Thursday, January 26, 2006


Post and discuss.


Dan/Mich said...

One of my favorite ideas i encountered on SSB was that Congress would be required to add a surtax to pay for any war it authorizes. If the reasons for going to war are compelling enough, taxpayers need to share the sacrifice and wouldn't object. If the war isn't seen as necessary, voters will get their revenge. I believe this is sound fiscal policy along with a nateral check against rash Congressional action.

Marilynn M said...

Sounds good to me too.

John Ashman said...

That sounds good. Let's have a special surtax for *everything*. So people can say "hey, I don't want to pay for that". I consider most social spending to be "rash Congressional action" (and unconstitutional as well).

Judy B. said...

O.K. John, putting aside your personal bias against funding social programs, how do you propose we fund "wars"?

John Ashman said...

Judy, no, seriously, I don't have any problem with that, but if you're going to include constitutional uses of money, you should include unconstitutional uses such as social programs. I did create an idea that somewhat addresses it. A simple ballot on each tax return that allows you to "vote" where your money goes. That way, yes, you'll get taxed, but at least you can direct that money. But do you think a politician would trust us with that choice?

Cheryl V said...

Accurate Income Tax Reporting
Submitted by Cheryl V. in Alabama

The problem with keeping income taxes fair isn’t so much about the deductions that are allowed. The real problem is getting an accurate accounting of the
income. Any income not reported on a tax return, is taxed at 0%.

Working people have well documented incomes. Everything we make is reported on W-2s and 1099s. The income of rich people is not so well documented. Their
taxable income is often what they choose to report.

We need to allow the IRS to enforce the rules now in place. It’s simpler to verify a small income, but the payback for checking complicated incomes is much better. Increasing the IRS budget for checking large incomes will more than pay for itself.

We also need to close the loopholes that the wealthy can legally use to hide their income. This is where the most lucrative scams are.

Why can a corporation report one income to its stockholders, and another to the IRS? Companies should be allowed only one set of books for accounting.

BTW These ideas come from a wonderful book by David Cay Johnston, "Perfectly Legal"

christin m p in massachusetts said...

John Ashman, what idea number was that where you showed how we could vote on how our tax money would be allocated? I like that idea a lot. The only reservation I would have about it is that I wouldn't trust the Republicans when it came time to tally the votes.

Do you think that Bush truly or honestly won either presidential election?

Marilynn M said...

No he did not. Al Gore refused to cast the deciding vote and handed it to him. He stole both of them.

Anonymous said...

Please understand I would like my information to remain private and confidential.



Not that it could ever make any difference, this is just one person's opinion.

* Nationwide Flat Earnings/Income Tax should be implemented. The design and construction of the current tax system is absurdly flawed and has some severely unfair aspects. Start low, maybe 4% or 5% across the board.

*No deductions/No exemptions/No credits. Stop paying people to have children. If anything they should be charged more taxes.

* Treat it like any bill we pay. No refunds. We do not receive a check back for cell phone use/service, subscriptions, the food we buy, water bills or electric service.

* Tax all income levels at the same rate. No pre-tax deductions or contributions. All deductions or contributions will use after-tax dollars. Retirement, education and medical included.

* There should be no tax subsidies.

***** No tax on Healthcare on any level for the consumer/patient. Medical care, surgery, Dr. visits, physicals, dental care, medicines/prescriptions, insurance. Funds in Medical Savings Accounts (MSA's) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA's) should carry over into the following year if there is a balance year after year. MSA's/HSA'S should not be "use it or lose it".

* Tax all Individuals, business, industry at the same rate. No entity should be above paying taxes regardless of the service they provide or the number or social class of people they employ.

* If all taxes are taken straight from all income sources before it is distributed to an individual there would be fewer chances to need wage garnishment, collections or outside investigative services (or risking not being paid at all). Unpaid taxes may become nearly a thing from our past – except for those working off the payroll or “under the table”.

* How many people pay there taxes owed with a credit card year after year? Don’t many of them just amass more and more debt until they have “maxed out” credit cards and can no longer pay the IRS their share, eventually filing some sort of bankruptcy or losing assets acquired over the years?

* Whether via a state, local, regional, national or federal taxing agency there should not be a separate or additional tax for businesses because of the particular service they provide. (PHONE, CELLULAR, CABLE, SATELLITE, FUEL, OIL, AIRLINES, ELECTRIC, WATER, GARBAGE or anything else) this is just passed on to the consumer, further burdening the family pocketbook penny by penny.

* Tax all earnings (income, earnings, wages, bonuses, interest, windfalls, home sales, inheritance, gifts etc.) at the same rate - to be taken out prior to receipt of funds by the individual regardless of age at the time of distribution. Do not necessarily wholly believe interest, inheritance or gifts should be taxed at all. Tax on interest on retirement savings, investment savings, education savings or savings in general is uncalled for. This may be a good reason to just stuff an old mattress and stash your cash--No growth to tax.

* National Minimum Wage - (starting at the highest current state minimum wage) increased incrementally by the same set hourly amount annually ($0.01, $0.02, $0.05, $0.25, $0.50, $1.00 or whatever is economically sound at the time). Make it predictable.

* Why allow restaurants to consider tips as wages paid by the employer? Tips should not be a part of an employees minimum wage/or in any way offset an agreed upon wage. Tips should however be taxed at the same rate as normal income.

* Tax all wages, earnings, interest and income paid by US companies to those outside the US regardless of citizenship.

* Anyone working in the US should pay US federal taxes and be subject to all wage standards provided natural born citizens. To include immigrants or those crossing the border for US jobs.

* Collect taxes for offshore accounts and businesses owned by US citizens.

* Find a way to tax US citizens working outside the US who are not paying taxes as citizens of other nations.

* Eliminate almost all tax returns and filing all together for individuals. No refunds. No credits. No deductions (even for dependents). No exemptions (Including dependents). No givebacks whatsoever. No mathematical formulas to solve. Business, Retail and Corporate tax returns would be highly simplified.

* Tax return refunds of money are unhealthy – they are primarily wasted on non-necessities. (If someone were behind $1700.00 on rent and bills before tax time and somehow gets paid $5000.00 as a refund is likely to still be behind $1700.00 if not more after spending that refund on anything except that $1700.00 debt.)

* Generally people are prone to hold back from claiming all there dependents on there W-4 in order to receive a lump sum when they file a return, knowing that this is the only way they would have the discipline to save money.

* Simplify self employment and business tax filing - one tax level for entire profit within any given business. No deductions for rent, electric, use of home, business item purchases, mileage, vehicle purchase, sales tax, travel etc. ONE TAX ON ALL PROFIT OR MONIES MADE.

* Remove all tax shelters - within the means and abilities of the state, local, regional and federal governments.

* There would be almost no need for any issuance of checks to anyone from the government for tax purposes.

