New York Mayor Bill de Blasio paid a lower effective tax rate than Mitt Romney and Warren Buffett

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 16th, 2014

Week in Review

The problem with Republicans is that they are so greedy that they put money before people.  That’s why they oppose taxes.  Because they don’t want to give up any of their money.  At least, this is what Democrats say about Republicans.  Along with the ‘tax cuts for the rich’ mantra.  In fact, they castigated Mitt Romney for only paying an effective tax rate of 14% in 2011.  Even Warren Buffet decried the unfairness of the tax code where rich guys like him pay an effective tax rate of 17.4% while the poorer classes working beneath him paid on average 35%.  Even his secretary paid a higher tax rate.  And that just wasn’t fair.  Of course Buffet’s 17.4% in actual dollar amounts dwarfed the tax dollars of everyone working for him combined.  But that’s not the point.  No, the point is that Republicans are all a bunch of greedy, vicious, heartless bastards.

New York’s new mayor is a Democrat.  And he isn’t a greedy, vicious, heartless bastard.  In fact, he promised to raise taxes on those rich fat cats who pay as little as a 14% effective tax rate.  Something he would never do himself.  Because he’s not a greedy, vicious, heartless bastard.  He’s a Democrat (see New York Mayor Bill De Blasio Pays A Lower Tax Rate Than Mitt Romney by Hunter Walker posted 4/16/2014 on Business Insider).

Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio became a prominent proponent of progressive tax policy when he made raising taxes on city residents who make over $500,000 a year a cornerstone of his platform during his underdog campaign last year.

That’s why it raised eyebrows and drew some initial national coverage when The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that de Blasio had paid an “effective tax rate” of 8.3%.

That would put de Blasio’s tax rate substantially lower than the approximately 14% tax rate multimillionaire former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was attacked by Democrats for paying in 2011.

Well, somehow it works out that a Republican paying a 14% effective tax rate is a greedy, vicious, heartless bastard but a Democrat paying 8.3% is not.  Go figure.

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Huge Financial Losses in Romneycare portend even Greater Losses for Obamacare

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 11th, 2014

Week in Review

Mitt Romney is a Republican.  He was governor of the predominantly Democrat state of Massachusetts.  The first to implement universal health care.  Something the Democrats kept saying during the Obamacare debates.  And since.  Calling the universal health care system in Massachusetts Romneycare.  In fact they said that Obamacare was nothing more than Romneycare writ large.  Basically Romneycare at the national level.  And that the Democrat Obamacare will be as successful as the Republican Romneycare.  Well, it turns out Romneycare isn’t that good after all (see Report finds billions wasted on health care by Liz Kowalczyk posted 1/9/2014 on The Boston Globe).

It’s no surprise that money is routinely wasted on unneeded medical care, but for the first time, officials have estimated just how many health care dollars may be squandered in Massachusetts. It could be as much as $27 billion a year…

One large chunk of that went toward readmitting hospital patients who could have stayed home if their discharge planning had been better, such as having proper instructions for taking medication…

It also blamed emergency room visits that could have been prevented with better primary care and treatment for hospital-acquired infections. Other factors included inappropriate imaging tests for low back pain, and unnecessarily inducing labor early in women, which can increase health problems for infants…

In its report, the group pointed out that per-person spending on health care in Massachusetts is the highest in the nation and grew far faster than the national average until 2009. After that, increases in both national and state spending slowed…

The commission also analyzed high-cost patients, providing the first statewide attempt at “hot-spotting’’ — the identification of chronically ill patients who repeatedly visit emergency rooms and are often hospitalized…

It found that 5 percent of patients accounted for nearly half of all medical spending among those covered by Medicare and commercial insurance.

Because of the inefficiencies of universal health care Massachusetts may waste up to $27 billion a year.  That’s about $4,063 per person in Massachusetts they throw away each year.

Massachusetts had a 2012 population of 6,646,144.  The 2012 U.S. population was 313,914,040.  The U.S. population is about 47.2 times (313,914,040/6,646,144) the population of Massachusetts.  If Obamacare is truly Romneycare writ large then we can forecast the Obamacare losses at $1.3 trillion ($27 billion X 47.2) EACH year.  Which is greater than the original cost projection over 10 years.

Romneycare is a financial disaster.  And Obamacare will be an even greater financial disaster.  Which may add a trillion dollars to the deficit each year.  Which will push the United States to a Greece-style bankruptcy.  Only worse.  Making Obamacare the program that bankrupts the United States.

President Obama wanted to change the United States.  And he will.  Into a bankrupt third-world banana republic.

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Liberals’ War on Women is Causing Women and Teenage Girls to have Genital Cosmetic Surgery

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 15th, 2013

Week in Review

A large part in Mitt Romney’s loss to President Obama in the 2012 presidential election was the Republicans’ so-called war on women.  All started by that question from George Stephanopoulos.  If Mitt Romney wanted to take women’s birth control away.  Completely out of the blue.  Something never included in any Republican platform.

But from that question the mantra on the left was if you elect conservatives they will take away a woman’s birth control and her access to abortion.  Which, according to the left, is the only thing women care about.  Using their vaginas.  And with this emphasis on vaginas women are going to great lengths to make their vaginas as pretty as possible (see British gynaecologists express shock over five-fold rise in female genital cosmetic surgery cases by Agence France-Presse posted 11/16/2013 on South China Morning Post).

British gynaecologists warned yesterday that increasing numbers of teenage girls and women are undergoing genital cosmetic surgery, driven in part by unrealistic images of how they should look based on pornography.

You can’t blame pornography on conservatives.  That’s something the left says is a free speech issue.  The objectification and exploitation of women.  Liberals say that there is nothing wrong with women being sexy.  And fight any attempts to censor television.  Or the movies.  What harm can come from consenting adults enjoying a women’s nudity?  Or enjoying her sexual objectification?  Well, as it turns out, it’s not just men using pornography as the standard for women.  Women are, too.  Even teenage girls.

Yet it’s conservatives who have a war on women.  Go figure.

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Birth Control and Abortion a factor in Premature Births

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 24th, 2013

Week in Review

Mitt Romney lost the 2012 election in part because of the Republican ‘war on women’.  Which started when George Stephanopoulos asked Mitt Romney out of the blue if he wanted to take away women’s birth control.  The next thing we knew there were women who said college girls couldn’t afford their birth control and needed the state to buy it for them.  Then this snowballed into Republicans wanted their women barefoot and pregnant.  And were going to turn the hands of the clock back to 1950 for women everywhere if Mitt Romney won the election.  The left warned women that this was the worst thing that could happen to them.  For they knew what women wanted.  Birth control.  And abortion.  So their lives could revolve around their vaginas.  Becoming sexual objects.  To please a lot of different men.  While avoiding the disease of pregnancy.

As it turns out, though, avoiding the disease of pregnancy could have some side effects (see Premature baby steroids ‘may raise risk of ADHD’ by James Gallagher posted 11/22/2013 on BBC News Health).

Steroids given to help premature babies develop may also be slightly increasing the risk of mental health disorders, say researchers…

Being born too soon can lead to long-term health problems and the earlier the birth the greater the problems.

One immediate issue is the baby’s lungs being unprepared to breathe air. Steroids can help accelerate lung development.

However, the study by researchers at Imperial College London and the University of Oulu in Finland showed the drugs may also be affecting the developing brain.

A premature baby has a lot more health risks than one carried to term.  We’re doing things after the birth to help these children.  Is there anything we can do to help before the birth.  Well, we can try to reduce the number of premature babies.  So what exactly causes babies to be born premature?  According to the Mayo Clinic (see Premature birth) there may be a lot of factors including but not limited to the following.  Smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or using illicit drugs.  Some infections, particularly of the amniotic fluid and lower genital tract.  Some chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.  Multiple miscarriages or abortions.

There are other risks.  But what’s interesting about these risks is that they grow greater with age.  A married woman having her children in her twenties will have smoked fewer cigarettes, drank less alcohol and used fewer illicit drugs than a woman in her thirties or forties.  She will have had a less active sex life which will reduce the number of infections in her lower genital tract.  She will be less likely to have high blood pressure or diabetes than a woman 10-20 years older than her.  And she may have fewer abortions than a woman who waits until she is in her forties to start her family.  For these reasons women having a baby when they are over 35 have a greater risk of having a premature birth.

Whenever there is another gun death the left says we need new gun control legislation.  To take guns away from law-abiding gun owners.  Even if it saves just one life.  Well, we can have more healthy babies if women choose to get married and start their families while in their twenties.  For it is what’s best for the children.  Instead of trying to have a career first and then start a family later in life.  And perhaps more would if the left wasn’t telling women that a woman should be strong, independent, enjoy her sexuality and use free birth control and abortion to avoid what they call the disease of pregnancy.

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FT195: “Democrats ridicule Sarah Palin because we elected a far less qualified Sarah Palin—Barack Obama—twice.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 8th, 2013

Fundamental Truth

Democrats don’t want to face Conservatives in General Elections because when they do they Lose

Democrats want to win elections.  They spend enormous amounts of money to make that happen in tight races.  Which limits the amount of money they can spend elsewhere.  So they don’t want to spend any more money than they absolutely have to.  Which tells us one thing.  Whoever they say should be the Republican candidate and is the one that will take the Republican Party in the right direction is actually the candidate they want.  Because he or she is the candidate they think they can defeat easiest.

The Democrats loved John McCain.  They loved how he reached across the aisle.  How he could work with Democrats.  Always willing to compromise to give them what they wanted.  Without demanding hardly anything in return.  In fact, he valued his ability to compromise with Democrats more than any conservative principle.  Democrats like that.  And told Republicans that McCain was their candidate.  Nay, should be their candidate.  For this is the direction the people want the Republican Party to move in.  The Democrat direction.

