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Fiscal Cliff: Republicans Will Lose

4:17 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

So far, I’ve abstained from posts about the Fiscal Cliff or Fiscal Crag or Hoar Frosty Diving Board Into the Socio-Economic Pits of Hell. One, there is chatter enough without me throwing in my rapidly worthless 2 cents. Two, it is the most predictable story in the history of politics. But, let me to throw in at least a cent and a half with the caveat that this post isn’t all about the cliff, but the behavior surrounding the tax hike on the wealthy.

It’s safe to say the Republican party is suffering  bit of internal strife. Their election bid failed for many completely foreseeable reasons, not the least of which was acting like imbeciles led by a candidate who never met  a position he wouldn’t gladly abandon. The Republican intelligentsia, like Bobby Jindal (And let’s face it, how intelligent can your intelligentsia be if Jindal represents it?), keeps trying to tell the Tea Partiers, Grover Grovelers, and Evangelical Loons to cool it. “Psst. They finally caught onto us. Shut up and look smart for a change you guys.” But, they just don’t get it.

The GOP still can’t figure out they lost the election. Or maybe they’ve just practiced ignoring facts for so long they can’t break the habit. They’re under the mistaken impression they can continue to act as they have and no one will be the wiser. Oddly, this is partly Obama’s fault. Until now, he’s negotiated every issue by coming into the room offering concessions before the ink was dry on his proposal. With each concession came a new Republican demand he almost always accepted until he became the proud owner of a 1969 Belchfire 5000 with no wheels or engine. Republicans call this negotiating in bad faith, which is true if by “bad faith” you mean not negotiating at all, just capitulating.

Obama Gets a Backbone

Suddenly, Obama gets a backbone and now sets the terms. He’s willing to negotiate, but he’s set some hard rules for what he finds acceptable, secure in the knowledge the vast majority of Americans will back him up on it. Republicans can complain all they want that Obama hasn’t presented a proposal (which he has) and that their proposal is balanced (while still containing the very things Obama said he won’t concede to).

In the process of not seeing what is wrong with this picture, they have said some unbelievably nutty things. Last week Boehner suggested that Obama actually following through on his campaign promise to raise taxes on the wealthy was madness, madness I say! Which, in a way, I suppose it is. A politician delivering on what he promised would seem mad to a politician who never has. Then, there are the simple lunkheads who dig a deep hole deeper.

Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) is the richest woman in Congress, a full-fledged member of the soon-to-be more highly taxed group. Thomas Roberts of MSNBC asked the genteel woman from Tennessee, “Over 65 percent of Americans agree that taxes need to be higher on those making over $250,000 a year. And I know you like to say these are small business owners, these are people that are going to give jobs to the American people. But when we look at this as a whole and the mandate that was given as a collective voice with the president’s re-election and he ran on the fact that he was going to raise taxes, and now this polling supports that Americans want to see taxes raised,” Roberts continued. “How can you stand there within the halls of Congress and say that’s not something you are willing to do?”

To which Black answered, “Well, I think that’s a really good question (but apparently one not good enough to answer). But here’s my question: If I say I want my neighbor to pay more than what I pay — I don’t care what level you’re at, you will always have that happen — but I think that what a lot of the American people are not aware of is how it’s going to directly impact them, and that is their jobs. Because these are the job creators.”

Diane, Diane, Diane. You just called 65% of the American people ignorant of what the taxes mean. Hell, even Mitt only insulted 47% of America. This is not the way to increase your voter appeal. Plus, you are arguing against many super-wealthy Republicans by single-mindedly refusing to accept tax increases on them — even though the rich can already see the handwriting on the wall. When Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein — surely one of the most arrogant, least sympathetic rich people on the planet — calls for heavier taxes on himself, you know you’re seriously on the wrong side of the issue.

There are Too Many Jobs

But, you’re not the worst. Billionaire investor and author Ken Fisher thinks we have too many jobs. In his words, “…if we continue to innovate as we have been it will mean more output with fewer jobs in the future. In the long run we will all benefit.” I suppose that is true if all means we folks who fund lower taxes on his $1.4 billion fortune. It would seem, at least in Fisher’s case, that he doesn’t intend to create many jobs with his windfall.

Republicans who will drive over the cliff to save some tax money against the will of 65% of Americans are not displaying much political genius. They will eventually lose this battle one way or another. They will have to concede because the few rational supporters they have left will punch out or because there isn’t a chance in hell of them getting their demands met when they are in no position to demand anything other than calling french fries, Freedom Fries in the Congressional dining room.

