Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tax Increase?

Me simple troglodyte caveman type (engineer) but me know how do at least simple math.

Last year the budget for operating these United States ran about 2 Trillion dollars. This year, I have not heard of any part of the government operations that will be deleted or suffer a budget cut. The new administration is proposing to pump 800 Billion dollars into the economy to get us out of the doldrums, over and above the 2 Trillion we will have to spend already.

Government doesn't provide anything to justify its taxes in terms of value added to the economy, so where is this 800 Bn coming from? Unicorn farts? Simple math suggests that the government will need a 40% tax increase to cover the cost of this. To add insult to the injury, the "stimulus bill" appears to be mostly a vehicle for every piece of pork the congress was unable to sneak through in the last 10 years. Here's a partial list. There are lots more that expand on this without duplicating anything.

The economy is you and me, doing whatever it is we do to convince our fellow workers to give us some of what they produced in exchange for some of what we produce. The quickest way to get things moving again would be to go over the federal budget, and delete the stuff that isn't actually required to properly serve the population. A real curmudgeon would suggest abolishing anything whose title begins with "Department of...". This would include entitlement programs administered by said departments.

I'm partial to keeping the Department of Defense, but most of the rest are overdue for some clear-cut logging. Commerce, Energy, Education, and HHS come immediately to mind. This will probably happen when the congress votes to limit its own terms.

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