* Thoroughly investigate non-profits to verify on a regular basis that they are a true non-profit. Scrutiny will find many who are not what they claim to be. Those on the payroll of any non-profit should be taxed at the same rate as anyone else. It seems odd that the preachers, priests, pastors, evangelists or whatever they may be to a congregation are provided with a home, most necessities to include food and clothing and their offspring are provided full ride scholarships to private schools and colleges. Along with all this most receive an above average income or stipend. Somehow all this is TAX FREE. Separate church and state, almost all religiously based organizations need to be taxed because most are not in the same category as a non-profit. Only those who are strictly volunteer based and receive no income what-so-ever should be under this category. Those who are a real charity providing for those seriously in need should be the only ones to have this opportunity. They should receipt and track every penny incoming and outgoing in any form (cash, check, credit card, boat, car, medication, clothing, furniture, computers, electronics, bedding, cookware etc). Even coupons that people often give to charities should be included. All donations should be annotated and receipted no matter how miniscule. Complete records of all inventory and equipment should be on hand. All charities and non-profits should be audited annually by an independent non-biased agency or firm. How is it possible that the director of some non-profits can pay themselves a $300,000 salary a year out of every $400,000 brought in? Why is it that some are sitting behind a huge Mahogany desks surrounded by shelves of the classics while those donating live in a breezy shack wallpapered in comics?

* Charity should be given with charity in mind. It should not be given because of the incentive that it would reduce your tax load. The reward should only be in knowing that they are doing good when giving. If the government feels it is a persons mandatory community responsibility or obligation to give to charities then it should come from the taxes collected and dispersed to all the charities equally across the nation. It makes no sense to be reimbursed or compensated for something you gave away for the sake of helping others and supposed intention of not getting it back. Maybe a check box on a W-4 to write in the persons favorite charity would work. Or a code system written in a telephone book type of directory with a number they could write in a box on a W4 to give part of a collected tax to a any charity in the nation. Sounds like a lot of work doesn't it?

* There is no need or any sense in paying someone for the choices they make in there life.. Moving, changing jobs, going back to school, buying an oversized pickup truck or hybrid, having children or not. These are all choices. Just because someone decides California is a better fit for them than Florida does not mean they should be paid to move there. They should pay their own way and not expect they are to get rewarded because of it.

* No refunds or considerations for mortgage interest - Interest on mortgages has already been paid, why reimburse when it has been a part of the individuals budget the entire year prior. It is not the governments or anyone else's problem that someone has credit so bad they have to pay 15% or worse interest on a home they truthfully can't afford to purchase anyway. If the home is outside of reality for that person they should not be allowed to purchase it. Banks should take greater responsibility in helping people understand when they are trying to live beyond their means at that particular time in their life. Encourage agents to direct people to places that provide comfortable shelter that is in that persons price range. Why should the public bear the burdens of those prone not to pay their bills or those that find bankruptcy as a way of paying bills. Someone paying 5% interest on a $100,000 loan will pay less than someone paying 15% on a $100,000 loan. This is common sense. But that person paying 15% will get more back in taxes as a reward for having horrid credit.

* Rentals - Outnumber owner occupied homes by a large percentage. Renters do not get a mortgage interest deduction or a property tax deduction. They may however, have their rent raised due to property tax increases or increases in mortgage payments. Owners of rental property's in some instances "double dip". Renters carry the same burdens and bills as a homeowner. Some have to make their own repairs. Renters still pay electric, phone, cable, water, rental insurance, groceries, garbage, credit cards, auto loans and sewer. Many have to buy gas and mow their lawn. Large deposits (first, last, pet, move-in, cleaning, and security deposits) are required to get into a rental. Some and often all deposits are non-refundable. Renters almost always pay more in rent than the owner pays in principal, interest, insurance and taxes combined. Most renters have fewer privileges than the owner would have if the owner occupied the home. (homeowner's associations for one example). Renter's virtually pay the owners bills associated with the property and they get NO tax benefit. In the end the person whose name is on the mortgage will own the home. Renters have no certainty in stability. On a whim the owner can request they move. They are not even guaranteed the owner is paying his mortgage or taxes and at times they are evicted due to repossession or seizure of the owners property.

* All persons would be wary of spending, more conscious of their way of life and would know exactly how much they are to receive per paycheck –making household budgets far much easier to manage. Especially given the fact that some are no longer living in fear they will owe money if they aren’t paying out enough per paycheck or they are expecting that “savings account” to come to them at tax season. All this in turn would encourage savings and investment. Retirement plans could begin to flourish.

* There should be no person, business, industry or family of any kind exempt of tax.

* Saves on paper/trees.

* Saves on postage.

* Saves on ink, staples, paperclips and other office products.

* Saves on auto fuel/service/maintenance. -- A theory on government supplied/issued vehicles: They should be limited to strictly government business. They should not in any way be used for personal errands. No home garaging of government vehicles. They should remain on government owned land when not being used for government business. It is quite disturbing to see a government license plate at the beach for a six day holiday, with the driver and their family taking in the rays.

* Saves on machinery maintenance/printing equipment costs.

* Saves on electricity, water and fuel of all sorts - lighting, heating and cooling costs.

* Could eliminate the need to heat/cool, clean and maintain offices around the country.

* Could possibly eliminate the need for many positions within our government further saving the nation money – in more ways than you initially think. For one our government would no longer have to pay for healthcare, disability and other miscellaneous incurred costs for those no longer in employment with a federal office. The Federal payroll and employee load can handle dramatic thinning. Certainly there are hundreds if not thousands of positions that can and should be eliminated.

* Lessens the chance of uncouth persons having children for the sake of a tax break. If anything those with children should pay a per child premium collected after taxes through there employer for the future of their children to be used for education or long term care of those that will be or are physically or mentally disabled. If this collected premium is not used within a ten year time period following the 21st birthday of each child then it could be used by the parent for their own education (penalty/transfer fee free), reimbursed to the parent (taxed) or placed in a retirement account (not taxed) for their own benefit. This "premium" should be placed in a secure interest bearing account or investment type of account like a state guaranteed education savings account. Responsibility should be placed on the parent to ensure their own and their children's future. Having children should not be rewarded monetarily. The mere action of of paying someone to have children is discriminatory, unfair and a burden on and towards society. What's to say any tax relief or refund given to those with children would in any way benefit each and every child in the family? Does it go to alcohol and cigarettes? Drugs? A gym membership for dad? A child free hunting/fishing trip to Alaska? If you can't afford to have children on the income you bring home you shouldn't have children.

* A New W4 form with verification of dependents. Have some way of listing Social Security Numbers copies of birth certificates, adoption paperwork, foster parent information and pertinent information to verify legitimacy/legality of allowances. This would also help keep the non custodial parent from claiming a child. Verification systems would nearly eliminate false dependents or claiming the family pet as a dependent. Helps with contributions to education accounts.

Why is it? -- Two brothers both making an $80,000.00 annual salary (Don) with 0 kids & (Sam) with 6 kids both married 15 years with wives that have never been employed and all other aspects of their lives are exactly the same - including bills and finances. Don pays $20,000+ in taxes. Sam will likely pay nothing in taxes, in fact he will probably get money back when he files his taxes. Why should Sam keep all of his income plus some because he chose to have 6 kids? Isn't Don just paying part of his income in taxes so that Sam doesn't have to? Is Don being penalized for making the choice not to have children? Even if Don had one child and Sam still had six children the scenario would be unbalanced and lopsided. If Sam wants to spend part on his income on supporting his 6 kids until they no longer reside with him or even longer that's his choice, not the governments.

