managed. The only way for the federal government to do this is to grow to impossible levels, usurp the role of the states, and micromanage; sadly, this transition has been underway for at least 150 years, and is well on it’s way to making the states redundant.

      “All that is missing is any heart.” The federal government has none, and it is not possible for it to have any. That is not it’s function. It has six functions, according to the Preamble of the Constitution: “form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”. Anything else is unconstitutional.

      • I can break the responsibility of the Federal Government down to three.
        1)Defend this nation against all enemies both foreign and domestic.
        2)Capture, prosecute, and punish criminals who have committed Federal Crimes.
        3) Infrastructure.
        This includes National Highways and Railways (As part of a defensive highway for military services.), Government Buildings and Needed Public Use areas (Military Bases and airfields, ports, waterways…etc.), Electrical and communications networks (Again for a good ability to defend our nation.), and major projects like water and sewer upgrades for local communities who need help due to massive costs and logistics.

        That is what they were supposed to be for. The rest …
        …..



        Wait for it..



        … … … …

        .CUUUUUUUUUTTT!!!!!!

      • “…promote the general Welfare…” you do understand that this is the argument for entitlement programs right? In any case, lets not forget that the civil war was fought, not exclusively, but primarily over a states right to hold human beings as property. Forgive me, but I simply cannot agree that this is where government went bad. I want to live in an actual country and not a confederacy.

    • I WANT my government to be run like a heartless corporation. I want them to provide the services they were contracted to provide and otherwise just leave me the hell alone.
      If I want heart, I’ll go to church. That’s where your community is.

  88. [...] takes too much of my money, and then squanders it stupidly. So I wrote my opinions on the matter.  http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2011/04/15/happy-tax-day/ Apparently somebody found it entertaining because it went viral and the traffic started coming in. [...]

  89. [...] Larry Correia, author of the Monster Hunter novels (among others), in a rant about taxes and the recent budget “fight”. The money that’s been paid in [to Social Security] already is long gone, because expecting [...]

  90. [...] second is the reaction to a post by Larry Correia. Once it was linked to by various left wing sites the abuse started. Numerous lefty commenters all [...]

  91. You said: “THEREFORE the level of taxation in itself is not a problem and could stand to be higher. The problem may well be the change in distribution of those taxes.”

    Did you forget what you wrote?

    Nope. What’s your problem?

    It could stand to be higher – it need not be so, but if higher is not a problem historically. However the distribution of taxes is a problem – especially in the amount of pain taxation inflicts on the middle and working classes.

  92. Oh and here are some immediate repercussions to running up the deficit:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13118834

    Apparently Standard and Poor doesn’t agree with Phoenician’s assessment that a 1.4 Trillion Dollar deficit is hunky-dory.

  93. Sean / Wolfie –

    Here’s the website you were thinking of, I believe:

    LA County:

    http://www.forbes.com/2010/06/04/migration-moving-wealthy-interactive-counties-map.html?preload=06037

  94. Quit whining and pay your taxes. What is wrong with you people?

    • For the last time:

      Fine. When everything collapses, i’m gonna shoot you and take all your shit.

      No whining.

  95. I think we are related…not just because my maiden name is Correia (Portuguese I assume) but because I think EXACTLY like you do. Must be the genes! Great job and now I will be looking on Amazon to learn about your books and if they may interest me or any of my friends or family.

  96. [...] = "Next photo";wppa_username = "72.233.96.150";wppa_rating_once = false;A great rant from best-selling author Larry Correia, Friday (embedded ellipses in original): …. Government [...]

  97. [...] angry rant about taxes. It’s going to get worse before it gets [...]

  98. Apparently Standard and Poor doesn’t agree with Phoenician’s assessment that a 1.4 Trillion Dollar deficit is hunky-dory.

    Uh-huh.

    http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/568

    “At least one economist burst out laughing on hearing about the S&P announcement. “They did what?” exclaimed James Galbraith, a professor of economics at the University of Texas in Austin, who formerly served as executive director of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee. “This is remarkable! It certainly will confirm the suspicions of those who have questioned S&P’s competence after its performance on the mortgage debacle.”

