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Thursday, August 10, 2006

progressive in 8 minutes flat

a little read, if you're interested ~

The scene says everything you need to know about the modern Democratic Party. It spends its weekdays sucking off the Pentagon and Wall Street and the pharmaceutical industry, and on the weekends it comes out and spends five minutes getting teary-eyed for the "I have a dream" speech and thinks you owe it your vote because of it. [rolling stone]

now ... Lamont the cable guy probably isn't any better ... but, if Obama ran for pres, i'd vote for him in a heartbeat.

gawd i'm a pinko-liberal sum'bitch.

- - -

i believe in universal healthcare, but also a straight-cut 15% tax on all individual and corporate incomes ~ no deductions.

i believe the estate tax is double-taxation and should be removed.

i believe social programs are a 1st priority in federal and state expenditures.

i believe the military is a necessary insanity and one we must vigilantly monitor, lest we allow the psychosis to overtake our rational thought.

i believe education should be free - from preschool to graduate school.

i believe the first alien species we encounter will have excellent psychotropics and want to get jiggy for the a good decade, or two with us. the hangover will be so worth it.

i believe the death penalty is the easy way out. And the easy way out is rarely the moral, ethical, or most beneficial path.

i believe in freedom of religion ... and wish to god we were free to not believe in god.

i believe anyone who is not pro-choice is a flaming, butt-sniffing idiot.
i believe in the greed of humans.

i believe cyclocross is the closest thing to sex on the bike i've come across yet.

i believe condoms should have inspirational glow-in-the-dark sayings written on the sides. Things like "you deserve to be happy!" and "fun is in the doing!"

i believe i've had too much coffee this morning.


Velo Bella said...

I believe you will run one hell of a deficit

thats a serious tax break you are calling for there

Velo Bella said...

oh, and all your fiscal talk is getting me hot

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

no deductions = no refunds.

cost cutting on a massive scale there.

and, if we think corporations pay 15% on income right now? bwwaaahhhahaahaha.

you little vixen.

PAB said...

I've seen Obama in interviews. he impressed me.

i also agree with almost all your points--which scares me a little bit...

and i think i saw the condoms you are talking about for sale in a vending machine in the bathroom of a crappy little gas station in bumfuck Oregon....

next time, i'll grab you a couple (a couple dozen?)


gotta go do my suffervals now...

Nome Agusta said...

I am nominating Olaf Vanderhoot for NCNCA President in 2007.

Nome Agusta said...


Nome Agusta said...


shawndoggy said...

Querry: why tax corporations at all? Corporations are not people after all. Case in point... let's say I run a bike shop. I can do it as a sole proprietor or as a corporation. Should I pay taxes twice (the corporation pays tax, then I distribute profits to myself and pay tax on that) if I choose to incorporate, and if so, why?

The corporation is just the collective. "Corporate greed" and all that -- really what pisses people off is that the CEO gets an ungodly bonus. That's income to him and should be taxed. When I get dividends on my shares of a public corp, I pay tax on that. And what of "growth companies" that don't pay dividends? Well, for them I guess I see keeping that capital in play for growth as being good for the economy, creating jobs, etc.

My thought -- let's quit taxing income (and especially income on savings) altogether. Rather, let's tax consumption. It pisses ME off to no end that if I save my income diligently that I'll be taxed on the interest income from income that I've already been taxed on, whilst my freewheeling neighbor can get a big tax deduction by taking a home equity loan (deductible interest, dontcha know) and buying a boat. Let's let people take home all they earn and put a big-assed tax on buying crap.

And man, for a true commie, I'm surprised at your view of the estate tax. If any element of our capitalist system preserves the have / have not distinction it's the fact that families can pass along wealth. Why not have 100% estate tax and make everyone start from scratch?

Velo Bella said...

corporations pay on average about 35% on net income, after taking advantage of whatever programs are out there.

unless by no deductions you mean tax on gross rather than net income. But that hardly seems fair. How is someone running a loss supposed to pay the tax? And it would stifle start ups and research intensive corps who run losses and lean margins for several years before turning profits.

Most corporations, since they are publically traded, have incentive to overstate, not understate income. So there generally is not a whole lot of understating of income going on.