* One tax for all would likely invoke honesty in a broad sense.

* There truly is no need for an EIC/EITC – if you did not earn money you should not receive a windfall of money to say “just sit right there and we will send you a check every year TO BLOW ON THE LATEST TOY OR VIDEO GAME SYSTEM”.

* Saves money in the end altogether. WIN/WIN

One possible exception to all previously stated items --- The military --- No active duty military person, spouse or dependent child (under 18 and residing with member) of an active duty military person should pay taxes of any kind to any agency for any reason. This should include sales tax on any and all items purchased as long as the only employer they work for is one of the US military services (Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, or Coast Guard). Military personnel should be exempt from all city, local, county, regional, state or federal taxation (except for Social Security and Medicare taxes) for as long as they remain on active duty status. Those who serve 30 or more years and honorably retire should have the certainty of security in future income, retirement, medical services, education and possibly a home to call their own. 0% Interest home loans are an excellent way to help them out. If a person is on active duty status they should never be allowed to have a job outside of the military "a second job or moonlighting job". Availability on active duty is and should be 24/7. No active duty military member or 30 year honorably discharged retiree should be associated with the tax system in any way, unless they become active in a civilian job after service in the military. Non of the growth on investments or savings plans of any active military member should ever be taxed. However, if the member does have children the military should collect a per child premium for the future of their child to be used for education or long term care of those that will be or are physically or mentally disabled. This "premium" should be placed in a secure interest bearing account or investment type of account like a state guaranteed education savings account. If this collected premium is not used within a ten year period following the 21st birthday of each child then it could be reimbursed to the parent (tax free) for as long as they are on active duty status, otherwise the previously stated suggestions for any other civilian would apply. Also a cap should be placed on any interest rates charged to a military member by any bank or credit card company. A part of the training received in the service should include money management and budgeting. In fact, Money Management and Budgeting should be required in order to receive a diploma or graduate from any high school (public or private) in the United States. All members of the military's pay should start at $5.00/hour without consideration of their chosen occupation. Since they would not be subject to taxes and are provided housing, medical care and most of the time meals at no cost, this is fair. Military personnel should not be allowed to reside "off base" when it is possible, if housing is available on the base it should be used (No Exceptions). Every effort should be made to make available housing on all US military bases. They are on-call and should be prepared to deploy at a moments notice, the closer they are to their unit the better. Curriculum should be coordinated for all schools ran by the military. This way the child is neither behind or ahead if they have to move to another base. All military dependents should be forced to use the schools provided or be home-schooled on their base, not be placed in community schools. These schools are funded for this purpose and should be utilized to the full extent.

[wage example]

Wages for an entry level private (usually an unmarried 18 year old just out of high school) in the Army at a $5.00/hour minimum wage - tax free.




$400.00/every two weeks

$433.33/check - if getting paid half the 1st and half the 15th of the month




A livable wage since they would not be subject to taxes and are provided housing, medical care and most of the time meals at no cost. Salary increases between ranks should be no more than $0.50/hour difference. All military pay should be directly deposited into a checking or savings account. No need for paper checks. All income (After Social Security, Medicare, education savings, and retirement savings have been taken out) should be released in full to those actively participating in their service to the country.

=====Not only would this idea help the military and their immediate family, it would provide incentive for those 'on the fence' about serving their country. Graduates would be more apt to take on a career in the military if it provided a more certain and predictable future. Loss of membership would be less likely and retention would be more likely if after a 30+ year career in good standing they knew what to expect and that future benefit was promising. This could even bring back prior-service personnel with needed or desired experience and knowledge. Military service should be the first thing offered to those in the unemployment lines, social service office, welfare office or any aid office.

********Military bases should not have civilian contractors, business owners or civilian workers of any kind. The military should be able to be self sufficient in all aspects. All jobs inclusive of, but not limited to, accounting, teaching, building, engineering, housing, graphic arts, printing, research, security, telecommunications, CATV, HVAC, intelligence, vehicle maintenance, uniform services, electrical, medical services, plumbing, water, garbage, postal, secretarial, food service, transportation, warehouse services, procurement, liaison services, finance, sew/fitting shops, banking, investment, travel services, building maintenance, fuel service, AAFES, commissary workers, liquor stores, exchanges, shops, libraries, newspaper delivery, school workers, child/day care, barbers, janitorial, Laundromats, officer clubs, hunting clubs, gun clubs, fishing clubs, golf courses, gyms, recreation services, clubs of any sort, fence services, lawn services, fast food, cash cages and everything else needs to be done by the military members themselves. If spouses of the members of the military themselves want to work then they should be offered these positions at the same pay as any military member would have received. Saves a lot of money. Keeps the bases far more secure. Contractors and civilian workers are overpaid for the services they provide to the military. Helps limit non-essential persons entering the gates. If anyone lives or works on the base, including military members, they should have a thorough background check and security clearance and it should be updated annually and audited frequently. Credentials should be investigated to the utmost length for anyone entering our bases. Anyone without a military ID or military dependent ID should not be able to shop or purchase anything, including coffee or sodas, from the base nor should they be able to own/operate any type of business on the base. A complete log of all entering and leaving the base needs to be kept. Not just license plates, but names and copies of identifications of every driver and passenger or non-military persons . A visitor pass should be issued at entry and surrendered upon exit. Lengths and frequency of stays should be monitored.

******Note: 30 year career benefits should only apply beginning with new recruits the year of tax reform - not those who have already retired or are close to retirement. (Or maybe starting with only those with 10 years or less that are already serving.) I'm also not certain as to whether these same privileges/benefits should apply to officers or commissioned service members.

After one TAXING YEAR:

1. If enough revenue is not gained by this method, begin by raising taxes on the businesses, corporations, industry, production facilities, retailers.

2. Still not enough? Raise taxes by an incremental whole percentage on the very well-to-do. (Those bringing in income or interest greater than 1 million annually regardless of age.)

Do both on cyclic basis over a period of years in order to tweak the system.

Theory on Social Security and Medicare.

1. Should not be capped. All wage amounts should have both taken out, whether you make $1.00 a year or $999,999,999,999.99 a year.

2. Should be taken out at all income levels from everyone receiving a paycheck. If you work until you are 82, you pay until you are 82. If you make $600,000.00 a year, the entire $600,000.00 should have had Social Security and Medicare taken out.

3. Percentages should be the same across the board.

4. Should not be a part of a general fund.

5. If at retirement it is determined you are not in need of the funds then they should stay in for those who do need them. Just consider it a gift/tax that goes to those less fortunate.

6. Possibly raise the age at which benefits can be used with exceptions for those who can no longer work due to debilitating disability. Life expectancy is higher than ever before. Studies show involved working/socialization/mind activity longer into life helps keep the brain healthy and ward off disease.

By doing this it would wholly fund both systems for years to come.

****Using personal accounts and leaving it up to the individual to take care of the funds themselves would cause society and government as a whole to take care of more and more people in the future. Most people would spend now and not contribute to their future. Bad idea all around. There is no way to know that these people would have the know how to invest wisely even if they tried. You can not ensure the money would be used wisely. The added costs for advisement and assistance on personal accounts would almost ensure few people would invest the money. It would end up being added household income, not a savings for the future.


