Ok, I’ve got nothing!

Nothing to say.

Still looking for insurance that I can afford.

THuhhe search isn’t going well.

On the one hand I’d like to be covered, on the other hand I have a fundamental problem paying another mortgage payment to have medical coverage.

The primary problem I have is this, with a mortgage I have something that’s tangible. With health insurance I’m pissing money away to provide for coverage that I may or may not use.

At the rate I’m paying right now for COBRA, if I paid that same rate for 10 years it would come to $72,000 not including interest.

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When the  men in my family break at end of life we don’t typically last very long.

I’m actually fortunate in that as long as we stay active we live a long fairly trouble free life. Our sinuses are for shit but nothing is perfect.

When our time comes we tend to go out like Don Corleone in The Godfather. We’re playing with the grandkids or great grandkids in the garden then we drop dead.

If I’m going to pay the equivalent of another mortgage, I might as well take advantage of the lower mortgage rates and buy another piece of property. At least I could rent it out and have an income, with a potentially higher rate of return.

I was thinking about it and realized that were I to go to a bank to apply for a mortgage for another piece of property they’d tell me I can’t afford to make the payment. Yet our government says that not only must I afford the payment but that they will enforce it under the law.

It’s a lose, lose proposition. If I were still in my 20s I’d be applying for citizenship in other countries. Not because I hate America, I love this country, but because I wouldn’t be able to afford the cost of American citizenship as I got older.

Today if I could communicate with my younger self… I’d say go find a decent country with good people and a system that works. Move there, become a citizen and plan for a decent retirement.

I look at my parents and their retirement isn’t at all what they’d planned for because they trusted in a system that didn’t really protect them. Remember Enron? There were a lot of 401K investments that got wiped out due to them. Then just a few years later you have the housing implosion and the devaluation of their retirement savings has really cut into what they can do. I know they’re on Medicare and Social Security I know they’re paying for health care supplementary insurance I just don’t know how long they’re going to be able to afford it.

I’ve spoken to younger insurance agents who don’t have health insurance because they don’t have an extra 600 – 800 dollars a month in their budgets.

NewImageYet in 2014 we’re all supposed to be carrying insurance and we’ll be penalized for not having a policy in force.

I’m still OK,  yeah I’m using my savings to pay the bills but I can go for a while longer with careful spending. I keep wondering how the hell can people less fortunate than myself come close to affording health insurance?

It really messes with your head. You want to do the right thing, but you can’t afford to do the right thing.

Obviously if you didn’t bother to pay for your housing, and didn’t eat you could afford to pay for health insurance. Then you’d only have to worry about paying for health insurance for a few weeks.

This is seriously wrong. And yet the government is in a position to make us all face this choice.

I’ve said it before. Contrary to what President Obama would have us believe. The problem isn’t that American Citizens are irresponsible about medical coverage. The problem is that health insurance companies and to some extent the medical providers are raping the American People.

If our government was truly interested in taking action on health care they’d address the source of the problem not penalize the victims.

Humm, I guess I did have something to say after all.

An interesting piece about mass shootings

This piece is in my opinion well written and thoughtful

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The author makes several good points about mass shootings and doesn’t engage in the rhetoric.

I don’t know how accurate his information is but I think his points are worth noting.

For the record, I’m not for assault weapon bans nor am I for additional gun control.

I’m honestly not sure what actions would make a difference in making schools in particular and our world in general safer.

The public schools I went to as a child were all open.

In the morning and at the end of the day we students came onto the grounds on our bicycles and on foot from all directions and we felt safe. It never occurred to us that there was any danger except crossing the street.

Of course, in point of fact… there wasn’t any danger. We’d all avoid strangers and none of us were kidnapped. Our neighborhoods were essentially safe, and our neighbors kept an eye on the kids going to and from school.

I’m personally disturbed by schools today that look like prisons. 

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What’s changed?

A friend and I were discussing this subject the other day. As we all know I’m opinionated and my friend patiently listened to my theory.

