Taxes & Conservatism

Note #1: Behind the green door is a post about the classic comedy, Dr, Strangelove, in which I reveal that I am a humorless dullard, a post about how O. J. Simpson was framed by the Clintons and the Sunday podcast. Subscribe here or here.


Today is Tax Day in America, a day when millions of Americans drop tear-soaked checks into the mail, along with their many tax forms. Of course, for most Americans it is now just another day. Their taxes are simple, and their tax is paid by their employer throughout the year. The resulting decline of Tax Day and the tax issue is a good entry point for examining how our politics have changed over the last decade and a good place to start when thinking about the death of conservatism.

Half a century ago, the run-up to Tax Day was a big party for the people we call conservatives, as it gave them an excuse to go out into the streets, banging their pots and pans about the unfairness of the tax code. Taxes were not only too high, but they were also far too complicated. Rarely said, but often implied, was the claim that a complex tax code allowed special interests to game the system and avoid taxes or bribe their favorite politicians to get special tax breaks.

You never hear this sort of talk now. Taxes were the bread-and-butter issue of so-called conservatives since Barry Goldwater, but no more. One reason for that is tax simplification was passed under Trump. For most Americans taxes are a few clicks on the computer and that is it. Business owners, rich people and the self-employed still have to go through the game of guessing what the IRS says they owe, but the typical suburban peasant is now free of this burden.

Interestingly, a central theme of so-called conservatives in the 1970’s and 1980’s regarding taxes was that if people knew how much they really paid in taxes they would revolt against the welfare state. There were schemes back then to make taxes a quarterly affair, so everyone was always be aware of their tax burden. Instead, they went the other way and made taxes simpler, so that their voters no longer cared about the main issue for the so-called conservatives.

Of course, the main reason so-called conservatives have forgotten about the tax issue is they have done with it what they have done with so many other issues and that is embraced the position of the people they oppose. The fiscal conservative is like a guy wearing a denim leisure suit in Washington. It is so rare to hear anyone talk about the nation’s finances that when it happens it brings back memories of those halcyon days when the Gipper was shaking his fist at the Soviets.

This raises another truth about so-called conservatism. They were sure that if you starved the system of taxes, it would have to cut spending. Despite history saying otherwise, they were certain of it. Instead, they habituated their minds to ever growing deficits and an incomprehensible national debt. Per capita debt is about five times higher than under Reagan and about four times higher as a percentage of the GDP, so it is safe to say they were all wrong about this one.

There is a demographic aspect to this as well. When the baby boomers were in their prime working years, it was good politics to promise them lower taxes and greater returns from their investments. Now that they are retiring in droves, the tax ploy no longer works, so no one discusses it. Instead, it is good politics to create more money from thin air to pay for the entitlement programs. Like everything else about conservatism, taxes were nothing but a good marketing ploy.

This raises another tax-related issue. Tax collections are at record highs, but the deficit is also at all-time highs. The federal deficit in 2023 was $1.7 trillion. The rosiest of rosy scenarios says that federal budget deficits be $20 trillion over the next decade and federal debt held by the public will reach 116 percent of GDP. Given that these projections always turn out wrong, it is not hard to see why no one in Washington is talking about taxes or the state of the budget.

This is why so-called conservatism is headed to the dustbin of history. It was never really a conservative political movement, but more of a money laundering scheme masquerading as a political movement. The response to progressives promising to rob your neighbor and let you have a piece was so-called conservatives promising to rob the progressive and let you have a piece. Taken together we got a half century of systemic looting of their American economy.

For the last half century, the white middle-class has been the kid getting bullied at school for his lunch money. Progressives, representing the financial elites, threatened to shove the suburban peasant into a locker. So-called conservatives kept upping the lunch money they had to pay to avoid the wedgie. Now those suburban peasants are too old for school, so those financial elites are looking to prey on their children and grandchildren to keep the plates spinning.

Another legacy of the so-called conservatives with regards to tax policy is the sacralization of rich people. Part of their sales pitch for tax changes was the claim that our noble rich people were paying more than their fair share in taxes. This was always nonsense, but it convinced most white people that it is immoral to question the motives and behavior of the rich. One result is a perfidious and destructive ruling class that seems hellbent on pulling the roof down on all of us.

In the end, the disappearance of the tax issue from public debate is a good reminder that we are at the end of a long cycle. That means we are about to start on a new political cycle, so the past framing of things is of no use to us. The old ideas and arguments from the last century, things like tax fairness, need to be sent to the dustbin of history along with the people who championed them. In some future Tax Day, no one will have a reason to think of so-called conservatism.


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Paintersforms
Paintersforms
1 month ago

OT I was re-listening the podcast on the way home from work. The end about Trump being the Mule. He sees himself as a deal maker and redeveloper—MAGA— but he’s the agent of people I call the Wreckers. More or less the mini cohort of the GWOT. Anyway, Trump likes his rally boomers and based blacks, and he went down in flames with them in ‘20, but I wonder if he remembers the people who gave him IT in ‘16.

Vinnyvette
Vinnyvette
1 month ago

Ok Z we get it. You called the conservatives out on their b.s. But are you not got lower taxes? I’m quite sure as a long time reader / listener you are for much lower taxation.
So what would you call people who want radically lower taxes? Simply dissidents?

Apex Predator
Apex Predator
Reply to  Vinnyvette
1 month ago

Our problems are so far beyond lower taxes it can barely be articulated in the same sentence. “Lower taxes” is such a fucking boomer tier take on the ‘most pressing issue of the day’. How about the genocidal levels of population replacement? Find me a politician willing to talk about -that- instead. Or the rampant and largely ignored negroid crime sprees in all major cities. Should I go on? Taxes are a concern when you live in a homogenous high functioning society not a rapidly decaying multi-ethnic hostile empire. In Summary: Are low taxes good? Yeah, and its like Item… Read more »

Vinnyvette
Vinnyvette
Reply to  Apex Predator
1 month ago

You like pissing your money away for domestic / corporate / foreign aid welfare?
😂😂😂

Mycale
Mycale
Reply to  Apex Predator
1 month ago

It’s been mentioned a few times here but literally, tax cuts don’t matter. The government takes in ~18% of GDP before the tax cuts and takes ~18% of GDP after the tax cuts. It takes ~18% of GDP after they raise taxes too. Tax cuts just shift money around more than it makes a real difference in what people are paying to the feds. The beast has never been starved and will never be starved. In the end it just turns into a stupid distraction so conservacucks don’t have to talk about real solutions to real problems.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Mycale
1 month ago

The reason that is true is that investment capital flees. The US is on the high end for capital gains tax. Russia, for example charges no tax for capital gains held over 3 years. Some countries don’t tax it at all — they would rather have the investment and consequent businesses than the tax revenue they might get if they screwed savers as badly as the US does. This might all change if The Thing manages to get through his “Unrealized Capital Gains Tax” but I doubt it would happen. People who bought a house for $250k that is now… Read more »

Whiskey
Whiskey
1 month ago

One tidbit I think many are missing: your taxes are not private anymore. One of the first Lawfare actions was leaking the OMB tax returns. Followed by his associates leaking out. Message: Elites can get you. As Sailer pointed out, Raj Chetty was not the only one to get masses of tax returns with all sorts of data regarding income and occupations and other stuff (like expenses). Other researchers get that too. And if you use any of the commercial software packages like Intuit or Tax Slayer or what have you, THEY retain your tax data and sell it off.… Read more »

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Whiskey
1 month ago

You can’t really send in paper returns anymore, the IRS sits on them until July out of Beer Flu fear, so that is out. Why not? So long as you make sure you paid in enough in withholding, or at least as much as you paid last year, you are golden. One can only hope that they would sit on that $485 check a few months.

If you are not writing a check every year, you really need to adjust your withholding.

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  Whiskey
1 month ago

Whiskey: “You can’t really send in paper returns anymore, the IRS sits on them until July out of Beer Flu fear, so that is out.”

We have always filed paper returns, and plan to do so until they ban them. We expected a huge delay, but got our refund (last year we had to pay the gov) in about a month,

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  3g4me
1 month ago

Same here. Mailed late January (iirc), got the refund about 5 weeks ago. Then again, my return is pretty straightforward.

Professor Alfred Sharpton
Professor Alfred Sharpton
1 month ago

I’ve been reading Z for about four years now and today’s article is a good example of my content and frustration with his writing. He presents a thoughtful argument about what’s wrong, but offers zero suggestion on how to solve it. I get that a lot of his work is meant to be meta and more of a thought-inducer, but it leaves the reader going, “yea, good point , and…..?”

Apex Predator
Apex Predator
Reply to  thezman
1 month ago

Props for not taking this bait for fed-poasting. It is patently obvious to anyone with above room temperature IQ what -should- occur it is the “when” that remains very nebulous. Of course you are replying to Rev. Al Sharpton, so having to point out the obvious? Name checks out…

Vinnyvette
Vinnyvette
Reply to  thezman
1 month ago

I can read between the lines … Z. 👍

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  thezman
1 month ago

You’re right about that, hoss. And it’s why I always say we’re in a post-electoral environment.

