Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

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"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

02 December 2010

The Mad Political Cabal Illustrated - Eliminating ObamaCare Spending Tax Reports

For years now when I want to illustrate a federal government policy which is a mad kowtowing to special interests at the expense of most Americans, I point at the subsidy to convert food and precious water resources into ethanol to be added to gasoline.  Originally, the subsidy was justified as a means to reduce pollution and to add to our energy supply with a fuel produced in America.  Studies made since then have discovered that neither claim is true.  The result is that we are forced by mandate to use watered down and more expensive fuel, corn and other displaced crops are more expensive for food purposes, meat and eggs from livestock fed on corn is more expensive, farmland is more expensive, and water supplies are wasted.  Despite the knowledge for years now that this is so, Congress has not put an end to the harmful ethanol subsidies and we are still bombarded by ads from the special interests that they are doing something noble for the rest of us.  The reason is that Congress likes the bribe it is getting so much, that it chooses to ignore the loss of the justifications for the General Welfare it once gave for the subsidies.

In constructing the Potemkin Village of costs for ObamaCare, a provision was inserted in that bill that if a company spent as much as $600 in a year with another company, it had to report that spending on a Form 1099 to the IRS and to that firm.  This presents a huge burden of paperwork for companies.  It is much worse than just the paperwork.  The company has to know the proper reporting address of every company it does business with.  For instance, if the company buys $600 of gasoline from a Shell station on Laurel Road, it has to know whether the station is owned and operated by Shell or whether that particular station is owned by someone with a Shell franchise.  If it is a franchise, the company must report to the owner of that particular station when the company's purchases exceed $600.  Perhaps that same owner owns another station the company buys gasoline at, in which case the combined purchases must be reported when they total $600.  These days that may be about 12 tank-ups worth of fuel.  The time to properly take care of this reporting burden has to be borne by a small business owner who is already working 80-hour weeks, the fate of the small business owner.  Of course, this means that he cannot use that time to earn income.  But, no one in Congress had enough sense to take note of the absurdity of this in the ObamaCare bills they never bothered to read, to think about, get advice on, or to discuss!

The provision was envisioned as adding $17 billion of unreported tax revenues to offset the massive, but stoundingly understated costs of ObamaCare.  Just doing the paperwork will cost companies more than that per year.  To understand this, in a $14 trillion economy, $17 billion of time is one part in 824.  The diversion of productive labor into producing this paperwork will be far more than 1 part in 824, particularly for small businesses.  Worse yet, the flood of paperwork upon the IRS will be so massive that the IRS will not be able to make use of it in any case, at least not unless it spends about $17 billion more a year to do so.  Of course it does not mind spending that money, but that is just another burden of the already crushed taxpayer.  In other words, there is no way this provision made any sense at all.  Only some otherworldly, unthinking or dishonest, and very lazy bums could ever have thought it would.  Those people fill the staffs of our Democrat Socialist Congressmen.

So now we have a situation causing every small business owner to howl, most Republicans in Congress siding with them, and even a number of Democrat Socialists admitting that they may have gone too far in this case.  Even Obama agreed that this may need revision.  Despite that, the Senate has had two votes in repealing the provision and both failed to pass.  For some reason only known to our out-of-touch politicians, the Senate agreed that repeal of the provision would take 67 votes, not a majority vote of 51 votes.  Go figure.  So, a Democrat plan to repeal the $600 tax form provision was voted down 44 votes for to 53 votes against.  A Republican plan was voted down with 61 votes for and 35 votes against.  The issue of contention is over how to treat the fictitious $17 billion of extra tax revenues this stupid provision was scored to bring in and therefore how it will affect the deficit.

Frankly, I do not care how the repeal of this tax reporting provision affects their fictitious budget numbers.  Get it out before the new year starts and then when the new Congress comes in, start cutting government spending left and right with machetes, Bangalore torpedoes, XM25 rifle rounds, Abram Tank rounds, or whatever it takes.  Put some Navy SEALS on the job.  Send them to all the bureaucracies of the government and have them break arms until the damn bureaucrats prioritize that 30% of their budget that they could do without.  There is not a government agency that does not have 30% of its employees in the form of deadwood.  I know this because I worked for the Dept. of the Navy in the 1980s and the that was one of the better run government agencies.  It and every other government agency have only gotten more lazy and inefficient in the years since.  The deadwood employees have only become more protected and coddled since.  When that waste and abuse is eliminated, the House can get serious about refusing to fund the many activities which are simply unconstitutional.  We have no right to enslave businessmen to this paperwork nightmare and we have no right to enslave ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren to government debt and obligations.

Note:  Most readers probably thought that I left the starting 'a' off of stoundingly in the first sentence of the third paragraph above.  Stoundingly is an adjective based on stounding.  Stounding has the following meanings:
  1. benumbing
  2. smarting, acutely painful
  3. stunning, astounding
Each of these meanings applies very well in the context of the understated costs of ObamaCare, including the astoundingly meaning.

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