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Author: stockmover Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 121219  
Subject: OT ~ Charley Reese's final column ~Long Date: 6/24/2011 2:08 PM
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A very interesting column.. COMPLETELY NEUTRAL Be sure to Read the Poem at the end.

Charley Reese's final column for the Orlando Sentinel...He has been a journalist for 49 years. He is retiring and this is HIS LAST COLUMN.

Be sure to read the Tax List at the end.

This is about as clear and easy to understand as it can be. The article below is completely neutral, neither anti-republican or democrat. Charlie Reese, a retired reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, has hit the nail directly on the head, defining clearly who it is that in the final analysis must assume responsibility for the judgments made that impact each one of us every day. It's a short but good read. Worth the time. Worth remembering!

545 vs. 300,000,000 People -By Charlie Reese

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The President does.

You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red.

If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it's because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan ...

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.

Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees...

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.

What you do with this article now that you have read it... is up to you.
This might be funny if it weren't so true.
Be sure to read all the way to the end:

Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table,
At which he's fed.

Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.

Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for
peanuts anyway!

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.

Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries
Tax his tears.

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.

Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won't be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He's good and sore.

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he's laid...

Put these words
Upon his tomb,
'Taxes drove me
to my doom...'

When he's gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Sales Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax


STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY?
Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, & our nation was the most prosperous in the world.
We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

What in the heck happened? Can you spell 'politicians?'

I hope this goes around THE USA at least 545 times!!!


X posted on HURL Board

Rich
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Author: Bob78164 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 113580 of 121219
Subject: Re: OT ~ Charley Reese's final column ~Long Date: 6/24/2011 5:51 PM
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stockmover quotes (in part):

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, & our nation was the most prosperous in the world.
We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.


I reply:

If the Orlando Sentinel saw fit to publish this, it owes its readers an apology. It is simply false that there was no national debt 100 years ago. In fact, the United States has owed a national debt since the country was founded, though it came quite close to paying off the debt before the Civil War.

And of course, it's well known that current tax rates are at historic lows. --Bob

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Author: stockmover Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 113581 of 121219
Subject: Re: OT ~ Charley Reese's final column ~Long Date: 6/25/2011 1:34 AM
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It is simply false that there was no national debt 100 years ago. In fact, the United States has owed a national debt since the country was founded, though it came quite close to paying off the debt before the Civil War.

I am only the messenger Bob. I don't proclaim to be an historian. But this legitimate article was in fact published by the Orlando Sentinel.

However, what you address is what I call selective reading and only a miniscule part of the article if you compare the national debt level in 1911 to our current debt level today in "real dollars" as well as all the various and sundry current taxation levies!

Rich

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Author: stockmover Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 113582 of 121219
Subject: Re: OT ~ Charley Reese's final column ~Long Date: 6/25/2011 1:53 AM
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And of course, it's well known that current tax rates are at historic lows. --Bob

hmmm .... Well known by whom Bob? The Bill Gate's, the Warren Buffett's the Mark Zuckerberg's and the other multi millionaires/billionaires of the world ?

Rich

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Author: bookie71 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 113583 of 121219
Subject: Re: OT ~ Charley Reese's final column ~Long Date: 6/25/2011 12:03 PM
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If you factor in the high social security rates are taxes really lower? When I look at a lot of W-2's the ss tax (and it is only 1/2, as the employer matches)is often higher than the with holding tax, especially on the lower wages.

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Author: VFR700F2 One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Motley Fool One Everlasting Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 113619 of 121219
Subject: Re: OT ~ Charley Reese's final column ~Long Date: 6/30/2011 2:20 PM
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All

I get a bit frustrated over comparing apples and oranges on tax rates and deficits and what it all means. Best clear data on rates that I found in a quick search is from the GPO

Table 14 at this link:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/search/search.action?na=&se=&am...

shows that the tax rate as a percentage of GDP has varied over the post WWII era from 16.7% in 1948 to 16.2% in 2010 -- low I can see was at 14.4% in 1949 but that seems to have been an analogy and otherwise 16.X% seems to have been the average low. During the:
- 1980s it was 18-19%
- 1990s it was 18-20% (ending at a high of 20.8% of GDP in 2000
- 2000s it continued to drop from the 20.8% high to 16.2% in 2010

Thus, it would seem that total federal taxation in recent years has been a couple percentage points below its post WWII average.

One thing I find interesting is the co-existance of very high tax rates as a percentage of GDP in the late 1990s at the same time as excellent economic growth and declining budgets deficits to eventual surplus.

Of course there may be lag effects which you don't see in this data, but overall it makes me wonder. I have no desire to pay more taxes than necessary, but I must admit that numbers like like these make me wonder if the debate over tax rates is missing something.

I welcome anyone who can educate me on what I may be missing

Cheers

Bill

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Author: fleg9bo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 113620 of 121219
Subject: Re: OT ~ Charley Reese's final column ~Long Date: 6/30/2011 4:47 PM
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1990s it was 18-20% (ending at a high of 20.8% of GDP in 2000
- 2000s it continued to drop from the 20.8% high to 16.2% in 2010

One thing I find interesting is the co-existance of very high tax rates as a percentage of GDP in the late 1990s at the same time as excellent economic growth and declining budgets deficits to eventual surplus.


My own anecdotal evidence, based on myself, is that the higher taxes as a percentage of GDP in the late 90s was due to the stock market bubble, particularly the tech bubble, with lots of people cashing in stock options that pushed them into the higher brackets. In our case, the amount of federal income tax we paid in 2000 was almost 13 times more than what we paid in 1997. Then, because the company stock tanked at the end of 2000, our federal income tax for 2001 was a mere 5% of what it had been the year before.

So the highs in the late 1990s and 200 were harbingers of a bubble about to pop, not sustainable growth. "Surpluses as far as the eye can see" is how some characterized this period. There was also talk about "the surplus being squandered," but with the market beginning its nosedive in 2000 (NASDAQ and S&P500 peaks were in March of that year), there was no way those surpluses were going to last no matter who ran the show.

--fleg

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