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  Professor Alfred Sharpton
1 month ago

There is NO solution. The entire system needs to go, and you want policy positions? Go back to school, professor.

Eloi
Eloi
Reply to  Professor Alfred Sharpton
1 month ago

Your lack of thought is a result of internal issues and is not a result of Z’s writing.

TempoNick
TempoNick
1 month ago

Honestly, I do my own taxes. TurboTax told me that I paid a blended tax rate in the neighborhood of 14.5% last year. (That’s taxes you paid on the income you received, before all the hocus pocus involved in preparing a tax return.) This year, I’m up to 19.38% and I will probably stay there next year. The tax I pay to the state is minimal and the city is two and a half percent, which I could avoid if I moved to a township. Honestly, I can’t really complain about taxes at this level of taxation. I do thank… Read more »

KGB
KGB
Reply to  TempoNick
1 month ago

I’m probably in the same ballpark but I have to say, I could stomach a 20% tax rate much better if it was spent productively on my people, in our interests. Instead, so much of it is frittered away on rent seeking middle men, and ne’er do well dregs.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  TempoNick
1 month ago

Honestly, I can’t really complain about taxes at this level of taxation.

Why not? What are you getting for your ~20%?

Keep in mind most brokerages worth doing business with are under 3%, and more than a few are offering 0% to 0.5%. Is it really worth 20% to try to get Russia or China to nuke your hometown?

TempoNick
TempoNick
Reply to  Steve
1 month ago

Brokerages don’t build roads, bridges, field a military and run social programs.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  TempoNick
1 month ago

Neither does the state. They are just the middlemen, taking money from some to give to contractors who do the actual road-building and arms production, and a whole crapton of stuff I don’t want, like buying Zelenskyy a couple new villas. But even if we could somehow hold the state to it’s core mission, the state has proven to be possibly the most expensive way to accomplish any goal. Everyone would be better off leaving charity to the churches and local communities, for example. But the state needs the money flowing through their hands to be able to skim off… Read more »

fakeemail
fakeemail
1 month ago

Let’s define “rich” though. Obviously, the real rich (the elites) do NOT pay their fair share. But to most people (especially non-whites in the USA) think the term “rich” applies to any gringo not living paycheck to paycheck, who owns a house, etc. What used to be a normal middle class American is considered “rich” by the masses today. I submit that someone even making 400K even up to a Million bucks per years is NOT rich; especially if they live in NY or LA. Sure, they’re making good scratch and can buy nice things, but they’re not the “real… Read more »

Steve
Steve
Reply to  fakeemail
1 month ago

Why should “the rich” pay more for, say, roads? They likely use them less than the hoi polloi, just enough to get to their helicopter which gets them to their jet. Bloomberg famously used his chopper as his daily driver. Or police. Mostly they are served by private security. Or consumer protection. They just use lawfare. Or aid to Ukraine/Israel. What benefit accrues to them that does not accrue to everyone else? Or “common defense”? We are sitting ducks, while they can jet off to their getaway in New Zealand. Why exactly is their “fair share” higher than the 20%… Read more »

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  Steve
1 month ago

re: Ukraine/Israel, what benefit accrues to everyone else? or anyone else?

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
1 month ago

Agreed. I was just coming up with any arguments I could think of to justify taxing “the rich” more.

I think “the rich” who are government contractors, particularly in the MIC are the only ones it might apply to.

TempoNick
TempoNick
Reply to  Steve
1 month ago

They should pay more because we’ve seen what they do when they hoover up too much money. They start buying government and controlling it. If they sat in their basement counting money and thinking of new ways to make money, I wouldn’t care that they had money. But these people use that money to buy our government and to flood it with third worlders, shove windmills and solar panels on us, make us drive overpriced battery cars, gambling, pornography, force us to eat bugs, decide that we’re going to have a secular society, force us to go to war for… Read more »

Steve
Steve
Reply to  TempoNick
1 month ago

Again, agreed, but then it’s the government that’s the problem.

Unless you want to start blaming gun manufacturers for all the jogger-Americans shooting each other in Chicago, or the automobile manufacturers whose product is used as get-away cars.

Vinnyvette
Vinnyvette
Reply to  TempoNick
1 month ago

George Soros a prime example.

TempoNick
TempoNick
Reply to  Steve
1 month ago

Also, have you noticed how Jewish billionaires became a thing in the last 30 or 40 years? They are what, 50% of all billionaires? That doesn’t happen just because you’re smart and hard-working. There are a lot of smart people out there. To a large degree, it’s a rigged game. Wouldn’t be surprised if Jeffrey Epstein and his blackmail also didn’t help along Israel Inc.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  TempoNick
1 month ago

So fix the goddam rigged game already!!! Don’t just paper it over by screwing everyone else!!!!

TempoNick
TempoNick
Reply to  Steve
1 month ago

The rigging was Jeffrey Epstein and Israel Inc. The system is rigged to funnel money to the tribe. How else does 1% of the population become 50% of all us billionaires?

Steve
Steve
Reply to  TempoNick
1 month ago

OK, I admit I’m a little sensitive here. Show a “nad” or two. Put on a mustache, come right out and say you want a special tax on (((them.))) I’m just f-ing tired of getting lassoed into crap that y’all don’t have the courage to name.

I have no idea why you feel the need to punish me and a couple of my employees who have followed me from company to company, just because we share a prosperity with people you hate.

Grow a pair.

TempoNick
TempoNick
Reply to  Steve
1 month ago

So, you’re one of these people who believes it when they urinate on your head and tell you it’s raining?

Are you telling me that Jews are so smart and so hard-working that out of the other 99% of the population, there are only enough people to make up 50% of all billionaires? That’s statistically impossible.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Steve
1 month ago

No, Nick, that’s not at all what I’m saying, and you know that.

I don’t care who it is that is corrupt. You have my blessing to off them all. I do enough business in and around Chicago to know that Jews aren’t the only or even the major corruption. Madigan and Burke aren’t exactly Ashkenazi surnames.

Hemid
Hemid
Reply to  fakeemail
1 month ago

Actual celebrities whose names we all know rarely make a million in any year of their careers. Only a small fraction of “the 1%” approach it. If they’re not rich, nobody is.

And in fact almost nobody is.

Hyperinflation at the very top of the distribution—and in the salaries of people whose names we know from political/economic news—has destroyed our sense of proportion.

Intelligent Dasein
Intelligent Dasein
Member
1 month ago

Debt is the real destroyer of individuals and of nations. A quantum of debt is literally a piece of economic nonbeing that cannot be expunged or cancelled. It can only be moved around the economy in a game of infernal whack-a-mole until somebody makes the sacrifice necessary to fill it in. This is the dark secret about debt that makes it such fearsome enemy: it will be paid back, one way or another, with or without the conscious will of the debtor. Many people think that someday their debts will be cancelled, “written off,” as they say. This is impossible.… Read more »

LineInTheSand
LineInTheSand
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
1 month ago

ID, I share your instinctive repulsion at debt. You didn’t even mention the infinite quantitative easing that Obama let loose after the 2008 housing crash. (I was stupid and moved most of my savings into cash in anticipation of a crash, and missed the biggest and longest bull market in history.) Capitalism seems to be mostly built on debt. A new business venture almost always seems to require assuming debt. There seem to be few ventures where the new enterprise has its own money to spend. As an exercise in Aryan frugality, I wonder what our lives would be like… Read more »

Steve
Steve
Reply to  LineInTheSand
1 month ago

I can’t defend it per se, but contra ID’s characterization of debt, it was freely accepted in exchange for some good or service, just as whatever he produced was accepted in a roundabout way for the steak. It’s not the debt that’s the problem. If Atlas shrugs, that debt isn’t worth the paper it’s not printed on, and whomever is “holding” it at that time “lost”. 2008 was a fantastic opportunity, BTW, unrivalled since 1929. Even liquidating stocks at a loss, you had the chance to turn it into actual productive assets at in many cases under a dime on… Read more »

LineInTheSand
LineInTheSand
Reply to  Steve
1 month ago

Steve, we don’t always agree, but I always enjoy your thoughts.

Can we distinguish between good and bad debt? Can we outlaw bad debt? If not, what would happen if we forfade it all?

Steve
Steve
Reply to  LineInTheSand
1 month ago

Maybe. What’s bad debt, other than something you determine in hindsight?

Banning all debt? Worth considering, but how do you deal with exigencies, or enforce it? A furnace going out in the middle of winter might need replacement right away, even if you don’t have the cash. And if you go to your boss to get an advance, do you throw the both of them into the clink?

Steve
Steve
Reply to  LineInTheSand
1 month ago

Thinking about it a bit, can we even distinguish between good production and bad production?

For example, we are probably good if @ID’s business is manufacturing laundry detergent, but what if it’s underage gay pron?

I think we kind of have to know what it is that is being produced before we can decide whether it’s something we should incentivize.

And even then, it requires some moral structure beyond whatever is being discussed.