    S&P, as well as the other two big ratings firms, all notoriously failed completely to spot the looming disaster of the banking collapse and financial crisis, and famously issued A ratings to mortgage-backed securities that later proved to be virtually worthless paper, as well as to the banks that had loaded up on the financial dreck.

    As Galbraith explains it, “US debt consists of bonds issued in US dollars, which I assume the S&P analysts know. How can the US possibly default on its own currency? The obligation is in nominal dollars, which is to say when the bond retires, the US issues a check in dollars to cover it.”

    Since the US prints its own currency (or actually just issues electronic payments to create new money) whenever it needs it, as Galbraith puts it, “As long as there is diesel fuel to power up the back-up generators that run the government’s computers, they will have the money to back their own bonds.””

    • And in 1909, future Nobel prize winning economist Norman Angell perdicted that in the future war would be impossible. (See his book “The Great Illusion”). In the words of Historian John Keegan “… the disruption of international credit inevitably to be caused by war would either deter its outbreak or bring it speedily to an end.”

      Experts are often wrong- economics experts even more so.

      • Experts are often wrong- economics experts even more so.

        Are you saying that the US doesn’t print its own money?

      • Wow, Strawman much?. I do believe he said that economics experts are wrong, not that the US doesn’t print money… Now hyperinflation because of devalued currency is a whole ‘nother discussion. (cough, Weimer Republic, cough)

  99. You know that it’s not okay to say “molested” when you mean “made to pay taxes”, right? You know this makes light of the experiences of all the people who’ve been victims of abuse, which is not. ever. okay.

    And have you ever thought of taxes as membership fees for the nation you belong to? This nation is providing you with the very infrastructure in which you function – physically and socially. Yes, even stuff like social security and Medicaid. Imagine something happened to make you poor – something you had no influence over and of huge dimensions that no insurance you personally invested in could ever pay for, like the loss of all your possessions in a natural disaster or a costly disease that isn’t covered by your current insurance and that means you can’t work any more… And maintaining that infrastructure costs money, so it’s only fair if you have to pay for being allowed to use it.

    You couldn’t make it completely on your own. Acknowledge that.

    • It is not okay to use certain words now? Why thank you Word Police. Let me rephrase. Congress took so much of my hard-earned money, that is was like being touched inappropriately in a bad place by TSA Agents. Happy? No. Then have a nice warm cup of shut the hell up. I’ll use whatever words I feel like.

      And on your second point. I’ve been poor. Dirt poor. POOOOOOOOOR. I remember one Christmas where my only present was new work gloves. I’ve worked very hard to not be poor, and now according to the democrats, I’m rich.

      At no point did I ever say to abolish the entire government or that I wouldn’t pay taxes… Friggin’ dur. I said that the government was too damn big, unsustainable, and RAPING people for tax money is stupid. OOoooooooohhh… I’m sorry. Did I violate your list of Approved Speech? Good. Shove off.

      • Oh no, defense accountant boy worked sooo hard to suck up more federal dollars through his pork-guzzling private (therefore virtuous) company and escape poverty!

        Being a non-US citizen, I’m with you. I fervently hope the tea party and libertarians get everything they hope for: zero taxes, cuts to everything that keeps a society functional, different legal outcomes for poor and rich, no enviromental protections.

        We in the rising nations (odd how Brazil only started improving -after- tossing out most of the free marketeer creed) will get some schadenfraude watching you crumble into an armed madhouse. And actual humanistic, edicated societies like the Scandinavian countries will wonder how you managed to miss their very obvious cues.

      • *grin* Don’t you know it’s not nice to point out how wrong the dimwitted sheeple are/ Tsk Tsk. OTOH..fuck it. Rack of Lamb sounds good right now…

      • Hey Rascal-

        Your country is still a shithole.

  100. [...] one of the absolute greatest Tax Day Rants Ever Written! That man can BLAST! from → 1776v2.0, Communism=Crime, Deep Thought, Economics, History, [...]

  101. Pay your taxes and STFU, teaklanner.

    • “Pay your taxes and STFU, teaklanner.”

      There it is, finally. The racist epithet. Well done!

      • Agreed! Hear, hear! Bravo, sir.