They will lose because it’s folly to continue as the party of angry white guys when there are a rapidly dwindling number of angry white guys left. They will lose because they can’t cater to religious zealots who want to quash anything not contained in the Bible at the expense of millions who like their rights just the way they are thankyouverymuch. They will lose because their candidates show the intellectual capacity of turnips and their spokespeople throw hissy fits when their own bought-and-paid for TV network declares the election over when it is over…and then fires him because he was such a pain in the ass about it. They will lose because they can’t continue to say, “no” while nodding their head, “yes” as every conspiracy crackpot in the nation mouths off about commie plots, Kenyan pretenders, and FEMA death camps. They will lose because they will ice their cake by letting The Donald’s hair speak for them or don’t take the hook to Clint Eastwood rambling at an empty chair.

It would be hard to repeatedly expend thousands of rounds of NRA-approved ammo at their own feet unless they were trying…trying really, really hard. So in the vast scheme of things, capitulating to avoid the cliff dive or just doing a Thelma and Louise doesn’t amount to much. The only principle they have ever adhered to is the principle of free political market capitalism. They sold their entire party and a good part of the nation to a band of lunatics to plug self-inflicted holes in their Big Tent. Now that their political capital is well and truly squandered, they are looking for a bailout – a bailout from the people they sold their party to. The ones that got them into this pickle because they are too obstinate, arrogant, regressive, and, well ignorant not to see what they are doing to themselves.

So here’s my cent and a half’s worth: The physical cliff is the least of their worries.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks! More than politics, more than pop culture & humor.

Ryan May Have Gone all Pinko on Us

5:23 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

When Mitt Romney insulted half of America he said he was, “inelegant”. Anyone with an IQ higher than a jelly donut could see Paul Ryan believed the same, but was just too elegant to say it. Yet, lo and behold, it turns out Mr. Ayn Rand is as inelegant as his erstwhile boss. The only difference is he only insulted a third of America.

I fear Ryan may have gone all pinko on us.

The men argue 47% or 30%, depending on the crapweasel you believe is the lesser liar, are takers and not givers. Both men believe people on the public dole choose it as a lifestyle in much the same way the homeless choose to live in filth and piss in doorways. Or as Willard puts it, “…they believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing.”

THOSE GREEDY BASTARDS!

Mitt, a world-renown expert on poverty, went on to say the takers, “…believe that, that they are victims.” Then, he simply wrote them off as goldbricking ingrates who couldn’t change if they wanted.

Apparently, not victimizing them is too radical an idea.

Since Romneyan are only brave enough to say these things before sympathetic groups, they are preaching to the choir.  The choir, 2400 of whom are millionaires collecting unemployment, believe that crap. I’d wager that more than 47+30% of them believe it because their only up close and personal experience of poverty is sipping champers in a darkened limo while driving on the safe, faraway edge of a favela on the way to Carnival.

A mind that sees medicine, food, and housing as optional entitlements is psychopathic. A mind that sees people choosing to work three jobs, skip meals, and live in their cars is profoundly ill. By contrast, whining about paying less tax than your average upper middle class family or refusing to discuss your economic recovery plan because it is too time consuming to explain is mere hubris of Rumsfeldian proportions.

Last year, the United Farm Workers hosted a program to place interested parties in the fields alongside migrant farm workers doing stoop labor in the 100 degree sun. The idea was to give folks the chance to see the rigors of that work in person. Shockingly, there were few takers – only one so far as I know, Stephen Colbert. Still, it was a good program. When your head is as hard as the reinforced concrete in Cheyenne Mountain, having the essence of a clue is a good thing.

I’d like to offer Mitt and Paul a similar learning moment. Perhaps they would like to “choose” to live like a “victim” for a day or two to see what it is like. Maybe eat in a meal kitchen or live in a car, and not the Expedition either. Mitt, you can even wear your permapress mom jeans that are as authentic as Obama’s “black” accent.

If you can stand the heat and don’t leave the kitchen where your third job is a Denny’s short order cook, I’ll be happy to listen to your advice on the poor.

Until then, shut your caviar and champagne holes.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks! More than politics, more than pop culture & humor.

Turns Out Most of the 53% are Victims Too

6:01 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

Mitt Romney thinks almost half the nation is a bunch of crybaby, irresponsible victims living on the public dole rather than paying their own way. To his way of thinking, asking the wealthy to pay taxes to carry their freight is at the center of a class war that persecutes the rich.

