Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Left-onomics

So the elitist Left still thinks that raising the taxes on "the rich" is their ticket to fiscal salvation?

They had better think again. According to the Wall Street Journal's house editorial (shamelessly schisted below), the tax cuts of 2003 have actually increased federal tax receipts rather than shrunk them.

When will they learn that penalties for production and performance do not encourage "rich" businesses and investors to do productive things with their money? Higher taxes only discourage growth and investment by these so-called rich entrepreneurs and business people.
Soaking the Rich, Again
January 29, 2007; Page A16

Democratic Senator James Webb of Virginia played the class card in his State of the Union response Tuesday night, but he is apparently too new to the job to realize how crucial "the rich" are to his party's spending ambitions.

Data released last week from the Congressional Budget Office confirm that the tax cuts of 2003 keep soaking the rich, especially on their capital gains. CBO and Congress's Joint Tax Committee originally estimated that reducing the capital gains rate to 15% from 20% would cost the Treasury $5.4 billion from 2003-2006.

Whoops. Actual revenues exceeded expectations by 68%, creating a $133 billion revenue bonanza for the feds. CBO's original forecast for 2006 was for $57 billion in capital gains revenues, but actual receipts were $110 billion. This surprise windfall is one reason the budget deficit is also far lower than CBO predicted.

The lower capital gains tax has raised stock values by raising the after-tax return on capital investment. It has also given stock owners a greater incentive to sell their shares, and then reinvest the proceeds, because the tax penalty on these transactions is lower. Class warriors like Mr. Webb often forget that the capital gains tax is voluntary. Investors can defer paying the tax for years by holding on to their stock. This creates what is called the "lock-in effect" that deters an efficient allocation of investment capital.

The 2003 rate cut liberated hundreds of billions of dollars of capital for new investment. By the way, the National Venture Capital Association reports that venture capitalists invested $25.5 billion in 2006, the biggest burst of dealmaking since the stock market bubble burst in 2000. This is seed money for new companies and new jobs that will lift future tax revenues.

Copyright 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

URL for this article:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117002858920490628.html



What's the lesson here? Lower taxes encourage growth and investment, thereby increasing tax revenue.

Yay for capitalism.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Monday, Monday...

Is everyone used to driving in the snow yet? It has snowed for the last six weekends straight... and there's a change of snow again for later this week.

Plus it has seen unreasonably cold this winter. The same snow that fell around 20 December is still covering the majority of the ground. It usually warms up and melts everything off around here in the winter time, but apparently not this year.

I'm without my car today. It's approaching the end of its warranty, so I figured I had better take 'er to the dealership and let them look it over. I really hope this doesn't cost me an arm and a leg. One or the other I might be able to deal with... but not both.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

National No Name-Calling Week

Isn't this just what you want your little skull-full-of-mush coming home with pinned on his shirt?

This week (22 - 26 January) is National No Name-Calling Week.

Doesn't that just make you feel all warm inside? Yeah, me neither.

And just for the sake of us slightly lesdyxic (dyslexic) people, any website sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network should not put a "faqs" button at the top of their page.

Damn weirdos. ;)

China To Continue Killing Babies.

Ok, not really... but the Communist state's National Population and Family Planning Commission has decided to maintain its Jacky-Chan-tight grip on the reproductive organs of its massive population.

Now, government control of anyone's organs doesn't sit too well with me, but based on China's rate of resource depletion, Brobdingnagian pollution problem, and rapid industrialization, keeping reproduction in check is advantageous for pretty much everyone. Except of course for the baby girls who will never be born... but we're not gonna get into that.

Here is the AP story from today's paper:

Beijing to Keep One-Child Policy,
Acknowledges Gender Imbalance

ASSOCIATED PRESS
January 24, 2007

BEIJING -- China says it won't loosen its so-called one-child policy, despite a government official's acknowledgment yesterday that the policy was partly to blame for a worsening gender-imbalance problem.

A baby-boom generation born in the early 1980s has reached marriage and childbearing age, risking another massive population surge in China if restrictions are dropped, said Zhang Weiqing, minister of the National Population and Family Planning Commission.

Since the late 1970s, China has limited urban couples to one child and rural families to two children to control the population and conserve natural resources.

Mr. Zhang acknowledged that the policy has accelerated a gender imbalance among newborns, with some 118 boys born for every 100 girls in 2005. There are fears the imbalance could lead to many men being unable to find mates.

The policy and easy availability of sonogram technology to determine fetal gender have led many families to abort baby girls. Mr. Zhang declined to give statistics for the annual number of abortions performed in China. He called the gender imbalance "a very serious challenge for China."

Mr. Zhang said the government has committed to solving the imbalance within 10 to 15 years with education campaigns, punishments for sex-selective abortions, and rewards for parents who have girls.

Copyright © 2007 Associated Press


Contrast that with the declining birth rates in 'enlightened' Europe that literally threaten the future of its entire population by not even replacing those who die. Kinda makes you think. I'm not entirely sure of what, but it does make you think.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Is Income Inequality a Real Problem?

I have taken the liberty to share with you all a very well written and well informed letter to the editor that I read in today's Wall Street Journal. The writer echoes my thoughts exactly, and he epitomizes what it means to be a fiscal conservative.
Is Income Inequality a Real Problem?
January 19, 2007; Page B4

Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez clearly have an ax to grind in favor of higher tax rates at the top ("How the Income Share of Top 1% of Families Has Increased Dramatically," Letters to the Editor, Jan. 11). Their figures are skewed by excluding government transfers, which take a significant percentage of many households' income away at the bottom.

But the bigger issue is what they leave out entirely: Even if income "inequality" is growing, is that a problem? Any economy arguably needs a section of households whose income exceeds their spending, thus generating new capital to invest.

Much of the after-tax income of the top 1% is not "enjoyed" by such households, rather it is reinvested. Taking a bigger share for government either shifts the marginal dollars into spending by recipients of transfer payments or into low-efficiency government "investments," thereby creating a lower standard of living for all.

It is absolutely true that much of the income at the top is never spent, and that the investments made with unspent income benefit all, not just the actual investor. In fact, as has been seen in huge charitable gifts recently, much ends up being given away, albeit outside of government programs. The only question is who should manage the capital created by those who have managed to be so productive that their incomes are so high: the government or the households that generated the capital in the first place?

Anyone who answers "government" not only has a blind eye for history, but isn't much of an economist.

Gary C. Simons
CEO, Upside Investments
Calabasas, Calif.

To sum this up, rich people are rich for a reason, and their wealth does not only benefit themselves, but our nation as a whole. It is not the government's place to take away what these people have worked so hard to build and give it to those less fortunate, be it through taxes or through an artificially high minimum wage.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Diary of A Mad Snow Shoveler

In honor of Colorado getting a freakish amount of snow this year, here is a winter classic, the Diary of A Mad Snow Shoveler. (I really don't mind the snow, but this guy apparently does.)
Dear Diary:

AUG. 1
Moved to our new home in Denver. It is so beautiful here. The city is so picturesque. Can hardly wait to see it covered with snow. I LOVE IT HERE

OCT. 14
Denver is the most beautiful place on earth. The leaves are turning all different colors. I love the shades of red and orange. Went for a ride through the hills and saw some deer. They are so graceful. Certainly they are the most peaceful animals on earth. This must be paradise. I LOVE IT HERE.

NOV. 11
Deer season will open soon. I can not imagine anyone wanting to kill such an elegant creature. The very symbol of peace and tranquility. Hope it will snow soon. I LOVE IT HERE.

DEC. 2
It snowed last night. Woke up to find everything blanketed in white. It looked like a postcard. Went outside and cleaned snow off the steps and shoveled the driveway. We had a snowball fight today (I won). When the snowplow came by
we had to shovel the driveway again. What a beautiful place. Mother Nature is in perfect harmony. I LOVE IT HERE.

DEC. 12
More snow last night. I love it. The snowplow did his trick again, that rascal. A winter wonderland. I LOVE IT HERE.

DEC. 19
Snowed again last night. Couldn't get out of the driveway to get to work this time. I'm exhausted from shoveling. Damn Snowplow!

DEC. 22
More of that white shit fell last night. I've got blisters on my hands from shoveling. I think the snowplow hides around the corner and waits until I'm done shoveling. That asshole!!!

DEC. 25
"White Christmas" my busted ass. More snow. If I ever get my hands on that son-of-a-bitch who drives that snowplow, I swear I will castrate the dumb bastard! Don't know why they don't use more salt on this freaking ice!

