William Thien

Archive for the ‘Taxes’ Category

Now that the country’s economy is coming back due to the incredible Trump tax breaks as well as steps taken by previous administrations, I think it is time to take one more measure to ensure that the country’s industrial sector remains strong. It is time to incentivize quality in American industrial production.

Following World War II reconstruction of Japan included sending two men to rebuild Japan and Japanese industry. Those two men were General Douglas MacArthur and W. Edwards Deming.

We all know who Macarthur was. Deming on the other hand was a statistics professor at New York University who believed statistics could be used to improve the quality of industrial production. Without elaborating here on what Deming did for Japanese industry, it is safe to say it worked.

Just look at all of the products of Japanese origin that have displaced American made products, big ticket items no less, cars, motorcycles, electronics, you name it, for one major reason. QUALITY!

Americans are sick of paying for cars that fall apart after driving them off of the lot and they have been voting with their dollars for decades now by purchasing Japanese products. Japanese manufacturers have been so successful selling to Americans who are fed up with poorly made products that Japanese manufacturers now have the largest automotive production facilities in The United States. All of that is because of a quest for quality. All of that coming from a country the size of California, one state, with a population a fraction of The United States. That tells you what the power of quality is to the consumer. It is everything.

What the President and Congress can do now is to provide additional tax incentives for American industrial producers to improve quality measures on our own soil, here in The United States.

Measures taken by US based industries will have to be verifiable and should result in measurable (threshold) quality improvements in order for the tax incentives to be earned.

The tax incentives should be substantial in order to motivate US industrial producers to take action because often it is difficult to change production methodologies which can require changing industrial machinery (no small task) and retraining large numbers of employees (again, no small task).

We know the statistics professor’s efforts in Japan were successful 68 years after Deming visited Japan and the effects are massively visible today on our roads and in our homes.

It is time for The President and Congress to make something approaching Deming’s system of statistical analysis for quality improvement in Japan an achievable goal here in The United States by offering substantial tax incentives, which must be verifiable, to produce quality on a massive scale. Here. Not there. Here.

But it should not stop there. Statistics are not the only way to improve quality in industrial production. If a company can demonstrate that it has made changes to improve quality, capital investments, training regimens, whatever it takes, that should be incentivized as well.

The President and Congress should waste no time installing such tax incentives.

Now that the economy has become a global one for good, things can change overnight. The one thing industrial producers can do here in America is to ensure the global consumer has faith in US made products. The best way to do that is to constantly improve quality.

It is better to take such measures now, when the country’s economy is strong than when the country faces some form of economic depression such as following one of the several bubbles the country has faced in the last two decades. Then, companies are in a different mode, often downsizing, selling off capital, just to make ends meet.

Again, The President and Congress should waste no time installing such tax incentives to improve the production of quality in The United States.

This is not about a tax break for corporations, it is about an industrial movement, it is about ensuring a new age in American economic prosperity.

cc: The President of The United States

Congressman James Sensenbrenner

Copyright © William Thien 2018

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Dear President Trump and Elected who voted for an income tax break,

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the break on my income taxes. It has amounted to anywhere from $26 to $53, depending upon hours worked in a two-week period. It may not seem like much, but another $50 to $100 a month can be handy. It can be handy unless of course all of the retailers you shop at, grocers, what have you, simply raised their prices by an equivalent to what the tax break amounted to and absorbed any benefit from the tax break in the first place.

Somehow we are going to have to do something about that part of it.

Who said there is no such thing as inflation in America!

Copyright © William Thien 2018

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As tax time approaches once again I wanted you to read one of my most popular essays, America’s Unfair Tax Code and The Brown Headed Cowbird. I have debated often about socialism and communism in The United States and how socialism and communism are implemented through the tax code and in that way their effects are less obvious, though still pernicious. I will be talking a lot about America’s tax code in the next couple of months. To my friends and colleagues who utilize the tax breaks I speak of, I say, use them. Don’t feel guilty for my meager commentary on what is unfair about them. Were I in your shoes, I would do the same. But know they must change. The tax code must be made fair. It was in fact the unfair tax code during colonial times that led to the formation of this country and I don’t see that things should ever change in that regard.

America’s Unfair Tax Code and The Brown Headed Cowbird

An associate of mine was telling me that he had received a substantial tax refund this year and when comparing it to mine I was rather surprised as it was many thousands of dollars more. During the time that we have worked together, he has received close to a year’s salary in total tax refunds more than I. That’s substantial and a bit of an insult to me since we have the same position and are paid exactly the same. We are not businessmen so we do not have a large number of operating costs we can write off. We both make the same amount of money. He is married, I am not, but that was only a minor difference. The major difference between his tax return and mine was that he has five children.

On his tax return each of his children represented a large deduction to his earnings and as a result, he received a substantially larger tax refund than I did. At first I thought, OK, raising children is expensive these days, why shouldn’t he get some help from the government (that’s us the taxpayers, by the way)? But then the thought occurred to me (I didn’t tell him and I hope he doesn’t read my blog) that his children are going to public schools and at times he has used public services for medical support of his family. Again, there is nothing wrong with that. It is good that we offer the best public education in the world and can provide medical support to families in need.

But to give him a tax break substantially larger than mine when in fact he uses more public services than I do, uses more services in a substantially greater amount than I do, seems like foolish and definitely unfair tax policy. What is essentially happening is that I am paying for his children to attend school and to obtain free health care. The tax break, the deduction that he receives is possible because I do not receive the tax break. In essence I am paying to raise his children. That’s how they offer him a tax break. They take it from me in some way or another and give it to him in the form of a deduction.

In the region of the country where I live there is a bird that lays its eggs in the nests of other birds and then lets the other birds rear their young. The name of the bird is The Brown Headed Cowbird. It sneaks up to another bird’s nest when the other bird is away foraging and deposits its egg in the other bird’s nest. When the bird that is out foraging returns to the nest, more often than not they simply begin incubating the Brown Headed Cowbird’s egg along with their own and then they rear the fledgling as if it was their own. Sometimes the host bird can’t raise its own and is only able to raise the fledgling of the Brown Headed Cowbird due to diminished resources in that vicinity and the voracity of the Cowbird fledgling.

It occurs to me that much like the unwitting bird who is rearing the Brown Headed Cowbird’s egg, the invader’s egg, a parasite as defined by ornithologists, I am paying to raise the children of others. If you ask me, that is unfair tax policy. Some might say, well that’s just the way it is, and I myself, I’m not certain I have a problem with that really.

But perhaps many of the problems we have with balancing governmental budgets, many of the problems we have with massive abuses of the huge system of entitlements we have in this country stems from the perception that people have originating from the tax code. Can we afford to have another child? Heck yea! It’s a tax break! And as families have more and more children using more and more government services, we as a country are at a loss for how to pay for those services used because we in fact give people a tax break for using them. In a sense, that is what is happening. And similar tax policies apply to corporations as well for conducting certain types of business or using certain types of resources, natural resources even.

No business in their right mind pays people 100 percent of the cost of their products to purchase their products. You will not find one truly successful business that says, “we will give you five dollars for every hamburger you buy from us.” Instead of you paying us, we will pay you. Sounds like a pretty good deal, right? Until of course it comes time to pay all those people behind the counter, the servers, the ones cooking the food, the maintenance people. Where is the money? Well, boss, we gave it to the customers. Well, where are they? Get the money back! They are at the restaurant across the street eating with the money we gave them. Well whose harebrained idea was it to give them the money in the first place?

It seems to me that if we want to balance the country’s budget and the budgets of all of the states and municipalities we need realistic tax codes and policies that address budget disparities, tax policies that somehow seek payment for services used and not payment to the users, particularly the Brown Headed Cowbirds of America.

It’s only fair.

Or, how about this? Do you have a Brown Headed Cowbird living in your back yard? Check this box for your standard Brown Headed Cowbird deduction, and if you are a corporation, double the deduction.

Copyright © William Thien 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

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I recently received a note from one of my credit cards that said due to the massive security breach at Equifax I should do my taxes early in order to avoid having someone false file them.

As a result I have been paying closer attention than normal to the tax bill recently ratified by our elected. This tax plan calculator gives you a guesstimate of how the new tax plan will affect your taxes.

Trump Tax Plan Calculator: http://taxplancalculator.com/

One of the pros of this new tax plan is that corporations have had the taxation of profits lowered substantially. That is the meat of the tax plan if you ask me. And that’s a good thing. The previous rendition of the tax code drove profits offshore into secretive banking accounts and resulted in lost tax revenue and the offshoring of jobs. Makes you wonder who the F is running this country, Americans or foreigners? You know what they say? Follow the money.

So The Trump Administration gets some serious Kudos for that. Great job! Bring it back home, Donny! Way to go!

In my case, since I have no property or dependents to write off, the only benefit to my taxes was that my standard deduction was doubled and that resulted, supposedly, (guesstimate) in an annual savings of $577, not much when were I to put in several dependents and a piece of property on my filing, my refund would be pretty substantial.

Now that’s not to say it is not a good taxation scheme (all systems of taxation in The US appear to me to be some form of lobbied “scheme” and that’s exactly what they are). And the benefit many received in the form of mortgage interested deductions has been reduced. To me, that makes good fiscal sense. The fact that the dependent tax credit was increased substantially to me is fiscal folly. Most of those dependents use public services throughout their lives (50% of all babies birthed last year used Medicaid. 50%. And they got a tax break, too. Really!) and to give a tax break to those who use those services is like paying people to buy your products. Unless you are the government, you won’t be in business very long. But hey, how else are our elected going to get re-elected? Half of them can’t even form a complete sentence, so they have to give our money away. That’s all they know, and there isn’t anything you can do about it. Or is there?

So, it is still an extremely unfair tax code if you ask me, just less so than before. And for that, I have to give kudos to our elected which ratified the new “scheme.” The others, they can take a long walk off a short pier.

Let’s hope it is a start that gets the ball rolling in the right direction. Maybe there will be some momentum to improve taxation in The United Sates. Let’s hope they can bring our taxes down more and tax those that deserve to be taxed, tax those who use all the services for example, and provide some relief for those who use very few services instead of just the opposite, which is what it is now. WTF?!

Because though we don’t have a socialist government, it is through the tax code that massive wealth is redistributed in this country (so basically we have a socialist government) and that doesn’t seem to have changed much with this new taxation “scheme.”

There are some good things in this new scheme of taxation and some serious things that still need to be addressed, with fairness being the biggest issue to me that needs to be addressed.

So Kudos are in store.

But because it involves taxes, I have to say kudos…kudos so far, so good, so what.

Because at my age, when I look back at how much someone with some children and a house payment received in tax refunds over the years compared to what I have received when making the same salary but with no children or property, I could have bought a house for cash with what that money the other has received in refunds, yet they use all the government services in comparison.

Through the tax code the socialist US government has been giving them my income because they have children and a house payment and taxing me and people like myself in order to do that.

And you know what that is? That ain’t right, that’s what that is. Doesn’t matter which way you look at it. I’m just the first one to say anything about it and you can bet they are working overtime to shut me up, too. You can bet on it. Because that’s what communism does. That’s what collectivism is. It’s mob rule whether they are right or wrong.

Copyright © William Thien 2017

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Most white Americans want nothing to do with any racist or fascist organization but often such organizations are the only organizations publicly enumerating white grievance in The US, where the government and the media often falsely place historical guilt upon white Americans to increase tax levies upon the middle classes, for all manner of social programs, many of which whites pay for but benefit from very little.