1. There should be no tax on any education savings related gains, investment or otherwise, as long as they are actually used for education at approved facilities.

2. A cap should be placed on student loan interest rates.

3. Student loans of any kind should never be allowed to be included in a bankruptcy. It is because of the education received they are making the income that they are or could make in the future.

4. The parents income or status in society should have no bearing on financial aid or a students ability to get into a college.

5. A Federal minimum radius of two miles should be placed around all schools where there is to be no sale of alcohol, drugs or tobacco, no clubs, no bars, no porn, no convicted criminals of any sort. Essentially "DRY" areas.

6. Any required test that has a bearing on whether a student can move to the next grade or graduate should also be taken by the teachers and monitored by a neutral outside source/proctor. If the teachers can't pass the test, how can the student?

7. All employees/volunteers of any school must have a thorough background check inclusive of their entire life to the point of application. Copies of identification and a photo of any person entering a school should be put on file. This should include all delivery persons and parents. Stricter guidelines dealing with signing out children.


--Last resort only - Should be a once in a lifetime allowance, unless determined by a panel of judges to be that unavoidable hardship caused the need for a second. Much stricter guidelines should be imposed in determining eligibility to file bankruptcy in the first place.

--Pay it back if possible. Credit counseling should be mandatory in steps leading to a possible bankruptcy. This could detour them from having to file bankruptcy. Maybe a thorough payback plan can be negotiated so that they can avoid bankruptcy.

--Should stay on all credit reports for the life of the individual. This would protect them and anyone considering issuing them credit.

--Should be placed on a national register and in all newspapers within 100 miles of residential and work address the details of all matters associated with the bankruptcy along with a full copy of all court proceedings and all bankruptcy documents. Full public disclosure.

--Liquidation of all assets (possibly including retirement savings) should always be a part of an individuals first step in declaring bankruptcy. Auction all sellable items the person possesses in cases in which extreme amounts are owed compared to income.

--Money Management and Budgeting classes should be required before the bankruptcy is closed. These classes should continue for at least one year after.

--Financial counseling should be a requirement. These classes should continue for at least one year after.

--Lockdown of opening new credit or financing for at least seven-ten years following. Prosecute any predatory lender trying to offer these people credit of any kind. (should include payday loan places) A lifetime opt-out of offers should be placed with all credit reporting agencies. A TOTAL freeze of credit lasting 7-10 years.

--Required to close all accounts open in their name or that they are an authorized user.

--Forced to use cash on all purchases. Forced to live with the income they make.

--Education savings accounts for offspring should be exempt from bankruptcy. They should also be non-reimbursable in any way for ten years after the child's 21st birthday.


--Increase the age to purchase cigarettes/alcohol/porn to 21 Nationwide and on US military bases around the world.

--Not allow anyone to receive a drivers license until after receiving a legitimate high school diploma.

--Not allow a child to work outside the home until they have acquired a legitimate high school diploma.

--Not allow anyone to open a credit account until they reach at least 21 years of age and have 2 consecutive years of employment history, with exceptions for college students applying for approved student loans-not general credit cards. Be more discriminate as to who may apply for and receive credit.

--Rent-to-Own/Lease-to-Own businesses should fall under much harder governmental scrutiny.

--Gas, cigarettes, liquor should not be taxed at a higher rate than normal everyday goods purchased by consumers. You do not tax the candy bar of the chocoholic more than health food of the heath nut. Do people addicted to milk get charged higher taxes than addicts who drink bottled water?

--No Food of any kind (fast food and restaurant prepared included) should ever be taxed.

--Food Stamps/cards or government funded food aide should only purchase food that is healthy and not those that are considered expensive luxury foods like lobster and shrimp or junk food like sodas, candy, cakes, cookies, ice cream, fast food, restaurant meals etc. Lists of allowable and non-allowable items should be issued to individuals on these programs and any entity accepting the program. Social workers should be aware of healthy, nutritious eating plans and counseling methods and use them. Possibly supplying shopping lists or monthly menus to help ease into making the right choices. Community classes teaching those who need assistance in learning food preparation and how to cook. Again Money Management and Budgeting classes are essential. Never should anyone receive cash as change or refund when using any of these services, the money is for food and only for food. I have seen this happen, and many times that "change" is used to buy liquor or cigarettes.

--One drunk driving law defining legally drunk encompassing all states should be universally defined. Tougher penalties on those arrested for this type of offense.

--First Aid, Safety and CPR training should be a part of annual curriculum requirements in all schools from Kindergarten through 12th grade.

--State sales taxes should be collected for all online/internet and mail order purchases except prescription medications or medical related products prescribed by a licensed physician who has a face to face medical relationship with the patient.

-- RAT/SNITCH/NARK/TATTLETALE/REPORT A CRIME 800 lines should be well advertised and heavily posted in locations like offices, churches, bus stops, schools, malls, playgrounds, parks, teen hangouts, bars, clubs and drug/crime infested areas so anyone can report illegal activity anonymously. Follow-ups should be immediate and with the same sense of urgency placed on any other reported crime. Weapon/gun buybacks should be a commonplace happening. Maybe pay more often for crime related information leading to an arrest.

--Medical related lawsuits should be extremely rare. Payouts should be limited to amounts in the thousands NEVER/RARELY reaching into the hundreds of thousands or millions. Only in cases where it is proven that something was done intentionally to cause harm (such as rape) should the lawsuit proceed. Frivolous, greedy lawsuits of any nature can cause medical care, consumer products, services and prices to increase dramatically. Force insurers to lower premiums, malpractice insurance and costs to the medical community. Cap increases.

A detailed spending report should be available to every person in the United States. Every penny --- From the purchase of a pencil to the purchase of a Stealth Fighter Jet --to the extent that it would not compromise the safety of the people-- should be accounted for in a very public manner. Tell us how much each and every person on the federal payroll is making and what their specific job duties are. Tell what perks, benefits, compensation and privileges every one of these people have or will have. Are we paying their healthcare and retirement when we can't even afford to have our own? Where is all our tax money going? Does a clerk or secretary have a secretary? Are you buying office supplies from Macy's or a bulk supply/warehouse store? Accountability is severely lacking. There should be no favoritism, gifts or lavish perks given to any government employee. How much of our taxes goes to what charity? What country is receiving aid and why? (Oversight of every penny distributed in countries receiving aid is needed) If monetary aid can be avoided, by all means do what it takes - if they need bags of rice give bags of rice. A secretary in our government should make the same, not more, wages as any secretarial employee in America, which usually starts at minimum wage.

Inventory of all non-perishable or non-consumable items in every government facility should be kept. A total inventory should be done more frequently. All serial, item or other numbers should be noted. A photographic archival type inventory should accompany a written inventory. A database of all items needs to be made and accessible to all entities, offices, bases and facilities. This way if something is direly needed in one place and not the location it is in it can easily be found and transferred. Makes sure excess duplication and unnecessary purchasing is diminished. Theft would be easier to track. Every public government building should have a metal detector at all entrances. Smoking ban within 25+ feet of any government building.