Mitt, consider yourself lucky, there is a move afoot in France to up the tax rate on the wealthy to 75%. If you want persecution, move yourself and your money out of the U.S. and into that cute little winery in Provence you’ve had your eye on.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, the states with the highest taxes on the wealthy also have the highest per capita number of millionaires. As Mitt knows first-hand, apparently hiding your money in the Caymans is preferable to actually moving there.

This statistic seems odd when the conventional Republican wisdom is that higher taxes on the wealthy will lead to a mass exodus to escape the unfairness of it all.

California, with the second highest “millionaire tax” in the nation at 10.3%, has a statewide proposition pending to raise the tax rate on the wealthy to an outrageous 13.3%. The bulk of the money would go to schools that benefit the wealthy by training workers they now import from overseas because they claim they can’t get them here. I believe you call this “growing jobs”. Some of the money would go to fixing Third World style roads on which you drive your limos and cutting the debt you so decry.

As a point of reference, I ain’t no millionaire and 13.3% is considerably less than what I pay.

Unlike Mitt, I can’t throw a few extra dollars the Mormon Church’s way to lower my “burden”. I don’t make enough. Still, I throw plenty at places where it goes to feeding and housing ultra-low end 47 Percenters rather than casting big-ass, tax-free gold statues of the angel Moroni.

I can’t move my vast financial empire to the Caymans or into Swiss bank accounts. I don’t make enough. My wife does own two horses, one of which is permanently lame and the other for sale. Neither is an Olympic dancing horse.

I do take a miniscule deduction on my almost paid off mortgage. I’d guess that Mitt’s write off on, say, a Malibu Barbie Ann beach house, financed by a below market, low-interest loan from Bain, would be considerably larger than mine.

So California wealthy people, stop carpet-bombing the rest of us with ads foretelling financial Armageddon if you pay a 3% tax increase which, because of your available tax dodges, will amount to an actual increase of almost zero. If you haven’t run away from such a dastardly and onerous imposition already, I’d guess you wouldn’t now.

BTW, don’t worry about skipping out on your share. I’m sure my higher taxes will make up the difference. I wouldn’t want you to lose sleep over it.

It looks like most of the 53% are victims too.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks! More than politics, more than pop culture & humor.

Everyone Wants More

10:29 am in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

There is a lot of bloviating these days about the rich and taxes, income distribution, jealousy, greed, and class warfare. Most of it uses the 99/1% benchmark. The crux of the argument is that everyone wants more.

The rich want no boundaries on what they want and don’t want to give up what they have, which is reasonable since everyone else feels the same.

The poor have a hard time eating and putting a roof over their heads. They want more, need more, and have nothing to give up. No matter how Ryandian you are with the math, 0-0=0.

No One Knows Who is in the 99%

The middle class mostly wants to hold its own. Of course, they could use more, but they still want to give up less. And more than the other two groups, they are in a crossfire in which they increasingly give up more and get increasingly less. Ironically, even though they are shrinking faster than a Phoenix puddle in July, they hold up both ends.

Yet, the income distribution conundrum has little to do with taxes, greed, jealousy, or class warfare. In fact, it has little to do with the 99/1% benchmark. There are several reasons for that.

First, no one knows who is in the 99% and who is in the 1%. It depends on what you count, how you count it, where you can put it and – to a degree – when you count it.

Income is very different than wealth. Taxable income is much different than the tax you actually pay. At the upper end of the 99% and the lower end of the 1%, small shifts can cause you great vacillation between classes. For example, when a top-end 1 percenter gains or loses big money, the bottom end of the 1 percent start jockeying like Mitt’s NASCAR owners at the start of the Daytona 500. In turn, that ripples through the rest of us. Today a 1 percenter, tomorrow a 99 percenter.

Most upper-enders started with significant educational and economic advantages before they even made their own fortunes. The Horatio Alger story is as rare as 3% interest on savings accounts these days. Ann Romney’s ironing board as dining table story is bunk. Daddy George, who actually was a self-made millionaire, fronted Mitt and Ann the money for almost everything in the early days – including an ironing board, very nice dining room table, and Bain Capital. They haven’t looked back since.

On average, most are self-employed, some are even those “small business owners” (small is such a relative term) you hear so much about. They tend to work more hours, but be paid vastly more than your average burger flipper or machinist. You can judge for yourself whether the number of hours equates to the effort expended.

The main tax argument is a bit of a straw man. If you are wealthy, how much you pay in taxes is governed by how much you make, not your overall wealth. The more you make the more you can hide money offshore or get tax credits for Olympic horses or shutting down a companies. You may have a high tax rate, but chances are the amount you actually pay is a fraction of what your tax bracket suggests. Generally speaking, the more money you make, the bigger that gap gets. Lose more, make more. That’s not illegal, or in some cases, particularly immoral. It just is.

The government can rejigger taxes on the rich all it wants, but the revenue represents a microscopic fraction of what the country needs or the amount the rich can pay. Unlike most of the middle or lower class, permanent residents of the 1% don’t invest their money in living expenses anyway. Within a very short time, most of them will recoup what they lost many times over and become increasingly likely to pay even less tax. That’s why General Electric pays no taxes while Joe’s Pizza pays a lot.

People Become Richer Because They are, Well, RichNo, people become richer (and move up the economic food chain) because they are, well, rich. Because the wealthy aren’t paying underwater mortgages or worrying about health care, they have a lot of disposable income.

A chunk may go for a summer home (or three), or if far into the wealthiest bands, yachts or private jets. But even those expenditures are usually a fraction of their disposable income. Except for those at the very top, everyone has enough expenses to have some sort of budget. A rich guy who buys too many Lambos or one too many beach houses will find himself broke just as surely as a budget breaking, middle class guy with a 10 year old car who can’t afford a trip to the beach – even if he lives in Daytona.

Where does all that disposable income go? Straight into investments. Investments that generate more money that is reinvested to generate more money and so on ad infinitum. That cash engine – which at a corporate level was a GE ex-CEO Jack Welch concept – widens the income disparity by leaps and bounds. The rich don’t just get richer; they get monumentally richer…very fast. Along the way, not all that money necessarily creates jobs. It creates people rich enough to control companies. And, their primary interest is making more money, not keeping a plant open.

Many companies currently sit on huge wads of cash. They don’t create jobs because the people who largely own them lose money – at least initially – if they spend the money.

So as you listen to all the cacophony about jobs and taxes and class war, remember that none of those things mean very much – be you Democan or Republicrat. There are few jobs because there is no economic incentive to create them, even in the much vaunted, unfettered, “free market”. Because of the vagaries of our tax system, raising taxes actually turns a profit sometimes. And finally, the rich aren’t doing anything special or illegal; they just want what everyone else wants…

Take in more, pay out less.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks! More than politics, more than pop culture & humor

When the Upper Class Becomes Victim to Class Warfare

1:41 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

To hear the 1 percenters and those 99 percenters bent on voting against their own economic self-interests tell it, you could slap a bushy beard and crazy wig on Barack Obama and he’d be the new Karl Marx. That Karl Marx could take a Viennese sachertorte-sized chomp out of their ass and they wouldn’t know him is beside the point.

Banner: Rich Scum Beware Class War

Photo: r.a. paterson / Flickr

Even Karl or Barack tarted up like Karl know most people in a society must work to live and the oligarchy needs workers to keep their class alive. Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, and rich people don’t create jobs – only other people with jobs create jobs.

Many Americans don’t have jobs because the upper class is so greedily incompetent they are ruining things for everyone, including themselves. They want to remove regulation falsely thinking they can trust each other to do the right thing. But capitalism is an economic system based on greed and hoping greedy people will also be honorable people is counter-intuitive, stupid, and criminally naive.

Cheapster Pixie Gods, Magic Job Creators

The upper classes also believe they are magic job creators – cheapster pixie Gods who can live tax free, transfer all their money to the Caymans, and send all the American jobs overseas yet still create jobs. That is why the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center says Mitt’s economic plan is “mathematically impossible“. It relies on hopelessly optimistic tax and employment rates coupled with insane budget deficit reductions.

Folks without tax accountants to find ways to avoid taxes and balance clients’ checkbooks, can tell you that if little money comes in and all the money left goes to essentials like food and a roof, the checkbook won’t balance…ever…not even if you cut everything except the food and roof.

If you aren’t working, all the money disappears fast and if you can’t find a job, it isn’t coming back. This is not called bankruptcy. This is called up Homeless Creek without a paddle and heading over the lip of Niagara Falls.

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It’s Not Just Christian Charity, It’s Human Charity

2:51 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

In America, we make money the old fashioned way – we steal it from the Joneses with whom we are trying to compete. We’re a country that firmly believes in the notion that more is better and that competition trumps everything. Money uber alles if you will. But, we’re also one of the most charitable nations on Earth. Name a disaster anywhere on Earth and we’re ready to help. Ordinary folks dig deep and donate clothing, goods, or even their own time to just about every charitable cause imaginable.