Bourbon
Bourbon
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
1 month ago

Mom, 28, forced to sell her dream car after forking out $40,000 in INTEREST alone
https://freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/4231344/posts

Vidya
https://www.tiktok.com/@theblaiseyarnold/video/7345840612819815726/

“…I have paid $50,000 into this car, and have only paid off $10,000 of the balance…”

Maus
Maus
Reply to  Bourbon
1 month ago

Does the pretty but stupid mulatta think somebody is going to save her, because the husband she mentions (race unknown) sure as hell didn’t. Let her trade a vehicle with negative equity and take on $1400 per month payments for a new Chevy Tahoe. You simply can’t fix stupid; and that’s why the poor will always be with us.

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  Bourbon
1 month ago

Bourbon: The stupid will always be with us. Didn’t try to find a better deal on vehicle or financing, already in debt, had zero down payment. Plus, typical female, bought car based on visual appeal not technical and/or useful features. Cry me a river.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  3g4me
1 month ago

Agreed. 10.2% for a new car? And trading in something already underwater? She couldn’t figure it out even after she got burned once?

She’s right in one thing, though. She really needed a man to do the negotiation. I’m not at all attracted, but she’s not so hideous that she couldn’t have found someone. Must be her personality.

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
1 month ago

ID, there are two broad types of debt: One is used to increase production of goods or services; the other is used to consume (goods or services). Once something is consumed, it is gone and no longer in productive service. You seem to have this concept, but are unclear/or conflate in your explanation. Milton Friedman was one of the major proponents of this concept. I’ve yet to see it refuted to my satisfaction. If everyone saved for their first business venture, we’d be a worse country indeed. If everyone saved for their first car, a better one. Debt for consumption… Read more »

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  Compsci
1 month ago

What about the kind that’s used to bet on whether a financial asset will gain or lose value?

LineInTheSand
LineInTheSand
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
1 month ago

What would have to be done to end these shenanigans?

A discredited painter put a stop to this. Under him, the stock market was essentially sunsetted, as I understand it.

What would life be like without a stock market? I guess we’d be poorer but more secure in the long term.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  LineInTheSand
1 month ago

I don’t think things would be all that much worse. You can’t get rid of any market, even a stock market. All you can do is push it underground to the black market.

Prostitution, drugs and the numbers game are good indicators, IMO. Being mob-controlled didn’t make them go away, or even make them too expensive for the poor to afford. It just made the consequences of getting in over your head too dire to consider.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
1 month ago

Depends on who is placing the bet, and how he structures it. Generally, though, he would do it as an LLC or equivalent, and shield his assets.

However, there are reasons to not shield your assets, generally that you can get better terms because you have more skin in the game, like DJT did with NY state developments. In retrospect, he should have lent Trump corporate assets to a new LLC to do the developments, but no one knew the Dems would be so evil so soon.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Compsci
1 month ago

If everyone saved for their first business venture, we’d be a worse country indeed.

That depends. Borrowing to create production is inherently a call option, as the venture will only pay off if you were correct about customers willing to pay for more or higher priced widgets in the future.

If you have the inside information to outperform the hedge fund managers, then, yes, it can net out positive. But if you misestimated the fickleness of future buyers, all you’ve done is squander the savings representing previously produced goods, at best to be sold off at fire sale prices.

Intelligent Dasein
Intelligent Dasein
Member
Reply to  Compsci
1 month ago

Money borrowed to start a business (i.e. a self-liquidating loan) may indeed be structured as a loan but in reality, it’s more like an investment. It should just be considered an investment with a zero-equity stake, and the lender should be legally obliged to take the haircut if the business fails instead of saddling the borrower with the (now nonperforming) loan.

There are simple legal fixes for this kind of thing.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
1 month ago

That’s already the case. The whole point of incorporation is to protect the principals’ non-corporate holdings. It’s just that as a creditor, you are first in line to a split of the assets of the defunct company, broadly speaking, followed by bondholders, followed by preferred stock, followed by common stock. Anything left over (there wouldn’t be in this case, because that wouldn’t be bankruptcy, but say it was a spinoff) would go to the principals. But only in the case of true liability or fraud would the principals’ personal assets be at stake. Unless one of the principals is Donald… Read more »

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Steve
1 month ago

As a counterpoint, our “Constitutional Law” president, Obama, orchestrated a situation where he unilaterally revamped bankruptcy law, specifically that he placed union concessions, which would have been in line after common stock and before principals, ahead of even bondholders, and, further, stole bondholder money to pay unions.

Uncharted territory. Worked, to a fashion, but pushed investment overseas to countries where there wasn’t a tyrant to steal anything that wasn’t nailed down…

Dutch Boy
Dutch Boy
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
1 month ago

What destroys is not debt but interest on debt (aka, the sin of usury, denounced throughout history but embraced in modernity). The compound interest eventually makes the debt unpayable, resulting in some scheme or other to clear the debt (e.g inflation) or outright repudiation. The result is always economic calamity.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Dutch Boy
1 month ago

Weirdly enough, I have not regretted any debt I’ve taken on, even though there was interest on all of them, even on a loan from my parents.

I’ve never yet been unable to service a debt, nor had it even been a burden, let alone a calamity.

Dutch Boy
Dutch Boy
Reply to  Steve
1 month ago

Ditto but I had a good job and made a lot of money I once showed my gf (later wife) my paycheck stub and her reaction was: “That makes it worth working.”).

BadThinker
BadThinker
Reply to  Dutch Boy
1 month ago

Usury isn’t simply interest. It is interest plus *recourse* to a person. All debt should be tied to an asset (a business, car, etc) and non performance simply means you get the asset. This is why usury is like slavery, it forces a person into bondage.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  BadThinker
1 month ago

Let’s go with that distinction. Who would lend you money for a car if it’s going to lose at least 10% of its value the moment you drive it off the lot? Before you make your first payment, it could be nothing more than a burned-out husk of scrap metal, and best case, it’s probably lost 1/3 of its value within a year. Same with a business. It’s value has almost everything to do with the decisions and business practices of the guy running it. Why would anyone lend to unproven entrepreneurs? Why would there even be a thing like… Read more »

Hokkoda
Member
1 month ago

America’s best tax law is Colorado’s TABOR. It limits government spending increases to the inflation rate. Taxes collected in excess of the TABOR spending caps are returned to taxpayers in cash.

Granted, states can’t print money, so the rules are constrained. But TABOR was brilliant move back in 1992. Every 2 years the Democrats try some new scheme to break TABOR or keep the refunds. They lose 70-30 every time.

Taxes might not matter as a subject of public policy. But in practical terms, people still care about them.

Tars Tarkus
Member
1 month ago

The republicans would never even commit to a tax rate. Instead, the unreachable goal of “less” became the rallying cry, while continuously growing the state. Meanwhile, the middle and even working class began to see ever larger portions of their paycheck going to taxes through inflation driven wage increases. In the 1960s, even the middle class was earning less than the higher rates and paying effectively 10%. But since the 70s, despite losing ground when adjusting for the true inflation, these classes make way over the lowest tax rate and all of that income (above the low rate) is taxed… Read more »

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Tars Tarkus
1 month ago

But since the 70s, despite losing ground when adjusting for the true inflation, these classes make way over the lowest tax rate and all of that income (above the low rate) is taxed at the higher rate of 24%. ??? Just helped out at our church with people who wanted assistance figuring out taxes. The highest rate for up to 89k for married filing jointly was 12%, and that was only for the fraction of income between 22k and 89k, after subtracting the deductions. Most of the 2 kid families got everything back, and a not insignificant number got net… Read more »

Tars Tarkus
Member
Reply to  Steve
1 month ago

They paid 10% or less in the 60s. Of course, not being an accountant, I can only go by what I find on the internet. But I do know for certain that many, many people had taxes go up in the 70s and 80s by having a large portion of their income at the higher rate. Without that wage inflation, all their income would have still been in the lowest bracket.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Tars Tarkus
1 month ago

Don’t know. I wasn’t paying taxes in the ’60s. I do know that interest, all interest, was deductible, without minimums, so car loans and store credit offset taxes. I have no idea in general terms, only from my parents’ kitchen table talks.

All I can speak to is the actual tax forms filed, which start in the ’80s. I trust figures on the internet about as much as I trust the Covidians…

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
1 month ago

Maybe I’m crazy, but I think the feds should stick to their core mission and fund themselves by taxing commerce, i.e., tariffs, sales tax, road tax, securities, etc. It’ll never happen, because people might consume less and save more.

Iirc SCOTUS once said taxing labor is tantamount to slavery, and I agree. I think the same way about property tax, but I guess that’s more of a state issue. Earn a living, put a roof over your head— bad! Trade and raid— good!

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
1 month ago

You can say whatever you want about libertarianism, or conservatism, and it’s probably true, but the fact remains, I have never once in my life seen a tax cut, no matter whose taxes were being cut or by how much or how little, that I didn’t like. Not one time. But that’s largely just a shell game. At the federal/empire level, the taxes exist mainly to support the value of their fiat currency. Because the real tax that the regime has agreed to levy is the inflation tax. Which we have been paying for a long, long time. Longer than… Read more »

Pozymandias
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
1 month ago

Totally agree about tax cuts being always welcome. Living in Oregon you really can’t help thinking you would be better off with lower taxes. This is the 3rd worst “tax hell” in the country. Guess the other two and be totally unsurprised. Think of tax cuts as a beautiful musical instrument, maybe a violin, not quite Stradivarius level but close. Now think of Conservative Inc as a retard plucking out “Happy Birthday” on it with the end of the bow while simultaneously headbanging his tard helmet against the wall and screeching out the lyrics at the top of his lungs.… Read more »

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Pozymandias
1 month ago

Milli on the Strad violin and Vanilli on the Bosendorfer grand piano. That indeed sums up conservatives and their tax policies.

