Doing More With Less Since 1972

Tag: taxes (Page 1 of 2)

Who Isn’t Contributing

Given: It’s not working hard or being smart that allows you to build a business and create jobs. When I say “create jobs”, what I’m really saying is “create taxpayers who fund government programs that allow roads and bridges to be built/maintained and pay teachers”. What actually allowed you to build that business was your access to education (great teachers), roads, and bridges. Fair enough…let’s run with that.

Logical Conclusion:  Since everyone in this country has equal access to public education, roads, and bridges, we should penalize (tax) people who don’t create jobs (taxpayers). Since they aren’t fully utilizing the resources government has provided to them by creating more taxpayers or at least paying in themselves, they aren’t doing their fair share for society.

I guess you could say that not everyone had great teachers, and that’s not their fault. So should we further penalize those not-great teachers for denying these people their opportunities to get out on the roads and bridges and make something happen for the rest of us?

I’m not sure I like the logical end to this argument.

What Will We Do With The 2%?

Social Security's 2%

The 2% payroll tax holiday has been extended for a couple of months, and it will probably be extended for the rest of 2012. I’m guessing a lot of people don’t realize this 2% goes straight to Social Security–no other government spending is involved. Long term, that means Social Security isn’t going to be funded as planned. You can’t keep a pyramid scheme going ad infitum, but this may bring Social Security as we currently know it to an end sooner rather than later.

That may be a really good thing.

The longer people are taking the 2% home, the more difficult it’s going to be to convince them it needs to be withheld later. The longer people keep taking that 2% home, the more likely it is there will be some kind of Social Security reform deal cut to end the tax holday.

Here’s a possibility…

Bush 43 failed at convincing people that Social Security needed to be partially privatized. But how would people feel in 2013 if they were offered the option to save that 2% in a private account when withholding resumes? For those already saving responsibly for their own retirement, there wouldn’t be much resistance. They could break even by reducing their contribution to a qualified plan by the same 2% they’re going to be mandated to save. For those doing nothing currently on their own, they’ll be forced to take some ownership of their future instead of only relying solely on the current Social Security plan. Some may balk at that, but when you tell them they’re going to be taxed an extra 2% either way, they probably won’t complain much.

I’m guessing this would lead to some sort of means testing for Social Security, which we’re probably headed for anyway if we’re honest with ourselves. I’m betting I’ll never see Social Security either way, so I’d happily take the compromise of being guaranteed my 2% private account and having to give up the other 4.2% as a “safety net tax”. Well, “happily” may be a stretch, but 2% is better than getting none of the 6.2% I’ve had taken from me up to now.

Newt Gingrich as suggested something similar, but without the means testing. Instead, he’d guarantee current Social Security benefits as the floor.

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I’m reading– May 24th through June 9th

Make your secondary Google Voice number permanent – Perfect solution for a a reasonable price. I don’t want to give up my old number for old contacts, but only give out my Google Voice number for new contacts.

The 5 Switches of Manliness: Challenge – Part II of this series. Dead on so far.

Texas movie theater makes an example (and a PSA) of a texter – Awsum. This should be rinsed and repeated for pretty much every venue except for phone booths.

Millionaires versus The Aspirationals – I’ll see your $10 wine and raise you a light beer in a can.

TN columnist: No athletics for home-schooled kids – Public school services (classes, athletics, etc.) should be a la carte.

Desmos Interactive Education – Saw this from TechCruch Disrupt. Coupled with Kahn Academy…strong!

The 5 Switches of Manliness: Physicality – Hells yeah.

Stuff You Should See– November 18th through December 6th

Death Taxes and Life Insurance – A principled argument against the death tax.

Delaying Tax Vote Could Crash Stock Market – No duh. Can’t believe someone was able to write an entire article on this obvious conclusion. Though it was nice to get a firm date on it. Don’t see a logical reason it would drop below 5%, but markets aren’t logical in the short term.

Higher IQ Scores Found in Cold Weather States – Thems can have smarts. Me takes heat.

Teva Stiletto Heels – Technology FTW!

Fixing the US Housing Finance System

NASA Goes Badly Off Course, Needs a New Commander – Hmmm. Interesting.