I think that the problem is manyfold. With the primary issues being;

1) We have pussified our male children

2) As part of that enforced PC thou shall not fight, we’ve created a situation where our young people don’t understand the consequences of violence. 

3) Life isn’t a video game, you don’t get to ‘respawn”, which is not to say video games are at fault.

What I’m saying is that if all the violence a person knows is in the context of a video game then they’re obviously going to have a skewed idea about violence.

Now let me briefly, defend my points

Children have pecking orders. Just like Wolves, Chimps, and the Great Apes. Those pecking orders are established and defined often by shoving, pushing, biting, and in the case of Chimps and Great Apes outright fighting to demonstrate dominance.

I believe this is completely normal and shouldn’t be interfered with. The adults in the species that I’ve sited observe and interfere only when it becomes apparent that someone is going to get seriously hurt.

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The winners, losers, AND the other young observing the fight for dominance all learn something.

Violence up to a point is OK as long as no-one is permanently injured.

In my personal case, I saw many fights at school. I participated in quite a few of them. In the case of the humans we learned a few lessons. 

1) Fighting hurts.

As we got older, we began to make choices about what was worth fighting over.

2) Choose your battles carefully.

3) Peace and discussing the problem is always preferable to fighting.

As I entered high school, fights were moderated by the Phys Ed coaches. They took on the role of referee. These Men made sure that there was no hitting or kicking below the belt.

They made sure that neither party got too badly banged up and when it was obvious that one party had surrendered, they made sure that the fight came to an end and both parties shook hands and acknowledged that IT was over.

The lessons that I learned then have been invaluable throughout my life.

In my fights, win lose or draw I learned that I was capable of defending myself. I developed confidence and became more self assured. 

I knew, I could take an issue to one of those coaches… Those Men and that they’d arrange for someone I was having a problem with, and me to sit down and decide how we’d proceed. 

I knew that I was becoming a good citizen and that I was gaining the respect of those Men when I was able to talk out an issue with another guy without resorting to fighting.

I learned that consequences follow your decisions and being injured was a possible consequence of improper behavior.

I believe today, that we’ve demonized being male and cut masculinity out of the equation so much that males never get an opportunity to connect the dots between violence and the consequences.

There is NOTHING as powerful as the moment when you’re standing over your defeated opponent.

Yeah you taste your blood because he got off a good shot to your face.

But standing over your opponent savoring the adrenaline rush and your victory, you learn something else too.

You learn that your physical power can be dangerous.

If you have an iota of conscience you also have pity and compassion for that person lying on the ground.

Because at some point in your young life, you’ve been that person too.

That’s the moment you learn that peace is always a preferable choice to war.

That’s also when you look directly into the eyes of one of the coaches and your newfound knowledge is reflected in their eyes. It’s that moment that they accept you into manhood.

That was a very powerful and transformative experience for me and many of my friends. 

Perhaps part of our problem is that we no longer allow any rites of passage.

I’m not a fan of fighting… but I’m also not a fan of the emasculation that’s so prevalent in our society either.

I’d suggest that we start allowing the schoolyard fist fights. I have many memories of sitting in the chair outside the principals office waiting for judgement. 

Those lessons about consequences were as valuable as anything else I learned in school.

Why excessive regulation is a bad thing.

We’ve all experienced them one way or another.

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Regulations

You know those natty little issues that prevent you for pursuing happiness YOUR WAY.

Obviously, some regulations are good. I personally think it’s a great thing that in general folks aren’t allowed to store their excrement in a big pile in the back yard.

In this extreme example, it really is about public health and safety.

But what happens when the regulations become so all encompassing and pervasive that they retard innovation and growth?

Then you have California…

…where the light at the end of the tunnel is actually an oncoming train of smothering laws… all implemented “For the public good“.

Here are some short examples of regulation gone wild.

Gas Prices

California gas prices recently made national news because they were the highest in the nation. Heck they even beat Hawaii!

How is that possible? Hawaii is an island in the middle of the Pacific and has to import everything by ship. WTF?

Well the simplest answer is that California has regulations that make it different from all the other states in the country. California is not unique in this, there are a number of states that have “Boutique” gas blends they’re also in as risky a position as California.

California gas is “special” due to AQMD regulations, EPA, and no doubt tons of extraneous laws that help to drive the legal system. For the sake of  argument California Gas is refined only in California therefore making it sole sourced.

That’s the problem with insisting on being different and then tying your wagon to a single source of anything. I’d bet that since the auto industry has pretty much standardized on emission control devices… these “boutique blends” are relics of a time long past and no longer necessary.

VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)

Have you tried to find a small mom & pop independent auto body shop lately? Guess what? There are a lot fewer of them in California than there once were. Why? because regulations came into effect that forced these folk to either work with paints that are a lot more delicate and far more difficult to apply or get out of the body shop business.

I wonder, how many small independent shops have closed since the VOC regulations took effect? How many people ended up unemployed? How many people took their businesses and tax revenue out of the state?

This affects everyone here in California, because excessive regulation has limited competition. A door scrape that used to cost $125 to fix, now costs $550. Why?

Because in addition to there being less competition you now have to sand and repaint the ENTIRE Door, not just the area surrounding the scrape.

It seems you can’t mix water based paints with oil based paints (No Shit Sherlock) and since many auto manufacturers are still using oil based paints to initially paint their vehicles YOU,  the consumer get stuck with higher repair bills. That translates to higher insurance costs too.

Independent Offset Printers, have exactly the same problem. There was an article in the Orange County register that discussed a business owner who moved to Nevada. He was able to assist his employees in the move, and was also able to provide them with fully paid healthcare due to savings he realized once he was out of California. By the way… The business owner was still able to make a profit because is was after all an evil capitalistic pig.

The funniest part of it was that his company had switched over to inks that were water based and he only very rarely used anything with any kind of VOC.

Like most of us would, when the quality of water based inks was equal to the older VOC based inks he switched.

It was better for him, his employees, his equipment, and made for a more pleasant working environment. 

However,  because he was an offset printer in California he still had to pay all the fees as if he was using the older inks.

Even if he never used anything containing a VOC again and turned away some jobs, His designation as an Offset Printer demanded that he paid for the privilege of running his business.

Essentially, this small business owner was regulated right out of the state.

Building Codes

I’ve touched on building codes several times in this blog. I agree fundamentally that a certain level of building regulation is a good thing. After all you do want your house falling apart in a few years?

OH Wait… My house IS falling apart after just a few years… and it passed all the inspections. 

Honestly, I’d have rather had the building code less concerned with how many damn lights were in the ceiling and MORE concerned with the materials in the house and the way those materials were being used. That’s another story entirely, so I’m not going into it here.

Just as an aside… If you’re looking at buying a house in California, buy something that’s older. The quality is going to be better and you’ll get to duck a lot of the stupid regulations unless of course you decide to remodel. Word to the wise… DON’T REMODEL.

My original house built in 1992 was far superior to my rebuilt house built in 2009. I’m reminded of that each and every Winter as I freeze my ass off.

Automobiles

This is one of those things that I simply can’t wrap my head around.

California has different regulations for cars. There are bolt on improvements today, that can make your car run more efficiently. I’m not talking about some lame ass “As seen on TV” hunk of junk. I’m talking about manufacturer approved modifications.

Take my car for example… I could change the air intakes, add a larger oil cooler, change the exhaust (Keeping the catalytic converter mind you) and increase my horsepower by 10HP. That translates to the engine running more efficiently and increases my MPG by a minimum of 2 MPG, estimates are it would be closer to 5MPG. That’s not even changing the computer programs that control the engine.

All of those modifications are illegal in California

Why? Because the California regulators haven’t been paid to test and approve these modifications and therefore these modifications are by definition bad.

I’d push my base EPA milage to 30MPG, Save money, the environment, and use less fuel. How the hell is that BAD?

I could go get these improvements in neighboring states. But then I’d risk the possibility that when I needed to get smog certificates and other California regulatory inspections I’d have to put everything back to “Factory” (read California inefficiency) specifications.

It’s probably easier to just move to a state that doesn’t have the same restrictive regulations.

Apparently the SmartCar gets something close to 100MPG in Europe.

Here in the United States, it gets a paltry 38MPG Why is that???

Regulations! In this case it’s probably something to do with protectionism of the American auto industry. But that kind of regulation flies directly in the face of good ‘ol capitalism.

Isn’t it supposed to be that the guy who builds a better mouse trap gets more business? And by building the better mouse trap, the guys competition begins to innovate and in their turn build an even better mousetrap?

In the age of over regulation that doesn’t happen. If your’e in a protectionist market why compete or innovate?

Then you have Proposition 39

The California legislature has realized that businesses are in fact leaving, and putting their manufacturing in other states. The California Lawmakers in a tacit acknowledgement of this fact have decided to add yet more regulation to the companies who have already moved the majority of their businesses out of the state.

I can’t seem to locate the actual text of proposition 39. Here is the closest link I could find.

This proposition is about imposing taxes on companies for the privilege of having any of their corporation based in California.

WTF???

I can pretty much guarantee that companies affected by this proposition if it’s approved, will move the rest of their corporate holdings out of the state and with them go untold numbers of jobs.

This is how a regulatory mentality destroys an economy. The people making the regulations just don’t get cause and effect.

As I’ve watched California over the past 30 years, there has been a definite trend towards a more controlling state government.

I find now that I can’t really blame businesses for leaving places that are excessively regulated, highly taxed, and whose infrastructure is crumbling.

Proposition 39 is a prime example of what’s wrong with our state and what may be wrong on a broader national basis.

Instead of reviewing the underlying reasoning behind why corporations chose to shutter their operations here  and then addressing those factors. Our politicians are saying they’re going to “Close the tax loopholes” (Crapspeak) and impose taxes on corporations that still maintain a presence in California.

I think I see myself moving out of California in the very near future.

Hey, you have to go where the jobs are…

Again???!

The news out of Benghazi is that yet another American has lost his life to ISLAM!

Yes, I fucking said it. 

ISLAM

I don’t care how “Peaceful” the educated followers of Islam claim their religion is. The actual man in the street practitioners of this “Peaceful” religion are anything but seekers of GodWisdom, Understanding, or Peace.

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These “average people” are a rabble… a mob… whose so called “Peaceful” beliefs are tossed to the wind for any perceived slight.

In this case a movie called “The Innocence of Muslims” that was perceived as (and frankly is), an overt insult to Islam.

There’s no way around it, the clips on YouTube are really bad, if you’re interested go take a look. This is however an expression of Freedom of speech no matter how bad the acting or the content.

Sadly this movie has been blamed for the burning of an Embassy, the murder of an Ambassador and 3 other staff members… Violence in Egypt, OH and by the way a declaration of war on the United States.

Yeah, In Old School terms… the murder of any countries Ambassador was considered a declaration of war against that country.

As it turns out, reports from other sources are saying that the protests and violence were days in the making and the movie angle is nothing more than an excuse to go do shit that true believers in God know better than to do.

So I assume this means a state of war exists between Libya and the United States. Regardless of our current diplomatic ties? It this why the current president of Libya is shitting himself trying to round up the perpetrators?

Or more properly does a state of war exist between Islam and the United States?

If that’s the case then I suppose it’s time to deport every single follower of Islam, or we could fire up Manzinar again, just interring the Islam folks until the end of hostilities. Or we could simply start killing the warriors of Islam wherever and whenever we find them. If that means firebombing entire cities and villages so be it. These people only seem to understand terrorism… Lets show them terrorism done right!

God! That’s not at all a nice picture is it? It’s sure as hell not something I’m comfortable with.