So with John McCain in the general election the voters had a Democrat candidate (Barack Obama) and a Democrat-lite Candidate (John McCain).  Which is what the Democrats want.  Because it helps Democrats.  They don’t want a conservative that can get Democrats to cross over and vote Republican.  Like the Reagan Democrats.  While at the same time invigorating the conservative base.  That’s the last thing they want.  For when they have that in a general election (like with Ronald Reagan) they lose in landslides.

Whenever Republicans nominate a Candidate the left approves of they NEVER win General Elections

When the Republican candidate is a Democrat-lite candidate it will discourage the conservative base.  Which is what the Democrats want.  Fewer Republicans voted in 2012 than they did in 2008.  This decline in Republican turnout helped win the election for Obama.  So that’s what a Democrat-lite candidate does for Republicans.  And when it comes to Democrat voters they will never vote for Democrat-lite when they a full-blown Democrat to vote for.

This is why the Democrats praised John McCain during the 2008 Republican primary.  And why they praised Mitt Romney during the 2012 Republican primary.  Both moderate Republicans.  More importantly, neither was a conservative.  One (Mitt Romney) even gave Massachusetts universal health care.  Making it difficult for him to attack Obamacare without sounding like a hypocrite.  So the left loved both of these moderate non-conservatives.  Right up until the general election.  When they tore each of them a new you-know-what.

Watching Republicans campaign is like watching Gilligan’s Island.  Where each week we tuned in to see if this was the week they would finally get rescued from that deserted island.  And just when rescue seemed imminent Gilligan would do something to ruin everything.  While viewers never noticed the recurring theme.  They NEVER get rescued.  Just as it is with elections.  Every election the Republicans listen to the Democrats.  As if they are really interested in helping Republicans win elections.  Instead of doing everything within their power to win themselves.  And whenever Republicans nominate a candidate the left approves of they NEVER win general elections.

Being Likeable was Enough to get one of the most Unqualified Candidates elected President of the United States

The Democrats got John McCain for the Republican candidate.  Which they went on to defeat in the general election.  Just as they had planned.  But they got something else they hadn’t planned on.  Sarah Palin.  No one saw that coming.  No one even knew who she was when McCain announced her as his running mate.  But she was someone.  She served on the Wasilla City Council in 1992.  Became mayor of Wasilla in 1996.  She was chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conversation Commission.  And governor of Alaska in 2006.  Then, of course, Republican vice presidential candidate in 2008. 

She was dangerous.  A young and accomplished woman.  With real governing experience.  And a folksy charm.  She was likeable.  And she was conservative.  This to the left was a greater threat than al Qaeda.  They had to destroy this woman.  Lest she become more influential in Republican politics.  So they ridiculed her night and day.  From politicians to policy wonks to the mainstream media to late night television.  It was open season on Sara Palin.  And they had good reason to fear her.  For when the 2010 midterm elections came around she was part of a new political movement.  The Tea Party.  The movement was so strong that the Republicans took the House of Representatives back in 2010.  And the left did not want that to happen again.  So they attacked her.  And the Tea Party.

The Tea Party and Sarah Palin are the worst enemies the left can have.  Conservatives.  A recent Gallup Poll showed that only 21% of the electorate call themselves liberal while 40% call themselves conservative.  And 35% call themselves moderate.  Which means the majority of the electorate agree with the Tea Party.  And Sarah Palin.  Which is why Sarah Palin is so dangerous.  She has governing experience.  The majority of the electorate agrees with her.  And she’s likeable.  They just don’t want anyone like that on the ticket if they can help it.  Especially if they’re likeable.  So the Democrats ridicule Sarah Palin.  Because they saw how easy it is to get a far less qualified ‘Sarah Palin’ elected.  Barack Obama.  Who had no governing experience.  And shared an ideology with only 21% of the electorate.  But he was likeable.   And being likeable was enough to get one of the most unqualified candidates elected president of the United States.  Twice. 

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Obamacare forces Seniors to give up their Doctors and Medicare Advantage

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 27th, 2013

Week in Review

During the 2012 campaign the Obama campaign attacked Mitt Romney as a guy that didn’t care if people with cancer lost their health insurance.  In fact, the company he co-founded, Bain Capital, was accused of being so heartless that it wanted people to die from cancer. 

An employee of a steel plant lost his job and his health insurance after Bain took over the failing company and later closed the plant.  And because of this his wife died from cancer.  Even though she had lost her health insurance before the plant had closed.  Yet this one cancer death was very effective in demonizing Mitt Romney during the 2012 campaign.  Ironically, President Obama will willingly let many people die from cancer to achieve a political end; national health care (see Elderly patients sick over losing doctors under ObamaCare by Carl Campanile posted 10/25/2013 on the New York Post).

Elderly New Yorkers are in a panic after getting notices that insurance companies are booting their doctors from the Medicare Advantage program as a result of the shifting medical landscape under ObamaCare.

That leaves patients with unenviable choices: keep the same insurance plan and find another doctor, pay out of pocket or look for another plan where their physician is a member…

The [sic] are 2.6 million elderly New Yorkers who receive Medicare, the public heath [sic]-insurance program for the elderly.