Stuff You Should See– July 31st through August 16th

Disney Princesses, Deconstructed – All you can really do to fight it is to push a fascination with ocean dwelling killing machines instead of Princesses. But it’s an uphill battle.

Muscles Remember Past Glory – I strongly suspect fat bellies have the same memory ability.

Thanks No For Skipping Your Immunizations! Whooping CoughIs Back – I wouldn’t let Jenny McCarthy give me dating advice when I was 19. Why would I listen to her parenting tips?

What Happened to Yahoo – Bottom line–nothing was happening at Yahoo, so things started happening to Yahoo. And why is that when I change my Yahoo! password, my Del.icio.us password doesn’t change. Exhibit A.

Ragnar Central Florida – Always wanted to do one of these…I may have found a team!

Endless Bummer – Don’t worry, it’s safe for work.

Unsuck It – Pretty useful, especially if you are low on bandwidth and need to bucketize terms.

The Third Stage of Personal Finance – Good motivator to start your day.

Facebook bug spills name and pic for all 500 million users – Uh….awsum?

Complete Guide to Maximizing Your Android Phone’s Battery Life – When following these instructions, make sure you’re holding the phone correctly.

14 Famous Man Caves – And not one has a spin bike or a punching bag. Where does all the anger go?

7 Discipline-builders for Remote Workers – I found this article very distracting. 🙂

Girl quits job on dry erase board – I like TechCrunch too, but if you spend an hour a day there, you must be reading at a remedial level. It’s not Faulkner.

Michael P. Fleischer: Why I’m Not Hiring – Interesting…and I thought it was just because he was a racist.

The Great Reset of Urban Development in Economic Downturns – Metropolitan corridors. I don’t like the sound of that.

Internet gambling freedom boosted by House committee vote – It’s comin’….

Rdio – Even more music.

Zone 12 Project gang: Little Blue Egg – I will put this right next to the outdoor shower. Or maybe inside the outdoor shower.

Build Your Own Outdoor Shower – Coming soon to a side of the house near me. I hope.

Tormented by the Wall Street Journal

I’ve read two articles in the WSJ this week about the housing market, and now I’m less certain than ever about what’s going to happen in the next year.

Is 2010 the Year of the Short Sale?

If 2009 was the year of the foreclosure (and loan modification), then 2010 may be shaping up as the year of the short sale.

I’d say 2011 is more realistic, unless they are predicting a slew of short sales starting in Q1. Our experience with trying to purchase short sales is that they take a long time. How long? We’re not really sure, because we haven’t made it to the end of the process yet. But five months seems to be a reasonable expectation for a minimum, and that’s just for the bank to get back to you with a yes or no.

I’m interested to see what is going to happen when, by the time the bank responds to an offer with a “yes”, the house is no longer worth the amount that was originally offered. Because, some people think we’re still in a housing bubble:

Rental apartment vacancies are reaching record highs. Many segments of the housing market are still oversupplied. And the core demographic in the country—the baby boomers—are reaching the age where they’re more likely to downsize, buying less house in the years to come.

Throw in the tax credits, artificially low mortgage rates, and the fact that the fed is still buying mortgage backed securities, and it’s hard to make the case that the housing market is not still artificially high.

It seems like the easiest way back to a true(r) market would be for banks to sell off their bad assets as quickly and efficiently as possible through the short sale process. Quick and efficient doesn’t seem to be the order of the day, however.

Delicious Link Dump– December 6th through December 8th

Women linked to Tiger Woods – At least he has a better eye for talent than Bill Clinton.

Shashi Tharoor: Why nations should pursue "soft" power – If this is true, please explain to me why chicks always dig the guy who can beat up everyone else.

Surf’s up as biggest waves in five years come to Hawaii after North Pacific storm – Sick.

About Those ‘Tax Cuts for the Rich’ – I guess it's time we start paying our fair share after all. And I'm not rich.

More Regulation to Help the "Underserved"? – If a man was smart he would try to figure out where this will create a bubble, invest there, wait for the bubble to inflate, then get out before it bursts. If I man was smart…

Changes hit home for appraiser – Hooray for regulations! Increased cost to the consumer AND reduced income for the service provider! Yay!

America’s Best Bang-For-The-Buck Cities – Cool…we unwittingly moved form the #22 city on the list to #18. Look how smart we is.

Apple’s Lala Acquisition – I have high hopes for what is possible here, but my hopes for an Android app are diminishing.

An iPhone App to Track How Badly AT&T Sucks – But it works right out of the box. And if it stops working, you can pay someone else to fix it.

16 Reasons Why We Might Unfollow You On Twitter – A pretty good list here. I can't say I disagree with any of it.

Sentinels Of Freedom Golf Ball Drop – Great Idea for a great cause!

Another Yummy Link Dump — 17:05

Pelosi Open To The VAT – Gasp! Shock! What? She would actually consider a new tax? The hell you say!

Post Rapture Pets – No matter what you do or don't believe, you have to admit this is a smart business model.

There’s No Excuse For This – Windows mobile 6.5 – Just to needle @raowen: "It's an interim product, and a vain attempt to hold onto the thinning ranks people who still choose Windows Mobile despite not being somehow tethered to it until the tardy Windows Mobile 7 comes out, whenever that may be."

Moore proves Libertarians right – And being a libertarian is downright heart breaking: "I'd imagine it's like being a Cubs fan, except there usually isn't much hope for next year."

The iDontFart App – Proceed to AT&T store. There's now a reason to own an iPhone.

UT’s Supercomputer Breaks Petascale – Let loose the Kraken! My sources are telling me that a poor ol' country boy's head just exploded in the UTCC.

Apple Quits Chamber Of Commerce Over Global Warming – Apple isn't stupid. They realize there's too much green to be made in "green" to even begin to question it. This is a marketing and sales decision, not an environment/community decision.

What if Only the Rich Recover? – WSJ – Don't call it a comeback!

Another Yummy Link Dump — 15:59

XKCD Strikes Again – While you’re at it, can I get a drink holder attached to the end of each arm?

Rich People Fleeing High Tax States – What? Unbelievable! The gov’ment should do something about this! 😛

Rowland Burris Blames Bush For Olympic FAIL – And I thought it was just because the IOC member are all racists.

Dell uses social media to gather employee ideas – This is going to be happening more and more as management becomes comfortable with the tools.

What Google Wave Can Do – I will be checking all of this out as soon as the people I invited get their invites. Right now, there’s no one for me to collaborate with.

10 Things Every Kumbaya Blogger Should Know | Copyblogger – When you solve actual problems, even if you (yikes) make a buck on it, you’re doing good work.

The Cocoa Beach Air Show | Metromix Brevard – If you aren’t able to get tickets to the Brevard/Miami rugby match this weekend, here’s another option.

Knoxville Rugby at Heart of Dixie Tournament – Look for Okie and Colonel Kurtz to make return appearances. We cannot guaranteed gravel slinging pickup trucks or soiled sofas.
Indian farmer’s daughter is most bad-ass woman in the world – Boing Boing – In a phenomenally bad-ass series of moves worthy of a Tarantino screenplay, 21-year-old Rukhsana Kausar attacked him with an axe, then shot him dead with his own gun.
Kids leave mother passed out drunk in minivan FLORIDA TODAY – So sad.

Running Florida Like a Business (One That Succeeds)

Via Instapundit, an article on how Florida’s government is driving away residents and businesses with oppressive taxes. Well, yeah…isn’t that what happens when you run things like a government?

Luckily, there’s at least someone in the State Legislature who wants to run Florida like a business with things like cost-benefit analysis. For politicians, that usually means “how much will it cost the tax payers for me to get the benefit of votes in the next election?”

We shall see.

Equal Protection For Taxpayers

I was wondering the other day if/why the equal protection clause doesn’t protect people from the injustices of a graduated tax rate. Sure enough, someone else has wondered that already.

I guess since taxes are inherently punitive, “protection” doesn’t really come into play. I don’t remember reading anywhere that we are guaranteed equal penalty under the law.

I don’t expect anything to be changed, I was just wondering.

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