Tars Tarkus
Member
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
1 month ago

I don’t think there has been a net decrease of taxes for most people in the entire post war era, largely because I think you are ignoring a different inflation problem, which is inflationary wages. Inflation has steadily bumped the vast majority of people into a higher tax bracket. With deductions, the working class paid absolutely nothing. This was largely true for most of the middle class in the 60s and before. But all those wage increases to keep up with inflation ever since (which they never quite did) put ever larger portions of their income into higher tax rates.… Read more »

Vegetius
Vegetius
1 month ago

The willing, nay eager, embrace of the leisure suit was a milestone in the self-enslavement of the American populace.

LineInTheSand
LineInTheSand
Reply to  Vegetius
1 month ago

What I find interesting about the late 70s era that you reference is that, at that time, relatively small breasts were still hot on women. Farrah, Cheryl, … In the 80s, there was a rush for gigantic breasts, even if obviously enlarged through surgery. At the risk of donning on my tin foil hat, I suppose that there was an intentional push for big breasted women, even when fake, to disparage our lovely smaller breasted, and often blonde, girls. Even moreso for small versus large asses in the 90s. Black girl asses were promoted. Negroification by intention! (And who pushed… Read more »

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  LineInTheSand
1 month ago

I think once you start seeing butt implants, the rest is soon to foller…

fakeemail
fakeemail
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

Ha! A great movie line to apply to any ridiculous trend of current years. Dismal tide, indeed.

fakeemail
fakeemail
Reply to  LineInTheSand
1 month ago

Asses were not a thing in mainstream American entertainment till Jennifer Lopez around 1998 or so. This was a firmly boob nation (officially speaking) through to the mid 90s.

JLo blew up the butt the barrier along with Shakira and later Kardashian and Beyonce and that girl in NY who specialized in gym exercise for Belfies.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  fakeemail
1 month ago

I once saw a dissertation entitled, “Broadcasting the Bottom and Bottoming the Broadcast: the Poetics of the Tukhas, and Mass Media Semiotics in Postmodern America, 1998-2023.”

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  LineInTheSand
1 month ago

Large vs small breasts as a sign of beauty seems to come and go. You start with the 70’s, but what about the 50’s? Big breasts like on Monroe, or Russell were considered the height of sexiness. Check out any Playboy of the era.

fakeemail
fakeemail
Reply to  Compsci
1 month ago

Attraction to buttocks is natural, but also more animalistic/primitive. And more perverse and satanic if taken to extremes. Limiting the mass mind libido to boobs/legs is more in maintaining Western Civ. Lust, but within reason. . .keeping the humanity of the thing.

Yes, I’ve thought about this a lot.

LineInTheSand
LineInTheSand
Reply to  fakeemail
1 month ago

I’m going to give this matter some serious thought as well. Boobs. Asses. Deep consideration.

Hey, don’t disturb me for awhile…

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Compsci
1 month ago

“Check out any Playboy of the era.”

I’m on the job, Compsci!

Moran ya Simba
Moran ya Simba
Reply to  LineInTheSand
1 month ago

One would think that men’s tastes in female breast size was more a genetic/ethnic thing rather than a fashion. But maybe not??

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  Moran ya Simba
1 month ago

I don’t have a link for you, but I recall reading of a study that showed men tend to desire the physical attributes they are conditioned to desire. To the point where men conditioned to like fake breasts will prefer them to natural ones (just to name one attribute). And that this isn’t just true for men, but animals as well, when so conditioned.

Something to bear in mind when standards of beauty in pop culture seem to change for no apparent reason

Moran ya Simba
Moran ya Simba
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
1 month ago

That seems to support the idea that boys could be groomed for homosexuality. I’ve always resisted that idea, believing that there has to be a genetic component to gays. Maybe not, maybe sexuality is more plastic than we think??

Tars Tarkus
Member
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
1 month ago

I don’t know about you, but they are never going to get me attracted to morbidly obese black women, even if they are in the VIctoria’s Secret catalog. It’s not like they’ve only recently come to my attention. From the time I was 12 I was exposed to African Americans on a near daily basis. I’ve never found the vast majority of them attractive in any way. Maybe I consider the top 10% attractive at all. Even they do not compare to a White 5 in my eyes.

Tars Tarkus
Member
Reply to  LineInTheSand
1 month ago

Yes and quite nasty those fat jiggly butts.

Most breast implants suck too. It is very difficult to reproduce the natural breasts of a young ( 20s) woman with a bag of silicone, especially when laying on her back. They become circles.

The other women of the world can do whatever they want, they will never measure up to the beauty and variety of the White woman.

Hemid
Hemid
1 month ago

In what should be a great irony, tax day is when conservatives gather to praise “the rich” (let’s accept Z’s shorthand here) by treating the rules of taxation as holy. It’s not only legal but unimpeachably ethical and rational that people who sell stocks pay far less tax than people who sell wrenches, because *that* income isn’t income. It’s a beauty of creation, on par with a sunrise, that broke guys with the worst jobs lose a ruinous percentage of their pay to the government, because that’s not taxes, it’s prepaid retirement—which statistically they’ll die before they get “back.” It’s… Read more »

TempoNick
TempoNick
Reply to  Hemid
1 month ago

There is the issue of property. Once you’ve earned the money to buy a stock, or a house, or any other investment, it’s property. When you sell it, you’re usually just keeping up with the inflation rate and that’s it. So why should they dip into your capital when it’s something you worked for and paid tax on?

Melissa
Melissa
1 month ago

Forgive me for going off topic but we’ve got to laugh when we can. And each tax day becomes all the more infuriating the more we discover about this failing GAE. From a pretty funny comedian out of Canada: “We’ve been trained to not have a sense of humor as we give up the country to migrants. We see migrants all over the place now. I saw a 40 year old migrant African dude during the snow storm. It was obvious he was a recent migrant, because he was walking around trying to catch snowflakes on his tongue. All I… Read more »

TempoNick
TempoNick
Reply to  Melissa
1 month ago

There was an older woman begging outside of Kroger’s this afternoon. I mean like literally outside the front doors. Some foreigner, Muslim, wearing some kind of a head wrap. Call me someone with conflicting feelings. 1. She needs help, the kind thing to do is help your fellow man. 2. Who TF let somebody in this country who doesn’t have a sponsor and can’t support themselves? 3. Maybe our neocons bombed the hell out of whatever village she came from and that’s how she ended up here. Maybe we are the ones responsible for her plight and are obligated to… Read more »

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  TempoNick
1 month ago

TempoNick: Highly, highly likely it was gypsy. Most Americans mistake them for Indians or Arabs. If she was begging, she was a gypsy. They are an incredibly dishonest, sly, parasitic race. No, she does not need help and no one bombed her village. Her people have been parasiting off Europeans since the time of Alexander. Call her a gypsy (she will get nasty) and – if you give enough of a damn and live somewhere the police might still care – call the cops. Ten years ago in DFW ‘burbs the cops would get rid of them. Then they became… Read more »

TempoNick
TempoNick
Reply to  3g4me
1 month ago

I didn’t think of the Gypsy angle, but you are absolutely correct. She could very well have been a gypsy.

Paul Gottfried
Paul Gottfried
1 month ago

The automated/simplified system at IRS is both convenient and deadly. My experience – I wrote the quarterly payment amount in the wrong row of the 1040 (one below where it should be). The final tax calculation and everything were correct. Within a month, IRS software recalculated my 1040 and decided that I should get $30K tax refund instead of $5 or so that I expected. I got a huge check back in mail. At the same time, I got an angry letter that I did not pay $30K taxes (plus interest/fine) and needed to pay it pronto. Sorting these out… Read more »

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Paul Gottfried
1 month ago

Here’s my little tax horror story. Way back in 1987 I was a college student making ends meet–sort of–by delivering pizzas. Well, I was completely ignorant about tax machinations at the time, and when I did my 1040EZ for 1987, I neglected to report my tips! That steamed up the suits and cigars over at the IRS but good and they came after my ass with all guns blazing. They audited me and slapped me with a fine massive enough that it knocked me out of college for four years. So, if anybody ever tells you that the IRS isn’t… Read more »

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

I once went a dozen or so years without filing an income tax return. And then one year I started filing again. Nothing happened. This was about 14 years ago, I’ve been filing ever since, and still nothing has happened.

It should be noted that during all but one of the dozen or so years I didn’t file, I was just costing myself money in sacrificed refunds. I was not making enough, or owning enough, to be costing the feds anything.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
1 month ago

You know, I imagine I would have gotten a small refund in 1987 even if I had reported tips. Didn’t stop them from bringing the hammer down. Perhaps you lead a charmed life, Zoar, or mayhap I was born under a bad star.

