William Thien

Archive for March 2014

One of the primary problems with the tax code is that certain people, companies, and corporations are increasing their wealth substantially through the tax code.

People should not become wealthy because they know how to manipulate the tax code, people and companies should gain their wealth through innovation and creativity, from experience, not from some set of tax loopholes in what is clearly an unfair tax code.

Furthermore, I believe the tax code is undermining American industry. I believe the tax code causes businesses to focus less on that which has made American industry great, such as new technologies and industrial methods for example. The tax code instead causes companies and corporations to expend huge amounts of financial resources insuring they are situated in the most advantageous position with regard to the tax code, when they could instead be spending those resources on research and development and capital acquisition.

It’s time to deal with the tax code once and for all, with an emphasis on “for all.”

Copyright © William Thien 2014

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Tax deductions should not be offered to people or corporations to mitigate the consequences of conscious decisions. In other words, you decided to open that type of business, you decided to have those children, you made the conscious decision to have the family or open the business, why should everyone else pay for your decisions? Deductions are paid for by others. They are a redistribution of wealth (also know as “Communism or Socialism”) and they inflate the tax rate for everyone. That money has to come from somewhere. Yes! That’s one of the major reasons why your taxes are so high!

I am always disillusioned by the guys and gals in business suits out for a so-called “business luncheon” telling bad jokes and drinking expensive drinks and making sure they get the receipt for the lunch to write it off who are sitting at the table next to the elderly ladies scrounging for change in their purses to tip the waitress.

The tax code is a sham. It’s a scam upon the country. It must be re-written!

It’s time for someone with some intestinal fortitude to do something about it.

And to be fair to those with children tacking deductions for dependents, if the deduction is there, there is nothing wrong with taking it. It’s just that it’s not fair to others who are not eligible. But corporations on the other hand often lobby or have industry associations lobby for their tax breaks.

Until we deal with all of the so-called deductions and write-offs in the tax code and the resultant welfare derived from the tax code, we will never makes ends meet as a country.

Copyright © William Thien 2014

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Note: To reiterate an earlier post on a flat tax, if everyone pays the same tax rate, everyone will be equally invested in seeing that the tax rate goes down and is kept in check and that the taxes go to what they should.

In having a conversation with some other taxpayers (those who don’t have many deductions so they still have to pay taxes as opposed to others who have so many deductions they don’t pay any taxes at all), in talking to the other taxpayers about the various tax deductions I am not eligible to use yet pay for, someone brought up the subject of why “we can’t” eliminate deductions once they are in the tax code. “If you eliminated the dependent deduction, you might put people in the poor house,” she said. Another brought up the subject of the mortgage interest deduction and in some cases, people rely so heavily on that particular deduction that it would knock them out of their houses if they couldn’t use it.

But it’s still unfair to give those two deductions or numerical equivalents of them to certain people and not to others. So if it became necessary to take those deductions out of the tax code, since people rely so heavily as I’ve described in previous posts on those deductions, to simply take the deductions out of the tax code would have a dramatic effect on their finances, probably sending many who use the deductions into sudden economic trauma. They would suffer tax deduction withdrawal, so to speak.

I have a solution. Instead of writing the deductions instantly and completely out of the tax code, gradually lessen the amount of the deductions users can write off until there is no deduction any longer. Phase them out and adjust the tax code so that it is fair for all. Decrease the deduction amount by 25% a year, maybe ten percent a year, whatever would be most suitable until there is no deduction there any longer, letting the users of the deductions adjust to no longer having the deductions. The end result would be a flatter, more fair tax code.

In that way the deduction users could adjust to the new tax code and not rely so heavily on what are essentially socialist handouts funded by those who are not eligible for the deductions.

The same method could be used for corporations. In that way you could lower corporate taxes for all corporations because some, just like in the tax code people use, obviously benefit from the corporate tax system more than others.

More on deductions later.

Copyright © William Thien 2014

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Oh no! Not another communist/socialist redistribution of wealth in the form of a tax break. “Oh yes,” they say, though they may know not what they do. Or do they? Let’s have a look.

This week I entered into a rather heated exchange on the local newspaper’s web site over the issue of tax breaks for Public Education at the K-12 level. Where I reside, there was a discussion about legislation concerning tax breaks for those who send their children to private schools. Like all such programs, tax breaks in this case, this one is nothing other than a redistribution of wealth, a redistribution of wealth indeed for those with children, and at first I wasn’t so skeptical of the idea. Kids are expensive.

But lo and behold, something occurred to me about the idea. Parents already receive a substantial write-off for each and every child they have. Nothing wrong with that really except for the fact that they made the choice themselves and it was nobody’s idea but their own to have the children and nobody else gets the tax break. But that is only an ancillary part of this observation.

OK, so…now that they already get the tax break where I reside, in many areas the parents can also receive a voucher (cash) for sending their children to a private school instead of a public one, something that was fashioned a while back by a former Governor of my state. In fact, if I’m not mistaken the idea was first implemented here where I reside. My state was a sort of laboratory for the idea. It was called “School Choice” I believe, something to that effect. It’s a program that is expanding currently in my state.

So, now not only do you receive a deduction for dependent children, you can also obtain a cash voucher for sending your child to a private school. Hmmmn. Even though I myself am not a parent, I can understand the desire to have more educational choices for your children.

But there is a serious flaw with the entire concept in how it is administered. You are giving the parents a deduction for having the child in the first place, a child that is going to use more educational services, and now you are giving the parents cash as well.

Oh no, but it doesn’t stop there. Now, they want to give parents a tax break for sending their children to private schools on top of all that, or beside it. Maybe they use the vouchers, maybe they don’t.

I can hear somebody singing, “Wooo-hooo, we’re in the money. We’re in the money.” Really?

But whose money is it? I have even had people tell me they time the birth of their children just so that they can take the tax deduction on their income tax that year for their new child. It’s no accident. Children are had just to improve peoples’ tax circumstances, you can be sure. And who can blame them? Like I hear all the time, children are expensive. Tell me about it, I reply. I don’t even have any and I’m paying for them.

The net effect of all this money flowing around, whether it be in the tax code or from wherever is that it artificially drives up the cost of all education because that’s what happens when you put money into any market, it buoys prices. And that is why lobbyists for private education are lobbying our elected officials, to do just what I describe. They want THE MONEY! Thhhhheeeeee Moooooooney, get it? Let’s spell it out in front of the little ones so they don’t hear what we are talking about. The M-O-N-E-Y. Oh yeah, now I get it. It’s about the money, it’s not about religion. Hmn. Maybe they do know what they are doing.

But ultimately, due to the unfair tax code folly that enables all of those tax breaks I’ve described, there is never enough money to pay for the services those people use, use more of because they are having the children and taking the tax breaks. Public education is always scrounging for more money. Private educational institutions shun the needier, special education students and push them back into the public realm, driving the cost for public systems up. I argued those points. All of them. But they don’t care. They are not the conservatives they claim to be.

So not only do private and religious educational institutions often shun the needier students and push them back into public education, which raises the cost of public education, the private institutions are lobbying for more money and getting it, which is also driving up the cost of all education. They say the devil is in the details, but I won’t elaborate on that any more. I think it is rather obvious. Yet, they used to tell us, make us go to war, sacrifice your sons and daughters in wars with “The Godless Communists.” That’s what the war in Vietnam was all about. They used to tell us day in and day out that communism didn’t have a God. What?! Kind of looks like they found one, or many, depending on which type of religious school is taking the cash. Oh yes, now you see that the devil is indeed in the details, don’t you ladies and gentlemen? Yes, I think you do.

So I responded to a number of ignorant people who came out of the tax code darkness whose eyes were filled with ignorance and I did the math. First, we are giving the people a tax break for having the child. Then we are giving them cash to send their child to a private school, and thirdly, we are thinking about giving them a tax break for sending that child to the private school where either they can or can’t use the voucher? It’s insane. It’s criminal. It’s communism.

That is nothing more than tax code nonsense to get people elected and to increase the size of private school enrollment at the same time and it’s all being done on the backs of those with no children and those ineligible for the tax break. It is totally unfair tax policy and foolish to boot as you are giving a tax break to those who are using all of the services in the first place. And you wonder why they keep cutting services?

It is my opinion that offering a tax break for sending your child to a private school is a non-starter (but it passed in the legislature where I reside), a no go in terms of tax ideology for the two primary reasons that those who are using the services should not receive the tax break and it’s one more tax break of three that nobody else is eligible to obtain because it only effects those who have children. It’s totally unfair to those without. It makes tax surrogates, servants indentured permanently by the tax code out of those with no children because the money to cover the cost of those tax breaks comes from those who can’t take the deductions.

Oh, but it doesn’t stop there. Where I reside students also receive a bus ride on the taxpayer to private religious schools, too. Yes, it’s true.

So, not only are we giving the parents several tax breaks, but we are letting that money go to what is often a religious institution, breaking the caveat in the Separation of Church and state clause in The U.S. Constitution. We are paying at substantial taxpayer expense for their ride to break that clause in The U.S. Constitution.

It’s too late to turn back the clock on these matters. The nefarious politician has often ridden into office on just such an issue as taking tax money from some and giving it to others in the form of a tax break, for whatever reason, whether it be the noble one of education or any other. But it’s still wrong.

It’s still communism, it’s just that in the case of private religious schools, it’s something that should have never have happened, because it’s communism in the name of God and they told us communism didn’t have one.

Copyright © William Thien 2014

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Though the current administration promised change to the country as a cornerstone of its initial presidential run, it has either been slow to come or has arrived in the form of some deformed legislative monster, such as The Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.”

In fact much of what comes out of Washington D.C. in terms of new legislation is just that, some bizarre, grossly mismatched legislative deformity which may benefit some portion of the country while totally insulting and incapacitating the rest.

The current administration isn’t the only party to have their hands in on “Obamacare,” to be sure and to be fair.

When I examine how such repeated legislative behavior happens, I can only conclude that it is the result of the predominant behaviors of two, not just one, not just the other side of the aisle, but the behaviors of two entrenched political parties, a tyrannical Washington elite, at the strings of special interests whom we may not or never know from where the strings are spun.

Therefore, one solution is to wrest control of important issues from the party apparatus wherein which resides the desires of said special interests.
That is the only way to deal with the collective tyranny of the Washington elite. Because that’s just what they are, an entrenched Washington elite, and it is difficult to relieve the country of the stranglehold they have on political behavior and effort.

In my previous post, Gun Rights vs. Gun Control, I do just that, show that issues are not owned by political parties and in fact can be separated from their control. Though the parties will attempt to grasp and retain ownership of such issues, many issues are not political at all, they are founded in The U.S. Constitution.

Unless we want to be beholden to those who are clearly abusing their power, we must continue to find ways to regain control over issues that the parties have thoroughly and in an orchestrated way made their own, and by doing so, have parsed the country out into neat little pieces that can be easily managed, marginalized, stifled, snuffed out.

Year in and year out it’s the same debate about the same issues, the threat of taking away one of our constitutional rights or preventing women from having control of their own bodies, for example, while the Washington elite raise our taxes and legislate our behavior into a corner.

We must demonstrate that much of what is done in Washington D.C. isn’t necessary and in fact has probably already been accomplished satisfactorily with respect to acceptance by The Supreme Court and in the eyes of the public. Or, matters will have to be dealt with more directly.

That is the only way that we can deal with the collective tyranny of the Washington elite. We may vote for them as individuals. But when many get to Washington, they form a solid body that is obstinate and unmoving. Regaining control from the parties over issues that effect us directly may be the best way to regain control of our country.

Copyright © William Thien 2014

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As a political issue, gun ownership has been a significant point of contention between both major political parties in The United States during campaigns and following any major gun crimes.

Republicans have sought to claim the right to the issue of the right of gun ownership while the Democrats have sought to claim the issue of gun control. In that regard it would appear to an outside observer I’m sure that the Democrats fall flat on their faces when it comes to protecting the right to keep and bear arms in The United states, often hiding behind false statistics or fear mongering in an attempt change the laws governing firearms ownership and usage, clearly for matters of political expediency.

In reality the issue of gun ownership in The United States belongs to no political party and it is in fact a Constitutional Right which even the Supreme Court has found to be legal, time and time again.

Just like abortion, gun rights is often THE single issue that determines who a voter chooses. The problem is, party politics is a “package deal.” If you want the right to own firearms, you have to take all the other issues that the party carries in its political baggage as well. The same goes for abortion and other singular political issues. The two major parties are diametrically opposed on both of those two major issues, Gun Rights and Abortion, and it is so clearly delineated between the two parties that to me it indicates there may be collusion between the two parties with the intent to keep the voters divided and more manageable as a population while maintaining the illusion of choice. How else could things get so mucked up?

Our mass media does us a great disservice by constantly inflaming the issue to improve ratings or to sway voters. We should all be aware of such methods so as to be able to discern the true political issues in the smoke and mirrors of political campaigning and insist that the media (by changing the channel, for instance) and our political leadership keep their hands off of our right to keep and bear arms.

Copyright © William Thien 2014

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It is my opinion that those policies instituted by The Catholic Church and certain so-called conservative elements of a particular political party outlawing abortion and birth control, such as any religious edicts of which we are all aware, are contrary to the social and economic health and well-being of The United States, because those same religious institutions and so-called conservative elements of society do not also provide the necessary corresponding financial support for the result of those policies and instead said institutions and the aforementioned so-called conservative elements of society attempt to relieve themselves through the tax code of financial responsibility for the resultant progeny and/or are unable to care for them and as a result are no different from “deadbeat dads.” Hereon in I shall refer to any such policies and positions as “deadbeat dad” policy.

Copyright © William Thien 2014

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Here are some interesting studies to add to my initial observation on Domestic Violence Laws and how they discriminate against men. It appears that the media does not report female and male victims numbers for political reasons and in fact just as many men, often more, are victims of physical domestic violence and abuse than are women, but due to societal norms that fact is not reported, which is a form of societal discrimination. Therefore, domestic violence laws do in fact discriminate against men. Here are some studies to examine, this one by the CDC, http://www.saveservices.org/2012/02/cdc-study-more-men-than-women-victims-of-partner-abuse/, and another http://www.unh.edu/news/cj_nr/2006/may/em_060519male.cfm?type=n, and another, http://news.ufl.edu/2006/07/13/women-attackers/ Many of these studies indicate that women are often the likely perpetrators of abuse but then also claim to be the major victims, a certain duality of behavior which is often the source of the domestic dispute to begin with, I’m sure. Society doesn’t offer the network of support for male victims and if you look at studies on the internet, often when male victims call for municipal services on the matter, often they are shunned.

My main interest in this matter is that I believe the questions should not be on a firearms application, questions that pertain to domestic violence, because misdemeanor laws do not meet the threshold of felonious behavior, which was once the threshold for firearms ownership.

Copyright © William Thien 2014

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William Thien

A friend recently completed a firearms application in order to purchase a hunting rifle and asked me the question, “what does domestic violence have to do with firearms ownership?”

Currently on a firearms application you have to answer that you have not been found guilty of ‘domestic violence’ or are not subject to a restraining order related to domestic violence. I have not seen the application myself for a while, but it is something to that effect. That question hasn’t always been on the application. So, as my friend asks, what does domestic violence have to do with firearms ownership?

It’s a question I’ve been pondering for some time. I’ve been asking myself that question because I believe the question discriminates against the male in society. It’s not OK to discriminate against the female, or any racial group, which is understandable, but for some reason, perhaps it is media driven…

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March 2014
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