Category Archives: Taxation

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove, The Other McCain, Flappr, The Daley Gator, Whores and Ale, and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links!

This just in: Princess Liawatha Warren wants to file your income tax. No, thanks.

So what? It’s Congress, charged with writing tax code, that has spent decades making filing both difficult and time-consuming. TurboTax only exists because Congress has created a byzantine code. Moreover, tax preparation outfits are lobbying to oppose the federal government using taxpayer dollars to put them out of business. If TurboTax were lobbying against flattening or simplifying our tax code, I would be appalled myself. In this case, they’re lobbying against the efforts of a deranged apparatchik to nationalize another industry.

Warren not only wants the government to write tax code, enforce tax code, and withdraw taxes from your paycheck, she wants to file your taxes, as well. It is a guarantee that any government program created to “prepare” taxes would evolve into a government program that cuts the citizen out of the process completely. Our withholding system is bad enough. We don’t need salaried workers even more disconnected from the price of government.

I wouldn’t trust Fauxcohantas to run a latrine detail, much less come up with a scheme by which the Imperial government decides my tax burden – to hell with that idea.

But this brings up another idea (and one I’ve advocated for many years): Why do we even keep this wasteful, expensive, labyrinthian taxation system?  Why not a consumption tax?  Tax consumption at the retail level – only at the retail level – not production, and not only is it simpler, not only do the taxpayers see much more directly what government costs, but this also captures all of the underground economy. Drug dealers buy cars, illegal aliens paid under the table buy clothes and shoes – this would capture all of that.

There’s also this: Princess Liawatha is one of the dumbest people to ever sit in Congress. Taking the opposite tack to anything she suggests is probably a good idea.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

For those of you who may not have caught the sticky post on the front page, I’ll be at CPAC 2024 in Maryland this year, from Feb. 21-24.  If anyone who reads these virtual pages will be attending, let me know!  I’ll be hanging around with the Townhall Media Group folks a lot of the time, but figure on doing some wandering and hopefully catching up with some of my indy blogger buddies.  If you’re going to be there, let me know in the comments!

Now then…

Continue reading Animal’s Hump Day News

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

The very first brain cells may have been in evidence as long as 800 million years ago.

Researchers from Spain and Germany have discovered characteristics of specialized secretory cells in simple animals called placozoans which could identify them as a prelude to neurons in other organisms.

Roughly the size of a grain of sand, these basic creatures have no organs, consisting of little more than a colony of different cell types. Much as they still do today, placozoans once hunted microbes and browsed algae in the warm shallows of seas 800 million years ago.

So 800 million years ago we have evidence of emerging brains.  Any guesses as to when we might see evidence of brains in Congress?

And so…

Continue reading Animal’s Hump Day News

Animal’s Daily Biden(‘s Handlers) News

National treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson brings us some perspectives on the train-wreck that Biden(‘s Handlers) Administration has become.

So far, any negative reputation of the IRS has rested with natural complaints that it is too zealous in hounding out American taxpayers in all walks of life. Or citizens often object that the IRS must enforce a tax code that is innately unfair.

But not until now, has the IRS itself ever been under a shadow of such corruption?

Has it been in the past ever found to have applied so blatantly and deliberately one standard of tax enforcement to elites and quite another to everyday Americans?

Again, if that charge of unequal treatment in tax compliance were to prove true, then Humpy-Dumpty like, the entire American system of revenue collection would shatter.

In other words, millions of Americans might shrug, “If Joe Biden, President of the United States and his criminally minded son, can get away with avoiding millions of dollars in taxes, then should not I, a nobody, at least have the right to avoid hundreds of dollars in taxes?”

The answer to that is, of course:  “No. You are, as you state, a nobody, with no access to the levers of power and no claim to the attention of those who do have that access. The rules that apply to you do not apply to them.  Shut up, work and pay your taxes (which are theft) and mind your place.”

And the blatancy!  That’s the part that really galls; Dr. Hanson continues:

We can no longer have a United States if its President almost weekly demonstrably lies with impunity about his relationships with the Biden family’s nefarious foreign business interests.

