Friday, April 19, 2013
Random ruminations from your resident curmudgeon...
The tragic events that have unfolded in Boston at the finish line of the marathon point out that this is a dangerous world, one that is changing and becoming more dangerous. There isn't a country in the world that can match the military superiority of the United States. There are numerous countries, however, that have no respect for human life and the freedoms we have, and have many people willing to sacrifice themselves for their misguided hatred of our country and our people. This asymmetrical form of conflict is going to escalate over time, and no amount of denial and banal platitudes is going to change that fact. What stands in the breach between free people and these thugs are the warriors that risk their lives for our safety. Not only our military, but the police and fire services and the various branches of law enforcement. We owe these men and women an unpayable debt of gratitude for their service and their sacrifice.
I am not a racist. I think motor sports are fine.
This past Monday, many of us experienced the painful process of wealth transfer to the federal government as we paid our taxes. Did you ever wonder where the money goes? I am glad you asked.
Notice the amount that is spent on various social programs- 64 cents of every dollar in tax revenues goes to some form of entitlement program. As more boomers age out and begin to collect benefits, that will grow, and when it does, it will crowd out other expenditures. Now you can see the financial dilemma that we face in this country. To correct it and to make these programs financially viable will take some tough decisions and some discipline to rein in spending. Unfortunately, our leaders in Washington have not demonstrated those traits.
Gravity- it's not just a good idea, it's the law.
Speaking of taxes... According to the IRS Taxpayer Advocate in its recently released 2012 report, the cost of complying with the U.S. tax code was $168 billion as of 2010, the last year for the data. It takes Americans 6.1 billion hours, or 51 hours per household, to complete all the required forms and filings. In 2012, Washington collected $20,000 per household in taxes. The problem is that the federal government spent $30,000 per household, and this is on top of the cost of complying with the obtuse and arcane federal tax code. Common sense suggests that we should simplify the tax code and curtail spending to more reasonable levels. But then again, when has common sense ever applied to Washington?
I went to a very emotional wedding this past weekend. Even the cake was in tiers.
And that, my friends, is my view.