I should point out many of the followers of Islam would think this would be a great fucking idea if they could do it to the infidel Western Countries.

So what’s the alternative?

Sanctions? Don’t fucking work.

Condemnation? The mob doesn’t give a shit. These people blow themselves up to prove a point.

War? Wouldn’t work, also that option would probably end up in genocide and none of the civilized world wants that.

Education? Nope, the funds just get channeled into a madras that preaches radical Islam with a side order of terrorism against the West.

Aid? Nope, the money goes to a madras, and the food gets sent only to the males in the madrases or the army so that essentially we’re feeding our enemies and making them stronger to attack us.

How about this?

Terminate all relations, No aid, No Embassies, No Visas, No Students, No immigrants, No purchases, No Anything.

We currently don’t import that much Libyan oil (at least as of 2010). So while there’s no denying it would hurt us a bit… We could do without them.

We would be harder pressed to ween ourselves off the rest of our dependance on the Islamic Middle East.

Although, according to the US Energy Information Administration we’re only importing 14% of our crude oil from Saudi Arabia. Overall in 2011 we imported approximately 22% of our crude from the Persian Gulf.

Most of our oil comes from the Western Hemisphere. (52%) We do have the natty little problem of the 20% comes from Africa which is becoming more Islamic all the time. 

My point is that if we decided not to deal with Islamic nations and I mean any Islamic nations we would also demonstrate that we’re not interested in their politics or anything else, other than them and their religion leaving us the hell alone.

Granted the Chinese and EU will easily make up the difference in oil consumption so the financial impact of the US positioning itself to do without Middle Eastern oil would be negligible, but then it’s the Chinese and the EUs responsibility to stabilize the region NOT US.

Fighting Islam is a no-win proposition. The only choice that seems remotely viable is to remove ourselves from the equation.

Imagine the savings. No more military spending to stabilize some shit hole country that hates us anyway. No more food shipments, we turn that excess corn into methanol. No more money wasted educating the next generations of terrorists.

I’ve said this before. Personally I’d be a lot happier if our technology wasn’t being shared via higher education with every hostile foreign nations children. That’s a mistake we have historical precedence to avoid. (See Arminius, or the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. )

It’s pretty accepted that Arminius was educated in Rome, become a Roman commander and citizen and then used his knowledge of Roman tactics against ROME. It’s a pity we so often refuse to learn from history.

In my opinion, educating the children of your enemies is planting seeds to your own destruction.

If we as a country plowed all that saved cash and resource back into our own educational system and really concentrated on our own people we could probably come up with a safe alternate energy technology in short order, so that we wouldn’t need crude oil for fuel. (I think we’ll likely be using oil for plastics and lubricants well into the foreseeable future.)

That would be the best way to win the battle. Render Islamic voices irrelevant by utterly destroying their economic hold on the world.

It’s time for us to stop trying to reason with Islamic nations. We shouldn’t be trying to bring them into the 21st century and we sure as hell shouldn’t be supporting them in any way. We should leave them all to their 15th century beliefs and leave them to live or die as they wish… 

…By the will of Allah.

Was reading my 9/11 blog from last year… Not much has changed.

Really as I think about it, not much has changed at all.

Our politicians are as ineffective and self absorbed as ever. 

We still are at war.

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That progress is in “Winning Hearts & minds”American lives are still being lost. Although according to some people, progress is being made in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

Perhaps…

I’m not convinced that our troops or politicians are seeing anything more than the smiling mask of duplicity.

Culturally the peoples of Afghanistan and Iraq are so far from us I question whether they see our form of government or the reasons we are in their countries as any “Better” than we see theirs.

Most Americans can’t conceive of a life without running water, indoor plumbing, the 24 hour news cycle, and electricity 24 / 7. I’m not even going to try to discuss what an American would think about not having a telephone, 500 channels of Cable TV, or internet.

How many Americans could accept Total Religious control of their lives?

Can you see someone telling an American that they couldn’t listen to “The Who” or Elvis, or “Nine Inch Nails”.

