Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Receive 0% APR…

 In a woefull sign of the times, Parker Brothers has sold the soul of Monopoly to VISA.  That's right, the timeless classic is now partial owned by Visa.  

Changes afoot?  You bet!  You don't need that real money (oh the irony of arguing the realness of monopoly money)… you just need your VISA CARD!  AHHHH! I can't believe it. I'm blown away with the thought of swiping your Visa card to purchase Park Place.  Passing go and sending your money directly to Mr. Visa.  It's terrible it's a travesty and oh yes, it does actually come with a Visa card and a card reader instead of the paper money.

Record Tax Revenues

 The IRS pulled in record income tax revenues in April.  The amount was second only to the final tech boom before the bust in 2001.  Now if we had record income tax revenues that would certainly imply record incomes. Record incomes would point towards -gasp- a good economy.

This might also be used as proof that cutting tax RATES can actually increase tax REVENUES.  Which is really what the big government guys are all about.  Of course such economic theories don't really jive with trying to drum up class warefare.

Evil Capitalists

 Some perspective on Big Oil from guest writer: Jeff:

Can you believe this?! Time Warner made $1.46 billion profits in the first quarter. Thats a 60% increase over last year. And just who, you might ask, is a part of Time Warner? Well, those evil capitalist pigs CNN, and Time (among others) of course. Can you believe that they are making such obscene profits reporting the news? I mean, the news is an essential part of life. Asking people to go without news is like asking them to go without their catheter bags. Besides, reporting the news is supposed to be a noble profession, far above the evil influence of profits. How can this evil conglomerate continue to exist in America, when it is obviously gouging innocent citizens? Get this: the CEO made $16 million!  Heres an idea: they should take those profits, and re-distribute them to the American people. Lets see, $1.46 billion divided among 311 million gouged citizens (dont worry, 11 million undocumented workers included), equals $4.70 a person! Send the checks today!

OR, the CEO could donate his pay to lower our cable TV bills: $16 million divided by 311 million people is $.05. I want MY nickel, how about YOU?

Why does the same rhetoric seem perfectly logical when applied to oil companies? I guess because we HAVE to keep driving? Well, are you going to turn off your cable (and maybe even go to the library)? Time Warner also owns the Atlanta Braves

Tax Time – How Much Did you Pay?

So today is the day you pay your taxes.  Today you see and feel the pain of your hard earned money leaving your hand…

So, how much did you really pay? Now many will answer, I didn't pay anything, I got $200 back.  Nope, that just means you overpaid.  Before filing away your forms look at the real amount you paid in… if you're like most you filed online or with the $30 tax software.  Both will let you view/printout a PDF version of your 1040 form.  If you filed old school you already have your 1040 in your hot little hand…  

Ignore the bottom most line (73a if you got a refund or 75 if you still owed money) and look at line 63.  This is after all the additions and deductions is your TOTAL TAX.  That is how much you paid the government – not the two hundred or two thousand dollar check you wrote this weekend.  A lot bigger isn't it?  Kinda makes you want to find out where it all goes doesn't it?

Here are a few other tax tid bits that will make you think:

  • Corporations spent over 2,900,000,000 man hours complying with the tax code (which is the single longest document in existence) at a cost of approximately $100,000,000,000 in wasted productivity in 2002.  And that cost doesn't include actual taxes – that is just the cost of legally following the code.
  • Corporations don't actually pay taxes.  Sure, they file the forms and send the checks but the customers actually pay for the taxes.  Think about it. Double the taxes a company owes and it will do one of two things:
    1. Raise price on it's products until it can pay the taxes and still be profitable (if customers refuse to pay higher prices see #2)
    2. Go out of business (you can't stay in business forever losing money every year)
  • The IRS spent over $10,000,000 in 2002 policing the tax payers.
  • This year the IRS is trying to catch more "cheaters" so they hired additional agents to check the 1040s of people making $100K+.  Enough for 1 out of 63 1040s to be hand checked.  So consider this:
    1. Who is paying for the extra agents – that's right all tax payers.  Expect the $10 billion budget from 2002 to be bigger this year.
    2. 98.4% (62 out of 63) of the $100K+ bracket could still be cheating and the IRS would NOT KNOW. 

It sounds like our entire approach to taxation simply needs to be revamped into something where it's easier to comply with and harder cheat.  That would mean less wasted productivity for businesses and individuals – more time to make something of value for the economy.  If you couldn't evade taxes, everyone's taxes would go down since everyone would be paying their share instead of just the honest 80%.  This can all be done with a national sales tax.  Check out for more info.

Tax Day- Sort Of

Well it's the dreaded April 15th [dramatic score] Tax Day!  Well – usually. This year the stars aligned and bought us 2 more days until the tax man cometh: April 17th.  But realistically, the tax man has been in your pocket ALL YEAR.  Thanks to the political genius of withholding the government already has your money – or at least most of it.  In fact their is a penalty if you haven't paid in at least 75% of your tax bill PRIOR to April 15th. 

Now a few still owe a reasonable amount of money but that shortfall is more than made up for by the saps that overpaid the government and gave the government an INTEREST FREE LOAN.  These are the same saps that rejoice at their huge refund and act like the government is giving them money. Guess what?  It was your money in the first place and if you were smart you would have had it last year.

Here's the math: a typical refund of $6000 means that you made a $500 payment to the government every month.  That would be a pretty nice car payment.  The government then graciously gives you your money back + zero interest.  If you want to give someone loans look into private mortgages… you can get 9-12%.  Afraid of the risk? Give it to me and I'll to a PM for 9-12% and give you a guarantee on your money and 1% return on your money.  That'd be a refund of $6600.  The crazy thing is that withholding is a fairly new addition to the income tax.  Surprised?

So what? We can't do anything… actually we can. The fair tax solves many, many tax issues (except that we actually do have to pay some taxes regardless the system).  Check it out: