When Tax Reform Isn’t-What Congress Giveth It Taketh Away-Podcast 676

They call it Tax Reform. A Jobs Bill. That’s what it must be, right? Journalists and commentators are playing the same old game. Argue a proposed piece of legislation on its merits. Time to reset the boundaries in When Tax Reform Isn’t-What Congress Giveth It Taketh Away-Podcast 676.

Freedom Of Choice

While listeners to The Bob Davis Podcasts always have the freedom to choose what they think is right, I want to introduce the concept of marginal improvement. Legislators on both sides of the political spectrum talk big about ‘reform’. Usually though they make what really are marginal changes. This is especially relevant when we’re talking about the tax code.

The Real Football Game Is Congress

Team Red moves the ball back to the Blue thirty yard line. It’s hailed as a great victory. Team Blue moves the ball back to the Red twenty yard line a few years later. These are what both sides call marginal improvements. Meanwhile, as economist Milton Friedman famously suggested, they keep getting elected by making the tax code more complicated.

Budget Neutrality Isn’t A Thing

Enter a legislative concept called Budget Neutrality. The idea every expenditure must be ‘paid for’ with tax increases, or budget cuts. You think Tax Reform means lower taxes. What they’re really doing is taking away tax deductions and loop holes, and increasing our overall tax. The sad part is, it’s not their money, it’s our money. In When Tax Reform Isn’t-What Congress Giveth It Taketh Away-Podcast 676.

What Is Real Reform?

If you want real reform. The end to this kind of corruption? Then the power of the federal government to tax our incomes and our property must be permanently eliminated. Should corporations be taxed at all? Do you have property rights if you pay property taxes? How does government pay for the wonderful things both sides wants it to provide? We talk about it in When Tax Reform Isn’t-What Congress Giveth It Taketh Away-Podcast 676.

Already Socialists

So called conservatives like to argue the merits of capitalism versus socialism. It seems like I’d be on pretty safe ground if I suggested the United States has been collectivist for decades. Our economic system is not so much capitalist as it is a controlled market economy. Our elected Kings and their privy courts control our behavior and our futures with regulation and a tax code so complex, were it to be proposed as a single law in its present form, it would cause a revolution.

(Editor’s Note: While the first actual income tax in the United States was levied during the Civil War, it was later repealed as ‘unconstitutional’. Several attempts were made to establish an income tax through the late 1800’s which were unsuccessful, until the 16th amendment, ratified in 1913.)

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and Reliafund

When Tax Reform Isn’t-What Congress Giveth It Taketh Away-Podcast 676

Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625

We hear a lot of words used to describe various political factions in the US. Most will say the US economic system is capitalist but is this just an illusion? Are we socialist? Have we been socialist for a long time? It seems to me, we have. In Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625.

Socialism Is Everywhere

Just because a country’s economic system is socialist, does not mean it’s a tyranny. Denmark and Canada aren’t dictatorships. Singapore is a Socialist Market Economy. Places where ‘the people’ own or control the means of production. Most socialist countries these days enjoy democratic political systems.

Government and Non Profits Dominate State Economies

Americans think of themselves as capitalists. The thing is, the top three employers in my state are public institutions. Americans depend on social security, medicare, or medicaid ‘entitlements’. Home buyers get tax subsidies. We enjoy many tax deferred investment options. Farmers get subsidies. Public workers get pensions. All kinds of grants for education exist. Then there are the business subsidies and government contracts. Some popular business personalities receive billions in subsidies from the government. We’ll talk about it in Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625.

Both Parties Support Socialism

Democrats complain about light rail projects running through their backyards, but support government programs because ‘It’s the right thing to do’. Republicans complain about big government unless it’s the military, support for their businesses, home mortgage tax credit, social security and 401K programs.

The Right Thing To Do

It’s true that many of these programs date back to the depression in the 1930’s. Also true that creation of these programs came with the best intentions. Whether we like it or not, government is deeply involved in our lives. Of course, what the government giveth, the government takeaway. We’ll talk about it in Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625.

Classic Liberalism Is Forgotten

Republicans and Democrats argue the same side of the coin. Both are collectivists. Neither adhere to Classic Liberalism, a philosophy of limited government with the sole purpose of securing a maximum amount of individual liberty, property rights and free markets. While no political scientist would argue the US is Socialist maybe we should consider the possibility we are and have been for some time.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and X Government Cars

Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625

 

 

 

 

 

 

Podcast 420

Bob Davis Unplugged. I’ve always admired talk show hosts who can do a good show without notes, preparation or a plan. Certainly walk and talk podcasts fit that bill, but it helps to walk while you talk. In studio is a different story. There have been some interesting developments in the news this week. Commentators are back to following the proverbial bouncing ball and missing some points that I think need to be made. Regarding the Oregon shooting; When I asked people what was going on in the news they said, “There’s the Trump thing, the Pope thing and oh yeah, another mass shooting.” Of course the President didn’t skip a second rushing out to demand Americans surrender their guns. Why do we have a second amendment? Is there a final check on the dangerous power of government? While we don’t generally think of a government that seems to exist to extract money from our paychecks and mail checks to others, including billionaires like Warren Buffett, there’s immense power in spying and militarized police departments. Then there’s the Communist Pope. The left loves Francis, or at least they did until it was reported that the Pope – who would rather talk about the scourge of Capitalism rather than the scourge of pedophilia in the Catholic Church – met with Kim Davis, the Kentucky County Clerk who refused to marry gay couples. Suddenly the ‘amazing’ Pope Francis was tarred and feathered on social media, to the extent that the Vatican this week back pedaled ‘explaining’ the Pope’s meeting with Davis. Then there are the economic pundits and employment numbers. Almost all of them predicted a ‘great’ employment report this week, especially since low gas prices ‘act like a tax cut by stimulating the economy’, until they don’t. Now, if you have been listening to the Bob Davis Podcasts you have been warned about this shibboleth long ago. Lower gas prices don’t ‘act like a tax cut’. Our economy would have to create over 375,000 jobs a month for a long time in order to bring the millions of people who are out of the work force back in. Sadly 375,000 is a number this country’s economy has not been able to attain since the recession back in 2008, despite all the efforts to ‘stimulate’ and ‘prime the pump’ from a trillion dollar stimulus to ‘cars for clunkers’ and every other cockamamie scheme cooked up by President Obama. Moreover, none of the presidential candidates, on both sides of the political spectrum seem to have a clue about how to grow the US Economy other than more stimulus, or tax cuts but no spending cuts. Have we — as in everyone in the world — forgotten how to be capitalists? Could we feed ourselves without a job or government handout if we had to? Maybe this could be one of the positive effects of a future ‘gig economy’ … with everyone freelancing, we might actually learn to create, not take. Sponsored by Pride of Homes and X Government Trucks.

Podcast 305

Comcast Customer Service Sucks. Close out the week with a podcast down in the bunker by the wood stove. A consumer advocate blogger breaks another national story about how bad Comcast’s customer service is. When a woman tried to cancel her cable service, the company allegedly refused to allow to her do so, and sent a late bill notice in which the customer’s name was changed from ‘Ricardo Brown’ to ‘A**hole Brown’. The story was picked up by CNNMoney and the rest of the mainstream media, and now Comcast has once again apologized. “It might take more than a few years for us to get our customer service straightened out” says a company spokesperson, or something like that. How are business models that seemed so great five, ten or twenty years ago looking more and more tarnished? What is the future of television, and cable delivered television. If Comcast is any example of how the industry operates, hopefully there is no future. Former Reagan OMB director David Stockman is on the warpath again, this time saying the Federal Reserve’s Quantitative Easing program is exclusively responsible for making people in the top 5 percent income bracket in the US richer. How is this era different from other ‘income inequality’ periods in US History. Does the Cocaine boom in Miami in the early 80’s prove, when business generates money (as opposed to central banks) everyone benefits? Meanwhile, the fastest growing business in the United States isn’t an industrial company or even technology, it’s legal Marijuana sales. Legal weed sales grew 74 percent in one year. Breaking news! The Obama Administration is telling banks to keep quiet about regulations targeted against gun owners and gun stores. More breaking news! More Americans are putting their cash in the mattress. Does that surprise you? And, the Minneapolis Tribune finds yet another negative story about North Dakota. Sponsored by Depotstar