Tax(a)Dummy

Taxes, Life, and Politics

The New Draconian Smoking Law: Up in Smoke

INTRODUCTION/ RANT

I want to let people know, after the new anti-smoking bill was passed by the Senate, I am officially done with Obama.  It seems that neither party cares for individual liberty anymore.  The new smoking bill does many draconian things including banning candy flavored tobacco products, low tar nicotine, and forces new bigger warning labels (because the first warning labels obviously didn’t scare enough people from smoking???!!!).

So Democrats are against smoking, alcohol, guns, and free speech.  The Republicans are against drugs, privacy, porn, sex, and gays.  I must be forced to vote Libertarian these days (though I think Libertarians take it too far, it’s the only party I can support).

After seeing that this asinine and populist bill was passed and supported by Obama, I have to say, I hate democracy.  The tyranny of the majority should not be allowed to affect the individual choices of citizens so long as those choices are not affecting the liberties of others.  John Mill was right when he said that a democracy not limited enough in its power, was going to be forced into becoming a tool of oppression by the tyranny of the majority.  I’d take a benevolent dictatorship over a tyrannical democracy any day.

I am done with Obama.  Totally done with him.  He did nothing to give gays full rights, protect gun owners, protect smokers, done very little for pot smokers, and he seems to be at the forefront of the most asinine law in the world, the 21 year old drinking age (I am 26 by the way).  We need a revolution against the revulsion against our liberty that our founding fathers fought so hard to protect only to be taken away by the religious extremists on the right and the liberal political correctness people on the left.

THE SMOKING LAW:  DIDN’T WE LEARN ANYTHING FROM PROHIBITION?

The Slippery Slope: The new smoking law will not ban smoking.  However, it has been a major act in the eventual chipping away of smokers’ rights (I am a non-smoker by the way).  This is like prohibition.  It starts with a slow chipping away of the right to smoke on a local level, then starts at a federal level with “regulation.”  Soon we’ll see stronger and stronger anti-smoking laws.  While, I hope and doubt that smoking will be made illegal, a police state will certain exist keeping smoking regulated to not allow smoking in all areas except the homes.  I see a society where cops will harass young people and ticket and arrest them for smoking (like we do with the drinkers below drinking age).  I see a ban on all smoking in public (like parks or cigar bars like they attempted to do in Boston).  I see a smoking ban in the cars.  I see the government setting up little cubes where smokers must sit like cattle to smoke.  This may sound crazy, but it has already happened on a local level in some areas.

Bullshit Second Hand Smoke Crap: While smoking is obviously very bad for you, only 7 of 39 studies have shown that second hand smoke causes a noticeable negative health effect (“Secondhand Joking”, by Steven Milloy. Retrieved August 22, 2007.).  In addition, when studies state that second hand smoking doubles your chances of lung cancer, you need to look at the facts.  For example, out of non-smokers that are not around second hand smoke, about 3 out of 2000 people get lung cancers compared to 6 out of 2000 from passive smoking.  That’s still a negligible amount.  Second hand smoke is an excuse to go after individual smoking.  Small, secondary contact with smokers is less dangerous than half the shit we inhale from our polluted air.

What the Puritanical Act Does: I encourage everyone to read the act itself.  It basically gives the FDA full power to regulate the tobacco industry.  The federal government is (pun not intended) a cancer forcing its laws on individuals and the states.  (A 2000 court case ruled that the FDA couldn’t regulate tobacco without Congressional support.   Then Congress, of course, said we need to violate liberty and pass a law that allows Congress to violate liberty).  Now the FDA can regulate tobacco.  It’s going to ban cartoons, statements saying “low tar,” and most offensive is banning of “flavored tobacco.”  That is where I draw the line, banning flavored tobacco.  I don’t smoke flavored tobacco, but if you want to some fruit flavored tobacco when you are giving yourself cancer, go ahead.