Mike Tre
Mike Tre
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

The place I delivered pizzas for, for about 4 years, had us list or occupation as “cook.” Tips were never reported and I never heard a peep from the IRS and neither did anyone else at the place as far as I ever heard.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Mike Tre
1 month ago

The things one never learns until it’s too late…

Mike Tre
Mike Tre
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

Story of my life!

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

A tale of two cities so to speak… As a college student, I made a $37 dollar or so addition error on an income tax form for about $2K or so income. I got a viciously nasty letter from the IRS threatening me with all sorts of penalties if I didn’t mail them the $37 dollar “computational error” within 10 days or something. Yep, the IRS recognized this shortage as a computational error, certainly they also knew that my entire income was a couple of grand or so, but instead of simply stating…”Dear Sir, we believe you’ve made a computational… Read more »

Moran ya Simba
Moran ya Simba
Reply to  Compsci
1 month ago

The IRS tends to behave more aggressively than necessary. But they’re hardly alone in that

Mr. Burns
Mr. Burns
1 month ago

The effective tax rate should be 16.35685324575437%. I am as adamant about this as I am that Jesus is the risen Son of God.

TomA
TomA
1 month ago

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attack, the US Federal Government has spent about $10 trillion fighting foreign mini-wars against goat herders and built overly complex and expensive military equipment that cannot be operated by the low IQ POC that dominates the current crop of recruits. In contrast, China built a highly robotic automobile assembly plant that churns out a finished auto every 17 seconds. How did this happen? Answer. The President of the United States shits his pants. That statement is not hyperbole. It is a fact. And tens of millions of Americans will vote for him to keep… Read more »

The Wild Geese Howard
The Wild Geese Howard
Reply to  TomA
1 month ago

Yup.

In my workplace the bugmen are utterly tumescent over the beginning of the Trump hush money trial in NY’s kangaroo court.

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  The Wild Geese Howard
1 month ago

I’ve been reading up on it, a little bit, and I still don’t understand what he’s been charged with or why it’s ostensibly a crime.

Paul Gottfried
Paul Gottfried
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
1 month ago

It is “let’s throw a bunch of crimes at the court system and see which one sticks”.

In Pakistan, popular prime minister (Imran Khan) got deposed for a non-existent crime, because he tried to align the country with Russia/China block. Judges are saying –

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/apr/03/pakistani-judges-say-intelligence-agency-threatened-them-over-imran-khan?ref=upstract.com

“Pakistani judges say intelligence agency threatened them over Imran Khan

High court members allege ISI put cameras in their bedrooms and tortured a relative to make them hear an appeal against ex-PM”

Pozymandias
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
1 month ago

There’s a new category of crime now, Trumpcrime. What is Trumpcrime? Well, it’s anything done by or involving Trump. Your local weather bimbo could mention that the weather is nice at Trump’s Florida home and she might find herself doing 50 years in the Fed.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  The Wild Geese Howard
1 month ago

When a bugman is tumescent, how would anybody know it?

Moran ya Simba
Moran ya Simba
Reply to  TomA
1 month ago

A Chinese factory that can turn out ocar every 17 seconds makes me wonder what we’re going to be doing for a living in the future.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Moran ya Simba
1 month ago

How many factories do we really need 185k cars per year? How about just making cars that last like they used to as little as a couple decades ago?

Moran ya Simba
Moran ya Simba
Reply to  Steve
1 month ago

Agree but they found out that it is bad for business to produce forever things.

Moran ya Simba
Moran ya Simba
1 month ago

I don’t now what taxes our kids will pay but if the current madness keeps up our grandkids will be paying in flints and rabbit loins

Maxda
Maxda
1 month ago

Also noting that right now we have double-digit inflation (and will until spending is under control), and progressive tax rates that are not indexed for inflation. So, unless their is a big adjustment to the brackets, people whose pay is almost keeping up with inflation will soon find themselves in higher brackets paying the “tax the rich” rates on very middle-class incomes.

Mr C
Mr C
1 month ago

There’s also a little chestnut out there about many or most American believing they too will become rich. It’s some sort of spell placed upon the masses that “your big break is just around the corner.” This helped drum up support of the rich by the poor.

I don’t recall the numbers, but this is likely a contributor to the overall sentiment of the Fox News viewership.

miforest
miforest
Reply to  Mr C
1 month ago

rush Limbaugh pushed this hard too.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Mr C
1 month ago

You can. It’s just not a participation trophy. You have to be exceptional in some way, even if it’s just more stubborn, um, have more perseverance than any of your competitors.

Maxda
Maxda
1 month ago

The U.S. government borrows $80k a second.
https://www.usdebtclock.org/

There is no taxing our way out of it. The taxes I pay are just the penalty for being middle class and not completely beholden to the government for all my needs.

Vizzini
Member
Reply to  Maxda
1 month ago

I have said a number of times that government spending no longer has any functional connection to tax revenue. They create debt currency in amounts that exceed the GDPs of most countries on Earth. There is never any thought at all given to “Can we afford X?” Thus, taxes exist solely as a means of reward and punishment.

Dutch Boy
Dutch Boy
Reply to  Vizzini
1 month ago

It’s called MMT (Modern Monetary Theory).

LineInTheSand
LineInTheSand
1 month ago

During the 2000s I put lots of energy into opposing illegal immigration. There were a number of free market conservatives who defended open borders, whom I really came to hate. The one whom I hated most was Stephen Moore, who served with Club for Growth, WSJ, and Heritage Foundation. He would say all the unbearable things like immigrants deserved America more than the lazy white working class. When Hannity would have him on, my teeth would grind fearsomely. Today, he writes for Taki, which is bizarre. The title of his most recent article? “Biggest Corporate Welfare Scam of All Time.”… Read more »

ProZNoV
ProZNoV
1 month ago

The three gibs that are on track to blow up the fiscal budget are:

Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

I’m in my 50’s have paid into them the maximum amounts for decades…

and don’t expect to see one single cent. Ever. It’ll be bankrupt, but it will start with “means testing.”

Anyone else in their 50s think the same? Infinite money for free indoctrination/college, wars, Zionism, nothing for you.

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  ProZNoV
1 month ago

ProZNoV: Same, except we are in our 60s. Paid in for decades. Husband’s still working. Don’t ever expect to see a penny in bennies. Husband’s friends who stuck with fed employment (plus their wives all worked and the kids were parked in daycare and public schools) are all retired enjoying SS, medicare, thrift savings, investments, etc. We cannot relate.

miforest
miforest
Reply to  3g4me
1 month ago

honest question , how did their kids turn out? do they have any prospects for grand children?

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  miforest
1 month ago

miforest: One of them had two daughters, highly educated, lived most of their lives overseas. Citizens of the world types. Older one (who is now 34) was married for a year and then divorced. Neither sibling plans on having children, to their father’s dismay. Verdict: He f*cked up. Another had one son, 36 now I think, never married, with custody of a toddler he had with his now ex-girlfriend. Verdict: Parents f*cked up. Another had two kids, daughter decided she liked women. Verdict: Parents f*cked up. Another had two girls, at least one is (or was, not sure now) married.… Read more »

Dutch Boy
Dutch Boy
Reply to  3g4me
1 month ago

Let me assure you, that family situation is not rare by any means.

Anti-Gnostic
Anti-Gnostic
Reply to  3g4me
1 month ago

I swear to God in my next life I’m going to be a dedicated federal employee. I have retired fedgov friends; their cash flow is incredible.

BigJimSportCamper
BigJimSportCamper
Reply to  Anti-Gnostic
1 month ago

Same for all my wife’s (Democrat) cousins here in NY who worked for the state. They’ve got the world by the balls.

Mycale
Mycale
Reply to  ProZNoV
1 month ago

Of the three, it is going to be Medicare that blows it up. Social Security is a badly designed system, but it is predictable. Medicare brings with it the combination of a huge cohort of people entering the age when medical needs increase AND the cost of those needs going up rapidly. The cost of relatively new/novel treatments are insane and they want them all (which on some level is understandable). I can’t see how this will ever add up in an actuarially sound way, in that a person’s Medicare expenses are less than or equal to what they paid… Read more »

Wiffle
Wiffle
Reply to  Mycale
1 month ago

Yes, it’s Medicare that’s going to blow up. The current Boomer stock is very bad shape. I’m sorry to say that the Gen Xers I know have also not been taking care of themselves. The number of surgeries that involve “rebuilding” some part that are about abuse/poor nutrition/no exercise and not accident is insane.
The last year of life can run into millions of dollars. There are not going to be very many Boomers with DNR. When it blows up, it’s going to start with Medicare.

Dutch Boy
Dutch Boy
Reply to  Wiffle
1 month ago

I was just reading a book about the bad old days of polluted water and food full of germs and the successful campaigns to end both. Our modern purveyors of food and drink no longer provide comestibles contaminated with bacteria and viruses. Instead, we have food full of toxins and nutritional disasters (e.g., sugar, HFCS, pesticides, trans fats, and seed oils). Chronic disease has replaced infectious disease on the menu.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Dutch Boy
1 month ago

Are you sure? Seems every year we hear something about e. coli in lettuce or cauliflower or something…

Citizen of a Silly Country
Citizen of a Silly Country
Reply to  ProZNoV
1 month ago

Social Security and Medicare will still be around, but SS will be worth less and you might get means tested out of some of that. But you’ll still get a decent portion of what you’ve been promised.