There are accounting tricks to play, but those are generally timing only, or shift the burden to other corps or individuals.

Some corps do get wierd farming, energy, enterprise breaks that are taken advanatge of. But even without those they likely pay more than 15%

Also, most individuals would get a tax break from your plan too. I would save about $5,000 with your tax plan.

Also, there are social benefits to some of the tax code. Would people still donate to charities if there were not a tax advantage? Would employers still set up 125 and 401K plans for their employees. WOuld people save money if there were no tax breaks to do so or invest in home ownership? Or invest in enterprise zones?

And you trying to put all the CPAs and lawyers out of work?

Johnny Sprocket said...

Political talk gets me going as well, although there is a wide chasm between me and the Vanderhoot. All the same, it's good to be of an opinion. Nothing is more frustrating as someone who won't come to a conclusion or doesn't vote. I've been equally terrified of people of the mule as well as people of the elephant. I like some of the ideas you put forth especially the flat tax and getting rid of the estate tax. Flat taxes have shown to do wonders for the economy. See Ireland and Slovakia as great examples of countries once down on their luck running circles around a stagnant Europe. A booming economy will always ease a deficit, allow for more social spending, and make everyone generally happier than raising taxes to do any of the above. As for social health care, I guess it boils down to what you think your government's responsibility is. Does it owe us an obligation to put a cast on our arm when we fall, or to put a new part in Aunt Bessie? I'm not certain. Seems like the free market is a better place to handle this type of situation. And I wouldn't go as far as to say that I'm a butt sniffing pro-lifer, but I can understand their point of view.

As for cyclocross, a buddy of mine got me to try it a few years ago, and as Niel told me, the needle and the damage is done.

Good post Olaf. Politics and the bike definitely go together. You remind me of Paul Wellstone. Probably the only politician recently that truly believed in what he was talking about. In his mind, he had a clear idea for the role government should play, and he would stop at nothing short of his ideals. I didn't agree with him, but I had far more respect for someone of that ilk than some of these other wonks that believe they come before the people they represent. Keep up the good commentary.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...


Nome Agusta said...

I hate politics, replacing one set of lies for another.
SD wrote: Blah blah blah at all. Blah blah blah bike shop. Blah blah blah taxes or something.

Velo Bella said...

I like the part about the aliens

Velo Bella said...

I think it was
blah blah blah blah blah michael's fiscal talk gets me hot blah blah blah

shawndoggy said...

Oh and on the CX front, where can I score a decent 54ish cm CX bike for about $600 (used, obviously)? I promise to have paid all my taxes on that money....

X Bunny said...

glow in the dark might be good for the sayings on the condoms but what about when it isn't dark?

i think that they should be heat-activated

like the star trek mug we have that the little characters beam up/down when you put coffee in the mug and it gets hot

Velojuice said...

Any guy who use cyclocross and sex in the same sentance has my vote and is extremly hot! Um...what else did blog about? On a completely unrelated note I gave some skin and blood to the MTB trail goddesses last night, speaking of universal health care. Looks like a cat got a hold of me, one mean scary pussy!

Velo Bella said...

I bet the jiggy aliens would like that

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

15% on net incomes, corporations and individuals. all forms of income. no deductions.

if we have less money going into the federal coffers, so be it.

social benefits donations would have to be ... (gasp) philanthropic. if they didn't happen because of the lack of deduction incentives, so be it.

estate tax ~ it's personal property and i see no reason it shouldn't be done with as a dying person pleases. haves and have nots are not the issue in regard to estate tax. it's HOW that gap occurred that is the problem.

government responsibility ~ i believe it to be what we decide it to be. deciding is haaaaard. living up to those decisions and not corrupting them for personal gain is ... near impossible.

shitcan the CPAs and Lawyers ~ only because it will free up time for them to ride their bikes.

CX bikes for under $600 ... i do believe you are the master of the bargain basement digup, s-Dawggy.

and i love it when Neil is referenced.

... the damage done.

Velo Bella said...


you are so not allowed to be in control of the household checkbook

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

was that ever a consideration?

shawndoggy said...