Health Nazi’s Two Cents: The health Nazis state that its to stop children from smoking.   If we’ve learned anything from the “Say No to Drugs” and the “21 means 21” crap, it’s that when you tell a kid, “NO,” they’ll want to do it more.  What we need to do is continue the education that smoking is bad and I do think it’s within the government’s right to disclose the health concerns of smoking.  But it ends there.  These people are nuts.  They want to ban smoking, slowly but surely.  In Boston, where it’s basically illegal to smoke in a restaurant or bar, they carved out an exception for smoking bars.  They said in the early 2000s, “we would always have an exception for smoking bars.”  Now they tried to get rid of the smoking bars.  Thank god they failed.

Tongue-in-Cheek Humorous Section: Fuck this, fuck Puritans.  I’m going to take up smoking and hand out cigarettes to babies if this shit carries on any more on the principle against this stupid law.  This country is about freedom, not health nazis.  Focus on why all these unhealthy fat asses who don’t drink and smoke are so fucking fat.  Are we going to require them to run 3 miles everyday?  Maybe if the health nazis have their way.  America is dying a slow death.  It started in the 1920s with prohibition and seems to be dying more and more.  The War on Drugs in the 1960s-70s, Anti-drinking in 1980s, Political Correctness and Feminazi’s anti-sex in the 1990s, And now anti-smoking.  Fuck Health Nazis.  It are these individual rights that are most important that seem to be ignored the most by lawyers (I am one), politicans, and grass roots efforts.  People laugh when you talk about legalizing weed or lowering the drinking age.  They don’t think they are important considerations.  However, they are the most important.  They deal with the most individual and personal liberties with which one can do to him or herself.  We need an anti-puritan politician out there.  Where’s Jesse the Mind or Ron Paul when you need them?  They’re getting shit on by the media and even the public.  They’re crazy.  We’ll I agree they take things too far, but they aren’t crazy, they are more American than most Americans.  They are probably more American than me.  They are certainly more American than these politicians.

Love,

Captain Liberty

I have no where to go.  I am for a separation of church and state, for legal drugs, for prostitution, for a lower drinking age, for the right to smoke, strong supporter of gun ownership, and gay marriage.  I might just pack it up and start my own country.

What do you think?  I want to even hear from the Health Nazis.  I am actually quite fond of debate.  I enjoy talking with those I disagree with more than those I agree with.

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June 24, 2009 Posted by | 1 | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sarah Palin’s Still a Cunt

So Apparently, David Letterman made a bad comment about Sarah Palin’s daughter. It was a joke. Palin’s screaming about it disrespectful to women. You know what’s disrespectful to women, teaching abstinence. She’s a cunt. I really hope the Republicans don’t let her anywhere near the Presidential campaign.

June 12, 2009 Posted by | 1 | , | 1 Comment

Why I Hate Majority Rule Democracy #3233: American Idol

I don’t watch American Idol.  I don’t find that show exciting.  I don’t even like pop music.  However, in the years I met my wife, she is a huge AI fan and I have been glancing at it from time to time.  I must say, that I felt that Adam Lambert fellow was quite good, in fact, he was the best.  He had talent, an ability to arrange, and sing well while connecting to the crowd.  I never ever heard of that Kris Allen fellow or gave him much though. 

I heard Kris sing a few times and though, “eh,” but Adam Lambert was fantastic.  He was a bit weird looking in his gothic ways and openly homosexual, but don’t tell me Mr. Lambert couldn’t sing.  I was very proud that he was able to make it so far in the running.  Then, my wife made me catch the tail end tonight.  We both easily expected Mr. Lambert to win, but he lost.

I don’t usually think people lose elections because of their race or gender or sexual orientations.  When people didn’t support Obama, I didn’t think they were racist.  When people didn’t support Hillary, I didn’t think they were sexist.  But I must say, I think our country was a bit homophobic in the choice of Kris Allen.  Lambert’s “Mad World,” itself should have been reason enough to call off the show and just pick him as winner right there.

Don’t believe me?  Believe that maybe I’m being a little too sensitive?  Well when my wife (who is from the South) went on Facebook to announce her outrage there were various responses from her very conservative friends.  Such as, “glad a down home guy finally won,” and “Finally America got something right after 2008” [speaking of the 2008 election].  These statements seem to have little to do with their opinion of Mr. Allen’s singing, but rather that Mr. Allen was safe and Mr. Lambert was that gothic faggy looking kid who kissed a boy! 