Medicare – which is the big problem – will be more interesting. It’ll still be around but at what quality and what price. I’d suspect the cost of Medicare will increase and the quality of doctors accepting it will fall, which means that you’ll have to get very good (very expensive) Medigap or something like that to go with Medicare.

Spingerah
Spingerah
Reply to  Citizen of a Silly Country
1 month ago

The medical.establishment, is going to be more politicisized? including future doctors now coming out of medical schools? Say it ain’t so.

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  Citizen of a Silly Country
1 month ago

At some point, the eligibility age for medicare has to rise. No way around it. Probably as the result of some late night congressional vote with no public discussion prior. And then again, as needed.

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  ProZNoV
1 month ago

As noted before, SSI has a recurring source of funding and failure clause in the law. They must reduce pay out to revenue, equally, across the board. The effect here will of course affect grandma and grandpa, but not the general revenue—unless Congress fills in the gap with more deficit spending. Spending on Medicare/Medicaid is of course much, much worse, basically unfunded, and is the big unknown. However, such seems to be a problem elsewhere in more “enlightened” nations like GB, where the NHS is suffering under the pressure of the elderly and immigrant refugees. The monies allocated yearly for… Read more »

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  Compsci
1 month ago

The biggest tax I pay is my ever increasing medical “insurance,” about half of which is subsidy to people who receive “free” medical care

DLS
DLS
Reply to  ProZNoV
1 month ago

You are correct, but not in the way you state it. You will certainly receive your $2500 or so a month in Social Security, but everything you buy will cost $3000 more. And you will have full health insurance, unless you actually need it to cover something. The government will have control over you, but your net benefits will be negative. Thank you public servants! Please take an extra round of bribes and make a few more insider trades.

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  DLS
1 month ago

Rationing of health care will be the norm. This rationing however will be subtle. They won’t necessarily tell you you’re too old for a knee replacement, they’ll just put you on a waiting list for a couple of years. Or for example, you need a CAT scan to check for cancer. You get one scheduled 4 months out. Or you need to see an oncologist and get scheduled 3 months out. We’ve seen such in many socialized medicine countries.

A symbolic gesture
A symbolic gesture
Reply to  Compsci
1 month ago

It’s happening right now, mainly due to local doctors getting out or dying, rural hospitals closing, test results being misinterpreted etc. I fully expect to cancel my Medigap coverage next year, will use that extra money for healthy food and homeopathic meds.

The Wild Geese Howard
The Wild Geese Howard
Reply to  ProZNoV
1 month ago

Proz-

Mid-40s and I feel the same.

I wouldn’t mind having all that money refunded to go buy precious metals and some land.

trackback
1 month ago

[…] ZMan mixes it up. […]

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
1 month ago

I haven’t noticed any difference in tax protocols post-Trump other than we’re paying more of them.

DLS
DLS
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

He actually did some good things. He doubled the standard deduction, and limited the deduction for state and local taxes to $10K. This resulted in many more people that don’t need to itemize, and people with high property taxes in NY and CA lose much of their deduction. Basically a wet dream for the George Will/Jonah Goldberg type grifters, who had to pull of their conservative masks and show their hideous faces.

Vizzini
Member
Reply to  DLS
1 month ago

“…limited the deduction for state and local taxes to $10K…” Man I hated that. I know that the income limits on that mean it doesn’t affect the vast majority of taxpayers, but conceptually it is exactly the opposite of what people who want to limit the federal government should want. We should want the bulk of our taxes to go local, and then state. Not go to the federal government to be handed out to states and localities as rewards and punishments. It should be the federal government that gets the short end of the stick when the full tax… Read more »

DLS
DLS
Reply to  Vizzini
1 month ago

I 100% agree. But it was fun to watch the NY/CA politicians squeal for their rich puppet masters, pulling the mask off their “champions of the poor” bullshit. If Trump did nothing else, as a first-mover he pulled down the curtain on a lot of the fakery.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Vizzini
1 month ago

I don’t know. Why should lower tax states have to increasingly fund block grants and road programs and Medicaid in higher tax states just because high tax states are using their taxes to fund corruption?

Vizzini
Member
Reply to  Steve
1 month ago

They shouldn’t but the more the federal government gets short-changed in tax revenues and the more that goes local, the less your state will be subsidizing other states. There should be *more* state and local deductions for federal taxes, and state and local taxes should generally be higher than they are, instead of making up the difference with federal grants. Limiting the state deduction ensures that the federal government is first at the tax trough and that more and more your taxes fund projects in other states. The more New York is responsible for its own revenue and projects, the… Read more »

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Steve
1 month ago

@Vizzini, They shouldn’t but the more the federal government gets short-changed in tax revenues and the more that goes local, the less your state will be subsidizing other states. That’s just not so. I live about midway between Indianapolis and Chicago, so regional news is heavily slanted towards those cities. Chicago made out like bandits over COVID, not just because the businesses are utterly corrupt so got the PPP Cash, but also that the government used COVID Cash to make good on the amount they’ve shortchanged public pensions over the last few decades. North of $100 billion, as I recall.… Read more »

Vizzini
Member
Reply to  Steve
1 month ago

Steve: “That’s just not so”

The situation you describe exists because federal taxes dominate tax revenues. Why can’t you see that?

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Steve
1 month ago

, how so? Illinois is by some accounts the highest tax state & local in the country, and they shortchanged the pension funds before the SALT limit.

COVID was just a convenient excuse. They use disaster and environmental funds the same way. They just have to hang in until the next D gets (s)elected president.

Hokkoda
Member
Reply to  DLS
1 month ago

He also reduced the number of brackets which also simplified things. My taxes went up a bit because of this, but with the exception of reporting capital gains (stocks), our taxes today aren’t much more difficult to prepare than the old 1040EZ. Not having to pay a CPA every year is a tax cut, too, of sorts. The only times we’ve ended up itemizing are years when we donated a lot to charity. Since Trump reformed the tax code, most people do fine with the standard deduction. That’s also nice because it weans people off the old mortgage interest deduction…which… Read more »

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Hokkoda
1 month ago

Good points.

Sounded a little fishy, though possible depending on his other deductions, but one of the guys from church who is comfortably middle class wrote a $10k check to charity, and he said it didn’t bring his deductions up enough to make it worth itemizing. Which is too much, IMO. Absolutely no incentive for substantial charitable giving, but rather to spend it all on hookers and blow.

Hokkoda
Member
Reply to  Steve
1 month ago

Totally agree, charity only helps if your other itemized deductions get you close.

OrangeFrog
OrangeFrog
1 month ago

Interesting post, Z Man. I remember an episode of The Simpsons, that was probably released in the mid-90s, where Homer scrambles to compleat his tax returns. Of course, Flanders has it all done well in advance! The funny thing was that Homer worked for the Nuclear powerplant, and I recall wondering why he had to do this. Of course, I was young and dumb. I also recall my father, a self-employed man who ran his own business, spending hours throughout the week sorting out taxes and staff payments. He was under no illusion how much he paid, which is one… Read more »

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  OrangeFrog
1 month ago

OrangeFrog: Employer federal tax withholding was yet another ‘gift’ of that bastard FDR in 1943. So most people over 35 just automatically know to subtract ‘x’ amount from whatever their supposed salary and income is. Most younger people incessantly bitch about it but still support all sorts of equally socialistic financial lunacy like UBI. The portion of my husband’s annual salary that is withheld for taxes, social security, and medicare (which we will never see) is simply staggering. If we had even 50% of it back – without any interest – we’d be very comfortably retired.

The Wild Geese Howard
The Wild Geese Howard
Reply to  3g4me
1 month ago

Speaking of FDR, has anyone else noticed we have a brand new WW2 movie coming out to try and keep that mythology alive among the younger generations

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  The Wild Geese Howard
1 month ago

Samuel L. Jackson in the lead role?

The Wild Geese Howard
The Wild Geese Howard
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

No, they’ve actually cast two of today’s most famous white guys, Henry Cavill and the guy from, “Jack Reacher,” who just had a TDS meltdown.

Pozymandias
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

and tons of gay sex in the trenches. At the end a heartwarming scene of the soldiers in their best sundresses raising the Pride flag over Iwo Jima.

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  The Wild Geese Howard
1 month ago

Wild Geese: And daily stories (about WWII, holo etc., Jap internment, nuclear bombing) at the Daily Mail. I’m at least as tired of the mythology of “the greatest generation” as I am of the boomers.