Some of us anyway.

A few charitable organizations have sullied the many with underhanded donation solicitations, non-stop phone calls and mailings, excessive administration costs, pricey leadership, or just plain chicanery. These organizations have forgotten they aren’t profit centers and that charitable organizations practice, well, charity.

People get ruffled about these charities for the same reasons they don’t want  to see any of their money wasted. You are sacrificing to help someone out and you don’t want a professional spamming and telemarketing company skimming most of the bucks off the top.

But just as we have a widening wealth gap, we’re also on the path to a widening charitability gap. Many Americans have gotten skin-flinty – down right mean about it too. This, of course, is their right. It’s their money and they can not create jobs with it or protest gay marriage with it or donate to the campaign of some of history’s biggest lunkheads. They can even demand the rest of us support their churches with our tax money…but aren’t allowed to complain about it without being accused of being an unpatriotic ner’do well.

Many of these people are the same ones that kvetch about taxes for anything, even the services they use, bought and paid for by those taxes. They believe poor people always have a choice to glom onto Uncle Sam’s tit or be the next CEO of Exxon.  By God, they pulled themselves up by their Harvard MBAs, connected parents, and hard-drinking frat brothers and they expect everyone else to do the same – even if they have none of those built-in benefits.

It isn’t all about public assistance though. Their donations of time and money are on the wane. It’s much more fun to golf instead of working for Habitat for Humanity or spend your money so you can build that second yacht you’ve always coveted.  You can’t even hear the drowning’s cries from your leather seat on Air Force One.

I like to think I do my part. I like to think I spread some of my own personal wealth (paltry though it may be to someone like Mittens) because I’m lucky enough to afford it. I volunteer for a variety of things. I think sharing is a good thing that brings not only pleasure, but much good for society. Really, everyone should jump on this bandwagon.

I’d like to think that all the, “I’ll get mine before anyone get theirs” folks are just having a bit of a charitability lapse.  I’d like to think that all those folks who believe their taxes are too high – including the corporations that end up with effective tax rates of zero or people who settle tax fights for, “pennies on the dollar” – eventually see what damage they are causing to the nation they profess to love. I’d like to think they will never feel the sting of poverty, or deadly disease, or hunger. And if they do, I’ll be in line to help them out. That is not Christian charity it is human charity.

But if they do, I hope it will teach them the importance of charity, because boy, are they going to need it.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

Regardless of Economic Plan America Can’t Compete

2:08 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

Both Republicans and Democrats jabber a lot about jobs, even when times are relatively good. When times are bad the talk turns into a nasty shite-storm. The mantra for both sides is America can’t compete if we don’t [fill in the blank]. But here’s a dirty little secret: America can’t effectively compete regardless of which ideology you prefer.

Republicans argue that if we didn’t tax the wealthy or corporations and got rid of regulations we’d be trickling jobs like Ronald Reagan’s pissing down Donald Stockman’s leg.

The Democratic vision is to tax the hell out of the wealthy and make corporations pay dearly, but oddly considering their constituency and history, get rid of regulations too. Dems also like to retrain those with unmarketable skills into those with different unmarketable skills. Turning steel makers into assembly line workers doesn’t gain much unless you only need workers to assemble steel Big Macs.

We Unbombed Them Back From the Stone AgeAfter WWII, America spent a lot of money rebuilding the world economy. We rebuilt countries we bombed back to the Stone Age. Sure it was altruistic, but more importantly, there was plenty of economic benefit for America too.

Made in Japan” used to be code for cheap crap – items from faux Stucky’s gift shop Indian drums to transistor radios that barely lasted through the voyage to American shores. Crap made cheaply, sold to relatively wealthy Americans, kept the money flowing and built a unified international economy that replaced the chaos of dozens of national unequal economies.

By the late 60′s, Japanese cheap crap became a flood of very good Japanese products. There was still a fairly vibrant US economy where heavy industry provided adequate jobs for adequate pay. Japan was still cheap enough to compete with American companies, but that was rapidly changing. As America exported more jobs, we also became a nation of consumer debt ridden, credit-crazy, not-saving orgyists buying stuff like 5-bladed razors and houses we couldn’t afford.

The collapse was on.