I am glad Simon Cowell did not stand up to give a Standing O.  No offense to Mr. Allen (who is probably a nice guy) but Mr. Lambert should have won and our homophobic country gave up on a good winner.  On the bright side, at least that douchebag that exploited his wife’s death didn’t win.

Americans shouldn’t be allowed to vote when “down home” homophobes refuse to pick the best winner because he looks different and is a “sinner” in the eyes of their invisible friend they call God.  Sometimes I wish the South seceded from the North so I wouldn’t have to deal with these douchebags in MY country.  I am also glad I am from New England.  Almost every state in this great FREEDOM loving region has gay marriage (except for Rhode Island).  Screw you homophobes.  The only good thing to come out of Arkansas was Bill Clinton.

– Captain Liberty.

May 21, 2009 Posted by | 1 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Drinking Age Debate Taking Speed: My Faith in America is slowing being Restored

One of the most ridiculous laws in this country is the 21 year old drinking age.  (I’m 25 by the way so I have no personal interest in this).  Mothers Against Drunk Driving states that 75% of Americans don’t believe in lowering the drinking age.  We have one of the highest drinking ages in the world.  It should be 18.  Actually, I think it should be 14, but I won’t go there because we are so underdeveloped about this issue from our European neighbors.

Now personally, I don’t care what the public thinks.  I don’t believe that certain individual rights should be left in the hands of the tyranny of the majority.  The public doesn’t believe in freedom and I fear Americans don’t believe in liberty and thus our democracy is turning into a democratic dictatorship.  So if the majority of Americans do not believe in lowering the drinking age, I don’t care, it still should be lowered.  However, for those who believe in majority rule, the American society is changing course and maybe we should lower the drinking age.  I leave these  statistics up for those who still believe in majority tyranny.  Now, with the consciousness of the American public finally coming around, even those populists must run and hide as more Americans believe in lowering the drinking age.

Here’s some new stats.  Please also see www.choseresponsbility.org, a wonderful organization full of freedom and pragmatic thinking.

Should states lower the drinking age to 18?   * 180580 responses
No, I think that could lead to a rise in drinking problems and car accidents.
29%
Yes, if people are old enough to serve in the military, they’re old enough to drink.
57%
Yes, but only if they obtain a “drinking license” by taking mandatory alcohol education classes.
13%
I don’t know.
1.3%

May 12, 2009 Posted by | 1 | , , , | Leave a comment

Hero of the Month: Eric Slye

Sort of dick, sort of hero, Eric Slye is the hero of the month.  He was called for jury duty and said he could not afford to go.  The second time around, the court sent him a request to explain why he cannot do jury duty in Montana.  He wrote:

Apparently you morons didn’t understand me the first time.  I CANNOT take time off from work.  I cannot put my family’s well being at state in participating in this crap.  I don’t believe in our “justice” system  and I don’t want to have a goddam (sic)  thing to do with it.  Jury duty is a complete waste of time.  I would rather count the wrinkles on my dog’s balls than sit on a jury. Get it through your thick skulls.  Leave me the f–k alone.”

He was forced into court to apologize.  I hope he didn’t.  He also, ironically, got out of jury duty.

Now I believe the courts should request jury duty for individuals, but if they don’t want to serve, they don’t have to.  They should be required to pay more than the $50 to $150 a day in wages (and then they stop after a few days).  They should have to pay every individual $400 a day and offices should be required to still pay their workers and they should get free vacation time (some states do this).  If the case has a “reasonable possibility” of being more than 3 days, there should be more paid to the jurors (by the losing party in a civil trial perhaps).

In addition, in the state of Connecticut, old people over 70 can get out of a jury, I think it should be the other way around.  Under 70, you don’t have to serve.  If you are over 70 should be the only class of people required to sit for jury duty.

– Captain Liberty

The government should be there to protect my individual liberty and not take it away.

May 12, 2009 Posted by | 1 | 3 Comments

Non-Kosher Flu Paranoia: Swine Flu by the Numbers

This Swine Flu that has exploded in the media reminds me of my “Bipolar America” piece.  Right now, we are in panic mode.  I paniced a little when I heard about this.  Then I thought about it.  Even in Mexico, you don’t have a huge chance of getting Swine Flu.  There are approximately 100,000,000 people in Mexico.  So with the current 2,000 cases, that’s .002% chance.  And that’s a .02% chance of catching it Mexico assuming the number is 20,000 cases instead of 2,000 cases.  Now if there’s about 150 deaths.  The chance of dying in Mexico is now .0015%.  With making it 10 times worse, it is still a .015% chance of dying of swine flu.

Now lets look at the American cases, so far.  We have 300,000,000 people in the USA.  We have 40 reported cases so far.  That’s insignifiant.  It’s a statistical 0% chance.  Now let’s increase it to 40,000 cases.  That’s now 013% chance of getting swine flu (assuming the amount of cases increase 1000 fold.  Okay, I am not saying things may not get much worse, but panic mode solves nothing and there is no reason to panic.  Now let me go through a list of things you have a better chance of getting than Swine Flu

CHANCE OF DYING FROM SWINE FLU:   750,000 – 1 million to 1

CHANCE OF DYING FROM LIGHTING: 2.3 million to 1

CHANCE OF BEING HIT BY LIGHTING: 500,000 to 1

CHANCE OF BEING MURDERED: 18,000 to 1

CHANCE OF DYING IN A CAR CRASH: 75000 to 1

Wow, that’s hillarious.  Fuckin’ Media is stupid.  Bipolar America.

– Love,

Captain Liberty

April 28, 2009 Posted by | 1 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Crazy Populists and their “Tea Parties”

I am again going to blog about how fearful I am of why Republican conservative, blue collar, numbnuts hate taxes (such as Captain idiot himself, Joe the Plumber).

First of all, no one likes paying their taxes.  It’s not fun to file forms for the Government, especially when they are confusing.  But we can simplify the US Tax Code without having to go through the drastic measure of getting rid of the income tax.  I won’t bore you again with why the Fair Tax is so unfair, but I do think we could change the income taxes we have now to make them much easier to deal with.

Second, all of these people protesting taxes don’t seem to really mind the government’s interventions in their lives.  These morons collect social security, medicare, drive on federal highways, support the military, etc. etc.  Without taxes, we couldn’t have these things.

Third, the very idiots protesting with their “tea parties” are the same people that call Obama a socialist.  Well you know what?  Without taxes, we’ll just have a bigger deficit than we do now.  Which, in turn, leaves more money in China’s hand.  So if Obama’s a socialist, then you’re a communist.  You commies.

Seriously, I’m at my wits end with these morons.

Love,

Captain Liberty

PS I read this after I wrote the article.  Bravo, Bravo

April 15, 2009 Posted by | 1 | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Now It’s Personal: I Hate Sarah Palin

I don’t like calling women the “c” word, but some deserve it.  So here I go, Sarah Palin is a cunt. I used to have nothing against Mrs. Palin personally, but what she is doing to Levi Johnston is disgusting.  She is trying to destroy an 18 year old that she brought into the public life because she wanted to take advantage of her daughter’s pregnancy.  I used to merely hate her politics, not her as a human being.  Now, I hate her as a human being.  She took advantage of her daughter’s “situation” with Levi during the presidential campaign late last year. But now she’s going after Levi with the same venom that she was so against when the media went after her daughter.

You know, I don’t like Former President Bush’s politics, but I don’t think he is a bad person.  If something like this happened to one of his daughters, I don’t think he would have been the cunt that Palin is.

For someone who is a “Christian,” who speaks of Christian values, morality, family, stuff like that, she’s gross.  She is a terrible, awful human being.  She should be shunned for political and public life and be forced to live in Barrow, Alaska.  On the bright side, this whole situation shows you the hypocrisy of the Republican right wing douchebags.  Fuck Sarah Palin, fuck her to Alaska.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/10/sarah-palin-levi-would-ha_n_185822.html

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iMDENL6WNnsQPBcOTnHuP9hGt4cwD97E8VPO4

Love,

Captain Liberty

April 11, 2009 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Middle Class People, Stop Loving the (un)Fair Tax

We need to talk about this populist idea of the VAT (Value Added Tax).  The VAT is a terrible tax proposal.  It’s being offered up by a lot of populists like governor, talk show host, and guitar player, Mike Huckabee and captain douchebag himself, Joe the Fucker…I mean Joe the Plumber.  Let me explain the problems with the VAT.