Vizzini
Member
Reply to  OrangeFrog
1 month ago

“He was under no illusion how much he paid, which is one reason why I believe small business owners are (or were) a key cornerstone of many freedoms we enjoy (or enjoyed).” It is why they are also the chief targets of government oppression. It is no accident that the Affordable Care Act punishes most the moderately successful self-employed. If you’re poor, you get huge ACA subsidies or Medicaid. If you’re a corporate serf, you get corporate healthcare, if you are a government employee, you get government healthcare, but if you are self-employed earning low six figures — even high… Read more »

Jack Dodson
Jack Dodson
1 month ago

“Now those suburban peasants are too old for school, so those financial elites are looking to prey on their children and grandchildren to keep the plates spinning.” An estimated thirty to sixty trillion dollars–which is still a lot of money!–is scheduled to be transferred from the Boomers/Early X’ers to their children and grandchildren over the next ten to twenty years*. That’s some awfully low-hanging fruit and has been noticed. The millions of invaders and future voters mostly do not work and depend on government welfare programs to a larger extent than even what were once quaintly known as “citizens.” The… Read more »

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Jack Dodson
1 month ago

TomA nodded his head and smirked upon reading the bit about keeping the plates spinning…

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Jack Dodson
1 month ago

It’s already true, Jack. The powers that be are trying to create workarounds (other than trust funds) for themselves, but for us working-class schlubs, they have already rewritten the minimum distribution rules for children inheriting money their parents saved pre-tax. Specifically, they must take it all out within 10 years of death of the parent, which will be in their high-tax years, instead of letting it be based on their own retirement age. Net result is that all that cash they put aside for their progeny is already being looted. And to the cheers and raucous applause of the Boomer… Read more »

Jack Dodson
Jack Dodson
Reply to  Steve
1 month ago

That’s a great point.

It will get worse and even more confiscatory.

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  Jack Dodson
1 month ago

Jack Dodson: All the more reason to give what you can to your kids annually, while you are living and they can use it to build their own family. You can give $18k tax free per person – so if man and spouse give to child and his/her spouse, that’s $72k a year tax free. Spread it out over time; don’t make them wait until you die. Give so they can buy a house and have a family. That’s why my husband is still working.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  3g4me
1 month ago

Huh. Our tax guy said that because we are 1-income, only the one earning the money was allowed to give it away. The stay-at-home spouse was not eligible, so, in our case, we were limited to just 1x for each of 2 kids. That’s not chicken feed, but, shoot, if you’re middle class and you’ve been halfway decent at putting money aside, you are probably pushing a million in tax advantaged accounts by the time you retire. Which is why the IRS has their eyes on that nest egg.

Jack Dodson
Jack Dodson
Reply to  3g4me
1 month ago

:

3g is right about the gift tax exclusion part (combined maximum of $36k, I assume the $72k referenced two children). There also is another method known as the “Crummey Trust,” which your tax guy may have referenced, but that money is in an account as I understand it and likely also to be viewed as low-hanging fruit soon.

That was a good point, 3g, and more important each passing day. I have followed it a long time.

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  3g4me
1 month ago

Steve: Perhaps it’s changed? At one point, when my father was still alive, my parents each gave us some money. Same with the in-laws, and my mother-in-law never worked. And when I had to do my jury duty hell in 2019 the issue came up, and I don’t recall any mention of it being limited to the working parent. I suggest you check into it further.

imbroglio
imbroglio
1 month ago

When the deadbeat debtor can no longer borrow, it prints. Inflation drives prices higher. Demand slows and paper currency reverts to its true zero value. Mises called it the “crack up boom.” The process can be slowed by gains in productivity, conquest and plunder.

Eventually the well run dry and the kids will be eating bugs. But when? How have we lasted so long?

Citizen of a Silly Country
Citizen of a Silly Country
1 month ago

“Tax collections are at record highs, but the deficit is also at all-time highs. The federal deficit in 2023 was $1.7 trillion.” That’s no coincidence. The federal deficit juices the economy which juices asset prices. Change in federal tax receipts has increasingly become correlated with asset prices. We’re now in trap. Even if our politicians found religion and tried to cut spending and raise taxes to get back onto a sustainable path, such as action would likely slow the economy causing asset prices to fall. Even without a recession, tax receipts would fall, blowing out the deficit, making debt to… Read more »

DLS
DLS
Reply to  Citizen of a Silly Country
1 month ago

Milton Friedman once said that governments will always spend everything they take in taxes, and whatever else they can get away with. His solution was to starve the beast, but as Zman points out, that doesn’t work either.

Citizen of a Silly Country
Citizen of a Silly Country
Reply to  thezman
1 month ago

I find a similar phenomenon when I read economists discussing debt to GDP. They note that countries almost always get into trouble when debt to GDP gets above 90-100% and definitely get in trouble when it hits 120-130% debt to GDP. The only exception is Japan for somewhat unique reasons. Regardless, these economists only look at the situation from one angle. They note how difficult the math becomes once your debt to GDP gets above 100%. But they never turn the problem on its head and say, “Maybe the main problem isn’t the high debt to GDP but the politicians… Read more »

DLS
DLS
Reply to  Citizen of a Silly Country
1 month ago

We have been somewhat different given our ability to export our inflation. But that has given our politicians enough rope to hang us all, as other major countries are now creating a work around.

Citizen of a Silly Country
Citizen of a Silly Country
Reply to  Citizen of a Silly Country
1 month ago

DLS, Yes, and that’s a huge advantage. Because the world has to hold dollars – usually via treasuries – some of the debasement of the dollar is put onto foreigners. It’s a very good deal. It also means that the dollar is stronger than it should be, which is a good deal for some (DC and Wall Street) but a bad deal for others (US manufacturing). That’s why the end of the dollar as the global reserve currency would ultimately be good for the US – though bad for DC. This is why no other country even wants to supplant… Read more »

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  thezman
1 month ago

I wish the gubmint DID operate according to a god standard. A Christian theocracy sounds pretty good about now.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  thezman
1 month ago

I don’t think the axiom is true, though. It’s just propaganda to turn people away from hard currency.

For example, the productivity gains of the 19th century were reflected in deflation, even with a partial adoption of an inflationary bimetallism standard. The government was only able to get “their cut” by instigating wars, and those wars were becoming increasingly affordable as ammunition prices and especially the contributions of Colt and Browning hit the market.

In order to get “their cut” in an era of increasing productivity, it would be necessary to add a central bank and decouple from hard currency.

Citizen of a Silly Country
Citizen of a Silly Country
Reply to  DLS
1 month ago

Apparently, Friedman never heard of debt.

Btw, as much as people rightly trash on the Modern Monetary Theory, I suspect that it’s very useful in helping to understand how the system works. Now, it’s completely worthless in terms of prescribing solutions but it does help describing the situation.

I feel like Z once said the same things about Marx’s work at the time that he wrote about the economy, but not sure.

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  Citizen of a Silly Country
1 month ago

Yes, MMT is basically just “look what we’ve been doing for the last few decades, we’re still here and still doing it, so obviously it works!”

Citizen of a Silly Country
Citizen of a Silly Country
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
1 month ago

Their basic premise is that “money” – and thus debt – doesn’t matter because the govt can just print it. Govts aren’t constrained by money. They’re constrained by the physical capacity of the economy, i.e., inflation. They argue that the govt can print all the money that it wants until inflation starts to rise at which point, the govt has to slow the money supply or reverse it via taxes. In many ways, they’re correct. But the idea that the govt can fine tune its doling out of money is far fetched. MMT is also built for people who love… Read more »

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Citizen of a Silly Country
1 month ago

MMT isn’t inherently inflationary, so long as government increases taxation to sop up the excess cash. All they need to do is keep the ratio of money to goods constant.

Which is the real reason MMT hate conservatives, who championed lower taxes for anyone and everyone. MMT requires the government to have the power to raise selectively taxes any amount, for any economic class whose price levels are increasing. If rent on studio and 1 bedroom apartments is increasing, they need to be able to raise taxes specifically on entry-level workers without affecting others whose prices are not increasing.

Gauss
Gauss
1 month ago

> When the baby boomers were in their prime working years, it was good politics to promise them lower taxes and greater returns from their investments. Now that they are retiring in droves, the tax ploy no longer works, so no one discusses it. Instead, it is good politics to create more money from thin air to pay for the entitlement programs.

Isn’t that the way Our Democracy is supposed to work? Otherwise, it dies in darkness. Or something.

Xman
Xman
1 month ago

“Conservatives” are relegated to the dustbin of history not simply for their embrace of taxes and multi-trillion dollar deficits. They have completely embraced the Police State and abandoned the Bill of Rights. Just last week the scumbag Mike Johnson broke a tie vote in the House that would have required a warrant for the government to use FISA data against Americans. You would think that the Constitution and the Bill of fucking Rights (LOL, you don’t have any) would automatically supersede pedestrian Congressional legislation, and that Congress requiring a warrant would be redundant, but you would be wrong. When the… Read more »

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  Xman
1 month ago

Xman: Yes, they are all pieces of shit. I’m just surprised that anyone honestly expects anything different from them, ever. Once again – they wouldn’t be in Congress if they weren’t already dirty. They wouldn’t have been a candidate if they didn’t already have the backing of the money men, and thus the local party apparatus. They wouldn’t have considered running if they weren’t already massive egotists who loved to hear themselves talk. Yet people still support politics and somehow think their local politicians are exempt from these truths. None of them give a damn about ‘the people’ and none… Read more »

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  3g4me
1 month ago

“ Stop following the debates. Look to your own family and future, because no one else will.”