But one in three patients — nearly 900,000 — are enrolled in Advantage, Medicare HMOs run by private insurers…

Federal funding to Medicare Advantage is being pared back by billions of dollars in coming years under the national Affordable Care Act. Obama said spending on the program was higher than regular Medicare and unsustainable.

President Obama said if you like your insurance you can keep your insurance.  And if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.  Unless, of course, he wants to gut Medicare Advantage to pay for Obamacare.

He screws his young supporters by forcing them under penalty of law to buy health insurance to pay for the old and sick.  And now he’s screwing the old and sick by taking away their doctors and health insurance.  If he’s willing to screw two large voting blocks that support him imagine what he’ll do to people he doesn’t like.  Like Republicans, conservatives and Tea Party members.  The same conservative group that got special IRS scrutiny during the 2012 campaign.  An election where the Republican base did not turn out like they did during the 2010 elections.  Now imagine how eager they’ll want to be politically active when in addition to special IRS scrutiny the government can take away their doctor.  And deny them treatment for their health problems.  If you want a glimpse into that world you can look here.

Or you can look here.

It can get a little scary when the state becomes all powerful.  Some people at the Founding wanted a more powerful government.  For they were all students of the Enlightenment.  And believed that only like-minded people would ascend to government.  But the Founding Fathers knew their history.  And knew better.  No person should be trusted with power.  For what Lord Acton wrote in 1887 is as true today as it was throughout history.  “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

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If you’re Rich you’re doing well during the Obama Presidency

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 9th, 2013

Week in Review

The rich continue to get richer in the worst economic recovery since that following the Great Depression.  And it’s a Democrat in the White House.  Who said he was the champion of the middle class.  But the facts sure don’t bear that out (see Tim Carney: Conservative reformers should fix the rigged game by Timothy P. Carney posted 6/4/2013 on The Examiner).

The game is rigged against the regular guy in America today. And it’s rigged in favor of big business, the politically connected, and the wealthy…

Corporate profits soared to a record $1.73 trillion annualized rate in the first quarter of 2013, more than triple what they were in 2001, according to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Banks made a record $40.1 billion in profits in the first quarter, 16 percent higher than a year before, according to FDIC data…

And how’s the regular guy doing?

New business formation continues to fall to record lows. In 1980, nearly half of all firms were less than five years old. The latest data from the Kaufmann Foundation puts that number at about one-third.

And the working man isn’t faring better. Unemployment, while improving, is still high. Maybe worse is the collapse of median household income — down more than 7 percent since 2008, and it is not noticeably climbing.

Wait a minute, did I miss something?  I thought President Obama won the 2012 election.  Not that rich guy with Wall Street friends.  Mitt Romney.  For this is exactly what President Obama warned us would happen if we elected Mitt Romney.  The rich would get richer.  And the poor would get poorer.  And here that is happening under the Obama presidency.  Guess Mitt Romney isn’t the only rich guy with friends on Wall Street.

Meanwhile, federal spending hit a record 26.9 percent of GDP in 2010. While it dropped a bit to 24.8 percent in 2012, that is still higher than any year between World War II and 2009 and 18 percent higher than the average year from the previous five decades.

So it’s no surprise that seven of the 10 richest counties in the United States are in the Washington, D.C., area. Revolving-door lobbyists and government contractors are living the high life in McLean, Georgetown, and Great Falls.

The game is rigged, and conservatives can point out that the chief game rigger is government. The tax code is convoluted, regulations are terrifying, big businesses that fail get bailed out while small entrepreneurs get crushed by bureaucracy…

Republicans ought to abolish corporate welfare, including subsidies for exports and green-energy projects. Break up the big banks. Get rid of corporate tax credits.

Politically, these policies checkmate Democrats because corporatism is at the heart of President Obama’s economic agenda. Subsidies for Boeing, Chrysler and General Electric are the building blocks of Obama’s “New Economic Patriotism.” Obamacare was built in collusion with drugmakers and the hospital lobby.

So big government policies help, surprise, surprise, big government.  Where we are but pawns in their game of ruthless power acquisition (as in the IRS harassing those Tea Party members).  And accumulation of wealth.  For it’s all about them.  Those in government.  And those connected to those in government.  Sure, they’ll throw a few alms out to the poor.  Some free birth control to young voters.  Not enough of anything to improve their lives.  But enough to keep them happy.  And voting Democrat.  While they laugh.  All the way to the bank.  And then back to their plush estates in McLean, Georgetown, and Great Falls.

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Preventing Future IRS Scandals is as Easy as Changing the Tax Code

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 30th, 2013

Politics 101

The Tea Party was the Driving Force in returning the House of Representatives to the Republicans

The IRS is very powerful.  It can seize your property.  It can throw you in jail.  It can ruin your life.  There is no other arm of the government honest people fear more.  Because it is so powerful.  America did away with debtor’s prison.  Because it was inhuman to jail a person over a debt.  Unless you owe it to the federal government.  Then all of that compassion goes out of the window.