How about not being able to see a movie because that movie contained music from one of the “Forbidden Bands”?

Women of afghanistan

Can you see an American woman submitting to wearing a garment that allowed them to show only their eyes? How about being whipped with a switch or slapped in the face because she mouthed off to her husband?

Can you imagine what an American woman would do to someone that said “Get in the kitchen bitch and make my dinner“? I guess there are some women here that would take that. But the majority wouldn’t.

I shudder to think what my Mother would do.

If you look at our culture from the perspective of the folks in Afghanistan or Iraq what would you see?

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A culture of excess, with too many religions, most perceived as polytheistic idolaters?

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Women and children allowed to running amok because they’re not allowed to be disciplined?

How about a place were the temptations to sin are so prevalent that even the most pious cannot avoid sinning?

I think we’re, at best winning cooperation in hopes that soon we’ll be gone and things in their countries can return to normal.I don’t think we’re winning hearts & minds…

It doesn’t matter to these people if America, the Taliban, or al-Qaeda are winning, or even in control.

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The only thing that matters is cash. One of these players paying the bills is good, two or all three pumping money into their country is fanfuckingtastic! 

We have made previously poor tribal leaders wealthy. I believe that as soon as we leave, “Normal” will mean those leaders purchasing  the best weapons they can afford and settling old scores.

The tribal leader from the next valley over who used to demand unfair tribute will suddenly end up looking up the barrel of a brand new AK-47 while his daughters are being raped. Then he’ll meet Allah.

No matter what, when we leave these countries will return to the “Old Order… The one that’s about the point of a sword”.

So why not leave now? Get it over with, let them settle old scores and when the dust clears whatever is left of al-Qaeda or the Taliban we can take out with a few well placed daisy cutters. 

It sounds brutal and cold.

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But it’s a cost effective solution.

Yeah, I guess I’m still hostile. Last year I asked the question “How do we move forward?”

I think the answer is getting the fuck out of those shit hole countries and leaving them to their own devices. I guess I’m just sick of hearing about the latest fucked up bombing or shooting carried out by a “Friendly”.

“Friendly” is a matter of who’s paying better.

While I’m not meaning to defend the wealthy… I have to ask.

Lately, there have been tonFeng shui wealths of politicians and Über Liberals doing a lot of talking about the Wealthy.

I really don’t get it on a number of levels.

1) Why is it wrong to single out certain Other groups for special treatment or discussion but not the wealthy?

2) Why do politicians or the general populace think it’s OK to levy higher taxes on this small group?  (Sounds like discrimination to me. You’d never get away with it if instead of wealthy you said Muslims, or Mexicans. )

3) What happened to that concept of “Equally distributing the burden“? Why is it apparently OK to force the wealthy to pay more?

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Don’t get me wrong, the wealthy have done nothing to warrant my love or concern. Like most Americans I’ve suffered, and continue to suffer at their hands.

Here are some examples the Politicians and Occupy Whatever cite. You’ll get no argument from me about the abuses. Although most politicians avoid the H1B1 issue. Democratic politicians usually won’t comment on Offshoring but some Republicans and the Teaparty will.

Offshoring / Downsizing / H1B1 Abuses (It’s bullshit to import someone from India or offshore when you’ve got unemployed American workers with the same training and who speak, read, write the language well & who understand the culture. The ONLY difference between the H1B1 Visa worker / Offshore workers, and the American worker is that the H1B1 worker will work like a slave, kiss ass, suck cock, and generally do ANYTHING to bolster his bosses ego to stay in this country or keep their jobs. Including but not limited to implementing “Solutions” that are wrong on their face, just because they’re too scared of deportation or being fired to point out that the proposed “Solution” isn’t going to work. I can’t count how many millions I’ve personally seen wasted this way)

Oil prices (Lets be real here… The wind blowing from the West doesn’t justify a speculative panic that drives up crude prices.)

Banking abuses / Bad Mortgages / Housing implosion

Pension / 401k devaluation

However, as abusive of the system and people as the wealthy are, (THIS INCLUDES HOLLYWOOD ACTORS AND The KARDASHIANS), it’s still no reason to single them out for special taxation.

Let’s look at the pure math of the situation.

If I make $95,000 and I pay 20% in taxes then I pay $19,000

If a wealthy person makes $250,000 and pays 20% in taxes they pay $50,000 

SO obviously the wealthy are already paying more into the system.

Isn’t it unfair to say the wealthy have to pay 40%? Isn’t that just pure greed on the part of the politicians?

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I know that the poor would pitch a bitch fit if THEY were called upon to pay higher taxes. This would be especially true if someone constructed a case that went something like this.

The poor are more of a burden on the society. They require more government services, offices, and assistance. The poor also require a disproportionate level of emergency medical care per capita. Therefore the tax on all people below the poverty line will be 25% in an effort to cover their disproportionate burden on the society at large.

Of course you could make the same case for the elderly paying higher taxes too.

Can you even imagine? There’d be riots in the streets. The elderly from the old folks homes would be tossing molotov cocktails from their motorized chairs and golf carts.

Harold… Harold… stop the cart! I just tossed my catheter bag at that Bentley! We’ve got to go back those things are $15 a piece.”

“Aww screw it Betty just hang the hose at the side of the cart, you can piss on Beverly Hills as we head back to the home! Now throw the burning bottle at the Kardashian house!”

We see the obvious wrongness of disproportionately taxing the poor or the elderly.

Why is it that we choose not to see that same unfairness in disproportionately taxing the wealthy? (I could however get behind a “SPECIAL” tax on the big mouths in the entertainment industry.)

There are those that would rightly point out, the wealthy often use all kinds of tricks to avoid paying their full measure of taxes.

While this is entirely true, I have to ask how many of us look for those same exact loopholes and deductions? The difference is the wealthy simply have better accountants and lawyers.

I’ve long wanted a simple flat tax. I think that would stop the wealthy, politicians, industry, & everyone else from playing games.

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Here’s my wish list for tax reform.

15% flat tax across the board right off the top for everyone! No exceptions!

No more IRS filing, No more April 15th, No more IRS at all.

I’ve thought that if we eliminated the IRS and stopped changing tax laws yearly the country could save a fortune in office supplies alone. We’d also save money because Congress wouldn’t be debating new tax codes and would get on with other business.

There would of course be corporations who might require additional assistance calculating their tax burden but I suspect that the Government Accounting Office could handle those audits.

If you’re unemployed, you get to raid your 401k or pension with NO penalties and tax free. Raiding your retirement is NEVER a good idea, but if it keeps you from becoming a burden or loosing your house you shouldn’t be penalized for doing it.

We should make sure that our Government felt the pinch of a poor economy just as keenly as the people.

Since the politicians salaries are funded from tax dollars, their salaries should be indexed to the GDP, Government Debt, and Stock Market.

As it is now, they get paid either way. Why not change their pay structure to give them some incentive?

Make it something like As the GDP and stock markets fall, and Debt increases the salaries for our politicians decline proportionately. Hopefully something like that would focus our politicians attention on actually tending to the country instead of grandstanding and not working together.

If you wrote the equation as simply as possible you could have the politicians seeing their salaries increase and decrease directly coupled to the financial heartbeat of the country.

It’s possible that the politicians could even see negative cash-flow, meaning that in addition to the FLAT tax they and everyone else pay, politicians could conceivably have to write a check and pay for the privilege of really crappy governance.

I bet, we’d see fewer dishonest politicians and more that were genuinely interested in the country doing well under this kind of pay schedule.

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I know that my wish list will never be fulfilled. I also realize that some of my ideas aren’t possible and are too simplistic.

I do think that every single one of us, rich, poor, or middle class realizes it’s time for some serious changes to the way our government collects and uses money.

I don’t think that setting a special tax rate for a specific group of people is the right or fair way to go.