        If only I could be a teaklanner, but I am but a lowly Chuwero, and thus, now I must be silenced. :)

      • It’s of course totally not racist to assume Larry is a white guy.

        What a douche.

      • Well, I’m one of those Light-Brown Power Klan types. :)

      • Took them long enough to get to the race card. Maybe it got lost in the couch cushions, it took them a while to find where he’d left it.

  102. Bloated military/industrial complex that contributes absolutely nothing to the good of the nation…..
    Well except for Malaria meds, sanitation, space flight, nuclear power, the eradication of Smallpox, the Typhoid vaccine, clean coal, Thermal energy, Submarines, the internet, the vaccination program, the Army Corps of Engineers (and those nasty WASTEFUL building/earth moving projects tsk.) Jet aircraft, rocketry, Postal service, margarine, the Trench coat, modern ballistics and ALL of the subsequent products such as airflow efficiencies, modern BULLET trains, automobile design efficiencies, aircraft design efficiencies, Microwave ovens, the Helicopter, Jeeps, Radar, GPS, burn therapy, skin grafting, digital photography, the massive expansion in scientific knowledge directly sprouting from the above mentioned rocketry/space money wasters (Universal String Theory anyone?), Satellite TV, Cell phones, LED tech, LCD tech, the Industrial Revolution for the most part, the Telescope (YES Galileo invented this TO SELL TO THE MILITARY), scratch resistant lenses, the telegraph, heart valve surgery, hell MOST modern sugical techniques, transplant tech, radio astronomy,semi conductors, LASERS, NVG’s, assembly line machine efficiencies, ad infinitum… ALL of these things were made possible by your friendly neighborhood defense spending. But no one should care ’cause nature is pure and people are yucky and they pollute. All cap choices were mine for emphasis. Sigh, sorry I could go on and on since the list of directly attributable inventions and discoveries is absolutely mind boggling but I won’t. Larry, that was an astute and well written entry and I thank you for it. Athiest…. sigh I weep for any future in which you are allowed to make ANY lasting or far reaching decisions. The world is not made of rainbow farts and unicorn poop…. no matter HOW much you might wish it so.

    • Darn it Rampager, no! It is all pork and welfare… Because military stuff makes them feel icky inside. :)

    • I fail to see anyone in this thread, or in progressive politics in general, arguing for abolishment of the military. But even rotten commies like Eisenhower could see how it seemed to swallow cash and influence voraciously to the point of hollowing out the society it is meant to protect.

      Also, if military expenditure by itself led to discovery, North Korea would be Galt’s Gulch powered by its own eternal motion engine, proportionally speaking.

      Wait, what am I saying? I want you guys to go for it. Queue up 300 f-35s while cutting taxes! Protect the border against those canadian ponces!

      I may get to fulfill my dream of having elderly american immigrants washing my french car here in South America within 10 years. 5, if the Palin/Bachmann ticket wins in 2012!

      • Actually, you’re more likely to get the dreadlocked, smelly hippie types that will immediatly try and change everything you do for your own good.
        And you are welcome to them.

  103. You work for a defense contractor. My taxes are paying your salary. I’d love not to pay your useless ass.

    • , said the man that was too stupid to read not only the original post, but also the next 200 some odd comments, or the blog post that rebutted those comments, several days after the fact. :)

      • He’s just here to show willing- poor guy was late in receiving his talking points.

      • Imagine his surprise when he woke up from a pot induced coma to find Pandagon’s instructions and that he was late to execute them.

        Fuck,fuckfuckfuck…damn clock…fuck!