The recent scandal of the IRS targeting conservative groups is especially chilling.  For the Tea Party was the driving force in returning the House of Representatives to the Republicans.  Infuriating the Democrats.  As well as the Obama administration.  When President Obama ran for reelection in 2012 he had little to run on.  The economy was horrible.  No one was talking about Obamacare because the majority of Americans don’t want it.  It was so bad that the Democrat president had to highlight his single national security achievement—killing Osama bin Laden—while ignoring his domestic policy achievement.  Obamacare.

Then Benghazi threatened to ruin everything.  An attack on an American mission that killed four Americans.  Including a serving ambassador.  Making matters worse was that it was an al Qaeda affiliated terrorist group that was responsible for it.  This did not play well with the campaign message.  ‘Osama bin Laden is dead.  And General Motors is alive.’  President Obama had already won the War on Terror.  So he couldn’t have a terrorist attack during his reelection campaign.  So they hit the Sunday morning talk shows and said there was an anti-Muslim video on YouTube that created a spontaneous uprising.  Where average Libyans on the street then pulled out rocket propelled grenades and mortar launchers from their back pockets.  And launched a military assault on the American mission.

The IRS silenced the Tea Party during the 2012 Election by Harassing them and their Donors

You don’t hear much about the YouTube video anymore.  During the 2012 reelection campaign, though, both the president and the secretary of state pushed it hot and heavy.  Even apologized for it in a video to play in Pakistan.  And arresting the obscure filmmaker on some other charge.  And it worked.  Benghazi faded into the background.  Despite the Obama administration denying the American ambassador additional security.  And issuing a stand-down order for forces that could have gone to help the Americans under attack.  This order coming about 7 hours BEFORE the last two Americans died.  To this day we don’t know who gave that stand-down order.  And we don’t know where the president was when all of this was unfolding in Libya.

But it worked.  The misinformation spun from the White House won the president a second term.  And people started talking about what the Republicans had to do to start appealing to women and Hispanics.  For the early postmortem said that was why the Republicans lost.  They turned off women and Hispanics.  But something was wrong with that conclusion.  Because the conservative base didn’t turn out on Election Day.  That’s why the Republicans lost.  To explain that some said the problem was that Mitt Romney wasn’t a true conservative.  And he turned off true conservatives.  But that doesn’t make sense, either.  Because Romney may not have been the most conservative Republican to run for president but next to President Obama the man was practically Ronald Reagan.  There had to be some other reason why conservatives didn’t turn out like they did in the 2010 midterm elections that returned the House to the Republicans.

That was the million dollar question.  What happened to the Tea Party?  Who were so instrumental in turning out conservatives to vote in the 2010 midterm elections.  It’s as if they sat out the 2012 election.  For we didn’t hear their voice like we heard it in 2010.  And now we have a plausible explanation for that.  The IRS.  They delayed and made it so difficult to get their 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status that some just gave up trying.  Finding themselves and their donors getting IRS audits both for their businesses and their personal returns.  As well as other arms of the federal government auditing them from the Department of Labor to the EPA.

Everyone wins with a more Simplified Tax Code except those in Power who use it to Attack their Political Enemies

Did the White House coordinate this?  We don’t know.  Yet.  The IRS commissioner visited the White House 151 times.  While his predecessor visited the Bush White House about 1 time.  So that looks suspicious.  And silencing the Tea Party did help the president win reelection.  For silencing the Tea Party sure didn’t help Mitt Romney.  So it looks probable that the Obama administration used the nonpartisan IRS to attack their political enemies.  As they were determined not to suffer another Tea Party uprising like that which lost them the House of Representatives in 2010.  Right now the circumstantial evidence is pretty damning.

This is not what the Founding Fathers had in mind.  That was the point of limited government.  So it didn’t have this kind of power over people it perceived as political enemies.  And the source of this power is the complex and convoluted tax code.  That serves those in power better than the people they serve.  Allowing them to reward friends and punish their enemies.  One would almost have to believe the reason why the current administration ran the deficit up to record highs is to further empower the IRS.  By creating the need for ever more tax revenue.  And the need for more strenuous collection efforts.  Not to mention using the tax code to facilitate a permanent state of class warfare.  For the government needs this complex and convoluted tax code to make sure the rich pay their fair share.  As well as using it to reward their friends.  And punish their enemies.

So perhaps it’s time to revamp the tax code.  Some are talking about it.  As they always do.  But there is so much resistance because of the power the tax code gives those in power.  And those in power quickly shoot down any talk about a flat tax or a national sales tax as being unfair.  Regressive.  Hitting low-income earners harder than the rich.  But perhaps this is exactly what we need.  So everyone feels the pinch of the taxman.  So people won’t be so quick to give the taxman more powers.  Because a lot of low-income people don’t stay low-income.  And one of the quickest ways of raising low-income earners out of poverty is with a better and stronger economy.  And there is one thing that does that better than anything else in the world.  Low tax rates.  So let’s take a look at different tax plans for a married couple filing jointly.