****** All employees (from lowest paid to the highest paid) of our government (Any entity: state, local, city, regional, county, federal) should have a thorough background check and security clearance and it should be updated annually and audited frequently. Credentials should be investigated to the utmost length. All employees should take an oath not to disclose the private or personal information they may encounter during service even after they are no longer in the employment of the people. Prosecution laws should be very detailed, strict, and fully enforced.

~ ~ ~ No contractors in our government. No preferential treatment of contracts, personal relationships or bids. Train our military to take care of any need that currently requires contractors. With exceptions of maybe aircraft builders.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~It should be mandatory for all government checks to be directly deposited into the recipients checking or savings account.

1. It is safer - less chance of a check being stolen from a mailbox.

2. It is cheaper.

3. Saves on postage/paper/printing.

4. Saves time, money and fuel on both sides.

5. Can almost be certain that the money is getting to the person it is intended.

6. No check cashing fees/penalties.

7. More chance of saving if you do not have it in your hands right away or you are not carrying cash.

8. Mail service would be less clogged.

9. They would be cashed/dispersed quicker.

10. No wait time for check clearing.

11. No delays in receipt due to holidays, vacations, mail service, weather etc.

12. Automation is far more dependable.

13. Those with Alzheimer's, memory loss or mental disorders will not have to remember to go to the bank.

14. The disabled would be far less inconvenienced.

15. Tracking of funds would be easier for all involved.

Dorm-like or apartment housing with kitchenettes should be provided for all senators, congressmen, or representatives who do not live in the Washington D.C. area. The dorms should be owned and maintained by the federal government or the military. Much of the work they do benefits the entire nation not just the areas they represent. More of these places should be made available for when our governors make visits on behalf of their respective states. WAY CHEAPER than a hotel/motel, condo or rental property. If they are housed together they are likely to socialize among each other and throw around or brainstorm ideas with those in their peer group without regard of party affiliation. Provide a carpooling bus to and from government facilities - No rental cars would be needed and fuel costs would be less.

There is no reason to hire contractors of any kind. Our military should have the training, skills and resources to perform any job needed on base. Instead of downsizing the military layoff or eliminate civilian workers or contractors on military bases and place a military person in those positions.

Penalties should be harsher and strictly enforced against companies not complying to:

OSHA or other health and safety rules.

Union contracts.


Laws, rules and regulations.

EPA rules.

Executive pay/benefits in comparison to employee pay/benefits (including medical) and company profits should be fair. Laws dealing with this are needed.

Educating employees on safety standards.

If a company is operating in the red, not profiting or their stock is in the dump then the CEO's, CFO's and upper management should be forced to forgo large bonuses and pay hikes until the company has a surplus fund that takes care of miscellaneous sudden needs, pay/benefits for workers in dire times, loans, fines, penalties, taxes and operating costs. Maybe they should receive a pay of just 5%-10% more than the highest paid worker/laborer for a period of time. Why lay off or penalize those really contributing to the "bottom line" when you have those sitting in the higher ranks of a company vacationing in the Bahamas, eating in five star restaurants frequently and living in mansions with electric bills reaching in the thousands every month, all while the company is slowly or maybe quickly heading downhill.

Records, Records, Records: All records of businesses (importers, exporters, the self employed, home based, small business, large business, industrial, commercial of any type, production, corporate, charitable, non-profit, clubs, bars, hotels/motels/spas, homeowners associations, catalog sales, internet based, government owned and any other business) including domestic and international assets, debt, banking, deposits, withdrawals, transfers, purchases, payroll, charity, licensing, fines, penalties, compliance, community service, utility bills, rent/lease records, benefits, bonuses, reimbursements, gifts, moving packages, incentives, stocks and investment should be a part of taxation investigation and reporting. Banks should be fully involved in the reporting of check cashing, deposits, withdrawals, transfers and investments made by any company. Banks should report to the IRS any and all transactions. Full details of what the money is used for should be noted and disclosed. Banks or check cashing facilities maybe could take taxes from all deposits or cashing transactions made by any company for any reason. Anything involving the business should be fully detailed and fully recorded within the company. All records including payroll, the names of anyone they do business with, or anyone they provide services to/receive services from should be subject to inspection at any time without notice. Cash transactions inclusive. Accounting for every penny is an absolute must. No exceptions. Simplify self employment and business tax filing - one tax level for entire profit within any given business. No deductions for rent, bad debts, reimbursements, moving packages given, electric, utilities, advertisement, donations, legal fees, use of home, business item purchases, mileage, vehicle purchase, sales tax, travel etc. ONE TAX ON ALL PROFIT OR MONIES MADE.

******!!!!!!!*******!!!!!!!!Chemical castration/life imprisonment/death penalty for rapists, those committing sexual assault of any kind - especially including incest and child molesters/child pornographers of any type or kind, without any consideration for relationship, age, mental capacity, disability, social class, economic status or any other factor. Get them off our streets, out of our homes, and out of our communities permanently.

---------If nothing else these people should have a notation on there credit report, driving records, employment and any other public record/non-public records available indicating explicit information about charges. A nationwide database (with public access) of these crimes and perpetrators with names used, lifetime criminal records, birth certificate, personal profile (personal habits, hangouts, health records, tattoos, birth marks, deformities, disabilities, date of birth, age, height, weight, hair color, eye color, sex, shopping habits etc.), pictures of the person and any of their distinguishable marks, fingerprints, footprints, iris scans, DNA, all the places they have lived, and current or last known address. The fact that they have or have ever had a sexually transmitted disease and what disease it is or was should also be noted.

---------How about implanting a GPS type device in their body somewhere to help with tracking activities and whereabouts.

~ Similar actions should be taken for child, spouse or elderly abusers/neglectors, deadbeat parents, child abductors, and kidnappers.

The children/relatives of a deceased parent should in no way be liable for any debt left behind by the parent unless they were a co-signer/co-applicant and had no insurance with stipulations about one of the persons death during the contract. All deaths should be reported to all of the credit reporting agencies within 30 days of death. Benefit of doing so is multifold to include, but not limited to, notifying creditors and defeating some ID thefts. If a debt is owed it should be taken from the remaining estate in a reasonable length of time (60 days should be sufficient). If there isn't anything to disperse or the deadline is missed, then the debt should be dropped. Also, if the surviving spouse is unaware of debt incurred by a deceased spouse or they are not a co-applicant they should not be liable for such debt, unless they want to assume/refinance the debt in their own name in order to keep a home or other financed item at risk for repossession. Also every effort should be made to notify all the persons personal banks, insurers, local companies they do business with, post office, and creditors on an individual basis in order to close these accounts to prevent Identity Theft. Post Office boxes should be closed out. The post office should be in charge of returning all mail in the persons name with a notice of death unless there is a second name addressed on the item.

Do NOT force in any way the children to pay for the care of a parent or relative regardless of age, financial status, life situation or health of either party. It should not be at the discretion of any agency or individual to put the burden of care on any offspring of any parent or relative. No obligation to pay medical, bills of any sort, clothing, welfare, day care, home care, food, electric, housing, burial/funeral costs etc. should ever be placed on the children. Whether they have or have not worked or paid into Social Security, Medicare, or any other disability or insurance is not in the control of their children (grown or not). Most of their children have their own obligations without having this worry on their plate. They have their own children and family to care for and provide basic needs like: housing, medical, insurance, food, nourishment, clothing, electric, heat, transportation and education.

Parents should have far less/no control of SSI/Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, disability, benefits, interest, accounts, stipends, trusts or other income being received by a child. Accountability is lacking in this area. Every penny needs to be accounted for. Unscrupulous parents are using these funds for their own materialistic habits and self absorbed spending. In fact the child may have no need in having the funds released to anyone including a parent. Only when they are on their own and can control the funds themselves or have a representative who is selected based on protection laws to disperse them should these monies be released. A great way to do this is to pay the related bills directly from the agency to the facility in need of payment they may be using without the funds filtering into a parents hands and placing remaining funds in a controlled account for future use. If they can be insured under a parents medical plan then this should be taken into consideration first. Whatever is not covered should be paid by the child's representative.

Even when a parent receives child support it should be placed in a separate account and used strictly for the benefit of the child/children. It should be mandatory that all receipts/proof of support be turned in to the agency overseeing/enforcing the child support. Going to a nightclub is not a use for child support money. Buying alcohol, sodas, coffee, decorations, knickknacks, and cigarettes is not a use for child support money. A one bedroom apartment is not a use for child support - the parent would likely be living there even if the child were not in their custody. A two-seater sports or any car payment is not a use of child support. Electric, phone, cable, water and other basic utilities that they would use even if the child did not reside with them are not items that child support should be used for. Only a percentage of grocery bills should be used for child support - Based partly on the amount that they should be contributing themselves and the amount they would have purchased for their own use without the children residing with them. 1 single parent receiving child support for 2 children = 50% of 1/3rd for each child from their child support. This would all change proportionately if the parent remarried or had other persons living in the household. Any remaining unused amounts should be saved, if any funds are available when the child is ready for after high school training, college or tech school they should be distributed to that facility not the child. ------ Alimony/spousal support is a whole different universe.

Go back to the old school ways where social/welfare/health workers made many frequent unscheduled visits to families and the elderly who receive aid. Inspection of homes and living environment is needed. Talks with each individual child or family member on a one on one basis to evaluate care and mental health. Drug/alcohol abuse and activity would lessen in the home. Abandoned/neglected/abused children may be found sooner. They have every right to inspection and monitoring of every aspect of these families lives.

Do whatever possible (without giving tax incentives/breaks, subsidies, credits or givebacks) to keep jobs in the U.S. Outsourcing is taking food from the mouths of our citizens. Bring back AMERICAN MADE PRIDE. Bring back "Made in America" and "Made in the U.S.A." labels. Encourage them to enlist, clothe and house the homeless for salaries less than minimum wage if that is what it takes. Take care of our own before looking overseas. Get the homeless off the streets. Clean up our alleys, streets, parks and sidewalks.

Consequences of these actions:

Housing prices would almost definitely fall.

Interest on home loans would likely stay low.

Employers would be more prone to contributing to healthcare, education and 401k plans.

More high paying jobs would be created.

Investing and Savings would become stronger.

Would weed out false charities and non-profits.

Saves the government and all of its citizens money.

Budgeting becomes easier.

There would be more high school graduates.

There would be more college graduates.

The military would become stronger and could reach maximum capacity in a very short period of time.

Would discourage overspending.

Growth in all economic areas is likely.

Safer streets.

Less expensive medical insurance and care.

Cost of consumer goods would be lower.

Would encourage all to find and keep jobs.

May cause companies to offer on the job training to those who are looking for a job but lack skills.

Fewer accidents-with young drivers off the road.

Overextension of credit would be less likely.

Bankruptcy would be less common.

Crime could decline.

The National Debt would be eliminated.

Keeps more jobs in the US.

Social Security and Medicare would be saved.

Cost of manufacturing goods would go down.

Please understand I would like my information to remain private and confidential.

Dan/Mich said...

Cheryl V, In the absence of major tax simlificaton, I'd love to see your reforms implemented.
John A., I believe that while you would enjoy directing how your tax money would be spent, you'd be less thrilled with other people's choises.
Anon., Your wordier than an IRS intruction sheet. I support tax and IDEA simlification.

Dan/Mich said...

Boy do I need a spell-check. Sorry.

Marilynn M said...

I just finished doing my taxes! You know something I don't feel a bit resentful of what we have to pay. I do hate it that the top 1% aren't paying their fair share. I also know this we did not get a tax cut.

john Ashman said...


If we had a "tax ballot" that allowed us to choose where our tax money went, I'd be okay with other people choosing to spend their money as foolishly as they like. I would simply vote for my taxes to go specifically to the responsibilities as laid out in the constitution, not to made up things such as social programs. I would be interested to see how it turned out and it would be fun to see politicians *begging* people to support their pet program.

Marilynn M said...

Don't worry about spelling Dan. If it really worries you start Microsoft works keep it minimized at the bottom. then copy and paste, check your spelling. Then copy and paste it back. We don't care if we are good spellers. Most of the time creative people aren't.

Dan/Mich said...

Marilynn, Thancs fer teh tipp.

john Ashman said...

Yeah, Dan, just don't misspell potato or trip over your tongue while speaking in public! Then you'll see how creative some of these folks think you are ;-)

Marilynn M said...

Saying that it's hard for people to put food on their family, isn't a speech problem. It has more to do with the brain.

john Ashman said...

"Saying that it's hard for people to put food on their family, isn't a speech problem. It has more to do with the brain."

That's how speech is usually controlled. I guess I'd prefer someone who has difficulty with public speaking than a difficulty with logic or honesty, such as Mr Kerry, Ms Pelosi or Mr Reid. But that's why we vote.

Marilynn M said...

I wish you a Diebold voting machine.

john Ashman said...

May your chads hang freely in the wind.

Dan/Mi said...

The issue of making the "Bush" tax cuts permanent will before Congress soon. An editorial in this morning's NY Times talks about it.

February 4, 2006
Tax Talk Goes Orwellian
President Bush had it exactly backwards in his speech Tuesday night when he exhorted lawmakers to keep cutting taxes. He noted that when the going gets tough, leaders are tempted to take stands that are crowd pleasing yet counterproductive, like championing protectionism in the face of global competition. Fair enough.

But then he warned that in today's uncertain times, lawmakers might even be tempted to do something as weak-kneed as "increasing taxes."

If Mr. Bush is trying to say that tax cutting is politically courageous, that ignores reality. Politicians cut taxes to please the crowd, and they are always and understandably reluctant to vote against a cut or — gasp — vote for a tax increase because that could make them unpopular. Mr. Bush knows that. He was basically warning the assembled lawmakers, actually the Republicans, that they would never make the cheerleading squad if they didn't extend his temporary tax cuts.

We hope Congress will realize that extending the tax cuts would be an act of political cowardice, not courage. The country is already deep in debt, and the tax cuts are largely to blame. In the next two weeks, the administration expects to hit the nation's legal debt limit — $8,184,000,000,000 — and has told Congress it needs to vote to raise the debt ceiling to nearly $9 trillion, a 51 percent increase since 2001, when Mr. Bush took office. Congress must raise the limit or the government will default. But Congressional leaders are looking for ways to downplay the vote, precisely because it's a disgrace.

Casting the tax cuts in stone now would be particularly craven because they don't expire for another three to five years. But Mr. Bush and his supporters in Congress are hot to act now. That is because the cuts they want to extend the most — special low tax rates for investment income — overwhelmingly enrich the rich and will be even harder to justify in the years to come, when, by all reasonable estimates, the country's financial outlook will have deteriorated further. The tax cutters are not being brave. They are afraid they won't get their way if they wait.

Judy B. said...

dan, you beat me to the punch again with the New York Times editorial...Different time zones, i guess...

Judy B. said...

I believe the editoral noted makes a couple of points that John and Marilyn will disagree on.

In the first paragraph,"...leaders are tempted to take stands that are crowd pleasing yet counterproductive, like championing protectionism in the face of global competition."

Marilyn, I am projecting, but I think you will argue that point. However, I believe we must face the fact that this is a very valid concern. Protectionism use to be a valid method to grow home grown businesses and protect the union jobs.. in a world economy, that doesn't work any more.

"If Mr. Bush is trying to say that tax cutting is politically courageous, that ignores reality. Politicians cut taxes to please the crowd, and they are always and understandably reluctant to vote against a cut or — gasp — vote for a tax increase because that could make them unpopular"

John, are you part of the crowd that the president is trying to please???

Dan/Mi said...

I think you make two very valid observations.

I think "Free Trade" is championed by by so many very bright people that it must make sense. But think of what American workers are faced with. Their competition may be in countries with national health care and/or no worker safety laws, no pollution rules,low wages,no pensions etc. So championing protectionism is politically tempting and easy. It's my most difficult issue.

Cutting taxes while amassing the largest deficits in history is the most politically cowardly act I can think of.

Judy B. said...

Have you voted tonight???

Anonymous said...

I ran across this idea while voting...
what do you think?

Marilynn M said...

I don't think it is protectionism to want American companies to pay the prevailing American minimum wage and obey our labor, and environmental laws wherever they do business. One of the reasons I want UHC is to level the playing field for our companies. It works both ways. Give and take.
They should not be allowed to take jobs out of the country to avoid paying a halfway decent wage and expect to benefit from being an American company.
They use our infrastructure, they have our government protection, they get tax breaks and subsidies. If they have to pay a decent wage and follow our labor and environmental laws are they going to move the whole company to India or China? I don't think so.

john Ashman said...

Judy, I would prefer to see spending cuts, across the board, than tax cuts, but I'd rather have both. The government is too big, too inefficient and it's like a ball and chain on our productivity and wealth.

john Ashman said...

Marilynn, if you enact what you want to do, then companies wouldn't just move jobs, they'd just plain move. And then there'd be no one to hire us and no one making much money. Under what laws do we have the right to dictate personal or business behavior in other countries? What is the legal principle at work? What would we do if they didn't obey? Throw them out? That would help.

john Ashman said...

Here's something that liberals should read and understand, authentic quotes I put together just for you guys:

"I find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and the duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit." - President Grover Cleveland (D)

"The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood." - President Grover Cleveland (D)

"I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for public charity. [It] would be contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Constitution and subversive to the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded." - President Franklin Pierce (D)

"[Congress doesn't have a right to] attend to what generosity and humanity require, but to what the Constitution and their duty require." Representative William Giles (1796)

"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." - President James Madison

"With respect to the two words 'general welfare,' I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators." - President James Madison

"Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated." - President Thomas Jefferson

"If Congress can determine what constitutes the general welfare and can appropriate money for its advancement, where is the limitation to carrying into execution whatever can be effected by money?" - South Carolina Sen. William Drayton (1828)

Dan/Mi said...

I see you still contend that federal social spending is unconstitutional, and your "proof" is quoting some historical figures who seem to share your view. As you well know, contitutionality is desided by the Supreme Court and you've yet to point to a single court ruling that supports your view.

Judy B. said...

John, you site quotes as your proof. You "argue" points with rhetoric. You insult the intellehenve of other bloggers.

Is there anything you will agree withanyone on??

Come up with a solution besides cutting taxes. We have too many people in our society that need help. It would be great if government didn't have to play a role in thqt help, but the fact is that they do... at least for now..

Offer some constructive ways to get people off of welfare. And remember that most people who get any kind of long term assistance are the elderly and the disabled. Who do you propose should take care of them. If they are in the system it is probable that their families don't have the resources to help them out.

Maybe this is really the problem: too many unwed mothers!! maybe abortion is the answer...

Marilynn M said...

Really do any of us pay so much in taxes that it hurts us? I'd like to think that some person that is not able to care for their self is able to eat and have a warm place to live because I pay tax. I hate the thought of what it costs for our attempt to rule the world.

john Ashman said...

Rather than argue from now on, I'm simply going to post up facts and articles for educational purposes.

Capital Gains/Dividend Tax Update

The American Shareholders Association released a new study this week demonstrating that the 2003 capital gains tax reduction actually increased tax revenues to the federal government by enhancing economic growth and stock market values. The importance of this study should not be underestimated since Congress will be seeking to extend the tax cuts next year. Opponents of tax cuts have argued extending the dividend and capital gains tax cut will exacerbate the budget deficit, but the new ASA report shows this is clearly not the case. Tax revenues increased $45 billion more than expected by the government revenue bean counters over the past three fiscal years. It appears that many policymakers and media have taken notice of the ASA report and it will be used in the upcoming debate to extend these critical tax cut provisions.

ASA Press Release Announcing Capital Gains Tax Cut More Than Paid For Itself

ASA analysis showing the revenue estimates versus actual collections

Today’s Wall Street Journal Editorial on ASA study

Today’s National Review Column by Kudlow Citing ASA Study

Donald Luskin National Review Column on ASA study

Larry Kudlow and Art Laffer discuss ASA study on CNBC’s Kudlow and Co.

John Rutledge WSJ Op-Ed on Cap Gains and Dividend Tax Cuts Citing ASA Research

Senate Majority Leader Frist statement on Capital Gains Tax Collections

Senator Gregg Floor Statement on Capital Gains Tax Revenue Scoring

Treasury Secretary Snow Speech Citing ASA Dividend Scorecard

Judy B. said...

John, sometimes the sources that you quote are suspect... If I wanted to I am sure that I could come up with opposing sources.. I do not want to go there...

Dan..are you aware that Michigan (and several other states) has a "jock tax".. so that everytime a team comes to town each player is taxed on the amount s/he mkaes in that particular game??/ Could you get me more info on that tax?? This may be a better way to tax the the state instead of in our federal income tax...

If it is indeed working, i might propose that Washington state adopt something similar...
jock tax to support school sports
concert tax to support the arts

What do the rest of you think of this idea???

Dan/Mi said...

Judy B. "jock tax"?

I've never heard of that tax. I'll check on it......You're thinking about taxes at 4:30am?...You might want to cut back on the caffeine.

Judy B. said...

Richard's SS idea kept me awake thinking pros and cons... you might want to check it out if you haven't already...

the jock tax was mentioned pre-game at the super-bowl.. they were talking about how much the athletes would leave in Michigan...

Marilynn M said...

John, We value your opinions. The sources you cite are often not accurate and it seems to anger you if someone disagrees with you. There is no reason you can't express your opinions nicely. I'm just tired of you belittling me. You don't need to get personal and insulting. Fact is most people here dislike George Bush and you take it personally. Mellow out and join the discourse.

dan said...

Jock tax
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In the United States the jock tax is the colloquially named income tax levied against visitors to a city or state who earn money in that jurisdiction. Since a state cannot afford to track the many individuals who do business on an itinerant basis, the ones targeted are usually very wealthy and high profile, namely professional athletes. Not only are the working schedules of famous sports players public, so are their salaries. The state can compute and collect the amount with very little investment of time and effort.

I haven't found out yet if Mich. has this tax.

Judy B. said...

Thanks Dan.. if you find out anything in Michigan, see if the money is earmarked for anything specific or is put into the general fund?/

dan said...

I don't think the "Jock Tax" is a good idea. It's being expanded by many states to include all kinds of people in a varity of professions that do business occasionally in their state. Can you imagine the complexity involved with submitting tax returns in numerous states? I think we can have everyone pay their share of taxes without that level of complexity.

Judy B. said...

I don't think it would work in Washington anyway, because we do NOT have a state income tax...

Judy B. said...

I posted the following on the SS thread by mistake:

One part of the tax delima for me is why place a sales/transaction tax only on "goods"? As our economy relies more and more on 'services' why not put a tax on them as well...

If I can afford a $50 massage, I can afford a small tax added on..
The same for lawyers, beauticians, and even doctors...

Why tax one segment and not the other??/

Judy B. said...

From the New Yoirk times
February 7, 2006

News Analysis
In Budget, Bush Holds Fast to a Policy of Tax Cutting

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 — George W. Bush ran for office as a "compassionate conservative," arguing that Americans did not have to choose between huge tax cuts and a government that would do its part to address social needs like education and health care.

Now into his sixth year in the White House, Mr. Bush offered a budget on Monday that showed more clearly than ever the inexorable limits of that political promise.

Mr. Bush is asking Congress, first and foremost, to make his tax cuts permanent and to increase spending on national security, while looking for savings in popular domestic programs like Medicare and vocational education. The tradeoffs, to his critics, are achingly clear, and unfair.

Mr. Bush's budget began an ideologically charged debate in a midterm election year, with his party's control of Congress at stake. Democrats said Mr. Bush was proposing spending reductions that went well beyond fat to preserve his tax cuts for the affluent.

"This is cutting lean, muscular programs," said Representative John M. Spratt Jr. of South Carolina, the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee quickly dispatched talking points tailored to hot Senate races. "White House budget forces Santorum to choose between Pennsylvania and Bush," said one set of talking points focused on Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a Republican facing a difficult re-election fight. "Pennsylvania could lose millions in law enforcement, education, health care dollars."

Republicans countered that failure to renew the tax cuts would mean a dangerous tax increase that would threaten the health of the economy.

"The most important thing we can do with our federal budget is to keep a good, strong, growing economy generating jobs," said Joshua B. Bolten, the White House budget director. Mr. Bush's marching orders were simple, Mr. Bolten added — to "focus on national priorities and tighten our belts elsewhere."

Mr. Bush has never fit easily into any category when it comes to his philosophy of government. He has been called a big-government conservative, a supply-sider and, by conservatives who despair of his unwillingness to get even tougher on domestic spending, a spendthrift.

To many Democrats, he appears intent on extending and expanding his tax cuts precisely to create the situation the government faces now, leaving it to choose between tolerating large deficits or cutting into domestic programs in a way that begins to alter the social contract.

Even now, the dissonance has not been fully resolved. The Bush administration is rolling out the biggest expansion of Medicare in 40 years — the prescription drug benefit enacted in 2003 — but at the same time calling for billions in reductions in projected payments to hospitals and other Medicare providers over the next five years.

Still, the new budget underscores the consistent and paramount importance of tax cuts in the Bush philosophy. His first term cuts affected more money than any other initiative undertaken in his presidency, including the costs thus far of the war in Iraq. All told, including tax incentives for health care programs and the extension of other tax breaks that are likely to be taken up by Congress, the White House budget calls for nearly $300 billion in tax cuts over the next five years, and $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years.

Most of that lost revenue would be the result of extending Mr. Bush's tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, which reduced the income tax rates, offered generous new breaks to families and businesses, and slashed taxes on investment income.

Democrats assert that the country simply cannot afford extending all those tax cuts, especially since their benefits would go largely to upper income people. But administration officials argued again on Monday that the nation's economy had suffered serious shocks over the past five years, from the terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina, and that Mr. Bush's tax policies had played a crucial role in preserving economic growth. In other words, the "belt-tightening" must come elsewhere.

Mr. Bush proposed an array of savings in domestic programs, including big reductions or cuts in 141 programs. Critics asserted those reductions would do little to ease the deficit even as they imposed real hardship on some people, constituting pain for little gain. Gene B. Sperling, a former economic adviser to President Bill Clinton, compared it to a man who leases three fully loaded Hummers, finds it stretches his family's budget to the breaking point, and decides his family has to start buying cheaper peanut butter.

"They're trying to create a framework where it seems the government can't do anything dramatic on child poverty or helping people between jobs because there's too much discretionary spending," Mr. Sperling said. "And their own numbers show that's flat out wrong."

With the deficit expected to be more than $400 billion this year, and having made clear that he does not intend to be lured into negotiations about scaling back his tax cuts, Mr. Bush is increasingly responding to pressure from conservatives to exert more discipline on domestic spending. His budget did win some praise from influential conservatives like Representative Jeb Hensarling of Texas. "Just calling for entitlement spending reform is a step in the right direction," Mr. Hensarling said.

In an election year that could turn on the enthusiasm of his party's conservative base, Mr. Bush is clearly happy to be identified as a budget cutter. But whether his party has the stomach in an election year to push ahead with Medicare trims — always a difficult issue at the grassroots level, where local doctors and hospitals loom large — is another question.

Among those lining up to oppose the Medicare spending restrictions were the major hospital associations and the AARP, formidable political lobbies.

And even within the ranks of Republicans, there was some immediate opposition. Senator Olympia J. Snowe, Republican of Maine, said she was "disappointed and even surprised" at the proposed restrictions in Medicare and Medicaid, which she said would "dramatically affect people's access to care" in Maine.

handmaid said...

I still haven't found current blog/comments anywhere on this site. Perhaps I'm uninterested in the areas that have more recent activity...

Anyhoo, RE: surcharge for wars-been done-during the Vietnam War (and at least there ACTUALLY were communists partitioning a country against it's will...) 10% per annum.

I'm unsure of where John from NM stands on basic issues of American government and its role, but most of what I've seen is flippant and ignorant.

There is NOTHING wrong with a progressive tax-the tier system in place during the Clinton administration provided for growth and stability as much as any boom in the 90's did. Taxing ENOUGH to maintain the security, health and academic vitality of our country is what made this country the envy and role model of the world. I know. I lived all over the world ON MILITARY BASES with my father in the 60's.

And WHO is anonymous? Dude, the ability to file bankruptcy has been eliminated as of October 2005. That was only one of the sillies in his/her magnum opus. EITC IS only "earned" if you work...hence the name. I'm tired and fussy, but most of what you said didn't make much sense.