You can no longer have an American nation, if the son of the President of the United States successfully connives to rake in millions for his extended family by selling his father’s influence to foreign governments—a gambit that may currently affect the foreign policy of the United States. Adding insult to injury, Hunter Biden is now a White House fixture, as if the closer he clings to the nexus of American power and influence, the more likely he will continue to be exempted from American law.

That’s the rub, is it not?

Let’s be real.  The various Congressional investigations are going nowhere.  Hillary Clinton saw no consequences for her illegal storage of classified materials on an insecure server, no more than she did for her money-laundering efforts going back as far as the infamous cattle-futures debacle.  And the Biden family won’t see any consequences for their activities, either.

There is no longer even the pretense of equal treatment under the law, and there may well be no way back, short of violence.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Well, this is a stupid idea.  Here’s the part that I find particularly angrifying:

Beginning in the 1990s, the federal government made the disastrous mistake of promoting and increasing the amount of risky mortgage loans in the pursuit of increasing home ownership, notably requiring Fannie and Freddie to buy more and more such loans. The riskier loans were promoted as “innovative” mortgages by the Clinton administration. That push was a major contributor first to the housing bubble and then to the housing finance collapse of 2007–09.

And now they are proposing doing it again, only rather more so:

In this case, the FHFA wants to politically manipulate Fannie and Freddie’s Loan-Level Price Adjustments (LLPAs). The LLPAs are meant to be credit risk-based adjustments, which reflect fundamental factors in the credit risk of a mortgage loan, to the price of getting Fannie or Freddie to bear the credit risk of the loan. They are an adjustment to the cost of the loan to the borrower, supposed to be based on objective measures of risk.

Welcome to More Government Interference in Markets, Version 6,927,394.  This kind of crap was the genesis of the 2008 housing market crash.  Now we’re looking at economic illiterates in the Imperial City again doubling down on stupid.  I swear, it’s idiots all the way down.  Read the whole thing, and if it doesn’t piss you off, you probably aren’t really paying attention.

Now then…

On To the Links!

Chicago is committing suicide.

This should come as a surprise to no one.

The latest leftist fraud.

I’m glad to see Alaska helping with this effort.

This is known as belaboring the obvious.

Our schools continue to fail.

We’ve known this was coming for years, and nothing will be done.

Smooch!

Sour grapes from Netflix.

Grotesque is a major understatement.

This gets more and more embarrassing by the day.

Unconstitutional, evil and stupid.

“Disgraceful” doesn’t begin to cover it.

If by “deep bench” you mean “an astounding collection of incompetents,” then, yes.

When worn on the other foot, the shoe pinches.

Bottomless Pinocchios.

Probably not.

I would be curious to know more about this.

Inept hypocrisy, indeed.

This Week’s Idiots:

TikTok users are idiots.  Film at eleven.

Paul Krugman (Repeat Offender Alert) is still a cheap partisan hack, and an idiot.  And again.

When your target market is basically “BroDudes” and you go visibly woke in your marketing, you might be an idiot.

Rep. Cori Bush (Moron-MO) is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Michael Cohen (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Hayes Brown (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

The Nation’s Jeet Heer (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Frank Figliuzzi is an idiot.

The Atlantic’s Adam Serwer is an idiot.

Al Sharpton is and always has been a disgusting hustler.

Juan Williams continues his descent into nutballery.

Vox’s Ellen Ioanes is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Steve Benen is an idiot.  Is it just me sensing this pattern every week?

OK, that’s all the stupid I can take this week.  I really do read these, you know.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

Summertime is coming!

Those of us of a certain age remember acts like Mungo Jerry, who are probably best known for their 1970 hit In The Summertime.  Lead singer and writer Ray Dorset later claimed he wrote the song in ten minutes, and if you give it a listen, it’s not really an implausible claim.  Still, it’s a fun little tune, and still gets my toe tapping, even fifty-some years after I first heard it.  Oh, and Dorset rocks those big Seventies ‘burns.  Here it is – enjoy!

 

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

You can tell it’s spring at last here in the Great Land when the sound of snow machine motors is replaced by ATV motors.

Our ATVs.

We don’t yet have a snow machine (in the 48 you call them snowmobiles) but we have two ATVs, a big six-seat Polaris Ranger for taking guests on tours, and a neat, agile little Polaris Sportsman that I mostly use for getting out in the woods after grouse or just indulging in one of my favorite activities – woods-bumming.  If you like the outdoors and live up here, one or both of these machines is a hell of a handy thing to have.

Now then…

On To the Links!

No shit, Sherlock.

Florida Man rides again.

And in the end, we’ll go further and further into debt.

And nothing will come of this.

Sanctuary city, my ass.

Another one leaving Chicago.

Impossible.  IEDs are against the law.  And I’m pretty sure this is a no-IED zone.

Because they are ruled by morons.

Atlas is shrugging.

Just when you think you couldn’t get any more disgusted.

Senator Murphy:  Come on out here to the Susitna Valley and try to take our guns.  Let us know how that works out for you.

OK, is there anybody in this group who isn’t a Fed?

This isn’t a good sign.

“Missing?”  One wonders if cement overshoes are involved.

The red-pilling of Elon Musk continues apace.

Haw haw haw!

I’ll take my chances.

This Week’s Idiots:

Salon’s Heather Parton is an idiot.

Whoever thought this was a good idea is an idiot.

Minnesota is run by idiots.

An actual photo of Brian Stelter.

Brian Stelter is an idiot.  And a potato.

New York Magazine’s Ed Kilgore is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Hayes Brown (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

Policies designed by morons result in epic cluster-fuck.  Film at eleven.

Slate’s Michael J. Socolow is an idiot.

How can you tell when Joe Biden is saying something stupid?  His lips are moving.  And again.

MSNBC’s Steve Benen is an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

I love Japan.

This is Masayuki Suzuki, who does a lot of soundtracks for Japanese television and so forth, in addition to pure musical work.  I’m not sure what genre he falls under, but these two songs are from the soundtrack of an anime called Kaguya-sama:  Love is War, they’re kind of fun, and a little different than our usual servings.  Enjoy.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Best headline of the year so far:  Giant phallus-shaped iceberg floating in Conception Bay surprises residents of Dildo, Canada.  Image from story:

Yes, it’s true, my sense of humor has not changed significantly since I was twelve years old.  On that subject I am not only unapologetic, I embrace it.

Now then…

On To the Links!

There’s a first time for everything.

This, however, is nothing new.

National treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson weighs in.

I’m pretty sure cartels have control of a lot of the border now.

And everyone on the Left yawns.

To each according to his needs.

Tell him to demand in one hand, shit in the other, and see which hand fills up first.

That would be a mistake.

Dunning-Kruger rides again!

No.  No, he cannot.

We can hope.

Fuck off, slaver!

Don’t mess with Texas.

I love a happy ending.

Or, you could just mind your own damn business and leave me alone.

This Week’s Idiots:

The daffy old Bolshevik from Vermont goes full Commie.

MSNBC’s Zeeshan Aleem is an idiot.

Paul Krugman (Repeat Offender Alert) remains a cheap partisan hack, and an idiot.

Natural Stupidity appointed to oversee Artificial Intelligence.

Mother Jones’ Tim Murphy is an idiot.

Salon’s Amanda Marcotte (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Michael Cohen is an idiot.  Sure, let’s just keep borrowing, and borrowing, and borrowing, world without end, amen.  What a dipshit.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

While I was a bit on the young side for most of Cream’s work, having older siblings exposed me to a lot of stuff from the late Sixties I may not have readily picked up on otherwise.  My older brother had several of Cream’s albums, and that combination of Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker produced some neat stuff.

I always thought their 1967 album Disraeli Gears had some good songs.  One of my favorites is the side 1 opening tune Strange Brew.  Hearing this song always takes me back to when I was a kid hanging out with my big brother.  Here, then, is that tune; enjoy.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

This could be, as someone once said, a “big effin’ deal.”  Bonchie over at RedState had this to say:

In the biggest news to come out of the Supreme Court of the United States since Roe v. Wade was overturned, the Court has granted a review of Loper Bright Enterprises vs. Raimondo. In its deliberations, the court will deal with the question of whether to overrule the infamous Chevron Doctrine, a ’70s-era precedent that granted broad powers to the bureaucratic state to interpret vague, often narrow statutes with near zero accountability.

This would of course affect my own industry a great deal, but I suspect it won’t happen overnight; even if the Supreme Court follows the Constitution and rips the guts out of the bureaucratic state, it will take years for the necessary implications of that decision to trickle down.  The libertarian in me loves this, even if the compliance-consultant side of me is a bit concerned about my living (yes, the irony of that is not lost on me) but as I say, it will take a while, and I expect I’ll retire before too much changes.

Now then…

On To the Links!

Asa who?

Well, she’s done.

My hovercraft is full of eels.

No shit, Sherlock.

What could possibly go wrong?

This kid is a genuine hero.

Elon Musk from the top rope.

I’m sure this won’t lead to anything bad happening.

Stupid idea yields bad results.  Film at eleven.

So frickin’ glad we got out of Colorado.

Good and hard.

Another bank fails.

Punishing the responsible to reward the irresponsible.

Then they came for your leaf-blower…   Hang on to your woodchippers, we may need them.

Ahead Troll Factor Eight!

RIP Tim Bachman.  Bachman Turner Overdrive always brings back memories of the Seventies.

French riot over being expected to be productive past sixty-two.  I’d refer the French to Stein’s Law.

Will anyone notice?  Hollywood hasn’t produced anything original in years.

Fuck you, cut spending.

12-year-old sense of humor activated.

Not for me, it’s not.

This Week’s Idiots:

Fang Fang was unavailable for comment.

The Oregon state legislature clearly contains a large proportion of idiots.

This is one of the stupidest ideas to come out of an administration known for stupid ideas.  This is industrial-grade stupid.

Donna Brazile (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

Paul Krugman (Repeat Offender Alert) remains a cheap partisan hack, and an idiot.

The Nation’s Jeet Heer (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

Robert Reich (Repeat Offender Alert) is still a sawed-off little runt, and an idiot.

MSNBC’s Hayes Brown (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Norman Eisen & Josh Stanton are both idiots.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

Warren Zevon was badly underrated.  He made some pretty good tunes, and while he’s best known for the rollicking Werewolves of London and Excitable Boy, my favorite of his works (from the 1978 album Excitable Boy, in fact) was Lawyers, Guns and Money.  

I’d point out that, in a just world, Hunter Biden would be singing a similar tune; except that his situation has not arisen from bad luck, but from bad judgement, and therefore his own damn fault.

Anyway.  Here is that great tune.  Enjoy.

Rule Five Great Divorce Friday

Issues & Insights again has some thoughts on the Great Divorce, specifically, that it may already be under way.  I’m inclined to agree.  This is something that has been going on for a while now, the self-segregation of the United States by political affiliation.  That was (a minor) part of Mrs. Animal’s and my relocation to the Great Land, after all.  But as with so many things, there are complications.  I&I points out:

Is the country separating itself into two distinct camps? One increasingly leftist and the other trying desperately to cling to traditional American values? Census data seem to show that it very well could be underway.

Last week, we commented on recent population data showing that people have been fleeing urban areas, noting that these are mostly Democratically controlled, and we pointed out that people have also been moving from blue states to red.

But we wanted to go deeper and get more precise numbers. So, we matched Census net migration data from mid-2020 through mid-2022 for all the nation’s 3,000-plus counties (or their equivalents) and compared that with how these counties voted in 2020. Our working assumption is that the results of the incredibly divisive 2020 election would be a good barometer of the devoutly held political views in those counties. 

What we found was striking: There has been a vast migration out of counties that voted for Joe Biden into those counties that voted to reelect Donald Trump.

None of this should come as any surprise.  Of course, this phenomenon got a shot in the arm from the Kung Flu; lots of people in computer-based occupations, like me, found we could be very effective working remotely.  When I started my consulting business, there was a heck of a lot of travel involved, as even some major companies were still on paper-based systems and to change or even evaluate those systems, you had to be there, in the site, looking at the physical records.  But in my industry at least, many if not most companies have gone to what we call “eQMS” systems – an online Quality Management System, requiring at most a VPN login to view and manage procedures and records.  I know quite a few ‘laptop class’ folks that are the same way now, and that opens up possibilities for relocation.  Nowadays I run almost all of my business efforts from our office.  My consulting business and Mrs. Animal’s publishing business are all run from a little office building full of computer hardware, just across the driveway from our house.  You sure can’t beat the commute – even when it’s snowing and twenty below.

Here are a few of their findings:

More than 61% of the counties that voted for Biden in 2020 lost population, while 65% of Trump-supporting counties gained population.

Some highlights:

  • Of the 555 counties Biden won, 335 (or 61%) lost population due to internal migration, our analysis found. Of the 2,589 counties that Trump won, 1,675 (or 65%) gained population.
  • Two Biden-voting counties that lost the most from net migration were Los Angeles County, which was down 363,760, and Cook County, Illinois, down 200,718. While many of the blue counties that lost population were urbanized, the exodus was widespread and nationwide, including many far more sparsely populated liberal areas.

There’s more – read the whole thing.

One wonders where all this is leading, of course.  I&I concludes:

Will this mass migration lead to an even more divided country, with people increasingly relocating to be with their ideological brethren?

Will it mean that, as in those Arizona and Texas counties, Democrats take over more areas that had been traditionally conservative as they ditch the disasters their own policies produced?

Or will this migration out of leftist enclaves lead to a weakening of the undue influence a few elitist urban areas have on national politics?

My answer would be, “Yes.”  I’m not kidding.  Some areas will draw further left or right; some, like our former stomping grounds of Colorado, will move from red to purple to blue, as that state has.  The tendency of left-leaning folks to migrate from big cities to slightly smaller cities, say, from Los Angeles to Phoenix, will muddle things up some.  We even see that here in the Great Land, where Anchorage is the blue dot swimming in the sea of red that stretches from Eagle River to Fairbanks.

But the end result is troubling.  We’re already seeing it in places like Maricopa County.   People from blue states and big blue cities in the red states are fleeing, but a fair number of them, maybe a majority, haven’t learned anything from the failed jurisdictions they are leaving.  Some tout a political separation as the solution; read that as “secession,” or the splitting of the country along political lines.  But I don’t see that happening, largely because the only way that would work would be to establish leftist city-states that would largely be awash in a sea of red suburbs, exurbs and rural communities, and I don’t think that’s workable.  Add to that the fact that the left would never agree to such a split, not if they want to keep eating.  Food and energy production, in such a scenario, would hang over those blue city’s heads like Damocles’s sword, and I suspect at some point the Left will figure that out.

The current situation can’t continue, though.  Our major cities are already well on their way to collapse.  I’d argue that some – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore – are already in the process of collapse.  And maybe that’s the answer; the solution that Ayn Rand foresaw.  Let the leftist-run areas collapse.  Creative destruction, if you will.  It will be ugly, very, very ugly, for a time; but if cooler heads prevail in the end, something worthwhile may just arise from the ashes.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove, Flappr, The Daley Gator, Whores and Ale and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links!

Tax Day is this week, tomorrow in fact, and while this time of year always makes Mrs. Animal a little grouchy, since she prepares our business and personal taxes herself (and makes the quarterly payments) it’s worth showing a little humor over the consummate ludicrousness of our tax system.  International Liberty has a post on that very topic here.  Author Dan Mitchell begins:

I shared IRS-themed humor during tax season in 2021 and 2022, so let’s make that a new annual tradition. In honor of this year’s tax-filing season, let’s start with a Reason video from Remy.

To help deal with IRS non-responsiveness, Joe Biden has pushed through a law to dramatically expand the IRS.

Yeah, we need a whole army of new IRS agents to remind us of the annual theft that is taxation.  And, yes, taxation is theft; as I continually point out, think about what happens if you evade paying your taxes.  To whit, the Imperial government will send men with guns out looking for you.  Compliance with our Brobdingnagian tax code is mandatory, even though there isn’t a single person on the planet that really understands all of it.

Anyway.  Have a look at the article, and enjoy a chuckle or two.  The topic of taxation leaves us damn little to laugh at, so may as well enjoy what of it we can.