The Idiot’s Guide To Fixing The Economy

Many people are wringing their hands over the impending fiscal cliff dive that’s due to be televised live on January One. Cameras will be focused on every angle as the economy falls in slo-mo, climaxing in a thunderous SPLAT! when it hits rock bottom.

There is always the off-chance that Congress and the Not-So-White House will come to an agreement before the deadline, but given the divisions between the warring factions it seems less likely every day. The main disagreement is over taxes vs. spending, and the taxers seem to be winning. Politicians are proposing numerous methods of extracting revenue from the populace, aiming mostly at the hated rich, but whatever they do will trickle down to the rest of us in one way or another.

The first thing is to lower the bar on approving new taxes, from two-thirds to fifty-five percent. That means the tax will be okayed mostly by the people who won’t be asked to pay it. Then there is a new gasoline tax, which will “spread the pain” to everyone, and in more ways than one. Everything that requires shipping will become more expensive. Finally, there is a move to increase the inheritance tax, because no one should profit from the success of their forefathers.

Life is going to cost a lot more going forward, and the mantra of the future is jobs, jobs, jobs! If we can create enough jobs and unionize everyone so those jobs pay a living wage, taxes won’t be a problem. But what are these new jobs?

The problem is that as we rush into the bosom of the 21st Century, there are fewer jobs to be had. Entire professions are disappearing day by day. There are no good paying jobs in journalism, thanks to the rise of “citizen journalists” and the demise of newspapers and publications. Manufacturing will become scarce with the advent of cap-and-trade sanctions. Robots will replace flesh and blood employees in many other fields. Even soap opera actors are out of work.

So how do we spread the wealth to the unemployable? Well, there are several people who are not concerned with taxes or jobs. I am speaking of the two individuals who won this week’s Megapowersuperball drawing. The biggest problem those folks will have is trying to shake off the scores of relatives and scam artists who will be trying to separate them from their new-found riches.

So maybe the lottery is the answer, but not as it’s currently set up. First of all, nobody needs three hundred million dollars. It’s a ridiculous number, and many of those who win end up miserable and despondent, worrying that the grandkids are trying to poison them. Why not make the odds, and the winnings, more democratic? Get rid of the stupid bonus number, and reduce the primary numbers to four. Then make the top prize say, $150,000. Instead of a handful of weekly winners, you’d have hundreds of happy citizens who could pay down their debt and have a little left over to spend as consumers, thereby reviving the economy without undue taxation. There could be a rule that no one could collect more than once a year, to help spread the happiness to all.

No need to thank me. Just remember to buy artwork when you win.

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33 Responses to The Idiot’s Guide To Fixing The Economy

  1. TD Pittsford says:

    Good concept, R.L. but since it makes sense, no one will embrace it. As far as our so-called “leaders” and their endless wrangling, isn’t it obvious by now that they don’t give a flying fig about the people who put them in office, only about their own self-serving agendas? But even then the outrages continue. You didn’t mention that the insurance companies are going to raise their premiums by three, maybe four times. This was announced by the California Insurance Commissioner. It kind of makes you wonder just exactly what his job is. I guess it’s to announce further pocketbook-deflating maneuvers by the legalized extortionists called “insurance” companies. The only thing we’re insured of is going broke…slowly, painfully, irrevocably. On that sunny note, let me just say: “C’mon December 21st!”

  2. Ben Emery says:

    The fiscal cliff is tool by those who both major parties represent use to whittle away at social programs by claiming grand compromises. The question that needs to be ask is when and how did the debt arise. It came from two unpaid for illegal (my opinion) invasions/ occupations, tripling of our Defense/ Offense budget since 1997, unpaid for tax breaks for the wealthy, Medicare Part D, disastrous lack of trade policies, and the banking deregulation that Dodd/Frank didn’t address that caused the financial crisis. It is with these issues where we should begin as a nation. Social Security is independently funded through a payroll tax that hasn’t added one penny to the national debt.

    • Todd Juvinall says:

      BenE, your grasp of economics and the reasons for the problems is so infantile. I am embarrassed for you.

    • Don Pelton says:

      Ben:

      Good analysis, and good for you for continuing to speak the truth in the face of predictable ad hominem attacks (better and more self-revealing than attacks based on substance aren’t they?).

      The biggest problem with the “fiscal cliff” scam is not what is being argued over (for instance, “taxes vs. spending”), but rather what is being generally agreed on … the austerity consensus:

      It’s ironic that while the so-called “cliff” itself (more a speed-bump) consists of austerity strategies (tax increases and spending cuts), the solution generally touted by both Democrats and Republicans is more austerity (revenue increases and spending cuts).

      Hair of the dog that bit us, and bit the Eurozone big-time.

      Here’s a searing report by historian Steve Fraser — not kind to either party — on what has happened to America’s middle class and industrial base over the last several decades:

      The Archeology of Decline: Debtpocalypse and the Hollowing Out of America

      • Greg Goodknight says:

        “Social Security is independently funded through a payroll tax that hasn’t added one penny to the national debt.”

        Just that one howler is enough to justify Todd’s ad hom. Starting in the ’80’s massive SS tax increases were made in order to allow my generation to “save” for our retirement. Those trillion$ were “loaned” to the Federal government and are now a big chunk of the national debt.
        http://www.examiner.com/article/social-security-the-national-debt-the-fiscal-cliff?cid=rss

        • Todd Juvinall says:

          Funny how the left thinks they understand economics so well. Greg has exposed one little facet of the lefts ignorance on the subject and he will pay the price of being called a”radical”. No wonder the country is broke, people like BenE and Pelton had the reins and failed.

        • Ben Emery says:

          Greg,
          You said correctly, they were loaned, I would say invested into the federal government, one of the safest investments on the planet. There is a $2.5 trillion surplus in Social Security and it is 100% funded by payroll taxes and has zero to do with the annual budget. The way to make it solvent forever is by removing the cap and including all income, which includes short term capital gains/ dividends (6 years or less. We could increase the benefits by 50%. The only way it goes bankrupt if we stop paying into it. Like many of your political ideology you seem lose your critical thinking skills when it comes to social programs. As for Todd comment, my analogy is right on the mark. Since the first Bush administration we went from a surplus and paying down the debt within a decade to massive deficits and my list addresses all of the big policies that caused it.

          http://www.newamerica.net/publications/policy/secure_retirement_for_all_americans

        • Michael Anderson says:

          Once again, Ben nails it. The right wing wants their cake and the ability to eat it too. But they did not do the proper planning. Let me explain.

          The fact of the matter is, we have a Baby Boomer problem. This is a problem that was created after World War II, when the Traditionals got really really excited about winning that war, and fucked themselves silly, creating a “Baby Boom.” Are those 80 million of us who shot down the Baby Boom birth canal responsible? Hardly.

          George Rebane, check your penis. That might be where this whole problem began!

          For you GenX and GenY kids, this Baby Boomer retirement problem has been a crisis since the 1970s. So all this crap now is just extremely boring, fiscal cliff stupidity included. The fact of the matter is, when you are a bubble generation, some of your members are going to become collateral damage. This is how it has been for us since we were born. I’m not whining, I’m just explaining facts. Todd doesn’t understand this part, since he is not very bright, but you get the idea.

          The only worthwhile discussion left is how much we, as a society, care about The Boomers. Shall we let many of them die since we can no longer afford to take care of them? That seems to be the consensus.

          OK, fine then. As long as the cuts are non-partisan, and Republican and Democratic Boomers alike are killed off in equal measure, I’m good to go with the program. BTW, don’t worry about me, I’ve been predicting this denouement since 1978, so I am in good shape. I wish I could say the same about many of my fellow Boomers, but their fate is in your hands.

          You will find many of them now living in the woods and begging for soup kitchens. Or barely on that edge. But you will most likely do nothing, because you are not aware of the problem since you live in a broken political system that was first invented when steam engines were king.

          Many new democracies have been created since 1776, and they have updated themselves along the way. US, not so much. We are stuck. We are dying. We are sad.

          I don’t care, because I chose to live in Nevada City many decades ago, where the stupidity of Washington D.C. has little effect. I hope y’all get it fixed. Whatever…

          Cynical Christmas 2012 Michael A.

          • Ben Emery says:

            Here is what the American people want vs what the republicans and what the democratic leadership want to cut. This shows once again the similarities between the leadership of the big two.
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kdcyyL4bb0&feature=player_embedded

            Why do the Democrats talk about raising taxes on people earning $200,000 a year? If I were the Democrats and truly wanted to raise taxes and call the bluff of the republicans, I would make the tax breaks for those under $2 million annually. Democrats and republicans represent the same interests and it is not the interests of average people.

            The message should be 100% of Americans would get a tax break up to $1.99 million.

            I would like to hear the republicans oppose this message without showing who they really represent. The sad reality is the Democrats represent the same special interests.

            The amount of revenue generated from those making $200k to $1.99 million is miniscule but the big money players are those who are making tens of millions mainly in capital gains/ dividends that pay at most 15%. Make capital taxation equal to labor taxation but on a progressive scale. Very few people who labor for their income make over $500k.

          • Ben Emery says:

            Here are some more good numbers to chew on.

            “It contains a number of interesting factoids, including the following:

            7,000 people made more than $1 million but paid no income tax.
            22,000 people made between $500,000 and $1 million but paid no income tax.
            81,000 people made between $200,000 and $500,000 but paid no income tax.
            381,000 people made between $100,000 and $200,000 but paid no income tax.

            So that’s 491,000 Americans who made more than $100,000 a year who paid no income tax.”

            Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/7000-millionaires-paid-no-income-tax-2012-9#ixzz2FSwZ0KQm

          • Michael Anderson says:

            Once again, Ben deals in bothersome facts.

            Oh well, we are not a fact-based nation so his words will blow past the hills & valleys like an ill wind.

        • Douglas Keachie says:

          “Social Security is independently funded through a payroll tax that hasn’t added one penny to the national debt.”

          Those that borrowed the money from Social Security for other projects like Iraq, created the bigger debt.

          Greg’s theory that Social Security is or caused the national debt is not too far in logic from the legitimate rape babies crowd.

      • Todd Juvinall says:

        I don’t believe any of their numbers, none. The only place I see the truth is in my personal checkbook.

          • Todd Juvinall says:

            You are a sick puppy MA. The results of too much ganga?

          • Michael Anderson says:

            I’m actually a very well and happy puppy, trying to make my way just like everyone else, including you Toodles. What, you’ve never seen Glengarry Glen Ross? Trust me, you should rent that movie. Brilliant.

            Nice job channeling your inner rastafarian, Todd. Got dreads?

            As more me, I’m more of a pastafarian. Got FSM?

          • Todd Juvinall says:

            I think you have smoked and dropped too much chemical additives into your pee brain. But that is what you silver spooners do. What a hoot!

          • Ryan Mount says:

            All you need to know in life is in Alec Baldwin’s speech in Glengarry. Seriously. I would make my teenagers watch it, but I wouldn’t be able to handle the two weeks worth of tears.

            BTW, Mamet added this monologue for the film version. It doesn’t appear on stage.

            Life is a perpetual set of steak knives.

            Just in case:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8kZg_ALxEz0

          • Michael Anderson says:

            Todd,

            You appear to be an unrequited moron when you post on the blogs. The frosting you slather on this sunken cake is made up of DSM-IV grade hubris, reactionary blather, TSA fever dreams, and a non sequitur stew that would choke the witches at the opening of Macbeth.

            As one of your constituents during your rather unfortunate term as a Nevada County First District Supervisor, I am very glad that you have availed yourself in the various blogging venues so that I can personally deliver to you a solid D- for your work. Thank you.

            That being said, I have heard from many people I respect who say that you are a really nice guy, and I have actually observed your niceness in person several times when you were ordering waffles for lunch at The Dumpster and chatting up the counter crowd.

            Maybe we’ll meet someday and you can find some love in your heart for those of us on the other side of the tracks who just want to get along.

            Christmas time is the dumbest time of year, but I appreciate that you enjoy it a bunch. I will think of you, and rejoice in your salvation, while I hunker down and dream of January 3rd, 2013.

            Michael A.

          • Michael Anderson says:

            Ryan,

            At least with the steak knives you got second place. Third place, you’re fired. Hit the bricks.

            Michael A.

          • Todd Juvinall says:

            MichaeA, thank you doe constantly showing the readers here and elsewhere why you will never amount to much of anything. What a hoot!

  3. Don Pelton says:

    Colbert is right: reality has a liberal bias.

    Here’s some more reality for y’all to howl at:

    No, the Social Security Trust Fund Isn’t a Fiction

  4. Todd Juvinall says:

    Yeah that comedian Colbert. The poster child for liberal intelligence. What a hoot!

    • Michael Anderson says:

      Todd,

      My guess is that Colbert would be going home with those liberal gals at Friar Tuck’s a heckuva lot better than your current track record.

      First, he can act gay but isn’t since he embraces his masculinity but is not afraid to take long walks on the beach with his feminine side. The liberal gals love that since there is no better ear for dating than a gay (or feminine-aware) man.

      Second, he sings beautifully and sits in with so many of his musical guests. The liberal gals love that.

      Third, he makes a nice salary in that he has chosen a field of endeavor that rewards his talents handsomely; the liberal gals, though always at-the-the-ready to Save the Wales, also appreciate a man who brings home the bacon (don’t we all ;-)

      So Todd, given just these first 3 things, don’t you think you might be coming up a little bit short? Perhaps it’s time to stop the trolling in Nevada City and stick with things you know…Alabama, Pentucky, or Smartsville. Your choice.

      Michael A.

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