DEC. 28
More of the same shit last night . Been inside since Christmas day except for when "Snowplow Harry" comes by. Can't go anywhere. The car is buried in a mountain of white shit. The weatherman says expect another 10 inches of this shit tonight. Do you know how many shovels full of snow 10 inches is?

JAN. 1
Happy freaking New Year My Ass!!. The weatherman was wrong (AGAIN). We got 34 inches of snow this time. At this rate it won't melt until the 4th of July. The snowplow got stuck down the road, and shit for brains had the balls to
come to the door and ask to borrow my shovel. I told him I had broken 6 shovels already shoveling out the shit he plowed into my driveway. I broke the 7th shovel over his head.

JAN. 4
Finally got out of the house today. Went to the store to get food, and on the way back a deer ran out in front of the car--and I hit the damn deer. Did about $3,000.00 damage to the car. Wish the hunters would have killed them all last November.

MAY 3
Took the car to the garage in town today. Would you believe the body is rotting away from all the crap they keep dumping all over the roads. It really looks like a piece of shit.

MAY 10
Moved to Florida today. I can not imagine why anyone in their right mind would want to live in the God-forsaken state of Colorado.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Honest Used Car Ad (nsfw)

Here's another completely inappropriate video.

No, really, this one is rated R, for vulgar language and sexual references.




Don't say I didn't warn you.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Spiders On Drugs


Oh, Canada.

And what the heck is LiveLeak anyway?

Fundamental Right to Privacy?

Some Brazilian floozy super-model and her rich banker boyfriend who were secretly video taped "romping in the sea off Cadiz in Spain" have sued YouTube for not finding "a way to permanently block the intimate video from being uploaded on its servers" and won. Not removing the video could cost YouTube $119,000 per day, according the the couple's lawyer.

Now, that's pretty stupid, but further down in the BBC story (click the title) it gets better:
Lawyer Rubens Decousseau Tilkian, who represents Ms Cicarelli's boyfriend, told the Associated Press news agency that YouTube had not taken sufficient action to enforce the order as people kept re-posting the clip by constantly changing the name for the file.

"The internet is democratic and has to be defended, but this struggle is to have some level of control to avoid the violations of people's fundamental rights, like privacy and intimacy," Mr Tilkian told AP.
Two things here strike me as completely stupid.
  • (1) The lawyer just answered his own question, 'why doesn't YouTube do anything?' because 'people keep re-posting the clip by constantly changing the name'. How does he think the Internet works? A bunch of guys in a building in California checking everything that gets posted to look for what it is? No, that's not how it works, Mister Brazilian Lawyer. The Internet is made up of files with names and little descriptions. If someone changes the name and/or description of the file, a computer probably won't know its the same file.
  • (2) Where in the world is it written that people have a 'fundamental' right to 'privacy and intimacy'? Not in the United States Constitution and not in any of the Amendments. If Brazil (or 'Brasil' as the like to be called) actually has these fundamental rights, then they are soon to become the kiddie-porn capital of the world. "Yes officer? No, that's not kiddie porn on my computer, and my fundamental right to privacy says that you can't look to find out." Ya like that? I guess they already give 16 year olds boob-jobs on a regular basis, so it's the natural progression, right?
What a crock.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Good Morning Meteor!

This morning at about 6:15 a.m. a brilliant light streaked slowly across the early morning sky from West to East leaving a trail of sparkling debris.

The light attracted the attention of the helicopter traffic reporter on the radio and they interrupted their newscast to tell everyone about what had just happened.

Hundreds of people from as far away as Wyoming, Kansas, and New Mexico called and emailed the radio station that I was listening to to describe what they saw.

I, of course, did not witness it. I was driving south, facing the correct direction and everything, but I didn't see a thing.

Luckily, the local Fox News channel had their helicopter in the air as well, and happened to catch it on video. Click on the title link and then their video link to see the video. It is really quite spectacular with white, green, red, and other colors appearing as the object broke up.

I guess they are still not sure what the object was, but I have heard several people say that it was moving too slowly to be a meteor or comet-type-thing and that it must have been an old satellite or some other space junk burning up in the atmosphere. I thought that they kept track of that pretty closely, but I guess we will have to wait and see.