Federal Taxes Current Brackets Flat Tax National Sales Tax

(For the national sales tax we assumed everything above a certain savings rate is spent somewhere in the economy.  Those who earn more can save more.  In our example the saving rates are 1%, 8%, 15%, 20%, 25% and 30 %.)

Those earning only $15,000 will pay more under a flat tax or a national sales tax.  But the IRS becomes far less intrusive and far less powerful.  Because it will be so much simpler.  Giving honest people less to fear about.  And giving those in power less power to attack their political enemies.  Making it harder for them to cheat during elections.

Also, lower tax rates will bring money sheltered outside of the country back home. Which those rich people will invest here.  To get even richer.  And probably end up paying more taxes than they were before.  Because they won’t have any need to shelter it.  While all the new jobs they create will increase tax revenue further.  Because there will be more people working and paying taxes.  So everyone will win with a more simplified tax code.  Except, of course, those in power who use the tax code to attack their political enemies.

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Methadone Overdoses kill more Teens and Young Adults than Guns Do

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 10th, 2013

Week in Review

Colorado and Washington have recently decriminalized marijuana.  Pot shops can now legally sell marijuana without violating state law.  They are still violating federal law but the Obama administration has stated that they won’t prosecute recreational users in those states.  Even the United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW) is looking to organize these pot shops.  It seems everyone wants to cash in on greater drug use.  And why not?  What could possibly go wrong with that (see Drug Users Turn Death Dealers as Methadone From Bain Hits Street by Sydney P. Freedberg posted 2/8/2013 on Bloomberg)?

While the number of U.S. overdose deaths involving methadone peaked in 2007, it was still almost six times higher in 2010, the most recent year for which data are available, than in 1999.  The data don’t reflect the source of the methadone—whether it’s addiction clinics or pain prescriptions.  More than one drug might be involved in each death.

So how many overdose deaths where there in 2010?  About 4,500.  More than the 3,889 dead from firearms in 2010 for ages 15-24.  Common ages for drug addiction.  So to stop these needless deaths we should do everything we can to prevent drug addiction.  From keeping addictive opiates illegal.  And any drugs that may serve as a gateway to these harder and more dangerous addictive drugs.  Such as marijuana.   Often the first drug many addicts start with.  We should do everything we can to get these drugs away from our kids.  Even if it only saves one life.  The rational President Obama uses for sweeping changes in gun control laws that many on the Left even concede will not prevent the kinds of tragedies like that in Newtown, Connecticut.  Yet President Obama has stated that he won’t prosecute recreational marijuana users in Colorado and Washington.  Even though more teens and young adults die from drug overdoses than from guns.

In the small towns where CRC has clinics, its methadone has surfaced in criminal cases, police and prosecutors say. Dearborn County, Indiana, officials are planning a $10 million expansion to the local jail, needed partly because of crimes tied to CRC’s clinic in Lawrenceburg, said prosecutor F. Aaron Negangard.

“We’ve had people come down to the methadone clinic and rob a bank because they need money to pay for methadone,” he said. “We’ve had people at the McDonald’s shooting up. Whether it’s dealing or someone giving take-homes to a friend, it’s been a huge problem…”

In Virginia, 3-year-old Trevor Hylton died on Sept. 30, 2009, after drinking methadone that his mother, Lisa Michelle Hylton, said she left on a kitchen counter in a cough-syrup cup.

Not only does drug addiction destroy the lives of the drug addicts but of the people around them.  Those people robbing banks to pay for their legal methadone.  And once they get it they go and shoot up at the local McDonald’s.  Where young and impressionable kids can be found.  It’s a “huge problem.”  Also, a 2-year old died from this legal substance when it was brought into the house.  Clearly something should be done to stop drug use.  Even if it only saves one life.  Because it is  destroying the lives of addicts.  And those around them.

In methadone maintenance treatment, an almost 50-year-old field, drug addicts get daily doses of the synthetic narcotic. In appropriate amounts, it alleviates the symptoms of withdrawal from heroin or other opiates without getting users high. In combination with counseling, methadone can help addicts stay off illegal drugs and live with more stability, research shows.

Counseling is “the backbone of addiction treatment,” said Elinore F. McCance-Katz, a physician who has advised California state officials on treating opiate dependency. Without it, there’s a “good possibility” that patients won’t reduce or stop their drug use, she said.

Once addicted it’s a bitch to kick.  A lot of people fail trying.  Some don’t even try.  As getting high is more fun than trying to get clean.  Further proof that we need to do something to stop drug use.  Even if it saves only one life.

With the Obama administration looking the other way to flagrant violations of federal drug laws in Colorado and Washington and the UFCW helping to decriminalize marijuana to profit off of drug use one has to wonder why anyone cares about a story about methadone addiction.  This is not the kind of story you want to run when you’re trying to ease drug laws to lock in the youth and drug addict vote.  So why is this even in the news?

Bain Capital, the private equity firm co-founded by former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, paid $723 million for CRC in 2006, corporate filings show. Romney, who left Bain in 1999, had no input in its investments or management of companies after that, he has said…

“With a nonprofit, the incentive is to get people to treatment and wean them off,” Bragg said. “When you have a for-profit and cash-only business, there is no incentive to detox them. In fact, there’s an incentive not to detox them because of the continual cash flow.”

Oh, that’s why.  It’s Mitt Romney’s fault.  Of course.  And that contemptible profit incentive.  It’s never the drug addict’s fault.  Or the societal decay that condones drug use.  Because kids are going to be kids.  They’re going to experiment with drugs as much as they will experiment with sex.  No point telling them not to.  Because kids have to be kids.  Besides, who are they hurting?

Virdie Channing Compton, 30, of Council, Virginia, was on methadone maintenance for more than four years at a CRC clinic in Cedar Bluff after opiate abuse that began in his teens, he said in an interview. After a year or two, he was shooting up his take-homes, he said, and abusing other drugs.

“I was strung out” worse than before, Compton said. He beat the clinic’s drug tests, he said, by sneaking in clean urine in a bottle tucked in his underwear.

On June 3, 2011, Compton had gotten his dose at the clinic and was driving through Council in an unlicensed farm truck when he veered into some oncoming motorcycles. He hit William Van Nortwick, a retired teacher from Safety Harbor, Florida, who was traveling with two sons and a friend on vacation.

Van Nortwick died. Tests showed Compton was under the influence of methadone and Alprazolam, an anti-anxiety drug. He pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. He’s serving a nine- year prison sentence.

Kids can hurt a great deal of people when they grow up into drug addicts.  Would that have happened if Bain Capital didn’t take over these methadone clinics?  Probably not.  As these clinics would have been shut down by the state due to budget problems.  Which is why they were privatized in the first place.  So these people may have survived.  But this guy would have still been a drug addict.  An untreated drug addict.  Who may have continued to work his way up to harder drug use.  And turned to crime to support his habit.  Perhaps even becoming a drug dealer.  Possible taking even more lives in the long run with his untreated addiction.  Maybe sharing needles in a heroin addiction.  Catching and spreading AIDS.  Or simply dying earlier from a drug overdose.

Some states are more stringent than others. Ohio has banned for-profit methadone clinics for decades, after state mental- health advocates and leaders decided addiction care was “more in line with the mission of not-for-profit organizations,” said Stacey Frohnapfel-Hasson, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services.

That doesn’t keep CRC from treating Ohio addicts. The company’s East Indiana Treatment Center in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, saw 2,479 patients in 2011, state records show; only 380 of them were Indiana residents. Almost 45 percent, or 1,111 were from Ohio. Most of the others, 987, were from Kentucky.

Part of the reason for the inflow: Indiana’s rules on take- home doses are more lenient than those in Kentucky or Ohio, said Vidya Kora, a past president of the Indiana State Medical Association. Kora, a LaPorte County commissioner and former coroner, has called for turning all methadone clinic operations over to non-profit agencies.

While Indiana adopted legislation in 2008 aimed at mandating marijuana testing for methadone patients, creating a central registry of patients and decreasing the maximum number of take-home doses to 14 from 30, the rules are still less stringent than others, said state Senator Ron Grooms, a Republican whose southern Indiana district includes a CRC clinic in Jeffersonville.

Apparently using marijuana is a problem for methadone patients.  Do they test for beer and bourbon?  For according to marijuana proponents smoking marijuana is no different from drinking beer or bourbon.

When the Netherlands decriminalized marijuana one of the unintended consequences was the drug tourism that it attracted.  And the crime.  Causing them to later demand proof of residency before buying marijuana in their coffee shops.  The more potent marijuana with higher levels of THC has caused further unintended consequences.  Which they want to prevent the sale of.  Complicating their drug policies.  Something Colorado and Washington will have to deal with.  And the states that are in close proximity to them.

If they kept all drugs illegal there would probably be at least one child less that experiments with marijuana.  And moves on to a heroin addiction and a methadone detoxification.  Shouldn’t we do this?  Even if it only saves one child?

www.PITHOCRATES.com

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Class Warfare

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 3rd, 2013

Politics 101

Over 99.5% of all Rich People ARE paying Federal Income Taxes

President Obama won reelection by denigrating Mitt Romney.  He didn’t win by running on a successful record.  He did not win by running on a plan to pull the economy out of one of the worst recoveries in history.  No.  He won it by getting people to hate Mitt Romney.  And by getting people to hate Republicans.  Who they painted as evil rich people who want nothing more than tax cuts for the rich.  And to take away birth control and abortion so only rich people can have access to them.  As well as taking welfare benefits from the poor.  It’s called class warfare.  And it can be very effective.  For it won President Obama a second term despite a horrible first term by almost any metric you measure it.  At least based on the majority of the electorate that just believed the rich aren’t paying their fair share.  So let’s just see who is paying what (see Table 3.  Number of Individual Income Tax Returns, Income, Exemptions and Deductions, Tax, and Average Tax, by Size of Adjusted Gross Income, Tax Years 2001-2010).

The above chart shows who are NOT paying any federal income tax.  Approximately 40% of all taxpayers.  Are these the evil rich people like Mitt Romney?  And those rich Republicans?  No.  Contrary to the Left, it’s not the rich.  They’re paying their taxes.  It’s the poor and the middle class not paying their fair share.  Those earning $5,000 and less pay virtually no federal income taxes.  Over 80% of those earning from $5,000 to $13,000 pay no federal income taxes.  You have to get up to those earning $25,000 or more before more than half of that income group pays any federal income taxes.

We don’t see who actually pays the majority of federal income taxes until we get into the middle class.  Where those who DON’T pay any federal income taxes rapidly drop away.  Those at the low end of the middle class taking advantage of the tax code to maximize their tax credits and deductions (mortgage interest, energy tax credit, medical and dental Expenses, child and dependent care credit, etc.) to reduce their tax bill.  While those at the higher end of the middle class are likely small business owners suffering a business loss.  Or a personal or business bankruptcy.  Approximately 0.8% of those earning $100,000 – $200,000 pay no federal income taxes.  While less than half of one percent of those earning $200,000 or more pay no federal income taxes.  Perhaps this tiny sliver of income earners are not paying their fair share.  But one thing for certain is that over 99.5% of all rich people ARE paying federal income taxes.

Those earning $1,000,000 and more account for less than 1% of Tax Exemptions and Deductions

So are the rich taking advantage of the tax code to reduce their taxable income and federal tax bill?  We hear a lot about tax loopholes.  Those perfectly legal tax credits and deductions written into law by the United States Congress.  That both those on the Left and those on the Right take advantage of.  Yet those on the Left have convinced enough of the electorate that these legal credits and deductions are tax evasion.  And that only the rich on the Right are using these to evade paying their fair share.  So who is taking the biggest advantage of the tax code to reduce their tax bill?  In 2010 this totaled about $3 trillion.  Is this why those earning $100,000 or more paid no income tax?  For those few not paying any federal income tax?  Not exactly.  (The dollar amounts in the following charts are in thousands of dollars.)

In 2010 taxpayers claimed in total about $3 trillion in exemptions and deductions.  The deficit in 2010 was about $1.3 trillion dollars.  So perhaps this is the reason why we had a deficit in 2010.  This is what the Left would have us believe.  It’s those tax loopholes that the evil rich take advantage of to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.  The only problem with this is that it’s not the rich taking advantage of these tax loopholes.  It’s the poor and middle class.

Those earning $1,000 and less account for less than 1% of these exemptions and deductions.  Those earning $1,000,000 and more also account for less than 1% of these exemptions and deductions.  It’s those earning from $1,000 to $1,000,000 that are taking advantage of these tax loopholes.  Especially those earning from $50,000 to $200,000.  The only income groups claiming 10% or more of the nearly $3 trillion in exemptions and deductions claimed.  So not only are the evil rich paying federal income taxes whatever they claim as exemptions and deductions doesn’t even come close to what the poor and middle class are claiming.

Prosperous Economic Times brought about by Tax Cuts INCREASED Tax Revenues

These numbers don’t exactly support the claim that the rich aren’t paying their fair share.  They’re paying federal income taxes.  And what tax loopholes they exploit hardly makes a dent in the amount of tax revenue the IRS collects.  Which can only mean one of two things.  Either the poor and middle class need to pay more federal income taxes.  Or the federal government is just spending too much.  Well, as we just witnessed in the fiscal cliff debate, President Obama and the Left want to raise taxes.  Blaming the record Obama deficits on the Reagan and Bush tax cuts.  Their deal includes higher income tax rates on households earning $450,000 or more.  But NO spending cuts.  Which will be a problem.

In 2010 the total adjusted gross income totaled just over $8 trillion.  Most of which came from 4 income groups.  About a trillion each from those earning from $50,000 to $75,000, from $75,000 to $100,000 and from $200,000 to $500,000.  Those earning from $100,000 to $200,000 earned in total almost $2 trillion.  Which means the new higher tax rates aren’t going to bring in much new tax revenue.  Because they aren’t taxing the people with the money.  The middle class.  And with some additional spending instead of spending cuts the deficit will only grow larger.  So this whole fiscal cliff debate was nothing but theatre.  For it wasn’t about deficit reduction.  It was about politics.

The Left wants to destroy the Republican Party.  And to do that they need to turn prosperous economic times brought about by the tax cuts of the JFK, Reagan and Bush administrations into the source of all our problems.  Yes the economy boomed, goes the argument, but at what cost?  Massive deficits.  Deficits not brought about by tax cuts.  But by spending.  For those prosperous economic times brought about by tax cuts INCREASED tax revenues.  The deficits resulted from spending increases greater than the revenue increases.  But with a successful campaign of class warfare they have revised history.  Those deficits are now the result of the rich not paying their fair share.   Which helped them increase tax rates on the rich today.  Because the Left got everyone to hate the rich.  And the Republican Party.  Even though the rich are the only ones paying their fair share.  In fact, they’re paying more than their fair share.  But the majority of the electorate doesn’t know this.  Because of that successful campaign of class warfare.

 www.PITHOCRATES.com

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