Fighting Over a Bag of Money

10 07 2017

Las Vegas

I’ve thought almost since the moment the Floyd-Conor fight was announced that the whole thing is athletically irrelevant and apropos of nothing.  While we’re at it, we should arrange for a bout between a beetle and an avocado.

It’s just two guys fighting over possession of a bag of money.

It’s also why I’m not planting any racial pride flags on this farce.

Now we find out today why Floyd wanted to do this so badly.





Profundity, Served Here on a Nearly Daily Basis

2 07 2017

Springfield

Two of my prophecies about Illinois have already come true, one did some time ago, and the other just did:

(1) Dawn Clark Netsch was the most influential politician in the modern history of Illinois state politics, in spite of the fact that she lost the 1994 race for Governor.

(2) The state would quit making lottery jackpot payouts.

I’ve been following (2) for awhile recently, so I’ll put it aside.

In 1994, Netsch was the Democrat nominee for Governor running against Jim Edgar, who was seeking his second term.  Netsch called for increasing the single flat rate state income tax rate and then giving rebates to lower income people within the paying range.  Edgar of course dumped all over the idea.  He won.  And, late in his second term as Governor, he proposed Netsch’s idea almost down to the letter.  It would actually be enacted under the next Governor, another Republican, George Ryan.  When that happened, it was said to be temporary, and that, at some point in the future, the rate would revert.

Not only has it not reverted, and any dummy could have predicted that, it’s about to go in the other direction, again.





In That Which My Habit Is Justified

8 06 2017

Jefferson City

About the DOR’s snail pace in submitting state income tax return refund checks:

It’s why I try to arrange my personal tax business such that, ideally, I slightly owe the Feds and state, or if I wind up getting a refund, it’s an amount so small that I wouldn’t miss it if it never comes.  Because we should be increasingly mentally resigned to “it never comes.”  I’d rather not have what I had this year, owing both institutions rather substantial amounts, but even then, I’d rather owe a lot than get a lot back.  Because, as we’ve been seeing out of Illinois for awhile, and now the problem is presenting in Missouri, and soon it will be the Feds, tight budgets means they have ever incentive to hit the go slow zone when remitting tax refund checks.  Not so coincidentally, we found out a few days ago that the revenue punch isn’t quite strong enough to fund the 2018 FY budget the General Assembly passed last month.

Just as it’s going to be harder and harder to get income tax refund checks, I predict that the annuity recipients of large lottery jackpots will soon start having the same problems with yearly payments.  And don’t look for the judicial system to help you, because judges want the governments they work for to have the cash flow to pay judges’ salaries.  Law enforcement and military will have the same attitude for the same reason.  And I’m pretty sure both the government based in Washington, D.C. and the one based in Jefferson City will easily be able to beat me and my thirty-aught-six in a fight.

So the only thing you can do is what I do.  If you’re dumb enough to play the lottery, i.e. remit the tax on those unwilling or unable to understand probability and statistics, and you happen to win a large jackpot, take the one-time lump sum.

UPDATE

You may be asking right about now:  “But Blogmeister, if they start holding back tax refund checks, then everyone will do what you want and adjusting their withholding so that they can’t get a refund, and this will put governments back to square one in financial terms.”

Ordinarily, you’d think so.

But there’s an explanation about a fact of life and human nature you need to understand.  To set that up, I need to confess something.

I like to write here that I was born 40 years ago.  But that’s all a cover — What really happened in 1977 is that I arrived here from an alien world.  I’ve been spending all that time trying to find someone to fix the transmission on my UFO so I can get on outta here and back to Fezeliniglibauten-9.  You know how that goes, you have to double pop the clutch in order to go from 438th to 439th gear. “Feh,” you may quip, but that’s a really important gear shift I have to make when negotiating curves at the points where stellar gravity wells cancel each other out.  I’ve looked all over this planet for someone who can fix it — I’ve looked all over Area 51, Wright-Patterson AFB, Roswell, New Mexico, to no avail.  Hell, I got so desperate that I even called Art Bell, but not even he could help me.

