Many times as I read an article I find a few sentences that capture the essence of the piece. In “Phrase-e-ology” I’ll post some thought followed by key phrases. As always I’ll have a link (in blue) to the original article.
It is hard not to grab some great phrases from an author like Walter Williams. His recent article asks the question of whether we (America) deserves our fate (still avoidable at this point). Pointing out that our culture is following in the footsteps of some historical empires like that of the Romans, Spanish, French, and English where…
There once was a story about a Gov. named Ed, poor Philadelphia man, mostly kept his state in red, then one day he was spendin’ out his a#%, and out from the ground game a hissin gas…Marcellus that is, natural gas, Pennsylvania cash…
If it helps that introduction sort of goes with the Beverly Hillbillies theme song [a show on TV Land for those of you under forty].
This is a rather simple equation that should be used whenever a group suggests that something won’t have an impact on consumers or expresses a desire to tax (or charge fees) for some industry or demonize profits from some large industry.
C = Cost to produce something
P = Profit needed by company to make it worth the risk to produce something
PC = Price to consumer
Way back in the early 1980s I worked at a restaurant atop Pittsburgh’s tallest building. The food was decent; the service was good; the view was awesome! The U.S. Steel Building now sports a “UPMC” (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) sign acknowledging their biggest client. The famed building was recently acquired by UBS Real Estate Securities Inc. based out of New York. Pittsburgh’s Tribune review reported that the investing group has skillfully locally recorded “is a consignment of leases and rents by the lender in the deal…UBS also recorded a mortgage document for a $220 million loan UBS provided for the acquisition to Manhattan-based Karasick and his partners.” Neither action requires the payment of transfer taxes which was estimated to be $10 million.
Politicians succeed by engaging us with truths (usually only half truths) to get us riled up for their cause which is ultimately about getting them reelected. Few politicians care about anything more than achieving this goal. They avoid the tough decisions while decrying that the other side won’t make the tough decisions. The good news for American citizens is that we have a free press that sorts out complex issues and will not let politicians get away with the half truths. Okay that was dripping with sarcasm, but I am a dreamer and that is the way our country is supposed to work.
In “Parse-imony” I break down current news stories with my pithy, running commentary…
First the headline:
ANNAPOLIS — Maryland lawmakers will debate today an increase in the sales tax on alcoholic beverages and how to subsidize troubled horse racing tracks as the General Assembly pushes toward midnight adjournment. [It is extremely interesting that the Maryland elected officials are looking to tax citizen who prefer to imbibe while at the same time give money to (although “subsidize” sounds much better) folks who run another “sin tax” operation leaving little doubt who has better lobbyists.]
Here is a headline that unveils a basic tenant of ALL elected officials. Their goal, both Democrats and Republicans, is to find a way to get our money so they can lavish it onto their constituents…
As TEA party, conservative (and even Andrew Cuomo) governors take swings at trying to prevent their states from bankruptcy all options to balance budgets are on the table. Unfortunately for many previously “favored” programs raising taxes in a crippled economy will not go over well with the voters and so axes are swinging toward their tax dollars or teat if you wish.
In this series I choose a current news article and you decide via a multiple choice format which terms were used and whether others would have been more accurate…….
NEW YORK — The IRS unveiled a new __________ (initiative, set of rules for politicians, plan to hire thousands of agents, kinder-gentler enforcement approach) yesterday that’s intended to lure tax evaders, but with stiffer penalties than in a previous program. Americans with hidden offshore accounts have until Aug. 31 to report the accounts to the Internal Revenue Service in exchange for penalties below what __________ (politicians, Hollywood stars, they would, we) ordinarily pay. Defense lawyers had been ________ (wondering how to make money on, speculating about, getting ready to turn themselves in, suing someone over) a possible new program after recent statements by IRS officials. The agency created the latest program amid a widening crackdown on offshore accounts sold to wealthy Americans.
[This is perhaps best enjoyed if you sing along with the song Santa Baby as you read (I could not find a decent karaoke version).]
Obama baby, slip an earmark under the tree, for me
We’ve been an awful good donor
Obama baby, and fleece another taxpayer tonight
Obama baby, keep your promise to screw the rich, let em bitch
I’ll wait up for you dear
Obama baby, and fleece another taxpayer tonight
Think of all the taxes you’ve got coming due