Exactly. That one is so knowledgeable of the political scene is sort of a “tell” that they’ve not come to a complete realization of the futility of it all and the subtle games they are lured into playing.

I am no less guilty here.

Jack Dodson
Jack Dodson
Reply to  Xman
1 month ago

Johnson claimed to have a “black son” although adoption records for such did not exist. The “black son” now lives in California and has, shockingly, a long rap sheet.

Draw your own conclusions.

Mike
Mike
Reply to  Jack Dodson
1 month ago

Johnson looks like someone who goes out of his way to look and act normal but is a secret pervert of some kind. He looks like someone wearing a normal-guy skinsuit.

Paul Gottfried
Paul Gottfried
Reply to  Xman
1 month ago

“Piece of shit”

also you need to keep the blackmailing aspect in mind.

Marko
Marko
1 month ago

Funny that doing your taxes gets easier and easier but counting votes gets more and more complicated.

Guest
Guest
1 month ago

A little-known secret is that if you are in your sixties there’s little reason to file a tax return anymore. The IRS backlog for pursing tax compliance issues is about ten years. By the time the IRS gets to your case you will likely be dead or on death’s doorstep, at which time you can structure a settlement with the IRS for 30% to 50% of the taxes you owed. The IRS ceases enforcement of unpaid balances after 10 years, so if you drag it out longer the amounts due from the bottom of the ladder drop off the bottom… Read more »

David Wright
Member
Reply to  Guest
1 month ago

You won’t mind if I don’t follow your advice here?

Mycale
Mycale
Reply to  Guest
1 month ago

Just remember that the government (A) hates you and wants you dead, (B) is hiring lots of new IRS agents, with all the federal DEI provisions, and (C) is giving them weapons.

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  Guest
1 month ago

Guest: The assumption is that most people in their 60s are retired (my husband’s friends who worked for the federal or state governments are retired; most who stayed in the private sector/self employed are still working). The entire tax structure is designed to support older retirees and those getting government bennies (ss, medicare, pensions, disability, etc.). I see endless YT comments from people 50+ who are all retired and are recipients of multiple programs. We take none of the above, and the amount we pay in taxes is staggering. We’ve been using my husband’s 401k to supplement income for family… Read more »

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Guest
1 month ago

What position do you hold with the FBI, sir?

DLS
DLS
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 month ago

Ray Epps on a keyboard. This guy would have been outside the Capitol telling people, “Come on, they can’t arrest us all. Besides it’s a misdemeanor that will just get dropped. Oh never mind, the nice guard is waving us in. We’re good.”

DLS
DLS
Reply to  Guest
1 month ago

Until they tie you to a conservative online comment here or there, and come after you like it’s January 6.

Guest
Guest
Reply to  DLS
1 month ago

Tax collection is a civil process, not a criminal process. The IRS doesn’t do anything until they get a judgment against a taxpayer. The IRS typically doesn’t initiate the process for at least ten years, because their backlog is so deep. Once initiated, the process to obtain a judgment can take 2-3 years and costs the IRS tens of thousands of dollars to obtain, which is why they routinely settle for 30% of the amount due. If you are a typical middle-class or even upper middle class that does routine W-2 withholding (or pays quarterly taxes) the odds that the… Read more »

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Guest
1 month ago

Tax collection is a civil process, not a criminal process.

Pretty sure its an administrative “law” process, not a civil process. It’s not going to be heard in a common law court, but rather in a special tax court, with its own rules for proof, evidence, due process, etc. And at the end of it all, they still have the option to toss your butt in jail or have you just summarily executed, which is not true of your typical civil court.

DLS
DLS
Reply to  Guest
1 month ago

Uh huh. When you are undergoing your IRS audit and are subsequently charged with tax evasion for some made up BS, tell yourself it’s all okay because the collection part is a civil process.

Mycale
Mycale
1 month ago

When the government collections something between 17%-20% of GDP in taxes every year since World War II, like clockwork, no matter what the rates are on paper or how the code is structured, but the government spends 22%-27% of GDP every year, then the problem isn’t that the taxes are too high or the code is too complicated. The conservatives knew that, they’re not stupid. “Starve the beast” makes no sense if the beast can conjure food out of thin air.

XLOVELI
1 month ago

Tax spending … No one man has a firm grasp of where all the money is going. The impossible complexity of all those rivers of money means that the spending just perpetuates itself. Perhaps a sensible system would be one in which a single man could look over all the rivers and see a landscape that made sense.

Captain Willard
Captain Willard
1 month ago

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hauser's_law So this clever analyst noticed that no matter the tax regime, the current US postwar “system” can really only collect between 19-20% of GDP in taxes. This has been the most steady, reliable economic “rule” in recent history. Now, you can always argue that the “system” could be changed and that the burden could be distributed more fairly blah blah. But it would appear that we’ve reached what the economists call a “saddlepoint”. To move from this taxation regime would require a lot of economic/systemic and possibly social dislocation. No less a figure than Dick Cheney, the perfect bogeyman… Read more »

Chet Rollins
Chet Rollins
Reply to  Captain Willard
1 month ago

The fact the Federal Reserve can’t get a handle on inflation, along with the amount we pay now in interest on our debt, is creating an atmosphere that could well make the 2008 crisis look tame. A couple more geopolitical disasters and this could easily get out of control right in time for the election.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Captain Willard
1 month ago

Au contaire, herr Doktor Stein. If something can’t go on forever, it will.

Chet Rollins
Chet Rollins
1 month ago

Even for small business owners, tax software has managed to keep up with the complications of the tax system. to the extent that many self-employed people with decent record keeping can finish their taxes in a few hours, while milking deductions for all they’re worth. When I was younger, my old man would pore over tax docs for days, all the while mumbling dark thoughts about what should happen to the parasites in Washington. It’s a very different mindset when you’re forced into multiple days of drudgery. Never underestimate how much people will put up with as long as things… Read more »

Anti-Gnostic
Anti-Gnostic
Reply to  Chet Rollins
1 month ago

90 minutes was all it took for me but I have a home office and no payroll. I don’t think a pair of human eyes ever looks at your return until you claim more than $10K in business expenses.

BTW, the Qualified Business Income Deduction seemed pretty huge this year. I expect that will get humped pretty heavily by the “Biden” campaign.

Ironically the Republicans under GWB took a lot of sting out of taxes by removing a number of people (who mostly vote Democrat) from any tax liability at all.

mikeski
Member
Reply to  Chet Rollins
1 month ago

When I was younger, my old man would pore over tax docs for days, all the while mumbling dark thoughts about what should happen to the parasites in Washington. It’s a very different mindset when you’re forced into multiple days of drudgery.

This was a sitcom trope for years – the parents going crazy trying to figure out their taxes. Much like “get off the phone, I’m expecting a call”, gone now, to the mists of time.

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  mikeski
1 month ago

Having finally given up and have a service (accountant) do the taxes I concur—but really, for me as a “wage slave” it should never have been so hard. What took time is all the complication wrt exemptions and deductions. A flat tax would seem to go a long way towards 1) simplification, and 2) bringing to the forefront exactly how onerous one’s “fair share” is—assumes all workers pay such no matter how meager their station in life.

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  Chet Rollins
1 month ago

Chet: My husband still does this – refuses to do taxes online. And even though we can’t itemize deductions, he still parses everything and always finds something unclear that leaves him intensely frustrated. And now that we’ve left Texas, we unfortunately have state income taxes for the first time – and that just further complicated matters.

Arshad Ali
Arshad Ali
1 month ago

“Rarely said, but often implied, was the claim that a complex tax code allowed special interests to game the system and avoid taxes or bribe their favorite politicians to get special tax breaks.” Yes, of course. But this also applies to any complex legislation — one example being the 2,000 pages of Obamacare. Other than the tax paid to the federal and state governments, there’s another more insidious form of tax — the “stealth tax” of inflation. One hears little about this except from the likes of Peter Schiff. This stealth tax has been made possible because of the de-linking… Read more »

Anti-Gnostic
Anti-Gnostic
Reply to  Arshad Ali
1 month ago

Foreign central bank bond purchases effectively allow us to export inflation. It’s pretty incredible. But it can’t go on forever so it won’t.

Arshad Ali
Arshad Ali
Reply to  Anti-Gnostic
1 month ago

Yes, absolutely — for decades the US has been exporting some of its inflation. As that game is now ceasing, the US will have to keep all of its inflation and the consequences will be dire for most denizens of the country.

RealityRules
RealityRules
1 month ago

It was not so long ago when you would take up a discussion of some important, structural problem that needed to be addressed. It would be with a, “conservative”, be it a Blue Dog or a Republican. The conversation having a chance to get somewhere substantial was very quickly railroaded with, “Yeah. But America is still by far the best place to be. Things are still great here, so we’ll be okay.” Twenty years later, Shapiro and Fink are on a coordinated tour to explicitly pull away social security, The Fed is taking it away stealthily with compounding inflation, and… Read more »