While white Americans also comprise a relatively stable number in population, minorities that benefit from such social programs are increasing in size, some of them dramatically, at rates unprecedented in American history.

So, while America’s population of whites remains relatively the same, the tax burden to pay for such social programs and the use AND ABUSE of such social programs is increasing dramatically, correspondingly increasing the burden upon white Americans whose population stays relatively the same.

Attempts by white Americans to organize and enumerate their grievances publicly have been met with 1st Amendment transgressions by municipal leadership or pandering to violent reactionaries in such cities as Berkeley and Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, and Baltimore.

Any attempts by white Americans to organize in the public square are now met almost automatically with false and slanderous calls of fascism and racism by the media and municipal governments as well as the threat of violence from reactionaries.

Unless there is change there will come a day when white America will no longer stand for it.

Copyright © William Thien 2017

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Most white Americans want nothing to do with any racist or fascist organization but often such organizations are the only organizations publicly enumerating white grievance in The US, where the government and the media often falsely place historical guilt upon white Americans to increase tax levies upon the middle classes, for all manner of social programs, many of which whites pay for but benefit from very little.

While white Americans also comprise a relatively stable number in population, minorities that benefit from such social programs are increasing in size, some of them dramatically, at rates unprecedented in American history.

So, while America’s population of whites remains relatively the same, the tax burden to pay for such social programs and the use AND ABUSE of such social programs is increasing dramatically, correspondingly increasing the burden upon white Americans whose population stays relatively the same.

Attempts by white Americans to organize and enumerate their grievances publicly have been met with 1st Amendment transgressions by municipal leadership or pandering to violent reactionaries in such cities as Berkeley and Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, and Baltimore.

Any attempts by white Americans to organize in the public square are now met almost automatically with false and slanderous calls of fascism and racism by the media and municipal governments as well as the threat of violence from reactionaries.

Unless there is change there will come a day when white America will no longer stand for it.

Copyright © William Thien 2017

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Decades long (Greenspan to Yellen) monetary policy aimed at continually diminishing the strength of the currency for the regular population is in and of itself justification enough to respond.

I believe Washington has chosen monetary policy that forces the public to work longer hours for less income with the desire of increasing productivity at the expense of American working classes and their quality of life.

It has nothing to do with the general economy. The labor statistics coming out of Washington are false.  We’ve all known that for many years. The statistics don’t include the perpetually unemployed or the unaccounted for in industrially blighted urban areas. Therefor, the numbers are unreliable. So why the constant attempt to weaken the dollar?

Is it about selling more American made goods overseas? Somewhat, yes. But in my opinion it is more about squeezing the American working classes to get them to work harder for less, increasing the speed of the treadmill so to speak through weakening the dollar, thereby increasing productivity.

Again, if you weaken the dollar, if you systematically do so while steadily increasing inflation, a person needs to work harder and/or longer hours to get what they want or need or they must borrow more. A weaker dollar buys less and it buys less everywhere you use it even at home, not just overseas when you travel. The thing of it is, it’s not a function of the economy, it’s not happening on its own. It’s policy!

That’s what the FED has been up to starting with Greenspan, what the parties have been up to starting with Clinton, NAFTA and MFN for China, and the dollar.

You are getting squeezed by the FED/Washington establishment and the same people you elected. If money is speech as the Supreme Court determined, by weakening the dollar your voice is also being muffled. Directly.

The dollar isn’t too strong. Rather, Washington may be too powerful, too disingenuous.

I heard a debate on the radio this morning on the way to work. During the broadcast they were talking about a Constitutional Convention. Maybe it’s not such a bad idea.

I myself say, “What do you mean I don’t sound like a conservative? You are full of it. You can be a conservative and still be a working stiff! Conservatism isn’t just for the very wealthy. That’s something else altogether. That’s the monetary policy we have now.”

Copyright © William Thien 2017

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