Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Debating On A Guess

At some point in my internet using career I decided to actually search out and read things before coming to too strong an opinion on a given topic, such as a bill in the US Senate. The trick is to find the stuff in print, not just hearsay discussions.

I believe one of my first forays into the verbose smoke screen of government prose was the 911 commission report, or whatever it was called. I have since forgotten the title, but not the surprising language and scope of topics.

It had less to do with the nature of the Towers attack, and more to do with laying groundwork for domestic martial law, usurping control of resources, private companies, etc--in the event of any emergency deemed worthy by unelected bureaucrat.

My most recent effort was to actually read this Buffet Tax bill that got defeated. I'm suspicious of it because, if you made a million dollars and didn't take any deductions, didn't know how to invest to save on taxes and all that, you'd already be paying a higher rate than the poor saps who only make 150 thousand, and they'd pay more percentage of their income than those who make 75 thousand.

People tend to forget that even if the percentage was the same the million dollar baby would be paying far more than the seventy five thousand sap.

Buffet, himself, piqued my suspicion when he claimed his high paid secretary pays a higher rate than he does. I mean, this is a guy whose battery of lawyers is dueling with the IRS over a half billion tax bill.

If he is so concerned about the government getting paid, why the lawyers arguing against payment? And why not just pay what he thinks is fair if he doesn't honestly think he's paying enough? And why manage the money in such a way as to gain the best tax advantage? Is this merely his effort to keep lawyers and accountants employed? Noble of him.

OK. So, I'm assuming there is an angle whenever billionaires seek press and want to make laws.

I tried to find the text of the bill so I could see for myself what it is. I cannot find it. I found things like wikipedia telling me "what it does", and various opinions on the thing, but no actual text of the bill. It must be that Nancy Pelosi was talking about most bills, not just the one, when she said, "We need to pass the bill to see what's in it", or words very close to that.

So, the thing to do is to encourage your senators and congress representatives to pass all legislation so you can then get copies of the actual bill and know if you like it or not. If it hasn't passed how will we ever know what's in it?

My default position is that unless I can see the actual wording of a proposed law, I am not in favor it passing. I'd also like to see any little piggy back add-ons which maybe put money in pockets where it doesn't belong, or adds power where it should be withheld. The trick you with names and such.

They'll do something like name bill the "Keep Children Safe From Ax Murderers Bill", then in it require parents to document to authorities that their kid eats green beans as prescribed by law, and mandates that all seat belts in new cars be bright orange in color.

And then it may also include a million dollars to renovate and declare someone's home in Maine a historic site. And another five million to buy it for the federal parks, or give it Spain, or who knows what.

So, if you oppose this bill, you don't care if our children are filleted by ax murderers or rogue chefs.

It didn't pass, so who knows if the Buffet Bill was just more grandstanding or not. What were the actual words?

If he had any real guts, he'd have said the irs is a waste of resources and not the stuff of a free country, and then he would have suggested a more benign, less complex system of taxation. But he is part of an elite class who do nothing without an angle. Often we, the serfs, can't see the angle because we don't have enough information.

It is so comforting to know how much people like Warren Buffet care about us lesser beings. And how much he cares about who pays what. He cares a lot.

But just short of caring enough to set the example and pay whatever he thinks is fair without somebody making a law which may or may not actually affect his cash flow. It warms my heart. nd being on board with Warren gives fuel to the thrill of focussing on The Rich.

Pay up, you bastards!! as if I have any idea who are The Rich and what they do or don't pay, except that the top 10 percent do pay the vast majority of the tax bill. This I know.

That Buffet Bill maybe would have put them in their place. Or maybe it would only have fooled the angry while maintaining the status quo. There may have even been an orange seat belt provision.

If only they'd passed it so we could know what it was. And how many pages it was. Could they write hundreds of pages on a thing like that? The legislators themselves don't read bills most of the time, or know what is in them in any detail.

That part is unimportant. It is important that they care, and that new laws keep getting made. That gives us a sense of sec urity. Or something.

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