Friday, December 23, 2005

Fair Tax versus Flat Tax.

I was for awhile of the opinion that a consumption only tax may be just the thing to get people to pay something of a fair amount of tax based on the things they buy, but then an aquaintence pointed out that people in charge of large corporations typically have everything provided for them by the corporation/company.

If the corporation doesn't pay taxes on the things it buys because it has a 'license' then how does the rich rat bastard ever pay any taxes? Inquiring minds want to know the answer to this one.

I think perhaps the answer lies in enforcement some way or another. I sure don't seem to have a handle on getting people that own corporations to pay taxes on goods and services paid for by the corporation.

Flat tax still has more overhead in my opinion, but I'm not sure how it can close loopholes that higher income people usually take advantage of.

Well, I suppose the answer is if the corporation transfers goods and services to private individuals, then it must be taxed at retail value.

Fair Tax or Flat Tax. Either way has got to be better than the pile of tax dung we have now. I'm still leaning toward Fair Tax with strict laws on transferring goods and services to people that own or are employed by the corporation.

JFM

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The great misinterpretation of the First Amendment and the Separation of Church and State.

I've been disgusted by this for quite a long time now. I am indeed for the separation of church and state, but under the terms originally intended by the framers of the constitution. What was this original intent? Simply the intent was that the State would not make laws establishing and respecting any one religion over any other. It would not collect taxes for any religion, nor tax any religion. The other edge of the sword has been given short shrift, namely that the freedom to practice religion was guaranteed even in public places.

What has gone wrong? The courts have taken it upon themselves to expunge religious symbols from all facets of public life. This is wrong and expressly forbidden by the first amendment. Some may disagree, and I think the majority are actually practicing their own belief, namely that there is no God and want their belief enforced by removing all references to God remove from public view.

This is so wrong. Enforcing the "No God in public!" mantra actually caters to the belief of a minority!

How can we allow ourselves to be duped like this? I don't know, but we can change it. It needs to begin by demanding that judges understand the nature of the separation of church and state.

I see it this way.

1. Government makes no laws that show favoritism toward a specific religion.
2. Government makes no laws that provide taxes to any religion.
3. Government makes no laws that tax any religion.
4. Government must respect the open practice of religion in public.
5. Government may not require that religious icons and symbols be removed from public view or public places.

I think numbers one to three are pretty well taken care of. It is four and five that I think are misunderstood and abused. As long as laws are not made, the people running government may practice their religion, even while in office. If that means they install religious symbols and monuments in public then it is fine as long as no laws were made in order to put them up, no public funds were allocated for it and nobody was taxed for it.

Do we want to let the wishes of a few dictate the freedom to express and practice religion in public? I hope not for if that happens, only Atheists will have won the battle over the First Amendment.


JFM

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Emigration and the Loss of National Identity

Boy, this one is a rat's nest. I think we need to get a better handle on Emigration in our country. It is getting to the point where too many folks are coming to America too quickly to be absorbed properly.

No I am not referring to jobs. I mean these people are not getting integrated into American Society, not learning English, not adopting any American Customs, not wanting to identify themselves as American and the list goes on.

We need to restrict the number of emigrants to a level where they integrate properly. We also need to get control of our borders and prevent illegal emigration. If nothing else they are placing a burden on our social services and this is singling out Americans to foot the bill.

The first thing is get control of the borders. Then catch and deport the illegals.

Then we need to enforce some standards in education. For instance we should teach English in school as the primary language. I don't have a problem with teaching Spanish as well, but as a second language, not the first.

While I'm proud that people want to live in America, I think it should be better managed. I don't want to see problems like in Canada where the folks in Quebec identify more with France than with Canada. Granted they have been there a long time, but tolerating their separate identity, customs, and laws is the root of the problem to begin with. If we allow the same thing to happen in the American Southwest then it will present problems that may well lead to violence. Do we want that? I think not.

JFM

Monday, December 12, 2005

On Property Tax Sales

Something that happened to my mother years ago has stuck with me ever since. She got behind on her property taxes and one year the county had a tax sale on the property. She owed twelve hundred Dollars on a property worth 15 times that.