  104. Of course Mr. (I am assuming)Kidding, LARRY’S taxes actually help to pay his salary as well though it IS one step removed. Unlike my taxes which go to pay MY salary directly. I am one of those who has benefitted greatly from the stellar work most of our defense contractors do(not all but believe it or not we CAN and DO fire non productive/cost effective contractors all the time.) Unfortunately for you it has been my REPEATED experience that most of the REALLY egregious wastrels attached to defense contracts are from states and districts whose primary sugar daddies and mommas are from the Democrapic party and when we say something about it we get push back from those same “leaders”. As a 23 year and counting service member I really love what I do and for the most part, who I do it for. There are exceptions. Many of whom are wasted, wasteful, multiply pierced patchouli oil (cause deodorants CAUSE CANCER!!!) stinking, dreadlocked ignoramuses who have absolutely zero concept of exactly how terrible a place most of the rest of the world really IS. I have been around the world. I have been to (by last count) 41 countries, almost every continent and have found maybe a double handful that were someplace I would feel fine with taking my family to. Only a HANDFUL I would consider staying in for any length of time and that number is diminishing rapidly. You and others like you speak out against the main body here not in justified indignation but out of a terribly myopic life experience. Going to Cabo for spring break does not count as world travel and until you have been standing on a dusty street in Mogadishu trying to hand out bags of rice and corn only to be shot at as you turn to leave…. don’t preach your vacuous agitprop to those who have. My friends and I prefer to pretend that folks of your particular creed aren’t REALLY back in the states doing all that you can to undermine our ideal that has led to our sacrifices which you are unable and frankly unwilling to comprehend since you wouldn’t EVER consider doing what we do. My apologies to the rest of you for the slightly rambling rant. Some of these respondents vex me sorely.

  105. Rampager. Wait, you clean forgot about the Interstate Highway System! Oh, yeah, my bad, that helps people get around in their cars, which is EEEEvil and kills the rainbow unicorn… And canned and frozen food. And the basic research into the sulfa class of antibiotics.

    This string of whinges and whines from libtards and Demoncraps in response to Larry’s rant has just reinforced my own past observations. Libs and Dims don’t give a airborne copulatory attempt with a radially precessing pastry about facts and reading comprehension, they just want to spout off their own smug little talking points and run away to giggle behind a fence somewhere while taking a HUGE hit from a nearly empty can of whipped topping.

    Don’t confuse them with facts, or even ask them to re-read with an open mind. They live in a world where facts are consensus and not, you know, facts. Or, to rephrase, they lie to themselves and everyone else with whom they associate. The idea that Larry is being coldly factual in what he writes above is beyond their experience or comprehension.

  106. Wow, Strawman much?. I do believe he said that economics experts are wrong, not that the US doesn’t print money… Now hyperinflation because of devalued currency is a whole ‘nother discussion. (cough, Weimer Republic, cough)

    Wow, yes – except for the teeny tiny minor fact that The last reported inflation rate was 2.7% March 2011. This is below the average for teh last century of 3.4%. And Treasury yields are almost nothing, suggesting no-one expects any. Something to do with a goddamned recession, I think.

    So expanding the money supply might well cause hyper inflation – under some circumstances. The fact that there is no inflation problem suggests that those circumstances don’t seem to apply at present,. doesn’t it?

    Another lovely theory slain by an ugly fact. Or are you going to insist that you’re right despite the actual evidence?

    • ShadowStats and Casey Research both dispute that number, along with a host of other economists and financial gurus. Using the same method to calculate inflation as was done prior to 1990, they show an inflation rate hovering around 10%.

      From ShadowStats:

      “In general terms, methodological shifts in government reporting have depressed reported inflation, moving the concept of the CPI away from being a measure of the cost of living needed to maintain a constant standard of living.”

      In other words, the inflation rate being reported by the BLS today isn’t calculated the same way it was at any time before the 1990’s. It is excluding information that would show it to be higher, but they aren’t reporting that.

      Alex Jones did an excellent report on the rising cost of goods that will pass along to the consumer, pointing out example after example of inflation that is significantly higher than the .gov claims it is.

      If we can’t even agree on how to accurately measure something so simple as inflation, then how can we ever agree on a course of action to correct missteps (perceived or real)?

  107. Congress took so much of my hard-earned money, that is was like being touched inappropriately in a bad place by TSA Agents.

    How much is that as a proportion, Larry?

  108. As a 23 year and counting service member I really love what I do and for the most part, who I do it for.

    That’s great. I love playing video games and biking. Can I get the government to set up a bloated bureaucracy to pay me to do those too?

    • Why yes you can! As long as you understand that: In those shooter games the people on the screen will be shooting REAL ammo at you, the road you are driving on can and will explode underneath you at random intervals, you will have to be excluded from family, friends, clean sheets, hot water and home cooked food for 8 months to 2 years at a time (only being allowed to communicate via Skype or phone or GASP! paper letters), your best friend will be *edit for disturbing mental image* like a popped water balloon (apologies folks), permanent hearing loss, permanent paralysis, permanent limb removal or if you are one of the lucky ones! permanent removal from the game via involuntary complete synaptic shutdown. The caveat to all of the above will be a fierce and burning love for your friends, your country and that fragile thing called freedom. I honestly do not expect someone of your stripe to understand the above reality. I fully expect someone of your stripe to disingenuously mouth the expected platitudes of support for the troops et al while mentally frothing, sneering or castigating the same. PLEASE enlist in the service! Please go overseas and watch how the less powerful, less fortunate, less externally plumbed citizens of the world are treated then after ALL of that come back here and tell me if you still hold your current beliefs near to your heart. Yep that IS a challenge, I have already done it, are you adult enough to put others before yourself?

    • After a bit of reflection I will throw in some more: you will be required to miss the birth of every one of your children, most Christmases, Anniversaries, birthdays, dance recitals, soccer games, heck just pick something that you REALLY want to be there for and plan on not. By my last count I have 1572 days of Sea time (that’s a bit over 4 years, gosh!). Try to keep a life on track with that on your plate. But you go ahead and belittle what I and all the others like me have done and are doing. That is your right. I only hope that it can fill that empty void where the Honor, Courage and Commitment genes should be but aren’t.

    • “I love playing video games and biking.” ??? You have no idea about what you are talking about do you. I will leave the army and air force guys/gals to defend themselves but as a veteran of almost 17yrs in the Navy I can tell you that you are severely misinformed.
      Try deploying 4 days after the birth of your twins not to see them again for over 6 months. (yes was lucky enough to be there for it) miss most major holidays and any special day because of work requirements. Work an average 16 to 18 hour day 7 days a week for 6 months straight and then tell me how much time you have for your video games and bike rides, or hell where u would even ride one stuck on a big floating island.
      “Can I get the government to set up a bloated bureaucracy to pay me to do those too?” you know the government can set you up for this, just enlist for a few years, live the life of your dreams then make another stupid comment like that one.

      • Jake, you and rampager are awesome. Fignuts up there needs to watch his tone toward true men and citizens.

        You could ride a bike on your big floating island but it would be the most dangerous thing ever. You get my complete respect as my brother served on a frigate.

  109. Dude.

    You. are. AWESOME! I thought, I truly honestly thought there was no one left who understood, who UNDERSTOOD. But have returned my faith that intelligent people, no matter how scarce they have become, are still out there, and they will find their way to the surface.

    I’m grinning like I fool I so happy after reading this.

  110. [...] Which brings me to an apt description of the debt gleaned from Monster Hunter Nation.  (I encourage you to go there and read the whole thing.) “Saying that this is the same old same old, is like saying that gophers digging up your lawn i… [...]

  111. Its nothing short of astonishing how simple mathematics are beyond the capabilities of the Left end of the political spectrum.

    The Federal government is spending at least a trillion dollars a year more than it could possibly collect in tax revenues on a sustained basis.

    The class warfare theme of the left wing, that somehow there is all this immense amount of income and wealth sitting around the living rooms of the “wealthy” in bags of gold coin waiting for them to tax – ridiculous fantasy.

    If you taxed the top 1% of the income earners in this county 100% of their income, you would not close the deficit that the Democrats have saddled us with. And then next year, when those people all leave the country for Switzerland, you’ll have nothing to tax.

    But these simple mathematical facts are beyond the left entirely.

  112. I really want to save this specific posting, “HAPPY TAX DAY!
    Monster Hunter Nation” on my very own page. Would you care
    in the event that I actuallydo? Thank you -Velda

  113. […] Read the rest and enjoy. […]

  114. […] on that subject, and my Cut Everything plan. This was my Tax Day Rant that went viral back in 2011: http://monsterhunternation.com/2011/04/15/happy-tax-day/ Hilarity ensued. In fact, it got me so much hate mail that it spawned a response a few days later. […]

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