You dodged my Qs olaf -- why tax twice just because of structure used to do business? And why tax me on income derrived from money I've earned (and already paid taxes on) but let my neighbor who blows his cash off the hook. It's a frugality tax... and it's going up under your plan, since you are also eliminating my tax sheltered savings vehicles like an IRA, Roth IRA, and a 401(k).

Logic, man, gimme some logic.

Is social security part of the plan too?

Agree with VB, tho, that as aspirationally attractive as a flat tax is, those "loopholes" all exist because some group effectively lobbied for it, meaning a lot of oxes will be gored when the loopholes go away. So you need to be ready for questions like these:

Olaf, why, oh why do you hate childcare providers?

Olaf, why do you want to put the hurt on workin' moms?

We all know home ownership is the American dream, and now you've done away with a key tax deduction that makes it more affordable for people to own their homes... Olaf, do you really hate America?

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

Olaf, do you really hate America?

kill whitey

Dr. X said...

mmmm, psychotropics

X Bunny said...

how much time, money, and paper are wasted by having such a complex tax system?

everybody wants an exemption or deduction that applies to them

i am for anything that simplifies


and i let you-know-who have the checkbook and finance duties for one month

you can guess what happened

i know it's a pretty good bet he did it on purpose...

shawndoggy said...

XB -- you are dead-on in the simplicity of the flat tax. Let the gov't collect the taxes and figure out how to spend it. The problem is that those tax breaks will be seen as what they really are -- ENTITLEMENTS. And while letting someone pay less in taxes for engaging in a transaction that the gov't wants to encourage (buy a home, buy a hybrid, etc.) is a lot more paletable than actually PAYING someone to do the same thing.

The other perceived benefit of tax incentives (read: breaks) is that they encourage someone (other than the government) to do some favored act. Don't do the act, don't get the break -- so really what those breaks do is incentivize behaviors. Not that it wouldn't happen anyway, but tax breaks get hybrids on the road, wind farms built, etc. Of course they also subsidize our dependence on high fructose corn syrup, individual (rather than mass) transportation, ....

PAB said...

i, feels pretty weird....but, um...

...i think i'm going with the nome on this one....

VeloRainDog said...

the problem w/ a flat tax is that it ends up being classist. if you make $20,000 a year and have a family, 15% hurts a helluva lot more than if you make $100,000 a year and are single.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

social programs for the poor

$20K a year for a family = poor

- - -

outlining responsible social programs and the accountability via bureaucracies that accompanies them ... oh, do i have to?

my brain hurts.

X Bunny said...

you have bikes to clean
is the cross bike together yet?

Kirkpatrick MacMillan said...

Velorain you hit it on the head with the ONLY drawback on flat tax. It's regressive, i.e.: impacts lower income more. So, the tax only kicks in above 60,000 or some number (tied to the cost of living index)

Otherwise the flat tax is appealing because a) we avoid spending billions on figuring out our taxes => more efficient economy b) it's simple c) removes perception of unfairness that the rich are able to avoid their taxes.

Shawndoggy, Like your ideas too but taxing consumption is also regressive. So let's tax income but have a deduction for savings like you suggest (i.e. anything saved or invested). Like the idea of exempting corporations but wonder what the unintended consequences would be? Would corporations start holding their assets instead of paying dividends allowing people to amass great paper wealth (in the rising stock value). As long as they don't cash in they would not be taxed. No, let's just treat a corp like a person and tax them too.

Ok, so my tax world is not as simple as OV's. In the United Stats of Griffotopia the tax law is now 15% of income over 60,000 less savings.

shawndoggy said...

Would corporations start holding their assets instead of paying dividends allowing people to amass great paper wealth (in the rising stock value).

KM -- a vast number of corporations already do this. It's basically the definition of a "growth" company. Profits are reinvested in growing the company rather than paying dividends to stockholders. Think Cisco, Microsoft, Intel, Quiksilver (yeah, the clothing company)...

And I'm fully down to exempt necessities from my consumption tax. Utilities (other than HD DirecTV), food, transportation costs (at least on the first car, and I know people will use it to buy a Fararri), and some housing costs (though there'd have to be a cap lest wily tax dodgers sink all of their capital in a mansion).