So the county had the tax sale and someone bid thirty-five hundred Dollars on the property. Eventually I found out and paid the tax bill and a ten percent fee on top of the tax sale price to clear the property of the back tax and prevent transfer of ownership.

This galled me to this day, how it is possible for government to force the sale of a property for a tax bill that is a small fraction of the value of the property plus allow the prospective buyer to obtain the property at a small fraction of the fair market value to boot.

I believe this practice is wrong and should be remedied. I propose a law that protects the property owner in two ways. First, the government cannot force a tax sale on a property until a significant amount owed versus the property value is reached. I propose 25 to 30 percent of the fair market value of the property. Secondly, should a tax sale be forced, the property must sell for a price comparable to the fair market value of the property, say no less than 80 percent of the fair market value.

These two components of the law ensure fair treatment of those property owners that are unable to pay the property taxes in a timely manner.


JFM

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Eminent Domain has Become the Wealthy Man's Land Grab Law!

Sixmeat Buffet has a great article on the eminent domain land grab ongoing in Riveria Beach, Fla.

My take on it is Eminent Domain absolutely must be restricted to public use. Other schemes where private enterprises are involved literally are government sanctioned takeovers of private property by the wealthy and well connected.

This must stop and the Supreme Court has dropped a huge steamin' seven coiler on the rest of us with its Kelo decision, to basically deny private property owners protection from people who want their property and are willing to go to the government to get it.

What we need to do is develop and pass a new amendment to the Constitution that SPECIFIES Eminent Domain is limited to public use restrictions. I dare say that breaches of the law in this matter should result in return of the confiscated property along with return of the property to its previous condition if possible, plus a damage award. Make it hurt and these dolts will think long and hard about it before pulling any stupidity with Eminent Domain.


JFM

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Day By Day Now on Jollys Desk!

I originally placed Day by Day drawn by Chris Muir on the Nutter Review, but decided today to move it over here to Jolly's Desk where it really belongs.

Enjoy!
JFM

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

On Government Deficits

It is well known that the Federal Government is running a substantial budget deficit. The numbers are huge by any rational standard.

Under normal circumstances, a deficit is something to avoid. The propensity to overspend may satisfy the immediate need for whatever the money goes to, but it must eventually be paid. Also in paying, the budget must forgo doing things that must be done in the future.

Judicious use of the public funds must prevail. Not only overspending based on moneys available, but overspending when government functions and services do not require it.

I believe a bottom to top and top to bottom review of the Federal Government must be initiated to remove bloat from the budget, kill unnecessary programs, and improve efficiency.

All of these things are in the public interest and really must be done, not in periodic or sporadic fashion, but continuously. Good stewardship of public funds is obligatory. No funding for unnecessary programs! Waste as little as possible! Return what funding is not used!

Instead of the institutional tendency of 'spend it all' to justify a bigger budget next year, a realistic approach of determining the amount needed for each organizational budget, then working, NOT to spend it ALL, but to use as little as necessary to complete the mission and return the unused portion at the end of the year. Rewarding managers and workers for saving money and resources should become the order of the day, not rewarding managers with bigger budgets and more power because they spent every dime from the previous year.

The need to alter the prevailing culture of waste is overwhelming and is best confronted at the attitude level. To begin, periodic mandatory training emphasizing the need for good stewardship of government moneys must be instituted for government workers and elected officials at all levels of the Federal government.

These measures will help, but they do not cure the patient. I propose a Constitutional Amendment that requires a balanced budget in all times but war or threat of war or natural disaster. Additionally the budget must make provisions for buy down of the public debt at a reasonable rate when not in wartime.

The exact wording of such an amendment should satisfy these elements:
1. Under normal circumstances the Federal budget must be self sufficient with public debt reduction taken into account. The two ways of doing this are raising taxes and reducing government services and functions to cost less than monies received in taxes.
2. Exceptions to the rule of self sufficiency must be accounted for in order to prevent the government from shutting down in the event the budget is exceeded. Methods to control these sorts of unforeseen costs and a schedule to pay down the incurred debt should be outlined in public law.
3. Programs must be put into place for training people in government regarding good budgetary practice and rewarding people for achieving cost savings while maintaining government services.

The time to address this issue is now, not in a year or five years or after retirement.

JFM