So, as I’ve been stranded on this rock for the last 40 years, I’ve had lots of time on my hands, and therefore, I’ve done a lot of studying of these sentient beings that call themselves “human beings.”  And one of the many things I’ve learned about them is that they’re gravely fearful to the level of paranoia about being in anything that’s close to long term taxation indebtedness to governments that own and operate prisons.

Okay, all kidding aside, (or am I kidding?), sure, I can and do fiddle around with withholding with the aim of slightly owing the state and Feds in April every year, and I’m sure a small percentage of people would take that habit up if governments quit sending refund checks.  That’s because I’m not paranoid of owing on my tax returns.  However, most above board people are.  I think, even if it became obvious that governments won’t send tax refund checks anymore, most people will still arrange for over-withholding on their paychecks knowing full well that they won’t ever get it back, precisely because they fear tax indebtedness, because they fear Federal and state prison.  (That, and people are always unsure about their cash flow and liquid asset availability at any one moment in time.  If they owe on taxes, then the tax bill and some very important bill will be due at the same time, and they might not have the cash for both.)  And I think governments both know this propensity of human nature and are counting on it.  Most “honest” sorts of people won’t haggle over a few hundred or a few thousand dollars against institutions that own prisons, tanks, supercarriers and nuclear weapons.  Especially if they can be made to think that such haggling will preclude grandma from getting her Social Security check.





Not Removing Kebab, Part II

31 05 2017

North City

More knock backs of the Patel-owned quickie marts, not only here in The STL, but also in other cities.  It happened today, to match a similar set of raids last week.

It says that it was over cigarette tax arbitrage and K2.  My sense is that it was really about the taxes, and they just happened to throw the K2 thing in to make us think that this wasn’t purely a matter of the king’s soldiers jealously enforcing the king’s tax laws.

 





The T in ATF

23 02 2017

Bristol, Virginia

Most people think of the F in ATF, not realizing that they have jurisdiction over T.  And, just like there are Operation Gunrunner (“Fast and Furious”) clusterfucks that grow out of F, there is now a similar T-related scandal.

And what set it all off?

The basics of cigarette smuggling are simple. Each state sets its tobacco taxes. Buying cigarettes in low-tax states, like Virginia, and secretly selling them in higher-tax states, like New York, generates large profits. More complicated schemes have shipped cigarettes to Indian reservations, where they are not taxed, then rerouted them for sale on the black market.

A.T.F. agents try to disrupt these networks. Often that means working with informants to buy and sell tobacco on the black market, much the way agents pose as drug dealers to investigate cartels.

This is why the NYPD was so interested in Eric Garner, and the very questionable accost of him in July 2014 caused his death.

Obvious solution?  Tobacco taxation should be an exclusively Federal power.  Just as I think income taxation should be an exclusively Federal power.





Why I’m #NRx

17 10 2016

Washington, D.C.

Two reasons why it will never happen under the current system:

(1) The substance of the paperwork will never be simple, as long as the industries directly dependent on complicated Federal taxation law, tax attorneys, accountants, can buy politicians.

(2) The online nature of filling out the virtual paperwork will never properly function as long as elected politicians think they have to dole out the job based on political and ethnic concerns, i.e. H-1B.  Remember the ObamaDontCare online presence?  When it first went online, and failed so badly, a trio of 20-year olds within a matter of 48 hours built a website that replicated its functionality to a tee and worked flawlessly.

Now, if you really do want taxes to be that simple and that easy, seek, find, hug and support your nearest neoreactionary.





This Should Be His Story, He Should Stick To It

3 10 2016

Manhattan

Okay, Fifth Floor.  Here’s how to handle this:

Entirely on the illegality of the leak.  Loudly.  Over and over and over and over again.  For a whole month.  And nothing else.  DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, get bogged down in a quagmire in Nuanceistan over tax laws.  Not one syllable about them, full stop.

And no, I don’t buy our favorite gorilla’s theory that Trump leaked them himself.  Because that theory is predicated on some gossip that someone at the NYT said that the docs came in an envelope return address Trump Tower.  If Trump himself had any inclination to leak them, and he wouldn’t have for all the dust that it’s kicking back in his face, he wouldn’t have snail mailed them with his own nest’s return address on the envelope.