But the Japanese were no fools. As their fortunes rose. they began to demand the same sort of money and working conditions as Americans. American corporations responded to their demands and continued to send jobs even as their products became inexorably more expensive.

Eventually, both America and Japan became too expensive. Jobs moved from there to places like Korea. Then by the same route, Korean jobs moved to places like India, and lately, China. Radically low costs may draw jobs to places like Uganda next.

Truth is,  America can’t compete with foreign sweatshops and Chinese prison labor on cost. If Americans worked for those wages they’d have even less money than we do today.

What about deregulation? We’ve already moved most high paying American jobs to Third World countries. Their lax or unknown regulations make their sweatshops and factories some of the most dangerous jobs on the planet.

Doing Anything to Turn a RupeeFor example China, on behalf of American companies, push Chinese workers to the point of suicide. The air in most Third World countries is too thick to breathe. Workers die from exposure to toxic chemicals or crushworthy machines and when they do are replaced with other destitute people willing to do anything to turn a Rupee – regardless of the danger and damage to their health and safety. If you don’t provide adequate health care, the cost of dead and disabled workers doesn’t matter much.

It’s often said that Americans won’t take some jobs. That may be true, but there’s a reason. American corporate sweatshops may make products cost competitive with India or China, but do it at the expense of worker safety while producing less and less money to buy their own goods.

You got no money, you can’t buy a color TV…from anyone.

The economic pendulum has swung one direction for a long, long time – perhaps too far to swing back. We should expect recessions to be deeper and last longer than ever before, regardless of the Democratic or Republican plans.

The War on the Middle Class is true, but so is the War on the Wealthy. Sadly, these are but the first battles in the War on Everyone, rich and poor alike. It’s united we stand, divided we fall time. Absent some agreement between waring political factions, we’ll all be killed in an economic holocaust.

And, that benefits no one.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

Taxes: If They Do the Crime, Make Them Do the Time

5:08 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

Tax Cheats in America
THE TAX MAN COMETH – You may not like taxes. You may not like what your taxes pay for. But, one thing is for certain; if scofflaws can settle for ‘pennies on the dollar’ you and are the ones picking up their tab.

Americans like to trumpet the belief that we’re a “nation of laws”. Unfortunately, our laws are unevenly enforced when enforced at all. Congress churns out dozens of laws every year, while at the same time, guaranteeing they’ll fail by not budgeting for enforcement. Tea partiers like to say that most corporate laws constitute “over-regulation”. However, one could make a reasonable case that we don’t over-regulate, we under-enforce – and a law unenforced is no law at all.

You could easily say the same for failing to pay personal taxes. There’s a burgeoning industry devoted to helping scofflaws avoid penalties for “cents on the dollar”. Apparently, assisting tax deadbeats is more profitable than chasing ambulances. Some might argue tax issues wouldn’t be a problem if the taxes were lower, but these negotiated settlements allow defendants to avoid punishment. “If you do the crime, you have to do the time (except as negotiated by Nasty, Rude, Brutish, and Short, LLP).”

America is also stuck in a swamp of economic gelatinous goo. Just to spite each other we’re cutting off everything with a nose to pass a budget that takes regular taxpayers back to government circa 1865 and pumping up the wealthy’s wealth to a tax-free 2082. Yet, here are two almost untouched revenue streams. We could take a bite out of crime and the budget by simply enforcing the laws we have.

If BP befouls the Gulf of Mexico or Exxon paints Prudhoe Bay a wonderful, multicolored rainbow sheen, let’s not negotiate a settlement for pennies on the dollar while they reap some mighty fine profits. Profits at least partly derived from the other 98 cents on the dollar you and I paid to clean up the flaming dog poop they left on our porch. And bonus – maybe they’d think twice before doing the same stupid, illegal things they did to cause the accident in the first place – a twofer that helps modify bad behavior and raise revenue at the same time.

SWEET!

And since corporations have equal to (or greater than) the rights of flesh and blood, private citizens it’s only fair we stop negotiating sweetheart deals for the proletariat too. Paying taxes is a legal obligation, not an optional thing you do only when it pays for school vouchers or Muslim extermination programs. Saying you cheated or didn’t pay your taxes because “everyone does it” is no excuse. Remember Momma’s rule, “If everyone jumped off a bridge into a Chevron-managed tar pit, would you do it too?”

Of course, these actions won’t make all the bad economics go away, but it will make the sharing of pain fairer, without taxing the rich one more penny. It’s time to stop whining about what we owe and pay up.

If they do the crime, make them do the time.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!