First, let me explain to you what the VAT is and how it differs from the sales tax.  Basically, it has a very similar result as the sales tax does.  However, instead of taxing the end sales to the consumer, it taxes each stage of production of a service and/or good.  For example, if X manufacturer spends $10 dollars with a 10% tax to build a doohickee, he’ll pay $11 dollars.  Then X manufacturer adds some stuff the doohickiee to increase the value to $15, where he sells it to Y manufacturer.  X manufcaturer now charges $15 (+1.5, which is 10% VAT) to equal $16.5 to charge.  The original $1 that X paid will be deducted and the extra charge of $1.5 will be paid, though implicitly that $.5 tax is included in the purchase price that Y pays.  Y now pays $16.5 and then sells the completed doohickie to consumer.  Y charges $20 with a 10% VAT to equal $22.  The $1.5 Y now pays is deducted so that the extra $.5 dollar is only paid for by Y which is again implicitly included in the sales price to consumer.  If the consumer is just a non-business person, he will not receive a deduction.  So really, what is happening? We just had an incredibly complicated sales tax.

Okay, so what’s wrong with the VAT?  First, you see in my example, it’s unnecessarily complicated.  VAT law is absolutely confusing and will make the internal revenue code look more simple than tying your shoes.  Some tax lawyers are afraid that the “simplification” of the tax code with a Fair Tax will lead to a lesser need for tax lawyers. While I highly doubt there will be a Fair Tax in the United States, I do not fear that such an unlikely overhaul will create a “simplification” in the tax code with a Fair Tax.  In fact, I think the VAT is so unnecessarily complicated that it will make tax law more confusing and actually create more tax lawyers as companies (and occasionally individuals) will have to face a more convoluted tax code.  Granted, I am comparing the possible VAT to the European VAT, which could be simplified when applied to the United States (because the European VAT has complications created from the implimentations of 27 countries), I still feel like an American VAT would be more complicated than the Internal Revenue Code we have now.

Secondly, the VAT tax is incredibly regressive.  Take a look at this chart. It shows that the only people who will pay less in taxes will be individuals earning more than $200,000 a year.  This is silly.  Joe the Plumber, before he became a popularity loving media whore, was making $40,000 which would have increased his taxes, made him less likely to buy things, and would have hurt the economy.   You see, people who make less money pay a larger percentage of their overall income on disposable income.  So what happens?  This is best explained in an example:  Okay, let’s assume there’s a 30% VAT (and the number will be about 25-30% VAT if we have one on all goods and services.  Though my professor states that the VAT for the USA will more likely be 40-50% if you are going to give exemptions to health care and things of that nature).  Someone who makes $50,000 a year probably spends about $45,000 a year on disposable income (which is generally consisting of items subject to a VAT).  So with a 30% tax on that 90% of income, he’s paying $13,500 on tax, which is about a 27% tax. (Note: that’s a much higher tax than he would be paying now with deductions and exclusions).  However, someone who makes $500,000 a year maybe pays $300,000 on disposable income.  With a 30% tax, he pays about $90,000, which is a 18% tax.  So wait a second?????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The United States is known for its progressive taxes, and this is worse than a flat tax, because the rich are actually paying LESS than the middle class.

Third, the VAT only taxes spending.  Therefore, it discourages spending.  While encouraging savings is very good, especially because no one is saving, the distortion caused by the VAT will backfire, killing the economy as no one will buy anything.  In addition, because it’s a tax based upon consumption, it is much more sensitive than an income tax.  The volitality associated with a VAT is much more intense, leading the government to have less an ability to judge its revenues from year to year.

Lastly, mid-western populists like Joe the Plumber who thinks Europeans are “fags” should be against a VAT because they use it in Europe and Europeans are socialist pinko commie fags. (That last paragraph is tongue-in-cheek).

I am not saying I would not be against a small 3-6% sales tax on goods and services in the USA.  We should use that to pay down our debt.  But the fair tax idea is stupid at best and reckless at worst.

What do you think?

– Captain Liberty

April 5, 2009 Posted by | 1 | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Drug Testing for Welfare Queens and the Unemployed?

With unemployment, medicaid, and social security at an all time high, deficit worriers, such as myself, wonder what we can do to trim the government’s financial bleeding.  This article, found on CNN online, brings up an interesting point.  West Virginia lawmaker, Craig Blair, wants to require drug testing for those collecting unemployment checks and other government entitlement programs.  I must say I am ambivalent and conflicted about this recommended procedure.  I cannot decide whether I am for or against it.

My first concern is that it’s being offered up by a West Virginia lawmaker, Craig Blair.  This is the state that went for Huckabee in the Republican primary.  This means it’s a populist state and populism scares me.  Had this recommendation for drug testing been made by a conservative leaning libertarian, I would me more inclined to be for it.  To me, the ideological and philosophical reasons as to why someone would want a certain policy passed or not passed, is an important issue.  For example, if it’s recommended by someone who wants votes, to say to people “drugs are bad,” then I would be against it.  If it’s merely to cut down on excessive government spending and help keep the state’s deficit at zero, then I would be for it.  (Yes, West Virginia has a zero state deficit, though it’s probably because it gets tons of federal funding.)

My fear with this proposal is that the government can start to require drug testing for everyone.  Why can’t the government start requiring drug testing if you use the postal service, public transportation, or even public schools?  The slippery slope argument does scare me as to the point at which the government can invade our privacy even if we are using its benefits.

I remember in high school, everyone who went to a school sponsored dance had to breathe into a breathalizer (insulting, stupid, and therefore, required a lot of people just to delay their drinking until after the dance or take Esctasy instead).  The school’s argument was that, “hey, you are going to a school sponsored dance, so you don’t have to go if you don’t want to.”  That argument always irked me.  Just because the school was sponsoring an optional activity should not give it the ability to violate our personal dignity.  I’d rather have seen the school cancel the dance then have the dance and require breathing into a tube.

That’s probably part of the reason the ACLU is so against the policy of drug testing for benefits.  However, practically and pragmatically speaking, I don’t believe people who are getting government money should be allowed to spend that money on drugs, not because drugs are bad, but because it’s taxpayer money.  In addition, the policy as recommended by Mr. Blair, is not so bad.  It gives people a few warnings.  It allows one or two failures and merely requires those who do fail the test to go through drug education classes.  Therefore, it’s not this nasty evil stupid War on Drugs bullshit that throws someone in jail for a joint.

However, there is a difference between drug testing for unemployment vs. welfare.  Unemployment is an insurance policy that is, in part, paid for by the individual’s own taxes and his employer’s taxes.  So with this said, I am more inclined to be against a drug testing policy for those collecting temporary unemployment. Still, even if the law on drug tested for welfare recipients, fear of gov’t intrusion makes me weary to be for it. However, for the unemployed, I am certainly 100% against drug testing.   People pay into unemployment, social security, and medicare with their paychecks.  So you have people who are required, through their taxes, to pay into programs and then, when they need to collect from these insurance policies, they are required to take drug tests.  That’s too Big Brother for me.  However, when it comes to welfare, that’s a policy for people who are generally speaking, getting long term help and who didn’t pay into the system to begin with.  The people receiving welfare or medicaid also don’t pay taxes (generally speaking).  These people, do not work and if they do, they do not pay taxes.  So welfare and medicaid are not insurance policies like unemployment, they are socialized policies.  Therefore, I would not object to drug testing for welfare or medicaid recipients.  However, I am less inclined to test for unemployment insurance.

The government needs to be careful.  It needs to protect our privacy more than it has.  However, lazy ass welfare queens shouldn’t be taking drugs with government money.  And let me tell you, I worked in a probate court in the paternity and divorce department.  There are plenty of welfare collectors who do drugs with gov’t money.  Don’t listen to liberals on that one.

What do you think?

– Captain Liberty

April 4, 2009 Posted by | 1 | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment