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Businesses and taxes

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I made a comment on William Burton's blog. He commented on the old saw about taxation and the rich.I commented, Businesses don't pay taxes. They pass it along as they would any other cost to the consumer.

Mr. Burton took a whole post to explain why I was wrong.

While I can't necessarily disagree with his points, all I can say is he hit the wrong target.

I could have said, "Businesses don't pay the employee payroll. They pass it along as they would any other cost to the consumer" and have been just as right.

Business taxes are just like rent, payroll and equipment depreciation, they are all costs of doing business. To the businessperson, it doesn't matter if his taxes or his rent went up $1000 a month, his expenses went up $1000 a month that must be paid for out of his gross profit. Hopefully he has some net profit left.The customer, by paying for the product, indirectly pays for all of the costs of doing business, taxes is but one part of it. If any part of the cost goes up, of course some of it will be absorbed by profit, but there comes a point where you can't squeeze any more blood out of that rock so new costs (nee taxes) must be passed, dollar for dollar, to the consumer.

Actually, he got one point wrong:

The important thing to remember is Businesses already charge as much as they can get away with in their particular market. A corporate tax increase would change the formula somewhat, as would any increase in costs, but it would not be passed along to consumers dollar for dollar. Some would be absorbed through lower profits, and some through attempts to lower other costs. (emphasis in original)

Companies like Wal-Mart see things differently. They would rather sell 2,000,000 units with a $1.50 profit than sell 1,000,000 units at $2 profit. That 50 cent price difference cuts them under K-Mart and Target, so it steals sales away from the competition.

Which is exactly how tax cuts work. By putting more money into the hands of those people with money, the people with money can expand current businesses or open new ones, which generates more tax revenue than if the government had kept the original amount. Poor people don't create jobs, rich people do.

One notion that must be disabused is the "greedy capitalist pig businessman." If your boss offered you a 50% raise, would you take it? If so, aren't you a "greedy capitalist pig worker"? Everybody wants to make money. That's what businesses are in business for. Why abuse those who were smart enough to accrue it through legal work? The reason France has a 30% unemployment rate is because business owners are considered evil for wanting to make money. The business owner is so severely hamstrung there is no incentive to go into business or to expand it at all. In fact, there is a penalty for expanding, you can't lay off workers when business goes down.

Like I said. Businesses do not pay taxes.

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Can't write

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As I write this, I have several open windows bookmarking things I want to comment upon. But I can't, I'm too busy beating my head into the wall. I don't know why, but I've been like this all day. So it's closet time for me and hopefully I'll have lots of juicy stuff for you on Sunday.

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We're not anywhere but here

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Victor Davis Hanson has turned out another great piece, A Real War.

We are not in a war with a crook in Haiti. This is no Grenada or Panama - or even a Kosovo or Bosnia. No, we are in a worldwide struggle the likes of which we have not seen since World War II. The quicker we understand that awful truth, and take measures to defeat rather than ignore or appease our enemies, the quicker we will win. In a war such as this, the alternative to victory is not a brokered peace, but abject Western suicide and all that it entails - a revelation of which we saw on September 11.

Read it all.

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More environmentalism

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Fox News carries this piece, Eco-Imperialism's Deadly Consequences, and it just reinforces what I said just below in "Environmentalism as a religion."

These eco-nuts are more concerned about a nature that doesn't exist over real-world realities. To them, they would rather let people die in large numbers rather than exert some control over Nature.

Here's the money paragraph:

Desowitz reports a U.S. Agency for International Development official named Edwin Cohn as saying, "The third world didn't require a healthy labor force because there was a surplus of workers; better some people should be sick with malaria and spread the job opportunities around." Even more bluntly, Cohn reportedly said people in the third world were "better [off] dead than alive and riotously reproducing."

Earlier in the article, they tried to put in perspective:

The Ugandan woman is only one of more than 300 million annual victims of malaria in the third world. Between 2-3 million die every year. "Over half the victims are children, who die at a rate of two per minute or 3,000 per day -- the equivalent of 80 fully loaded school buses plunging over a cliff every day of the year," explains Driessen.

That is abominable. We're talking about filling a pro football stadium every ten days, of just children who die because eco-nuts think that DDT is evil, when it has been proved effective and safe as any other pesticide.

But how do you change these people? Who have such strong beliefs despite scientifically proven,independently reproducible results? You can't. You can only drop the clear evidence in front of them and then ignore them. And that is what we must do. For the children.

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Christmas Party

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Attended the company Christmas party, Got my holiday bonus and won a tool kit in the prize drawing. I'm off for the rest of the day, but I have to go and deposit the bonus so I can commence with the holiday shopping. Bloggedy goodness to follow.

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Environmentalism as a religion

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Hat tip to American Realpolitik.

Michael Crichton gave this speech to The Commonwealth Club about environmentalism.

He writes that they are a fundamentalist religion. I believe that. They are as rabid about their beliefs as Pat Robertson and Osama bin Laden.

There is no Eden. There never was. What was that Eden of the wonderful mythic past? Is it the time when infant mortality was 80%, when four children in five died of disease before the age of five? When one woman in six died in childbirth? When the average lifespan was 40, as it was in America a century ago. When plagues swept across the planet, killing millions in a stroke. Was it when millions starved to death? Is that when it was Eden?

While I do believe that there was an Eden, it was destroyed by Adam and Eve. Their punishment was a world like the above.

Just like we must convert the Islamic fundamentalists, we must convert the rabid environmentalists. There is no other choice.

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This is getting fun

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Well, Mr. Spike (Steve according to the byline) wrote about me and commented on my Hate Bush Meeting, here.

He brought up Chomsky. I don’t know too much about Chomsky, but what I do know isn’t very flattering. First, his act of not answering questions imbibes a certain amount of sage in him, which is not warranted. Scott Adams has Chomsky’s number here:
dt dogbert bah

Also, facts are like the cubes in a Rubiks Cube. You have to get them in the right position and the right orientation to solve the puzzle. Chomsky likes to tell you the facts, but not the context so you can make sense of the facts. Let me illustrate:

I have here on my desk a magazine that talks about two murderers who are not being prosecuted for killing a total of three people. Justin Doyle killed one man, while Wesley Steven killed two. Based on these facts alone, you would think that these are two despicable guys and the police are failing to do their job. But when I tell you both of these men were acting in self-defense and murdered home invaders, well that puts a different spin on things, doesn’t it? Of course, Steve is in the UK and isn’t allowed the right of self-defense, so he might have a different take on things.

He also asks the following question:

I wonder what he makes of Chomsky’s claim that “No president [since 1945], judged on the principles of Nuremberg, would have escaped hanging”? That includes even the most liberal, that nice Jimmy Carter for example.

I would answer that the winners write the history. The Nazis understood that, they were surprised that they got a trial at all, let alone an actually fair trial.

Has America done some despicable things? Yep. Are we proud of them? Nope. Do we try to get it right the next time? You betcha. America is not perfect, and it is wrong to try and hold us to that standard. We do the best we can, and that is all anybody should be expected to do. Sometimes all we can choose between are two bad choices. It’s like when kids get together to play baseball/football/rugby etc., and sometimes one team is left picking the dorky, uncoordinated kid because that’s who’s left. America had to make some choices like that. We didn’t like who we picked, but we really had no choice in the matter.

Sometimes we have been forced to make a choice, and no matter what we chose, somebody was going to die in large numbers. The only differences was who and how many. Sometimes there is no “good” choice.

Do I actually try to equate any US President to either Stalin or Hitler? Nope. My reference to them was pure hyperbole. Hitler was directly responsible for over 6 million Jewish deaths. Stalin ruthlessly murdered by various means well over 20 million of his own people. You do not see those things happening in the US. You could try to lay Korean deaths at Trumans feet, as well as Vietnamese dead at the feet of Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. But it won’t wash. I’m talking non-war civilians dead persecuted by their own government, you’re talking about war dead. No US president since 1917 has ever systematically, brutally, and near totally exterminated any group of people for their political beliefs, ethnicity or religion. I know we have in the past when certain paradigms were in place, but when the paradigms were changed, so did the behavior.

Getting back to Chomsky: There is one paragraph where I did agree with him:

‘Responsibility I believe accrues through privilege,’ he begins. ‘People like you and me have an unbelievable amount of privilege and therefore we have a huge amount of responsibility. We live in free societies where we are not afraid of the police, we have extraordinary wealth available to us by global standards. If you have those things then you have the kind of responsibility that a person does not have if he or she is slaving 70 hours a week to put food on the table – a responsibility at the very least to inform yourself about power. Beyond that it is a question of whether you believe in moral certainties or not.’

Myself, living off of $850 a month, in a clean apartment with a TV, laptop with cable broadband internet, cell phone, refrigerator, et. al., I live better than 60% of the worlds population. I know this and am grateful for it. I try to use my power as an American citizen the best way I can. When I communicate my position on any subject to my elected officials, I expect a courteous response and that they consider my view. Sometimes my elected officials have to go against my wishes, but there are times that they know more about it than I do. That’s what I pay them for.

I would like to thank Steve for giving *both* of my brain cells a good workout tonight. I promised him a piece on the difference between a Liberal and a Socialist. That will take a few days, I want to get it right.

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I’ve been insulted!

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…In a good way, I think. Despite my voluminous vocabulary, Mr. Spike managed to use a word I didn’t know. He used his pretty word to say that my Conservatism stems from my mental illness. I left him a comment on the subject.

Check him out: Spike Magazine. Who knows, I might add him to my blogroll...

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Vince Foster

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NewsMax has come out with an article reviving Vince Foster’s death. Vince Foster: What the Media Won’t Tell You again points out that there are enough holes in this story to make it look like swiss cheese.

…But despite 10 years of denial by the major media, the Foster case has not “closed” – as the Supreme Court hearing Wednesday demonstrated.

The case won’t close because of the failure of authorities to make full disclosure – and to conduct a full investigation into the case, including a complete autopsy.

There are too many quick decisions, too many quick investigations, too many unexplained facts, too much cover-up to make this go away as “just a suicide.” Coupled with all of the other shady incidents that surrounded the Clintons, there has to be more to it and someday I hope to see it all come out. There is no statute of limitations on murder.

I have no doubt that Vince Foster was murdered. I have no doubt Bill and Hillary were involved. While I don’t think one of them pulled the trigger, I do believe that one of them said, “Do it.” They ran that White House pretty tightly and nothing significant happened that they didn’t approve first.

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Hate Bush Meeting

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Remember the Hate Bush email sent out that got reported on by Drudge?

Well, some new information has come out, Politics of hate won’t beat Bush and sadly, it is nothing new.

The people whose votes Democrats will need to defeat George Bush don’t hate him. On a personal level, they like him. They need to be convinced not to vote for him, for reasons that have to do with the war, or special interests or the economy. “Hate Bush” headlines do just the opposite.

I was told several years ago that American politics are divided 40/20/40. The 40% on the left would vote for any Democrat candidate, even if it was Stalin. The 40% on the right would vote for any Republican candidate, even Hitler. It’s the 20% of voters in the middle that decide elections. While I can’t agree on the extremeness of the candidates, I do agree on the mix.

While the Right is moving towards the center to actively work for that Center vote, the 9 dwarves are moving farther and farther left, courting the very people who believe Bush=Hitler. The extremism that they show now will severely haunt them when the winner tries to move toward the center during the general election. Short of a national catastrophe, Bush will win.

That’s the way Hillary wants it. She sees 2008 as her one shot back to the White House. It is better to do it when there is no incumbent rather than have to fight someone of “her” party. Here’s the tricky part. Hillary is the most polarizing person in politics today. She has a good shot at ’08 unless the Republicans counter with a move of their own.

Run Condi Rice.

I think Ms. Rice should get the nod for VP on the second term. This will groom her for a shot as well for 2008. Even if she only gets the VP slot again in ’08, it will show the nation who truly is the party of diversity and equality. I think she is getting groomed even today. She’s in charge of the Iraq situation on this side of the ocean and if this can be pulled off, she will be in prime position to move up in the world, possibly to the top spot.

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Common sense forest management

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I found this on NewsMax, Bush Signs Law to Curb Forest Fires. I especially liked the caption of the picture on the front page. You see President Bush with two firefighters in a burned out section of forest. The caption reads, President and firemen viewed eco-nuts’ damage in Oregon.

Like I’ve said before, wildlands and wildlife must be managed by man. When we do so, there is a benefit to all.

Of course the logging companies will make a profit. That’s the purpose of their business, to make a profit. If they can cut down on the number and severity of forest fires while not clear cutting patches of forest, I say go for it.

At least California has done some common sense things for houses in wildlife areas. Things like stucco exteriors, tile roofs and clearcutting the forest back from the house. A majority of houses that did this survived the recent fires.

As long as rabid environmentalists have their say in how the forests are managed, we will continue to have massive deadly fires. Nature cannot control such things by herself, man is needed.

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Education Monopoly

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I found this article, School Voucher Law Unconstitutional, Colorado Judge Decides and I worry about this.

“I see no way to interpret the voucher program statute in a way that does not run afoul of the principle of local control,” he wrote.

Of course it will run afoul, that’s the purpose of vouchers in the first place. To shake up the status quo.

Public education is a massive public bureaucracy. I know because one job I had was working as a Memphis City Schools contractor. The amount of people in non-teaching positions makes bloated look anorexic. They had so many administrative positions they used several former schools as offices.

Any business without meaningful competition becomes stagnant. That is what the public education system is, stagnant. The inner-city schools where the drop-out and illiteracy rates are sky-high are the worst. There are other reasons behind these rates besides ineffective school systems, but this is one we can work on.

In Memphis, those who can afford it send their kids to private schools. Those who can’t are stuck with the public system and that is just wrong.

Before the liberalization of the public school system, schools were authorized to use corporal punishment when necessary. I myself was “cracked” on several occasions. Students who were incorrigible were separated from the regular students and sent to disciplinary schools in the system. They did not sacrifice the future of 29 students to avoid wounding the self-esteem of one student.

Nowadays, feelings are more important than facts. This must stop. Get your kids out of such an environment NOW.

The best way to reform the public school system is through market forces. That means competition. If the public school system wants to attract students, it must clean up the campuses and the curriculum.

The bad news is the public school system will only get worse. The students who don’t want to learn, the ones who are on drugs or part of gangs will soon be the only students at public schools. They will be left to the public schools because the private schools will not put up with things like that.

Unless the public system shapes up. If the public system wants to attract the good students, they must do several things. Have a curriculum worth teaching. Make the campuses safe. Warehouse the ones who don’t want to learn in their own schools. You need to separate the wheat from the chaff and be damned about self-esteem. That comes when the kid successfully completes a project or passes a hard test.

You can never eliminate the bell curve, but you can do things like move the curve to the left.

Vouchers will be fought tooth-and-nail by the public school system because they know how bad they are doing. If vouchers were to take hold, you would see student performance skyrocket.

Fight for this if your kids are in bad public schools. You owe it to them.

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Under God

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The final step of this journey is here. Supreme Court Allows Newdow To Argue Pledge Of Allegiance Case will settle this issue one way or the other.

I have already spoken on this issue, and have been clearly against this man and his position since the start. The United States was founded upon the principle of God granting powers to the people and then the people giving some of that to the government. God is an integral part of this country and to deny recognition of that fact is wrong.

If this man were to win, his next admitted his agenda, which is to ban any mention of God in any governmental system. I can’t come up with a link because Blogspot is down at the moment.

I think SCOTUS is hearing this to put the issue to bed permanently. In favor of “under God.”

I hope.

Here is my previous post.

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